The Kansas City Chiefs completed their first week of voluntary organized team activities (OTAs) last Thursday. The team made Chiefs head coach Andy Reid, left tackle Orlando Brown Jr., linebacker Anthony Hitchens and safety Tyrann Mathieu available to the media.
On this week’s episode of the Arrowhead Pride Editors Show, John Dixon and Pete Sweeney highlighted five quotes that stood out.
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Andy Reid on what quarterback Patrick Mahomes is doing during OTAs
“He’s been doing everything. He’s been full-go. He’s still working with Rick (Burkholder) with the toe and that. We realize this is more of a passing camp—we don’t run the ball much in this thing—so it’s good that way and his toe has really done well.”
Pete: Reid provided good news when it came to the status of the Chiefs’ franchise quarterback, given general manager Brett Veach had said Mahomes would only do “some stuff” during the offseason. As outlined here, we know Mahomes practiced with the team on Tuesday before missing at least some of the voluntary work later in the week.
Left tackle Orlando Brown on position coach Andy Heck — and the “unwiring” of Ravens’ tendencies
“Coach Heck is great. He’s an incredible coach and he understands the X’s and O’s, he’s played the game, he’s been around the game for a long time, so he knows, he’s super easy to get along with and learn. I’ve been in Baltimore for the last three years, so there’s certain things, I guess you could say I’m wired a certain way on certain things and I’m unwiring and learning his new techniques and certain things he’s teaching. I think it’s going to be incredible for my game.”
John: I’m with Orlando Brown here. A lot of people seem to think Andy Heck isn’t a good offensive line coach. I think the opposite. Ever since Andy Reid has been here, they haven’t invested much in the offensive line — but even so, they’ve had success. To me, that’s the sign of a good line coach — not a bad one. And look at a player like Austin Reiter. Everybody had given up on him. He’d been on the practice squads of... what? Three or four teams? But under Heck, he turned in two solid seasons as a starter.
Reid on the lack of conversation regarding defensive tackle Jarran Reed
“We’re always talking about the offensive line, but that signing right there was a really good get and I think will pay off for us in a real big way this season. It gives us some flexibility with what we can do with Chris (Jones), so I like that addition. You’re talking about a Pro Bowl-caliber player and just plugging him in, and not much has been said about it. I’m excited to see him once we kick this thing off.”
Pete: This is a clear-cut confirmation from the Chiefs head coach that the team indeed intends to use Chris Jones on the edge a bit more this season. It may not be every down, but the idea of Jones opposite Frank Clark at defensive end has to make fans feel better about the depth of the position — with Taco Charlton, Mike Danna and rookie Joshua Kaindoh also in the mix. A base line of Jones, Reed, Derrick Nnadi and Frank Clark would stand to rival many in the conference.
Linebacker Anthony Hitchens on the defense’s primary focus to begin offseason work
“You give three points up instead of seven? That’s a four-point swing right there. I mean, there were times when a team would get in the red zone three times and score three touchdowns. That’s 21 points. We can easily cut that in half — or less than half. So we’re just working on that right now. We had two red-zone days — back-to-back — the first two days.”
John: The Chiefs finished the season allowing the 10th-fewest defensive points, so they must have been doing better in other parts of the field than they did in the red zone, where they were clearly very bad. Hitchens is exactly right, though: holding one or two drives a game to a field goal instead of a touchdown would have made it possible for the Chiefs to win many of their games by a more comfortable margin.
Safety Tyrann Mathieu on his deleted tweet from earlier this offseason
“First, I delete a lot of tweets. If I’m people — if I’m a fan, I wouldn’t put too much emphasis on that. I think people that know me, they know where my heart is at. I can’t control everything, so for me, it’s just all about trying my best to kind of focus on the things I can control, and that’s just coming to work every day, trying to make the dudes around me better.”
Pete: Mathieu made some waves when he recently deleted a tweet saying he doubted a Chiefs contract extension this offseason. The Chiefs’ safety is due to enter the final year of his contract in 2021. Mathieu is an active Twitter user, and he rarely holds back, so the fact that he commented on that matter is not much of a surprise. He likely decided to delete the tweet when he realized it would be better for contract talks. No news on this front yet, but it is good to remember here that Chris Jones’ 2020 situation felt like it wouldn’t be resolved, then it finally came through on July 14 of that year. That would be a month and a half away from this writing using this year’s calendar. It seems that regardless of any off-the-field frustration, Mathieu has decided to attend the voluntary work in good faith. This falls under the category of wait-and-see for me.
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