Chiefs GM John Dorsey
Pre-Draft Press Conference
April 22, 2016
OPENING STATEMENT: “Good afternoon, everybody. It’s kind of exciting to be here now. We’re six days closer to the draft, and from a personnel guy like myself, that’s an exciting time. You have an exciting time to better the organization and moving the franchise forward.
“First off, I’d like to say I’d be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge a lot of people in this organization for all the hard work and time that they’ve done, which I think is really important. All those guys in football operations, from the personnel staff to the coaching staff, to video, to the trainers to the equipment room, it takes a lot of people to have a successful draft. And these guys, I just want to say thank you for that.
The other part was we have a good football team and I think the 2016 season plan going into it was to retain as many of our players as we possibly could. I think we did a good job with that. And we’ve gotten other players from other teams that are going to help move this thing forward – and that’s exciting. And then you add the pieces of the draft. I know you guys are going to want me to answer questions with regards to the appeal process of the tampering case that just recently came out. But I think the interesting thing is, Clark (Hunt) made a statement for the organization Monday or Tuesday and I think that statement speaks for everybody in the organization including myself. So with that, I’m moving forward and we’re moving forward as an organization. I look forward to the draft and to the season coming up because we have a good team here and that’s what’s good to get excited about. And with that, I’ll take your questions.”
Terez Paylor (Kansas City Star): How does the loss of a third-round pick affect your draft strategy?
DORSEY: “I’ve been doing this for what, 25, 30 years. I approach every draft the same way I’ve ever done it. And that’s the beauty of this whole thing. Every draft is different and we prepare for every scenario – whether it be round one, two-three, all the way down to seven. We have meticulously prepared ourselves to process everything and do what’s best for this organization moving forward and that’s kind of how I go about it.”
Paylor: Was there hope that you were going to get the pick back?
DORSEY: “You know, I’m the eternal optimist and I look to move forward here. I think Clark’s statement speaks for everybody in the entire organization and I think that’s the way we should keep this. Let’s get excited about this draft, let’s get excited about this team and the 2016 season.”
Paylor: When you lose a third-round pick, does that make it harder to take chances in the first or second round? Is there less room for error?
DORSEY: “Well you always want to hit. Good personnel guys want to hit their picks, that’s what you do. You try to create the best options for the organization in every specific round. Who’s to say right now that I would go up or who’s to say right now I wouldn’t go down? So you don’t really know about those scenarios and those situations until after the draft. Now you can plan for those scenarios and process and think about certain things. So, strategically, at the end of the day, you want the pick or you want the player, so that’s how you have to decide.”
BJ Kissel (Chiefs.com): Is it pre-determined what it would take, as far as value, to trade down in the draft?
DORSEY: “No, everybody uses the charts. And I think the charts, they’ve changed over time because evaluations of those specific picks have changed. So now there are 50 charts out there, so it all depends on who you’re dealing with in terms of trades. If Adam and I were trading, let’s hope Adam has the same chart that I have or else we may not get a deal together. Or you can go old school and say ‘you know what, I want that player and I’ll give you this, let’s roll.’ It comes down to two people communicating is what it comes down to.”
Adam Teicher (ESPN): When we spoke a couple months ago we talked about going into the draft with a roster that was fairly complete, that you may be able to play a game with that roster. Do you feel like you’re at that point now or not?
DORSEY: “I think we have a good football team. With that being said, you’re in the system another year. We really try to retain as many good players as we can and we stuck with that philosophy and did a good job. But I think, also, we acquired people and players that are going to help this organization move forward. And then all of a sudden you sprinkle in the draft class of 2016. We’re in our fourth year as far as in the draft and I think we have begun to build that foundation we talked about and now you want to add that depth, that competitive depth. There’s nothing better than going into training camp having everybody competing for roles on this team. To me, that’s what good teams do.”
TJ Carpenter (WHB): How do unexpected losses like Husain Abdullah and Mike DeVito affect your draft?
DORSEY: “I don’t think it affects your draft, I think what you have to do is first off you analyze the draft and the draft class that’s there, its strengths and its weaknesses. And you feel – okay, can this guy help us down the road in year one, two or three, you have to project that. And then all of a sudden you look at certain positions. There’s not very many people that can nail and say right now who the 28th pick in the draft is going to be. It’s hard, it’s hard to do that. Now you can get a pool of guys in there – two, three, four guys – and you might think that happens, but anything can happen in a split moment. I’ve seen times when you’re sitting there and you’ve got the card of the player you think you’re going to get and all of a sudden somebody in front of you takes him. So until you’re on the clock, you really don’t know for sure.”
Carpenter: How many first-round talents would you say are in this draft?
DORSEY: “I think this is a unique draft class. Again, we’ve always said, draft classes are uniquely different year in and year out. I think the strength of this draft will be – you could say a number from one to 12, and then all of a sudden you can then blend that number in here from I’d say 13 to 30 and then you could take it 31 down to about 60. That’s how I kind of analyze, I analyze pockets.”
Carpenter: So the top-13 is where you feel the top-shelf talent is?
DORSEY: “But that’s not to say – you’re taking different levels now. We’re talking difference-makers, serious playmakers. This is a good draft, it’s a deep class. You have to remember, I think that the draft has shown it, you can acquire starters anywhere throughout the seven rounds of this thing, you can even acquire starters, if you really want to, in free agency. You just have to be very selective and you have to watch with a steady eye to see if you can acquire those players.”
Teicher: Looking at cornerback, is there a number of guys you feel like you need to go into a game with?
DORSEY: “I think the game of football has changed and evolved more into a passing (game), probably in the last five years. So now, not only are you going vertical, you’re going horizontal and vertical. I think you see the different packages that are now being installed by defensive coordinators. And I think it is important to have as many good defensive backs on your team as you possibly can have. And that’s not taking away from the base package, the defensive linemen, some of the linebackers. I think that’s why you’re now starting to see some of your conventional inside backers that are now bigger safeties evolving into that package, a la – if you go to Arizona, they have a safety that’s evolved now. And Bob Sutton runs that same scheme as well.”
Paylor: How strong is this year’s quarterback class?
DORSEY: “Well I think the last two weeks has kind of shown everybody who loves football and the National Football League, when there are two supposed franchise quarterbacks there – teams are going to race up there and give everything away to get that franchise quarterback. And if you really do your studying, it all depends – who’s to say, would you like to be the guy receiving all the picks or would you like to be the team receiving the quarterback. I think you always take the player over the quarterback, but you better believe true in your heart that that’s a franchise quarterback.”
Paylor: Do you like the depth at that position this year?
DORSEY: “Yeah, I think it’s interesting.”
Herbie Teope (Topeka Capital-Journal): You’ve told us that you typically like to have 150-175 players on your draft board in a given year. Without a third-round pick this year, how many are on your draft board this year?
DORSEY: “Easy, I’ll be truthful with you and say 180.”
Paylor: Have you guys exercised the fifth-year option on Eric Fisher?
DORSEY: “No, I know a lot of guys have been exercising these options on players right now. I do things a little bit different. Everybody does things differently in the National Football League. I think what I do is, I’m, at times, compartmentalizing a little bit too much. So really, the task at hand, for me, is to make sure we nail this draft. And I think when we get to Monday, we’ll deal with Monday.”
Paylor: When you say there are 180 players on your board, does that mean there are 180 draftable players?
Carpenter: Are you more about having better picks higher up in the draft or having more picks?
DORSEY: “You know what, I like to have players, and I mean real players. But I think also, if you can acquire additional picks, I think that helps, I think it increases your odds. I’m always for trying to trade back and getting a few picks. I’ll try to work it either way and I think we do a good job of that. I think we have prepared and laid out a plan again like we always do. We’ve made advanced phone calls right now, we’ll continue to make those calls to other teams. We’re always open, either way. Come talk to us.”
Teicher: Do you have a story where you were involved in the draft where you guys were reaching a little bit for a specific need instead of best player available?
DORSEY: “I’m really trying to think of a really good example to give you that would actually add clarity to that. I’ll give you one example, no I don’t want to do that because I don’t – I like players and I have the utmost respect for players. So I don’t want to do that because, if I gave you that example, then it’s going to make a player look bad and I don’t want to do that.”
Teicher: So it’s safe to say that didn’t work out for you?
Teicher: Has there been more than one case where that happened?
