HEAD COACH BRUCE ARIANS
(On his impressions of Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes)
"He probably had the best workout of any kid I went and worked out personally – he and Andrew Luck were the two by far on the board. [They had] unbelievable ability. He has great weapons around him, and I think keeping those guys around him and keeping that offense in tact – especially next year with the cap – it's going to be harder and harder. He's a great, great player – I knew he would be great. He's so smart and so talented."
(On the negativity surrounding the lack of motion and initial success from quarterback's in his offensive system)
"They've been doing it for years – we've been pretty good for a long time. We score a lot of points and the way we do things, we've scored a lot of points for many, many years. That's all that matters."
(On the statuses of CB Jamel Dean and G Ali Marpet)
"Both those guys are still in the protocol. I think Ali is getting closer. The only other person who missed practice today was Donovan Smith [with] his ankle and A.Q. Shipley. We'll see how the week goes. Donovan – he doesn't miss many games, so we've got our fingers crossed he'll make it and we'll see more on A.Q. tomorrow."
(On Kansas City's speed offensively)
"They can stretch the field in a lot of different ways – vertically, horizontally – they're good run after the catch guys [and] they did a great job of building a roster to the type of players they like. You've got to throw Sammy Watkins in there who can fly – every receiver they have can run. They're built on speed and Pat [Mahomes] does a hell of a job distributing the ball to everybody."
(On what allows quarterbacks like Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes to be successful at the highest level)
"I think it starts with they're both extremely smart. They process information very, very quickly and they're very talented. The day I worked out Patrick, I think the wind was blowing about 35 [to] 40 miles per hour and it didn't affect his ball at all. It was amazing down in Lubbock that day."
(On what allows Mahomes and Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid to create a successful scheme)
"I think Andy's one of the most innovative guys going. He's got a great history log of different type of plays. When they fit his personnel, he incorporates them. You're going to have something different every single week like most good play-callers do."
(On why the offense has not succeeded using running backs in the passing game)
"We dropped too many to start with. Other than that, guys are open downfield [and] they're normally a check down. We do run routes designed for the backs and they've been successful. I think back of a couple different ones that Leonard [Fournette] has had [games] – Carolina, the first game, and a couple of others – where he's done a good job with it. Normally, our screen game has been pretty good. We just busted the protection on the screen the other night and missed the call that we had made on who's blocking the defensive end. They've always been a good part of our offense. Obviously, when they have wide receiver skills, it's different – you can use them a whole lot differently."
(On if RB Ke'Shawn Vaughn is an option entering the final five games of the season)
"Just trying to get him active. Right now, we can't have everybody dressed – as much as I'd love to. He's doing a great job, he's working [and] he's going to be a heck of a player. It's just getting him on the field [and] getting him on the roster on Sunday. Normally we've been dressing three backs – last week, four, with Kenjon [Barner] being, really, a returner. Each week those last three or four [active roster] spots are hard to fill. He's been getting knocked out of it."
(On if RB LeSean McCoy has been active due to the fact that he is a veteran all-around running back)
"He can do everything. He's a veteran player who's been out there, especially on Monday night [and] Sunday night. It's no knock at all to Ke'Shawn [Vaughn] because I think he's going to be one heck of a football player for us."
(On the balance of sticking to Tampa Bay's defensive scheme while also gameplanning to stop what Kansas City does best offensively)
"I think it is different, mainly because of the speed and the number of weapons – who you're putting in man-to-man or if you're doing a lot of blitz zones. Each week is a totally different animal when it comes to that and how they protect. So, you still want to get pressure on the quarterback [and] try to get in his head a little bit as much as possible, but not put yourself in too much jeopardy, either."
(On the difficulty in repeating after winning a Super Bowl as the Chiefs hope to do this season)
"I think they have an advantage this year. In years past, that lingers all the way through spring. That Super Bowl hangover lasts a long time. But, in this year with no offseason and them having everybody back, I think it was over quickly with the pandemic. Unlike other years where you're getting accolades all the way through training camp, you're getting rings, you're getting this and you're getting that [and] you're getting invited to everything – sometimes it can become a distraction for that team [and] sometimes the injury bug hits you, too, because guys didn't workout quite as hard as they had in the past. I think this year is totally different and they're obviously a power in the AFC right now."
