Andy Reid and the Kansas City Chiefs can still taste the disappointment of their AFC Championship Game loss to the New England Patriots last January.
“We came up short last year,” Reid, the Kansas City head coach, said Wednesday morning in Miami. “It kind of fell on Dee (Ford). It wasn’t on Dee. It fell on all of us. We were 4 inches short. We could have all done a better job.”
Ford, a defensive end since traded to the San Francisco 49ers, was called offside on a would-be game-clinching interception, preventing Kansas City from making a trip to the Super Bowl. Now that the Chiefs have reached the final stage, they’re focused on taking advantage of it.
“I talked to the team about it after the game, when we were still whole as a team before we went into the offseason,” Reid said. “I think the guys went out and attacked the offseason. They had a taste of getting to the championship game and losing it. But there was something they could do about it. I think the guys have done that.”
—Super Bowl LIV is still four days away, but the 49ers are already looking sharp and ready for the Chiefs with two practices still to go this week.
“It’s awesome,” San Francisco head coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters. “I wish the players could have two weeks every week to do a game plan. I mean, for them to come out on a Wednesday today and to be firing on all cylinders, it’s not usually like that.
“Usually we put in a game plan Wednesday morning, and there’s a lot of mistakes. ... You’ve got to kind of catch up as the week goes on. Usually you feel pretty good by Saturday. But when you get a whole week to go through it, you feel a lot better.”
—As expected, the 49ers are mostly healthy, with only three players listed as limited on the first official injury report: running back Tevin Coleman (shoulder), linebacker Kwon Alexander (pectoral) and safety Jaquiski Tartt (ribs).
Alexander and Tartt are both expected to play, as they have throughout the playoff run, while Coleman has a shot despite what looked like a serious injury sustained less than two weeks ago. Shanahan said Coleman “looked good,” with the back’s status likely a matter of pain tolerance.
The Chiefs had four players on their injury report, but all practiced in full, including defensive tackle Chris Jones (calf), who was limited to just 28 snaps in the AFC Championship Game. The other Kansas City players on the report were tight end Travis Kelce (knee), tight end Deon Yelder (Achilles) and center Austin Reiter (wrist).
—Amid reports of NFL owners’ interest in a possible 17-game season on the next collective bargaining agreement, 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman pushed back a bit.
“I don’t think it’s something players are interested in, honestly,” Sherman told reporters. “I think if that’s the point they’re negotiating on, I think these negotiations are going to go a lot longer than anticipated.
“It’s odd to me, it’s always odd, when you hear player safety is their biggest concern. ...But it feels like player safety has a price tag. Player safety, up to the point of, ‘Hey, 17 games makes us this much money, so we don’t really care how safe they are if you’re going to pay us this much money to play an extra game.’”
—Field Level Media