Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid Quotes
January 24, 2024
OPENING STATEMENT: “Alright, I can give you a couple injuries here. Guys that won’t practice today, Skyy Moore, Trey Smith is sick, Mike Edwards – still in the (concussion) protocol, (Isiah) Pacheco – his toe, but getting better, and Joe Thuney with a peck strain. Look forward to the challenge of playing the Ravens, heck of a football team, very well coached. (Ravens Head Coach) John (Harbaugh) does a phenomenal job there as the head football coach. He knows the whole game. He was a great special teams coach, great secondary coach, and he’s been a great head coach and very proud of him for all that he’s done and accomplished. Then (Ravens Defensive Coordinator) Mike (Macdonald) working with the defense, he’s not only done it now in the NFL, but he did it at a Division I school in Michigan, did a great job there and came back to the Ravens and has really put together a good defense with a heck of a scheme. (Ravens Offensive Coordinator) Todd (Monken) has done the same thing offensively. They’re playing well. Their quarterback is a spectacular player and playing well – as is the other guys, but obviously it starts with him. Anyways with that, time’s yours.”
Q: Can you describe the relationship between Travis Kelce and Patrick Mahomes and what it has meant to this whole era for you guys?
REID: “They’ve got a special chemistry. I experienced it with Brett (Favre) and (Sterling) Sharpe, I mean they were phenomenal together and then I experienced it with TO (Terrell Owens) and Donovan (McNabb), they were great together. (Also) DeSean Jackson stepped in and that chemistry there with Jeremy (Maclin) and then come here and these guys develop this chemistry. It’s been – I’ve been fortunate to be around that, but it’s hard to explain why and how these guys connect like that but they do. They both have great feel for the game and then they have a great feel for what the other one sees and is going to do in a very short time span.”
Q: Is there any way to summarize how their connection and your faith in that allows you to focus on other parts of the gameplan?
REID: “Listen, it’s a part of the equation obviously, a big part of it and it has been. It allows you to do other things and play off of that. There’s some other ingredients that have to take place to make it all work.”
Q: On Chamarri Conner and Nick Allegretti’s performance.
REID: “Listen, I thought Chamarri (Conner) did a nice job in there. That encompasses calls and playing for a young guy to go on and be able to communicate back there is not the easiest thing and he did it well. I think it helped that he’s been able to go in at nickel situations, dime situations, so it’s not his first time he was in the game but it was for that extended period of time and I thought he did a nice job. Physical, good tackler did well on the coverage game. (Nick) Allegretti is a guy that has started for us for a number of games. All of the guys look at him like he’s a starter, so everybody’s got confidence that he can come in and do a nice job, tough kid, not everything is the prettiest thing that you’ve ever seen but he’s going to fight you right to the end and he’s smart, good combination.”
Q: How complete is this defense you’re about to face?
REID: “They do a great job. Like I said (Ravens Defensive Coordinator) Mike (Macdonald), his scheme in which he’s added his touch, too, with the group there. They’ve got multiple fronts, multiple coverages, they execute them well. Other teams that try to do a lot, don’t do it as well as this group does. Not only are the players listening, but they’re being taught the right things and they’re able to go out and perform at a high level.”
Q: At what point did you start to get ready for the Ravens?
REID: “Once I got back, I went in and started them.”
Q: Is it a situation where you’re at the office most of the night?
REID: “I just stayed there. It’s (the roads) slippery out there.”
Q: Since it’s been a while, how was it playing a road playoff game?
REID: “I didn’t think much of going on the road and playing would be that much different because we do it during the season and you’ve had some crowds – Green Bay was a wild crowd, loud, packed up there and other places that we’ve gone are wild, so I didn’t look at it. You add on top of that, that’s a great environment up there to play a game in. Even though they’re against you, that’s football right there. They love their team and they’re passionate, very similar to coming in here to GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium, so it’s a great environment and that’s why I’ve tried to look at that.”
Q: Did it give you any satisfaction to see the players embracing the ‘bad guys’ role?
REID: “I thought the guys stuck together, and I would say this at home and away, against you’re on the road and that is part of it but the guys they stuck together through the ups and the downs of the game which every game presents and they kept battling and kept hope. I mentioned after the game that I thought that was the thing that jumped out at me the most, not that I didn’t. They would do it but just at the level they did it. Supporting each other and nobody flinched, blinked and just kept battling.”
Q: What do you think the reason is for your run attack game to have improved so much is the postseason thus far?
