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Kansas City Chiefs Postgame Quotes 12/17

Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid and select players comment on their game against the New England Patriots on Sunday, December 17, 2023.


Postgame Press Conference
Sunday, December 17, 2023

AR: All right. As far as injuries go, really Skyy Moore is the one that got – that had to leave the game. He hurt his left knee, just swelled up a little bit. All in all, a good win. We had some good things that took place. I'm going to start, which I never do, with special teams. I'm putting it out there. Tommy [Townsend]'s punt at the end was a beautiful thing, and it came at a good time. Pat [Patrick Mahomes'] day, over 300 yards and a couple TDs, made some beautiful throws and the turnovers look like we've got to make sure we hang on to that football. We're getting better at that. We've just got to keep growing there as we go. Clyde [Edwards-Helaire] stepping up and doing a nice job, over a hundred yards there between receiving and running, big catch on the touchdown and brought a lot of energy to that sideline. Then, defensively, we picked it up in pass rush, came home with some big plays and then Willie [Gay]'s pick was a beautiful thing, too. So, all in all, good win to get. I mean, this is a team that is so close. This Patriot team is so close. Their number of losses against one score is crazy. Number one in the league there, and that defense, Steve [Belichick] and his crew, they've done a nice job with that defense. They're salty and offensively, they had a nice plan there coming out.

Q: I know you're focused on one at a time, but is there some real importance to this, particularly coming off the past couple weeks?

AR: Well, listen. When you're as close as the AFC is right now, wins are hard to get and you better enjoy each one. They're very important, and so this one, no different than that because of the situation. I like the way some of the guys approached this thing and leaders stepped up and did a nice job, and I mentioned Spags [Steve Spagnuolo] and Nags [Matt Nagy] on the offensive side, Dave Toub, their leadership was important at this time, and they did a good job with it.

Q: Coach, you talked about the approach. I talked to Nick Bolton after the game, he said the message coming into today was 'win by any means necessary'. Was there a different approach this week?

AR: You know, well, they felt the question Sam asked and they know, players know. So, Nick's a big part of that, his ability to get in there. He's kind of playing with one wing there, so it's tough for him to grab, but, man, he made some nice tackles today.

Q: You mentioned the Willie Gay interception, it's been tough to come up with that great takeaway. Talk about the importance of that.

AR: Yeah, he was so close on the one, on the one that was a touchdown, the tight end. He was so close on that thing. So, he got a little bit deeper there and was in good position, a little different route, but he did a nice job with it. Willie's one of the better athletes on this football team. I mean, he's got great hands and great speed, and you guys have watched him here since we drafted him.

Q: With all that's happened with Clyde in the last year or so, is there any point where he's really gotten down on himself that you had to maybe try to bring him back?

AR: No, not at all. He's been an energy giver, which you need.

Q: How do you see that?

AR: Smile on the face and comes to work every day trying to get better, and he doesn't ever complain. He just goes out, if you give him two snaps, he'll take the two, make it the best he can. If you give him, you know, 30, 40 snaps, he's going to do great there, too.

Q: You thinking Pat put that ball over his head?

AR: Well, I just said don't ever question little guys.

Q: With Clyde, it seems like you were able to use him a little more maybe the way that we all envisioned when he first came out, just more in the passing game. What's the key to that for him?

AR: Well, he's a good route runner. He's got good hands, so he had opportunities today and did a nice job with it.

Q: When you come into New England as the defending champions, and you're kind of at the top of the league, is there ever a moment where you marvel at how long this franchise with Bill [Belichick] did stay at the top? Is there part of you that newly appreciates just how difficult that is.

AR: He's done an unbelievable job, best in the business, ever. That's what you're talking about, so, yeah. I don't question it. I know how great he is, and I've got to deal with him by playing against him, so nobody better, not that I've gone against. Nobody better.

Q: I asked you this the other day, but in light of today's developments, any plans to sit [Kadarius] Toney, take him out of the lineup for a little while until things turn around with him?

