Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid met with the media over Zoom conference call Monday, 24 hours after the team’s 17-14 win over the Atlanta Falcons.
Watch the full presser above or by clicking here. Here were the most significant takeaways:
Reid said that the Chiefs would rest at least “some” starters against the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday.
The Chiefs clinched the No. 1 seed in the AFC with their win over the Falcons on Sunday, so the game against the Chargers holds no playoff implications.
“I’ve been down this road a couple times before and had opportunities to rest guys, so we’ll do that, we’ll rest up some guys,” explained Reid. “I’m sitting right here kind of waiting on the guys to come in and get their treatment and talk to (head athletic trainer and vice president) Rick (Burkholder) and see exactly where we stand with any injuries and that, but there are certain guys that will have an opportunity to rest up. Everybody will be ready to go as long as they’re physically ready to go, but we’ll make that decision down the road. But yeah, I’ve done that in the past. I’ve rested players, yes.”
Reid confirmed that veteran Chad Henne would start in place of Patrick Mahomes if the team opts to rest Mahomes.
Reid also noted that there would be a “good chance” that they play Henne in some capacity. The Chiefs acquired the 13-year veteran in 2018 following five years in Jacksonville.
“He’s been great,” noted Reid of Henne. “I mean he understands the role, which is like the number one thing, right? You got to have to understand the role and then like any relief pitcher, you have to be ready at all times and then there’s a certain amount of discipline that goes with being ready for these game plans when you’re not repping them, you got to stay mentally sharp with it. You’ve been at practice where these guys they take all the reps, they just do it back behind everybody and so he’s in tune with that. He never gripes. He’s been great for Patrick, for somebody that he can bounce things off of that’s in the moment right now. And it leads to a great room, I mean, you’ve got (Matt) Moore in there also, so all of a sudden he’s got two veteran guys around him that have been there, done it, and are two top-notch guys on top of all that so.”
If Henne takes the first snap for the Chiefs Sunday, it will mark his first regular-season start since 2014.
Reid talked about the key to closing games out when the score is close.
The 17-14 Chiefs win over the Falcons on Sunday made it seven straight weeks of victories by only one possession.
“I think it’s just not getting down on yourself,” explained Reid. “You can kind of dismantle the whole thing if you’re not believing that good things are going to happen here. When I tell you that I’m proud of the guys for that, that’s one of the things I’m talking about is just that, persevering through the game, not pointing the fingers at this guy or that guy.
“I don’t know if you guys saw but after the game Chris (Jones) and Frank (Clark) are waiting on Patrick (Mahomes) to say, ‘Hey man, we appreciate you staying with it and trusting us.’ Pat goes, ‘Hey listen, I could’ve done better here for you.’ The point being, it’s selfless that way. When you have that, I think that’s important. Those are the things I see because I’m right there. I’ve got the front row seat. I appreciate that. Do we need to sharpen some things up? Yeah, we’ll do that. Being able to show up and answer the bell every game, that’s not an easy thing to do. Especially when you’re kind of the hunted, right? You won the championship, so teams are going to come after you a bit. You’ve got to battle through all of that and play.
“Every week we look at teams and go, ‘Man, how did that group do this against that team?’ That’s this league. There is great parity, the competition is just phenomenal. Records aside, these guys want to play, they want to show that they’re professionals. There’s not a whole lot of difference between winning and losing and each team with the parity that there is. The fact that we’re able to step up to the plate 14 out of 15 times has been a real plus.”
Reid complimented Mahomes’ ability to find his rhythm after early-game struggles.
The Chiefs quarterback had a rare subpar performance on Sunday but still managed to find wide receiver Demarcus Robinson for the 25-yard game-winning touchdown.
“It’s one thing to say it, it’s another thing to do it,” said Reid of Mahomes. “I think there’s a lot that goes into that, like how do you conduct yourself in the locker room, how do you conduct yourself during practices, how do you conduct yourself in the beginning part of the game to the end. Through all those things, the kind of respect the guys have for you as a quarterback but also how much respect you have for the other guys too. All of that kind of adds up. People respect Pat, and he doesn’t abuse that. He’s part of the team and he hasn’t separated himself from the team, but they all know that he’s got the ball in his hands every snap, almost every snap. He can feel that. He feels that support. He keeps firing and that’s one of the great traits that he has. I’m proud of him for that, for all of it, how he handles himself. He continues to fire and that’s a great quality to have at that position. That’s really what makes him great.”