Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid met with the media over a Zoom conference call on Monday, four days after the team’s 34-28 overtime win over the Los Angeles Chargers.
In his opening statement, Reid noted that vice president of sports medicine and performance Rick Burkholder would be going through the NFL’s new COVID protocols with the players on Monday, later saying the team is “hoping” several players can return from the Reserve/COVID-19 list in time for the Chiefs’ game against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday.
We have rounded up Reid’s other items of note in four takeaways:
Like most Chiefs fans, Reid watched both Patriots-Colts and Titans-Steelers this weekend.
The Chiefs got the breaks they needed, with the Colts defeating the Patriots and the Steelers defeating the Titans.
“I watched the games,” said Reid. “They were great games to watch, so I was a viewer like everybody since we didn’t have the guys here. I enjoyed the competition, and I know how it lines up; I see that.”
Combined with the Chiefs’ win on Thursday, the results gave them control of their own fate. If Kansas City simply wins out, they will clinch the AFC bye week.
“The important [thing] is that we take care of our business now like we’ve been doing the last few weeks — and don’t count on anybody but ourselves to get that done. Therefore, you got to go back through the process: the hard work and all those things to get yourself right for the game.”
The Chiefs gutted out a win in Los Angeles despite missing several key players.
Linebacker Willie Gay Jr., defensive tackle Chris Jones and wide receiver Josh Gordon missed the game on the Reserve/COVID-19 list, while cornerback L’Jarius Sneed was out for personal reasons.
“I’m proud of the guys and the effort they put forward,” said Reid. “They had a good week of practice. It was short, and then they went out and played. I thought both teams played very competitively. It was a heck of a game to look at and to be a part of, but I’m glad our guys persevered. The ball bounced the right way a couple times for us, and we were able to come out with a win — but that’s a good football team that the Chargers have. They’ve done a heck of a job there.”
The Chargers led 21-13 before the Chiefs eventually forced overtime and won 34-28. After starting 3-4, seven straight wins have put the Chiefs back in prime position.
“I’m not going to tell you you can’t be excited to be in that position, but you better understand what got you in that position — and it wasn’t being giddy about it, it was about working,” he said. “We’ve got enough senior leadership here to where that will resonate amongst the young guys, the new guys. So, I think we’ll be okay that way, and we surely will once we start practicing. We’ll make sure of that.”
Reid does not let the players get too high or too low stemming from results, a methodology that has led them back to the position in which they find themselves.
“I think I’ve been blessed to have some great coaches all the way from youth leagues on up, so I’ve taken it from all of those people,” Reid said of his day-at-a-time philosophy. “Mike Holmgren had a huge influence on me, LaVell Edwards, my high school coaches, JC coaches, they all had a great influence on me.
“I’m not sure where that all came about to give you an accurate answer on it, but I believe that.”
Reid described how his world-famous opening 15-play script sometimes changes on the fly.
Reid was asked how often the plans he has for the beginning of the game change.
“You stay flexible with it — and there’s not a lot of repeat things that go on there from week to week,” said Reid. “They’re situated for the team. They’re normally situated for first, second-down thoughts. That’s kind of how we go about it — and then you’ve got your third down, red zone, goal line, all that stuff, short-yardage in another area of your game plan sheet.”
(Writer’s note: Our late friend Terez Paylor once wrote a marvelous, detailed article regarding Reid’s opening script.)
Reid has a lot of respect for his counterpart this week: Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin.
Tomlin has coached Pittsburgh since 2007.
“Mike is very honest with his guys, and I think very honest with his judgment of his players, so that becomes important,” said Reid. “He loves his guys up, he’s a players’ coach and all that — but at the same time, he’s realistic. He’s not afraid to tell a guy, ‘Listen, you’re probably creeping up on the end here,’ and/or keep him around during a negotiation — you know, ‘We’ll probably need this guy to be here.’
“But I think that communication with their general manager is healthy, and then the players know that. You don’t hear people complaining about how he does things. I think he shoots them straight.”