AR: We'll see how things go. I'm not down on Toney. He does some good things, man, so we've just got to keep – he's a young guy, so we're not talking about somebody that has been in this league a long time.

Q: Taking a knee down at the goal line at the end, giving the ball back to the Patriots with 36 seconds left, is that a sign of respect for Belichick?

AR: Yeah. I mean, it was the right thing to do. Yeah.

Q: Coach, several fans with whom I spoke before the game today said this was their first NFL game, and a big part of it is that they're now Chiefs fans because of the relationship. Would you just talk a little bit about the Taylor Swift effect on the team?

AR: Taylor Swift, yeah, listen, I'm a big fan. So, I'm glad she was here, and I hope she enjoyed it. She's got a great guy she's dating right now, so I'm happy for both of them.

Q: Travis [Kelce]'s elbow, was there anything to be said about that?

AR: Yeah, he kind of got a little stinger in there and came out for a little bit, but he went back in.

Q: Andy, Ekow Boye-Doe, you mentioned the punt, but on that end, just the ability to be able to – 

AR: Yeah, that was pretty amazing. That was close.

Q: What did you see?

AR: I saw him control his — first of all, he's real fast – but control his speed to be able to put it down, and then his balance of not falling in. When you're that fast, that can be a tough – I've never been that fast, but I know it's tough to control.

Q: The importance of leaders throughout the week, I just wondered what you saw from Patrick throughout the week?

AR: Yeah, he's been great. He makes sure practices are tempoed up and going. I've told you before, every time he comes to the huddle, 'Let's be great'. That's what he strives to do himself and that's what he wants people around him to do.


Postgame Press Conference
Sunday, December 17, 2023

Q: Patrick, can you take us through this week? Some of the guys thought you were as focused as you've ever been?

PM: Yeah, no. I think I'm always this focused when I'm playing against Coach Belichick because I know how many different schemes he's going to put out there and how great of a coach he is. Obviously trying to focus on the details as much as possible and you want to get as many tells as you can, but an important game we needed to win so I was glad with how the guys responded and we were able to find a way to win against a really good team.

Q: What's the importance of this one especially coming off the last couple of weeks?

PM: Yeah, just with Denver being right there behind us and losing two straight games, just finding a way to get that momentum back in our favor and obviously I don't think offensively we ended the way we wanted to, but I thought we did a good job that last drive of burning some time off the clock so you just learn from the mistakes, keep doing it, keep getting better and try to be playing our best football going into the playoffs.

Q: Did you feel pressure coming into this game? You talked about the two losses coming in. Do you feel like you thrive better under pressure like this? Knowing that you have to win?

PM: I mean there's always pressure, but obviously losing two games you have to play your best football. Losing three straight in this league, I mean, really puts you in a tough spot and I thought the guys did a good job. That's a really good defense. Offensively we scored points early. On defense, shut the door, kind of like they've been doing these last few weeks, but we have to continue to get better and better and we're playing – the Raiders are playing great football coming up so we have to continue to learn and improve.

Q: When you guys were coming out for warmups was energy from the start. Did you feel that be a problem the last couple of weeks on offense at least? And how do you feel that you guys responded today?

PM: Yeah, we kind of went in waves. I mean, we started off for the middle part of the season we were scoring fast, not scoring the second half. Then we started scoring the second half and we weren't scoring early, so you have to find a way to put games together and when you play a 12:00 game or 1:00 game here, we haven't had a lot of them this season. The last one was Jacksonville and offensively, we didn't start the way we wanted to and so I think that was the message all week. We've got to get this thing rolling early. We want to put the pressure on them and not them put the pressure on us, and I thought our guys did a good job of it.

Q: Patrick, when was the last time you were in a three-point stance?

PM: Maybe the combine 40 [yard-dash] and I don't know if – I haven't been in one in a long time, but that was sweet. We've been working on that play for a while, so I'm glad that it worked. It was a little dicey there for a second, but we got it in the end zone.

Q: How much do you feel like you guys needed a play like that? You guys are known for doing some creative stuff in the red zone.

