Kansas City Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid
Conference Call with New Orleans Media
Wednesday, December 16, 2020
What stands out to you when you're watching this Saints offense?
"Well, listen, there's not too many more creative guys than Sean (Payton) and he's time tested so he's been doing it a long time. He's got great skill there, good offensive line, and he's got three quarterbacks that are pretty good too. So (I have) lots of respect for what he does."
You two go way back. He talked about that a little bit today. Did you see the skill that he had in developing these things back then? Or is that something that he's developed more and more as he's gone through his career?
"Well, I think when you're an assistant, you're tied into whatever system the head coach normally wants to run, and then you get your ideas together. He formulated what he wanted to do and then when he had an opportunity it exploded onto the NFL that way and was just good stuff and good sound football but yet, exciting football. We all evolve. So I'd say yeah, he's evolved, but he was good at the start too."
You mentioned quarterbacks, obviously, you have a pretty good one yourself. When you have a Patrick Mahomes, how rare is the combination of athleticism and instincts and everything else he possesses?
"Yeah, I mean, it's rare. To be that young and to be as talented as he is is rare. Even at this level, which any of these guys that are playing at this level are rare to start with since there's only 32 of them, but for him to have excelled the way he has is a real tribute to the kid and the genes that his parents gave him too is part of it, and how hard he works. For young people to watch, you watch he and Drew (Brees) and Taysom (Hill) practice and you're watching guys that spend time doing what they do and they're just not great because of that. They're great because they work at it. Yeah, that's what Patrick is and then on top of that he's a good leader."
When you drafted him, I mean, obviously you drafted him right in front of the Saints so did you identify them as somebody you kind of had to move in front of at that time?
"Well, listen, they've got a pretty good quarterback there so I don't know what their thought was on it. But I knew we were probably going to have to move up to get him, yes. I mean, I felt that way. I don't know who was interested, but I felt like as high as we could get, we probably needed to get with what we had there to move."
I wanted to ask you about the rookie running back you guys got out of LSU, Clyde Edwards-Helaire. How has he kind of translated and how was he able to catch on so quickly for you?
"Man, is he a good kid. He represents a state well. He has great balance and core strength. It's crazy how strong he is and he's real smart. He's able to pick everything up and execute it. He has got great feet, vision, all those things. He is a good player."
One of the things his college coach said was that he played like he was 6-4, 280. Did you kind of pick that up from him early on?
"Yeah, he is not afraid of anything and he is strong. For anybody's size, he is strong. That lower core strength and leg strength is ridiculous."
You are obviously one of the more innovative offensive minds in the game. But how much of that is kind of feel for a situation in a game and how much of it would be strictly scripted?
"Well, you do both. There's a point where you've just got to call and you've got to have an idea of why you're doing it and we all spend a lot of time at this. So trying to figure out what the opponent's got to do and what we do and best matchups and all those things. It takes a lot of time and not all of them are going to work, but you sure hope the majority of them do."
How do you game plan for a running back like Alvin Kamara?
"He does a lot of things very well. Good runner, good catcher, good blocker, (there are not) not a lot of holes in his game. I do know that you better be fundamentally sound in how you handle the gaps and you better be able to tackle. If you're a linebacker or safety or whoever is covering him, they better be disciplined in what they do and how they do it with leverage."
It's not too often a tight end leads to the NFL in receiving yards. Just how lucky do you think you are to be able to work with somebody like Travis (Kelce) and what's his kind of relationship like with Patrick (Mahomes) on the field?
"Yeah, no, listen, we're fortunate to have him. I feel like I've known forever because I had this brother (Jason Kelce) and my one son played at Temple so Travis was in that division there, that league. So I had a chance to watch him play, I drafted his brother, the whole deal. His brother and he are completely opposite. His brother is very serious. Travis was a little bit more aloof in his dealings with life, and he just had a good time. And all of a sudden he's grown up and he's a team captain the last three or four years and loves playing. He's got a great relationship with a quarterback. The quarterback has full trust in him. Yeah, he's just kind of matured in front of all of us. And it's been fun to watch him go through that."
Between Clyde and (Eric) Bieniemy, Tyrann Mathieu, you've get a lot of Louisiana guys up there. Did you at least get some of the Louisiana cooking up there?
"I'll get some when we get there. EB's wife is a phenomenal cook. So he'll bring me like a nibble because he doesn't give up much. He's going to give me a little nibble and it's spectacular, yes. I'll get a little bite of it when I get down there. I don't like to eat much, you guys know that (laughter)."
Staying with Coach Bieniemy, do you believe he should be highly considered for one of these openings that may come up?
"Yeah, come on. I've said it a ton. I've got the ultimate respect (for him). He played for me so I know him from that side. I played against him when I was at the University of Missouri coaching and he was at Colorado. I'm from Los Angeles so I saw him as a high school player because I recruited that area. Now I have him as a coach for the last eight years here. So you talk about a phenomenal leader of men and somebody that no one ever has to worry about on or off the field. I mean, this guy is as solid as a rock as a husband, a father and as a football coach. I can keep going, but that's kind of the foundation of it. I think the world of him and he's got a phenomenal football mind."