Ted Crews, Executive Vice President of Communications
OPENING STATEMENT AT PODIUM: “Quick update, after the game Coach Reid felt ill, so our team’s medical staff is checking him out right now out of precaution. Everything right now looks fine, but he’s getting checked out, so Coach Toub will fill in at the podium for him.”
Dave Toub, Assistant Head Coach/Special Teams Coordinator
OPENING STATEMENT: “That was a tough one. Our guys played hard—very hard. It’s really hard to overcome four turnovers. I think that was the story of the game. Offense, defense, special teams, everybody played hard. The floor is yours.”
Q: Did you make more of an effort to try and establish the run today?
TOUB: “Yeah, no question. Clyde (Edwards-Helaire) had over 100 yards I believe. We always want to establish the run. We felt we could move the ball, obviously, that way. We did—I mean, we were knocking them off the ball, but you’ve got to secure the football. Turnovers in the NFL, it shows. Every time you get a team that loses the turnover battle is going to lose, and we had four of them and were still in the game. I think it says a lot about our team. Our guys are down right now, obviously. This one hurts. Everybody is going to bounce back and we’re going to have a real good week this week.”
Q: What did you see on the fourth-and-10 play when they called the pass interference?
TOUB: “From my vantage point it was hard to tell. You’d have to go back and look at the tape to really see it. It was a bang-bang play. It’s just unfortunate. Those things happen. Those things go both ways.”
Q: Did they call that penalty on DeAndre Baker? It seemed to be unclear.
TOUB: “I’m not sure either.”
Q: Did Coach Reid talk to the team after the game, and what was his message?
TOUB: “Yes, it was the same message. He just wasn’t feeling well after the game. He did talk to the team, which was a good talk. Pretty much I reiterated exactly what he said—you can’t overcome the turnovers. You’ve got to quit the turnovers. And it’s not about effort—our guys were playing hard, that’s not it at all. We’ve just got to clean it up. We’ve got to clean up our football, and that’s where he left it.”
Q: Did you notice Andy Reid feeling ill during the game?
TOUB: “No, not at all. I just think he was feeling a little ill at the end. I think he’s fine. I think he’s going to be fine.”
Q: It’s been a while since you guys lost two in a row—where do you go from here?
TOUB: “Yeah, this is unusual for us. To be honest, it’s a little bit of a crossroads for us. We’ve got great leadership and our guys are going to battle back. Our guys are going to battle back strong, and we’re going to have a great week of practice and clean it up. We have to clean up the game, clean up the turnovers, execute on the offensive side of the ball, create turnovers and stops on defense, play solid special teams and we’ll be back on track.”
Q: What’s the message to the team going forward?
TOUB: “Right the ship. We haven’t been here recently. We’ve been here before, it’s been a while, but we’ve got to get right back in the win column again and I think everything will be fine. I think that’s what we need to do.”
QB PATRICK MAHOMES
Q: What was the vibe in the locker room post game?
MAHOMES: “Yeah obviously, everybody is, I’m not going to say down, but is not happy with how we played. When you take a loss to a division opponent at home, it’s not usually a good thing. We haven’t done a lot of that in my time here. So, it’s just how you respond. We have a long season ahead of us, it looks real dim right now, but if you can find a way to get better from this and find a way to win these games at the end of the games, we’ll be where we want to at the end of the season.”
Q: What is your level of concern with the way the past two games have gone?
MAHOMES: “I mean not a lot. We scored 24 points with four turnovers. I mean you’re not going to win games with four turnovers in this league. We were moving the ball the way we wanted to, and we got ourselves back in the game and gave ourselves a chance at the end. There’s not much concern, it’s just about going in and putting in the work every single week.”
Q: How is Coach Reid doing?
MAHOMES: “He came in and talked to us and he seemed fine so that’s all I really know.”
Q: Any different from when you saw him on the sideline?
MAHOMES: “Now, not at all. He seemed find on the sideline as well.”
Q: Did the wind play a factor in the second turnover to Travis Kelce?
MAHOMES: “No, it was just a misconnection. He rolled out and I thought he was about to roll kind of towards the sideline and I was going to throw it up with him. He’s usually pretty good about jumping up and catching those. Right when I threw it, he kind of cut back and it one of those things where I probably shouldn’t throw it especially in that situation. There’s been many times where we’ve made that work and made a big play on it.”