REID: “I thought we did ok during the year with opportunities there, but I would tell you that (Offensive Line Coach) Andy Heck does a heck of a job – no pun intended (laughter) – but he does a heck of a job with designing the runs and the guys execute them. Obviously, (Isiah) Pacheco back healthy, you’ve got a nice rotation in there that you can go to and the guys – as well as Pacheco’s doing – Clyde (Edwards-Helaire) when he has an opportunity jumps in and does a nice job also. The offensive line takes a lot of pride in doing what they do, and they know that it starts with them and I think they’ve been very accurate with their blocking assignments.”
Q: How beneficial was it for the young guys to go through the ups and downs of this season?
REID: “It grows you, as you’d say. There’s a lot of parity in this league and you better figure that out early, and it’s not an easy ride. You have to be able to battle and battle through things and I can tell the guys, the veterans can tell the guys, but the young guys have to experience it. I thought they handled It well, they kept pushing forward, kind of focused on the job at hand and that was getting better in some cases, just becoming better at their game.”
Q: What did your conversations with Patrick look like to keep him positive throughout the bumps of the season?
REID: “Listen, Pat (Mahomes) is a perfectionist, and he’s competitive. He’s as competitive as any of us right here and more so. He wants it right around him, but he’s willing to teach which – that’s the unique part. He’s willing to share what he sees with the guys from his sight and help the guys get into position. As long as the guys are willing to work, he’s all in. That’s what I saw, and the frustration is more off of feeling urgency and winning games. I mean that’s what he’s all about. I’m not sure there was a frustration other than, ‘Hey, let’s go. We’re playing at the highest level in the world, and if you’re going to be as good as we think we’re going to be, then our error margin is like this big (small gesture) so you’ve got to tighten it down.’”
Q: Has it been harder for Travis Kelce to focus due to his new relationship and doing TV appearances?
REID: “I haven’t really seen it affect him in any way. You know he’s kind of worked through being banged up, and I think that week off there helped him and I haven’t seen anything with his relationship, with his off the field stuff, with the commercials, Saturday Night Live, all that stuff, he just goes. I think all that plays into what he is. That’s just part of it. He does all that stuff real easy, I don’t think that gets him out of his personality and he has to change at all.”
Q: Did any of that pose an extra challenge for you this season?
REID: “Not at all, no.”
Q: How important has centers and guards been this year to allow Patrick Mahomes to do what he has done all season?
REID: “Well, that’s the shortest distance to the quarterback, so to have strength there inside is important. To be able to stay squared for as long as you can inside is important, that takes strength. That’s important. I think it’s also important that they’re good communicators to the tackles, those are new guys to the system, so they’ve helped encourage them along the way and help teach them, too.”
Q: What about Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh made you want him to be on your first staff and did you know him at all before you got to Philadelphia?
REID: “I knew his (Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh) dad (former NCAA football coach Jack Harbaugh), that’s who I knew, and his dad is the best. He was real close with (Former BYU head coach) LaVell Edwards. I did a thing at a hospital one time with the two of them (LaVell and Jack) when I was a young coach, when I was the guy carrying coach Edward’s bag. I got to know him, and we were like the three coaches out of the whole convention that showed up at the hospital, so we spent a couple days together and it was great. I never forgot that part. When I met John (Harbaugh) I’m going, ‘Man if you’re half as good as your dad, you’re on,’ so it didn’t take very long. He is that, you know, he’s got a great mentor, obviously both brothers are tremendous guys.”
Chiefs Player Quotes
January 24, 2024
QB PATRICK MAHOMES
Q: How do you like competing against Ravens QB Lamar Jackson?
MAHOMES: “It’s challenging, the way he’s able to just be a competitor and just score the football obviously, then their entire team – it’s a tall task. You have to go out there and play your best football, and if you make any mistakes, it seems like the game’s going to go the other way. We’ve been able to play in a couple of games, not in a few years now, but I’ve admired watching him from afar and know that it’s going to be a great challenge for us every time we go up against him.”
Q: Is there an extra challenge facing a guy like Ravens QB Lamar Jackson who is playing at such a high level?
MAHOMES: “Yeah, he’s going to be the MVP for a reason. He goes out there, he leads his team, he scores, he runs, he throws, he does whatever it takes to win, and that’s what the greats do. Like I said, it will be a great challenge for our defense, but also a great challenge for our offense going against their defense. It’s going to take a full team effort if we want to find a way to get a win.”
Q: Are there parts of Ravens QB Lamar Jackson’s game that you particularly appreciate?
MAHOMES: “I think the biggest thing you like to see in another quarterback is how they improve every single year. Obviously, everybody has talked about his running, but you can see how he’s developed as a passer. Throwing from within the pocket, arm angles, making the accurate throw in big situations and big moments. That’s what the great quarterbacks do. He continues to get better and better every single year. I knew we were going to play in a lot of games like this as our careers go, and I’m sure this will be the first of many.”
