The Kansas City Chiefs put together a busy couple of days in terms of media availability this week as tight end Travis Kelce, defensive end Taco Charlton, defensive end Frank Clark, wide receiver Tyreek Hill and linebacker Anthony Hitchens each spoke with reporters via web call.
Here are five things that stood out from those pressers.
1. Kelce explained what is fueling this team to stay hungry for more after winning the Super Bowl last season.
"It's ingrained in this team to fight, man, and to battle and to work their tails off," Kelce said. "Everybody that we played with last year on the Chiefs, they made it fun to come into the office. We all enjoy being around each other, and I don't see that chemistry changing or that camaraderie changing at all, especially with the leaders that we have coming back."
The All-Pro tight end went on to explain why he feels the Chiefs will be prepared to defend their championship despite the current circumstances that only permit a virtual offseason program.
"No. 1, the leaders on this team and that includes Head Coach Andy Reid at the top. His scheduling, how he's going about this whole quarantine and the virtual meetings and everything," Kelce said. "Nothing has really changed in terms of the bulk or the load of installs and the load of information that you're going to have to be ready for once we do get out on the field."
Kelce continued by acknowledging the present challenges but also reiterating his confidence in the Chiefs' preparation.
"Yeah, it makes it a little bit tougher. You don't get the opportunity to go out there and run these plays, especially the new plays the offensive minds have put together," Kelce said. "It's going to be a little difficult to catch up once we get out on the field and [when we're] actually able to perform these plays, but I think [we] - for the most part, the locker room guys, the core guys, everyone - has the mentality of, 'We have to do this again.' Last year doesn't mean a thing. I don't want to say we've erased it because it's still fresh on our minds, but at the same time, it builds confidence and it builds some competitiveness to be able to repeat."
2. Charlton, the newest member of the squad, discussed why he chose to sign with the Chiefs as a free agent.
"It was a place I was looking forward to coming sort of right off waivers. So, once I cleared, me and [Chiefs' defensive end Frank Clark] were on the phone," said Charlton, who played with Clark at the University of Michigan from 2013-14. "That's why nothing else mattered to me - money-wise - nothing really mattered. I just wanted to play football, wanted to go to a good situation where I could play some good football and feel like I could add myself to a good defense."
A former first-round pick, Charlton is entering his fourth year as a professional after tallying 16 quarterback hits, 11 tackles-for-loss and nine sacks in 37 games (12 starts) for Dallas and Miami. He went on to talk more about his relationship with Clark and how the presence of the Pro Bowl defensive end helped influence Charlton's decision to join Kansas City.
"Me and Frank, we're real close. [He's] like my brother - like my big brother. He's a person who at Michigan kind of took me under his wing and guided me. We've continued that friendship and brotherhood whenever he left," Charlton said. "We talk all the time. When I come to LA, I'm usually with him, or I go see him, link up with him, whatever it may be. We try to train with each other sometime during the offseason or see each other. Our friendship - our brotherhood - has always been there. We always used to joke around about us playing with each other again if me and him had the opportunity, so now, we have the opportunity to play with each other again and do something special. I definitely was on board with that and like I said, I'm excited."
3. Fittingly, Clark was then asked to explain why he has confidence that Charlton will thrive in the Chiefs' defense.
"I feel like a lot of people are doubting Taco and for the first part of his career, it hasn't been to the standard that I'm sure he would want it to be," Clark said. "He's had some great highlights and he's done some good things in this league, but he has yet to do what I know he wants to do."
Clark continued by discussing his perspective on their relationship dating back to their days at Michigan together.
"Me and him being close friends, we have a lot of talks and we talk about a lot of things and he's been my bro since Michigan days. I spent a significant amount of time with him there. Actually, I call myself a leader [with] everything I've done. At Michigan I made a lot of mistakes, but on that football field, I did my share of leading those guys," Clark explained. "One thing I did in that position room is change the way the position was being played, and Taco followed suit. He listens and he does great things. I'm just excited. I'm excited to see what he's going to do. Like I said, I want to turn him into a legend. First, [I'll] just show him my work ethic and how we do things on the Chiefs. It's a certain standard that Coach Reid has [set]. There are certain things that you have to be able to live up to here. We're the champs. We're defending our ring and there are going to be some standards that he has to live up to coming into that room."
4. Moving back over to the other side of the ball, Hill spoke about his workout routine this offseason and why he believes he can be even faster in 2020.
"I'm kind of taking a different approach this year. I'm doing yoga two times a week, so I'm getting into yoga a lot. I've been trying to open up my hips a little more and open up my glutes - things like that," Hill said. "I've been feeling amazing and [I've] been getting out of routes even better. It's going to be crazy. I feel like this is going to be a crazy year for me, so I'm excited."
Hill has already established himself as one of the elite wide receivers in all of football, so additional improvements to his already electric skillset are certainly fun to think about.
5. Lastly, Hitchens discussed why he thinks the Chiefs' defense – which yielded the fewest points in the NFL from Week 11 through the end of the regular season in 2019 – can get even better this upcoming year.
"We improved from Week 7 through the whole season and I think we can get better in the run game. Our defensive backs and our secondary saved us a lot of games, [guys like safety Tyrann Mathieu] and [other guys] getting picks and batted balls on fourth downs and all that," Hitchens said. "Once we get that going with the run game - not making predictions or anything like that - but we should be a top five defense. We weren't a top five [defense last season]. We had a good pass-defense but not a good run defense."
Hitchens went on to explain how the Chiefs are improving in that area.
"We added guys this year and we're still working on it. We're doing [virtual] walkthroughs and stuff like that to get better in that area, [and] when we put everything together in one season, this could be great," Hitchens said. "It was good enough to win a Super Bowl, but I feel like we all know [we can be better]. Even in our first meeting, [Defensive Coordinator Steve Spagnuolo] was like, 'We all know we won a Super Bowl, but we can be a lot better,' and we all [nodded] our heads yes. There were a lot of heads [nodding] yes, we can get better. I just think it's more of the run defense than the pass defense. Once we get that settled and complete and make it a defense, we'll be good for years to come."
Check back next week for additional media availability as the Chiefs continue to navigate their virtual offseason program.