Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid met with the media over a Zoom conference call on Monday, less than 24 hours after the team’s final game of the 2021 season and 2022 NFL playoffs — a 27-24 overtime loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.
In his opening statement, Reid expressed his appreciation to the front office, coaches and players for their hard work in 2021-22. He also thanked the fans for all their support through the ups and downs of the season. Reid then took responsibility for the poor second half against the Bengals — and ultimately the AFC title loss. Up next, Reid said, is a look inward and team evaluation ahead of the NFL Draft.
Reid then took questions, which we have rounded up in four takeaways:
Reid discussed the development of Patrick Mahomes now that he has completed his fourth season as a starter.
Mahomes’ final numbers in the regular season were 426 of 658 (66.3%) for 4,839 yards, 37 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. He finished the playoffs 89 of 122 (73%) for 1,057 yards, 11 touchdowns and three interceptions.
“I thought he was way more patient this year, only because he had to be with the different looks we were seeing,” said Reid. “I think this was a great year for him, career-wise. I think he worked his way through maybe some obstacles and turned them into good football. We’re lucky to have him. Everybody gets in a critical state when you go through a game like this, which is understandable. Then you back up a little bit, you realize what you need to take care of and that you’re fortunate to have certain things. That’s human nature.
“We’re very lucky to have Patrick — he and Joe Burrow are like a couple months difference in age. We don’t think of it that way because Joe is new in the league and Patrick’s been in for a while. But they’re very close in age, and we’re lucky to have him here.”
Burrow ended up outdueling Mahomes in the second half of the AFC championship game. After a solid first half for the Chiefs quarterback, things went a bit sideways after the break.
According to ESPN, Mahomes’ first-half quarterback rating (QBR) was 98.0 as opposed to 1.4 in the second half and overtime, the largest gap in a player’s QBR by half in the playoffs since tracking began in 2006.
“One of my jobs is to make sure everybody’s put in the right position to do things and so you can always do a better job with that,” explained Reid. “If you feel like things aren’t going your way as an offense, then you give them things that the guys can go out and perform better. And so when you look at these type of things, that’s how you go about it. Each person does that, and they stick together, and hopefully, you flip it around and you get some positive gain, but I’m not just sticking it on one person. This is a true team sport. We all can do our jobs a little bit better.”
Reid was asked about the tough decisions the personnel team will need to make regarding expiring contracts.
Both left tackle Orlando Brown Jr. and safety Tyrann Mathieu have reached the end of their deals. On day one of the offseason, Reid didn’t have an answer on the key players just yet.
“I think you step back here,” noted Reid. “We love those guys, so you step back, and you got to look at the big picture of things and how that goes. I’m not saying that — just haven’t got to that point. We’re fresh out of this, and that’s Brett doing his deal, too. But I haven’t sat down with him and gone over anything. We just got done with this thing.”
Asked about whether offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, quarterbacks coach Mike Kafka and other coaches would “remain in place,” Reid did not give definitive answers.
“I don’t know that,” admitted Reid. “I haven’t sat down and talked to those guys yet, and so I will. I’ll get to that. Right now, the way this day goes, we’ve got all the exit physicals. We’ve got meetings with each player individually, coaches, assistant coaches and head coach and then I’ve got a team meeting with players coming up here. We’ve got a lot going on up to this point. It’s a busy day.”
Reid went into further detail about what might have gone wrong in the game against the Bengals.
The Chiefs built up a 21-3 first-half lead only for the Bengals to come back and win.
“I thought we really stood a good chance,” said Reid. “We started off like gangbusters, even in this game, and we just let it get away from us. I think responsibility for that part. You can always — as a play-caller — you go back and evaluate things and so you look at, ‘Are you putting your guys in the best position possible?’
“I know Spags (Steve Spagnuolo), EB (Eric Bieniemy), Dave Toub — they all go through that. And you want to make sure that you give your guys the best opportunity. There’s no time like now that you question every call and every play, and if you’re not hard on yourself about it, then you’re not going to get better, and that’s as a player and a coach. We know there are certain spots we’ve got to do a better job, and it starts with, obviously, me being the head coach.”
Reid mentioned on Sunday night that one of the toughest parts of losing in the playoffs is the finality of it all, and these coaches know that they will be working with different players as they try to return to the Super Bowl next year.
“There’s no team that’s the same the following year, so you enjoy the moments you have together as a team, and we had a team this year that was very close,” said Reid. “They grew together — whether they young guys, the old guys or the guys we brought in, by the end of the year, these guys were as tight as anybody, as far as the team goes. Talking to them today, they know. They’ve heard this. It might be the last time you walk out the door, maybe you’re coming back. That’s part of this business, but wherever you are, we support you. If you’re here, we support you. If you’re going somewhere else, we support you. That’s how that goes in this profession.”
Reid plans to return for 2022.
Tom Brady may be retiring (or maybe not), but Reid said he isn’t going anywhere.
“Yeah,” he laughed. “I think so. That’s the way I’m looking at it.”