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What We Learned From Sunday's Media Availability

Posted Jan 7, 2018

Andy Reid spoke to the media on Sunday

CHIEFS HEAD COACH ANDY REID

Opening Statement: “I had a chance to go back through and look at the game. It’s basically what I mentioned last night. We didn’t do as well as we needed to do obviously to win the game. I do appreciate the fans for all the support that they gave us throughout the year. In particular yesterday, they were out in the cold and cheering us on. Obviously very disappointed in the results of the game. We’ve got to do better and it obviously starts with me. I’ve got to make sure that my team finishes games when given that opportunity and we didn’t do that. It’s a tough day all the way around because you know you’re not going to be the same team as you were yesterday. So I meet individually with all the players and talk to them. Some of the guys won’t be back, but that’s the nature of this business but it does present a pretty tough day for today. With that I’ll leave it with you. Again, we have a long offseason here. We’re putting all the plans together for that and we’ll let you know down the road what’s going on.”

Q: Every team is different every year and you mentioned the changes. What do you think you’re going to remember most about this particular group this year?

REID: “The grit that got them back into the mix. A lot of times when things go south they go south fast and never recover and it’s happened to a lot of football teams. This group here rallied back through whatever injuries you want to look at and adversity and put together a pretty good season. Very seldom do you go back and look, although you have to do this as a head coach now I go back and look at your IR staff. Heck, there’s pretty good football players there, which leads you to optimism for the upcoming year and those type of things. It’s one of those things you have to do. It’s all part of this process, but there are some pretty good football players right there and I’m proud of the guys that had to step in and do the job in which they did. On the other side of that, guys overcame some things.”

Q: After a game like yesterday do you have some sense of clarity already about decisions you’re going to make personnel-wise or staff-wise? How do you go about that?

REID: “I take a little time to do that. Then obviously Brett Veach is a big part of the personnel part of it. I go back through and evaluate everything and that’s the best way to do it.”

Q: Do you intentionally say you’re not going to think about anything for a little while?

REID: “You never not think about it. It’s one of those things. But you try to step back away from it and time has a factor in being able to evaluate everything.”

Q: Does that include who your starting quarterback is going to be next year?

REID: “You do it for everything. You go through every situation, scenario. That’s how you roll.” 

Q: You mentioned not finishing games. I assume you’re alluding to some other games, not just yesterday that you didn’t finish. Is there a common denominator that you can put your finger on at this point about that?

REID: “I’d tell you no right now. They’re all different. I’ve had a chance to look at that and I’ve thought through that too. They’ve all been different that way.”

Q: The second half looked a lot like last year’s playoff game with not being able to stop the run. Is there a common theme of what you guys weren’t able to get done?

REID: “There were things we could have done better. Obviously, tackling when you’re in position to tackle and so on. We had made a stand against some pretty good run teams and unfortunately we were beat up there a little bit in the front and kind of piecing it together. That’s a tough deal. It might have caught up to us a little bit there. There are some things we can do better and get better at and so on. They got us.”

Q: You didn’t want to talk about it yesterday, you didn’t want to make excuses but everybody’s talking about some calls that could’ve gone either way. I know you’re not going to comment about the specific calls, but if a couple of them had gone the other way do you think you win the football game?

REID: “I never want to leave it up to the officials to determine the game. I don’t want to do that. I go back and look at the things that we can control. I can’t control those guys, you can’t control them. The thing you do is you focus in on the tackling, throwing or blocking, those things you can work on. We could have done better in a lot of categories. Better coaching, I could’ve done better myself and so on. So you go through all those things, the things you can directly affect and that’s not one of them. The officials, there’s nothing you can do. That’s how it rolls.”

Q: Is there a mechanism to let the league know your displeasure with the calls?

REID: “They give you an opportunity to speak your mind to them. We do when necessary. I am not sitting here telling you that that isn’t a tough job. It is a tough job. And I am not sitting here always telling you that they are always right or always wrong. There is a human element to it. I get it. They give you an opportunity to speak your opinion.” 

Q: Is there something that stands out on the defense on third down with the last two playoff games? 

REID: “This one is a little different. We did so well with that in the first half. The second half we weren’t able to do it again. You come back to the rush and/or the coverages. Every game is different. They had some pretty long yardage situations. They had a third and nine there that you have to take care of business with. Our guys know that, and you have to do better with it.” 

Q: Is it difficult to make a change at coordinator that has been on the staff for a long time?

REID: “I think I will just let that slide there. That is not where I am at. Probably the wrong question to ask right about this time.”