DORSEY: “No. what I’ve always said is when you get down into the mid-twenties all the way back to the 31, 32 positions, it’s hard to actually predict who’s going to be there. A personnel guy hopes and wishes this is the best player available for this team because that’s all you want as a personnel guy, the best player, that’s what we want. It’s hard to predict when you get down in here, there’s so many things that can happen, you just have to manage that. And, hopefully, at the end of the day, you got the best player available and it’s the one who you think it is.”
Paylor: If one to 12 and 13 to 30 are the pockets of the draft, that means at No. 28, 13 to 30 is going to fall to you. What do you have to consider when you take a guy slotted with a first-round grade on your board or trade down. What do you consider there?
DORSEY: “Well I think first and foremost, you have to see, from an organization, is everybody on board? That’s a position coach, the coordinator, the head coach, myself. And then sit and have a chance – we talk about this is all of us, collectively, involved in this. Ultimately I’m going to pull the trigger, but I think it’s important to listen to everybody for clarity and what’s best for the organization. So I’m going to listen to everybody and their input. But at the end of the day, we’re going to do what’s right for the organization. So with that being said, now you have the player here and you have the other commodity, asset here that you’re going to trade down to. Now do you think, as a personnel guy or as a guy who is analyzing this whole thing, is this stack of draft picks worthy or as good as this player? Can I get three or four players that match this guy’s talent?”
Paylor: Now that you guys have been here three years, you look at the locker room and these are your guys for the most part, right?”
DORSEY: “It’s our locker room.”
Paylor: Right, and I mean you guys brought them in though. Is it a little easier to roll the dice on guys now that you know you’ve got a room mainly full of guys where you like their football character? I think in the NBA they say you can have one knucklehead and that’s it. Do you think you have a little more leeway there because it’s such a big room?
DORSEY: “I get what you’re saying, but I disagree with you. I think character matters. I totally do. I think guys that love the game of football, that matters. Guys that are good teammates, that matters. I’ll still preach that. I think character and having guys that really like the game of football, matters. Now, what we have to do as an organization if there’s a flag that comes up, you can bet we are going to do every possible job to turn over every stone and do all research possible to make sure that this person will fit in this locker room.”
Paylor: Does love of football trump all? Is that the number one trait you focus on with a red-flag guy?
DORSEY: “The game of football is fun. It really is.”
Carpenter: It’s been a little bit since we’ve had an update on Justin Houston, so how is he doing?
DORSEY: “He’s doing good. He’s ahead of schedule. One of the guys showed me this video. I mean, he and Rick have been talking on a regular basis. He was up here last week. They are now working together to try to work out the process, the rehabilitation process. He’s doing great. He is dialed in. He’s excited. When you hear from him, you can see he’s going to be Justin Houston when he gets back here.”
Carpenter: So talking about this elite-level pass rusher who you may not have here at the beginning of the season, does that mean you have a contingency plan for that if he’s not available for the beginning of the season, and does that affect the draft?
DORSEY: “I think first and foremost, Tamba (Hali) is here, and that’s a great thing. Dee Ford is here, and I think when Dee got into the games and he began to play, he started to contribute. I think there was one game he had a couple sacks there, so he’s going to contribute as he goes on. Now, the key there is to have rotational depth. Does that rotational depth come from within our system right now, or do we go and get it in the draft? I think as the draft goes along, you’ll see what happens there. At the end of the day, that guy, number 50, he’ll be here.”
Teicher: With regard to Justin Houston, Rick laid out a pretty wide-ranging schedule for his return, from six to 12 months. What do you mean he’s ahead of schedule? What schedule is he ahead of?
DORSEY: “That’s a good question. I know this: I’m not a medical expert. I will give you an answer. I’m not a medical expert, but I can tell you Justin Houston will be playing this season.”
DORSEY: “When it’s a good time. But, not being a medical expert, I really can’t definitively tell you that answer. I would say that our doctors have reassured us that he will play this season.”
Sam Mellinger (Kansas City Star): When you talk about best player available, when you’re making your draft board, how much is how you rank those guys custom to the Chiefs and the positional need, and how much is it dependent on how close you are to winning and looking at long-term versus short-term?
DORSEY: “That’s a good question. Here’s what it is. Our board is set up to draft for the Kansas City Chiefs. There are other teams that draft for the National Football League, meaning they set their board for the entire NFL and who’s in the draft. Ours is going to be a little more selective, and what that is, is the player that we draft will meet the position specifics that have been given to us from coordinators to head coaches, and these are the type of players it would take to win and contribute, and have a high degree of success on the field, if you get these types of players that fit those parameters. So, we are going to do that. We’ve done that year in and year out. We do the process the same. When it comes time to select that player, there may be three guys up there and then you’ll analyze it and see what best fits and what’s best for the Kansas City Chiefs.”
Mellinger: So it’s both position and sort of, we need this now or we need this in two years? It’s both of those things?
DORSEY: “Well I think a personnel guy is always building for the future. He’s always looking two or three years down the road. Let’s make no mistake about that, because if you are to be any good at sustaining any degree of success and you build through that draft, you have to think two or three years down the road.”
Paylor: Is De’Anthony Thomas in the building? Did he report for the start of offseason workouts?
DORSEY: “Have you seen The Forgotten Four? Okay, so I suggest you see The Forgotten Four. It’s some guy named Kenny Washington and Woody Strode, guys like that. Marion Motley, guys like that. So, David Culley had all the receivers in the room and he was showing them this video, The Forgotten Four, and it was kind of cool. And there he was, De’Anthony, sitting right next to Mac over here, he and Jeremy were sitting right next to each other. He’s been in the building all week and he’s doing good. I suggest you see that movie, though.”
Teope: With $782,000 right now currently in salary cap space, obviously you need some space for the draft. How do you go about freeing up some space for the draft picks you have coming up?
DORSEY: “Well, I mean, we have plenty of time. The easiest thing would be to get an extension here, and extension there. We have that space available and really don’t have to get it until training camp, so we have plenty of time to address the space thing.”
Teope: Speaking of extensions, where would you say you are with Eric Berry?
DORSEY: “You know what, I’ve been in conversations with his representatives, and have been for a couple months now moving forward. These things take a process. Last year, I kept telling you all, Justin (Houston)’s thing is a process. It’s going to take time and very slowly it’s going to evolve. At the end of the day, good things will happen.”
Teicher: Why is Eric not here and why is Justin not here?
DORSEY: “Well, you know what, Justin was here. Eric has chosen—this is strictly a voluntary thing. They have chosen not to be here. Justin was here last week. He wasn’t here this week, but they’re comfortable sometimes with guys they’ve been working out with. Sometimes that’s going to happen. We’d like to have them all on the boat and I’m sure eventually they will be here. We all know how excited Eric is for this season. We were talking about it the other day. Guys, when get to a certain level, they feel comfortable and they think that in their mindset, if we can do this and achieve the high degree of success in the past, then why not continue to do it that way as well.”
Teicher: So you’re confident that in Berry’s case, it’s not a contract thing?
DORSEY: “Yeah. I mean, he’s gotten X amount of dollars right there in front of him. I think, and we’ve talked, these things have a way of working themselves out. So, be patient and let’s have a little process here and see what happens.”
Carpenter: How much of your roster construction is about winning the AFC West and building the Chiefs to win the division and face the challenges those opponents bring?
DORSEY: “If truth be told, I’d like to have 53 of the best possible players in the National Football League if I possibly could, and that’s how I like to do it. I think what you have to do is try to spread your depth around to every position you can. I think you have to fortify the foundations of both the defense and offensive line, and then you have to address the skillsets on the outside part of it to move forward here.”
Paylor: Are you guys willing to explore trades of guys currently on the roster for extra picks this year? Have you discussed it with other teams?
DORSEY: “I think what is important is that any personnel guy would field any phone call about any situation. So, I’m open to anything if it makes sense moving forward for this organization.”
Paylor: Have teams been calling about guys currently on the roster?
DORSEY: “Yeah, I take a lot of different phone calls, and there’s a lot of different scenarios that take place.”
Paylor: How do you evaluate college quarterbacks these days and what kind of traits do you have to look for, since things are different now than they were 20 years ago when colleges ran pro-style stuff?
