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Andy Reid: Chiefs players trust each other

Posted Nov 4, 2013

Coach Reid addresses questions, following the Chiefs Week 9 win


OPENING STATEMENT: “As far as the injuries go, Mike Catapano is the only one to mention. Again, I said this after the game; any win that you can get in the National Football League is a good win. I’m proud of our guys for the effort, which they put into this game. It’s tough to play in Buffalo and they have a good football team. It’s also tough to win games, before you have a bye week, and you’re on the road and then those are all things that go into that. I’d like to thank our fans. Our fans are everywhere. There were a lot of them up in Buffalo. I know that’s not like a resort place to go to this time of the year; it was a cold. We appreciate their support. I’d like to just tell John Fox and Gary Kubiak a fast recovery from their trials that they’ve had here in the last couple of days. Both of them are strong guys, great guys and you never like to see those kinds of things go on. As far as the game goes, again there were some good things that took place. I’ll start with special teams; I thought our kickers – and I count the punter in there too – the kicker and the punter allow us to have great field position to start on defense. I think that’s important. Even though it was close, I think we started with 25 and they started with 20, but they’re doing a nice job of making teams drive a long field. Then, Dustin (Colquitt)’s punt there at the end, I thought was fabulous. We needed that, right at that particular time. Then, Ryan (Succop), I think at one point, had five touchbacks there. Again those are long fields to drive. Defensively, again, another solid performance, particularly at third downs. You forget how important those are and you can add those two fourth-down plays into that, the stops we had there. Sean Smith, on his interception, did a nice job. I thought the guys blocking for him did a nice job of helping out. That’s a long haul, when you have people chasing after you. Kendrick Lewis, it was great to see him get that interception. He’s been battling through that ankle and he’s a tough nut. For him to come up with that interception was big. We were able to stay in that plus-turnover area there, on the plus side of that which is crucial. Marcus Cooper had that strip and then Tamba (Hali) was alert to pick it up, scoop and score, which are things that we work on. He made sure to look that thing all the way in to get it in the end zone. On the offensive side, probably the offensive line, I’ve mentioned to you that this is a young group, so they’re getting a lot of things thrown at them, but they continually fight and battle and then in that fourth quarter, they just take over and dominate. That’s nice to see. I thought Alex (Smith) managed the game well and I know that’s a weird term, but he made some big-time throws. We had a couple, as the old saying goes, we didn’t get the fish in the boat on a couple of them, but we normally don’t drop balls, so we’ll keep working on that. I thought Jamaal (Charles) played well. He’s such a valuable guy to our offense in so many ways, but I thought he played very well. The scores on defense and the perseverance on the offense, getting better as the game went on, I thought, with the addition of special teams, have been solid.”

What role does trust play in the season so far?

COACH REID: “You get asked this a lot, the thing that surprises me most about the team and I would tell you that (the trust) and how close the group is. They don’t care if they’re ahead or down, they just keep encouraging each other. You guys see them in the locker room and that’s really what takes place on the sideline, during a game. It’s kind of a neat deal. It’s a special quality to have and we’ll keep building that. We bank on that now to help us win some games in the fourth quarter. That’s one of the things I’ve been most impressed with.”

What else goes into being so successful in the fourth quarter?

COACH REID: “Well, I always come back to your trainer and your strength coach. They’re the ones that condition these guys and keep them where they can be strong in the fourth quarter. I also think it’s a mindset in the players. They feel confident at that time that they’re going to get it done. I think it probably goes back to the trust factor in one another. The coaches are consistent and are trying to teach throughout and really, that’s what we’re here to do. They’re not giving up on guys or pointing fingers, saying I called this or this guy didn’t do that, they’re just trying to find another way to make a positive play. I think all of that ties in too.”

Was Sean Smith playing the right coverage for his pick-six or was he just in the right place at the right time?

