HEAD COACH BRUCE ARIANS
(On the status of the offensive linemen dealing with injuries)
"Donovan [Smith] will be a game-time decision – he'll go out and try it before the game kind of like we did in Detroit last year. A.Q. [Shipley] is out for sure and Ali [Marpet] is still in the [concussion] protocol. We'll wait and see – he'll be questionable, also. Both of those guys are questionable, [Jamel] Dean, [Tanner] Hudson and Shipley are out."
(On CB Jamel Dean's injury and CB Ross Cockrell replacing him)
"Dean, he will not make it this week. No chance taking any risk with him with an open date [next week]. Ross, we have a ton of confidence in him and he'll do a good job."
(On if C A.Q. Shipley's injury is career-ending and if the team learned the severity of the injury following an MRI)
"He had what we thought was a stinger. He had this injury back in 2013, I believe. Once we did the MRI and x-rays, it was determined he really shouldn't play anymore."
(On when a decision will be made regarding next steps for Shipley)
"He'll be going on IR and starting his coaching career."
(On Shipley's diagnosis)
"You'll have to talk to the doctors about that one. It's a neck injury."
(On if Shipley would join Tampa Bay's coaching staff)
"Yes, for sure. He aspires to be a coach and I think he's going to be a great one, so we'll get him started to make sure he likes this life."
(On what he has seen from the team in practice this week)
"A real good grit. Obviously, it was a short week, so we didn't get Wednesday in – it was a walkthrough – but Thursday and Friday have been outstanding. I think the attention to detail, again, is great. I really couldn't ask for any more. Our guys know how to work – they work their tails off – and they do bounce back. Hopefully we'll make the plays in this ballgame to win it."
(On if he feels fortunate to have coached the successful quarterbacks he's worked with in his career)
"No doubt. You're a much better coach when you've got those guys than when you don't. No doubt about that."
(On Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid still coaching at 62 years old)
"Yeah and a guy like Patrick [Mahomes] will keep you very, very young."
(On what he remembers about Chiefs S Tyrann Mathieu when he drafted him in Arizona)
"He's still the same guy – I love the kid. We interviewed him in Arizona for the draft and he did not point fingers at anyone but himself. He did not blame anybody for what happened to him – he blamed himself. I knew he would be fine. He went through those injuries and just watching him come back every single time – I'm really, really proud of him, more so probably the man that he is now than the player. He's one heck of a guy."
(On the difficulty of having a conversation with C A.Q. Shipley to share that his playing career may be over)
"It's really hard. It's harder than releasing somebody or cutting somebody that's a veteran that has finally hit the wall and doesn't want to really admit it. To have an injury stop it so suddenly – it's really hard on him and it's hard on me."
(On what he said to Shipley)
"He's still very, very lucky. He has all his mobility and he can play with those kids for a long time."
(On playing the defending Super Bowl champions and how much more motivating that is for a team)
"I think the players get up for it. For coaches, it's just the next game, but the players get up for it. It's something special – you always want to beat those guys and prove something to yourselves."
(On one improvement the team needs to make to make a run in the postseason)
"I think just as a football team we need to make those plays in the game that decide it – and make them in our favor. When we're playing really good teams, it's going to be three or four plays and we have to make those plays."
QUARTERBACK TOM BRADY
(On Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes and what he has accomplished in his career)
"He's a terrific player, obviously, being league MVP a few years ago. 50 touchdowns is pretty hard to do – there's not many guys who have done that. To continue that last year with the Super Bowl championship and playing at an extremely high level this year – he's just getting more and more comfortable. So much about playing quarterback is having experience, learning from year-to-year [and] improving your routine. He's just doing a tremendous job. They've got their offense rolling – they've got, obviously, a lot of talented players. On defense they have some talented players too that make a lot of plays. It's a really well-balanced team. We know we're going to have to play really well to beat them. It's going to be a big challenge for us. Watching the last time he was out there playing, you give him a chance to win and he takes advantage of it and leads the team down there. He does a tremendous job."
