HEAD COACH ANDY REID
AR: As far as the injuries go, Charcandrick West had a sting [and] came in and out and then [Chris Conley]. Then [Jeremy Maclin] did as much as he could do before it tightened up on him. Then Justin Houston never quite got all the way over the hump there, so he didn't play much. My hat's off to the New England Patriots - what a great job they have done this year. [Bill Belichick] does a phenomenal job here and it gives us a great example of where we need to be, so this is a good experience for us and that's the way we'll take it. We'll learn from our mistakes and how you go about your business if you want to continue to play in the postseason, but I'm proud of my guys. They battled like crazy this year and came up a little short, so we'll be a better team for it next year.
Q: You guys were unable to do a lot of things that got you this far today. Was it just the quality of the opponent and what those guys were doing or was there more to it?
AR: I thought they did a good job. You're playing the reigning Super Bowl champs. They got healthy and had everybody out there and when you get to this level that's the way you need to roll. I think they did a nice job offensively, defensively and on special teams.
Q: When you look back at your ability to keep them in down at the two-yard line when they had that 98-yard drive, what do you think enabled them to get out?
AR: We obviously didn't cover on the deep one, but you've got to take advantage of those situations when you're backed up like that. [Tom Brady] was doing a nice job today throwing the football. Likewise on the offensive side, you can't have turnovers, right? You can't do that, so you're moving the football. Again, these are things that we can learn from and I'm telling you this is a great opportunity to learn from this if you're willing to keep your eyes and ears open.
Q: This appears to be a different offense with Julian Edelman. Why is he such a tough matchup?
AR: Well you get Danny Amendola, [Rob Gronkowski] - you've got three guys in there that are good players and there are certain combinations that you can do with [them] and they do a nice job with it. The last couple of games they had run the ball quite a little bit and this one here, they came out and threw almost every down in the first half. I'm not sure they ran it one or two times.
Q: Can you explain your clock management towards the end?
AR: Towards the end [of the game] or in the first part of it?
Q: Towards the end of the fourth quarter there...
AR: So we went hurry-up offense. You do that normally when you're down by two scores and so, time was of the essence. We got down to the one-yard line and we ended up going backwards, but we ended up punching it in there, too. I'm not exactly sure what you're talking about, but I thought that...
Q: When you guys were huddling before the two-minute warning when you were getting close to the goal line there.
AR: Yeah, we wanted to get a play off. We had 20 seconds. It was 2:20 on the clock. We wanted to make sure we got our best personnel in for that play and we didn't get that done.
Q: When Alex Smith made that great escape out of the third-and-seven and completes it to Jason Avant when you guys scored, did you feel like at that moment it's going to be your game?
AR: I thought that all the way until the end. [Tamba Hali] had an opportunity right there to pick one with fifty some odd seconds on the clock. I never felt we were out of it - that's not how I felt in this game. That's why I look forward to the next opportunity that we have like this, but I'll have to wait.
Q: How much more time before you hire an offensive coordinator?
AR: We'll see how things roll here in the next couple of days.
QUARTERBACK ALEX SMITH
Q: The fact that you guys couldn't do what you had been doing for 11 straight weeks, did that have to do with the quality of the team you guys were playing against or was there more to it than just that?
AS: I mean that certainly is a big, big part of it. Yeah, I mean they are a good football team, had a good plan against us and came out and executed. It's tough in a game like this. I mean it's this time of year. You've got injuries and guys banged up. Both sides are dealing with it and trying to deal with it. So it's certainly not an excuse, they came out and all together, they were better , executed better and certainly had a good plan versus us, and we weren't able to make the adjustments fast enough.
Q: Everybody has the injuries, Alex, but Jeremy [Maclin] really is a dimension to your team that changes things, it seems like. Can you speak to that?
AS: It was tough, we didn't know. Hats to him, I appreciate him going out there and trying to go. I mean, no one expected it and pretty gutty of him to go out there and try to do it. It's tough. I mean yeah, a player like him adds another dimension there. With [Travis] Kelce, and him, and the running game and the other guys as well, it's tough, you can't help with everybody and you find the one-on-one and that's kind of been, for a whole year, the cat and mouse. You see what they are emphasizing on and go away from it. So yeah, it's tough, but like I said, this time every team's got them. Every team is dealing with it.
Q: The clock management late in the game, it didn't seem like you guys were playing with a real sense of urgency. Is that wrong?
AS: I mean it's a fine line. I felt like we were. It's a fine line, you know, we were down numbers there at receivers. We only had three there at the end and those guys going and doing the best they can. Then it's a fine line getting in the best play versus keep going at the line of scrimmage. Certainly would have been nice to get a score before the two-minute warning, would have helped, you know tremendously, with three timeouts. That probably hurt us there, you know, having the opportunity. Probably could have just kicked off and go for the stop and then would have had decent position potentially with the three timeouts. But it definitely hurt us there not being able to get that off before the two-minute warning.
Q: So you huddled right after the two-minute warning?
