Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid met with the media via Zoom on Monday, four days after the team’s opening-night loss to the Detroit Lions. Reid and the Chiefs have turned the page from the Lions to the Jacksonville Jaguars, whom they will play on the road in Week 2.
Listen to the full presser above or by clicking here.
Reid said he had no injury updates — other than to say that tight end Travis Kelce is doing better and progressing. He also said that general manager Brett Veach and defensive tackle Chris Jones are continuing to communicate on a new contract.
Then Reid took questions, which we have rounded up in four takeaways:
Reid took the blame for wide receiver Kadarius Toney’s performance.
As is well known by now — as the Chiefs and Lions played on the opening night of the NFL season, with all 32 fan bases watching along — Toney did not have the best outing. Toney dropped multiple passes on the evening, but Reid said that the problem was more him than anyone else.
“I would probably take the blame on that,” said Reid. “When I said that after the game, I meant that. He missed all of training camp from, honestly, the first punt return pre-practice on through. So he literally had no training camp, until just the last few days when we got back here. He did some, and we measured that. We didn’t give him a lot. But with that, I thought him getting in the game was important.
“To be fair, I’ve got to look in the mirror on that one. I probably didn’t put him in the best position because he doesn’t drop the ball. That’s just not his deal. He’s a very secure catcher, and I just think that the only way we’re going to get him back is playing him. I think this week will be different than the last week, but I thought it was important that he got in the game, got caught up on the speed. I probably put him in bad primary positions there, especially later in the game. He’s still getting his legs back and all that.”
And to add to Reid’s point, Toney was not the only NFL player who didn’t play well in Week 1 after no training camp.
Reid explained his thinking with the seven-man wide receiver rotation.
All seven wide receivers on the Chiefs’ 53-man roster saw action against the Lions, and Reid described his long-term vision for the position.
“We’ve got the three guys (Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Skyy Moore and Justin Watson) that have been here, and they ended up doing probably the best in the game,” said Reid, “We’ve got three younger guys that we’ve got to bring along, and then you have [Richie] James, who’s been in a form of this and then is really tied into the special teams, too. I think the three younger guys — whether it’s [Rashee Rice], [Justyn Ross], [Kadarius Toney] — they’re all kind of new in this and learning in games. As much as we think Kadarius is a seasoned veteran, he hasn’t really played a lot. But I think you’ll see growth from them as we go.
“We’ll just see how that continues to work. Eventually, you’d love them all to be where we want them. And then if they separate, they separate — however that works, it works, but I can’t predict that part.”
Reid added that while the receivers’ drops were not good, the route running was good for most of the evening. It sounded as though the head coach believes the entire unit will perform better next week against the Jaguars.
Reid did not seem overly concerned about right tackle Jawaan Taylor getting called for a false start.
The NBC broadcast was all over Chiefs starting right tackle Jawaan Taylor for both his alignment and early jump during the entirety of the game. Here is an example:
NBC's Terry McAulay on Chiefs' RT Jawaan Taylor: "He's really not remotely close, and it's really putting the defensive end at a tremendous disadvantage when you can be that far back."— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) September 8, 2023
Taylor appeared well behind the LOS and appeared to start early throughout the game. pic.twitter.com/2UrkTH8bTo
Despite the eyes on him, Taylor was called for just one false start on the evening — but his early jumps have become a national topic around the league.
“He works on that hard,” said Reid. “He gets pretty close, at times its sometimes too fast. We just got to make sure it’s too fast because that obviously hurts the team. He takes a lot of pride in that and works very hard at that, to try to make sure that he gets off well. You watch the rest of the games this weekend with these defensive ends and the way they can roll, that helps you get into position a tick quicker than that, but you don’t want to be offsides. That’s for sure.”
The Jaguars are Taylor’s former team, and you could bet they will be in the official’s ear on the matter before their Week 2 game sees its first whistle.
Reid reiterated that the short-yardage tries need to be better
“We’ve been practicing it,” said Reid. “They got us from inside... Normally, if there’s going to be a breakdown, you’re thinking off the edge or something — but definitely not inside. You want to be able to have the guy dart inside if he needs to, whether it’s the B-gap (between the offensive guard and tackle) or C-gap (between the offensive tackle and tight end). We just overset that thing a little too far. Can’t do that.”
The head coach is well aware that this particular part of the offense needs to be better.