(On playing against the defending Super Bowl champions)
"It just means they're a good team and I think good teams give you less margin for error. They've had some continuity on that side with that system, with those coaches [and] lot of their key veteran players. That's always important – I feel continuity is the most critical aspect to consistent performance because you have to build on year after year, not just game after game or week after week. They've been in that system for a while – Coach Reid's been there for a while [and] he's a great coach. They do a great job. They've got a lot of good things going [and] they've been tough to beat for a lot of years now, including when Alex Smith was there. They were pretty good too [and] I played them all those years, as well. They're doing a good job and they have some dynamic players. Obviously, Patrick [Mahomes] at quarterback being a tremendous player that he is, they always have an opportunity to win."
(On what compelled him to go talk to Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes following the 2019 AFC Championship Game)
"There's different stories with different guys and so forth, and I have a relationship with different guys over the course of the league based on friends knowing one another, guys being from certain parts of the country, guys that I've had experience playing against, guys I met at different times in the offseason, guys that I've been in contact with when they were drafted or I was asked to speak to at one point. There are a lot of young players who are a lot younger than me at this point – basically everybody – so when I get a chance to meet them, [I do]. I'm always watching football – that's what I love to do – I love watching young players, see how they're playing the position and see if I can learn anything from them. He had an incredible year that year and [when I was] playing for the Patriots, [we] played them and had a great game against them and won the game. It's a tough loss at the end of the year – I've been a part of those, too. Wasn't much more than that."
(On who stands out to him individually and what stands out about Kansas City's defensive scheme)
"I think everything. They have a really good scheme – they challenge you in a lot of different ways. They have a lot of veteran, core players that know how to play in that scheme and play well. [Daniel] Sorensen is really good, [Tyrann] Mathieu is a hell of a player, [Bashaud] Breeland is a hell of a player. They've just got a lot of good guys in the secondary, some really good, athletic linebackers – [Anthony] Hitchens [and Damien] Wilson play in there a lot, [Ben] Niemann's in there a lot. They've got Frank Clark who is a hell of a player, Chris Jones is a great player, so a very stout D-line with some really explosive players. A lot of veteran core guys at linebacker, some very good players in the secondary that are dynamic, and they play well within the complementary offense that they're playing with. They're playing with leads, they play well from ahead [and] they've come back on offense playing from behind. They haven't lost many games over the last couple of years and they win them in different ways. Sometimes they win them with defense at the end [and] sometimes they win them on offense at the end. That's what good teams do and they're certainly one of the best ones in the league."
(On if a lack of success in game-winning drive opportunities is due to the shortened offseason and lack of reps with players on the offense)
"Our job is to get the job done, so there's no excuses for when we don't get it done. At the end of the day, that's the reality of the sport – it's a production-based business – and when you have opportunities like we had in those two games, it's very disappointing when you don't [succeed], especially when you're the quarterback and the ball is in your hands. It's something I have to do a better job of."
(On what he saw that created issues completing deep passes against the Rams)
"Just not executing at the highest level. I don't think it's more than that. I think we didn't execute on some short throws [and] we didn't execute on some medium throws. Just comes down to not as good execution as I think we're capable of. We're working hard to improve it and we'll go out there and try and do a much better job this week."
(On if he keeps track of improvements he wants to make during the offseason that cannot be addressed during the season)
"The season is what it is. You're kind of in the race, so you might have moments where you can really sit back, reflect, self-scout and so forth, but the tough part about the NFL is you're just kind of on to the next week and you're trying to get ready for a new scheme [and] a new opponent. Yes, you have to fix the things that didn't go well – because you're always trying to improve the things you're not good at – but then you're also dealing with a new set of challenges, new information you're trying to retain, new scheme and new design. It's a tough league [and] it's a very competitive league. Games are decided by a play here or there every week. We're going to try to make those plays to help us win the game and we've had a few games where we've been right there and had the opportunity to win them. Sometimes we have and sometimes we haven't. We've got to certainly improve on those and then find ways to keep getting better and keep improving. I think one thing I've learned about the NFL is it's a week-to-week league. You can't let one loss carry over to the next week and lose confidence that you're not capable of getting the job done because we've gotten the job done [and] we just need to do it on a more consistent basis."
(On what he ate for Thanksgiving)
"I had a lot, probably, like everybody else. It's a great holiday for us all. I do eat pretty good for most of the time and then there's other days where I get after it. We had a good day yesterday – it was pretty nice. Just like everybody – Thanksgiving is a great holiday for all of us. I liked it all – turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, some Brussel sprouts and some pie. It was a great day with our family. Short day of work yesterday and then got a little extra time today working. It's all good – it all balances itself out."