Q: Is there a certain point in the offseason that you go back and process the loss and move on to the next thing?

REID: “Time in this league has a funny way of working things. You have to step back. You have to evaluate. You have to go through the process and look at what is real and what is not. You don’t want to do it when you are emotional or still tied into what happened obviously last night. You have to fight that, like with a question like that (the previous question). You have to fight that. You step back and evaluate. You do what is right for the Chiefs. If you always come back to that, you are going to be OK. We have things to be optimistic about going forward. We have to handle some things the right way and have to have a good offseason with the guys that are here and the guys that are coming back off of the injured list. I look at what can take place this coming year and I am optimistic about it. I am very upset about yesterday. But I am in a position where I have to look forward and I feel very good about that. It doesn’t mean I don’t still have a knot in my stomach from last night and it upsets me.”

Q: Do you think you will try to get deeper in certain spots and manage the cap differently in the offseason? 

REID: “You’ll take this time to go through and evaluate all this. That is part of the evaluation process. You know how this all works. You go through and you start from the ground level and you work your way up through all the different scenarios. Brett (Veach) has been doing that. That is what general managers do. Again, looking for what is best for the team going forward. It takes a little bit of time here. It is going to take some time going forward. That is what he does and he has a knack for that. We will all see that going forward.”

Q: How comfortable would you be if you got to the point that Mahomes had to start next year?

REID: “I am not there. That is not where I am at. I can tell you what is real and that is he got to play, which was invaluable. He got the chance to be in a room with Alex Smith, which is invaluable. He loves to play the game. He got a chance to play a couple weeks ago and did a nice job with it. I am not there with anything other than that. That is what is real right now.”

Q: If Matt Nagy stays, will you keep him as the primary play caller?

REID: “I don’t know about that part. I thought he did a nice job, but I don’t know about that.”

Q:Who was calling the plays in the second half?

REID: “I mentioned yesterday, that he called the good ones and I called the bad ones. I will leave it at that. I don’t think that matters either way. That is really where I am at.”

Q: Will the quarterback decision be a long process and a difficult decision?

REID: “I don’t know. We’re not there so all that stuff is down the road. We’ll see how all that goes.”

Q: Where is Eric Berry at physically?

REID: “He’s doing well. He’s been up here rehabbing and will continue to do that. I know it’s hard for him to be down there watching, that’s not an easy thing. I know he looks forward to getting back out there and playing. Again, the guys that stepped in for him, they had big shoes to fill and I thought they did a pretty good job, a respectful job.”

Q: Do you look back and think you drifted away from Kareem Hunt?

REID: “So we have those RPOs (run-pass options) in there and some of what they were doing dictated a little bit more throws than the runs. We started off with a nice little run there in the second half and then it tailed off there a little bit. Could we have called him more? Yeah, we look back at it and maybe we could have, maybe we could have handed it to him more. The three-and-outs were hurting us a little bit.”

Q: What can you do to keep everyone on the same page in the locker room and what’s your message to these guys before they get out of here? 

REID: “I haven’t talked to them yet. I will have a meeting here this afternoon but they’ll be okay. We’ve got good leadership in there. We’ll be okay there.”

Q: What’s the one thing that makes you most optimistic for 2018?

REID: “Well just that. Full team, there’s going to be new players added to it. I’m confident that there will be some guys that can contribute in that mix. We’ve got a good system that we’ve got in place. That’s something to look forward to.”

Q: Did you think this team had the makings of something that could have been special?

REID: “When you get to this point, anybody can win any given day and obviously, you’re thinking you’re going to win the game, that you’re going to have a chance to win the Super Bowl down the road. That’s what you do, take it one game at a time knowing that everyone’s tough and you’re going to maximize everything to do your best. A lot of time went into that game, a lot of effort by players and coaches. Nobody more disappointed than that crew. But obviously when you get in the dance, anything goes. You think you can win the whole thing.”

Q: How are you processing the game emotionally?

REID: “It’s a tough deal because you start off so well and for it to change around like that, it’s a rough deal. Really not much changed by the opponent. Like I said, we could do better as coaches, getting ourselves, our guys in the right position and if you’re there you’ve got to make the play. That’s really what it comes down to. We didn’t do well enough and again that’s my responsibility, I take that responsibility.”

Q: Do you anticipate any staff changes?

REID: “I don’t know. Listen, everything’s too fresh right now. I can’t say that enough here.”

Q: How’s Travis Kelce doing now with the concussion?

REID: “He seems good. I think he probably would have been alright for the upcoming week if we would have gone that direction, I would imagine.”

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