DORSEY: “No, there’s very few guys that run the pro-style stuff, and that’s what makes it exciting for the personnel guys to see if you can filter out the spread-option offense and actually, what are the components of success that go from college to pros. First, I think you have to ask yourself, what are the three or four traits at the quarterback position that equate to success? Everybody may have different traits of success. I may be different from you in terms of how I rank them. But, once you assess those different traits, do they fall into your formula for success? Then you go, ‘You know what, I’ll take that guy.’ I know the NFL is split half and half on (Jared) Goff and (Carson) Wentz, which I find fascinating.”
Pete Sweeney (Chiefs.com): How do the success of guys like Marcus Peters and Mitch Morse raise expectations for guys coming into the building in year one?
DORSEY: “Well, those are good football players, and all along we have said we want good football players on this team. Every year, we’re go into this draft trying to acquire as many good football players as we possibly can. We will continue to do that, and that’s what we’re going to do this coming Thursday.”
Kissel: What do you and your staff do those last few days before the draft to make sure that you’re 100 percent on board with everything you’ve got going into your board?
DORSEY: “Well right now, I have paired guys off so they can sit down and evaluate a group of positions that I want them to evaluate. At 12:30, I’ll sit down with the defensive staff and kind of get their review and assessment of the draft board. I’ll have a medical review this weekend and just put some clarity into that. Once that’s completed, Andy and I will sit down on Monday and I’ll go through the whole board with him and just kind of clean that up. Then Tuesday I’ll sit down with the scouts, kind of work through that. I may sit down with Andy again and some coordinators and just kind of go through the process. I think Wednesday it’s all buttoned up and time to get a haircut and get ready for the draft.”
Teicher: We talked about the reaching scenario earlier, but what about the opposite case where maybe you have the guy you’re looking at rated at a sizeable margin compared to everybody else. In that case, is that a difficult decision?
DORSEY: “If he’s ready for the foreseeable future, like Marcus last year, we had Marcus up in the top 10, truth be told. All of a sudden the phone calls were coming because you knew they were coming and who they wanted to get. At the time, you don’t want to pass up the player that can help you three, four, five years down the road. In my wildest mind, I thought he was good, but I never thought he would come in and make the impact that he made. But, that’s a testament to not only him as a person and his love for the game, but also to that coaching staff. So everything worked together in that regard. It’s a case-by-case basis.”
Teicher: Was it a similar situation when you drafted Dee Ford?
DORSEY: “You know what, it’s a case-by-case basis. It is, that’s the truth.”
Kissel: Would you say it’s more common that you don’t receive offers to trade back, than that you do?
DORSEY: “No, you know what, it’s split 50-50. It’s split. It all depends on how aggressive you want to be this way or going up.”
Chiefs Player Quotes
April 18, 2016
QB ALEX SMITH
Adam Teicher (ESPN): Is it realistic to think you guys can kick out more offense than you did last year?
SMITH: “Yeah. I mean, it’s April 18, so yeah, we’re trying to be better on offense than we were last year. Yes.”
Teicher: Is it realistic?
SMITH: “Yeah, absolutely. Trying to score more points, be more effective, be better in crunch time and even be better on third down. Yeah, all those things. You’re looking at all of that for sure. I think, giving the coaches this big amount of time before we get back absolutely has given them the time to analyze all of us as a unit and our strengths and weaknesses, as a player, our strengths and weaknesses, and I think you come back now and you’re kind of getting hit over the head with it. Absolutely, yeah, what are the points we need to get better at? What are we good at, and let’s do it, and why, you know? Really kind of hitting those things, getting down to it, so no question. The goal, I think, is to be a better offensive unit. We’ve got a ton of guys coming back and I think we’ve added a couple new pieces. We have the draft coming up so we’ll see what happens there. The big thing is, more so than any other year I can remember, especially on the offensive side of the ball, is the continuity. Having a big, big chunk of the guys coming back that have been in the system for a year or multiple years and we’re really kind of building off what we did last year.”
Teicher: Thinking back on last season and going through the video, do you feel like you left a lot out there?
SMITH: “Some games, yeah. For sure, yeah.”
Teicher: Which ones stand out to you in that regard?
SMITH: “Certainly I think you look at the beginning of the year, (we were) just inconsistent, especially with the second half of football games, fourth quarter of football games. We’d play well in the first half and just weren’t getting enough done, going into a shell in the second half with the lead, and lost some games that really would put ourselves in good situations. Certainly, I think you look at the playoff game (against New England), start right there in the fourth quarter, and it needed to be better. It can be better late in that game and putting ourselves in a better situation, I think, late. There are going to be games like that. I certainly think there are some things that we can correct and get better at, myself included. But a lot of that stuff, you’re looking at it collectively, a whole year’s full of—and multiple years in some cases—but last year as a chunk, you can take all the two minute, all the red zone, all that stuff and really break it down.”
TJ Carpenter (WHB): How much have you dwelled on that last playoff game?
SMITH: “Yeah, I mean it’s the last taste in your mouth, so I think it’s something that’s very correctable. I think it is easy to correct and we will from an efficiency standpoint and being better in that, communicating better, everything that kind of goes into that, but yeah it is what’s lingering.”
Carpenter: How much has being in this consistent situation helped you?
SMITH: “It’s night and day. Just knowing what you’re getting into, obviously all the relationships that you have with the guys in the locker room, all the coaches upstairs, knowing what we’re getting into. To not miss a beat and go out there and throw with the guys today or in the weight room, you’re just so far ahead of the game where to even compare to a few years ago when you’re starting over and you’re just trying to learn how we take snaps under center, how do we drop back, all those things, you’re able to kind of be ahead of the game and try to take advantage of that. I think that’s the key, to try to take advantage and not just sit on it.”
Carpenter: Do you feel like your responsibilities at the line of scrimmage are going to change at all this year?
SMITH: “Yeah, we’ll see. I mean day one. We’ll see how this goes on and certainly I feel like already, Coach (Reid) has continued to give me more and more tools at the line of scrimmage, more and more of an ability to do different things, and certainly that changes week in and week out depending, but I think that’s grown with each year and kind of the trust there. So, we’ll see. As this offseason goes on, we’ll see how that goes and then we head into camp.”
Vahe Gregorian (Kansas City Star): What do you think of some of these younger retirements? And if I am remembering correctly, were you going to limit your son’s time playing tackle football?
SMITH: “First, everybody’s situation is different. Fortunately, I play quarterback and I don’t really do any of that stuff on a daily basis, it’s just different. Like I said, everybody deals with things their own way, so it’s hard to kind of answer that. It’s hard to get into that. I know it’s very gray, that’s just kind of the way it is. Certainly, as far as the kid thing, I know how I came up. I came up in a huge football family. My dad played, my uncle played, my uncle coached, my dad used to coach, I grew up watching my brother play. Football is definitely in my family and my blood. I didn’t play tackle football until high school. That’s just the way it was. Not until I got older. I certainly think you can develop all the things you need to develop as a kid and do that. That’s what I know. Also, I answered that question, I think you’re referring to that from before, and it’s kind of the same way that I answered because that’s how I was brought up and what I feel.”
Shawn Rooney (Dos Mundos): Do you plan to follow the draft and see who John Dorsey will add to this team and enhance this offense?
SMITH: “Yeah, certainly we’ll follow it. Absolutely. Part of this team, anxious to see who we add to help us out. The team is incomplete right now. There are going to be a bunch of young faces and that’s part of the game. Rookies have to be a part of this. It’s the nature of it. They have to come in and help right away. I’m anxious to see it. It’s drawn out now over three days so it’s hard to keep track and stay glued for three days, especially with little kids. But I will be following for sure.”
Terez Paylor (Kansas City Star): For a quarterback to not play tackle football until high school, how long did it take you to understand football concepts?
SMITH: “I certainly learned all the time, and high school is different. I played New Wing-T. I wasn’t doing a lot of pro-style concepts so I learned a lot when I went to college because it was very different and I learned a lot when I got to the NFL because all the sudden I was learning spread. So yeah, kind of specialty things. I think you can learn different things, especially at the quarterback position. I think you could learn playing flag and doing some of that stuff.”
Paylor: What I really mean is, in retrospect, would it have helped playing quarterback at age seven?
SMITH: “No, I don’t think so. I played baseball, I threw. I played catch all the time with a football. I knew how to throw. I think that would be the one thing that would be exclusive to it, as far as physical development, is to throw a football. Certainly, throwing a baseball is obviously very similar and I did that. I think blocking and tackling would be the only fundamental physical things to learn, playing tackle football, and as a quarterback you’re obviously not doing a lot of that.”
