It might be the middle of the offseason but that doesn’t mean there aren’t football things happening around the country.
And this past week, the top NFL decision-makers made their way down to Arizona for league meetings, and Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid addressed the media on Tuesday.
Here are 10 things we learned from that media availability:
Q: What does Patrick Mahomes have to do to get better and build on last year’s performance?
“Defenses will have an opportunity to study him. There are a lot of great minds, a lot of great defensive coordinators in the league. They will present certain things to him that they think will effective against this offense and then he will have to answer to those. But for now, we are going to add things in and he has to digest that. He has to go back and look at all the things we did our studies on. These cut-ups will be invaluable for him on the different plays that he has run the past year and study those and see where he has gotten better in those areas. I think it is a great growing period from year one to year two. I think he has handled that the right way. A lot of guys don’t. They get complacent. He won’t do that.”
Q: What do you want this new defense to be?
“I am always looking for a smart, aggressive, tough-minded defense. You don’t have to be the fastest guy, but effort becomes a huge thing for me. Toughness becomes a huge thing for me. The ability to make plays. Understand the game and make plays end up being important.”
Q: Who are you expecting to step up as leaders in the locker room?
“I think (Tyrann Mathieu) coming in will help. He’s got good leadership. As funny and all as Chris (Jones) is, he actually hustles and does those things in practice. He has a good way about him. He will do that. We will see how people develop. Both our inside linebackers, both of those guys are good leaders. I’ve learned over time as guys leave, other guys step up. Sometimes it brings out a little different personality and you end up with good leadership from those guys.”
Q: Travis Kelce said a big part of his success is everything you do for him in this offense, why do we see more tight ends featured in today’s offense?
“Tight ends have always been a big part of this offense. You go back to Bill Walsh’s time when Brent Jones was playing. These guys have always had success in the offense. We had (Mark) Chmura and (Keith) Jackson in Green Bay and then the guys I had in Philly were really good players. And since I have been here, it has been the same way. It really doesn’t matter who you put in. Now, Travis (Kelce) is an extremely talented player that you can do a lot of things with, but I have had guys with less ability still be successful in the offense. Travis you can just do so many things with, you can use him as a wide receiver and it just expands his role. You try to take advantage of that greatness that presents you with.”
Q: Bruce Arians created a position on his coaching staff where there is now a woman full-time, is that something you all have talked about or would ever consider doing?
“Well, I come from a woman’s womb that was a forefront shooter. She was a doctor. There weren’t a lot of women that were doctors. I am open to anything. If you can coach and you’re good, I don’t really care. I’m all in either way.”
Q: What has been the discussion around the overtime rule that the Chiefs proposed where both teams would get a possession?
“We’re trying to come to kind of a joint conclusion on things with a lot of different thoughts. I think that will probably take place in there, one way or another. We’ll just see how it goes, but the fact that it’s being talked about I think is good. We’re not the only ones that are in that mix. I think everybody would like to see something positive happen.”
Q: Do you think it is part of your job to stay ahead of what they are doing to start the season?
“As a coach, I have been around some great players. Great players want you to find one more thing to make them even greater. As a coach, that’s what they want you to do. So that’s our challenge, all of us, to find something for our players to give them and teach them, to give them that opportunity to be even greater at what they do, and that makes the team even greater.”
Q: How much is Clark Hunt invested in trying to give you more than what you have had this past season?
“Clark (Hunt) doesn’t miss anything. He’s a sharp cookie. I think you develop more trust the more you’re around each other. I think that’s both sides. I think he is very aggressive in his thinking. The things we have done over the years have been progressive. I think the more time you have together the more trust you have in each other to go. I came here and the word out there was that we didn’t like spending money, he doesn’t mind spending the money. You want to do it the right way and be smart with it? Absolutely. You don’t want to just throw it around, and that’s the part I respect and believe in. I just don’t think you have to do it that way and he doesn’t think that way either. It’s not because there isn’t a willingness to stay aggressive.”
Q: What can Eric Bieniemy do to be better and how can interviewing for head coaching jobs prepare him for taking on more next year with the offense?
“I think Eric (Bieniemy) did a phenomenal job. He came in and he was the offensive coordinator. He was in the quarterback room every day working with Patrick (Mahomes). Every day he was in there. Sometimes you get put into a box as a coach where you’re just a running backs coach, that’s not Eric Bieniemy. I would never have put him in that position if I thought that’s all he was. You think about this now as a third-best offense in the history of the game, and he was a huge part of that. We all need to take our game up, and he will continue to do that, that’s how he’s wired. He’s a bulldog that way. He doesn’t let anything slide. Nothing slides, and he attacks every issue. What is going out make him better? Well, he has another year of doing it. It was his first year, and I’m sure if you asked him, he’d tell you well, there’s something there I can do to get better. He is trying to do that every day. He doesn’t let anything slide, and by doing that, you are going to get better. You can’t help it, whether you are the head coach, the owner, whatever it is, you are always going to progress forward and get better.”
Q: How beneficial do you feel it would be to be able to send guys back and forth from the developmental league to give them more playing time?
“I think anytime you have the chance to play, with good coaching and good competition I think it gives you an opportunity to be better. I am all for that. If it creates more quality players, I am all for it. Offensive and defensive line now, those are ones that you can learn. You don’t come out of the womb in a four-point stance. Well, you kind of do. But you don’t stay there very long. We are asking guys to be in a weird position, an abnormal position and you have to learn that. The more experience you get the better.”