Q: What was the difference between the stretches you scored in and the ones with turnovers? How do you play more consistently?
MAHOMES: “We just held on to the ball and I didn’t throw an interception. I mean we didn’t change the game plan at all. All we did was hold on to it. We were moving the ball the first four, so we just held on to the football and we got points.”
Q: The term, I’ll see it when I believe it, — what did you see from Justin Herbert today?
MAHOMES: “I guess I believe it. That’s all you can say.”
Q: What was your message to the team on the sidelines when you were having the turnovers early? And what was said at halftime to get things going in the second half?
MAHOMES: “The mood never really changed. Like I kind of said, we were really moving the football, we just weren’t executing when we got to the red zone. The play that I threw to (Marcus) Kemp, was a tad behind him and it popped up in the air and got an interception. Probably if he catches it, it’s probably a touchdown. The run that Clyde (Edwards-Helaire) had, he makes a guy miss, makes a great run, got spun weird, the ball comes out. I throw the ball to Tyreek (Hill) who never fumbles, and he gets the ball perfectly hit at the perfect time to fumble. So, I mean it’s not like we weren’t doing things the right way like we always do, we didn’t execute whenever it came down to it. In the sleeve when you’re playing teams like them, like the Chargers, a good football team, if you don’t execute you don’t win football games.”
Q: This is the first time you’ve been in last place in the division since you’ve been here. There’s no way of knowing how the team will respond, what’s your sense in that regard?
MAHOMES: “I think we’ll be ready for the challenge, (It’s) really early in the season, obviously we haven’t had any since I’ve been quarterback here. We’re behind all these teams in our division, but the bright spot is we have a long season to go. It’s going to be how we respond and how we go to work every single day.”
Q: You explained what you meant with your 20-0 quote about winning every practice and winning every snap. Where are you at with that now?
MAHOMES: “I think we’re getting better. If you watched us, I think the offense played well, other than the turnovers. I thought the defense stepped up and really kept us in the game for a long time there. I think we’re getting better as a unit. This game, it’s a tricky deal. If you don’t play your best football every single week, you’re going to lose. Every team has NFL players, every team is good. I think we’re getting better and we’ll find ourselves over time. With the guys we have in the locker room, I’m sure we’ll find ways to win.”
Q: The play where you fumbled, they hit you pretty hard on the fumble. Take me through what it was like at the bottom of the pile.
MAHOMES: “It wasn’t much. I probably should have slid. Everybody told me i probably should have slid, but I was trying to score a touchdown. It wasn’t the hit that hurt me, I just fell directly on the football, which is a good thing and a bad thing. I just lost my breath. I was on it the entire time.”
Q: You looked sore after that play. Are you feeling fine now?
MAHOMES: “Yeah, I feel fine. I just couldn’t breathe at the time, I was trying to catch my breath. When the full weight of you and the guy behind you and the football on your stomach, it usually doesn’t feel too good.”
Q: On the interception where you were trying to find Travis Kelce, it looked like one of those moments where you were improvising.
MAHOMES: “Yeah, that’s what it was. If you look, he kind of rolls to the right and he saw me – we actually talked about it – he saw me reset. Usually when I reset, he cuts back and I usually find him. That’s where you saw the touchdown in Baltimore last week. But at the exact time I was releasing it, he kind of went with the reset. It happens. Obviously we want to take care of the football in that situation, but we’ve made a lot of big plays happen in my career on that. So I’ll never lose that part of me.”
TE JODY FORTSON
Q: What about finding the endzone?
FORTSON: “I’m definitely grateful to get the first one out of the way, get the pressure off, I’ve got to score, get all that off my back. So now, it’s simply just playing football, be the best teammate I can be. Unfortunately, we came up short in this one. I would much rather have the win than the touchdown, but we just have to build on it and come back next week strong.”
Q: How do you guys handle this and bounce back?
FORTSON: “We’ve just got to eliminate the turnovers. Coach Reid said it best, we’ve got to have more respect for the football. Turning it over’s not going to win us any games. We’ve just got to continue putting our head down and work hard and just battle back next week. I have no doubt that we’ll be on the right page.”