Q: Over the past six years have you taken a moment to appreciate the streak you are on of getting to the AFC Championship game?
MAHOMES: “You do after the season. You’re so motivated week in and week out, day in and day out trying to find a way to get to the Super Bowl and obviously trying to find a way to win it. I do have an appreciation for where I ended up and the players I have around me, the coaches that I have around me, and the organization that I’m in and that we are lucky enough to be in this position. That’s stuff you want to look at when you’re done playing, so right now I’m just focused on today and how I can get better.”
Q: It seems like around the league teams have drama among themselves. How has your team been so good at being on the same page all the time?
MAHOMES: “It’s (Head) Coach (Andy) Reid. The mindset that he comes in the building with every single day and the leadership that he has. He comes in and we’re about ball and we’re having our brothers back, going in there and doing whatever we can to win, but at the same time love each other and get the best we can out of each other every single day on and off the field. That’s kind of the culture I got brought into, so I can’t take claim to that, that’s stuff that he’s had going for a long time.”
Q: This is the first AFC Championship game with two black starting quarterbacks, is how people perceive black quarterbacks something you look at?
MAHOMES: “I think so a little bit, but to me there never was criticisms (of Ravens QB Lamar Jackson), you just cut the tape on and watch him play. I mean the dude won the MVP his first full year starting, and he was throwing the football, he was running the football, he was doing whatever it took to win. I think we’ve started to break through that mold now, the quarterbacks that came before us kind of set the standard and we’ve been able to keep rising the level to hopefully even higher standards and hopefully the kids behind us do the same. I’m glad to see the level he continues to grow (to) and get better and better. Obviously, I don’t want him to play great this weekend, but I am glad to see where he’s gotten to.”
Q: Head Coach Andy Reid said it’s hard to explain the connection between you and Travis Kelce. Why are you guys able to connect so successfully?
MAHOMES: “I think it’s just at the end of the day we want to compete. We want to go out there and win. We don’t care how it’s done, we don’t care if we have a lot of yards, a lot of touchdowns we just want to win. You can see that when you hear him talk, it’s about everyone’s success not just his. I respect that. Like I said he was here before I got here, so I could see that from day one when I stepped in the building. When you have a bunch of guys that really want to win no matter what it takes, no matter who gets the shine, that’s when you get the great football teams.”
Q: What has it been like to be around Travis Kelce this year with all his off the field attention?
MAHOMES: “Travis (Kelce) has always been Travis at the end of the day. It’s been cool to watch for me because – I mean obviously he has all that attention, but he’s just been himself the whole time. He’s still Travis Kelce. He still will walk through the stadium and treat every single person like they’re his best friend, and he’s going to be like that in the locker room every single day. It hasn’t been any different to me. I’ve come to the building, come to work every single day, and (I’m) lucky enough that I have a lot of great players around me and Travis is one of them.”
Q: What was it like seeing Travis Kelce on Saturday Night Live?
MAHOMES: “It was really cool. I was sad I didn’t get to make it – I was with one of my best friends growing up, (his) bachelor party that weekend. I was a groomsman in the wedding, so it would have been tough to tell him I couldn’t go (laughter). Being able to watch that, I know it was a dream of his (Travis Kelce). He knows all the skits from guys that have been on Saturday Night Live growing up, and he’s always telling me ones from before I was even born and I’m like, ‘Trav I’m not the same age as you dude, I don’t know what that is (laughter).’ It was definitely something that was a goal of his to just be on the show, but to be able to host it – and he crushed it man. That’s something that hopefully longer down the line, if I can keep hanging him on, that he’ll be able to do more of that type of stuff after he’s done playing football.”
Q: Head Coach Andy Reid says you’ve been willing to teach and work with the guys. Where does that come from and why do you approach it that way?
MAHOMES: “I think it just comes from the guys before me (Former Chiefs QB) Alex Smith is the prime example. He was playing great football at the top level, and he was teaching me at the same time. It’s about trying to make everybody better. We want to win every single week, that’s just how it is in the NFL, but you’re not going to, so all you can do is get better each and every week win or lose. The guys did that, and that’s why we’re sitting in this football game now and we’re going to try to do our best to try to win this game and get better for the Super Bowl after this.”
Q: What is the challenge and process of moving on from the high of an emotional playoff win and moving your focus to the next one?
