MIAMI – Andy Reid and the Kansas City Chiefs (-1.5) can still taste the disappointment of their AFC Championship game loss to the New England Patriots last January.
“We came up short last year,” Reid said as the Chiefs opened media availability at Super Bowl LIV on Tuesday morning in Miami. “It kind of fell on Dee (Ford). It wasn’t on Dee. It fell on all of us. We were four inches short. We could have all done a better job. I talked to the team about it after the game, when we were still whole as a team before we went into the offseason. I think the guys went out and attacked the offseason. They had a taste of getting to the championship game and losing it. But there was something they could do about it. I think the guys have done that.”
Last year’s MVP, Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, is only in his second season as a starter but was a player Reid and then-general manager John Dorsey identified as a pillar of a potential title team. Reid credited Dorsey for making the moves needed to get the Chiefs in position to select Mahomes, who wowed the team in meetings and continues to impress.
Reid recalled what the Chiefs saw in Mahomes coming out of Texas Tech and the traits he shared with the great ones he has been around — Steve Young, Brett Favre and Donovan McNabb among them.
“In its simplest form — they can play the game and No. 2, they’re a leader of men,” Reid said. “Make everyone around them better. The great ones do that with your whole organization.”
Mahomes said Tuesday morning in Miami he wants to be with the Chiefs’ organization for the rest of his career. The comments came on the heels of team chairman Clark Hunt saying Monday that a deal with Mahomes might not happen this year. Hunt said the deal would come at the “right time” for the franchise and player.
“I look forward to my time with Patrick — right now we’re a work in progress,” Reid said.
Mahomes said Tuesday that he wound up in the right place, crediting former starter Alex Smith and Reid for grooming him for this moment.
“Coach Reid has put together a great plan — we can do stuff with the media, we can do stuff outside of our normal routine — but keep it as normal as possible,” Mahomes said. “It’s about going out there and having fun, enjoying it with your teammates. Enjoying the place that you’re at now.”
The Chiefs put together their Super Bowl week itinerary to include plenty of rest and plenty of bonding time. Coaches will polish the game plan this week, Reid said.
“The fact that you’ve been here and you’ve done it, if there’s anything comfortable about it — it’s that you’ve been here. You can relay that to your team. If you haven’t been here you’d like to think you can get a ton done practice-wise, meeting-wise. But you have other obligations.
“There are a couple of little things I changed from the first time.”
–Field Level Media