Chiefs Offensive Coordinator Doug Pederson, Special Teams Coordinator Dave Toub, Defensive Coordinator Bob Sutton & Players Quotes
December 18, 2014
Q: Do you have more of those 40-yard plus pass plays for us this week?
PEDERSON: “I’d like to say yes, every play is designed to go 40-plus. These past couple weeks it’s good to see that one, Alex (Smith) is seeing that well. The fact that maybe we are calling them at the right time, we are getting the right look from the defense that’s presenting us with that opportunity. And it’s just a matter of the guys executing that play at that particular time and just throwing the ball and completing the ball down the field. It’s been kind of a bright spot for us the past couple weeks.”
Q: Is it possible for young receivers to develop without veteran presence?
PEDERSON: “I think it helps to have a veteran presence, whether it’s at the quarterback position or it’s at his position of wide receiver, tight end, running back. You lean on that veteran guy because of the wealth of experience out on that field. As coaches we sit there and watch it on tape all day but they are actually out there between the lines executing the offense or defense, special teams. Then you put in six, seven, eight, nine years of that, you’re able to kind of relate that to a younger player. If the younger player is in tune to that and he’s asking the right questions then he can grow at his position and eventually see the field a lot sooner than later.”
Q: How rare is it to add a guy like (Jason) Avant midseason who has the experience that he has in your system?
PEDERSON: “You mentioned it right there, the fact that he’s familiar with our system. You can take a guy who’s only been removed a couple years and then bring him back and plug him in. It takes a couple weeks to kind of get everything back in shape mentally and hearing the play calls and all that. A guy like that is valuable, like Richard Gordon who’s been in camp with us, now he’s back with us. It didn’t take him long to get caught up to speed.”
Q: Is Avant feeling up to speed now?
PEDERSON: “Yeah, he’s doing well, real well.”
Q: When did he start to feel that way?
PEDERSON: “It took him probably that first week. We’ve changed; we’re not the same offense, as you look at us, than when he was with us in Philly. We’ve changed a little bit, so there was a little bit of learning for him, some of the terminology but yeah, he’s definitely caught up.”
Q: What are the characteristics of a Dick LeBeau defense? What are you going to see?
PEDERSON: “The biggest thing is probably the fire zone, the blitz. He’s done it for years, he’s not going to change it. It’s a tenacious defense. It’s a fast flow defense. They are a defense that is typically a good tackling defense. Fundamentally, they are sound. He’s got guys like (Troy) Polamalu that can make plays all over the field, sort of a free roamer, free reign type of guy that plays within the system. He’s not hurting their defense by what he does, he’s actually making more plays than not. Those things you see from this defense. Big, physical defensive line. Athletic, mobile linebackers. Then, secondary guys who can cover and those have always been characteristics of his style of play and his defense.”
Q: I think he was the first guy who had 11 guys standing as a defense, with Jamaal (Charles) you aren’t likely to see that are you?
PEDERSON: “You never know. But you start standing guys up, they still have to wear a 90-number and a 50-number and a 20-number and you just have to sort it out offensively. They are going to rush four, they are going to rush five, three, six. But with a guy like Jamaal, maybe having guys stand up can cause a little confusion. They can flash into gaps in the run game, things like that can stymie you a little bit on offense.”
SPECIAL TEAMS COORDINATOR DAVE TOUB
Q: You called the shot on De’Anthony (Thomas).
TOUB: “They did a nice job blocking him. It was really blocked well and De’Anthony did what he had to do. He turned on the jets right up the sideline. It was nice to see.”
Q: That wall was set up nice, four or five guys.
TOUB: “Yep and then Junior (Hemingway) with the touchdown block on the punter. That was critical. I don’t know if you remember last time the punter tackled Frankie (Hammond Jr.). He was the last guy to tackle Frankie and it was pretty much the same return.”
Q: How hard is it for a rookie to kind of figure that out?
TOUB: “Which one? De’Anthony?”
Q: Yeah on the return. When do they figure it out? How hard is it to figure it out and make adjustments?
TOUB: “For him, he’s got a lot of natural instincts. He was a really good returner in college. It’s a matter of keeping him clean early and letting him catch the ball and get out and let his instincts go. He’s come a long way as far as catching the ball and getting forward, coming forward with it and catching the tough catches and understanding exactly what we’ve got going. Other than that, he’s got a lot of natural instincts.”
Q: Andy Reid talked yesterday on the whole snap, hold, kick thing not working on Sunday. What was the problem there?
TOUB: “(Thomas) Gafford will be the first one to tell you, we had a couple inside snaps, but it all starts there. It starts with the snap and the hold. The hold was good and then that just throws it off a little bit. Just the time and the time he has to slow down a little bit. Sometimes when he feels like he needs to speed it up and he doesn’t see a perfect snap and it just throws the timing off a little bit and he hits the ball not how he wants to hit it. We have to make sure that everything is perfect especially with a rookie kicker and we have to be consistent. The snap and the hold have to be perfect.”
