LOS ANGELES CHARGERS vs. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
Sunday, September 9, 2018 | ROKiT Field at StubHub Center | Carson, Calif.
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS HEAD COACH ANTHONY LYNN
"We couldn't have asked for a better opponent to start out with. Our division champs to come in here the first week just to tell us exactly where we're at. A team like that, you can't give them anything. You have to take everything, and we didn't do that. We gave them too much and they outplayed us."
On the dropped passes:
"We had four passes dropped today. I think a couple of those might have been touchdowns. Plays that we need to make. Plays that we have to make."
On if there was a reason for the dropped passes:
"No. We just have to make those plays."
On special teams' performance:
"We're going to watch the tape to find out exactly what happened, but we lost containment. We know he's [Kansas City WR Tyreek Hill] one of the fastest guys in the country and we lost containment. He made us pay. That's something we've emphasized — we've worked. We knew Tyreek was going to be back there. He was back there last year. I don't think he got 10-yards last year back there. We just didn't execute today."
On why they punted to Hill:
"If you noticed, we punted it far left. We were trying to make it hard for him. If he was going to come back across the field, surely someone could get there and make a play, but we didn't get it done."
On WR JJ Jones' performance:
"JJ has been back there all preseason and has done a heck of a job. He's a physical runner. He's fast. He's handled the ball extremely well, and today he just made a bad mistake."
On if he will keep Jones in special teams:
"He made this team because he can score points. We're looking for guys who can score points. That's pretty important, so just because he made one mistake does not mean we're going to give up on that young man. Not at all."
On Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes:
"I thought he played well. He got rid of the ball. He didn't pressure it, and if we did, he got rid of the ball before we could get to him. He created."
On if they needed to see more of Mahomes to create a defensive plan:
"We had an idea of what Patrick's skill set was. Patrick showed us today. He can move in the pocket. He can read his own read stuff. He can get down, protect himself and has a strong arm."
On T Joe Barksdale injury status:
"No update yet."
On if Barksdale's injury could be significant:
"Like is said, I have no idea right now."
On if he missed DE Joey Bosa:
"He's one of our best players, so yeah, we missed him. But we had enough to get it done. Isaac Rochell stepped up. He's been playing well the whole year. We'll see how he played on tape tomorrow, but we had enough to get it done. It's not an excuse, but we definitely missed Joey."
On Bosa's injury status:
"Right now, it's week to week. Soon as we hear back from his doctors and second opinion, then we can put together a plan and see where we're at, but right now he's week to week."
On if he's disappointed:
"I'm very disappointed. Anytime we lose I'm very disappointed, and here on my home field. This would have done a lot for our football team to win this game against these guys, but we have 15 games left and we're going to get better. This is a long season, so we're not down by any means."
On leaving G Forest Lamp inactive:
"He's not ready."
On why Lamp wasn't ready:
"He hasn't played football in 18 months. He played that fourth preseason game, but he's just not there yet."
On the defense's performance against Mahomes:
"There were times we put some pressure on him, but it wasn't enough. When we did, he moved around and made a play. Anytime we gave him a chance to extend plays, he's at home. He did that all through his college days. We just didn't get enough pressure on him."
On why there were so many dropped passes:
"It can be just guys putting pressure on themselves trying to make a play and wanting to make a play for their team. No. They're not trying to drop those passes. I understand that. I think the heat could have played a factor. We have to [work on] our conditioning. I thought we were in pretty good shape coming into this game, but both teams got a little tired."
On RB Melvin Gordon and RB Austin Ekeler:
"I thought those two played well from what I could see on the sidelines. I thought they complimented each other really well and [we] had a nice rotation with those two."
On WR Mike Williams not receiving any action the first half:
"We're always going to throw the football — and [QB Philip] Phil [Rivers] does a good job of throwing to what the defense gives. If they didn't give it to Mike, then I'm sure that's the reason why. You can scheme a guy and get him open. Mike has definitely had a good camp and I thought he did some things very well in the second half, so we'll see what happened."
On S Derwin James' performance:
"Like I said, I need to evaluate him and watch some tape before I say if he played well or played bad. I think he made some plays form the sideline. You can see his speed and length and that's why we brought him here for games like this."