Q: How difficult is it to turn the ball over when you’re on the doorstep of scoring?
FORTSON: “It’s very frustrating because you put all the work in and you’re executing plays, driving the ball down the field and you get all the way down there and you don’t get what you’re looking for. So, it shakes a little bit. We’ll bounce back, we’ll be ready to go, we’re not worried about any of it.”
Q: Can you walk us through your touchdown?
FORTSON: “Pat [Patrick Mahomes] just made a great throw. He just put it where nobody else could get it but me. He just put it up there and allowed me to fully reach out and show my athletic ability to climb the ladder and go get the ball. So really, much respect to 15. He does that day in and day out. I was just happy I was in the place to catch the ball and make a play.”
Q: What’s been the biggest transition for you?
FORTSON: “I want to say the biggest adjustment is just footwork, being in the trenches and trying to get the second foot down. Other than that, I’m a competitor, I’m a dog. There’s nobody out there that I feel like can guard me. I don’t feel like there’s anybody who’s going to run through my face. That’s just who I am as a person. I’m going to bring my gear to fight. So, as far as an adjustment, it’s just been footwork, everything else has just been God-given, it’s just been abilities. I’ve got a great coaching staff, not to mention I’ve got Travis Kelce around me that’s giving me constant pointers. I couldn’t be in a much better scenario.”
Q: What’s inside of you that kept you going when you could have given up three years ago?
FORTSON: “I don’t know how to give up. That’s one. And two, like I said in the presser a couple weeks back, I’ve got some plans and I got dreams that I plan on seeing through, and this is the start of seeing it through. We’re just getting started. It’s still an early season. I’m ready to go.”
DE MIKE DANNA
Q: What about this game and not being able to get it done?
DANNA: “Man, all it takes is the preparation that goes into the week. Be ready when your number’s called. I’ve got 10 other guys that are trusting me out there to do my job, so when I go out there, I am as serious as a heart attack. I try to be a great teammate, be a leader and help guys when they need me. It’s been a blessing to be on that field with the guys, but coming out with the loss today, we’ve got to take it with a grain of salt. We’ve got to go back to the drawing boards. We’ve got to stay together as a unit. That’s the most important. It’s an offense, defense, special teams game, so nobody’s pointing figures, we’re going to respond and we’re looking onto the next challenge.”
Q: What about your sack on Justin Herbert and sticking with him?
DANNA: “Just effort man. Effort and getting after the QB. Coaches always say pass rushers keep rushing, so when I didn’t get him the first time, I knew I had to keep going. Ended up with a gift in my hand.”
Q: What have you learned about holding the edge?
DANNA: “It’s important. You’re the edge of the defense. A lot of guys are relying on you to set that edge. Leaking yards can come from dudes not setting the edge, running up the field, creating gaps, space, whatever, but I take pride in what I do because like I said, I’ve got 10 other guys relying on me to do what I do. So, it’s important.”
Q: How do you handle when teams have six offensive linemen?
DANNA: “Yeah, bringing in a heavy personnel, trying to run the ball. We’ve got to stay true to our gaps, play sound football, the fundamentals. When things get hard, all we can rely on is our technique and our fundamentals. We’re going to get it figured out and we’re going to go back to the drawing boards, put the pieces where they need to be and we’re going to keep on pushing.”
Q: How do you focus on this week and taking care of Philly?
DANNA: “It’s always about flipping the page, taking on the next challenge. We can’t sit and dwell about this too long. We’ve got to let it soak in, but we go watch the tape, watch the film and we take that with a grain of salt and we bounce back. We take on Philly and we respond.”
Q: Where do you start now going into the week as a defensive line group?
DANNA: “I think most importantly, staying together. There’s going to be a lot of outside influences, outside voices trying to pick apart our defense or pick apart our offense. All we got to do as a team is stay together and rely on each other and play for the dude next to you.”
LB ANTHONY HITCHENS
Q: Did you get any clarification on the pass interference call?
HITCHENS: “No, not really. I didn’t really see the whole play. It is what it is. At the end of the day, you can’t change the call or anything like that. I think they called it a holding. We have to live with it and go back to work on Tuesday.”
