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Veterans Appreciate How Chiefs Coach Andy Reid Approaches Thanksgiving

The Chiefs will practice a bit earlier on Thursday

The coaches and players will begin their work day a bit earlier than normal on Thursday so they can get home to spend some time with their families for Thanksgiving.

It's one of the small adjustments made to a very specific routine by Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid, and it's one that means something to his players.

"This is my fourth year with [Reid], and he's always good about adjusting the schedule so that we have time for the holidays with our family and friends," veteran Derrick Johnson explained. "It's not always like that with every coach, so I'm grateful for that time.

"At the same time, he wants us to stay focused on the job at hand. We'll have our time for meetings and practice."

The team will meet and practice in the morning and the coaches will have additional meetings in the afternoon with the goal of leaving by around 4:00 p.m.

"It's always been family first with him," fullback Anthony Sherman explained of Reid. "So we'll get in in the morning, we'll get our work done quick, fast and efficient, then we'll get out and enjoy the rest of the day with our family."

For some of the younger players who might not have family in the area, the veterans make sure they're taken care of.

"Every position group kind of takes care of their own," quarterback Alex Smith explained. "The young guys could be at a disadvantage, away from family, probably not as good of cooks."

"We make sure everyone in the locker room has a place to go and something good to eat for the rest of the day," Sherman added.

The logistics surrounding Thanksgiving Day aren't a new thing for football players—going back to the days of high school.

"I think if you play football long enough—that's the deal," Smith explained. "When I was in high school, if you were practicing on Thanksgiving, it was a good thing because it meant you were still playing. So it just kind of comes with the territory.

"Thanksgiving and football—it goes hand in hand."

For those in the Kansas City area, many of the high school state title games are this weekend.

"I used to play on Thanksgiving morning in Massachusetts," Sherman added. "So I've always had football on Thanksgiving. So it's not different for me; I think it'd be awkward if I didn't."

When asked his thoughts about the holiday, Reid said he's a big fan.

"I love Thanksgiving," Reid said. "I understand what it's all about, which is the important part of it. It's great to be with family, and then, have the opportunity to eat. My wife's a good cook. We have a lot of people over at the house.

"It's a time where you can take care of the people that are in need, that maybe don't have that luxury. What a great day."

Reid said he won't do much of the cooking.

"I have to give all the credit to my wife, my daughters – they get in there and crank it out. A lot of food, man."

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