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS QUARTERBACK PHILIP RIVERS
On having assessed the offense overall:
"I think it's like we always say, shoot for yards and great time possession. The way we ran it and threw it — we had over 70-something plays, I guess. A lot of things to get you excited, but ultimately it's about scoring. We left too many out there. It's crazy to say you left too many out there when we had 500 and however many of yards on offense we had. Today we should have thrown for 600, which is crazy to say. We should have thrown for 600 yards in an NFL game. We just didn't get it done. I had a couple just a hair underthrown. We had a couple we didn't bring down. We had a turnover down in there. That all affected points. The name of the game is points. As I said we should have had 600 yards and whoever knows how many more yards. You've got to score. You've got to score more than the other team and we didn't get that done today."
On if this feels like this is a game that they let get away:
"I mean in a way, but at the same time you have to give the [Kansas City] Chiefs credit. They won the football game. They, on the flipside, made those plays to win the game. I'm always careful to say, 'We lost this one,' because there was an opponent over there. We did do some self-inflicting things. It's hard to get guys wide open and when you mess up like I did a few, when you drop a few like I know our guys will tell you. I think that's what makes me, or one of the things, that makes me love this group, is that we can all stand and look at each other and say who should have made what play and who shouldn't have. That's good. I'm super fired up about this year because there's not going to be many times you can miss four touchdowns and turn the ball over down the red zone, drop a punt inside the 10, get a 90-yard punt return on you and really, all that said, it should have been a three-point game with three time outs left with a minute to play. We're going to be just fine."
On the pick he threw:
"It got kind of jacked up, the whole play did, because they brought inside pressure, dropped in, and [WR] Tyrell [Williams] — which after looking at it made the right choice — he ran the shadow route by running around over the top of it instead of underneath. [Kansas City Chiefs S] Ron Parker, that's a guy we have played against a lot, and he read the play. He just did a nice job, a single safety of really cheat, cheat, cheating, and I just didn't get my eyes back up to see him. I thought it was safe when I let it go obviously, or I wouldn't have thrown it. That was another open that we turned the ball over, which is going to hurt you."
On WR Mike Williams getting going later in the day:
"I think it was just as the day got going. They played a little more tempo too. Mike ran and did a nice job on some big ins. Maybe made some catches. He really ran strong too. You saw on some of those catches, a little stroke went in some things and trying to get him another one up high down the boundary. Mike's going to help us. We have so many guys, as you saw today, that will have a ton of opportunities to help. Keenan [Allen] went over 100 yards today in receiving, but really, if you make all the throws and the catches that we had, we may have had three or four guys over 100 yards receiving, including [RB] Melvin [Gordon III]. It's one of those games that you're sick that you let it get away because you didn't make all the plays that you really dream about making. Those are the ones that you dream about making. It's the short ones to get five that you already kind of have stowed away as you're going to make those. It's the, 'Gosh, we're going to get [WR] Travis [Benjamin] on this, then they're going to do this, then were going to get Tyrell [Williams] for another touchdown.' All those things you maybe visualize and didn't make it happen. It does nothing but make me be excited. I'm not much of a cycling fan but I compare the NFL season to the Tour De France. It's all the stages, and that's what the NFL season is to me. There are 16 stages you get. You make sure you better win your fair share of them. It's a long deal. We're down. We're down after the first phase and we have a chance in Buffalo to go get a win and go 1-1."
On if when guys drop passes if he makes an effort to go right back to them:
"I just keep playing. I mean, shoot, they don't want to drop it, I don't want to miss a throw. Those are things that it's not effort, it's not want-to, it's not assignment, something they're not doing right. I mean shoot, that's what I mean why I say I love this group. We can all look at it honestly and say who should have made what and who didn't make what. We all had our share. We all had our share today and that's why it's the ultimate team game. This team [Kansas City Chiefs] has won the division now, for how many in a row, but we know we weren't our best today."
On if he talks to a receiver when he sees a drop:
"No, I don't. Maybe that's just my quarterback philosophy, but if I dropped one I wouldn't want to have somebody tell me, 'Come on, make the catch.' We know. Just like somebody tells me, 'Come on, you have to make that throw.' I know, and I think the receivers know me, we know each other well enough that we know. A little too far to Travis [Benjamin], a little too far to Tyrell [Williams] early in the game. The other ones, Tyrell said, 'I've got to make it.' It's a team deal. We're going to have to play more of those opportunities."
