KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Five games into the season, the Kansas City Chiefs have developed their personality, one that includes a trait Andy Reid said he didn’t quite expect.
“They’ve got a certain toughness about them, which I like," Reid said. “That’s a tough thing to coach, that toughness thing. Until you are in the fight of playing the game, you don’t exactly know that part of it and you have to experience that. I would tell you that there is some grit to this team and some of the fundamentals and techniques we’ve got to get corrected here, but that grit, that’s a tough thing to coach, that’s a tough thing to coach. We can take care of the other stuff, but that one’s a tough thing to coach and they’ve showed that they’ve got a little of that.”
Reid is talking mainly about the Chiefs’ ability to play through a rash of injuries. They lost two defensive starters, linebacker Derrick Johnson and end Mike DeVito, for the season in Week 1. Safety Eric Berry hasn’t played since Week 2. Linebacker Joe Mays hasn’t played all season but has a chance to return at some later point.
The situation is not as drastic on offense, but starting lineman Jeff Allen was also lost for the season in Week 1. Running back Jamaal Charles and starting wide receivers Dwayne Bowe and Donnie Avery have each missed at least one game.
The Chiefs will need that grit if they’re going to get back into the AFC West race. They’re already 2½ games behind the first-place Chargers and will play in San Diego on Sunday. The game concludes a difficult five-game stretch that included only one contest at Arrowhead Stadium.
Reid indicated he believed the Chiefs to be close to the team he thinks they can be.
“I don’t throw that around loosely when I say that," he said. “There are a couple of little things that we’ve got to do and get fixed and I’d say from coaching and player-side, we’ve just got to tighten up a couple of things there and we’ll be okay, so that’s what I felt.”