Kansas City Chiefs’ Head Coach Andy Reid, quarterback Patrick Mahomes and offensive tackle Mitchell Schwartz met with the media on Wednesday afternoon.
Here are five things that stood out.
Head Coach Andy Reid
1. Although [Eric Berry] has been in meetings and around helping the young guys, can you speak to what it’s like to have him on the field for his teammates?
REID: “Yeah, he’s getting a jump start on a second career, he’s done a nice job of jumping in and coaching. The guys listen to him. He’s smart, obviously, we all know that. He’s been there and done it and the guys respect him for that. He’s been out there every practice. He’s gone to every game. He’s just quietly had nice little coaching points in there.”
2. Did you sense this was a good time for the bye week, for a break, mentally?
REID: “Every team would probably tell you the same thing no matter when the bye week is because of training camp and so on and where these bye weeks normally fall, but to get a couple of days off I think is good. [It's a time to] step back and slow things down and think about some things and then to go back as coaches and scout and go more in-depth than we have time to do during the season. To go back and look at things - and players do the same thing - but most importantly, [it's a time to] take a step back, get some rest and get ready for the remaining part of the season.”
Quarterback Patrick Mahomes
3. What have you done to progress during the bye week?
MAHOMES: “I think the biggest thing is going back to the fundamentals. That is a big thing for me. When you play a lot of games, sometimes you don’t get to practice the fundamentals of just how you are standing in the pocket and how you are making your platform when you throw. That is something I feel like I always have to go back to. You always get new experiences and you can learn from those experiences mentally, but at the same time, you want to make sure you are physically doing all the right stuff to have success.”
4. What kind of boost does it give you from an emotional standpoint to have Eric Berry back at practice?
MAHOMES: “Just the passion that he has. You can just feel it every single day. He’s working his tail off and I’m glad that he’ll be back out there with us. He’s going to come in and bring that spirit - that leadership role - and just come out there and play his tail off. I’m excited to have him on that defense.”
Offensive Tackle Mitchell Schwartz
5. How do you think you’ve played this year compared to other seasons?
“I’d say pretty good – it’s probably my best season since I’ve been here. It’s been a good three years of continuing to get better. It’s fun to be a part of this offense and we do a lot of stuff that’s offensive line friendly. Coach Reid, being a former lineman himself, understands the task that we have week-in and week-out. Oakland doesn’t have [linebacker Khalil Mack] anymore, but before, we’d face three of the best [edge rushers] in the game six times a year. You have to go against the best a lot, and I think that’s a good experience. You see Von [Miller’s] speed, Melvin [Ingram’s] speed, Khalil’s power and [Joey] Bosa’s maneuverability. If you can block those guys, there isn’t anybody better than that. So, you just continue to get better. In Cleveland, I kind of just did what I did, and I did it well, but I didn’t have as many tools or tricks. I think I’ve gained a lot of those since I’ve been here and around Coach Reid and Coach [Andy] Heck. I think the biggest thing for offensive linemen is confidence and trusting yourself. Most of the time, if a guy loses a matchup, it’s because of a lack of confidence somewhere – whether that’s not trusting his hands or his set. Thinking, ‘Oh man, that guy is really fast.’ A lot of tackles will get beat because they bail on their set and don’t trust it. That’s something I learned from Joe [Thomas], and there’s still a progression to trusting your speed against elite guys, but there was never panic in his game. He just trusted that if you stay within yourself, it will work itself out. My first offensive line coach laid it out for me – if you’re in the right body position and using the right technique, you’ll get beat an extremely low percentage of the time. Typically, if you get beat, you’ll think that you could have done this or that better, but if you’re in position and using your hands well, you don’t usually get beat. It’s about doing that consistently that’s the trick, and everything beyond that kind of takes care of itself.”