On if he will talk to the younger guys about the bigger picture:
"I think no question. Especially when we've never had a handful of rookies playing for us that were in the college world, with this one lost, you would have a long line to make the playoffs. It's not the same. I think Coach [Lynn]'s message, our message, was let's get better. We did some things today that you can't do to be the division champ. Let's figure out a way to regroup and get ready to go to Buffalo for their home opener. A tough place to play and get to 1-1. There's 16 teams that are 1-1 today. There are 16 that are undefeated. It's a long season – well not today, there are two more games tomorrow, but there will be. We have a long way to go."
On RB Melvin Gordon III and RB Austin Ekeler:
"The guys ran the ball like crazy up front. We couldn't run the ball as much as we would like to because of where the score got there in the fourth quarter, we had to go. When you're down three scores at one point and then you're down two scores under five minutes, you have to throw it just about every snap. The running game was awesome. The guys up front did a great job and I thought Melvin and Austin ran hard. They're two guys who are hard to tackle and they compliment each other very well. All in all, you saw how many guys are going to contribute and can contribute. [TE] Virgil [Green] had a big catch, [CB] Casey [Hayward] gets back in the mix, it has the chance to be a heck of a year. By no means has this game dampened any aspirations for the season. The only thing it guarantees is that we can't go through the season undefeated. Other than that, everything is still out there."
On Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes:
"I think he has a chance to be a really, really, really awesome player. He has some arm power. I'd like to borrow his arm every now and then for some of those throws. He can really throw, and he's really accurate. I hadn't seen a ton of him, but he was really accurate today on some of those balls that just came out. He seems to have that he can throw it from any arm angle and he was poised. He was poised. He's got a chance, and I just wanted to tell him after the game, whether he wanted to hear it from me or not, that he's got a chance to be really awesome. Just be steady and keep going. He's still a young player. He was solid today."
On having TE Antonio Gates back:
"It was great to have him out there. In a way, it was as if he never left. We hadn't been through any games really, except for preseason, without him. At the same time, it's like getting something back that you thought was gone forever. It was good to have him out there. A big two-point play. He had some other catches he made, too. I think the way he finished last year, it obviously showed he had a little more juice left in the tank. Obviously with Hunter [Henry]'s knee injury the need was out there to add some depth to the tight end group. I honestly think he has more juice right now than he did at the end of last year, which makes sense because he was able to be fresh all preseason and all training camp."
On why he is confident they will have a better start this season compared to last season:
"I just think we're further along than we were last year at that point. I think last year at that point we were still a little bit snake bit of how we lost to many games the previously two years, 4-12 and 5-11, then you come out and you lose the same way to Denver [Broncos], Miami [Dolphins]. Then KC [Kansas City Chiefs], you're turning over three games then Philly [Philadelphia Eagles] comes in here and it's tight but they win. It was kind of a little bit the same old story and then we kind of got rid of that. I feel like we kind of got rid of that the last 12 games last year. We still have to go do it, but there's so many good things that we did today, other than score, which is the most important, that gives me all the confidence in the world that this could be an awesome season."
On making mistakes being the determining factor in losing so many games to the Chiefs.
"I think so, I mean it's the boring reason why but I think so because there's nothing unbelievable schematically either side is doing. I mean we are trying to do all we can to gain yards and do a lot of great things and I feel like we've done that and they played the same defense they played today that they have for all nine of the contests for the most part. That is what they do. [Chiefs Defensive Coordinator] Coach [Bob] Sutton is a heck of a defensive coordinator and they have some different guys this year, but I think that's the case and our leader has been in total offense against Tennessee. We had our fair share of runs against them as well, where I think it was the same sort of deal. We made lots of mistakes, I think that's somewhat football, if you win the turnover battle, which we didn't, and you win the kicking game, you have a chance, you have a heck of a chance to win and we lost both of those today and we all contributed to that.
On the makeup of the fans compared to last year:
"Again, we've got to control what we can control. We are thankful for every fan, blue and gold out there in the stadium cheering us on. I felt the atmosphere just fine and the more we score more than the other team, the better that will get. I think we saw that last season as the year went. I think this isn't the start we wanted but we can quickly get that turned around next Sunday."