Q: As Andy said, you’re dealing with human beings here. It’s not always going to be perfect and at some point it’s not going to be exactly where you need it.
TOUB: “We held him accountable as well. We didn’t make an excuse for him that he missed because of the snap. He still was able to see the ball and he just needs to get in there and he has to make that kick too. An NFL kicker has to make that kick. Being that it is his rookie year, we need to give him every opportunity to be successful. The veterans do that.”
Q: Any chance you’ll promote the practice squad guy (Charley Hughlett)?
TOUB: “The long snapper?”
Q: It’s a tough time to go with an untested guy.
TOUB: “The timing of it seems like we’re trying to put the pressure on Gafford, but really, I think Andy touched on this too and it’s true, we are looking at a future guy. We’re looking at a possible guy that we’re going to have for training camp during the offseason and he’s certainly one of them. We brought him in early about two months ago, worked him out. It gives us the situation to look at him again.”
Q: What happened on the punt?
TOUB: “Funny that you asked. Without getting into the details, I don’t want to tell you exactly what we are trying to do there, but it was a look. We felt we had a look, not everybody felt like we had the look. It was one of those deals. Obviously Dustin (Colquitt) thought we had the look, comes up knowing.”
Q: The guys he was going to throw to didn’t have the look?
TOUB: “Exactly. To make a long story short, but I’m going to tell you one thing, he’s experienced. He was able to see it, boom, get the ball down and get it out and still get the ball on the six yard line. Pretty impressive.”
Q: In your mind, what makes for a good return whether it’s kick or punt? What is the key?
TOUB: “The key is everybody being on the same page. It’s like an offensive play. I say it all the time. One guy breaks down, you have another. You have to have 11 guys all on the same page and trust. They have to trust the block, the returner has to trust that the blockers are going to be in a certain spot, they can’t abort it, they can’t start one way. So if it’s not there then come back to the other. It takes guys playing with 100% effort finishing their blocks and being smart. Being smart with their blocks, not blocking guys in the back when the guy has their back to them. Hit by when we need to hit by and finishing the play. A lot of times guys get on blocks and don’t finish blocks. It’s about getting that last touchdown block whether he’s the kicker or punter. You have to make all the blocks in order down the field to be successful in the NFL.”
Q: How much of it is the discipline of the returner? You talk about the guys blocking and the returner going where he needs to go.
TOUB: “Yeah absolutely. That’s the trust factor. He catches it, he’s setting it up. He has to know that the blocks are going to be, or for De’Anthony gunners know that we are blocking gunners so he’s able to catch those tough catches, the high hang time kicks. He’s got to trust those guys.”
DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR BOB SUTTON
Q: Did you ever call defenses against Todd Haley when he was with Arizona?
SUTTON: “Yeah, we’ve seen him there and of course I didn’t call the defense when we played him at the Jets when he was here at Kansas City and that, so we’ve dealt with Todd before when he was the offensive coordinator at Arizona and once I think, maybe twice, when he was here at Kansas City. So he’s obviously done a great job because they’ve got a really high-powered offense that is really moving right now and they have tremendous balance between the running and passing game and you’ve got (Le’veon) Bell, (Antonio) Brown and Ben (Roethlisberger) – all of the B’s. They’re a problem. They are all individually very talented and collectively they are working really well together and complementing each other very well.”
Q: With Antonio Brown who is so good with one move and Ben Roethlisberger who can pump-fake with one arm, is that a unique problem that you will have to deal with?
SUTTON: “Well, I think a lot of teams do that. Like anything, I think when you have outstanding players doing a particular play or whatever it is, it becomes even more trouble-some on defense and your margin for error is very minimal. One, this is obviously from being the most targeted to the most catches in the NFL to a quarterback that is close to 70% completion, you just can’t make very many mistakes without paying a very heavy price. So we’re going to have to be on top of our game. It’s going to demand a lot of different people to work on these guys and if it was only one thing we had to worry about, it would be a lot easier, but unfortunately we have several things here that are going on at once.”
Q: What are some of Jamell Fleming’s strengths?
SUTTON: “I think he is a very physical player. He is very strong, aggressive; he can battle you in the air and maintain his presence on the receiver. I think those are probably the things that impress me right now about him.”
Q: Did you get a look at him before John Dorsey brought him in?
SUTTON: “No, I did not personally.”
Q: So your first experience with him was here?
SUTTON: “Right, it was here.”
Q: Did it take a while for you to see what flashes he could show?
SUTTON: “You know from his body type, what he looks like, you think he might be a physical guy. He is strong, fairly thick guy, but still has good movements. That has proven out over the course of time.”
Q: How competitive is Fleming?
