By Conor Orr, Sports Illustrated
Pro Football Writers of America
TEMPE, Ariz. — The Chiefs completed their final practice of Super Bowl week with a celebration.
In a post-practice huddle, the team and coaching staff saluted departing strength and conditioning coach Barry Rubin. Rubin, 65, a former running back and punter for the LSU Tigers, has been coaching alongside Reid for decades. The pair first started working together in Green Bay back in 1995 when Reid was the Packers’ assistant offensive line and tight ends coach.
“[He’s meant] a lot. Great guy,” Reid said. “He’s been with me, jeez, since Green Bay. I’ve known him forever. Isn’t that crazy when you think about all those years? He’s a little bit older than I am, he’s at that age. He’s got a nice place in Florida. But he means a lot to the guys. They love him.”
Reid was also pleased with the fact that none of his players will carry any injury designation heading into Sunday’s game. Each and every member of the team’s active roster and practice squad was present and working on Saturday for a very brief walkthrough that lasted from 10:58 a.m. to 11:24 a.m. here in Tempe, just down the walkway from Sun Devil Stadium.
“I’m happy for the guys,” Reid said. “We’ll make it work with whatever we got but I mean, I’m happy for the guys to have this chance. It’s special. To play in the Super Bowl. It’s a great opportunity that doesn’t come around very often.”
Reid said that Saturday’s practice was called a “Mock Game” practice, which works “all the situational stuff.” He wanted to make sure the team was able to substitute players in and out smoothly under various circumstances.
A potentially prophetic soundtrack accompanied the workout. Songs included Semisonic’s “Closing Time,” Toby Keith’s “How Do You Like Me Now?” Trick Daddy’s “Take It To The House” and a song called “Big League” by CMG The Label, Moneybagg Yo and Yo Gotti, which features the line: “One step closer to the big ring.”
The players arrived off a fleet of buses in their crisp game uniforms, with white tops and red pants.
Surrounded by the team’s personnel staff, who also made the trip, they were en route to a photograph session before shutting down for the night.
Reid is saving time for reflection until after the game, noting that “right now I gotta get in, get my head on straight. I don’t let myself go to the other areas.”
As for his players, Reid made a brief address to the team on Saturday morning.
“Be themselves,” Reid said. “You don’t need to be any more or any less. Just, go be yourself. That’s what it’s all about really, and that’s what they’ll do.”