On if it is possible to overthrow Chiefs WR Tyreek Hill:
"Yeah, we got a couple, too, that are tough to overthrow. I just couldn't believe they were out of reach. I don't know, I mean they can. I mean that guy, Tyreek Hill, is unbelievable to watch. What a dynamic player. I don't want to make any too crazy of statements, but he is one of the most dynamic guys. I don't know if I've seen anybody better, the things he can do speed-wise, in all my time playing."
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS WIDE RECEIVER KEENAN ALLEN
On Head Coach Anthony Lynn's message to the team:
"Just [that there were] a lot of plays that we left out on the field. [We] shot ourselves in the foot. [There was] bad execution. We just have to clean some things up."
On the Chiefs as a team:
"Very good football team. That's what they have shown every time we have played them. They don't beat themselves, don't make mistakes and do a good job of managing the game."
On the multiple dropped passes:
"Very uncharacteristic. We just have to clean it up. It happens. We just have to be able to move on."
On being called out of bounds:
"I still don't even know if I went out of bounds. It is supposed to be a penalty if I did go out of bounds and catch the ball."
On moving on to Buffalo:
"Just keep going. First game, it's a long season. It's early in the year. We just have to keep going. We'll find it."
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS TIGHT END ANTONIO GATES
On being back on the field:
"It feels good. Obviously being back here, this is family to me. It took me a while to get going because I had been away for so long. Going into the second half, my timing came back. It's kind of like riding a bike. I still have a long way to go because I just got back this week, but my thing is just progress. I'm trying to make progressions every single week."
On the offensive performance:
"Well, obviously we were able to move the ball. We had some good drives throughout the game. [If] we eliminate our turnovers and dropped passes, the sky is the limit for what we can do."
On his offseason:
"It's safe to say it was mini-retirement. I left and came back and, for the most part, [I] really didn't have any clue about where I was going to be — whether or not I was going to play again. To be here, to hear fans again, was just an unbelievable experience. I think, for the most part, you take it for granted. Ultimately, when you step away, reality hits you and [then] you step back into this situation, I think you really understand and respect this opportunity."
On the two-point conversion:
"I mean, I'm back. It took me a while to get going. The first couple of quarters I felt slow. For the most part, I've been doing this for so long [that] once I got going, I found a rhythm. I think it is still a progression over an entire season. You don't get it all back in one week. Just moving down the right path and getting better every single week."
On what to tell young guys after a loss:
"Well, obviously you make the necessary corrections. You look at it and be critical of yourself and critical of what we can become as a team. You have to turn the page and move on to the next game. It's about playing the game and the most important game is that week. You make the necessary adjustments, you get past it. Good and bad, you can learn from winning games as well. We weren't able to do that today, but we are going to learn from this and move forward."
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS RUNNING BACK MELVIN GORDON III
On continuously not being able to beat the Chiefs:
"We can. We definitely can beat these guys. We just made more mistakes today. We didn't make our plays and we paid for it."
On the dropped balls:
"We just were not locked in and maybe they took their eye off the ball. I had one where I didn't get my head around fast enough. It's just little details. I definitely like those guys. They can make the plays because they have made them before plenty of times. I am not really worried about it. They had some mistakes and we [all] had mistakes, including myself. We're going to be alright."
On complimenting with RB Austin Ekeler:
"We've been doing it all camp and that's what we're going to continue to do."
On being used more in the passing game:
"You just have to make your plays. That's what it's all about, [being effective] any way you can get the ball. If you want to be elite and be in that category, by any means, you just have to do something with the ball."
On this year being different:
"It just feels different. It's not the same, it's just a different feeling. I hope the guys feel that way. The goal is not to fall like that again. Focus on the Bills now. They lost today, so we know they're going to try to bring their best foot forward and so are we."
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS SAFETY DERWIN JAMES
On how to move on from today's loss:
"Just cleaning up the mistakes that we made today. There were a lot of spots where we could have been better, especially on special teams and defense as a whole. I feel like we can look at the tape and get better and move on. We have 15 more games."
On how he felt in his regular-season debut:
"I felt good out there. I had to settle down after the first drive, but I felt good, felt normal. It felt like football again. I'm happy with where I am and I can continue to get better."