SUTTON: “I hope very. I thought he went in and did a great job. He did the first time and got nicked up with a hamstring but I thought he did a really good job and I thought he had some really outstanding finishes the other day against Oakland. We had two or three right in front of our bench that we got to see up close and I thought he did a really great job of playing all the way until the end, play it to the ground. He did a great job; he got the ball out there and did a nice job.”
Q: You used a lot of different looks against the Raiders, how much of that is based on the quarterback and his experience and how much is just personnel?
SUTTON: “It’s probably a combination of all things. It’s trying to get as many of our top players on the field at once as we can. Some of it is situational, and that. It’s really no different than, I guess a comparison would be multiple defensive backs in there to handle a particular grouping that the offense puts out there. We did the same thing up front this past game and kind of the last couple games.”
Q: With a veteran quarterback like Roethlisberger, do you react the same way with a multitude of possibilities or do you try to keep it simple?
SUTTON: “No, I think you’ve got to be able to change things up, obviously. The best change ups are always the ones that look like something else, that look like something you’ve done. Because they are preparing and training just like we do based on what they do. So everybody tries to dress things up a little bit. You try to keep doing the same thing as many times as you can because that’s advantageous for you. I don’t think it’s necessarily experience or non-experience that would drive whether we did that or not.”
Q: Is it remarkable to you what you’ve been able to accomplish with so little takeaways?
SUTTON: “Yeah, you just keep thinking that they are going to come to you. But for whatever reason, we haven’t finished some of those plays off. We’ve been fortunate, we’ve done a better job on the explosive plays. That’s helped us. For most of the year we’ve done a pretty good job on third down. Anything you can do on defense to get the ball back, to me, is the most important thing that you are doing, whether you take it away in the sense of a turnover, takeaway or whether you take it back by downs. That’s really what our ultimate job is, allow as few points as possible and get the ball back to the offense as fast as we possibly can. That’s when, I think, you’re playing really good complimentary football. I think also the fact that we’ve had games here where our offense has kept the ball for a significant amount of time. Obviously, we play pretty good defense over on the bench, we are pretty damn good. Any time they can do that there, that’s really a positive for us. But yeah it’s really unusual, I agree with you. I can’t explain it; it’s just one of those things.”
WR ALBERT WILSON
Q: Its playoff-mode starting right now, isn’t it?
WILSON: “Yeah, we just have got to go in there and be calm and play our game and be physical with them. They are a very physical defense and we’ve got to bring the same physical aggression that they are going to bring.”
Q: Are you guys confident as a team right now that you are going in the right direction?
WILSON: “Yeah, we’ve gained a lot of confidence and that is where it starts of course. And we’re just building to grow as a team. Even though it is later on in the season, I feel like we are growing and we’re finally clicking.”
Q: So do you kind of see it as all 11 guys working together like Coach Toub was talking about on De’Anthony Thomas’ punt return?
WILSON: “Most definitely. Its 11 guys out there and we need everybody to do everything they can but it’s a team effort. Special teams is a group effort and that is how you get things done when you play together.”
Q: So is it more of a trust thing? Everyone trusts that they will get their blocks for him to spring it for six?
WILSON: “Of course. He (De’Anthony Thomas) has to trust his gunners because he knows we are playing some very fast and very good gunners these past couple weeks. He has to trust them and in his head he has to trust them to be able to get those blocks to be able to field the balls he does.”
LB FRANK ZOMBO
Q: What steps do you guys take with this big match-up coming up on Sunday?
ZOMBO: “It’s a playoff game. That’s the fact that it is and the winners are going to be able to go on. That’s how we’re looking at it. And they’ve got a heck of an offense from a defensive point of view and good special teams unit and we are going to have to be on our A-game.”
Q: What about their offense makes them so special?
ZOMBO: “They have a great running back, a great quarterback and they have great receivers. So they have the whole package and a great O-line. So I think we’ve got to definitely stop the run, make them one-dimensional. And then we can try to blitz Big Ben and try to get him to the ground.”
Q: Do you have to approach Roethlisberger differently given his skillset of keeping plays alive?
ZOMBO: “Yeah, I remember back in 2010 we (Packers) played them in the Super Bowl and that was our huge emphasis because even though you get hits on him or you get your arms around him, you’ve got to pin his arm because he can still get rid of the ball. He is a big, strong human being, that is for sure.”
Q: Andy Reid has talked about letting his team’s personality show. What does that mean to you?
ZOMBO: “Guys don’t go out there and freak out a little bit; you just go out there and be yourself and play your style of football.”
K CAIRO SANTOS
Q: The snap, hold and kick all need to come together on a field goal, don’t they?
SANTOS: “Yeah, it’s not just a one-job unit. We need a good snap, a good hold and a good kick. Last game we just kind of fell of a rhythm. I take the blame too. I need to have a little slower operation time so it’s not so rushed and ultimately just hit the ball better.”
Q: Is it about rhythm when they snap it? What is going through your mind when you see it is not the perfect snap?
