Kansas City Chiefs safety Justin Reid spoke at Thursday’s team media availability. As one of the only veteran players, Reid will be counted on to be a leader in the secondary, even though he is new to the team. The former Houston Texan gave glowing reviews of his new defensive scheme.
“You’ve got guys coming from all over the place,” Reid said of Chiefs’ defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo’s coverage schemes. “Coverage spinning in different directions. This is undoubtedly going to be the most fun defense I’ve played in so far.”
He elaborated on what he found fun about his new system.
“You get to do a little bit of everything,” he explained. “You aren’t just playing deep. You get to play man coverage, you get to play zone coverage, you get to blitz inside, you get to blitz outside, you get to do spin coverages. Sometimes, the linebackers and safeties trade responsibilities. Corners and safeties trade responsibilities. Guys going all over the place — and it’s really hard to get a read.”
After joining the team in free agency, Reid appeared satisfied with his decision.
“The culture here is phenomenal,” he observed. “All the resources in the world you could ever ask for. Great coaching. The details matter. I’ve had a lot of fun playing in this defense, I’ve had a lot of fun getting to know my teammates. The locker room is great and it’s full of a bunch of good guys.
“The defense is so versatile. Not only do we have 100 plays that we’re able to just game plan and pick and choose which weapons we want to use against opponents in the future, but also taking advantage of opportunities like this where we get to play against our offense — which is undoubtedly one of the most firepower, stacked offenses in the league. When you get to play against those guys every day — iron sharpens iron and makes the whole team better.”
In addition to targeting Reid early in free agency, the Chiefs drafted five defensive backs, including first and fourth-round cornerbacks Trent McDuffie and Joshua Williams and second-round safety Bryan Cook. Reid has been impressed by what he has seen from new teammates in practice.
“The playbook here is very deep — it’s deeper than what it was when I was a rookie back in Houston,” Reid recalled. “Those guys are coming along really well with it. The culture here is really good in the DB room. Guys ask questions, (and) we’re not afraid to go and help each other. The unity is there. Like I said, Trent, Josh, Bryan, all those guys are doing a great job.”
Chiefs head coach Andy Reid had similar thoughts on how the rookies are performing.
“With the new kids — we’re throwing them right in and giving them a chance to see what this NFL thing is about,” the head coach claimed. “They’ve had some good plays; they’ve had some plays they’ve got to work on. It looks like they’ve got good potential. Great attitudes, very smart, and work hard. It’s a matter of getting in and seeing everything.”
Following the draft, the Chiefs made a trade with Justin Reid’s former club to bring cornerback Lonnie Johnson from Houston to Kansas City. Having played with him for the past three seasons, Justin Reid shared his thoughts on what Johnson can bring to the Chiefs.
“He’s an aggressive, big dude,” Justin Reid noted. “Probably 6’3 and 215 pounds. I think he’s going to do well with the amount of press that we play here. I think that’s really strong in his utility belt because bigger receivers — really any receivers — have a hard time getting around his frame. I think the coaches here are going to be able to coach him up really well. As long as he keeps doing what he’s doing and buying into the program, he’s going to do well.”
Justin Reid knows the secondary is still coming together and learning. He feels confident, however, that he is doing his part and that there will be opportunities for the unit as a whole to fine-tune its play.
“We’ve still got to iron out some wrinkles,” the safety admitted, “Like some nuances of the coverage. “Right now I feel like I’m 90-95% there. And you’re going to learn the rest of that through repetition. I’ve heard training camp is really fast here. You’re going to get a lot of plays in to iron those plays out.”