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS HEAD COACH ANDY REID
"As far as the injuries go, [S] Eric Berry came on the visit but didn't play. [LB] Ben Neimann is the only one, he tweaked his hamstring. We will just have to see how that works out here in the next day or two. I'm proud of our team, it was a hot one today so the guys had to endure the elements. I thought they did a nice job, our trainers did a nice job making sure our guys were hydrated and ready to go. There were some great individual efforts out there. S Ron Parker comes in and he's only been here a couple days and he comes out with all of those tackles. [LB Anthony] Hitchens did the same thing on defense, has all of the tackles. Our special teams did a nice job, [Asst. Head Coach/Special Teams Coordinator] Dave Toub does a phenomenal job with that crew and they play hard. I thought [Q]B Patrick [Mahomes] did a nice job with the offense, not only managing it but making plays. [RB] Tyreek [Hill] got things going and did a nice job. Most of all, we like to see all of that red in the stands. Our fans were unbelievable, they were loud and there were a lot of them. We notice it and we appreciate it."
On QB Patrick Mahomes' first start of the season:
"I thought he did a nice job. He has things that he has to work on, like everybody, and he knows it. This will be a great learning tool for him as he evaluates the tape. He made plays, he did it with his legs, he did it throwing, he did it with checks. I have a lot of respect for [Chargers Defensive Coordinator] Gus Bradley and his defense. He threw a few things at him and got him a few times and I thought Pat did a nice job of handling it against a very experienced and very good defensive coordinator."
On WR Tyreek Hill returning punts:
"We went into it just like we did last year. He [Tyreek Hill] is the guy, but we have [WR] De'Anthony [Thomas] which isn't all bad. [CB Tremon] Smith did it for us in the preseason. We have guys that can do it so if Tyreek gets a little tired, we just put the next guy in. [Special Teams Coordinator] Dave [Toub] is good with that, he understands it. I thought he managed that well. I thought [Wide Receivers Coach] Greg Lewis managed the wide receivers well, that's a tough thing. We had a lot of deep throws that we had to check down a little bit but those guys were running a few miles."
On what Hill brings to the team:
"He does a nice job. He's fast and he's quick. He's surrounded by some good guys so it's hard to double him. Then you have [TE Travis] Kelce who they spent a lot of time trying to take out of the game. Then you have [WR] Sammy [Watkins] and [WR] Chris [Conley] stepped up and he had a couple plays. There are people around him so they just can't put him on the primary focus."
On the number of young guys on special teams and how they stepped up:
"We do. We do have a lot of young guys. I thought they stepped up. I looked out there on the kickoff and that front line, on the kickoff return, that front line is young, young, young. But, I thought they handled it well and did a good job."
On the relationship Mahomes has built with Hill and if that's uncommon for most young quarterbacks:
"Coming out of camp, it felt like he got on the same page with [Travis] Kelce and Tyreek, and he was working on it with Sammy [Watkins]. That's what we were trying to strive for coming out of camp. I thought he did a nice job of it. Listen, your guys have been around him. He's a unique kid. He's got to keep working here. He's just at the beginning of this thing. We've got to keep moving forward, taking steps forward. [We've got] a big challenge as a team this next week against Pittsburgh, who is a good football team. It's just steps, steps, steps, steps. Just take small steps forward. He's a talented kid and a special kid. Special person."
On the Chargers' defense:
"Yeah, listen, I have a lot of respect for their defense. They've got speed and they know how to use it. It was a huge challenge for our offensive line. They can pressure you inside. They can pressure you outside. They're missing a couple of their guys, 99 [Chargers DE Joey Bosa] and 94 [DT Corey Liuget] were out, but they're a talented bunch. You can name whichever ones you want to name there, but they are talented."
On LB Dee Ford and his play in the first half:
"I thought Dee Ford did a nice job. It's unique to have two guys because Justin [Houston] is good, too, so if you're going to double Justin, then you've got to deal with Dee. Dee had the one sack but he was around the quarterback, I thought, quite a little bit. And then there are going to be games where Justin is doing that and they're working Dee. It's a good situation. We're still able to give those guys a blow with the young guys and get them in and get them some snaps, between 57 [LB Breeland Speaks], 91 [DT Derrick Nnadi] and 92 [LB Tanoh Kpassgnon], they all got some snaps there."
