What are the Kansas City Chiefs' players and coaches talking about ahead of Thursday's nationally televised Week 1 matchup against the Detroit Lions at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Let's find out:
1. Asked about a young, hungry Lions team on the road looking for an upset win, Kansas City head coach Andy Reid said the Lions will present a terrific Week 1 test for his club.
"They play aggressive football," Reid said. "Dan (Campbell) has done a great job up there with his guys. I know we really have to have a great week of preparation. Between Aaron (Glenn) and Ben (Johnson) they have good coordinators. Both of their schemes are good on both sides of the ball, and they've got good talent."
2. Has Reid been given any indication if All-Pro defensive tackle Chris Jones will end his holdout and play Week 1 vs. Detroit? Reid said no.
Jones, who is one of the league's most dominant defensive linemen with 15.0 sacks last year, is currently in a contract dispute with the Chiefs and hasn't reported to the team. Reid was asked if there was a deadline where Jones had to return to be eligible to play against Detroit Thursday night and Reid said there currently wasn't one. He also admitted the Chiefs' defense wouldn't be the same if Jones isn't on the field.
Tight end Travis Kelce said this about the situation on his "New Heights" podcast with his brother Jason.
"Ah, man, Chris. Can you please come back?" Travis said. "You're really scaring me, man."
View photos from Detroit Lions practice on Saturday, September 2, 2023.
3. Reid also talked about the Lions' improved defense. Watching the film of Detroit's second half last year he said it looked like the Lions answered a lot of question marks they had on that side of the ball the first half of the season. Reid mentioned safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson in particular as being a very nice addition for the defense this offseason.
"We have to be sharp from an offensive standpoint," he said.
4. Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes was asked about Detroit's defense and some of the additions they've made this offseason, and he said the first thing that jumped out to him on tape was how hard Detroit played defensively.
"No matter if it's a good play or a bad play they are going to come back that next snap and play extremely hard," he told chiefs.com. "They do a lot of great stuff scheme-wise. They had a lot of young guys playing last year and you could see even throughout the season. Then they added talent."
Mahomes mentioned cornerback Cam Sutton and Gardner-Johnson as key additions for Detroit's secondary. Mahomes expects a heck of a football game and said if they don't play their best football offensively, they won't go out there and win.
5. What stands out when you see quarterback Jared Goff's tape?
"He's a great football player," Mahomes said. "No matter if it was with the Rams or last year with the Lions. I mean, he's always put up stats and won games. That takes something. To be able to win games when everything might not be going perfect. You have to have something inside you that says, 'I can go out there and find a way to win.' And he's done that his whole career."
6. Reid said wide receiver Kadarius Toney, who's been dealing with a knee injury for most of training camp, was back on the practice field Sunday and is expected to play Thursday.
7. Chiefs safety Justin Reid was asked about the Lions' offense and said he really liked rookie running back Jahmyr Gibbs. He referred to Gibbs as a 'very dynamic player.' Reid said he knows some players from the New York Giants who participated in two joint practices with Detroit in training camp and those players had a lot of good things to say about Gibbs and how explosive he was making plays in space.
8. Linebacker Nick Bolton said the hard part about facing a player like Gibbs this early in the year is that there isn't a lot of tape on him and the Chiefs don't know exactly how the Lions will deploy his many talents in their offense.
9. "All and all a tough football team," Justin Reid said of the Lions. "Coach Dan Campbell does a good job with them, and you can see that in their mentality in the offensive line. They want to be a physical football team and we want to go out there and match that."