HEAD COACH ANDY REID
“No injuries to talk about. Listen, our fans were unbelievable today. I think we had more fans than maybe what the Texans had. It was great to see all that red, and I think that helped us with the support down in that overtime. It was a weird game. My hat goes off to Lovie (Smith) for the great job he’s done here. I mean, you’ve seen it the last two weeks. It’s a hard job, and it takes time as a head coach. Lovie, my word of advice is just give him time. He’s a tremendous football coach. I’ve had a chance to compete against him for a number of years and just rock-solid football teams. The thing I was proudest about our guys was they kept playing. They didn’t let anything hinder them, whether it was calls, whether it was fumbles, whatever. They kept playing. Defensively that was a real strength. And then Frank (Clark) at the end, that relentless pursuit making the play like he did. Willie (Gay) getting under the pile there and making sure we got that football in hand. Then offensively between Pat (Mahomes) and (Travis) Kelce and (Isiah) Pacheco and (Jerick) McKinnon, they had a great day. Quez’s (Valdes-Scantling) catch before the half, I thought was phenomenal. Just all around a good fight. We’ve got to do better in the penalty area, turnover area. We’ve got to make sure we fix this. We’ll get back on that. The important thing is we won the game, and they’re tough to get in this league. We’re going to enjoy this one on the way home, and then we’ll get ready for a good Seattle team coming in on Christmas Eve.”
What’s the general feeling after a game like that?
“You know what, the guys were fired up. That’s a hard-hitting group, football team. Our team knew they were well coached. I mentioned it to you guys, I mentioned it to the team, you can’t in today’s world, the NFL, you can’t go by the record. Everything is so close, the parity, and you’re off by like a fingertip catch or maybe a penalty or a turnover. It’s just one thing. It’s never been where there have been so many close games as there are now that have been determined by one score. The tape tells you the story. You put on the tape. We knew it was going to be a battle. We felt that going in. Like I said, a well-coached team with good players. It was important that we kept going through four quarters.”
What’s going on with K Harrison Butker?
“You know what, being a kicker is little like being a batter, and sometimes you get in a slump. He’s a great one, and he’ll get through it, and then he’ll come out of it even better than what he was. You got to keep kicking, and that’s what we’re going to do with him.”
You mentioned RB Isiah Pacheco had the early fumble. What was your message to him?
“Just keep your eyes up. He put his head down, and they were able to get underneath that. Just keep your eyes up, and you have a better chance of hanging onto that thing. He had two hands on it, so he did good there. But sometimes when you bend over like that, they can get you.”
You had the trust in RB Isiah Pacheco to put him back in?
You got the ball with about five minutes left. I know you don’t want to give a ton of time back to Houston. What was the thought process?
“I was hoping we’d score a touchdown. Honestly, the way things were going back and forth and some of the calls that were going on, I felt like we needed to make sure we scored a touchdown. It didn’t work out that way. If we had to kick it, I was okay there too. I wasn’t — that can be taken two different ways.”
On nine games with a turnover…
“Ridiculous. You can’t have that. The guys know that. Nobody tries to turn it over, but you’ve got to do the best you can and hang onto the football and take care of the football, if it’s the quarterback. We did a good job with that.”
How do you try to clean up the penalties?
“You’ve got to work your fundamentals and techniques, and then you’ve got to trust them when you’re out there. That’s what we’ll do. That’s the simplest way. You saw Pat (Mahomes) and what he did. I mean, he took care of business today. He went back to work and worked on it. I mean, you’re talking about a guy that, if he’s not the MVP in the league, I’m not sure what’s wrong with them. But he cleaned it up and comes out, and we have almost 500 yards of offense, minus 100 of penalties. That’s a pretty spectacular day there. But that’s what he did. Great example of how you go back to the drawing board and make sure that you clean everything up.”
What’s that say about what QB Patrick Mahomes was able to do today with no turnovers and putting the team in a position to win?
“I would just repeat what I said, be simple for you.”
You mentioned the job that Lovie Smith doing. What specifically are you seeing?
“Number one, you see how this team, the heart that they play with. Then two, the defense is tremendous. I mean, he’s running it, I presume. It looks that way. They do just some good stuff on that. Offensively they’re banged up a little bit. The injuries can kind of get you there. I look at the scheme of the offense and defense and how they do on special teams, and they’re right there. They’re right there to get over that hump. This type of game helps them. The Cowboys game helps them. They will, they’ll get over the hump and be right there for you next year.”
How did you guys feel about the two-quarterback system?
“Very creative, very creative. You have to prep for two different looks. So, they’re different offenses there. I thought the guys did okay with that part. We shot ourselves a little bit with the penalties. That’s where we got into trouble on third down and that. Got to get off the field. I thought we handled that decent.”
Another AFC West championship. Anything stand out to you about this one?
“I told the guys my hat goes off to them. That was a way to fight through it. There’s a certain — you know, you set a certain level, and all these new guys come in, and they’re going, ‘Hey, man, we’ve got to win this thing.’ There’s additional pressure on that. Just to get through it, you can see that was a positive thing, and you can sail from there. You got that done, and now you just go do your thing, go play.”
Just wondering what clarification you got on the reviewed play with WR JuJu Smith-Schuster and the fumble.
“That’s a new rule that came in last year. You guys can look it up. It’s complicated. Yeah, contact, and then forward progression and all that. There were a couple different things that go into it, but you can look at it. They were right. They were correct. Yeah, it’s a new rule. It’s the first time I’ve seen it.”
You talked about the AFC West title and what it means for the team. What does it mean for the organization?
“It’s tremendous because everybody has a piece of it, even you guys. It’s exciting for you. You get to cover a team that wins, and you’ve got something to say about it, which is good. That’s the way it is with the organization. It starts with Clark (Hunt), and we all kind of work down from there. He gives us an opportunity to win, which that’s not the case everywhere.”
I believe all ten rookies you drafted are on the active roster. Can you explain what it’s like to coach a roster that is obviously veteran laden, championship aspirations, but trying to bring rookies along?
“You’re going to have hiccups with the young guys, but they play their tail off and go a hundred miles an hour. So, you can live with that because they’re going to make some plays that are big time plays, and then there’s going to be a mistake here or there. It pays off for you down the road after they get through all this, and they’ve progressively gotten better as the season has gone on. Then we’ve got enough veterans in there that can help them with that peer part of it that you get, and our guys are good with that. Our veteran guys are real good with that.”