SANTOS: “Yeah, there is a little second of your body just thinking you have to hurry up to the ball because it might be a slower operation time. But it is something that we just have to trust. I have to trust Dustin (Colquitt) better. Those are makeable kicks.”
Q: It must really be something you have to continually do every single day, right?
SANTOS: “Yeah, and when you get great snaps from a great snapper here every day, when you get a little off-snap it is kind of a little bit of a surprise because it is usually so consistent so it’s not something we are really worried about. Tom (Thomas Gafford) is a great snapper and we’ve just got to keep working.”
Q: How do you guys keep from pressing these last few games and not think about them as the magnitude that they are?
SANTOS: “I think we just need to take it a game at a time, a play at a time and the rest will take care of itself. Thinking about the (other) teams and what needs to happen if we lose this – no, it’s winning this game and the next week we will think about next week.”
Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid Quotes
December 15, 2014
OPENING STATEMENT: “As far as the injuries go, Allen Bailey and Phillip Gaines are still going through the protocol. We will probably know something later, maybe today, we will see how all that works. Jaye Howard has a shoulder strain and Josh Mauga has an oblique strain. Really the rest of the guys are ok. Jamaal (Charles) came in today and did his work. They did some stuff with him after the game that he was able to take home with him to keep the swelling down in his knee and ankle. He felt pretty good today and really everybody else here, everything worked out ok. Again, we appreciated the crowd that was there yesterday and the noise that they were able to generate. That always helps when you’re going against a good opponent, particularly the Raiders. I thought the Raiders had done a nice job with that program. Reggie (McKenzie) and Tony (Sparano), at the coaching position, they’ve got that team playing at a high level. I thought from our standpoint it was good to kind of get back on track in all three phases. Took the offense a little bit longer to get there than the other two phases but once it kicked in and we eliminated some of those penalties, things worked out better for us. We were able to sustain drives; it was good to get 10 different guys the football, throwing the football. I thought Alex played well. The offensive line picked up their game a notch and played well. Defensively, I thought, really for four quarters we played good football and executed Bob’s (Sutton) plan to a T and then added good emotional aggressive football within that. The guys showed great pride there. Dave (Toub) and the schemes that he has, in particular in the return games, they’ve showed up. It was good to get De’Anthony (Thomas) loose there. You can see offensively and on special teams when you get him in the open space what he can do. I thought he did a nice job. Tribute to John Dorsey, we are sitting here later in the year and all of a sudden you are seeing these guys, the Albert Wilsons of the team, produce. (Zach) Fulton has continued to mature. Dee Ford, you saw him get out there, the last two weeks he’s had a lot of snaps and yesterday he came up with a sack. De’Anthony and (Cairo) Santos, even though he was off a tad yesterday. We’ve got to get that snap, hold, kick, that whole thing working a little smoother than what it is right now. He’s done well this year and he had a couple good kickoffs too yesterday. Then you just spice that up with Bobby Bell graduating from college, 74 years old, dogonit. Len Dawson banging the drum, it was a good day. Times yours.”
Q: Any thoughts on your run defense yesterday?
REID: “Yeah. We did a better job, I thought, of staying square upfront, kind of constricting the lanes and linebackers playing downhill. The safeties got involved in that too. Actually, a few of the snaps the corners got involved. I thought we tackled better. Fundamentally, it just seemed like we were a little bit better in that area yesterday than what we had been.”
Q: On the injury front you mentioned Tamba (Hali), but he took some snaps yesterday.
REID: “Yeah, Tamba actually is pretty good. He had some swelling on his knee last week; it’s not in there right now which is a plus. He did, he took the majority of the snaps yesterday although Dee spotted him. We had some guys rotate in there but he was able to get a couple snaps off during the game.”
Q: You mentioned the snap-hold-kick thing. Has there been an issue with the whole process?
REID: “Yeah, there was a bit of that. We were off just a tad and we have to get that thing back on track. That was yesterday, that’s not necessarily the way it’s been every kick, no.”
Q: Is that a pretty delicate thing to keep it on the track?
REID: “Well you’ve got three factors there. You’ve got the snapper, who you’ve got to stay accurate with that and you’ve got to be consistent with it. You’ve got the holding phase of it. That’s who you’re asking to place it and do that accurately and then you’ve got the kicker that’s got to work through a certain rhythm. As the snapper and the holder you want to make sure you keep the kicker in rhythm and not allow that to be altered at all and then that kicker knows that not everyone is going to be perfect and he’s got to still strike the ball if it gets off rhythm a bit.”
Q: What were your impressions on the way Jamell Fleming handled himself?
REID: “I thought he did good. Probably a few I’d like to have back. Towards the end of the game, he had a couple that they got him. I thought he played strong. He attacked the ball. He was aggressive with the ball in the air. Looked like he was transitioning out of his brakes pretty good. He had a couple of nice tackles, had a physical one right there in the end where he picked the guy up and put him down and disallowed a couple of first downs on third down tackles which was good.”
