Andy Reid Discusses the "Soul" of the Locker Room

Eight takeaways from his media availability on Wednesday

Injury Update: DT Allen Bailey (calf), OL Ben Grubbs (neck), LB Dee Ford (back), WR De'Anthony Thomas (concussion) and RB Charcandrick West (hamstring) did not practice Wednesday.

Head coach Andy Reid

Reid began with a congratulations to Chiefs punter Dustin Colquitt who was awarded AFC Special Teams Player of the Week for Week 11.

"Let me throw a little [something] - Dustin Colquitt was the AFC Special Teams Player of the Week, so congratulations to him," Reid said. "Like I mentioned before, he was a factor in that game [so it's] well deserving.

"I would tell you he's very good at [getting the ball inside the 20]. He would rank up there with one of the best that I've been around – I've been around some good punters, so I'm not going to say he's better than or greater than. It's a little bit like the barbecue around here in town, it's good everywhere. I've been lucky to have some good punters, he's doing a nice job."

After starting 1-5, the Chiefs have pulled back up to .500. Reid attributed their recent success to the "family" the players have built.

"We've got a good locker room, which is the most important thing," Reid said. "These guys, they like being around each other, they like to practice and they didn't let that situation get them down and the coaches did a good job with it. Again, we're sitting here right at .500 so there's a lot of room to improve. They know that—they're going to continue to press forward and make sure we keep getting better.

"I mentioned that, I think John's (Dorsey) done a nice job of putting the team together. I think that's part of it, though. He and his guys are very conscientious about what they bring into the locker room. That doesn't mean that there might not be a guy who's had trouble before, but there's a good soul in there that can work into a good locker room. I would tell you John looks at all that."

Reid acknowledged the success against the San Diego Chargers on Sunday, but believes the team still has room for improvement.

"It's not necessarily the big thing, but the small things," Reid said. "What we talk about every day is pick a fundamental or a technique that you're not really good at, that you need improvement on and let's go work on that today, let's try to get better at that.

"Mastering the playbook against that team and every situation, we can all do better at that, and understand every situation that comes. Then it becomes a day-to-day, play-by-play process when you can get those things done. You don't have to worry about the other (stuff), you're honed in on those things."

The Chiefs defense shut down the Chargers on Sunday with the closest offensive drive falling way short at the 34-yard line. Reid discussed the difference in the defense at the beginning of the season and now going into Week 12.

"I would tell you that's what we were at that time," Reid said. "We were playing really good football teams early in the year. Not that we're not now, but we were playing good ones when you're just getting everything together with young players and with guys coming back off whatever situation they're coming back off– injuries, sickness, whatever it is, suspensions. That's what we were, but we've improved and the guys have stayed on task at doing what they need to do—the fundamentals and techniques."

In the victories over division rivals Denver and San Diego, the Chiefs had great field position on most drives. Reid believes these two factors are indicative of their wins.

"Those two things, those are two big stats that mean something," Reid said. "Field position is huge, it helps you also with time of possession. If you can stay in a positive area on turnovers, then normally you're going to be okay. That means that you're not giving up too many offensively, and defensively you're creating them. I think that's another step that you'd say counts."

Though they don't play on Thanksgiving, Chiefs players still have practice during Thanksgiving week. Reid talked about the mindset he expects his players to remain in throughout the week.

"They've got families and that's what this holiday is about," Reid said. "But when you're here, you're here. You're here, you're all in. When you're away, you don't let that be a distraction. We've talked about it and they understand. Like I said, it's a pretty good locker room, they understand and the older guys coach the young guys on how to do that. They've been few a through turkey days, the veterans, so they understand."

The Chiefs last two games have featured white-on-white uniforms with red socks. Reid spoke about the decision and who makes it.

"I'll guarantee it didn't come from the chubby guys, that part I'll guarantee you," Reid chuckled. "Uniforms are a thing right now. They're a thing at the college level, they're a thing at this level and that's great. It's all good for the game. It probably worked out okay for us, from a coach's standpoint because we were in 81 degree heat and we were in white. The players like that. So they talked to our owner about it and [Chiefs chairman and CEO] Clark (Hunt) has the final decision on that. I don't get involved too much in that."

And for those who aren't superstitious, Reid also spoke on how rookie center Mitch Morse has helped to anchor the offensive line and impacted the offense.

"He's getting better every week," Reid said. "We threw a lot at him. He's still got a ways to go and he'll do that—that's the way he's wired, he'll keep working. If he makes a mistake, he normally doesn't make it twice. I think he's becoming more confident each week."

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