On Friday — as Super Bowl Week coverage continued for every sports broadcast outlet in this corner of the galaxy — Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce ended up on the set of NFL Network’s NFL Live show in Atlanta with Andrew Siciliano and Steve Mariucci. Kelce ended up expanding a little on some of the answers he gave to Dan Patrick on Thursday.
Mariucci noted that in the AFC Championship game against the New England Patriots, the Patriots spent much of the game covering him with rookie J.C. Jackson.
”I wasn’t expecting that,” said Kelce. “I was expecting Patrick Chung the entire week, so I was really focused on getting Chung for the most part — with a little bit of Stephon Gilmore. I had a feeling I’d see Gilmore once or twice. And that’s who they ended up switching on to me. But that’s what I think they do the best. They have adjustments. They try to surprise you with things — especially with the way they played their man coverage and their games up front.”
Naturally, the hosts wanted to ask Kelce what he thought of the possibility of a change in overtime rules.
”Whether they talk about it or not, next year is what I’ve got to focus on,” he replied. “I don’t want to get into saying, ‘Yeah, I want to see a change’ or how it’s unfair or anything like that, but if there’s a discussion about it and they end up changing it, I think it would be better for the game — but at the same time, there was a whole half of football there that myself and a couple of other guys didn’t show up. You have to man up -- be a man about it -- and figure out the changes.”
Siciliano reminded Kelce that one year ago during Super Bowl week, he had asked Kelce whether he thought Patrick Mahomes would be ready in 2018. “You had a look in your eye,” the host said. “You knew, didn’t you?”
”You could tell,” Kelce responded. “When he first got into the locker room, how he carried himself, the confidence he had. He’s a locker room guy. He became a brother of everyonoe on the team very quickly. You could feel the leadership in him. And he was the backup! Guys respect that. And on top of that, you go out there and you make play after play after play, it’s exciting. And it’s contagious. You want to play with a guy that’s doing it — and having fun doing it.
“You never know when a guy is going to go in and be a little gun-shy,” Kelce acknowledged, “so that was the only thing that I was [worried about], but he came out slinging, and ready for the moment. It was a fun season.”
The conversation got around to former Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith, and whether Kelce and his teammates have stayed in touch him after the devastating injury he suffered playing for the Washington Redskins this past season.
”We try to. We love Alex to death,” he said. “He’s my guy. One of my all-time favorite teammates. Seeing him at the Wizards game, that absolutely ripped me apart, man -- seeing how his leg is, and hearing the stories on how everything is going. Hopefully he gets back ASAP. If anybody deserves to go out on top and have a great career, it’s that guy.”