Q: Was the biggest change with the cornerbacks as far as being able to stick with receivers?
REID: “Every week is different. Right? You know that too. Yesterday, I thought the pressure that we were able to generate up front gave the quarterback a lot of time to set his feet and then with that the routes kept getting shorter and shorter and shorter. So, he wasn’t able to hang on to it long. They were dialing it more three step and five, plant and throw routes. They tightened it up a bit on the outside. It all kind of works together. That was yesterday. Every week’s a little different though.”
Q: I know you’ve mentioned a lot about the young guys that stood out to you. I think another guy that’s been playing pretty well the last month is Jaye Howard. Before he got hurt, what was your impression of him?
REID: “Jaye has continued to improve. He’s kind of been in an area where he hasn’t been in this league. He’s been asked to play a lot. There’s a point where you’ve got to kind of push through that with the young guys. The one I didn’t mention was (Phillip) Gaines. He’s also one of the rookies who’s played really well. Wanted to mention that there, but Jaye has really pushed through kind of that wall that presents itself this time of the year and played good football. He’s strong and very athletic.”
Q: He seems to be competitive too. I’ve kind of noticed that if he is battling through one play he has a knack of coming back the next play and doing something. Is that common or is that just kind of part of being a pro?
REID: “Yeah listen. Coach (Tommy) Brasher preaches that all the time. You forget the last play. You forget it, learn from it, move on and he does that. He follows that and normally does. If he does get beat up a little bit then he comes right back with something good. You want to stay consistent and that was one of the things that he worked hard on this year and I’m proud of him for getting that straightened out where he didn’t have the highs and the lows. He took his game and smoothed it out a little bit.”
Q: What’s it going to take for this team to fire in all three phases where it’s all flawless execution?
REID: “Yesterday I thought we did a pretty good job of that. You’re never going to come out of a game where it’s flawless. We don’t even use that. The term doesn’t exist in football. You’re going to have the ups and downs in the flow of the game and you’ve got to kind of work through those, but our challenge is we’ve got to, the positive here is we can be so much better than what we were yesterday. We took a positive step forward in particular from the three weeks before and now we can build off that. So we have a ton of things to work on and we just go back and start doing that on Wednesday.”
Q: When Josh Mauga got hurt, was there someone that took over the headset?
REID: “Yeah, Joe Mays did that.”
Q: What did you see from Dwayne Bowe yesterday and how much has he done for you this year?
REID: “Dwayne is one of my favorite guys that I’ve had a chance to coach. He keeps it real out there every day and brings energy every day. You don’t have big ups and downs and personality or anything else. He enjoys doing what he does. He never complains that he doesn’t get the ball enough or wants the ball or this – he just wants to win and I appreciate that. We go to him when we need a completion, he knows we are coming to him and he delivers. I think we all have a lot of trust in him as coaches and players around him and a lot of respect for him on how he goes about his job.”
Q: Do you think you have a nice set of three-receivers there with Bowe, Jason Avant and Albert Wilson? What do you think of that trio?
REID: “As a coach, you try hard to play to the player’s strength and then let him work on the things that they need to work on; that is one of the things that you try to do. We’ve tried to do that with all of the guys. When they have an opportunity to get in and play, the neat part is we’ve got a lot of them that can play right now that have strengths and enjoy playing the game. The three you mentioned got the majority of the time yesterday but you saw Frankie (Hammond Jr.) get a big catch yesterday for us on third down. It’s nice to see Albert continue to improve. Some of that we saw in training camp and then he had the high ankle (sprain) and then he came back and got himself healthy again and now he’s showing the same things he kind of showed during camp. Jason has been doing it for a lot of years – very good short to intermediate receiver there; he does a nice job with all of that.”
Q: Can you talk about the professionalism with Jason Avant and what are some of the things he does that make him a good influence?
REID: “He’s a good person, number one. And then he works his game like no other. He will tell you he’s not the fastest guy in the world but he’s got great balance and quickness and knows how to set routes up but he knows how to do that because he goes out and works and works and works. He is out there before practice, he’s quizzing the coaches, talks to the defensive backs, stays after practice and works it. It is just practice, practice, practice, practice with him. You grow to appreciate how he does his job.”
Q: Is it necessarily a bad thing if a player comes up to you and demands the ball?
REID: “Listen, I was lucky in Philly because I didn’t have a lot of complaining going on.”
Q: Not even with a guy like Terrell Owens?
REID: “Not about getting the ball. T.O. never complained about getting the ball. Not once did he complain about not getting the ball. He got it quite a bit actually, so there was never a time he complained about that. His was other things. But he’s doing well now. He has got a reality show and he is getting all the balls he wants.”
Q: But is it a bad thing for a receiver to come to the quarterback and demand the ball?