Paylor: With the receivers, if you’re Andy and have Charcandrick West and Spencer Ware who do what they do, does that open the option up to having Jamaal Charles do a bit of the split-out wide receiver stuff we saw more of his first year here?
SMITH: “Yeah, certainly a different tool set from a running back perspective, sure. I think Jamaal is a very unique guy, unique talent, unique tool set and I think to pigeon-hole him, I think, would be wrong. One of the special things is that he does a lot, so yeah it’s a little different, but I think all those guys have their own strengths. I do think that’s an advantage from a strategy standpoint to be able to take advantage of those guys’ strengths when they’re in, plugging them in and having them doing different things.”
Paylor: When the Chiefs signed Mitchell Schwartz, I thought of one guy who might be happy about that. In this division especially, with guys coming off the right side, what do you like about him and what was your reaction when you saw the team signed him?
SMITH: “It’s hard from afar, I mean, obviously I didn’t know him. I played with his brother, so obviously you know that. I think the thing that jumped out at you with all the physical stuff aside, was the dependability. I don’t know how many games he’s missed in four years, not many, right? Zero. A guy that’s going to be there week in and week out playing, who has that kind of history, that’s rare in this league. Those guys that can come in and do that and be able to hold that week in and week out and that kind of dependability, like I said, I think that’s really attractive.”
Pete Sweeney (Chiefs.com): How do you anticipate the transition now going from Doug Pederson to two offensive coordinators?
SMITH: “Yeah, two brains now, not one. I think it’s going to be great. Obviously, Andy is heavily involved in the offensive side and is still spearheading it. I think it’s great. Honestly, I like it. Those two, I think, have a great relationship and I have a great relationship with both of them, so I’m really excited about it. I think they both have strengths, they both bring something to the table. I think one of the only reason this is able to work is because of the environment here and the lack of egos. The guys just checking in, coming in, starting at the top with Andy and certainly with these guys, with (Brad) Childress and (Matt) Nagy, being able to do that and putting it all aside and just work, work to get us better. It doesn’t matter whose idea it is or what if it can help us. I think it’s going to be great. Honestly.”
Sweeney: With the quarterback room changing a little bit, how do you evaluate Aaron Murray and Tyler Bray and what the guys can do?
SMITH: “Yeah, it will be different for sure. Chase (Daniel) and I were very close and to have a guy that had played a long time in the league to bounce things off of, it was valuable for me to be able to have that tool there, to constantly ask, ‘Hey, what do you think about this,’ on a Wednesday, Thursday night, ‘Am I thinking about this right? What do you think here?’ Just a guy who’s a sounding board to kind of bounce things off of was a great tool. I have a great relationship with these other guys as well and they’re younger and learning and coming up, but it will be different. We’ll see. There’s just three of us right now and I don’t know if there will be a fourth. Just have to adjust.”
Carpenter: Last year as a quarterback, could you tell a difference in the first half of games when Andy Reid was calling the plays and the second half when Doug Pederson was calling them?
SMITH: “You know, it had gone on for a few weeks until I found out that it was happening, so no, I didn’t know. I was just out there running the plays, so I had no idea. Certainly, coming in at halftime, I’d give my two (cents) and hear what we’re thinking moving forward. I forget how many it was, but it was a chunk of games that I had no idea that that had even been going on. Yeah, when you’re out there in the middle of it, it’s hard to tell when it went on. It was a collaboration, maybe in the first half and the second half if either of those guys had a thought. They certainly would share that.”
BJ Kissel (Chiefs.com): What are your thoughts on the 2016 season schedule?
SMITH: “As soon as it came out, I looked at it, and yeah, there are certain things you’re checking and you’re obviously looking at your opener. That’s a big one. Where the bye week is, and later in the year. Certainly that Christmas Day game and the Thursday night game jump out. Where you are ending the year. Things like that. Kind of checking the whole thing out.”
Kissel: Are you looking forward to playing on Christmas?
SMITH: “Yeah, it will be fun. We were talking about it today, I mean, Christmas night, I think it will be unique. I don’t think I’ve ever played on Christmas. It will be fun. I’m sure we’re the only show on that night, but to get to play Denver in that kind of atmosphere will be very cool.”
Teicher: How do you think the backup quarterback thing will play out?
SMITH: “It’s going to come down to the field. Those guys have different strengths, different guys. Both, though, have been here and been in the system and have learned a lot. Both have grown a lot I think. I’m excited to see how that plays out. They are both very good guys and I’m close with both of them, and I think they’ll handle it the right way, too. They’re both close with each other, so I think it will be a thing that will be healthy. I don’t think it’s bad for the quarterback room at all. We’ll see.”
RB JAMAAL CHARLES
Adam Teicher (ESPN): Has the process been any different for this injury as it was the last time around?
CHARLES: “No, just still trying to get my leg stronger again.”
TJ Carpenter (WHB): Do you feel more confident that you can bounce back from this injury since you’ve done it before?
CHARLES: “Yeah. I feel very blessed that I feel like I can come back stronger. There’s more new technology than there was back then. I’m (really) looking forward to the future and what it holds for me.”
Tod Palmer (Kansas City Star): How frustrating was it to watch the team in the playoffs and not being able to contribute?
CHARLES: “I was happy for them. It just motivated me. Nothing but positive things came out of it for me from that experience. I was just excited for my teammates, excited for the people that stepped up. Hopefully we can take that momentum and take it to this year coming up.”
Palmer: Do you think much will change since Doug Pederson has moved on or will there be continuity since Andy Reid is still here?
CHARLES: “Oh no, I still think Andy will still have his touch and the new offensive coordinators (Brad Childress and Matt Nagy). We still have our people here, I don’t think anything’s changed. Our philosophy hasn’t changed, it’s not like we have somebody new coming in. I think as long as we stay with the same system, we feel comfortable with where we’re heading.”
Herbie Teope (Topeka Capital-Journal): Where are you in your rehab right now?
CHARLES: “I’m in the stage (where I’m) back running right now. Basically just trying to get my right leg caught up to my left leg and get that strength back into it. Hopefully I can be cutting coming up soon.”
Q: How strong will the backfield be with you, Charcandrick West and Spencer Ware?
CHARLES: “I’m just excited they could sign West and Ware and still have Knile (Davis) here. That’s something blessed to be a part of. That group of guys, they all want to be successful and I’m happy and I want all of them to be successful, too. Having a backfield like that, I don’t think any other team in the NFL has a running back group like that. If either one of us goes down, we know one of the guys out of that group is very fortunate coming in and stepping up.”
Teope: From your understanding, is the timetable still for you to be ready by the start of training camp?
CHARLES: “Yeah, I’ll be ready, hopefully I’ll be ready – I’m not going to tell you when, I’m not God, I can’t tell you this. In my time, I can’t wait. I’m very fortunate to still be able to walk and now I’m running – so I’m very fortunate to look forward to what I’ll be able to do when that time comes.”
Teicher: Do you feel like you’ll be able to do anything in OTAs?
CHARLES: “Not OTAs, I’m still just looking. It’s too fast, that’s too fast to do something five months out of surgery. Just able to get a mental look of what the team is doing, still getting my rehab in, still getting my upper body lift in. That’s more important right now.”
Teicher: You don’t have any doubts about the first day of camp?
CHARLES: “Oh yeah, just looking forward. Like I said, I’m not God, I don’t know the timeline, I’m going to wait until that time comes and hopefully I’ll be ready when training camp (comes) – it’s here already, four more months, you never know.”
Teicher: When the Chefs re-signed West and Ware, what did that mean for you?
CHARLES: “It didn’t mean anything for me. I loved it. I’m just happy to be a part of this organization and I’m happy for them that their family can be a part of this experience that I’ve experienced my whole career here. I’m excited for those guys. It’s been a long time. I know their path, what they’ve been going (through), but to be able to see somebody like that, Ware and (West) to be able to get an opportunity to get an extended contract – I know all the troubles they’ve been going through in their whole career, it’s a blessing towards them and they have to cherish this moment.”
Teicher: Do you feel like the Chiefs are preparing for the day when you’re not here?
