By Conor Orr, Sports Illustrated
Pro Football Writers of America
TEMPE, Ariz. — Chiefs head coach Andy Reid was jovial as he cruised off the practice field in his trademark red and white Nikes on Wednesday, capping off a practice that lasted one hour and 33 minutes from first horn to huddle breakdown.
Underneath a sunny sky with commercial jets flying low overhead and a very slight breeze, Reid reflected briefly on what was the end of his preparation for his sixth Super Bowl appearance as either a head coach or assistant. This is his third Super Bowl appearance as the head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs.
“The older you get, the more you appreciate it,” Reid, 64, said. “This group kind of came from a blend of different places. A lot of new faces compared to what we’ve had the last four or five years.”
Two of those new faces, wide receivers JuJu Smith-Schuster and Kadarius Toney were both present at practice Wednesday. Smith-Schuster (knee), and Toney (ankle) were active over the course of the day, which included brief offensive, defense and special teams sessions rotated in quick succession.
Linebacker Willie Gay (shoulder) and cornerback L’Jarius Snead (concussion) were also present and involved during practice.
“Yeah,” Reid said when asked if everyone would be considered a “full” participant in Wednesday’s practice. “Everyone went.”
He added: “All the guys that were banged up, I thought, moved around well today. I talked to them and they said they felt well.”
That included Patrick Mahomes, who suffered a high ankle sprain in the team’s divisional round victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars. Despite most players being in shorts and without shoulder pads or helmets, Mahomes wore his helmet and upper pads.
“You got a bird’s eye view of him today,” Reid said of Mahomes. “He’s an amazing guy. Half of it is how strong he is in the mind. He wills himself to do things and doesn’t give himself any excuses. You saw it [today]. You saw him roll to the right, roll to the left, taking snaps from under center. All the things that are a little tougher. I thought he did well.”
Reid said that Wednesday’s practice, which was soundtracked early by Babyface Ray’s “Waves On Every Chain,” Lil Baby’s “From Now On” and Metro Boomin, Future and Chris Brown’s “Superhero” (Heroes & Villains) before deviating sharply into 38 Special’s “Hold On Loosely,” was “a little heavier,” anticipating the week’s “heaviest” practice on Thursday before another light workout on Friday.
He said he does not have a hand in choosing the music.
“I am sure the players put in requests,” he said.