Q: With that in mind, what are some of the specific hurdles that your operations team faces during this process?
Mark: Well, for one thing, they’re putting together a plan to move 1,000 players, coaches, staff members and their families to Las Vegas. That’s in addition to moving the team efficiently and housing the team for a full week of practice. They do all of that in a way that eliminates the distraction of it all, and sets us up for success.
The behind-the-scenes stuff is something that I don’t think anyone can ever fully appreciate, and when everybody came back from Baltimore, they celebrated, but they also knew that this was going to be one of our busiest weeks. To go back to the experience point, if you have done this before, you know what’s coming, and you know how to prepare for it. That makes you more efficient, and as much as many of our staff members are running on fumes getting through it all, we’re pretty excited to be this busy right now.
Here’s what red means to both a color expert and a biologist.
For all of recorded human history, color expert Leatrice Eiseman says, red has represented activity, assertiveness, blood and bloodshed. Red is aggressive, dynamic and an activity producer.
“There’s never anything reticent or quiet about red,” Eiseman told me by phone while in France on a tour for “More Alive with Color,” her latest book. “And in recent years there’s another buzzword that’s been used. It isn’t just power but empowerment. So that if you adorn yourself in red, if you use red, psychologically that can give you the feeling that you are more powerful.”
Anger and aggression are associated with reddening of the skin, while fear produces a paling effect as blood drains from one’s face. While we understand red can also be symbolic of love, romance and fertility, in the animal kingdom red usually correlates with male dominance.
Former Dolphins quarterback
Started in Super Bowl XIX Marino talked about Mahomes in an interview with CBS Sports. “He’s an amazing athlete, first of all,” Marino said.
“I was a pretty good athlete, but not the kind of athlete that he is as far as how he runs the ball, makes throws from different levels, creates on his own. For me, I was able to do that a little bit, but mostly, my stuff was from the pocket.”
“He’s a really special player,” Marino added.
“You can tell his competitiveness. Like you talk about, coming from behind when it’s tough. He makes it happen.”
Patrick Mahomes catches (!) and runs for a TD
Earlier in his Hall of Fame-caliber career, when he captured his first Super Bowl ring and vied for another against Tom Brady, the Chiefs star was bombs away as a quarterback, airing it out to capitalize on the speed of playmakers like Tyreek Hill and Sammy Watkins. Today, he’s shepherding a title run much differently, gutting through more dink-and-drunk drives with timely scrambles or pinpoint third-down strikes. With that in mind, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him reach the end zone in trick-play fashion against a physical 49ers front — and one-up Tom Brady in the process, redoing the legend’s pass-catching attempt from Super Bowl LII.
Mahomes is the best player I’ve ever seen, and it’s not that close. He’s winning like Tom Brady did at the start of his career, but Mahomes is collecting individual honors at a pace that is way ahead of Brady’s — and everyone else’s. Mahomes showed this season he could manage games and lift up inferior receivers, much like Brady did during the 2006 season, when he put up 34 points in the AFC Championship Game with Reche Caldwell as his top receiver. Dan Marino is the only quarterback whose first six seasons as a starter could compare statistically with Mahomes’ (at least within their respective eras), but Marino didn’t take up residence annually on Super Bowl Sunday. This year, Mahomes’ residency moves to Vegas.
Mahomes sat for almost all of his rookie season and then replaced Smith in 2018. Mahomes was instantly one of the NFL’s best players and his playing style changed the NFL. At that point, Mahomes’ roster looked a lot like Purdy’s does. In Mahomes’ first season as a starter, he had receivers Tyreek Hill and Sammy Watkins as well as tight end Travis Kelce.
The situation has changed a lot since then. Mahomes still has Kelce and a good offensive line. But the Chiefs’ WR talent pool has been dire for a few years. It’s a testament to Mahomes’ development that the Chiefs offense has rarely looked out of sorts during the playoffs given how little support he has gotten from his receivers in recent years.
Kansas City has whiffed on draft picks and trades at the position from Mecole Hardman to Skyy Moore to Kadarius Toney. Rookie Rashee Rice appears to be the first bullseye at the position, as he nearly eclipsed 1,000 yards this season. He’s a great youngster at the position and is producing as their WR1 — but I’m not sure he’s a nightmare for defensive coordinators (yet).
The latest one doing the rounds on social media spells good news for fans of the 49ers, but not so much for the Chiefs.
One viral stat shows that every time the Niners have won the NFC Championship game against a team that has a shade of blue in their logo, they’ve gone on to win the Super Bowl.
Any time they’ve beaten a non-blue logo team in the NFC title game, they’ve gone on to lose the Super Bowl.
The omen dates back to 1982 when the 49ers beat the Dallas Cowboys - who have a blue star as their logo- in the conference title game.
San Fran subsequently went on to beat the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl XVI.
In 1985 and 1989 the team from California beat the Chicago Bears in the NFC Championship game, who have a dark blue hue in their logo.
Around the NFL
“Lamar’s a driver. He’s got to be involved in the setup of the car even more,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said Friday at the team’s end-of-season news conference.
In his first season under offensive coordinator Todd Monken, Jackson set career highs with 3,678 passing yards and a 67.2% completion rate. Jackson spoke all season about how Monken gave him more freedom to change plays at the line.
Now, after speaking with Jackson on Thursday, Harbaugh said the quarterback is talking about Baltimore’s offensive schemes, how to attack different defenses, pass protections and route concepts.
“Those are things that are on his mind, and those are things that he’s going to be involved with the staff talking about,” Harbaugh said. “I’m excited about that. He wants to do it, and he’s just into it, man.”
In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride
Getting up off the canvas
The Chiefs weren’t just standing there with a bloody lip. They were laid out on the canvas. But these aren’t the same Chiefs who made it an annual event to lose to the Indianapolis Colts in the playoffs.
There was never a doubt inside of the Chiefs’ facilities.
“I think I saw more from within the building,” said quarterback Patrick Mahomes on Thursday as he spoke to reporters, “Just how hard guys were working, how guys were taking it personal when we were losing games and going through that stretch... Guys weren’t happy, and they were putting in the work to get better, and that’s what you need.”
Head coach Andy Reid echoed his star quarterback’s sentiment.
“We might not be the prettiest bunch, but we’re going to battle.”
Reid was quick to credit the leaders in the locker room with having patience with guys who were not coming along as fast as some would have liked.
“It’s a tribute to their strength as a group, welcoming in new guys with high expectations and still making it work — not pushing anybody out the door because maybe it started a little slow... They didn’t hang their heads. They’ve grown together, which is neat to watch.”
Social media to make you think
#Chiefs could become the second team in the past 50 years to allow 27 or fewer points in *every game* on their path to a Super Bowl win.— Brandon Kiley (@BKSportsTalk) February 2, 2024
The other team to do so was the ‘02 Bucs, per @pfref. This is a potential all-time defense & they’re not getting the credit they deserve. https://t.co/k2QQnzeVkY