CHARLES: “I’m just able to say the Chiefs gave me a chance to start my career here. I’m not worrying about when I’m leaving. Just able to be a part of this organization is more important than telling what the future (is). I don’t know, all I know is I’m still here and I’m excited and I’m going to cherish these moments (until) I’m ready to hang up my cleats.”
Vahe Gregorian (Kansas City Star): How conscious are you of guys retiring early and how much do you think about your future health?
CHARLES: “That’s those guys, whatever they were going through, that’s what they were going through. We’re all individuals, (I can only) go through what Jamaal can go through and right now, my future is about my legs, so my future is about trying to get my health back. I don’t know when that time comes to see when I’m going to hang it up, that’s when it’s going to come. I don’t look at everybody the same way, we all – in this room – we’re all different in our own image.”
Neal Jones (KCTV5): When the team gets together, what is your expectation for the season?
CHARLES: “We’ve been here going on with Coach Reid about four years now. He mentions and talks about time and hopefully it’s our year and hopefully we can take that momentum and what they did this playoff season and take it onto this upcoming season. That’s the goal this year. We have a great team and great brothers and as long as we stay together, it’s going to be hard to break us.”
Terez Paylor (Kansas City Star): Does the presence of West and Ware open you up to do more receiving stuff? Is there enough room for all three of you to flourish?
CHARLES: “I’m looking in the room and it’s a beautiful room to be a part of. Hopefully Coach can put a four-running back package together and we all will be there together. Wherever coach wants me to be at, I’m going to be dedicated to that.”
Paylor: Have you given any thought to how much longer you want to play? Are you still there where you want to keep playing?
CHARLES: “Yeah, I want to play more. I don’t know – I’m just going to take it one day, enjoy this one day, one day and a time, enjoy it one season at a time and continue to enjoy this life on and off the field with my friends and my teammates.”
Shawn Rooney (Dos Mundos): How much longer are you going to be able to enjoy the moment and not worry about getting enough touches and all that other stuff? Where does that attitude come from?
OPENING STATEMENT: “Hey, guys. How are we doing? First off, happy belated Easter to you all. Second of all, I can’t believe it, but I’m a little under the weather, so with that, I’ll take your questions, so shoot.”
Adam Teicher (ESPN): With regards to Husain Abdullah, first, were you surprised by his retirement and second, do you think maybe you’re going to see more players retire at a younger age, maybe before a traditional time for them to retire?
DORSEY: “Well one, with Husain (Abdullah), I love the person. I love what he’s done for the Kansas City Chiefs over the last three years. He is a very deep individual. You know, he thinks a lot. He’s had a chance now since the offseason to think about what he wants to do and what direction he wants to head in, and any direction he wants to head in, I fully (support)—if that’s what he wants to do, I’m 100% behind him. I really like the kid. I just like his approach not only to the community, but what he did for the Kansas City Chiefs.”
Teicher: Do you think this will start a trend with other guys retiring while they still have some good football left in them?
DORSEY: “You know what, the answer I can tell you, Adam, is I don’t know. That’s a case-by-case thing here. How am I to say what one person is thinking, and that’s as honest as I can be with you.”
Sam Mellinger (KC Star): How much of your evaluation of guys in the draft and free agency is sort of how they look at football and if this is going to be a possibility for them?
DORSEY: “Well now, you know, what we’ve always said is when we do our research upon players, we’ve always said we want guys that are very passionate about the game of football, that are good guys within that locker room and will be good people within the community, so of course you’re going to try to put all those pieces together. At the end of the day, hopefully you’ve made the right decision.”
Joel Thorman (Arrowhead Pride): Did you know at the start of free agency that Husain was considering retirement or was this somewhat of a surprise to you?
DORSEY: “No, I really didn’t know this. I did get a text from him yesterday, a very nice text, and that’s kind of, as far as communication, I told him I’d like to talk with him today just to talk as friends. We’re going to talk today once I get finished with these meetings here this evening.”
Thorman: Are you trying to talk him into coming back or are you just trying to talk to him as a person?
DORSEY: “No, I’m talking to him as a man. I think he deserves that. You guys, I really like this guy, and I think he is a quality person. I think I’ve told you all along, he has one of the gentle souls that I’ve been around. I just like the guy and I just want to talk to him man to man.”
Teicher: Will you put it in perspective what it does to the program to not have a third-round draft pick right now?
DORSEY: “Well I mean, I think I know what you’re referring to, and that’s what the league has done. I think what we have done as an organization, as Clark said, we’re going to try to appeal this. I think it’s in the proper context of any type of appeal, I think it’d be best if I didn’t say anything until we’ve had our chance to appeal with the league.”
Teicher: I’m not asking about the penalty itself, I’m asking what it does to the program not having that pick?
DORSEY: “Well, it’s going to make sure that we try to hit those picks as we go along. Of course, it will change a few things. You have to make sure that the diligent work you do is as good of work as you possibly can do, and that’s what we’re going to do. Actually, we’ve spent all morning beginning to do this. I’ve been meeting with the guys here for the last five hours and we will continue to do that to make sure that at the end of the day, this 2016 draft of the Kansas City Chiefs is the best we’ve done to date.”
Teicher: Why was Justin Houston’s surgery not done earlier than mid-February?
DORSEY: “Well, as I look at this surgery, because after the playoff games, what they did is they went down to Dr. Andrews, had a review with Justin, came back and that was the recommendation.”
Teicher: Was that recommendation not made by your own doctors and/or Dr. Andrews when he went down there before the regular season was over?
DORSEY: “I know this. We all know the Buffalo game, what happened to Justin. He sat out those weeks right there and at that time, every player is allowed to get a second opinion. He went down to see Dr. Andrews and at that time, they had done the MRIs and what they did there is, everything was very positive in that regard. I think the important thing that we did here is, I think a couple weeks ago, Andy (Reid) had Rick (Burkholder) on and what Rick is, is really good at being able to explain these medical terminologies and I think he did a very nice and broad job with regards to Justin’s situation as we speak. The good news is, Justin is going to be up here in the next couple days, and if you know anything about the doctor, the training staff, these guys rehab up here in the best way. That’s all you can ask for, is to have number 50 up here and just grinding at it and getting ready for the ’16 season.”
Teicher: Since Rick doesn’t answer questions and you do, why wasn’t this diagnosed sooner and should it have been diagnosed sooner than it was?
DORSEY: “Well I think it was the process. I mean, that was a long process and that process came up. As it unfolded, when you come back and they run an MRI on the thing, everything’s there. You have to think that’s very positive. When they went back in February, they did it, they came back and had some other findings.”
BJ Kissel (Chiefs.com): After the Buffalo game, those few weeks Justin was rehabbing there, how was he responding to the rehab and how did that play into the decision to let him come back in for the Houston game?
DORSEY: “It’s kind of like what Justin does, he attacks it. He attacks with passion. I think that the training staff, they all kind of had a plan together to work through this thing. There was a timeline estimate and he slowly began to get out there and practice. You could see it was good, it was stable.”
Thorman: So Justin did not re-injure the knee in that Texans playoff game?
DORSEY: “No, he didn’t. He didn’t redo it. That’s the thing. Here we are, you guys, and what’s good is, Justin’s coming back here and rehabbing, and we’re getting ready to attack this 2016, so what I have to do is I have to live in the present, and that’s kind of what I’m living in. To answer your question, Joel, no. He did not re-injure it.”
Thorman: So in February, did that kind of throw your offseason in a loop? How did this affect your planning? DORSEY: “It was an unfortunate situation, but what we do in this position is, we go along with our business. Did it alter our plans? No. We had a plan in place and we stuck to that plan. I think that plan was a good plan as is evidence of what transpired in the free agency period and now we have a second component of it and that’s leading up to the draft.”
Thorman: So Justin Houston’s injury didn’t mean you now feel the need to bring somebody in, you’re planning on him being here pretty early?
DORSEY: “Yeah. Absolutely.”
Terez Paylor (KC Star): When Justin went down to Florida the first time in December, was there any way you guys could have seen the ligaments were the way they were in February or did it just get worse?
DORSEY: “No, but I mean, one: he played in the game. Two: when you go to a man as renowned as Dr. Andrews, everybody who plays this game, if they go for a second opinion, the majority of them go see Dr. Andrews. Dr. Andrews comes back and gives you something that’s positive, that’s a good thing.”
