Five Things We Learned from Wednesday’s Media Availability

The Kansas City Chiefs were back at practice on Wednesday afternoon in preparation for Sunday’s home-opener at Arrowhead Stadium against the Baltimore Ravens.

For a look at the injury report on Wednesday, click here.

Prior to practice, Vice President of Sports Medicine and Performance Rick Burkholder, Head Coach Andy Reid, quarterback Patrick Mahomes and punter Dustin Colquitt met with the media.

Here are five things that stood out from their pressers.

1. Burkholder provided an update on offensive tackle Eric Fisher, who suffered a groin injury in practice last week.

"Eric Fisher, on the Friday before the Raiders game, had what looked to be a groin injury late in the practice. We listed him as questionable, and then he played in the game and only played briefly,” Burkholder said. “We have since consulted with Dr. [William C.] Meyers in Philadelphia and Eric is on his way to see Dr. Meyers now with the intent of having that core muscle injury repaired tomorrow. We'll keep you updated as that unfolds.”

Following Burkholder’s remarks, Coach Reid provided a brief update on wide receiver Tyreek Hill (shoulder), tailback LeSean McCoy (ankle) and tailback Damien Williams (knee).

“Tyreek is the same. He's making improvement, but the same,” Reid said. “LeSean McCoy has an ankle sprain and Damien Williams has a bruise on his knee. We'll just see how it goes here with time.”

2. Moving forward to this Sunday’s matchup against Baltimore, Reid shared his thoughts on Ravens’ quarterback Lamar Jackson and the strong season he’s put together so far.

"I liked him a lot coming out of college - I mentioned that back then. He's playing well and he does a lot of things well. Everybody kind of goes to his run game, but he can throw the football,” Reid said. “He's doing it with accuracy, and he does it from all different levels. Whether it's in the roll-out or in the pocket, he's got it down."

Jackson impressed mightily as a runner last season, rushing for 695 yards and five scores, but he’s been just as strong throwing the football in 2019. The former Heisman Trophy winner has thrown for 596 yards and seven touchdowns this season while completing 71.9 percent of his passes and leading the NFL with a 145.2 quarterback rating, emerging as one of the league’s most-dynamic young players.

It certainly helps that the Ravens added some weapons in the passing game over the offseason such as wide receiver Marquise “Hollywood” Brown, but if you ask Coach Reid, Jackson’s growth as a quarterback is more about his own development than anything else.

"I think it's him. He's got talent around him, for sure, but the way that he's playing – it's slowed down for him and he sees it,” Reid said. “His reads are great. He’s doing all of those little things that end up being big things. He has command of that offense."

3. The Chiefs’ defense will be responsible for slowing Jackson down on Sunday, prompting a question about Kansas City’s growth on that side of the ball so far this season.

Kansas City yielded 10 points early in last weekend’s matchup against the Raiders before holding Oakland scoreless throughout the remainder of the game.

"I think this is probably general of the team. We had the two drives that took place [in Oakland where we allowed points], and we easily could have hung our heads, but I think they stepped up and put their foot down and said, 'Listen, we're not doing this. We're going to tighten this thing up here.’ I was impressed with that,” Reid said. “Very easily, that could have gone the other way. They didn't do that, so there was a little bit of team-building there and a certain mentality that you like to see from a coaching standpoint. Overall, they've done better against the run than what we were doing before, and we have to continue on getting better. I think the more familiar we get with the defense, I think it picks up a little bit."

4. Mahomes, meanwhile, expressed his excitement to be competing against Jackson on Sunday in what stands as a bout between the top two quarterbacks in the NFL right now statistically.

“It’s going to be a great experience. We got to play last year once, and seeing his progression with the understanding of the offense, I mean, I understand [what it’s like to go] from year one to year two,” Mahomes said. “There’s a huge switch understanding the offense at a different level, and it’s let him have more success as a passer. He’s always had talent, it was about learning the offense and he’s done that now, and obviously with his running ability, he can still do that. It will be a great challenge, like I said, and their whole team is great in every aspect of the game and I feel like we are, too. So, it will be a great opponent to start off with at home.”

The Ravens have also been stingy on defense this season, allowing just 13.5 points per game while racking up 43 quarterback pressures. Mahomes explained what makes Baltimore so successful in preparation for Sunday’s matchup.

“I think it’s that everyone does their job. That’s the biggest thing with this whole team,” Mahomes said. “They’re going to be sound with it. They’re going to bring pressure, but there’s not going to be breakdowns in coverages at the same time. They know what each guy’s role is on the defense, so it may not be one guy they have rushing, but they have a lot of very, very good players that are going to do their jobs the right way and trust each other.”

5. Finally, Sunday’s game will be a special one for Colquitt as he passes Pro Football Hall of Fame offensive guard Will Shields for the most games played in franchise history (225).

Colquitt spoke about the milestone and what it means to him on Wednesday.

“It’s exciting that I got to sit across the locker room from No. 68, Will Shields, for two seasons and got to pick his brain and see how he worked. It’s interesting, he would be sitting in his game locker with his glasses on like he was asleep before a game - not asleep - but just in his zone. I remember watching him on the field in training camp and stuff like that and then you see him on a game day and it’s like a calm before the coolest kind of storm you could see,” Colquitt said. “For us to be tied right now, it’s exciting for my family and me. It’s cool that I can share this with him. I remember asking for his jersey in 2005 and he said, ‘I don’t do jerseys until I’m done, that’s bad luck,’ and sure enough as soon as he retired, he showed up and gave me his jersey, signed and everything and I have it in my basement. I remember I didn’t have to ask again either, he’s that kind of guy. It’s fun seeing how he did it and [I’ve been] trying to replicate that kind of career. Obviously, he was [playing] every down except fourth and I’m a fourth-down guy, so he was in the trenches.”

Colquitt will make that history on Sunday as the Chiefs take on the Ravens at Arrowhead.

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