AS: I mean yeah, and then came out of the huddle and had the penalty, which didn't do us a lot of good. You're right there at the doorstep, you're at the one-yard line and it's a fine line, are you just trying to punch it in? Obviously if you get stopped, the clock is running. Throwing it has the benefit of an incomplete pass, stops the clock, so then once you back up five yards, obviously we were throwing the football, so...
Q: So many ebbs and flows in the game, Alex. Frankie Hammond returns that punt, puts you guys in pretty darn good field position and down 7-3 and then...
AS: Yeah, we didn't do anything with it. Three-and-out, I think. We didn't do anything with that field position. You've got to be able to take advantage of that when it comes. I mean you don't know when you are going to get that kind of field position, right on the fringe of field goal range. I mean, if you get any yards there, you probably got points and we weren't able to do anything. Yeah, looking back, certainly a missed opportunity there.
Q: Why did some of those sustained drives you had going in the first half fall through in the red zone?
AS: That's a great question. We will have to look at film. I think, right now off the top of my head, putting ourselves in some bad third downs, not being productive on first and second downs hurt us. Definitely the difference in the game early on, was the red zone. They went three-for-three, and we got in, and we had to settle for some field goals there early, which had us playing catch up.
Q: Alex, I think it was third-and-seven in the third quarter, where you had the great escape. Flashback to that, and what you saw, and how much did you think that might be a catalyst at that point?
AS: Yeah, I mean they are good up front and present a lot of different looks and fronts. And they do a bunch of different stuff, they are really well coached, they are good players and they do it well. You know, at that point, third-and-seven, I was just trying to make a play, not really even thinking to be totally honest. Just back there reacting.
Q: In terms of that though, did you feel a certain 'game is already on the line' moment there?
AS: Yeah, a little bit. I mean I don't remember what the score was exactly at that point, but certainly at that point, it's try to make a play. I mean you're trying to smart with it, but yeah.
Q: Probably a tough question in the emotion of the moment, but how are you going to remember this season?
AS: I mean it's crazy how fast it ends. I mean it's over. It's over right now and it's just like that. And we weren't able to get it done today and that's how it goes. Yeah, there are no real moral victories in this deal. It's everybody trying to get that trophy, that ring. Everybody else is wishing they had done something different. Certainly the hole we dug ourselves put us at a disadvantage, and in the Wild Card spot, but it was something to battle back from that. Yeah, you come away with 'what ifs' looking back.
Q: You talk about 'what ifs' and where you want to go. Is it too early to put into context of how close you really are to being where you want to go?
AS: Yeah, I think if anything, this team has the confidence. Certainly there will be changes this year, there are changes for every team, every offseason, but I think the core of this team feels that if we play the game we are capable of, that yeah, we can play and beat anybody. You know if anything, I think this year has taught us that it's the preparation and the mindset and all the little things that go into that. Oftentimes, those are the difference makers.
Q: What do you lose without Doug Pederson?
AS: Yeah, obviously, I know he interviewed for the job and you hear all the reports and this and that, obviously all unofficial. If that's the case, I'm happy for him. He's the real deal, a really, really good coach. He's going to be a great head coach, if that's the case. Just has that quality about him, that coolness, he can relate to players. I think he will be great at it. So, if it is the case, which it sounds like, then I'm really excited for him.
SAFETY ERIC BERRY
Q: You couldn't do a lot of the things today that you have been doing the last 11 weeks. Does that have to do with the quality of the opponent you played today or was there more to it than just that?
EB: It's hard to say. We'll probably have to look at the film and there were probably a lot of opportunities that we left out on the field. They made a lot of plays and you can't take anything away from them. They're a good team. You can look at their resume and see that.
Q: Were you surprised they passed there in the last minute of the half?
EB: No, not really. I just figured they would try to get the first down anyway to keep the clock running.
Q: What's next for you personally the next couple of months?
EB: I don't know, just try to wrap this whole year around and just reflect a little bit. This [year] kind of moved pretty fast for me. Everything happened and everything went kind of fast, so I never really had a chance to sit down and take a look at what I actually did, so I'll probably do that.
Q: Is this the time when you'll start to do that? When you travel home?
EB: Can you repeat that? I'm sorry.
Q: Do you think now in the next few days that will start to occur to you?
EB: Yeah, I think so. Obviously, we wanted to win the game, but at the same time this is a learning experience, so we'll just take it for what it's worth and see what we did wrong and see what we can improve.
Q: In your own journey?
EB: Most definitely. Everything happened so fast. It was just like, diagnosis, treatment, training, season, playoffs and everything just happened in that order, and I never had the chance to sit back and think about what actually took place and what all went on.
Q: Your contract is up now. Would you like to come back to the Chiefs?
EB: Obviously. This is family. At the same time, we will sit down and talk about it when we talk about it, but right now I'm just thankful for my teammates, my coaches and everybody that has something to do with me being back on the field this year. This is something special. Like I said, we'll talk about it.
Q: When you go through what you've gone through - obviously you wanted to win - does it put victories and losses in a different perspective?
EB: Yes, most definitely. Like I said, obviously we wanted to come out of here with and win and we didn't, but at the end of the day it could be a whole lot worse.