Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid met with the media in a Zoom conference call Monday, less than 24 hours after the team’s 33-29 win over the Cleveland Browns.
Reid used his opening statement to highlight the plays of defensive backs Juan Thornhill — who caused Nick Chubb’s third-quarter fumble — and Daniel Sorensen, who had a shoestring tackle of sorts on quarterback Baker Mayfield as he threw what became an interception in the hands of Mike Hughes.
Time was then ours.
Listen to the full presser above or by clicking here. Here were the most significant takeaways:
Reid provided updates on the statuses of defensive end Frank Clark and safety Tyrann Mathieu.
Both Clark and Mathieu took the field at Arrowhead Stadium before the Chiefs’ game against the Browns. First, Reid spoke on Clark, who has been dealing with a hamstring injury since the team was still in St. Joseph.
“I think he’s right on the edge of being right,” said the head coach. “He pushed himself this week and I just didn’t feel like it was quite all the way back with him. So, rather than take steps back with him — you’re right, we’ve been working with this trying to make sure he gets it right — and it’s not lack of effort or ‘want to play’ or any of that stuff, it’s just a decision I have to make sitting in this chair along with the medical people who feed me the information and Frank communicating with us, and I just thought that was the best way to go.”
Then Reid moved on to Mathieu’s status.
“I haven’t met with the medical people, but yes, he’ll be back,” noted Reid. “Again, that was a decision I had to make, and that was more off of the conditioning part and just not putting him in a bad position. So, a little different than Frank’s, but kind of that same thinking that I just thought it was best if we had him sit this game and come back for the next one.”
So it sounds like the Chiefs should have their defensive leaders for their next game — Sunday Night Football against the Baltimore Ravens.
Reid discussed how the Chiefs’ run game might improve in the weeks to come.
Starting running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire rushed 14 times for 43 yards (about three yards an attempt). Reid mentioned the physicality it takes to be successful in the run game.
“They were rolling there pretty good in the first half,” said Reid. “I just thought that we needed to bear down a little bit more with our young offensive line and give them an opportunity to establish something there that was strong. So we just decided to run the football a little bit and give them an opportunity to come off and work the physical part of the game a little bit more.”
On run plays, Reid added that he was happy that his linemen matched up well with their assignments, but the timing part with Edwards-Helaire and the other rushers may have room for improvement.
“I thought we came off and had bodies on bodies,” explained Reid. “I thought we did a pretty good job with that and then I think we just have to coordinate a little bit more with the line and with the running back and how they’re going about their business together. I think that becomes important. The runners can set things up better or the O-Line needs to have a better idea of what the running back’s trying to get done with his part.
“I’ve got to make sure I get that straightened out as we go. Between (offensive line coach) Andy Heck and EB (Eric Bieniemy) and (running backs coach) Greg (Lewis), I mean that group right there has a pretty good understanding — a lot of years as offensive linemen and running backs in that group there. I have confidence that it’ll get taken care of.”
The Chiefs’ lone rushing touchdown of the game came on a 5-yard run by Patrick Mahomes.
Speaking of Mahomes, Reid complimented him on his chemistry with the team’s skill-position players.
Mahomes and wide receiver Tyreek Hill connected for the turning point of the game with their 75-yard touchdown (Mahomes and Hill spoke about the key play last night).
“Sometimes you see guys that just have a chemistry with one another and can kind of think where the other guy’s going to be and what they’re thinking when they’re throwing,” said Reid. “There’s a chemistry — and those two [Patrick Mahomes and Tyreek Hill] have that. Also, Tyreek, you’ve seen enough of these long balls where he’s had to adjust to them and come back to the ball or he’s running all the way across the field on a scramble drill.”
Reid expanded upon what he has seen from Hill when it comes to the simple pursuit of the football.
“He just has a unique feel for the ball,” said Reid of Hill. “He would have been a great centerfielder. He’s able to track the ball. He’s uncanny with that. He’s so fast that when he gets going, you’re spending a lot of effort to keep up with him, and he can stop on a dime, and you end up flying by, and he’s in position to make the play. So, he’s a unique character that way.”
Reid praised rookie linebacker Nick Bolton for his play in his initial game.
Bolton actually out-snapped veteran Ben Niemann in the game, 45 plays to 40.
“I thought Nick did a pretty good job,” said Reid. “He had a couple real secure tackles that were important for us. It looked like mentally he was able to digest everything they threw at him, and if he did make a mistake, he fixed it the second time around. On defense, if you’re a repeat offender that can be a tough deal on the defense, so he’s been good with that and he was good with that in the game, too.”
Bolton finished with seven tackles (four solo).