Paylor: Just to be clear, Dr. Andrews’ assessment back in December was that he could continue to rehab and come back and play in a few weeks, is that correct?
Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid Conference Call Quotes
Owners’ Meeting – Boca Raton, Fla.
March 22, 2016
REID OPENING STATEMENT: “Hi guys and ladies. Rick’s going to hit you with just a quick update on the injuries and get you caught up there and then we’ll jump into the questions and answers from that point. Alright, Rick.”
HEAD ATHLETIC TRAINER RICK BURKHOLDER
BURKHOLDER: “Alright everybody, so just a quick update on the players that have had surgery this year and where we’re at rehab-wise.
I’ll start out with Justin March, who had surgery back in August. He’s doing great. He had the microfracture on his right knee, we’re anticipating he’ll be ready to go when we start up on the 18th (of April) with our offseason program.
Paul Fanaika had low-back surgery back in September. He’s passed his physical and he’s good to do everything with us.
Phillip Gaines and Jamaal (Charles) both had ACL surgery, as you know, a week apart. They’re both doing great, they’re here every day. They aren’t ready right now, as we didn’t think they would be. You’ll see them a little bit at the OTAs and minicamps in some limited work. Then we anticipate, with no setbacks, they’ll be fine by the time we’re ready to go in July.
James O’Shaughnessy had his right foot operated on in November, he should be good for April.
The one injury you may not know about is Dustin Colquitt, (who) had his right knee scoped in January. He has some old injury there, he had some hardware in his knee from a high school injury that he had. He had some of that hardware taken out and his knee cleaned out, but he’s here every day and he’s doing great.
Tamba (Hali), as you know, had a right knee clean-out in February. He’s here every day as well. He’ll be ready to go in July – that’ll come down to Coach and myself, with some help from our strength coaches to give him some adequate prep work as well as rehab as well as recovery, just like we did last year.
And then with Justin Houston. So Justin, if you remember, hurt his knee in (November) against Buffalo, I think. We went through the playoffs where he was knicked up. He went down and saw Dr. (James) Andrews for the second time in February, had his knee scoped. At that time, in the week of February first, I think it was, he had his knee scoped. When Dr. Andrews took a look inside his knee, he determined that his ACL was intact, it just wasn’t functioning. He didn’t do anything at that moment, brought him out of surgery, we all got on the phone, discussed everything and decided to have his ACL fixed. He had his ACL fixed on the 16th of February. Right now he’s in the middle of the process of doing rehabilitation for an ACL injury that was a little bit tricky, because his ACL wasn’t torn, but it wasn’t functioning the way it should, so Dr. Andrews fixed that. And as you know from past, those are six-to-12 month recoveries, so it’s too early to tell where he’s at right now, but he’s on the road to recovery. Alright, that’s all I have. I’m going to turn it back over to Coach.”
REID: “So that does it really, for the injures. You guys can fire away.”
Q: There’s a report on Jamell Fleming moving to safety, how much validity is there to that? What does he give you moving from cornerback to safety?
REID: “That would be accurate. Jamell, listen, we obviously brought him back because he’s a talented kid and he kind of fits that roll a little bit like (Ron) Parker did for us, where he’s a big, physical guy that can play corner – he’s done that throughout his career. We felt like he could also help us at safety. So we’re going to kick him in there and give him an opportunity to compete at the safety spot and see how he does.”
Q: As an organization, are you guys denying the charges or are you disagreeing with the penalty? I know Clark Hunt made a statement saying you were appealing, is there anything you can say there?
REID: “Listen, I can’t say anything, because we’re in the process, that’s why Clark made the statement. I would just leave it at that and let that statement hold its own and then let the appeal process go through and what happens there, happens there.”
Q: Do you feel like the league is trying to make a statement or that they tried to make a statement with the punishment?
REID: “Yeah, listen, I can’t get into all that and you understand that. With the appeal process being what it is, I’m just staying away from all of the appeal questions I guess and let it just take place. And like I said, what happens, happens and we’ll see how that rolls. And that’s why Clark made the statement yesterday.”
Q: What does Mitch Schwartz bring to the table for you guys? And can you talk about the importance of having two good offensive tackles in this division with so many great edge rushers coming off the right tackle side?
REID: “That latter part is huge. You want to make sure you’re secure on the edge and at the same time, give the quarterback an opportunity to step up when he needs to with a firm inside three. Having two tackles, particularly in this division ends up being very important. Listen, we know the Schwartz family, we had Geoff here and we appreciated his time here, he helped get us started in our first year here. His brother is similar, he’s very durable and very intelligent and a hard worker, we like all of those things. Knock on wood, I’m not sure he’s missed a game, he’s reliable there. And reliability ends up being an important thing in this league.”
Q: Could you talk about the way Schwartz runs with his technique and if you needed him to play left tackle, could he do it?
REID: “Yeah, I think he probably could play anywhere along the line. He’s highly intelligent, not only in the books, but also football-wise. I think we could probably swing him wherever, left tackle included, if needed. Fish (Eric Fisher) did a good job for us, so that would be more of an injury thing than anything, like you were saying.”
Q: Burkholder said it was a six-to-12 month recovery, does that mean his status for the season is in doubt or is it too early to tell?
REID: “We’re hoping, just because of his work ethic and he’s been a fast healer in the past. We’re hoping that that’s not the case, that he’ll be able to play this season, depending on when and where that is, it’s too early to be able to tell.”
Q: Rick didn’t give us an update on your situation, you have to wait a while before you get your knee replacement done, right? Are you off your feet for quite a while?
REID: “Well, I’ve got, probably, three-to-four more weeks in the process of just getting the infection out of there. It’s a non-weight-bearing process, so my arms are getting in good shape. I think we’re on the downside of the infection part of it, we’ll get the replacement put in in a month or so – three-to-four weeks and we’ll go from there with the rehab.”
Q: I understand you were really involved in Doug Pederson’s hiring process with the Eagles, how did that come about?
REID: “Listen, I’ve kept a great relationship with the people there. I had no bitter feelings when I left, I remained in that frame of mind. I understand how this league works and I was blessed to be there for 14 years with great fans and a great front office and coaches there and players. Very lucky to be able to do that. They had asked me about Doug and I thought Doug was ready to be a head coach. He had kind of done everything he could do here. I hated losing him because of our relationship, but I’m very happy and proud of him for the opportunity he has to lead the birds there.”
Q: How could you tell Doug was ready to be an NFL head coach?
REID: “Well, listen, when you become a coordinator, that step going from quarterback coach to coordinator, you’ve got to deal with the media. That’s a big part of it when you come to Philadelphia as you know, and how you handle that. He’s got a good way about him with that. Football-wise, I think he’s got a good grasp of that. He’s studied and spent a lot of time at his job, and I think he was prepared, whether it was to hire a coaching staff, I think he did a nice job with that. Whether it was dealing with Howie (Roseman) and the personnel side of it, he kind of understands how that works, kind of watched Dorse (John Dorsey) and I do it. I just thought it was a win-win for both parties, for both Doug and for the Eagles.”
Q: Why do you think Rod Streater can help you guys, and do you see him mainly as a slot guy?
REID: “Yeah, well, I think he can fill that role. He’s done both, I mean, he’s played outside, been successful, he’s worked inside and been successful. I’ve known him for a long time, I’m kind of cheating on this because my son and he played together, and then Britt (Reid) also coached him at Temple, so I’ve got a little inside intel on him. Listen, as good of a player as he is, he’s an even better person so you’re getting a quality guy and also a guy who can play football. He’s got size, he’s got speed, he’s got good change of direction, and all those things fit both outside and inside. He’s got experience playing the inside position there, so I just think he’s come off a couple years where he’d been banged up, although this past year he was pretty healthy, so it just kind of became a number count there for him. This will give him a fresh start and an opportunity to hop in this offense and digest it, which I think he’ll be able to do and we’ll see how he does.”
Q: Have you talked to Doug since he took his job with the Eagles, and if so, what have you talked about or given him advice on?
REID: “Yeah, we’ve talked and I basically just check on him periodically and see how he’s doing. He’s doing great. Listen, he doesn’t need a lot of guidance. That’s not where we’re at. He knows what he needs to do. When you first come into a place, you’re up to your neck in it, so you’re fighting every day for time. I’m not in a position where I’m going to take any time away from him. I want him to be able to get everything done he needs to get done. I understand that and respect that. But, I know he’s enjoying it and he’s got a good staff. I know he’s enjoying that. That first year is tough, but it’s also a lot of fun. It’s a great challenge. He’s in it, and he’s rolling with it so that’s a good thing.”
