Chiefs Players


December 17, 2023


Travis Kelce, TE

(On the message they wanted to send this week)

“I mean, right now, we’re attacking every single week. We see it through practice: everybody’s focused in on the task at hand, trying to get better, trying to understand the defense we’re playing and trying to go out there and execute. Sure enough, it’s definitely not a matter of want. Guys are out there playing their tail off.”


(On Patrick Mahomes)

“I think Patrick is forever himself, and that’s why he’s such a great leader, man. It doesn’t waver, it doesn’t go up or down. He’s consistently the same guy every single week. He’s been focused more than I’ve ever seen him focused, and I don’t expect that to change going into the end of the season.”


(On Clyde Edwards-Helaire’s touchdown)

“Man, I love that dude. He’s been playing his tail off, waiting for his opportunities and when he gets his opportunities, he’s making the most of them. He’s the unsung hero for today, that’s for damn sure.”


(On Rashee Rice’s performance)

“You know, his game just keeps going up, man. I think it’s, for everybody, just keep being consistent in terms of when it’s their time to step up for the team. That includes myself, and I’m proud of the way he’s been able to handle the ups and downs of the season. Right now, he’s playing great ball.”


(On the consistency of the pass catchers today and going forward)

“When you don’t catch everything, when you don’t make every single play you want to, you’re going to watch it all on film and find a way to get better. It’s been like that for the past 11 years.”


(On his conversation with Bill Belichick after the game)

“I’ve just got all the respect in the world for that guy. Every single time I go up against him – it’s the toughest job in the NFL, to go up against a Bill Belichick defense. He throws so much at you. He always has a lot of guys that can play smart, so hats off to Belichick for today, for making my life tough, that’s for damn sure. On top of that, getting a good group of guys that play well together, I’ve got a lot of respect for that team.”


Marquez Valdes-Scantling, WR

(On leading in the league in points scored in the last two minutes going into halftime and how that helps the team)

“That’s an incredible stat to know. For us, it’s a huge turning point, especially if we deferred it at the beginning of the game. We can score seven or three, and then turn around, get the ball back again and score again. That’s huge in the game, for the offense to get the ball again. So, that’s kind of our mindset behind it. We all want to score points any time we’re on the field, but especially in those critical situations like that.”


(On the consistency of the wide receivers going forward)

“Yeah, I mean, we’ve just got to keep making plays, keep getting our opportunities and making the best of them. I’ve got faith in all of these guys in this room, and same with Pat [Patrick Mahomes]. Keep getting on the same page, keep figuring it out, you know? It’s the same group we had last year that won a Super Bowl and helped Pat win the MVP. I think guys kind of forget that. We lost one or two guys, and Mecole [Hardman] came back, so we lost one guy. This is the same group that helped Pat win MVP last year and throw for 5,000 yards or whatever he threw for. So, obviously, we’ve all got faith that we’ll keep figuring this thing out.”


(On what he appreciates most about Clyde Edwards-Helaire)

“Clyde’s a hell of a competitor, man. For him to be the position he was in, a first-round pick to Isiah [Pacheco] coming in and being a different spark, he’s been a great teammate. Then, when he gets the ball, he just makes the play every single time. It’s the same thing with every running back in that room. They support each other, there’s no jealousy, there’s no animosity. I think you can appreciate that. From the outside looking in, guys may not see those kind of things. That’s a really close group, and having guys like that, that support each other no matter who’s getting the ball, it pays off in the end. Now, it’s his turn again, and he’s making the best of it.”


Jerick McKinnon, RB

(On describing this win as a ‘team win’ and if it’s a better feeling as a result)

“Definitely. I feel like sometimes during the season, the defense did a lot of spectacular things to help the offense out. It’s good to come out on offense and get some touchdowns. There’s still things to work on, but the great thing is above all, we got the dub. So, definitely still a ton work on, but we’ve got the Raiders on Christmas. That’s going to be a great matchup. They always play us hard, and we’re looking forward to it.”


(On the offense needing a play like their first touchdown)

“I think we did. I feel like last year, we had a little bit more plays like that in the playbook. But obviously, this year we’re just kind of focused on getting on the right page and having things form and come together. But it’s always good, like I said, to run something like that, something a little different. So, it was fun.”


Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB

(On his touchdown catch)

“Initially, the guy had outside leverage and so I initially broke it in to get that inside option for that touchdown. I think five ended up coming down so after that I kind of knew who was on the outside and so my goal was to get to the back of the end zone. From that point, I kind of knew Pat [Patrick Mahomes] was going to roll my way since I was the hot answer. I told him last week, he kind of just gave me the opportunity on the sideline on the belly route and I rarely drop passes and is just one of those things where it was a bitter taste in my mouth so I just told him even when I got the opportunity last week and opportunities at practice this week, I said we are going to come down with it no matter the situation.”


(On how it feels to have a game like this after not having a ton of opportunities)

“I mean it’s just one of those things, it’s the NFL. Everyone has their own story or say so about it but I write my own narrative, I write my own story so I let everyone else handle whatever else they want to write and use whatever they want to use and I just kind of showcase it myself and write my story about my body and my play.”


(On if Patrick Mahomes put the ball over his head on that first play)

“No, not at all. Jokingly, we have been making little remarks about me and about height and jumping so every time I score the past couple of weeks, I’ve been dunking the goal post. It was just one of those things where everyone started to say, ‘well, damn you’re getting higher and higher every day,’ so I think it was just kind of a thing in the back of everyone’s head that I can really jump. So, for Patrick having an opportunity, it was more just like he’s not just some small guy on the field.”


(On what it’s been like this past year after everything he’s been through)

“I really was just able to take a step back and realize what’s business and the things that I can control. It is just as simple as that. I knew once I was able to get my opportunity and showcase the things that I know I need to showcase. Just go out there and play the game. Never batted an eye and knew at some point the opportunity was going to show up again and it’s a matter of how you conquer that opportunity and take advantage of it.”


(On what it means to get this chance)

“It’s everything. It’s really the trust factor. It’s the end of the year, and we’re trying to go on this push, but I kind of kept my head down but always brought the energy when I needed to. Always showed up for practice, always did the things when my number was called even if it was having enthusiasm in meeting rooms for everyone else.”


Willie Gay Jr., LB

(On not returning his interception for a touchdown)

“I got comfortable, man. I got too complacent. I caught the ball, and I saw my leading blockers. Nick [Bolton] was there. The whole defense was there leading the way, and I looked inside, I saw the whole offense coming from inside out. I was like, ‘yeah, I’m just going to run out of bounds.’ I don’t like getting tackled, man. I knew the offense was going to be in great field position, so I just lived with that. Next time, I’m going to score though, for sure.”


(On the pressure the defense got)

“We’re a pressure team. Like you said, from every position on the field, we got a sack. To actually capitalize on the plays being called, and to execute the way we did, there’s no weakness there on the defense. So, we’ve got to keep that going.”


(On Steve Spagnuolo’s defensive adjustments in today’s game)

“There’s really not any serious adjustments. He’s making the perfect calls. It’s just the players tightening up the details, the loose screws that people from the outside looking in don’t normally see. It’s being in your gap this play, or being on your man closer on that play, and now it’s a big play for us because we’re doing the little things right. He coaches that all the time, the details. He knows it’s nothing more than just us doing our job. So, he makes the perfect call, and when we execute it, it’s a perfect play.”


(On the defense’s mentality this week)

“The important thing is that we had everybody rolling today. Linebackers, nobody was out. We got Drue [Tranquill] back. So, to have all the pieces and we put the win together, played good on defense, could have played even better. The energy was different, like you said. We knew we had to get back on track. Two losses in a row, we aren’t used to that. But it’s part of the game. We live and we learn from it, and we try to roll into next week with the same momentum and keep it pushing.”


Nick Bolton, LB

(On the game)

“We have another opportunity to go out there and execute next week, and that’s the only thing you can ask for in this league. I think we came in and the defensive line dominated up front. It helped us control the line game and they became one-dimensional. After that, we came out and did what we did in the second half, just giving them third and longs, and letting our DB’s go to work and our D-line rush.”


(On the play of the defensive line)

“I think in general, we had good pressure. We have a lot of guys that like to rush the passer, in different ways, in different games and try and find a way to get guys one-on-one. I think those guys played a hell of a game today.”