(On defending against Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes' ability to run when pushed out of the pocket)
"I think he's a very unique individual. You teach young guys to never throw it back across the field, but he does it in a ridiculous manner – sidearm, underhand – and he's very accurate. I think most guys cannot do that. He has a different skillset than other people as far as throwing back across the field. But, you've still got to chase him around [and] you've got to plaster down the field. He also does a great job of running and getting first downs himself. It's a different, unique challenge when you start chasing him around."
(On OLB Jason Pierre-Paul's interceptions and overall play in recent weeks)
"He's done a great job. The one [interception] against Carolina was outstanding – dropped right into the zone – and this one, he read the screen all the way. He's playing lights out [and] he should be on the Pro Bowl ballot for sure. He's getting a lot of pressure and he was one of the best players we had on the field Monday night."
(On if Defensive Coordinator Todd Bowles is finding new ways to utilize Pierre-Paul)
"As much as we can. We had him up the middle, we've had him off the edges, we've dropped him – everything he can do that we're trying to do."
(On if he believes the quarterback position will feature smaller, dual-threat players in the future)
"I think each year is so different. There looked to be some guys that are athletic that are 6'4" coming out – guys like Andrew Luck, Troy Aikman and some of those guys. I think all this seven-on-seven summer leagues and spring leagues – football year-round – in the last eight [to] 10 years has really started to produce a lot of wide receivers, quarterbacks [and] guys that can really sling the ball around – getting them into the right systems that fit their skillsets."
(On how the team has cut down on penalties in recent weeks)
"I was still pissed off that [we] had the two [against Los Angeles] because they were big ones. They were big first downs inside the ten [and] we could've held them to field goals there – that changes the game. Offensively, we've done a good job of eliminating pre-snap penalties. The guys took it upon themselves. I preached about it [and] preached about it, [but] when they start preaching it, it usually works."
(On his scouting report for Chiefs RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire)
"We loved him. We had him rated very, very high on the board. Love the way he plays the game – he's the ultimate football player. [He's] tough [to] tackle, [has] great hands. He reminded me a lot of Maurice Jones-Drew. He's a little faster, I think, but they are really tough tackles at their size."
(On if G Aaron Stinnie would play left guard if both G Ali Marpet and C A.Q. Shipley were unavailable to play on Sunday)
"Stinnie would go in at left guard and Ryan [Jensen] would go back to center."
OUTSIDE LINEBACKER JASON PIERRE-PAUL
(On his interception against Los Angeles)
"There's just certain things that you see as a football player. I just saw my shot of getting it, went over to the sideline and told my teammates that I know I'm going to catch an interception. I was reading the screens all night, the opportunity presented itself and I grabbed it. I tried to score a touchdown but didn't make it – maybe the next one."
(On how his performance this season compares to his first two in Tampa Bay)
"I think I'm doing the same things Jason [Licht] and I talked about when he traded for me. I told him I'm going to give him 110 percent every time I step on that field. I did my first year – second year, due to the broken neck car accident injury that I had – and returned back in Week 8 – I did what I had to do. This year, I'm having a great season again. It's not a surprise to me – I knew that I was going to do those things. It's just the fact that everybody's seeing it now. This stuff I've been doing, even in the offseason. The work you put in is the work you're going to get out. I expect these things to happen."
(On the high volume of snaps he has played this season and if he is upset when he is taken off the field)
"For sure. My coach always tells me, 'I need you to get a little bit of rest.' Reality is, when is the time to rest when you're playing football, especially when you're trying to win a game? Me personally, I'm not going to come out unless I feel like I need to come out. I think me and my coach bump heads a little bit with that – he's always trying to look out for me – but I'd rather stay in because I know in the heat of the moment, anything can happen in just those couple of seconds. I understand where he's coming from, but at the end of the day, it isn't promised tomorrow that you're going to get another snap. Like I said, I'm always going to leave it out there. It doesn't matter if it's 100 snaps or if it's 50 snaps – you're going to see me giving it all out."