PM: That play was awesome. I mean, obviously, that's a hard team to score on in the red zone, one of the best. So to have a play like that that we had worked on a long time and it worked, obviously, it was working perfectly for their scheme and we executed at a high level, Coach Reid believed we could make it work. I will take that I was the one that said Joe [Thuney] should snap it because I was like, "that will mess them up if Creed [Humphrey] and Joe switch spots." They kind of pushed the D-line a little over thinking that Creed was the center. I didn't make the play up, but I did that part.

Q: How would you describe the rhythm of this team, especially with your rapport with the receivers?

PM: Yeah, we've had great spots and we've had spots where we've struggled. It's just something we continue to work on. I thought for the most part we did a great job. They made plays happen today. Obviously you know they're going to focus on Travis [Kelce] a lot, and they did, and so for other guys to make plays happen against a lot of good DBs, I was proud of that. I mean, we've just got to continue to make it a full game. I think that's the biggest thing is we started and I thought we did good in the second half starting the game and then we kind of had some miscues here and there at the end, and that includes myself, so just try to continue to have a full game of excellent football is something that we'll continue to strive for.

Q: Patrick, the trick play that Dave mentioned, is there another play that really stands out to you just about, especially from these first few drives?

PM: From the first few I think that third down and long where Rashee [Rice] settled in that zone, that was a big play and a big situation right at midfield. We were able to get points on that drive but I think just guys just continue to play hard. Justin Watson with the big catch down the sideline and then jump ball Clyde [Edwards-Helaire], man, just giving him the chance to go make a play and him going and catching the touchdown.

Q: I'm thinking about Willie Gay's interception, but can you speak generally about how well the defense has played while you guys are still trying to get things going on offense?

PM: Yeah, they've played great. I think the biggest thing is you see how they can make adjustments in-game. They adjust to what the defense is doing – I mean the offense is doing, and they do a good job of stopping that. That takes a special group of guys. I mean, to have a game plan and when the game plan is working, they dominate, and then when the game plan is a little off or they come out with a little different stuff, they are able to change the game plan right there and Spags [Steve Spagnuolo] does a great job of that, gets the information to those guys and they go out there and do a great job of getting those stops. That's special, man. I've said it a couple times, I wouldn't want to play our defense. They're able to change and be great at a lot of different things.

Q: Patrick, with jump-ball-Clyde, I wonder if you could speak to his day today, but also how maybe it reflects the attitude he has all the time, as Andy Reid calls him the energy giver.

PM: Yeah, that running back room is special. I mean, all those guys. Even the guys that are bouncing back and forth from the practice squad and back to active. They all believe in each other, and they want each other to succeed and that's special. It really is. Everybody wants to play. Everybody wants to go out there and make stuff happen and obviously Pacheco's had a great year, so we've been letting him work and get those carries, but Clyde's been ready the whole time and when he's got his opportunities, he's made stuff happen, so sometimes outside the building you get a bad rap, but we know the work he puts in every single day and whenever Pacheco had to take some time off, Clyde stepped right in and went out there and made plays happen.

Q: Clyde was saying that he's making his own narrative, he's not taking what other people assign to him. Is that sort of what you mean by that?

PM: I mean, I'm not joking. He's one of the best dudes I think I've ever met. Just the attitude that he comes into the building with. I mean, he's always got a smile on his face, he's always making other people smile. I mean, when you put him, Jet [Jerick McKinnon] and Pacheco together, I mean, that's literally – my locker you know is right there by the running backs and you never know what you're going to hear and it's the funniest stuff every single time.

Q: Clyde's been through a lot in the last year or so. I know you just sort of touched on this but from your perspective, how has he handled that? Have you seen him get down or anything like that?

PM: I mean, when you get a lot of people piling on you and you're not having the success you want, you could be down, but like I said, he has a smile on his face, he comes to work every single day and I think that's special about him. That's why we want him to succeed as much as everybody else and himself. It's because he has that workman, that ethic of just coming in and putting in whatever he can to help the team and today was a great day for him. Hopefully we get Pop [Isiah Pacheco] back and we're able to utilize everybody and go out there and be a better team for it.


