Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid met with the media over Zoom conference call Monday, less than 24 hours after the team's 38-20 loss to the Buffalo Bills.
Listen to the full presser above or by clicking here (it's also on Spotify).
After Reid revealed that left guard Joe Thuney played with a broken hand throughout most of the game, he took questions. Here were the most significant takeaways:
Reid discussed whether or not the Chiefs are considering defensive lineup changes.
The Chiefs' defense was picked apart by Bills quarterback Josh Allen, who had 315 yards in the game. Allen had seven throws go for 20-plus yards.
"We look at all that, I would say," said Reid of possible defensive lineup changes. "Every game, win or lose, you want to try to get the best guys that you've got in position to do their job and make you the best you can be as a team. And so we'll keep looking at that, and if something needs change, then we'll change it. We'll be pretty real with those kinds of things."
The Bills seemed to pick on Daniel Sorensen in the game. Allen threw a pass over Sorensen's head to tight end Dawson Knox for a 53-yard touchdown.
"He ran a corner route, then he kind of turned it back up into a swing route as the quarterback moved, and he dropped in there," said Reid. "[Sorensen] can't do that. He had his eyes in the backfield and lost where the tight end was, so you got to make sure you've got your eyes on him and know where he's at."
Reid explained what he thought Patrick Mahomes was alluding to as he spoke about potential changes on Sunday night.
In his post-game press conference, Mahomes hinted at perhaps needing to make some changes to prevent interceptions. That may require being a little less aggressive.
"Pat's wired like a linebacker," said Reid. “That's his thinking. He wants to get after you every snap, so he tries to maximize each play. I think what he's saying is there's a time and place for that. Sometimes you can try so hard that you do something that you normally wouldn't do. He realizes that scoring touchdowns is an important thing right now, and he's going to try to do the best he can to do that. There's a time and place where you got to pull back on some of those things and just take what's given and go with it."
Mahomes has already matched his 2020 interception total of six on the season.
Reid described how defenses are currently playing the Chiefs offense — and how it might overcome the change in looks.
As to be expected, defenses have made adjustments in 2021 to counteract the Chiefs' explosive offense.
"When Pat was on his first few years, we saw a lot of man coverage," remembered Reid. “They challenged us with man, and then we started to get pretty good with that. But we went through a phase where — like we are now, man — we struggled with a little bit. We pounded through that, and now we're seeing zone. We're seeing the shell zone, whether it's two-deep, or whether it's quarters, palms, which is kind of a mixture of Cover-4 — the quarters look and 2."
By playing more zone, teams are doing a better job eliminating the explosive plays we had become used to seeing from the Chiefs offense.
"They're making you kind of work your way down the field, so we're putting these drives together," said Reid. "We're having hiccups within the drive, where you're having turnovers or penalties, and those things — they kill you. So it's not that you're not racking up the yards. It's not that you're not moving the ball. You just got to be more consistent with it and be able to sustain these drives. They're not going to give up the big shot there necessarily."
Still, the Chiefs won't abandon the deep shots completely. But they do need to build to them.
"There's a time and a place for that," said Reid. "You got to be able to run the ball. You got to be able to throw the ball. You got to have a short-to-intermediate game. You've got to have the whole package. You've got to be able to move the quarterback around, but most of all, you've got to be able to sustain that. So does it take a certain concentration level to do that? Yeah, it's tough to drive the length of the field. But we've done it before and been successful with it.
"We did it the week before this week (against the Eagles) and were very successful with it. So it's a matter of letting everything play for you as you go, sometimes you got to pump the brakes a little bit, and just take what's given and you roll with it. It doesn't matter if it's the run game or the pass game. It's the same thing, and it's not just one position. It's everybody. It's everybody doing their job, coaches included, all got a part of it."
Reid said the Chiefs embrace being the team that other teams want to "badly beat."
In his post-game press conference, safety Tyrann Mathieu emphasized that opposing teams come into Arrowhead Stadium wanting to beat the Chiefs badly. The Chiefs thus need to play four good quarters to come out with victories.
"I would tell you this — I don't think that's a burden; I think that's a plus," said Reid. "I mean, I wouldn't want to be in any different position than that, as are the guys that have been here before. Now you've got an influx of new guys."
The Chiefs have a brand new offensive line, a new defensive tackle in Jarran Reed and a new cornerback in Mike Hughes. Rookie linebacker Nick Bolton has seen key snaps.
"They weren't here the last year or two, so we're not speaking the same language there. They're not feeling the same feelings that way. So I think everybody — we all need to rise our game up and have that same urgency to get things done."