REID: “I don’t know. Like I said, I have been fortunate. I’ve had a lot of good receivers and I’ve really never had that issue, I’ve never had to deal with that. I want them to want the ball, don’t get me wrong. You want the guys – you want them all (to demand the ball). I want Jamaal (Charles) to want to carry the football. But you also want them to be team players and understand the big picture of things so I’ve been fortunate to have those kind of guys.”
Q: So you like that Jamaal Charles was upset that he had to come out of the game yesterday?
REID: “No, I do. I enjoy the competitive nature of the guys. We’re all competitive. You guys are amongst yourselves and we are amongst ourselves. We are all competitive, we’re in this business. So you do want guys that are competitive but at the same time there has to be an understanding of the team and so all of us here have to understand that. Nothing is bigger than the team and you try to do – from my position or Dorsey’s position or Mark (Donovan) and his position – what is best for the Kansas City Chiefs. And then if you can keep all of that intact, I think the players see that and they understand it and it kind of rolls from there.”
Q: How do you feel about how your offensive line played yesterday, specifically Jeff Linkenbach? Are you inclined to stay that way next week?
REID: “I thought Jeff did a good job. And then we’ll see. And I mentioned this, this was just because Mike McGlynn was banged up a little bit and trying to get over that. We can’t have enough of those guys and we’ll see. But the offensive line I thought played better yesterday as a group, I thought they played better. We’ve got a big challenge this week with Pittsburgh and we need to keep improving at all spots.”
Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid & Players Quotes
December 10, 2014
OPENING STATEMENT: “As far as the injuries go, the guys that will not practice today are: (Anthony) Fasano, Tamba (Hali), Allen Bailey and then Jamaal (Charles) will not practice. Junior Hemingway passed all of his tests, he will practice today. We will just see on the guys who aren’t - they are making progress. Allen’s thing is just being able to pass the test so he’ll get that done. Fasano, Tamba and Charles, they went through the walk through portion, they will not practice this afternoon. We look forward to the challenge of playing the Raiders. We understand the rivalry with the AFC West, in particular these two teams. The Raiders are playing good football, we respect that. We are going to get ourselves ready to play a good football team.”
Q: Are all three of those guys, Tamba, Fasano and Charles, are those all knee injuries?
REID: “Yes, knees and Charles has a little bit of an ankle.”
Q: Will Charles play Sunday?
REID: “I think he will be ok, but has to go through treatment. We will just see. They are all day-to-day.”
Q: What did you take away from your first match up against the Raiders?
REID: “Yeah we have to do a better job in some areas. I don’t think any team has changed much in their schemes in three weeks. There are things you can take and we work through.”
Q: After three losses in a row, how do you get back on a winning track?
REID: “Well, you come out and do the fundamentals in practice and go through the process each day of getting yourself better. We have to make sure we put the players in good positions and eliminate some mistakes and play better.”
Q: You’re asked a lot about your receivers not having a touchdown. How would you evaluate your receivers?
REID: “The touchdowns, other people are scoring them. I think we are ok there. They are making plays there. I think Dwayne Bowe has had a very good year. Even though he hasn’t had a touchdown, he’s had a very good year. Those things will come. I’m not that worried about them. We have touchdowns coming in other places.”
Q: When you look at the first game against the Raiders and their ability to run the ball. Did you guys just lose the battle at the line of scrimmage or was there some scheme you guys can change?
REID: “There are always things you can work in. You’re not going to give a team the same exact look. You’ve got to mix things up. But then fundamentally we have to do some things there too. It’s a combination of things.”
Q: You talked a lot on finishing at the beginning of the season. How important is it to focus on those things and about that now late in the year.”
REID: “Yeah finishing is a big part of it. The players talking about themselves. We mention it as coaches. There’s nobody that knows better than the coach and the player. We’ve got to do a better job. We know that and so that’s where we are putting our effort.”
Q: Have you talked to Eric Berry now that the diagnosis has been made?
REID: “Yeah. We know he’s going to attack this. He’s got a great doctor. He’s got a good relationship with the doctor which I think is big. He has a lot of trust in them and they spent some hours together here over the last week or two here getting to know each other and then he’ll jump into his treatment. One thing that Eric is he’s physically fit. Listen, if you’ve got to have one of these things, this one there is a high cure rate. We know Eric is going to handle this thing the best that he can and Dr. Flowers will do the same thing. They’ll get after it.”
Q: It seems like your defense gets a lot of chances at takeaways, especially interceptions, but doesn’t get that many. Is there a reason why?
REID: “We have to take advantage of those. We’ve had a few in our hands sometimes you can press and you almost try too hard and you end up not making the play. You’ve got to relax and focus in on the ball and squeeze it, make sure if there’s a fumble that you’ve got bodies around that, right? I mean those are base fundamental things and we’ll keep working that. Normally when you get one then you get another one and then they kind of build on each other, but we’ve got to get that first one and kind of get this thing started here.”
Q: If Jamaal is unable to go, how do you feel about Knile Davis?