Travis Kelce, TE

(On the message they wanted to send this week)

"I mean, right now, we're attacking every single week. We see it through practice: everybody's focused in on the task at hand, trying to get better, trying to understand the defense we're playing and trying to go out there and execute. Sure enough, it's definitely not a matter of want. Guys are out there playing their tail off."

(On Patrick Mahomes)

"I think Patrick is forever himself, and that's why he's such a great leader, man. It doesn't waver, it doesn't go up or down. He's consistently the same guy every single week. He's been focused more than I've ever seen him focused, and I don't expect that to change going into the end of the season."

(On Clyde Edwards-Helaire's touchdown)

"Man, I love that dude. He's been playing his tail off, waiting for his opportunities and when he gets his opportunities, he's making the most of them. He's the unsung hero for today, that's for damn sure."

(On Rashee Rice's performance)

"You know, his game just keeps going up, man. I think it's, for everybody, just keep being consistent in terms of when it's their time to step up for the team. That includes myself, and I'm proud of the way he's been able to handle the ups and downs of the season. Right now, he's playing great ball."

(On the consistency of the pass catchers today and going forward)

"When you don't catch everything, when you don't make every single play you want to, you're going to watch it all on film and find a way to get better. It's been like that for the past 11 years."

(On his conversation with Bill Belichick after the game)

"I've just got all the respect in the world for that guy. Every single time I go up against him – it's the toughest job in the NFL, to go up against a Bill Belichick defense. He throws so much at you. He always has a lot of guys that can play smart, so hats off to Belichick for today, for making my life tough, that's for damn sure. On top of that, getting a good group of guys that play well together, I've got a lot of respect for that team."

Marquez Valdes-Scantling, WR

(On leading in the league in points scored in the last two minutes going into halftime and how that helps the team)

"That's an incredible stat to know. For us, it's a huge turning point, especially if we deferred it at the beginning of the game. We can score seven or three, and then turn around, get the ball back again and score again. That's huge in the game, for the offense to get the ball again. So, that's kind of our mindset behind it. We all want to score points any time we're on the field, but especially in those critical situations like that."

(On the consistency of the wide receivers going forward)

"Yeah, I mean, we've just got to keep making plays, keep getting our opportunities and making the best of them. I've got faith in all of these guys in this room, and same with Pat [Patrick Mahomes]. Keep getting on the same page, keep figuring it out, you know? It's the same group we had last year that won a Super Bowl and helped Pat win the MVP. I think guys kind of forget that. We lost one or two guys, and Mecole [Hardman] came back, so we lost one guy. This is the same group that helped Pat win MVP last year and throw for 5,000 yards or whatever he threw for. So, obviously, we've all got faith that we'll keep figuring this thing out."

(On what he appreciates most about Clyde Edwards-Helaire)

"Clyde's a hell of a competitor, man. For him to be the position he was in, a first-round pick to Isiah [Pacheco] coming in and being a different spark, he's been a great teammate. Then, when he gets the ball, he just makes the play every single time. It's the same thing with every running back in that room. They support each other, there's no jealousy, there's no animosity. I think you can appreciate that. From the outside looking in, guys may not see those kind of things. That's a really close group, and having guys like that, that support each other no matter who's getting the ball, it pays off in the end. Now, it's his turn again, and he's making the best of it."

Jerick McKinnon, RB

(On describing this win as a 'team win' and if it's a better feeling as a result)

"Definitely. I feel like sometimes during the season, the defense did a lot of spectacular things to help the offense out. It's good to come out on offense and get some touchdowns. There's still things to work on, but the great thing is above all, we got the dub. So, definitely still a ton work on, but we've got the Raiders on Christmas. That's going to be a great matchup. They always play us hard, and we're looking forward to it."

(On the offense needing a play like their first touchdown)

"I think we did. I feel like last year, we had a little bit more plays like that in the playbook. But obviously, this year we're just kind of focused on getting on the right page and having things form and come together. But it's always good, like I said, to run something like that, something a little different. So, it was fun."

Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB

(On his touchdown catch)

"Initially, the guy had outside leverage and so I initially broke it in to get that inside option for that touchdown. I think five ended up coming down so after that I kind of knew who was on the outside and so my goal was to get to the back of the end zone. From that point, I kind of knew Pat [Patrick Mahomes] was going to roll my way since I was the hot answer. I told him last week, he kind of just gave me the opportunity on the sideline on the belly route and I rarely drop passes and is just one of those things where it was a bitter taste in my mouth so I just told him even when I got the opportunity last week and opportunities at practice this week, I said we are going to come down with it no matter the situation."

(On how it feels to have a game like this after not having a ton of opportunities)

"I mean it's just one of those things, it's the NFL. Everyone has their own story or say so about it but I write my own narrative, I write my own story so I let everyone else handle whatever else they want to write and use whatever they want to use and I just kind of showcase it myself and write my story about my body and my play."

(On if Patrick Mahomes put the ball over his head on that first play)

"No, not at all. Jokingly, we have been making little remarks about me and about height and jumping so every time I score the past couple of weeks, I've been dunking the goal post. It was just one of those things where everyone started to say, 'well, damn you're getting higher and higher every day,' so I think it was just kind of a thing in the back of everyone's head that I can really jump. So, for Patrick having an opportunity, it was more just like he's not just some small guy on the field."

(On what it's been like this past year after everything he's been through)

"I really was just able to take a step back and realize what's business and the things that I can control. It is just as simple as that. I knew once I was able to get my opportunity and showcase the things that I know I need to showcase. Just go out there and play the game. Never batted an eye and knew at some point the opportunity was going to show up again and it's a matter of how you conquer that opportunity and take advantage of it."

(On what it means to get this chance)

"It's everything. It's really the trust factor. It's the end of the year, and we're trying to go on this push, but I kind of kept my head down but always brought the energy when I needed to. Always showed up for practice, always did the things when my number was called even if it was having enthusiasm in meeting rooms for everyone else."

Willie Gay Jr., LB

(On not returning his interception for a touchdown)

"I got comfortable, man. I got too complacent. I caught the ball, and I saw my leading blockers. Nick [Bolton] was there. The whole defense was there leading the way, and I looked inside, I saw the whole offense coming from inside out. I was like, 'yeah, I'm just going to run out of bounds.' I don't like getting tackled, man. I knew the offense was going to be in great field position, so I just lived with that. Next time, I'm going to score though, for sure."

(On the pressure the defense got)

"We're a pressure team. Like you said, from every position on the field, we got a sack. To actually capitalize on the plays being called, and to execute the way we did, there's no weakness there on the defense. So, we've got to keep that going."

(On Steve Spagnuolo's defensive adjustments in today's game)

"There's really not any serious adjustments. He's making the perfect calls. It's just the players tightening up the details, the loose screws that people from the outside looking in don't normally see. It's being in your gap this play, or being on your man closer on that play, and now it's a big play for us because we're doing the little things right. He coaches that all the time, the details. He knows it's nothing more than just us doing our job. So, he makes the perfect call, and when we execute it, it's a perfect play."

(On the defense's mentality this week)

"The important thing is that we had everybody rolling today. Linebackers, nobody was out. We got Drue [Tranquill] back. So, to have all the pieces and we put the win together, played good on defense, could have played even better. The energy was different, like you said. We knew we had to get back on track. Two losses in a row, we aren't used to that. But it's part of the game. We live and we learn from it, and we try to roll into next week with the same momentum and keep it pushing."

Nick Bolton, LB

(On the game)

"We have another opportunity to go out there and execute next week, and that's the only thing you can ask for in this league. I think we came in and the defensive line dominated up front. It helped us control the line game and they became one-dimensional. After that, we came out and did what we did in the second half, just giving them third and longs, and letting our DB's go to work and our D-line rush."

