Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid spoke to the local Kansas City media Sunday following the team’s 17-7 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in their second preseason game on Saturday night. He had no injury updates, but there were some items to take away from the conference call.
Here are five things we learned from the Chiefs head coach:
1. Reid highlighted the positives and negatives he saw in the game.
- Positives: Reid liked that his No. 1 defense played well in the first two series, the younger players were able to get more reps, backup quarterback Chad Henne was able to work with the first-team offensive line and the game overall provided good “learning tape.”
- Negatives: Reid did not like the turnovers and fumbles, dropped balls in key situations and penalties (Chiefs had 7 for 44 yards), and he said he wanted to see more consistent pass rush from the second team and beyond.
2. Reid has been impressed with what he has seen out of rookie running back Darwin Thompson.
Thompson had four carries for 30 yards against the Steelers on Saturday night.
“He’s doing a nice job,” Reid said. “He’s able to see the blitz, which is a big thing for the young guys. He’s got good vision in the run game, and then he’s got a pretty good understanding of the pass game, so he’s really a focused kid. He’s kind of a no-nonsense [player], wants to do it right, real focused, studies a lot. I liked the way he’s made up that way.”
Saturday’s game had to help Thompson’s stock, especially on a night in which Carlos Hyde coughed up the football via fumble.
3. Asked about the play of cornerbacks Herb Miller and Mark Fields, Reid complimented them. He also brought up Charvarius Ward.
Cornerback Herb Miller had 32 snaps on defense, and Mark Fields had 25. Miller finished with three tackles, one pass defensed and one forced fumble.
“Both of them did some good things,” Reid said. “I thought (Mark) Fields played physical. I thought he did a pretty decent job in coverage. (Herb) Miller had the big one there at the end—a couple of them, actually, down the stretch there. But other than that, I thought he started off well.
“I thought (Charvarius) Ward, I thought he played well, which was good. He had the big pick before halftime there. I thought he played well, though, throughout. Had a big breakup in the first series there and did a nice job, I thought all the way around.”
4. Reid said he does not intend to change preseason playing time despite possible long-term injuries.
No official word on wide receiver Marcus Kemp, but it hasn’t sounded promising. Tight end Deon Yelder left Pittsburgh in a walking boot.
Still, Reid said he does not intend to change his thought process when it comes to preseason playing time.
“I’ve been doing this for a number of years,” he said. “Things happen—it’s a physical game, and so I’ve had success doing it this way. I’m not complacent. That can be a sign of complacency. That’s not what I’m saying. It’s a physical game, and the things we got. We’ll probably come out of this with one or two guys that are hurt for the duration, but that happens.
“You’re seeing a lot of these major injuries happen in practice, and knock on wood, we’ve kept it out of that. So things happen. That’s what I’d tell you. For the most part, we came out relatively healthy I think.”
5. Reid explained how workouts will change now that the team is back in Kansas City.
With the conclusion of Saturday’s game against the Steelers, training camp is officially over. The Chiefs will begin their true week-long regular-season dress rehearsal on Tuesday.
“You get more into an in-season mode,” Reid said of the upcoming week. “You practice in the afternoon as opposed to the morning. Especially this week, you set your schedule up where it’s a dry run. Not that you’re going to increase plays or any of that because you’re not. You still keep it vanilla, but you go through the process like you would of a regular week. Now, will we keep installing new stuff? Yeah, we’ll keep installing new stuff, too. That’s what we do. We kind of blend it all together, but the main schedule is what they’d see during the regular season.”
- Reid said there was a “good chance” safety Tyrann Mathieu would have stayed in the game had his minor shoulder injury happened during the regular season. Rookie Juan Thornhill replaced Mathieu after just two plays.
- Reid said he told the team that he did not intend to play everybody against the Steelers. Running back Tremon Smith wound up being one of those players (on offense). “It was no reason other than time there,” Reid said on Smith. “It just ran out, and reps.”
- Reid liked what he saw from his backup offensive line: “I thought they all kind of held their own. Really, (Ryan) Hunter and (Nick) Allegretti have done a nice job in there. And you got (Kahlil) McKenzie and (Jimmy) Murray who have worked in there, too. We were able to get (Dino) Boyd a few reps with that second group at tackle, and he got a few snaps against their ones there. He struggled against them, but he came back and kind of settled down with the other group.”