MAHOMES: “I’ve learned it just from doing it, having those experiences. Your ultimate goal is to get to the Super Bowl, but it takes a day-by-day process, step-by-step. I’ve just learned you celebrate; you have those emotions and then you come in that Monday, and you wipe it all clean and you go back to game planning again. You really want to celebrate – you hope to have that parade and that’s when you can really celebrate. I try to keep that in the back of guys minds that, ‘Yeah it was awesome, we won the game, we’ll celebrate, we land (and get) off the plane and now we’re moving on to the next week.’”
Q: Most of your life the Patriots dominated the NFL, you have started on the path as the team replacing them. Do you relish that?
MAHOMES: “We’ve still got a long way to go, they did it for 20 years. All we can do is take it year in year out, week in week out and every single day. That’s the long goal, to win that many championships and bring those titles to this organization, but all we can do is focus on the Ravens this week and that’s what we’re trying to do.”
RB ISIAH PACHECO
Q: Can you take us through the mindset when you get the ball at the end of the game and know you just need one first down to end the game?
PACHECO: “Yes, just knowing that situation is extremely important, you (normally) only get those situations in practice and when you rep it and rep it and rep it, when it comes in a game, and it happens it’s like second nature. For us just understand the scheme, understand when you did that in practice before – that’s the mindset of me getting a first down and having the O-line finish on that play.”
Q: Is there special enjoyment when you have situations like that where you get to finish off the game?
PACHECO: “Yeah definitely. It’s a big enjoyment, you won the game right there, it’s all said and done. You don’t have to send the defense back out there to get a punt or just have them back out there. It eliminates that part of the game and is a big win for us.”
Q: Since the Bengals game in Week 17 the offense has gotten better. What changed?
PACHECO: “I’d say the intensity changed, it’s the grit, you could see in the eyes in the huddle and the way they bite their mouth pieces down from the start of practice. When it’s group install, it’s not just group install, it’s the beginning of practice, it’s the beginning of the game. That’s the mindset we have to have because when it’s said and done and the ball is snapped, it’s over.”
DT CHRIS JONES
Q: How challenging is It going up against Ravens QB Lamar Jackson?
JONES: “He’s an MVP caliber quarterback. He has a good chance of winning MVP this year, that just shows you how dynamic a player he is. That defense is one of the best defenses in the league. I think overall as a team they’re one of the best teams in the league. They’ve showed that throughout the year, how competitive they are against the better teams in the league. Look at a team like San Fran (the 49ers) look at what they did to Miami. They’ve been showing that type of dominance throughout this year, so it’s going to be tough, it’s a challenge, but I’m excited for it.”
Q: Where have you grown mentally in the game over the past few years?
JONES: “I think it’s a week in (and) week (out) thing. Every game has its challenges, its mental challenges that you have to face and also the physical aspect. You’ve got the finesse teams, you’ve got the downhill running teams, and then you’ve got the Baltimore Ravens who can do a little bit of both. They can run the ball, they can pass the ball, they’ve got weapons on the outside, but they also have a dominate offensive line who can just run the ball. I think it’s a great challenge ahead of us. I think we’ll watch a little more film and see what we can do.”
Q: What’s the appreciation level of the fact that you’ve been in the AFC Championship game for six straight years?
JONES: “I think it just goes to show the dedication with the guys in this organization from top to bottom. Whether it’s the coaches, whether it’s the players – I don’t think individuals can get you this far in this league, it takes a team(s) collective effort. I think it’s a lot of dedication, a lot of support and a lot of unselfishness amongst that. A lot of commitment from guys – from the practice squad guys from your role players to your leaders and with that a little luck.”
K HARRISON BUTKER
Q: How crazy was the wind last weekend in Buffalo?
BUTKER: “Yeah, it was tough. The wind wasn’t super intense. I think in the game against the Dolphins, the wind was higher, but the Bills stadium is definitely lower. That wind was coming from the west, I think and because their stadium is so low, we were experiencing all of the wind. If you have a stadium like GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium, or a bigger stadium, the wind is coming from way up high, dipping down and swirling more. I haven’t played in a game where there was wind that hard (in) one direction in a while, but I think it was because of the configuration of the stadium. It was tough going that direction. I think Tony Romo mentioned that I had missed short from 51 or 52 (yards) short in warm-ups. We were both struggling, Tyler Bass and myself. Our range going that direction was 48 yards, so 47 was just enough. You can see on the network broadcast that I’m just checking to see if it went over the crossbar, but it did.”
Q: How much have you admired Ravens K Justin Tucker over the course of your career?