(On the play of the defensive line)

"I think in general, we had good pressure. We have a lot of guys that like to rush the passer, in different ways, in different games and try and find a way to get guys one-on-one. I think those guys played a hell of a game today."

(On the team message for today's game)

"Win by any means necessary and we just have to win. We have been up and down, and we haven't found our groove and just trying to hit the peak at the right time. It's that time of the year we need to win week-by-week, it will give us a chance at the end of the season where we want to be."

(On how he feels individually)

"I feel good and I am kind of getting my wind back. It's my second game back, I have some stuff to clean up obviously, but I think I am feeling good about myself, in terms of communication getting guys aligned and executing our plan and be as fast as I used to be."

Joe Thuney, G

(On coming back to New England)

"It was great to get the win. I'm happy we got the win. It was great seeing some of the guys. I'm just glad we won."

(On the success of his teams)

"It's a day-by-day process. I am very fortunate to have a lot of great teammates around me and a lot of great coaches, great organizations. I am very humbled by it all and happy, very fortunate."

(On the play of the Patriots defense)

"Really good, really sound football. They played really hard and they play together. It was a challenge for us and I am just glad we came out with a win."

L'Jarius Sneed, CB

(On the game)

"We were ready. We came out pretty strong. Made the plays we had to make and let the plays come to us. We should come in with that mindset, guys have that mindset. This is the NFL and every team is good. They are well-coached and they play hard."

Charles Omenihu, DE

(On how the defense was able to generate pressure today)

"We were following the game plan, trying to collapse the pocket and it worked out well. That was our thing. It worked out well and we were able to get pressure and contain him in the pocket."

(On how it feels getting a win after two straight losses)

"Winning in the league is hard. Big credit to the Patriots, they are a well-coached team. They play hard on defense and play smart and hard on offense. It was not going to be a cakewalk at all, and we understood that. Getting a win is great and now we have some positive momentum for the next three games to end the season."

(On seeing the cornerbacks and linebackers getting sacks)

"It's a team effort. This defense is a collective kind of group. Everybody is going to get theirs so when a teammate is having success and getting to the quarterback, you cheer for him."

Rashee Rice, WR

(On building rapport with Patrick Mahomes and having the kind of success he had today)

"It starts in practice for me. I get tired on the field, but I put myself in deep water in practice, so he knows that he can trust me no matter what kind of condition I'm in on the field."

(On how he feels knowing he has the most touchdowns for a rookie wide receiver in Chiefs history)

"That's huge for the club. I didn't come to just break rookie records. There is a lot more on the table for me and I'll eventually keep clearing milestones as I go along."

(On his touchdown from Jerick McKinnon)

"That's one of our trick plays. Actually, we talked before the huddle because Jerick knew what I needed to get for my record. We really would have handed that ball off, but he got his passing touchdown and I got my receiving touchdown. I told him he's part of history two years in a row now. Every time we practice it, we hand it off, but I looked at him before he called the play and he said he was pitching it. It was pretty cool to be able to execute a trick play like that in the game."

(On how he would describe his role on the team)

"To be honest, just somebody coming in ready to work and keeping my head down. I know this is a marathon, so, whatever I need to do to help the team win, I'm going to do it."

Leo Chenal, LB

(On the mindset of the defense today)

"We have to dominate. To gain momentum in December, we have to dominate and carry it into the next game. So, to maintain that momentum rolling and rolling and rolling. Hopefully, we can stack the games but also take it one game at a time."

(On if the Patriots offense did anything to catch the defense off-guard)

"It's simple things on our end. The details we need to improve. We need to start better. No matter what happens, whether it's adversity on the offensive end or special teams, we need to be able to respond. It's in the details."

(On the mindset going into the game against the Raiders)

"It's a rivalry game as it always has been. They've shown what they can do. They are playing good ball right now. We have to do better than what we did today. We need to tighten up the screws, focus on the details, and hold ourselves to the highest standard possible. If we want to go far, we have to do the little things right now. We should've been doing them right all along, but we have to get on our horse a little bit."

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