Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid held his official NFL Scouting Combine press conference on Wednesday afternoon in Indianapolis (You can watch the press conference in full here).
The biggest news of the day probably came before Reid took the podium when he revealed to local Kansas City media members that Chiefs veteran safety Eric Berry has opted not to have offseason surgery.
Reid also told local KC reporters that starting right guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif (fractured fibula) and safety Armani Watts (groin) “are in good shape headed into the offseason.”
Here are the items to know from the press conference:
Reid commented on the Chiefs signings from Friday.
The Chiefs announced the signings of four veterans last Friday: quarterback EJ Manuel, defensive back Dontae Johnson and wide receivers Sammie Coates and Davon Grayson.
Reid briefly explained each signing Wednesday:
REID ON EJ MANUEL
“I thought EJ would fit well in the room. I’m sensitive to that, who you put in that room. That’s a room where there are a lot of things exposed offensively and you want to make sure you have the right personalities in there. I thought EJ would fit into that. I think he’ll be a nice addition, he’s a pro, he’s got a good reputation throughout the league with the teams he’s been with. He had a nice workout.”
REID ON SAMMIE COATES AND DAVON GRAYSON
“They did a nice job with catching the ball.”
REID ON DONTAE JOHNSON
“Signed a secondary player, he did a nice job in his workout.”
Reid made an initial statement on the hiring of Steve Spagnuolo and the departure of Bob Sutton.
The Chiefs hired Steve Spagnuolo as their defensive coordinator back in late January, and other than a statement released by the Chiefs’ PR team, we hadn’t heard from Reid on the move.
Reid commented on the defensive coordinator change Wednesday.
“I’ve known Steve a long time,” Reid, who hired Spagnuolo as a Philadelphia Eagles defensive assistant back in 1999, said. “We knew each other when we were college coaches. Steve will be a great addition to our defense and the energy that he brings.”
The Chiefs fired Bob Sutton, who had been Reid’s defensive coordinator since 2013, to make room for Spagnuolo.
“I love Bob Sutton, Bob and I talk, we’re still friends. Sometimes that’s this business. Sometimes change can be good for both sides. He’s in Atlanta, he’s going to do a great job there. I’m happy for him, I’m happy for Steve being able to get back in the league. It’s great for the National Football League. He’s had so much success doing what he does, he was able to bring in some guys. We were able to talk some guys into coming around him that he’s familiar with and can work well with. It’s a new look for our defense. The guys are going to have to learn new things, which also can be healthy too.”
Reid discussed the latest on running back Kareem Hunt, who was signed by the Cleveland Browns this offseason.
The Cleveland Browns signed former Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt on February 11, a little more than three months after his release from the Chiefs.
With the NFL Combine being a league-wide event, both national and Cleveland reporters were interested in Reid’s take on the running back.
“Most important, I mentioned this to our media at the time, I care about Kareem,” Reid said. “Just that his life is in order, that is the important thing. He has worked hard at that. John (Dorsey) doesn’t miss all that. He understands how all that works, and he is sensitive to all of it. I think Kareem is in good hands and I think he is going to do a great job when he gets around to having that opportunity to play again, he will have both areas taken care of. We know he can play. It is just a matter of that other part. I know he and John have got that worked out. I’m comfortable with that. That’s what I am most happy about.”
Reid, who has given opportunities to players like Tyreek Hill and Michael Vick in the past, detailed his belief in second chances.
“I’m into second chances if guys do the right steps to get there,” Reid said. “If you’re wrong, we’re lucky enough in this country where you can right a wrong. Normally, somebody will give you an opportunity if you handle it the right way. It’s important that he’s done that leg work and that he continues to do that. Right now he’s in that frame of mind and that’s important that he continues on with that.”
Reid was then asked specifically about drafting Hill back in 2016 and his progress as a person off the field since the selection.
“Tyreek’s done a nice job on staying on top of himself with that,” he said. “Do we communicate with him? Yes. We have things set up for him if there is issues but he’s been phenomenal. Every team has that. It gives you confidence in human beings that they can make a chance when they put their mind to it and do things the right way.”
Reid expressed an affinity for tight end Demetrius Harris, who is set to become a free agent: “I am a big Demetrius Harris fan. He has done a tremendous job for us. You never know what direction it is going to go. Free agent, so you don’t know, but he would always be welcomed back depending on how it all fits in, how all the pieces fit in. Whether we have him or someone else has him, he’s a quality football player... He can [catch passes and block]. He has done both for us. He’s had some big catches for us, but he’s also done some line of scrimmage work for us.”
Reid seemed excited for the return of wide receiver Byron Pringle, who needed hernia surgery back in September: “I like Byron. I thought he was on the rise before he got hurt, so I look forward to getting him back out there and going. His best game was his last game when he ended up pulling the hamstring—the knee. He’ll be back and ready to go.”