Welcome to Week 1 of the 2019 NFL season!
On Monday, Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid spoke with the media — his usual routine during the regular season. Fully half of the 12-minute presser was occupied with questions about LeSean McCoy’s signing to the team late Saturday night, and how McCoy might be used in the Chiefs offense.
Nick Foles and the Jaguars
But Reid addressed other topics, too — starting with the team they’ll face on Sunday: the Jacksonville Jaguars and their new quarterback Nick Foles, who came to the team from the Philadelphia Eagles during the offseason.
“He played for me as a rookie in Philly and I thought he did a nice job there — as young as he was in his first year,” Reid said. “Then he was with Chip [Kelly] and he had a nice go there. Then things got a little sticky. He was kind of fed up with football. Then he decided he wasn’t fed up and decided to come back — and came here.
“I think that was good for him,” Reid continued. “I think it was good to be in the room with Alex (Smith). It was a good room. I think it was good for him to be here and around people he was familiar with, and so he had a couple good games for us. He’s a good football player and I’m happy for him. I’m happy for him being with a good organization and having another opportunity to play. He ended up going back to Philly and having success there in the playoffs and the Super Bowl. He can play. We have to prepare ourselves going against a good football player.”
Little is known about how the Jaguars will look this season
Reid recognizes that as the Jaguars quarterback, Foles might have a different approach — and acknowledged that the Chiefs aren’t exactly sure what to expect in Jacksonville this Sunday.
“They didn’t play a bunch of their starters much in the preseason,” Reid explained. “They have a couple good receivers [and] a good offensive line, so they have good talent on that side of the football. They kind of went through a change like we did on defense; they did [that] on offense personnel-wise. They brought in new players, but I think that’s a positive.
“You don’t know,” Reid added. “Listen, no one knows. You get through the first three games and that’s kind of the way it goes. There [are] going to be some surprises there you have to adjust to. You have to trust your fundamentals; you’ve got to trust the scheme — and then at times, you have to make adjustments. So as coaches and players, that’s all part of it. Everyone is going through it.”
Ramsey vs. Hill: The Sequel
Reid was also asked about the last week’s statement by Jaguars defensive coordinator Todd Walsh saying that Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey “will follow” Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill throughout the game.
As you might remember, before last year’s Chiefs-Jaguars game, Ramsey and Hill got some media attention by chirping about each other during their press appearances; Ramsey kept referring to Hill as a “return specialist,” while Hill opined that Ramsey was “all right” as a cornerback.
Reid didn’t think there was much to it this time around.
“I mean [Ramsey] kind of did that last year, same kind of deal,” Reid said. “That wouldn’t be a surprise. He is a heck of a football player, so that’s always a neat one for fans to watch that competition between those two. They’re two good football players going up against each other.”
Dealing with expectations
Finally, considering there are nothing but the highest expectations for the 2019 Chiefs, Reid was asked if there is a different feeling going into the season.
“Listen, that’s all kind of outside buzz,” he replied. “Inside, you get to work. The one thing is, we know how good Jacksonville is. I mean, they’re a physical football team that is well coached. You better get yourself right. We’re playing at their place — where it’s loud — and you have to get yourself ready for that. If you go about doing that, you aren’t worried about the other stuff, you’re focused on the team.
“I don’t worry about it; I don’t think much about it,” he said. “I think when it’s all said and done, I don’t think the players think much about it. They respect the opponents you play in this league. It’s a very small margin [between] winning and losing in the National Football League. You have to get yourself right every week — and if you do it right, you exhaust yourself. Then you don’t have much else to think about outside of that.”
Other notes from Reid’s Monday appearance
Reid said that it was a tough decision to place defensive lineman Breeland Speaks on injured reserve before the season began — but that it was the right one. “He’s a young guy, and you want to make sure he has a bright future ahead of him. You want to make sure that leg is right. That’s the route we chose.”
Reid had good news about tight end Deon Yelder, who has been battling an ankle injury. “Yelder is healthy and ready to roll,” he said.
Reid was asked what he knew about offensive lineman Martinas Rankin, whom the Chiefs acquired when they traded Carlos Hyde to the Houston Texans on Saturday. “I know when he came out that he has good feet,” he said. ”He’s a good pass protector. He was in college and he carried that part over into the NFL. There’s some of his game that he has to work on and get better at, but he’s a young guy and [offensive line coach] Andy [Heck] really liked him when he came out. As did our scouts, so I think it’s a good fit for him.”