REID: “I’m comfortable with Knile. We feel very good bout Knile. He’s a good football player. No reason not to.”
Q: What’s been your assessment of how Mike McGlynn has played these past few weeks?
REID: “First of all Mike’s been banged up a little bit. So, he’s kind of fighting through all of that stuff. He hasn’t played as well as he wanted to play, but he’s a battler and he gives you that attitude and will fight and do all that stuff. We’ve got to get him healthy. As much as you can be healthy at this time of the year anyway.”
Q: Is Laurent Duvernay-Tardif possibly an option?
REID: “Probably not. No. Not right now, but we’ve got other guys that can also work in.”
Q: Why has Knile been so limited the last couple of games?
REID: “Some of it is the way drives have gone. We haven’t really put together drives. That’s something we need to do a better job at. That’s normally where he gets in and he has his plays and he rolls at it.”
Q: Three straight weeks that no-name running backs having success and the run defense not.
REID: “Yeah we haven’t done well there.”
Q: What do you attribute that to and how is it being corrected?
REID: “Some of it is scheme and we have to do a better job at some things there and some of it is the fits that we’re doing up front and linebackers playing downhill football and then tackling. I thought we did a little better job on the tackling part, but we’ve got to take care of those seams. It doesn’t take much for an NFL running back to hit a seam. You’ve got to narrow those things and make sure that you can free up your hands then make the tackle.”
QB ALEX SMITH
Q: At the end of a game situation like the Arizona game, at what point do you have to throw the ball down the field and take a chance at a big play?
SMITH: “You do. Certainly I think at some point that does come up. I think a lot of things go into that. They’re an unorthodox deal there at the end of the game – most teams do kind of go into what you would call a prevent, more coverage and softer defense – and for them it was pressure so a little bit of it is that challenge and sometimes the ball does have to come out and we have to try and make a play. You don’t necessarily have the time or the opportunity to kind of push it downfield so to speak. So it didn’t really end up going that way but certainly, yeah there always comes that time.”
Q: Why do you think the execution on offense hasn’t been as good as it was during the beginning of the year?
SMITH: “It’s probably just not as consistent I think and certainly I think Sunday we got off to a great start. Certainly I think from all the plays (we) executed better from a whole. I think there were some key plays in that game that ended up changing it. Certainly the two turnovers in the high red zone didn’t help, a lot of the penalties, negative plays, but I certainly think there were some good things too that we did. You just have to find a way to do them more consistently and then in those key situations, make the play. In these tight games this time a year, a lot of time that is the case in the game. You hate saying it but there are a handful of plays that can define the game and you don’t know when they are and when they are going to come and which ones. You’ve just got to do it every play in and play out. So I don’t know if there is one reason so to speak I guess. But certainly, you are trying to go out there every single play and execute more consistently.
Q: How much do you think the uniqueness that Arizona did defensively have to do with how much pressure they were able to put on you?
SMITH: “It’s a weekly unique matchup and they were a unique matchup last week and that’s their mindset. They are going to try and apply more pressure especially at home and then they have the crowd noise behind them that can do more things especially at the end of the game. Early on we showed a better example of how to handle it and certainly combatted it better and late in the game didn’t and so you’re going to keep getting it.”
Q: What is your comfort level right now when you drop back to pass?
SMITH: “As good as it always is. It’s a part of the game. We’ve had our fair share of games where I have been very clean. There is a lot that goes into that. I know those guys up front take the brunt of it but certainly it’s on all of us, myself included. But a lot of that are little things – from my perspective moving in the pocket, when to get rid of the ball. You’ve got to play the game. And we knew that going into that game last week that it was going to be that type of game. So we’ve just got to continue to fight through it.”
Q: You win out and you’re in. How do you make sure you get going in that right direction this week?
SMITH: “That first step. You can’t get to that end of the line there unless we take that first step and that starts on Sunday and really this week and having that great week or preparation. So it’s staying short-sighted, exactly that, not getting ahead of yourself. Everything is right here, right in front of us.”
Q: If Jamaal Charles doesn’t play this week, how much does your offense change?
SMITH: “We’ve done it before. Obviously Jamaal leads the NFL in scoring. He’s an elite, elite player in this league. But you’ve got to find a way. Next man up, we’ve got to go.”
Q: Is this the week a wide receiver scores a touchdown finally?
SMITH: “Ha, we’ll see. I’ve said this before and obviously when the play call comes in, I’m executing the offense and there are so many things that are going into where the ball goes and a lot of that is defense and the play-calling and different things like that and the reads involved in it.”
Q: I’ll flip the question: is it because Jamaal Charles is so good in the red zone as well as your tight ends?
SMITH: “That’s part of it for sure. And then those guys for whatever reason – just the way the play-calling went – we’ve thrown it down inside the ten with a receiver and all of a sudden those guys get their opportunity and do it. That is certainly a part of it, yeah.”