BUTKER: “I think (Ravens K Justin) Tucker is on year 12, and I’m on year 7, fact check me, but he’s got more years than I do. I remember when I was in college at least, just on YouTube – I guess probably even senior year of high school, going on YouTube to see his – he posted a workout where he’s in his Texas clothes out in their stadium, hitting 10 kicks in a row, moving the tripod around and just watching his form. Seeing when he replaced (former NFL K) Billy Cundiff for the Ravens and how he came in as a rookie, free agent guy, and really made a big difference for their team. I don’t know what the career field goal percentage was when he came into the league, probably around 86% or so, and boom, he’s up to 90+. He’s stayed there for such a long career, no injuries, he makes it look effortless. I think he’s really changed the kicking game and pushed it forward which is great, so now all of us young kickers, we have someone to look to and say you know it is possible to make these 65-yard field goals and make these big game-winning kicks. It is cool to see a kicker who is kind of an artist, he dances after, he just does a lot of stuff that is very different than most other kickers. He’s done an amazing job in his career.”
Q: Is there anything in particular that you did this season to enhance your kicking game?
BUTKER: “I think it’s a lot of different things that have helped. Physically, I’m feeling really good. I’m prioritizing sleep, family life, it’s going really well with my wife and children. I think there’s a lot of balance when I come into the facilities. When I’m here, I’m able to attack and do my best. I feel like that’s just helped me be consistent. On game day, I think I’ve done a really good job of staying locked in and focused on what I can control, not worrying about anything else. Also, I say this a lot, I can do everything to prepare for the game throughout the week, throughout the offseason, but when I go out there, it really does feel like God can make that ball go in or he can make it not go in. The difference between having a season where you’re at 94% or maybe 84% is just a couple of misses. It could be some freak things that causes the ball to go in or not go in. I’m just very thankful to have made all of those kicks. Again, I don’t think it’s all me, I think there’s something else that’s helping.”
C CREED HUMPHREY
Q: You’ve had some trouble with some low snaps this season. What do you do to try to correct that?
HUMPHREY: “Get extra snaps in during the week, things like that. Just move on to the next play and make sure you’re doing it right the next play.”
Q: What have you guys seen so far from the Ravens’ defensive front?
HUMPHREY: “They’re a great defensive front, they have a great defense, really physical, really aggressive. It’ll be a tough challenge for us, but we’re excited about it and ready to get it rolling.”
Q: Is Ravens DT Justin Madubuike as good of defensive tackle as you’ve seen on film this year?
HUMPHREY: “Yeah, he’s (Ravens DT Justin Madubuike) really talented. He’s really athletic, really strong, great with his hands. He’s a great player.”
S JUSTIN REID
Q: You’ve played against Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce but now you play alongside of them. What was it like when you did go against them and what is it like now being their teammate?
REID: “It’s a hell of a lot more fun to play with them than it is to play against them, that’s first and foremost. When I was with Houston, we played against Travis (Kelce), and it’s just a tough matchup. Those guys are both so cerebral and smart, played a lot of football and their chemistry is at a level where they’re able to create a lot of routes to where it is almost impossible to defend. You’re playing along with what you see on the tape and when you get to the game and see the same formation, and they do something different, based off what they see and they’re able to get the ball to each other. It’s truly a dynamic and special relationship that those two have, both on the field and off the field. Like I said, it’s a lot more fun to be on this side of it than being the guy to defend it.”
Q: You just faced a running quarterback in Bills QB Josh Allen. How different is Ravens QB Lamar Jackson and how do you guys prepare for that?
REID: “All of them are unique. (Ravens QB) Lamar’s (Jackson) athleticism is second to none. His strength, his power, the way that he’s able to run the ball, his speed to get around the edge and be able to get North and South, all of those things are a big challenge for us, so we’re going to have to have our p’s and q’s knocked out on. Try to contain him in the pocket as much as we can to make sure that we get him on the ground in those times that he does run. He can still make all of the throws like everybody else. When you get to this level of football, all the games are at the highest level that they can possibly be. You’ve got superstar quarterbacks, superstar tight ends. You’ve got skill talent across the board, offensive lines are all physical and aggressive, defenses are good. This is exactly what we want as competitors. It’s a well-coached football team over there. We’re going to need to go match that, dominate in a hostile environment.”
Q: You’ve held teams to 7 points or less in the second half in the last 7 games. What has been the key to success for you guys as a defense with the adjustments you guys make?
REID: “That’s the (Defensive Coordinator Steve) Spagnuolo effect. We make adjustments at halftime. We have the players that are able to take in those adjustments. Some of the things we put in, we don’t even practice throughout the week, but it’s just based on what we’ve seen and what we’ve been getting throughout the day, and we put it in, and we go out and execute and good things can happen. We believe in him wholeheartedly; he believes in us and we believe in each other. Nobody goes out there and tries to play hero ball. We just play the defense, play our responsibility with intensity and a little bit of violence, and good things happen.”