Chiefs players speak ahead of difficult 49ers matchup: “It’s all about executing”

By Jackson Tolliver, WEBN Correspondent

Ahead of a difficult Super Bowl LVIII matchup, the Kansas City Chiefs know they have their hands full with the San Francisco 49ers. On Wednesday, the Chiefs acknowledged their difficult opponent and the test ahead.

“It’s always a good run defense to face with the San Francisco 49ers,” said Chiefs running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire. He went on to compare the defense to last week’s AFC Championship opponent: “It’s like any aspect as far as getting ready…Like last week, it was a physical run defense with Baltimore. You really don’t like to compare teams…but everybody is gonna be running to the ball, everybody is gonna be trying to punch the ball out.”

On the defensive side of the ball, the Chiefs have to gameplan for Christian McCaffrey, one of the league’s best running backs. But according to some of the defenders tasked with containing him, the mentality isn’t too different than any other week.

“It’s all about executing your assignment,” said Chiefs defensive end George Karlaftis. “Whenever you’re stopping a run game, it’s all about being disciplined…They have a lot of great players…I know [Defensive Coordinator Steve Spagnuolo] is gonna call some stuff, I think we’ll be just fine.”

Linebacker Willie Gay expressed the same idea, emphasizing sticking to the basics as they would with any running back.

“You practice making tackles in open field, you build a wall in the front, and you try to stop his feet before he gets going,” he said.

Chiefs guard and former Patriot Joe Thuney is a “long shot” to play according to Head Coach Andy Reid, but was in good spirits Wednesday morning. I asked him about his experience playing for the last two true NFL dynasties in New England and Kansas City.

“I consider myself very fortunate,” he said. “There’s some differences between the two organizations, but I think [both have] the desire to win day in and day out…such a focus on a team effort, trying to win, everyone together.”

He also weighed in on the similarities he sees between Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes.

“The attention to detail. Even if they’ve done something a hundred times, they still wanna be on point, be accurate with every single part of the play. How they respond after wins and losses…I think just the work ethic that goes in every day that not a lot of people see.”