(On the team message for today’s game)

“Win by any means necessary and we just have to win. We have been up and down, and we haven’t found our groove and just trying to hit the peak at the right time. It’s that time of the year we need to win week-by-week, it will give us a chance at the end of the season where we want to be.”


(On how he feels individually)

“I feel good and I am kind of getting my wind back. It’s my second game back, I have some stuff to clean up obviously, but I think I am feeling good about myself, in terms of communication getting guys aligned and executing our plan and be as fast as I used to be.”


Joe Thuney, G

(On coming back to New England)

“It was great to get the win. I’m happy we got the win. It was great seeing some of the guys. I’m just glad we won.”


(On the success of his teams)

“It’s a day-by-day process. I am very fortunate to have a lot of great teammates around me and a lot of great coaches, great organizations. I am very humbled by it all and happy, very fortunate.”


(On the play of the Patriots defense)

“Really good, really sound football. They played really hard and they play together. It was a challenge for us and I am just glad we came out with a win.”


L’Jarius Sneed, CB

(On the game)

“We were ready. We came out pretty strong. Made the plays we had to make and let the plays come to us. We should come in with that mindset, guys have that mindset. This is the NFL and every team is good. They are well-coached and they play hard.”


Charles Omenihu, DE

(On how the defense was able to generate pressure today)

“We were following the game plan, trying to collapse the pocket and it worked out well. That was our thing. It worked out well and we were able to get pressure and contain him in the pocket.”


(On how it feels getting a win after two straight losses)

“Winning in the league is hard. Big credit to the Patriots, they are a well-coached team. They play hard on defense and play smart and hard on offense. It was not going to be a cakewalk at all, and we understood that. Getting a win is great and now we have some positive momentum for the next three games to end the season.”


(On seeing the cornerbacks and linebackers getting sacks)

“It’s a team effort. This defense is a collective kind of group. Everybody is going to get theirs so when a teammate is having success and getting to the quarterback, you cheer for him.”


Rashee Rice, WR

(On building rapport with Patrick Mahomes and having the kind of success he had today)

“It starts in practice for me. I get tired on the field, but I put myself in deep water in practice, so he knows that he can trust me no matter what kind of condition I’m in on the field.”


(On how he feels knowing he has the most touchdowns for a rookie wide receiver in Chiefs history)

“That’s huge for the club. I didn’t come to just break rookie records. There is a lot more on the table for me and I’ll eventually keep clearing milestones as I go along.”


(On his touchdown from Jerick McKinnon)

“That’s one of our trick plays. Actually, we talked before the huddle because Jerick knew what I needed to get for my record. We really would have handed that ball off, but he got his passing touchdown and I got my receiving touchdown. I told him he’s part of history two years in a row now. Every time we practice it, we hand it off, but I looked at him before he called the play and he said he was pitching it. It was pretty cool to be able to execute a trick play like that in the game.”


(On how he would describe his role on the team)

“To be honest, just somebody coming in ready to work and keeping my head down. I know this is a marathon, so, whatever I need to do to help the team win, I’m going to do it.”


Leo Chenal, LB

(On the mindset of the defense today)

“We have to dominate. To gain momentum in December, we have to dominate and carry it into the next game. So, to maintain that momentum rolling and rolling and rolling. Hopefully, we can stack the games but also take it one game at a time.”


(On if the Patriots offense did anything to catch the defense off-guard)

“It’s simple things on our end. The details we need to improve. We need to start better. No matter what happens, whether it’s adversity on the offensive end or special teams, we need to be able to respond. It’s in the details.”


(On the mindset going into the game against the Raiders)

“It’s a rivalry game as it always has been. They’ve shown what they can do. They are playing good ball right now. We have to do better than what we did today. We need to tighten up the screws, focus on the details, and hold ourselves to the highest standard possible. If we want to go far, we have to do the little things right now. We should’ve been doing them right all along, but we have to get on our horse a little bit.”


Transcripts are provided by the Patriots media relations department as a courtesy to the media and are edited for readability. All press conferences are posted and archived in their entirety on The duplication or posting of this transcript in its entirety as original content is prohibited. Media are encouraged to link to the complete transcript on when sharing full quotes with their audiences.

Schedule | Roster | Videos | Photos | Audio | Media Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram
Social: @Patriots | #PatriotsNation


Download the Word Doc here: ChiefsPlayers121723