Travis Kelce hails Patrick Mahomes, Andy Reid as Kansas City Chiefs eye Super Bowl return
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By Neil Reynolds and Cameron Hogwood
Last Updated: 04/09/20 4:22pm
Travis Kelce believes the Kansas City Chiefs learned a lot as they overcame numerous hurdles on their way towards beating the San Francisco 49ers at Super Bowl LIV.
The Chiefs weathered the brief loss of star quarterback Patrick Mahomes to injury during the regular season and improved significantly on defense as the campaign progressed, before overturning a 24-0 deficit against the Houston Texans in the divisional round and producing a fourth-quarter comeback to beat the 49ers in Miami.
They now enter 2020 with a greater understanding of how to get the job done as they look to defend their first Super Bowl crown in 50 years.
"What you can take from last year is the maturity of it," said Kelce on NFL 32 Live. "We grew as a team throughout the entire 16-game season, we went through ups and downs and that built a lot of character throughout the facility and it built a lot of trust and accountability among players and coaches.
"What that does this year is give us a broader spectrum of what could happen over the course of a season. Taking that knowledge and what we've been through and what the entire Chiefs organisation has been through throughout its years, there's a lot of focus and ambition to go out there and do it again.
"But knowing how hard we have to work for it and the fortune we have to have, just in terms of health and being in the right place at the right time. It all starts with coming in every single day with the right mentality to work hard."
Quarterback Mahomes was barely slowed by his knee injury and returned to play an instrumental role in leading the Chiefs to the Super Bowl, finishing with 4,031 passing yards and 26 touchdowns.
The organisation displayed their faith in him this offseason by handing him a record 10-year contract extension set to be worth up to $503m once combined with the two years remaining on his current deal.
"He's a joy to be around," said Kelce, who was Mahomes' top target with 97 catches for 1,229 yards.
"The guy has got the world in his palm. He's a very positive guy in every aspect of life and its fuelling. One of my coaches said 'you're either a fountain or a drain in life' and that dude definitely gives life to everybody.
"I'm happy for him, he just got engaged to his beautiful fiancé Brittany and I'm happy for both of them."
Kelce also paid tribute to Andy Reid, who ended his run as the winningest head coach without a Super Bowl ring to his name.
The tight end has grown to be an immovable asset in Reid's offense with four successive 1,000 yard seasons, earning himself a four-year, $57m contract extension earlier this summer.
"I've had such a fortune and blessing of being under coach Andy Reid, just in terms of what he teaches a guy," said Kelce.
"You could listen to how he teaches somebody else and take something from him because its universal, this game is very universal in that regard.
"I've been so fortunate to just learn form him in that aspect. When it comes to the scheme of things, he's put a lot of trust in my ability to be where I need to be and win matchups and not a lot of players get that trust."
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