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Andy Reid roundup: six takeaways from the Chiefs head coach

Reid and the Chiefs are 8-1 at their 2020 bye week.

Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid met with the media over Zoom conference call Monday following the team’s 33-31 win over the Carolina Panthers. The Chiefs have entered their bye week with an 8-1 record.

Watch the full presser above or by clicking here. Here were the most significant takeaways:

Reid described the plan for his team during the bye week.

In past years, the Chiefs head coach would allow players to travel during the break, but because of the circumstances surrounding coronavirus and the need for daily testing, Reid said all players would be staying in town.

Still, he is encouraging them to find time to rest.

“Go to the [testing] trailer, but not the [practice facility] and get away,” Reid said. “Right? Stay in that trailer. I want them to step back and rest up... and I want the coaches to do the same. The coaches will work a couple days here, but I want them to do the same thing. There’s a point where you’ve got to do that.

“As coaches, we’ll crank here for a couple days. Players don’t need to do that. They need to get their bodies back where it’s comfortable and feels good for the stretch here the best they possibly can. If they need treatment, the building’s open for that.”

Reid shed some light on the change back to Austin Reiter at center.

After a three-game absence, center Austin Reiter returned as the Chiefs’ starter on Sunday against the Panthers in the win. Reid had noted in mid-October that they were giving him time to rest what he described as a “tender knee.”

“We saw him in practice — we had him in a limited role in practice, and it looked like it was getting better, so we felt like he could jump back in and work back in there.”

Reid was asked about the statuses of offensive lineman Mitch Schwartz, wide receiver Sammy Watkins and cornerback L’Jarius Sneed.

Schwartz (back), Watkins (hamstring) and Sneed (clavicle) have all missed several games due to injury. The bye week should provide additional time for them to heal, but Reid would not commit to a return time.

“We’ll see on that,” he said. “I want to get them out and practice them to see where we’re at, and we’re not going to do that this week, but I think the time is beneficial to them. I think it’s beneficial to the whole team — coaches included — where you can step back an inch and get yourself ready for the stretch run of the season, the remaining part of the season.”

Reid commented about Harrison Butker’s recent struggles in hitting extra points.

The Chiefs kicker has missed six extra points in 33 tries this season while making 15 of 17 field goals.

“Harrison studies,” Reid said. “He’s another guy that analyzes and studies everything. I think it will be good for him to step back an inch — then kind of sort it all out. And then go back and get back in a rhythm here and make sure that he’s feeling all these. Nobody knows it better than the player does. It doesn’t hurt to have a little bit of time to just step back and look at it. Sometimes, you can take a step back and take a bigger step forward once you sit there and evaluate.

“He’ll do that. We all have confidence that that’s what he is. If you’re around him enough, you know that. He’s not going to miss too many of these.”

Reid noted on Sunday that Patrick Mahomes is playing the best football of his young career.

On Monday, Reid elaborated on the point — explaining that the preparation his quarterback puts in is “phenomenal.”

“He’s in a great room with guys that love to work, too,” Reid said. “He doesn’t have to sit there and beg a coach to come in and watch tape or beg a Chad Henne to come in and watch tape — these guys are all in with him. He’s leading the charge, and they’re right there with him. It’s a great environment for him.”

Reid added that offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy spearheads the process.

“Nobody works harder than Eric Bieniemy,” Reid said. “He’s able to organize that and keep the guys going. (Quarterbacks coach) Mike Kafka is relentless that way, too, and Patrick, Chad, it’s just a good — it’s a healthy room. You can build a foundation there. As you watch the tape, you can bounce things off of one of these people that are in there and it’s kind of a check and double-check system that they’ve got. It works.

“I love Patrick’s approach to the game. I love his approach every day, his consistency. Some guys are up and down, and you get a different person one day and another guy the next day. I mean, this guy is the same guy every day, and he’s going to bring it. He’s going to bring it on the field, he’s going to bring it off the field, and he’s smart.

“It’s great for young kids to know that — that it’s not just all talent, but it’s the hard work that goes into it. Exploit what you’ve got... make it even greater than what you have right now and you can always work on it to become better.”

Now that Mahomes has 101 career passing touchdowns, Reid was asked to name his favorite one.

“The last one and the next one,” he laughed.