Andrew Wylie spoke to the media about the switch to right tackle and a tough fight against the Saints.
As the Kansas City Chiefs went into their game against the New Orleans Saints, offensive lineman Andrew Wylie knew he was going to face some opposition on a couple fronts. First, the Saints were going to be one of the most physical teams they would face during the regular season. Second, he was going to hike a learning curve as he switched positions.
As it turns out, Wylie was able to win both battles.
The Chiefs went into New Orleans and walked away with a close 32-29 win, but it was a tough game that included a player ejection, blanket coverage, and plenty of tough hits from each side. Speaking to reporters, Wylie said the Chiefs knew that the Saints were going play with that edge to try to force the Chiefs out of their game, but he credited the coaching staff’s preparation for making it work.
"“We had a great week of practice. We know that this defense, this front seven in particular, is number one in a lot of different categories. So it started with a great week of preparation, a great game plan from Coach Reid, and we executed it. We ran the ball pretty well tonight.”"
Wylie specifically noted that the Chiefs were prepared to meet their level of physicality by punching back on their own—not literally of course, although that got involved.
"“That was the game plan coming in. We knew the only chance we had against that front seven is if we took the fight to them. And we did. We ran for a little over 170 tonight, so we took the fight to them for sure. It was a brawl, too.”"
A specific brawl broke out, at least in part, with Wylie in particular. Wylie was going up against Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan for most of the evening, and Jordan ended up throwing a punch at Wylie late in the game that earned a flag for unnecessary roughness and an ejection from the game. After the game, Wylie noted that he didn’t think it was anything personal, but rather just the emotions of the competition.
"“He was bringing it all game, and I’d like to think I was matching his energy. I had him in tight there and, yeah, I wasn’t letting go. Things got a little hot, a little heated, but it’s not like we were really talking or anything. I think he just got a little caught up in the moment.”"
It was a strong showing for Wylie who was in a new position on Sunday evening. The Chiefs have started Wylie at right guard all season in the wake of Laurent Duvernay-Tardif’s decision to opt out for the year. However on Sunday, the Chiefs were going into the game against the Saints without both Mike Remmers and Mitchell Schwartz, which meant either starting a rookie free agent in Yasir Durant or shifting Wylie outside. Stefen Wisniewski ended up taking Wylie’s place at guard.
Wylie said he had plenty of experience in college at guard, but it still took some time to adjust.
"“You’re in a lot more space out there at tackle, so I just had to get used to that. Certain looks set more vertical, not necessarily on a 45 degree angle, so just been working on that all week, shooting my hands and it was all right out there.”"
If Remmers is unable to come back this week, expect Wylie to stay outside opposite Eric Fisher, who is also hurting himself lately with a back injury. The Chiefs host the Falcons on Sunday afternoon in Week 16.