COACH REID: “Sometimes you have to be in the right place at the right time. I mean, he’d be the first one to tell you that. He put a quick jam on the guy and the guy kind of made him miss and the quarterback had a low snap and saw Tamba Hali right in his face. Well, not in his face, in his vision. They’re not in the face anymore, so in his vision and he had to get rid of the ball fast. That’s the way games work, though. Everything is faster in the red zone. I mean, it just multiplies it. In lies the 12th man, there. So, everything is tighter and faster. The quarterback had to make a quick decision. Sean (Smith) was right there and he caught the ball. That’s a tough thing to do. That thing was coming out and coming out hard and he was close to the quarterback. Then, he took it from there.”

Were you planning to pass as much as you did or was that just the flow of the game?

COACH REID: “Well, we ran a little bit earlier in the game. Some of our runs have pass options to them, if they load the box up. They went man coverage, is what they did, so they always had that extra guy in the box, right there. It gave us an opportunity to get some of the quick throws that we had. Some of those were run pass options, to answer your question.”

Did you see this as a learning experience with the mistakes made in the game?

COACH REID: “It really comes back to the ebb and flow that takes place. They just kind of keep it consistent. I don’t see a lot of panic with them; that’s not what I see. You see that with teams, where guys seem to encourage each other and I think that helps in situations like that. It wasn’t beautiful there; I mean, that’s not what it was. They worked through it, took advantage of opportunities and it worked out okay. They trust each other there, so that helps.”

What about facing adversity and thinking ahead to playoffs?

COACH REID: “You’re already in the playoffs. We’re just trying to get the next one and I tell you, that’s also been a good characteristic this team has. They haven’t looked ahead and all that. Every play, every experience you have is a good one and that you can learn from. Whether it’s a good play or a bad play, you can learn from the play and get yourself better as a team. You can’t lose focus of that. If you’re winning games, are you going to let the little things go? You’re never going to do that. You’re not going to do that as a coach, you’re not going to do that as a player. Focus in and the margin between winning and losing is (not) big, very slim. You have to stay on top of your game. You relax, you see it happen every week, where teams relax a little bit and boom, they get picked off. You can’t do that; I mean you just can’t. You get to relax this week, because you get a break. You get a bye week; that’s where you relax and get yourself charged up and get yourself right and go against Denver, when we get back.”

What is the origin of your bye week philosophy and why has it been so successful?

COACH REID: “I’ve had good players and good coaches. I’ve always given the guys time off (even), back when it wasn’t popular to do. You try and treat these guys like men. That’s what they are, young men. There is a certain amount of responsibility that they need to feel in their team, so part of that’s the bye week. So, I’ve always given them time off to get themselves back. Rest, relax and take care of any business you need to take care of and come back ready to go for whatever is left of the season. Now, the league has made part of that mandatory. The new CBA that the league has given the players an extended time, where the coaches have to let them go. But, I was doing that quite a little bit before then.”

What are some of the top priorities in the bye week, before Denver?

COACH REID: “Well, we need to go back in, as a staff, and do another self-scout. We do it weekly, but you go back and go through the whole thing again. Then, you start preparation for Denver. We have a practice next Monday, before the day off on Tuesday, so we have to make sure we prep for that. Those are the three primary categories. Today, we’ll have the players in a little and get them out of here. After today, we have some business things to take care of. We’ll go through the tape and look at it, and we’ll get them out.”

Do you think the players are ready for the circus that will come along with the Denver game?

COACH REID: “You know, listen, I don’t really do too much for that, other than focus in on your job. You need to respect the opponent, study the opponent and then get yourself right. You don’t let it go any further than that. They’re a good football team, we know that. We’ll study them and we’ll get ourselves right to be ready to play a good football team.”

As far as what happened with Coach Kubiak and Coach Fox, have you changed your living habits because this is an unhealthy job?

COACH REID: “Listen, it’s just part of the job. You’re right. We do put in hours. I guess the longer you’re in it, the more you learn to manage it, I guess. But it’s still long hours. I mean, that’s all part of it.”

Does it raise your eyebrows at all that it happened to both of them?

COACH REID: “You don’t do it for yourself, but for them. Those are good friends. I’m grateful that they’re okay.”

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