If there’s a reason the Kansas City Chiefs already look like they’re in midseason form, well, it’s probably because they are.
And a lot of that development comes from how Andy Reid structures his training camp. Reid’s camp has always been known as one of the NFL’s most intense camps, but it’s for good reason.
As we all know, NFL games are won more on the mental side of things than the physical side. One mental error can completely change a game and mental errors become more common when players are tired. That’s why conditioning and staying in football shape is so important for players.
So, Reid dials things up during camp in order to make sure his team is stocked with players who fit this bill.
“That foundation will pay off for them down the road here,” Reid said back in August.
And it’s already paid off, as we saw during Thursday night’s win over the Los Angeles Chargers.
It all started when Chiefs rookie cornerback Jaylen Watson turned the game on its head with his 99-yard pick-six that gave Kansas City a 24-17 lead. A lead that was never handed back to the Chargers for the rest of the night.
After the play, color analyst Kirk Herbstreit pointed out how Gerald Everett -the Chargers’ intended target on the play- tried to tell the coaching staff that he needed a breather. The Chargers didn’t sub him out for whatever reason and the end result was the pick-six because of a miscommunication between him and Justin Herbert.
The miscommunication was because Everett was tired and he wasn’t fully there.
I don't usually say this but LA Chargers had KC whipped if not for this tired 14-point turnaround. 🤔 Gerald Everett was spent & then…#BoltUp#NFLPicks #SportsGambling #SDvsKC #GamblingTwitterhttps://t.co/bKnbXmNan2— Eddie Matthews (@EddieBetUS) September 16, 2022
The Chiefs, however, were fully there. And it’s because of the foundation Reid sets back in late July.
“It all goes back to training camp,” Jones told reporters after the game. “The way we practice, how we practice, the conditioning [and] the amount of plays – it’s an accumulation of training camp [and] the grind.
“When you go through the season and through games like this, it’s easy. It’s very easy. The way coach Reid does things, it makes things easier for us during the season. A game like this – we’ve had back-to-back days like this in training camp. When you take that in hindsight, I mean, that’s what it’s all about.”
Everett isn’t the only reason the play happened, however. It also happened because of the study habits of Watson fellow defensive back Justin Reid.
“We knew they like those switch routes in the high red [zone],” Watson said after the game. “So, me and Justin [Reid] we worked together and the ball just ended up in my chest.”
Again, the foundation this coaching staff built is shining through.
This is why the Chiefs have won the AFC West the last six years and have been to four straight AFC Championship games. Reid and co. know what they’re doing and they find guys who not only fit what they’re doing, but buy into it, too.
It’s why when players like Tyreek Hill leave, there is no panic. There is no worry. This team knows what it’s capable of and it has guys who have proven they can still get the job done when the chips are down.
And we saw that in its fullest form last night.
But, the Chiefs have seen it since July. And they will keep seeing it as 2022 rolls on.
You can check out Jones’ full presser, below:
Featured image via Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports