Monday’s NFL: Andy Reid says Chiefs are nearing potential

Detroit News

Dave Skretta
 |  Associated Press

Kansas City, Mo. — Travis Kelce has spent the better part of a month insisting the Kansas City Chiefs have yet to put everything together.

They still didn’t in their AFC championship game win over Buffalo.

They came much closer than they have all season, though, and that could be a scary thought for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as they prepare to face Kansas City in the Super Bowl. The Chiefs fumbled a punt near their goal line to hand the Bills an early touchdown, dropped a couple of passes, committed a couple of costly penalties and still won in a 38-24 rout.

“I mean, we’ve got room to get better,” said Chiefs coach Andy Reid, parroting the stance of his star tight end. “We had a couple of things that went a little haywhacky, but we stayed the course and did some good things. We did more good things than bad things. This job is a little like being a farmer; the work is never done.”

Well, it will be in two more weeks.

The Chiefs plan to spend the time between the AFC title game and the Super Bowl in Tampa, Florida, practicing at their facility near Arrowhead Stadium. They are tentatively planning to depart the day before the game because of the COVID-19 protocols, a big change from a normal year, when they would arrive at the site a week in advance.

It also means a much quieter two weeks to iron out those remaining issues, far away from the harsh glare and the intense spotlight that comes with preparing amid the typical Super Bowl circus.

“The first week is similar to what you had last year. The one thing you’ll minus is the long travel day, the media deal — that thing,” Reid said.

“You still have it but it’s right here at home. Where you might lose a day, you don’t necessarily lose a day on this. But you still have a tremendous amount of obligations to the media and you have to work your schedule around it so it fits. The second week, it’s a little bit of a challenge.”

One the Chiefs have experienced, though. They returned almost intact from the team that beat the 49ers in the Super Bowl last year, which should help to offset the advantage that Tom Brady might otherwise bring to the Bucs.

“I can’t put my finger on it. It’s almost like, a little more exciting,” Kelce said. “I feel like last year, it was a question of whether or not we belonged, and this year, ‘Let’s go out and prove we are who we are,’ and the resiliency — how we’re going to handle adversity. I just love this team, man. … I can’t wait to go down to Tampa and give them our best shot.”

Domestic assault

Seahawks reserve offensive lineman Chad Wheeler was being held in King County Jail after being arrested on suspicion of felony domestic violence, accused of assaulting his girlfriend at a residence in Kent, Washington.

Wheeler on Monday appeared in King County District Court, and bail was set at $400,000. He was ordered not to have contact with the alleged victim and to surrender all weapons.

Court records show Wheeler was booked into the King County Correctional Facility in Seattle at 1:19 a.m. Saturday.

Wheeler joined the Seahawks in October 2019 and played in five games this season.

In a statement Monday night, the Seahawks said, “We are aware of the situation and still gathering information.”

The Seattle Times generally does not name suspects until charged. But there are some exceptions, including when a public figure is involved. The Times generally does not identify victims of domestic violence.

A Kent Police Department report said police responded to a call of a woman who was locked in a bathroom following a “physical fight” with her boyfriend.

The victim had called 911 to state that she was being “killed.” Police were advised that she had suffered a dislocated arm and was bleeding.

According to the report, when officers arrived they could hear screaming from inside the apartment, and after forcing their way in they heard more screaming from a bathroom. They forced their way into the bathroom and found the victim and Wheeler. He was standing beside her, the report said.

Wheeler initially was uncooperative before being detained, the report said, and he did not speak to officers.

She was transported to Valley Medical Center in Kent because of arm pain, the report said.

Wheeler is 6 feet, 7 inches and 310 pounds, and the victim is 5-9 and 145 pounds, the report said.

Personnel dept.

The Colts announced quarterbacks coach Marcus Brady has been promoted to offensive coordinator. He will become the NFL’s third Black offensive coordinator, replacing Nick Sirianni who took the Eagles head coaching job last week. The other two Black offensive coordinators are Kansas City’s Eric Bieniemy and Tampa Bay’s Byron Leftwich. Those teams will meet in the Super Bowl on Feb. 7.

… The Panthers hired Sean Ryan as quarterbacks coach and Tony Sparano Jr. as assistant offensive line coach.

… The Steelers named Matt Canada as offensive coordinator and hired longtime NFL assistant Alfredo Roberts as their tight ends coach.

… The Ravens won’t re-sign All-Pro long snapper Morgan Cox.

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