On the Chiefs defense and their performance today:
"I thought they did a nice job. I thought they had a lot of snaps in those first couple series. It was too much and we weren't sustaining drives on offense. We've got to do a better job so we don't get them in cardiac arrest on a hot day like this. You deal with that the first few months of the season, first couple months of the season, so you've got to balance that out. I thought it possibly caught up to us just a little bit. They were tired too, but caught up a little bit to us in the fourth quarter. I thought they reached down. That was the thing I was most proud of. Nobody wanted to come off the field. They reached down when it counted and they tightened it up, so I was proud of them for that."
On FB Anthony Sherman and how he helped the team feel more confident in the tight end position today:
"We saw what he did filling in as a running back in Denver. You got to see today what he did filling in as a tight end, and that's why we didn't make a move, yes — to answer your question — yes. Then we get [TE] Demetrius [Harris] back and now we are rolling at tight end with another person that is a good player."
On the level of trust he has in Sherman to run routes and trust his hands to make those plays at tight end:
"I was telling [Chiefs Radio Network executive producer] Dan [Israel], he's got crazy hands, man. You think of him as a sausage, so he goes out and he's a sausage with hands. It's a good thing."
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS QUARTERBACK PATRICK MAHOMES
On his attitude and having fun:
"Anytime you can come to a divisional opponent and get a win, it's fun. We spread the ball around and ran the offense and decided we can come out with a win."
On him feeling like he was back at Texas Tech:
"It felt comfortable out there. It helped that we game planned well. We had good meetings with the scouts this week. I felt like I was seeing it well and could get it into my teammate's hands."
On WR Tyreek Hill's performance:
"I think everyone on our team is trying to advance their game and trying to get better. Tyreek's really worked on his route running and everything in order to make himself the best wide receiver in the league. I think today has showed that he has improved in his part and has the speed to bring it any time."
On the normality of his performance:
"I think there is definitely stuff that we need to keep working on and I have to keep working on. I will see it in film. Even just being out there, there was stuff I could hit and I didn't. Once instincts where I was protected and I thought I was going to be hit and [WR] Sammy Watkins was wide open and I could have made the throw. Little things like that, I can keep improving in order to keep having success in this league."
On his shovel pass:
"When you have the threat of [RB] Kareem Hunt running it down the field and [WR] Tyreek Hill hitting it on the sweep, its hard for defenses to choose which one they are trying to take away. We had good man zone IDs on those so I read it like I read it in practice and got it into the guy's hands.
On running shovel passes in practice:
"It is really fun for me because it is a passing touchdown. It is cool just to be able to get the ball out quick. It's even cooler when you have [WR] Hill and [WR] Thomas catching it. I am sure we will add other guys in there."
On his touchdown with Tyreek Hill and did he expect that:
"It was a run play with a pass option. I read the linebacker and what he did on the pass fake and I gave it to Tyreek. He got one-on-one with the safety and he used his speed to get around the edge."
On the Chargers defense:
"The defense flew around. We game planned them well, you have to when you have a defense with this many talented dudes. They still flew around. Melvin Ingram was everywhere it felt like and all the other defensive linemen were everywhere."
On getting the big play on the punt return early in the game:
"Yeah you have to go back to where you started at, I think the next few drives I was trying to get the big play again and as we kind of got stuff going late in the half, I kind of worked on getting a drive sustained, getting something going. I think at the beginning of the game, they had our defense on the field like the entire first half and I feel like that last drive before the half kind of got us thinking alright we can get a drive going and score that way."
On the difference with the defense today:
"I mean they still flew around, we game planned them well, I mean you have to when you play a defense with this many talented dudes. But they still flew around, Ingram was everywhere it felt like and there were other D-lineman that were everywhere on the field and luckily we had a good game plan and I got it to those receivers quick before they could get to me and made plays."
On Chargers S Derwin James:
"That play he made with the ball over the top was spectacular. I said it to him on the field when I threw it, I thought it was a touchdown. I was already running down the field and for him to flip around, find the ball and then knock it down, that's the special plays that you'll be grading this week with."
On watching Chargers QB Philip Rivers play:
"It's always cool watching Philip play, I mean I grew up watching him play and then just to see how early he releases the ball, how well he sees the defense. He's a great quarterback so any time you get to watch him live, it's a special experience."
On the team dynamic of the offense:
"Like I said earlier, we still have to get better. I feel like we left a lot out there. We scored on some big plays but sustaining drives and executing wherever we need to execute is something I think we need to keep working on as we go throughout the rest of the season."
