Chiefs HC Andy Reid provides first impression of Browns
Speaking to the media for the first time since their opponent had been revealed, Chiefs HC Andy Reid provided his initial impression of the Browns, starting with their win over the Pittsburgh Steelers in the wild-card round.
“We had a bird’s-eye view of [The Browns] yesterday watching them, and they’re a good football team,” Reid said in his opening statement. “We had a chance to study them last week, as we did the other three teams that were potentially involved that we might be playing.”
If you’ll notice, Reid only mentioned preparing for three teams during the bye week. That suggests that they didn’t do work on the Baltimore Ravens, who they actually already had faced during the regular season. Each of the other three possible opponents — the Colts, Titans and Browns — never played against Kansas City during the regular season. That’s a smart move by the team to maximize their time during the bye week.
Getting back to the task at hand with Cleveland, Reid is namely concerned with the running game with Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. The Browns often utilize the run game to set themselves up for success in the passing game.
“Well, that’s where it starts, is with the runners,” Reid said on Monday. “Then, they’ve got a good quarterback, obviously, and they do play-passes off of that and they make it look just like they do the run plays. So, you’ve got to be able to decipher and then transition. They’ve got good receivers and tight ends, so you’ve got to play physical on those guys because they do a nice job. And that offensive line does a nice job in the run and pass game.”
As for Browns starting QB Baker Mayfield, Reid has been impressed with how quickly he’s been able to pick up the new scheme brought in by head coach Kevin Stefanski.
“Yeah well I mean he’s matured on the field,” Reid said of Mayfield. “I think he’s really fallen in love with this scheme and mastered it so he’s doing very well. It’s not an easy thing to do when you’ve been given a couple of different things as a young quarterback, a couple of different schemes to try to be the best at. That’s not easy for a lot of these quarterbacks.”
On the flip side, Reid’s offense will face a challenge against the Browns’ defense. The rankings might tell you otherwise, but Reid would be first to tell you that none of those rankings are real.
“Defensively, their front seven is tough,” Reid said. “They fly around and make a lot of plays, and their back end does the same thing. I mean, they’re going to challenge you, so you’ve got to be ready to go.”
Beyond the players on the field, Reid is generally impressed with the coaching job done by Kevin Stefanski in his first year as a head coach.
“(Kevin) Stefanski’s done a heck of a job there,” Reid said. “What a great job he’s done putting this whole thing together and putting guys in the right position. It didn’t take him very long to figure out who could do what, which is a compliment to both him and his staff, and really on both sides of the ball.”
Reid knows that the intensity from the Browns will be taken up a notch and now this week he’ll be tasked with getting his players prepared to match that intensity. It’ll be a tough job, but he believes in the resiliency and playoff experience that his team has.