“Best pass rush in football and ridiculously ascending run game versus toughest-to-defend quarterback and ascending D. Anybody’s game.” – King on Super Bowl LIV
“Would you bury (Jimmy) Garoppolo in the game plan if you were Kyle Shanahan, limiting the impact of the great George Kittle and big-game Emmanuel Sanders? I sure wouldn’t.” – King
New Episode of On Her Turf’s ‘Football is Female’ Highlights the Women of the San Francisco 49ers’ Front Office to be Released Friday, Jan. 31, on Instagram
NBC Sports Surrounds Super Bowl LIV with Comprehensive Coverage from Miami, Including On-Site Live Shows
STAMFORD, Conn. – Jan. 27, 2020 – Peter King rides to work with Kansas City head coach Andy Reid in the lead-up to Super Bowl LIV in this week’s edition of Football Morning in America, available now exclusively on NBCSports.com. King also chats with Chiefs general manager Brett Veach about drafting Patrick Mahomes, and discusses the main storylines surrounding Sunday’s 49ers-Chiefs Super Bowl.
Plus, NBC Sports surrounds Super Bowl LIV with comprehensive coverage across all platforms, including more than 20 hours of television, 25 hours of radio coverage, and more than 10 podcast episodes from Miami.
NFL insider Mike Florio and analyst Chris Simms will host Pro Football Talk Live from Miami, and King will join PFT Live on Tuesday and provide exclusive digital content and interviews throughout the week. Click here for more information.
The following are highlights from this week’s edition of Football Morning in America:
ANDY REID & THE CHIEFS
King on meeting with Andy Reid: “I asked to ride to work one morning in the Super Bowl off week with Kansas City coach Andy Reid. Sure, he said. Pick you up at your hotel at 3:15 A.M…In my 51 minutes with him, no question bugged him.”
Reid on 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan: “I think he grew up with a phenomenal football-coach father who I have a ton of respect for…He loves coaching. He loves the strategy part of it. I’d love to get him on the board, see what the stuff is. I love that.”
Chiefs GM Brett Veach on drafting Patrick Mahomes: “I remember Coach calling me into his office and showing me a (Mel) Kiper/(Todd) McShay mock first round. He said, ‘Your guy’s not even in the first round!’ They didn’t have Patrick in the first round. I just said, ‘Coach, it’s perfect! Don’t worry. You don’t want him on these lists now. It sets up perfect for us.’”
Reid on former Chiefs QB Alex Smith: “We were bringing Pat Mahomes in. We were drafting him to sit for a year or two potentially, to learn from Alex and these coaches that we’ve got. Didn’t ask Alex to teach him. But Alex opened it up to do that. He learned, followed him everywhere.”
Reid on the text message he received from Smith following their AFC Championship Game win: “[Alex] goes, ‘Phenomenal win. The kid was unbelievable.’ He’s his biggest fan. That’s what’s weird about it. And Patrick’s his biggest fan.”
Reid on joining the Chiefs after being fired from the Eagles and the death of his son, Garrett, in 2012: “I just had no desire to take time off at that time. I was sad for what took place. I don’t wish that on anybody. But I also felt that the game could help heal [me]. Coming here they had issues here where they could heal me and I could heal them. It was kind of a joint union there.”
Reid on losing Super Bowl XXXIX with the Eagles: “I wanted Donovan (McNabb) to have a great game. It didn’t work out that way. He took the blame for it when he didn’t deserve the blame…It wasn’t because of these stories out there that ‘he choked’ or ‘threw up’ or any of this stuff.”
KYLE SHANAHAN & THE 49ERS
King: “This Super Bowl is a Mensa match between Reid and 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan. Though nearly 22 years younger than Reid, Shanahan is on his level as a play-caller and play-designer, a brilliant young coach with a great base of knowledge on both sides of the ball.”
King: “Shanahan is just as inventive, and flexible (as Reid). If his quarterback is on, this game could be a chess match for the ages.”
Chris Simms on Shanahan’s time with the Buccaneers: “That was a great time for Kyle to learn the whole game. Our defensive coaching staff was just incredible then – Monte Kiffin, Rod Marinelli, Mike Tomlin, Joe Barry, Raheem Morris.”
Simms on how Shanahan helped him when they were together in Tampa Bay: “Kyle was crucial for me. What he was great at was being a middleman between the quarterbacks and (Tampa Bay head coach) Jon Gruden…Kyle was great in the little nuances and clues and coverages.”