On the team dynamic in the locker room:
"We have great relationships in the locker room, offense, defense and special teams. We joke around all the time but at the same time hold each other accountable. I feel like that's something we can build upon every single day and hopefully that we can have a lot of success with."
On keeping himself calm this game:
"It was hard after [WR] Tyreek returned the punt the first drive, but I tried to calm myself down and just run the offense. It helped last year having that Denver game, I knew when I first got out there I was too excited and so I tried to calm myself down before having to make a mistake first."
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS WIDE RECEIVER TYREEK HILL
On the punt return:
"It was a great job by the whole unit. Everybody did their job [and] blocked it up well. Coach told the game plan well. He even said it was going to be a touchdown. During the whole week he was like, 'Guys, we have a chance, we have a chance, we just need to block it up.' Then it turned out to be a touchdown."
On when he knew he was going to score:
"Once I caught it. I was like, 'Man, this is wide open.' Credit to our punt return unit. They did their job."
On kick returns:
"It gets me hyped. It gets the offense rolling. That's our slogan for this year, 'Let's roll.' It's fun being back there and being able to make a play for the team."
On his backflip:
"At the beginning of the game, I was watching the screen and one of their players did a backflip so I was like, 'Okay, I'm going to do a backflip.' I had to show my athletic ability. I shouldn't have done it though because I started cramping right after. It was a bad idea."
On posting three touchdowns in the first game of the year:
"It's a blessing. Just to be able to be in this position is always a blessing for me. [Chiefs Chief Executive Officer] Clark Hunt and [Head] Coach [Andy] Reid took a chance on me and I'm thankful each and every day I'm going to give every guy in that locker room everything I have. I'm thankful for this opportunity and I'm blessed. My family gets a chance to watch me do what I love. I'm surrounded by great people, great leaders and I'm happy."
On QB Patrick Mahomes' presence in the huddle:
"He was very comfortable. Every time Pat steps into the huddle, he is very comfortable. With the play call he was like, 'Okay guys, let's drive this ball down their throat.' As a receiver, tight end, offensive line we were like, 'We have a great leader in our huddle.' Pat showed great confidence, great leadership today and he was awesome."
On beating the Chargers:
"This is only the first game. The first game doesn't really mean anything. For us, it gets us going, but for them it doesn't mean anything because it's still a long season ahead."
On going through concussion protocol:
"I landed on my head a little bit. I'm so glad that I switched helmets this year. The helmet prevented a bunch of impact. I did land on my head."
On the first touchdown catch:
"It's an [run-pass option] play and I had a slant so he [Mahomes] was reading the linebackers. I just have to run my route and be there. There's a certain spot on the field that I have to be and he's going to throw it there every time. Then after that, it's history."
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS RUNNING BACK KAREEM HUNT
On WR Tyreek Hill's punt return touchdown:
"I was getting ready to go out there, got my helmet — next thing I know I see Tyreek catch it and do what he does. Once he hit the outside, I knew it was a touchdown. I was just like, 'Let me sit back down. Good for him.'"
On the offense this year compared to last year:
"We have a lot of new things in this offense and we have a lot of new pieces. It is definitely a lot different."
On FB Anthony Sherman's touchdown:
"I was just talking about the Sherman catch. I couldn't be happier for anybody. That guy lined up in front of me, blocked all day long for me and I know he has my back. When he caught that ball, I was the first one in the end zone congratulating him."
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS SAFETY RON PARKER
On playing Pittsburgh next week:
"It's a new season. Any time it is a new season, we come in and we start to feel like this. It's a good feeling. We are going to take the same energy and same vibe into game two and see what we can get."
On LB Anthony Hitchens:
"Hitch is something special. When I first came in — the guys told me from the first day I walked into the locker room, they were like 'Hey. You're going to like him.' I have been seeing that today and have been seeing it in practice. I think he did a good job of just being himself and playing football. He is a playmaker. He just makes plays. He just has a knack for the football and he is a good, fundamentally sound football player."
On his interception:
"I saw one of our guys was kind of trailing behind and I knew [Chargers QB] Phillip [Rivers] wanted to hit 13 [Chargers WR Keenan Allen] on the over route, so I just kept my eyes on him and I just made a play."
On the defensive performance:
"We still have room to improve. We have a lot of things to do to get better as a defense. We gave up some stuff today and I think we can get better. It is just the first week. We have to go back and get better."