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Kansas City Chiefs Postgame Transcripts 9/7

Kansas City Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid and select players comment on their game against the New England Patriots on Thursday, September 7, 2017.


AR: Alright as far as injuries go, Eric Berry has an Achilles tendon potential tear, we will find out more after the MRI and that whole deal. Lee Harris came out with a hip pointer, came back in, so he was fine and then [Tyreek] Hill came off with cramps and he's OK. All in all a very good win against a real good football team, Hall of Fame football coach who I have a ton of respect for and his program and he's got good players, so like we talked about in the locker room before coming in here, this is one of 16, we are going to enjoy the heck out of it, but it is one of 16 and something for us to build on and I am proud of our guys for the job they did. I mean, I can go off and list all of the different things. I am proud of Alex [Smith] and the job that he did. Our rookie running back did a tremendous job, a little bit shaky, but he was trying hard. He tried maybe a step too hard and the ball popped out, but I am proud of him for getting right back on it and doing a good job. Our defense, those fourth down stops, showed a ton of grit there and those are very, very tough against this team. The three sacks late, I thought, were huge. Our guys stepped up, rallied. Terrance Mitchell did a nice job rallying back from a couple shots down the field where he was beat and really there at the end there played well. Had a nice break-up. The two minute, at the end of the half, we spent a lot of time working on that. Guys take a lot of pride in that. The last time we were here wasn't so good and this time we were able to do that. Anytime you can end with points and then come out with the football the next half, I think, is a positive and special teams was solid too. So, I mean, there were a million different things, I am sure I am skipping some things. Like I said, it is a long season, we got a lot more growth that will take place with this team. We got way too many penalties and those things are not smart, we have got to be more disciplined in that as we go on. And our guys will do that, they are pretty strong minded. 

Q: You guys frequently dropped eight in coverage, rushed only three. What led to that decision? And do you feel like that was a factor in this game.

AR: I mean, both sides were doing the same thing. They were doing to same thing to us. And that is kind of en vogue right now in the NFL. And we were lucky to get a little bit of pressure on them when needed, but I thought the thing we did best was the coverage aspect. They are really good receivers and our guys clamped it down for the most part, they clamped it down, but that's why you do that. 

Q: You got a lead in the fourth quarter, you turned it up a little bit. What was it about that situation that you said, 'Ok, now we can...'

AR: You kind of knew what they had to do, right? So you throw a few change ups at them and we were able to get home. Justin Houston, our guys, rallied right there. 

Q: Andy, as gratifying a win as this was, how much do you and the guys think the impact of Eric Berry when you were coming in, was it a little subdued because of that?

AR: Yeah, no, Eric is not going to allow that to happen. So, he was right there, he broke the team down right after. And I told him that he could get started on his coaching career now. So if it works out where he can't played, then we will get him right in there and he can help out. He will still be a big part. 

Q: You feel pretty concerned?

AR: I don't think that it's positive here. But who knows, we will see what the MRI shows. 

*Q: Andy, obviously you like Kareem Hunt a lot. Anything you saw from him that lead you to believe he would play like this tonight? *
AR: Well, yeah, I saw probably the same thing you guys saw at camp every day. He's a load and you know, he is talented and he's a smart kid, which helps in that position. Because that's a tough one, you have a lot of things that you have to learn as a rookie coming in. I've had a lot of rookies start for me over the years, but you know, the Brian Westbrooks, they could think on their feet and do those things and that's what this kid can do. Different player than Brian, but he can think on his feet and that becomes very important when we are asking you to run the football, which we know, but then we are asking you to pass block, we are asking you to run routs and you have got to know all of the blocking schemes up front to know exactly how the line is going to handle each front. You know, and he spent the time learning how to do that. Hats off to him, but he can be better. There are things that we will look at, he'll look at, and he can grow from. 

Q: Did the workload surprise you though, because that's probably one of the things you don't know until you get to this situation.

AR: What did I say about Toledo, who's around about every Thursday night, so we were able to see how the workload that he had in college. It seemed like to me, from watching it last year at this time that he would be stronger in the fourth quarter than he was early. And that was one thing that jumped out at us as we looked at that. You know, but I thought that that was, you know, a positive thing. 

Q: What contributed to all the 70-yard plays happening?

AR: Alex and the receivers have brought a lot to this team and they did a great job against a good Patriots defense. On the touchdown Tyreek scored on, Alex didn't plan on throwing it to him but it worked anyway.

Q: How important is it for Kareem to be a part of this team?

AR: It's very important. You need a good running back to succeed and our offensive line did a really nice job blocking for him.

Q: How did Kareem bounce back from his fumble?

AR: He was upset, he was really upset. He came to the sideline angry but we told him to calm down and to carry the ball the next play, and he carried it the next play and did a nice job.

Q: How does Alex Smith's leadership affect the team?

AR: You guys have been around him and he doesn't get frantic much. He comes out poised and it's good for the young bunch around him- the young receivers and the young running back. He calms the storm and he doesn't get overwhelmed by being here in New England.

Allen Bailey, Defensive Lineman

(On the game) 
"Well, we stuck to it, came together at halftime and battled it out. It was a good team, good opponent, great quarterback. We stayed together, made corrections and won. For us, just getting the first quarter out of the way [was key] because everyone was riled up and emotional. So, once everybody settled down, we started playing ball. I wouldn't call it luck, it was grit and us going out and playing well. Just staying together and playing."

(On the team's expectations) 
"We expect very big things. We expect things all year from each other and we hold ourselves accountable for everything."

Justin Houston, Linebacker

(On playing on banner night)
"Everything we do is about us and not about them and they are just our opponent. We want to win every game that we can. We played good, but we left a lot of plays out there on the field by the offense, defense and special teams. We still have a lot of work to do. I hope we can cherish the win, but I hope we don't cherish it too much because we still have a long season ahead of us that we still have to play."

