Read what Andy Reid said on Monday, coming off the playoff bye week.
OPENING STATEMENT: “Alright, the guys that won’t practice today – really, it’s just Mecole (Hardman). (We’re) just going to back off him a little bit and see if we can get it feeling better. He’s been pushing it hard, and it’s not responding the way that he wants it or would want it to, so we’ll back off on that. So we look forward to the challenge of – everybody else will practice – we look forward to the challenge of playing Jacksonville, we know they’re a good football team. They’ve only lost one game since we’ve played them so they’re playing real good football, and we know they’re well coached so we’re going to get ourselves ready this week with some good practices. The other two that I should probably mention to you are Clyde (Edwards-Helaire) and Jody (Fortson) will practice today so we’re going to ease them back in just to see how they do and try to get them back into the swing of things. Anyways with that, the time’s yours.”
Q: You mentioned things were different with the Jacksonville Jaguars now. What stands out to you?
REID: “Their offense is executing very well. I think they’ve got a pretty good grasp of what (Jaguars Head Coach) Doug’s (Pederson) expecting from them, and I would say the same thing with (Jaguars Defensive Coordinator) Mike Caldwell’s defense that they have a lot of phenomenal players on that defense and they’re playing faster than (when) we saw them the last time. I think they’re just more comfortable overall (and) the speed comes with that.”
Q: What is it about Jaguars Head Coach Doug Pederson’s personality that makes people enjoy playing for him?
REID: “He played, obviously, and he knows what kind of coach he liked and didn’t like, and so within his own personality, he presents it in a friendly manner but yet demanding of the guys and I think that’s a positive thing. He was that way – I was with him when he was a player and I was with him as a coach, so he’s got a good way about him.”
Q: What stands out to you the most about how Coach Pederson was able to close out the season and come back and finish strong?
REID: “Tremendous coaching job. Phenomenal coaching job. I’d imagine he’s up for the coach of the year by his performance and how he’s resurrected that program there. That’s not an easy thing to do, and he’s done it as well or better than anybody.”
Q: With a lot of rookies and second year players, is it better for you to have played the Jaguars earlier in the season?
REID: “There’s going to be some familiarity on both sides, I think. I think they’ll feel probably the same way, but we’re a little different and they’re a little different in some areas, too. So I think for the young guys that was a good experience to play against them. They know the speed of the players that they’re going to play against, but they’ve put in a few more wrinkles in there so you’ve got to make sure you cover
it. Will it help you or hurt you? I’d say it probably helped but again, I think those kids have really progressed and done a nice job with it.”
Q: After struggling in the first half, the Jaguars were able to come back and win last week. What does that say about the confidence that the team is going to have coming into GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium?
REID: “They’ll be confident (and) they should be. He (Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence) did a great job of that, of not falling apart and making it happen. That doesn’t happen very often in this league (and) he did a nice job with it.”
Q: Do you still have optimism that Mecole Hardman will be back at some point this season?
REID: “Yeah, he does, and we do. You just want to try not to take steps back – it’s not that we’re taking steps back, it’s just that it’s not getting (to) where it needs to be to where he can go. So, our feeling is if we just back off on it and let it rest a little bit here and do his rehab, he has a chance to be better. He doesn’t want to, and we don’t want to put him out there in a bad situation where he can’t play.”
Q: Is Frank Clark trending in the right direction?
REID: “Yes, Frank (Clark) is working very hard at that but yes, he is progressing.”
Q: When you look at Nick Bolton’s entire body of work this regular season, how impressive has his production been this year?
REID: “I think he’s done a great job of understanding and leading the defense. He’s got to make all the calls, he’s the transmitter between the front and the back end (of the defense). He’s done a great job with communicating that and still being – with that load – still being the player and making the tackles that he’s made. He’s as sure (of a) tackler that you have in this league.”
Q: When you look at Patrick Mahomes from last year to this year, what has he done to improve?
REID: “I think he’s done a great job of working with change. That was something that he didn’t have to worry about for a few years so all of a sudden his coach leaves, his position coach, (and) a new one comes in (and) he works with that. All of a sudden his receiving core, for the most part, with the exception of Mecole, they leave (and a) new group comes in. He didn’t flinch on it, he didn’t complain, he didn’t run up to (General Manager Brett) Veach and go, ‘What are we doing,’ or that type of thing, that’s not what he did. He just said, ‘I understand, let’s go.’ That’s why my hat goes off to him for doing that and then playing at the level he’s playing at and those guys are playing at (is) tremendous.”
Q: Offensive Coordinator Eric Bieniemy had an interview this week for a head coaching job. Do you think anyone else on your staff will have any interviews this week?
REID: “I haven’t heard anything, no.”
Q: What have you seen from the rookie defensive backs that suggest that they are ready to take on the challenge of the playoffs?
REID: “I thought that they progressively got better throughout the years, in particular kind of down the stretch there. They started getting their hands on balls, (they) were not always interceptions but they were in position to make the play. I thought their tackling improved, the angles that they were taking so that comes down to getting – I look at that and I go, ‘Alright, (that’s the) speed of the game. They’re
getting a better feel for that,’ and this will be faster than the other ones, that’s how it works in the playoffs so they’ll have to take another step here.”
Q: Travis Kelce mentioned a week ago that you can get his father open. You’ve had the ability to get Jerick McKinnon open a lot and he’s on a consecutive touchdown streak. What has been the key to that?
REID: “(He’s) very smart (and he’s) a very good football player. The awareness part (and) all the intangible things, he has that. He can see the field (and) feel it, he was a quarterback (and) it probably helped him because you’ve got to be able to do that and he was able to transfer that into run blocking (because) he had to know that as a quarterback (like), ‘Okay, how are they blocking here and how are they setting up a three techniques so I can work off of it.’ All those things, he’s very good at. Then as far as the getting open part, that’s all the coaches. Everybody has a piece of that pie, even some of the players. They put in (and) they enjoy doing that so that’s everybody.”
Q: With McKinnon getting AFC Player of the Month, how did the team react to really a part-time/rotational guy being able to win an award almost with half the snaps?
REID: “Yeah listen, they love (Jerick) McKinnon. He’s that kind of guy. He’s like everybody’s big brother and he’s funny – he’s got the high-pitched voice (laughter). He’s funny as all get up. Everybody thinks the world of him and loved him – any accolades he gets, they love.”
Q: For clarification purposes, Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Jody Fortson have been designated for return?
REID: “Yeah, yeah.”
Q: Over the weekend we saw how critical short yardage can be. When you get to those situations particularly in a game where your season is on the line, what are the key points that you want to sort of remind the guys about short yardage?
REID: “Yeah, sure. Well execution’s probably one. You got to block them – you’re saying on the offensive side, right? The blocking becomes most important. And then, if it’s a pass, the execution of the route running. You’re not ever sure of what the coverage is going to be exactly, so you got to be sharp on that. If it’s a run play – when your juices are flowing and you’re going to be handed that ball, can you just pump the brakes for a tick? Let those guys take care of business and then hit it from there.”