Q: Do you know what Jeffrey Lurie means by ‘emotional intelligence’?
REID: “Yeah, I think it does. Listen, it’s an emotional game, so that can carry over into a lot of different areas as a head coach, responsibility-wise. Jeffrey has been blessed to have some good head coaches there, starting with Ray Rhodes, on through. We forget that Ray was a Coach of the Year. We forget that maybe Chip (Kelly) started off pretty good there now, and that’s a tough thing to do. Now Doug has an opportunity to do that, so the emotional part of it is keeping things, maybe when you can get too emotionally high, that you’re able to kind of keep it within the restrictions that you need to as a head coach to make those decisions, those big-time decisions that you need to make.”
Q: Do you think having a coach who is able to open his heart to the players, as Jeffrey Lurie stated, is a big part of the NFL and do you think that Doug is capable of doing that?
REID: “Yeah, so I think you’re all-in as a head coach, so you jump in and you go. You have relationships with these guys. You’re dealing with a lot of different issues. These are human beings. There are real-life things that come up that you have to deal with, and part of that emotional intelligence comes back to that. You’ve got to be able to handle that a certain way, be real with it but still be the man in charge there, so there’s a fine line on how you do that, and I think Doug possesses that ability to be able to do that.”
Q: What did you observe with the way Doug worked with Chase Daniel, and what do you see for Chase going forward?
REID: “Yeah, so I’m a big Chase fan. I think he can be a starter in the National Football League. I think, well you go to meet him at his press conference. Everything from the green tie, on down, I mean he’s well put together that way, and that’s the way he goes about football. There won’t be anything that he hasn’t turned over in preparation to get ready for that upcoming team. He’ll know the offense as well or better than anybody. He’ll know the defense that he’s playing against as well or better than anybody, and that’s just how he goes about it. He builds tremendous confidence in people around him that he can win games when he’s in charge there.”
Q: Is there room on the Chiefs bandwagon for fans to hop on from St. Louis?
REID: “Absolutely, come on down. You just have to get through Columbia, just get past Columbia and then let’s go.”
Q: Why are the Chiefs a good team to follow?
REID: “Well, first of all, there’s no place better to play than Arrowhead. It’s phenomenal. The environment is tremendous. The Hunts have made it that way. It’s a great fan experience. Then, the product out there. John Dorsey has done a great job of bringing good players in here that are fun to watch. We’ve got old, we’ve got new, and it’s a great blend. There’s nothing like it on Sundays. It’s an exciting, exciting atmosphere and we have a chance to be a pretty good football team. We’ve got to do the right things this offseason in preparation for it as players and coaches, but we have a chance to be a decent football team, and I think every fan wants to follow a team that has a chance.”
Q: Are there a couple things the team needs to do to take the next step and have a long playoff run?
REID: “Well, we got a taste of it, how long the season is even in the second round. You’ve got to prepare yourself that way. It’s not just preparing for 16 games, you prepare for 20. Make sure that when you’re sitting on that bench and going for that 10th rep, I’m doing it so that I can make it through, doing that extra lap, that extra sprint, I’m putting it down so that I’m there for the whole duration until you get to that Super Bowl.”
Q: With the draft coming up, what’s the process you and John are going through right now, and is there anything in particular about this group of prospects that stands out to you?
REID: “Yeah, I mean it looks like it’s a deep draft to me. Dorse kind of gives me the information and I go through and look at the guys that he wants me to look at. To me, it seems just that there are some good football players in this draft at a lot of positions, which, that’s not always the case. This one here feels pretty healthy though.”
Q: What do you see in Matt Nagy? Do you feel he’s similar to Doug in that one day, he could become an NFL head coach?
REID: “Absolutely. He’ll have that opportunity, as long as we have success, then he’ll definitely have that opportunity. I think Brad (Childress) will, too. Two different deals, Brad is a little bit older, obviously, and been there. Matt is an up-and-coming guy, so I think he’s a very good football coach and he’s just growing. He’s working into this and it’s a great opportunity for him I think.”
Q: Is that why he is a co-offensive coordinator with Brad, so that he can get that experience he hasn’t had yet?
REID: “Well, two fold, he and Brad are very close. Brad has been there, done it. Matt, I think, deserves that position. Both of them I think deserve the position, so I thought it was just the logical thing to do with that.”
Chiefs General Manager John Dorsey
NFL Combine Quotes
February 25, 2016
OPENING STATEMENT: “Hi guys, good afternoon. I was walking over here and I was thinking to myself, I believe this year is the 30th anniversary of the Combine being held in Indianapolis, Indiana, and so I’d like to take a moment here before I answer some football questions and just thank the city of Indianapolis for all the hospitality they’ve shown. I also want to acknowledge Jeff Foster and John Griffin from NIC (National Invitational Camp) and NFS (National Football Scouting) for all the work that they do to make this Combine work. With that, I’ll take your questions.”
Q: Have you been here for all 30 Combines?
DORSEY: “No. You know what, I’ve probably been here for 20 – 25.”
Q: Without Andy Reid here, how does that change the interaction with the players?
DORSEY: “We’ve been in this program now for four years, and we’ve built this thing. We understand from a personnel staff what the coaches want from specific players, and I think the coaching staff understands what we want from a personnel side. We’ve meshed together and we understand each other and trust each other. I don’t think the process has changed one bit. I miss having Andy (Reid) here, and here’s why. What’s nice is when we sit down in the 60-player interview room, it’s always nice to have him there because he does a nice job of just understanding players of what their worth is.”
Q: Was there any consideration of using Skype or FaceTime to connect with Coach Reid?
DORSEY: “No, actually what we’ve done in terms of the player interviews this year, we’ve worked out a system where he’ll be able to see the interviews. What we could have done is, I wanted to see if we could FaceTime him here, but I don’t think he’d like that FaceTime thing.”
Q: Is it harder now to manage your cap space when you’re having to spend big money on players in the open market?
DORSEY: “No, I don’t think it is. I think what it is, if you plan out three, four years at a time here and you have an understanding of your team and the makeup of those specific players, no, I don’t think to manage the cap that’s true.”
Q: Do you think your number two quarterback for next season is on your roster right now?
DORSEY: “I do. I know what you’re getting with here, you’re going with Chase Daniel. We’ve had Chase here for three years. I think Chase is a very competitive player. I think we were very lucky to have him as our number two quarterback. Just a couple hours ago, I had discussions with his agent with regard to see where they were with the process. At the right price, I would try to retain him, at the right price. I understand the business of the game of football, and he’s going to want to be able to see if he can start. I do believe he’s capable of doing that, so that process will be ongoing. It will take a couple weeks here before we sit down and talk with his agent some more.”
Q: In the past three years, how did you see Doug Pederson develop into a head coach?
DORSEY: “Well, I think right now with Doug Pederson, he’s been around football, the game of football, for a long time. Any time you can take a coach and you develop your skills as a high school coach, and then you work up the ranks and all of a sudden, you’re lucky enough to get into pro football, I think it’s always important that, who you get with in this whole process, and he was lucky enough to get with Andy Reid. He began to see how to process and how to build certain things and how to build a team. The play-calling component of it, I think Doug will do a fabulous job. What I’ve seen with Doug is, he’s built a really good staff. I love Doug, I can’t wait to see what he does. I really think he’ll do a wonderful job.”
Q: On the development of Albert Wilson and the role he’s developed for himself in his time with the Chiefs.
DORSEY: “I think any time you can take a college free agent and he can develop into that number two receiver, which he kind of did last year, that’s a tribute to Albert and his development. With that development, I can see him getting better. He wants to get himself better, and I’m very happy with where he is at this stage of football. He did very well in the ’15 season, now we’re moving on to the ’16 season and it’s time to develop even more now.”
Q: Where are you now in the franchise tagging process, especially with the deadline coming up next week?
DORSEY: “I think the deadline is Tuesday, probably 3 p.m. Central Time. As we move forward here, I’ve used a franchise tag in the past, and it’s not out of the possibility I could use it again. It all depends on how certain things go in the process, but you always want to have something in your pocket, and I could use that.”