(On the approach to playing the Patriots) 
"I think they [Patriots] made a lot of great plays and I think we just made a couple of big-time, fourth down stops. We [the defense] got off the field on third downs and key those moments helped us as a whole. We gave our offense the ball and they made a lot of great plays tonight. We were in this winning situation because of them; they helped out so much tonight."

(On the keys to playing against Tom Brady)
"It is Tom Brady and any time you get pressure on him, you will not rattle him, but he is better on the ground than he is standing up for us as a defense. Any time you can put him on the ground and keep him from throwing the ball that will help the defense out a whole lot." 

Kareem Hunt, Running back

(On his start) 
"I had some ups and downs, especially at the beginning of the game. I just had to keep playing through it, not get down on myself and keep making plays. Honestly, that's not the way I wanted to start. It was a rough one because I don't remember the last time I fumbled. It was early in my college career, and I actually got it back. I lost one and I knew I couldn't get down on myself. The guys on the sidelines stuck with me, especially the defense, they said we got your back. They were just letting me know to forget about it and come back and make plays."

(On the team's performance) 
"It was a huge game for us. We wanted to start off on the right foot. The whole team played great, especially the offensive line. Those guys were making holes all night. I was able to find creases, and run hard behind those guys, especially after I started slow."

(On the 78-yard touchdown) 
"You know, once Alex Smith threw a great ball over the middle, I had to go get it. Once I caught it I was not looking back, I had to go score. I knew we were down and I knew we needed seven quick. I just had to keep running and finish off the run."

(On the comeback) 
"I feel that we are all so close. We've got a great locker room, we are all close together. The defense and the offense all stuck together. We just never gave up and lost hope. Especially when we were down by 10, and we knew we had to keep fighting."

Derrick Johnson, Linebacker

(On the win) 
"This win was huge. I was telling the young guys you don't come here to New England and win. We did that today; the best thing we did is that we didn't blink. When they make a play just don't blink. It was awesome to get a win."

(On the fourth down stops) 
"You want to have moments that create momentum, and those were moments that created momentum. The game could have easily have gone the other way, everybody knows that. It just lets you know how much parity is in the NFL, and to come in here and win against the defending Super Bowl champs, and tell us that we are going to be next. That lets you know that we are a pretty good team right there."

(On Kareem Hunt) 
"We're all in this together. It's a huge game, a rookie third round pick going in against the New England Patriots, and fumble on the first play. A lot of people would have duck their head or put their tail under their legs. He's pretty good I'll tell you that, we don't want to talk too much about [27], but I'm glad he's on my team."

Travis Kelce, Tight End

(On how satisfying the win was) 
"It's the first game. I'm on a bit of a low right now because my guy EB [Eric Berry] is down. I love him to death, he's our fearless leader and to see him go down in the first game breaks your heart. I'm proud of our guys; proud of our receiving crew, all the critics and what they've been saying about them and for them to come out here and stick it to the Super Bowl champs, man, it was a fun game."

(On how much they noticed the pre game fanfare and how they felt about just being the other team) 
"We were the other team that won, that's about it."

(On why he felt they were able to have so many explosive offensive plays) 
"I'm not sure what it was. It might have been the lack of respect they had for Alex's [Smith] arm, the lack of respect for our running back. The defense that they were presenting, I thought they would have gone a different way. We went out there and we executed given what they presented and we came out with a win."

Bennie Logan, Defensive Tackle

(On successfully stopping the run) 
"I can't really say it was just me. I think it was just a team thing. All of the guys up front and our linebackers were all coming up and filling the holes and that allowed us to play off the blocks and make tackles. Again, I can't really say it was just me. We did it as a unit and we knew coming into the game we would have to play together."

(On the defensive unit in the second half) 
"They came out and gave us their best shot. They are a good team and we knew they would make adjustments. We knew going into halftime we were going to have to make adjustments also. We came in and cleaned up our mistakes. We just have to learn to settle because we kind of got rattled a little bit. We settled down and played our Chiefs' style of football and you can see the results. We need to do that the whole game not just the second half. We did a good job of sticking together when they got up on us and we never lost our focus."

(On this being a statement game)
"I don't think this game was statement game for us because each week we come out it is a statement game. We are going to prove to the National Football League that we are a team on the rise and come in every week to give our best. It was a good opportunity to go out there and showcase what we have been working for and what better way to do it than against the Super Bowl Champs. They came out and had a game plan and we had a game plan and it is about the best team that can execute it and we came out and did it."

Mitch Morris, Center

(On the win) 
"It's a good win but a somber win at the same time. It's the first game of the season and we have a lot more to go. That was a good team and we came out and ended up on top."

(On how they overcame all the penalties and mistakes they made during the game) 
"This team talked before the game on playing four full quarters. We knew that everything wasn't going to go our way. We were playing a good team and we made our mistakes but we stuck together and we were able to capitalize on plays later."

(On if they fed off the pre game celebration) 
"Yeah, we definitely got a little fire under us. We knew the distractions ahead of us and for us, it was just coming out and taking it play-by-play."

Bryan Witzmann, Tackle

(On Kareem Hunt) 
"He stepped up.  He knew he had a big role to play and he played it. I can't credit him enough. He reads the plays well and he hits the hole and he gets going."

(On the win) 
"It's obviously a big win against the word champs from last year but it is only one game and we have to keep rolling. I think we just persisted. We were persistent and we didn't give up and good things started to happen. Other people might not have believed in us before the game but everyone in this locker room knew we were going to do it and knew what it took."

(On the success of the running game) 
"Credit the coaches for coming up with a great scheme. I think we executed well and it showed."

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