Q: Are you optimistic that Tamba Hali will play Saturday?
REID: “Really it’s just a matter of the swelling coming down on the knee. It’s been up, it’s been down. We just (need to) be sure to get it out of there. We’re just being a little bit cautious with him there today. We’ll just see how it goes.”
Q: Do you remember what expectations you had for your team before the season started?
REID: “I do. I can’t tell you it was all that exciting of a speech. To be honest with them, that was the main thing, and let’s all work hard – all of us, coaches and players – and detail our work. That was the base of it.”
Q: What’s the difference in how you feel at this point going into the playoffs after working so hard to get here?
REID: “Well, first of all it’s tough to get here. It’s tough to get to the playoffs. When you have an opportunity to do it, you have to take advantage of every opportunity you have. That’s exciting. That’s what it’s all about. These guys work hard to get themselves in position to go win a championship and this is the first step. You have to make the playoffs in order to do that. It’s exciting times.”
Q: Was there a moment where you thought that the message you brought to the team initially soaked in?
REID: “One thing about this crew, this group of players and coaches, is they’ve done everything I’ve asked; they’ve done everything the coaches have asked and then they challenge each other. They’ve done everything they’ve asked each other to do. That was from day one. That was from the first time we got together out here for practice. They’ve busted their tails, they’ve listened and they’ve studied. I couldn’t have asked of more from them in that way.”
Q: Are there going to be plays that we are going to see that we didn’t see during the regular season?
REID: “Every week is different. Every week, you pull out a new wrinkle here or there; everybody does that in this league. We’re no different there. Sure, there will be a couple of things different here and there. Will it be drastically different? No, I don’t think so. I don’t think anybody gets to this point and then completely changes things on what they do, but there surely will be a little wrinkle here or there.”
Q: How has Eric Fisher taken on the physicality of the league?
REID: “He gets himself in great shape, before he gets into the season, and then he works hard every day and never misses practice. The kid is out there working hard, every day. He lifts hard, he runs hard. He does the whole thing the way you’re supposed to do it and then it pays off for him on Sunday, and in this case, on Saturday.”
Q: Did you honestly believe you could turn the team around this much in the beginning?
REID: “I believed, yeah. I think that’s important that you believe. You have to have the trust. If you don’t believe in your guys and what you’re trying to accomplish, you’re never going to accomplish anything. I’m all in. I was all in then and I’m all in now.”
Q: When a player like Tamba Hali hasn’t been practicing in full all week, does it really matter for him, being a tenured veteran, in the game?
REID: “We just have to make sure that he’s okay to play. We’re not going to put him out there if he physically can’t play. I think at this point in the year, he knows the scheme and he has it down. The important thing is that the swelling is out of his knee and you’re sure that what’s causing the swelling is in a position where it isn’t hurting him for the future. That’s where you’re at with him. I’m not a doctor, but that’s how we operate. That’s how (Chiefs head athletic trainer) Rick (Burkholder) does it; that’s how our docs do it and we go from there.”
REID: “Yeah, I mean he’s healthy now and he feels good. That’s a good thing. I think we’ve gotten good production out of (Sean) McGrath. I was pleasantly surprised with how well he has actually played. He didn’t have a lot of reps in this thing, training camp and that. He came in and picked it up fast, and then he has been very productive for us. But it is good to get (Anthony) Fasano healthy and back in there.”
Q: Is there an ingredient that a team has to have going into the playoffs and has this team captured that?
REID: “Well, they practice well and I believe they’re hungry and ready to play to answer that part of it. Now you just have to go do it. That’s the measuring stick, have we prepared ourselves well enough as players and coaches to go out and play a good football team and the test is on Saturday.”