Q: What about Eric Berry and the progress you’ve made with talking to his representatives?
DORSEY: “Eric’s agent and I have had really good discussions the last couple weeks. We will continue to build on those discussions as we speak. I’m scheduled to meet with him this weekend in Indianapolis. It’s a process. It will continually move on. We’ll see what happens when we get to that time.”
Q: With how quickly Mitch Morse was able to step up and play for the Chiefs with the spread option, do you think that sets the standard for offensive linemen or do you think he’s an exception to what other guys can do?
DORSEY: “Well, in today’s football, the spread option game is everywhere. It’s from the pro football, all the way on to Pop Warner League, I’ve seen. I think that attribute first goes to Mitch himself as a person, for his athleticism, his smarts, his tenacity. It also goes to the Missouri coaching staff, getting him prepared to play at the next level, and they’ve done a wonderful job in getting players ready to play. Then all of a sudden, Mitch comes here and he picks things up quickly, he has quality coaches like Andy Heck and Eugene Chung, and it was a seamless transition. He did a wonderful job and I continue to see good things for him.”
Q: What’s unique about the players in this draft, and where are you at now?
DORSEY: “Well, the guys jokingly say we’re in Phase One. What we’ve done is we’ve kind of finished our process, our self-evaluation. We’ve kind of finished up the unrestricted free agent part of the process and now, we’ve spent the last 17 days evaluating and building our college draft board. It’s very fluid, it will continue because it’s not just one set board, it’s – we’re 50-something days probably away from the Draft, so it will continually change and evolve as we watch guys compete here at the Combine. We’ll go to the school visits and watch them compete and we begin to formulate that final piece of the puzzle. Right now, from a depth-perspective, I think there’s some really good defensive linemen in this draft.”
Q: How is Jamaal Charles’ rehab and with the emergence of (Spencer) Ware and (Charcandrick) West, how does the backfield shake out?
DORSEY: “I told you all a couple weeks ago, Jamaal (Charles) is ahead of schedule. He is ahead of schedule, I’ve continually talked to Rick (Burkholder). Before I left to come here to Indianapolis, I saw Jamaal (Charles) down there diligently working in the training room and all of a sudden I come back down stairs and he’s in the weight room. I think he’s far enough ahead in the process here which is good, it’s good for everybody. Jamaal (Charles) is a great football player, but you have to applaud those two young guys for what they did. When you lose a player the magnitude of Jamaal (Charles) and those two young guys step up with what they did, they competed and they played hard and at the end of the day it was good for everybody.”
Q: When you’re looking at small school guys, how do you go about that?
DORSEY: “Well I would think from a division one standpoint there’s probably 82 to 83 percent of players in the National Football League come from division one. Then you begin to filter down, you have to take each level as it goes down. As I’ve always said, how do they dominate the competition? At those different levels do they dominate the competition and do they have the measurable and the traits that you’re looking for as an organization.”
Q: Are there any positions where it’s a little easier or more prevalent?
DORSEY: “I can’t pinpoint one. I’ve known in the past in studying the trends that there can be some receivers, some defensive backs and I’ve also seen some defensive lineman that have kind of risen up and prospered in the National Football League.”
Q: There have been reports that the Redskins may cut Robert Griffin III and that the Chiefs would be a good place for him. What would make Andy Reid and the Kansas City Chiefs a good place for him?
DORESEY: “Andy’s a wonderful coach. He just has a way of working with young men and young men believe in him. With regards to the player you talked about, I’m really not obligated to talk about him because he’s still with another football team. But I think with Andy (Reid) what he does, he teaches them the basic fundamentals. He’ll see the flaws within that person, try to break them down and build them back up. Then all of a sudden he begins to sit there and grill them on the x’s and o’s of the game until it’s embedded in their head.”
Q: Does he do this more than other personnel?
DORSEY: “I can only speak for Andy (Reid), that’s who I’m talking about.”
Q: You’ve tried to build your roster where there are never many glaring needs so that you can draft whoever you’d like, do you think that will be a realistic goal this year?
DORSEY: “You know, we take the same approach year in and year out. We try to build that up every year and then you begin to see the holes that you need to fill in and then all of a sudden you have to factor that formula into the best available player approach as well. I foresee this year not being any different from all of the years that I’ve been doing this.”
Q: What did you see from Matt Nagy to not go out and get a new offensive coordinator?
DORSEY: “Well you know what, I think we were very lucky to have Matt Nagy in that role. Then all of a sudden you have Brad Childress in that role. Now all of a sudden you have a young and upcoming coach blended in there with a former head coach who is also an offensive coach. He knows the system, he has a great relationship with Alex Smith, and he will continue to have a great relationship with Alex Smith. That does nothing but show you that system that Andy (Reid) has in place, allowing guys to grow and build and develop but it also speaks volumes to the quality of the coaching staff that we have here in Kansas City.”
Q: Are there any updates on Derrick Johnson’s status?
DORSEY: “Well truth be told, I had a meeting with his representatives about three days ago. We will continue to have continual process with that. We are going to move this thing forward, anytime you become the all-time leading tackler for the Chiefs, we’re not going to let good football players go in this thing.”
Chiefs TE Travis Kelce
Conference Call Quotes
January 29, 2016
Q: You’re in Hawaii, a new TV show coming out and a new contract, do you have anything else coming?
KELCE: “I believe I just got recognized as Role Model of the Year for the Greater Kansas City Boys & Girls Club. Other than that, I got to hug my mother today, so I guess things are getting better and better.”
Q: What’s next for you as a player?
KELCE: “First off, I just want to say thank you to everyone from the top of the list to the bottom. Clark Hunt, Coach Andy Reid, all the coaching staff that’s with me, John Dorsey. These guys believed in me enough when I got drafted and obviously still are behind me every step of the way. I can’t thank them enough, I can’t thank my coaches enough, I can’t thank the players that I play with enough. I’m a very thankful person right now, it’s hard to bring all this to reality. It’s a very thankful opportunity for me. With all of this comes a lot of responsibility and right now, I’m more motivated than ever to go out there and be a dominant performer on the field for the Chiefs for many years to come.”
Q: Entering the final year of your rookie deal, how important was it to get this long-term stability and how happy are you that you’re locked up for many more years?
KELCE: “I’m ecstatic, I’m ecstatic. Like I said, I can’t be more thankful, more happy of the situation that I’m in right now. I love Kansas City to death, I’ve embraced it ever since I got there, the community absolutely loves the Chiefs and the Royals. It’s a blue collar city just like I grew up in. I can’t be thankful enough for how they embraced me as a player. It’s an exciting day, it’s an exciting day.”
Q: Have you heard from any of your teammates?
KELCE: “Yes, one of the first people that gave me a shout today was Jeremy Maclin. I got J-Mac on the phone and saw him give me a call, so I had to make sure I called him back. Everyone’s happy for one another and it’s going to be fun working with him and everybody else in the locker room for years to come.”
Q: What was Coach Reid’s message to you after the contract was announced?
KELCE: “He’s going to stay on top of you. He said congrats, but obviously with that comes more responsibility. You just keep moving forward and keep getting better.”
Q: How did the reality TV show come about?
KELCE: “To be honest, right now I’m trying to stay focused on signing and keeping everything going in Kansas City. I’d rather not get into the whole TV show, I’m going to kind of let that play out and let it be what it is. I’m just happy right now to be out here with my family and my friends and some of my teammates and coaches to celebrate a moment like this.”
Q: What’s special about the connection you’ve made with the fan base and what you’ve been able to do with the community and everything you’ve done to be able to get the award you got today?
KELCE: “Man, it’s humbling. For a community as into the Chiefs as Kansas City is, they ride and they die for us every single week. I see them out there, I know it hurts when we lose and I know how ecstatic and how fun the city is when we’re winning. For me to be able to represent them for the next couple of years, it makes me proud and it makes me want to keep getting better every single day.”
Q: How excited are you about where things are heading on this team with Coach Reid and all the young talent?
KELCE: “It’s exciting. I had a friend relay it to me that we looked at this year as a disappointing year as a team, just because we didn’t reach all of our goals. Still, at the end of the year, we were in the playoffs, had players in the Pro Bowl. Looking back at it, you can think of it as a disappointing year, but at the same time, it’s motivation to get better and better every single day. It’s fun to see where we’re going with some of the moves and I’m just excited to be playing in Kansas City.”