The Kansas City Chiefs were back at practice on Wednesday ahead of their Week 4 matchup with the Detroit Lions.
Here’s a quick look at the guys who didn’t take the field on Wednesday.
Prior to practice, Head Coach Andy Reid and quarterback Patrick Mahomes met with the media.
Here are five things that stood out from their pressers.
1. Reid kicked things off by sharing his thoughts on the Lions, who have yet to lose (with two victories and a tie) this season.
"They have a good scheme and then they play hard. They tackle well. They’ve made a living off [forcing] turnovers on defense and offensively, they're scoring some points. You have to make sure that you stay on top of that,” Reid said. “They have a quarterback who has been around a while and knows the game. They have some skill guys that can also play right in there. [Their] special teams are doing a good job, too."
Detroit defeated the Philadelphia Eagles on the road last week in a game that featured contributions from all three phases, including two fumble recoveries on defense and a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Jamal Agnew.
They’ve scored at least 27 points in two of their three contests this season.
2. Reid was later asked to provide his early evaluation of the Chiefs’ defense and why he believes the unit will continue to improve over the course of the year.
"We're so close. You see it. We're right there. We're getting our hands on the ball, but we're hesitant in some areas to go get the ball. There are small things. I look at that and I go, 'Man, you give that a little time, shoot, those things change,’” Reid said. “Some of the guys have been in the league and I've seen it before, so you know that's going to come. You just know it. Remember, things are at like warp speed out there, and it's happening in real time. It's one of those things where you have to do it. You have to keep doing it and then it just becomes second nature."
Some notable performers on the defensive side of the ball from last Sunday’s victory over Baltimore included defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah (1.5 sacks, 4 quarterback hits), defensive end Frank Clark (1 sack) and safety Tyrann Mathieu (3 passes defensed).
3. Mahomes, meanwhile, was asked what he saw from the Lions’ defense in their victory over Philadelphia.
“They played physical football. They play a lot of man coverage, they got up in [the quarterback’s] face and they stopped the run game for the most part,” Mahomes said. “I think the biggest thing they did against the Eagles was that they capitalized on turnovers and I think that’s a big thing they focus on - trying to get the ball out - whether it’s an interception or trying to strip the ball out. I think that’s a big thing they capitalize on, so we’re going to try to protect the ball and move it down the field.”
Detroit has five takeaways overall this season and their six points off of turnovers last week ended up being the difference in the final score.
4. One of the Chiefs’ top performers in last week’s victory was rookie wide receiver Mecole Hardman, who currently leads the NFL in yards-per-catch. Mahomes discussed Hardman’s early success on Wednesday.
“He’s getting more and more comfortable every single week and that’s what happens when you’re in this offense,” Mahomes said. “Coach Reid throws a lot at you, so for a while you’re trying to figure it out and play, but he’s picking stuff up fast and not making the same mistakes. I think the more he picks it up, the faster he can play on the field.”
Hardman has six catches this season for 158 yards and two touchdowns, doing the bulk of that damage in his last two games. In fact, it was just last week that the rookie speedster hauled in an 83-yard scoring grab as part of a monster second quarter.
“Once he got [the ball] in his hands, I knew there was a pretty good chance he was getting in there,” Mahomes said. “He’s a fast guy and he plays really well when he gets the ball in his hands. [I] just try to get the ball to all of those guys, and usually when they break it, it’s pretty much all over.”
5. Speaking of young playmakers, Mahomes spoke about second-year tailback Darrel Williams’ performance on Sunday.
Williams tallied 109 yards of total offense in the victory, which included the game-winning, 16-yard catch.
The LSU product stepped up in a big way when injuries stuck other members of the backfield, and Mahomes wasn’t surprised.
“I already knew that he’s a playmaker. He’s a guy that when he gets his opportunity, he makes plays,” Mahomes said. “You saw it a little bit at the end of last season where he got in the game and was ready to go after not playing really the whole season until then, and then [on Sunday] with him getting in. He’s always prepared and makes sure he’s ready to go, and when he gets the opportunity, he makes the most of it.”
The Chiefs return to practice on Thursday in preparation for Sunday’s matchup with Detroit.