Recently retired NFL defensive coordinator Dean Pees on Shanahan: “Facing Kyle, the big thing is you’ve got to be disciplined all day, every play. He’ll run plays that you’ve seen before, but they never look the same because he might have a different formation, or different motion.”
KING’S SUPER BOWL LIV STORYLINES
The Garoppolo Factor:
King on the 49ers gameplan: “Would you bury (Jimmy) Garoppolo in the game plan if you were Kyle Shanahan, limiting the impact of the great George Kittle and big-game Emmanuel Sanders? I sure wouldn’t – unless the run game is gashing Kansas City the way it gashed the Vikings and Packers.”
King on Jimmy Garoppolo: “This is a gut feeling I have, based on a little knowledge but mostly feel for Shanahan: He’s not going to hide Garoppolo in this game. He hasn’t hidden him all season – why start in the playoffs?”
San Francisco’s unsung hero:
King: “Bobby Turner, the 49ers’ 70-year-old running backs coach, is an amazing story…The Turner coaching style fits both Shanahans’ one-cut-and-get-upfield ethos. He’s so valuable because coaches know every year before the draft he’ll find a tarnished or underrated gem.”
King: “Over a quarter-century coaching in Denver, Washington and Atlanta before arriving in San Francisco in 2017, Turner’s backs have produced 16 seasons of 1,000 yards rushing by eight different players…Six of those eight backs came to Turner either off the street or drafted in the fourth round or later.”
The Lynch-Shanahan merger:
Jon Lynch on The Peter King Podcast about getting the 49ers GM job three years ago: “I called (Shanahan) and said, ‘Sounds like you’re gonna have a great shot at this San Francisco [job]. Good luck in the NFC Championship.’ I remember in the conversation Kyle saying, The one thing I’m working through – I can’t find a GM I’d like to work with.”
Lynch: “Something was gnawing at me. I couldn’t go to sleep for about four days…I woke up one morning and I said, ‘What’s gnawing at me is what Kyle said.’”
King: “Before he knew it, Shanahan got CEO Jed York on a three-way call, and York and Lynch met in northern California about the job, and the match was made. It probably never happens if Lynch hadn’t picked up the phone after some sleepless nights three years”
The challenge of the 49er pass rush:
King: “Logically, with the Niners front healthy and playing productively, you’d figure it could be the biggest factor in the Super Bowl. Now I’m not so sure.”
King: “Patrick Mahomes, over the past two years, has a 120.3 rating and 5,248 passing yards when throwing in 2.5 seconds or faster…Against the Niners, Mahomes won’t be home free just because most weeks he throws efficiently when pressured. Most weeks you’re not facing Richard Sherman.”
King: “Summer 2017: First day of the Chargers in Los Angeles, first day of training camp. Kobe Bryant came in to talk to the team about playing in Los Angeles. He talked for 45 minutes, the majority of time in Q&A form.”
King: “One player asked Bryant: ‘What’s your favorite book?’ He said, ‘Jonathan Livingston Seagull.’ The book is about a seagull who wants more out of life than swooping down and fighting his fellows for food.”
King: “Bryant’s point: The way to be great is not to be in the pack, but to strive to be better every day of your life. It’s cool you’re in the NFL. But now what are you going to do? How great can you become?”
King: “After something so senseless as Bryant and eight others dying in a helicopter crash Sunday near L.A., I prefer to remember how great Bryant the player was, and how great Bryant the father and person was becoming.”
The following are additional highlights of NBC Sports’ NFL coverage:
- NBC Sports surrounds Super Bowl LIV with comprehensive coverage from Miami across all platforms leading up to the game. Click here for full coverage plans.
- On Her Turf: On Friday, Jan. 31, On Her Turf will release a new episode of ‘Football is Female’ featuring four women in the San Francisco 49ers front office. The piece also highlights Women of the Niners (WON), the official women’s club of the 49ers geared towards the women who tirelessly support the team. Katie Sowers, Assistant Offensive Coach for the 49ers and the first woman and openly gay person to coach in the Super Bowl, was featured in Season 1.
A new “Football Morning in America” posts every Monday morning exclusively on NBCSports.com through the NFL season. It was announced in May that King signed an exclusive agreement with NBC Sports Group that included writing a weekly Monday morning NFL column for NBCSports.com; making regular appearances on NBCSN’s and NBC Sports Radio’s PFT Live with Mike Florio; and continuing to contribute to Football Night in America, the most-watched studio show in sports.