Coach Andy Reid and Others Offer Condolences to James Winchester and his Family

Reid and several players spoke with the media on Wednesday afternoon

When the news came out of the passing of Kansas City Chiefs long snapper James Winchester's father, Michael, whose life was tragically taken Tuesday afternoon in Oklahoma City, the condolences and offers of support were quick to follow.

Winchester, who is in his second season with the Chiefs after winning the long snapper position out of training camp in 2015, played collegiately at Oklahoma.

On Wednesday afternoon when speaking with the media, Chiefs coach Andy Reid and several players offered their support to the entire Winchester family.

Here's what they had to say:

Andy Reid

"A tragic, tragic incident, and sick to be honest with you. James is with his family now—where he needs to be and when he comes back, he comes back.

"Right now, it's his time to be with his family as I know you would expect. Our thoughts and prayers are with he and his family."

Reid confirmed that he did speak to Winchester on the phone.

"He called me right away before it really even broke in the news, there, and told me the situation. Things were a little vague, and how they happened and so on. In those situations, you have to go. Family is number one. This (football) is important in our lives, but not like that. He left right away and went down there – to Oklahoma City – he's taking care of business there."

Punter Dustin Colquitt

"It's a situation that you're kind of dying inside for him. He's taking it well. The one thing I took from him is he said that obviously it's a 'tough time for my family and I appreciate the thoughts and prayers,' and then he said that 'God is good.'

"When you hear that come out of his mouth this early, I just know he's a man of faith, loves Jesus and his dad did too. You have to go back to faith and Christ. That's going to get him through it, that's going to get us through it—keep this locker room tight. Everybody is there for him. He needs to know that and he does know that.

"He's in a good place right now," Colquitt added. "There's forgiveness in his breath and obviously you have to do that as a Christian. So he's going to get through that and we're going to get through this. It's going to make us tighter."

Colquitt, who said he's reached out to Winchester and offered to take care of dogs, take anyone to or from the airport—anything he could do to help out, was asked about the bond between himself, Winchester and kicker Cairo Santos.

"We're real tight. We spend more time together than anybody. When guys are in meeting rooms, we're together looking through game film—trying to do anything we can to see what punters or kickers are doing or just special teams schemes. When we're all together—like training camp it's eight-nine-10 hours a day, and during the season it's four or five hours—non-practice time—so it's an unbelievable amount of time. You get to know somebody's life story in the first two weeks of training camp and you just kind of roll from there and you're already brothers. It doesn't take a tragedy—good times, bad times—it's family."

Quarterback Alex Smith

"It's hard. We found out last night, and I think everybody was kind of in shock. It's something you never expect to happen and everybody is kind of feeling for James and his family. We're trying to do anything we can, but you never really know. You're just trying to be there for him.

"James is such a caring teammate—a thoughtful teammate. A guy who would sacrifice for his team. Like I said, you don't always know what to do or what to say, it's hard."

Safety Eric Berry

"Honestly, I just sent [Winchester] a text and just told him that we're thinking about him. I didn't want to talk to him too much because it's a tough time. I didn't really want to talk to him about it, so I just left it at that and just let him know if he needed anything, I'm here to talk to him, along with a lot of the guys on the team as well.

"We're all here for him. We're a team, but we treat it as family."

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