Q: Were you surprised the Chargers went for it on 4th down on their last scoring drive?
HITCHENS: “To be honest, that is what we were expecting. Teams are doing everything possible to not put the ball back in Pat’s hands. Sometimes you have to go for it on fourth down and we realize that. For us, I think we had a good call. We had tight coverage, and I think that is all you can ask for on 4th down.”
Q: Given that the offense had 4 turnovers today, despite giving up 30 points, do you feel the defense played better today?
HITCHENS: “The points only matter when you win. It is okay to give up 40 but when you lose you’ve done no good. It is whatever we can do to win a game. If we had come out of last week with a win then it would have been okay. At the end of the day, it’s about winning and losing. Points matter but it really doesn’t. We gave up too many points today and lost. That’s how we look at it. It’s either did you win or lose and we lost.”
Q: What do you think are some of the issues that are going into the redzone defense?
HITCHENS: “It’s a lot of things. That was our goal this year, to get better. That’s a little frustrating. Focusing on that all offseason, OTAs and Camp and three straight games and teams are scoring seven points down there. We have to get it fixed some way, somehow. Our coaches are going to be digging into film and so is scouting and things like that this week. We have to get it right. I am one of the leaders on this defense, so I will be the first one to say, I messed up. If I’m wrong, I’m wrong and I’m just trying to get it right so we can win. If you think about it, you get down there and give up three points versus seven, that’s a four-point swing. A team gets down there three times, that could be a different ballgame out there. We have to try to give up three instead of seven.”
Q: So what are the issues with the redzone defense?
HITCHENS: You can’t just point at one. I can’t talk for other position groups. I am not going to sit up here and say it’s DBs or D Line. All I can say is linebackers, we have to continue to be downhill in the redzone and match our coverage a little tighter. I’m not going to speak on any other positions but my own.”
RB CLYDE EDWARDS-HELAIRE
Q: What is the mood in the locker room right now?
EDWARDS-HELAIRE: “It is just completely different. We just lost. It is not going be upbeat or happy but understanding that, from an offensive standpoint, we can’t turn the ball over. Four turnovers in a game is completely unreasonable for us. We completely understand that. It’s supposed to hurt because this is our profession, this is what we do. We want to come out and get a W. Ultimately, we will watch the film to see what can be corrected and right now we know it’s turnovers. We kind of beat ourselves, beat ourselves up. As far as everything I feel and everything I’ve seen, from an offensive standpoint, turnovers is what killed us.”
Q: Did you know, coming into the game that you were going to be the focal point of the offense?
EDWARDS-HELAIRE: “We don’t go into the game saying we are going to just give you the ball and you are supposed run this and do this. It’s the game plan. We go out there and execute. The things that go, we run, and the things that don’t, we don’t run. It’s the call sheet with over two to three hundred plays. Ultimately, we know what we can run as far as getting coverages or anything that we see. The run game was working so we stuck with it at some points of the game. At the time, I had the hot hand, so we stuck with it.”
Q: Can you compare the fumble from last week to this week and is there something you can do to avoid fumbling the ball?
EDWARDS-HELAIRE: “It was two different runs and two different ways I fumbled the ball. Today, I was on the way down and kind of rolled over a guy not really knowing what was going on and ended up getting hit from the back. I didn’t really see the defender coming so I really couldn’t tell you. That’s pretty much it.”
Q: What was the message on the sideline to you that allowed you to come back from fumbling the ball to have a good game?
EDWARDS-HELAIRE: “I got picked up by my teammates. I have to go out there and play my game. I’ve always told my coaches and everyone I communicate with that when I put my helmet on that’s my time to kind of be myself and be me. Things happen. Fumbles are going to happen. I play running back. I’m going to get the ball. You are not going to have your whole career with no fumbles. It felt like that last year, but it came to a complete halt the last two weeks but it’s really about how you respond. My whole life, it’s not the longest life so far, but I’ve had some trials and tribulations that’s a little tougher than the normal individual. As far as rebounding from something like that, I’m not going to say it’s just a game. It’s my livelihood. When I put my helmet on, that’s my time to be me.”