Q: How does playing Oakland a few weeks ago help you this time around?
SMITH: “The second go-around within the division, like all of these. This one is a little different in the sense that we played them a few weeks ago, fresh on our mind. Not much has changed since then. Certainly there will be little wrinkles here and there, but definitely more recent so you have that to go back on.”
Q: How has Jason Avant helped this offense?
SMITH: “Yeah, he has done a great job especially coming in on short notice. He has the history of the offense there in Philly, but obviously ours is different here. Done a great job of coming in and the mental part of it – coming in and being prepared when his number is called and then going out there and making plays.”
Q: He is a professional going about his business, isn’t he?
SMITH: “Yeah, you don’t find many veterans in this league that don’t work like that because if they don’t, they aren’t around long. Absolutely, very detailed in his work coming in, making sure he is ready to go and prepared.”
LB JOE MAYS
Q: What is the key to playing good run defense?
MAYS: “Being technique-sound. Having guys in each of the gaps and being able to get off the blocks and make plays. It’s pretty much simple. It’s easier said than done, but we definitely have to come out and practice and work at it so we can be good in the game.”
Q: Your reputation is being a down-hill linebacker. What does that mean?
MAYS: “Just play a physical style of football. That’s how I was taught growing up, that’s how I was taught to play. You play physical and you hit a guy before they hit you. It’s stuck with me the whole time that I played throughout high school, college and the NFL now. That’s just who I am and that’s what I am about.”
Q: Why have you guys been so poor against the run the last few weeks?
MAYS: “I wouldn’t necessarily say ‘poor.’ It’s just technique things that we can work on that we have today, tomorrow and Friday to continue to work on and get better at. It’s really nothing that you can just pinpoint on the film as to why. They make plays too, they’re professionals. So we just have to work on our stuff in practice and be better.”
Q: What have you learned about Eric Berry and the fighter he is since joining this team?
MAYS: “He’s just a great guy. He’s a fighter, he’s a scrapper, he’s a big-time leader. That was the one thing that I learned when I first got here: he is a leader of men. Not necessarily through words, but through actions as well. And with what he is going through and how he is handling it, it’s making it easier for us to accept it because of the mind-frame that he has, how positive he stands. It makes it easier for us to accept what is going on and try to be there for him as much as we can.”
Q: What’s the deal with this Oakland team and why they are so good one week and bad the next week?
MAYS: “Any given Sunday. You can be good one week, you can be bad another. I think the most important thing is we have to be better. We have to focus on us and the things that we have to do in order to get a win this week. Yeah, we know what they can bring. We played them a game already so we know the type of things that they like to do. So we just have to learn how we’re going to attack them and how we’re going to play them.”
TE TRAVIS KELCE
Q: Is there any benefit to seeing Oakland so quickly again as a player?
KELCE: “To a certain degree. You kind of get used to playing against a guy throughout the course of a game. You get to kind of figure out his tendencies and things like that but other than that, a new gameplan is going to be presented. We’re going to go ahead and go from there.”
Q: How do you get back on the winning track?
KELCE: “Execution. Don’t beat yourself. That’s mainly what we’ve been doing. Penalties, turnovers, things like that on the offensive side the ball, missed assignments and just flat-out not executing.”
Q: If Jamaal Charles doesn’t play this week, how does that change the offense?
KELCE: “Jamaal is a great player. I said it once: he is the best in the league at what he does. It will change the gameplan a little bit but at the same time, we’re a team. We have to go on and play with whoever is out there on the field.”
Q: Did you get a chance to look at the play you fumbled on? What do you think?
KELCE: “Of course. I said it after the game; it is one of those deals that you have to live with it for what it is but I felt like I kind of rolled over on my back with the ball in my right hand and when I brought it to my left, the guy hit it out again. It was loose there before I hit the ground but it’s one of those deals where you have to live with it now.”
Q: When you rolled over and the ball came loose, were you flipping the ball forward or did the ball just come loose?
KELCE: “I wasn’t flipping it forward. I was just transferring it and trying to get two hands on the ball. I wasn’t getting ready to celebrate or anything like that. At the time, it was about five minutes left in the game and we were trying to go ahead and get the lead there in the red zone so it’s not like I was getting ready to throw the ball on the ground or give a showmanship type deal. It was just one of those things where I tried to get it to my left hand and secure the ball.”
K CAIRO SANTOS
Q: Do you have any superstitions after having so many field goals in a row?
SANTOS: “No. I don’t like to look at statistics until the end. I’m just thinking about the next kick. Whatever the streak may be, I want to continue it and get the next one. At the end if its 14 or if its 30 or zero it’s still the next kick. That’s how I approach everything.”
Q: What’s your longest streak high school, college?
SANTOS: “26 I had in college and I think that’s the second longest streak in NCAA history. I was trying to break the record of 30, but I got a kick blocked. That snapped the streak.”
Q: Can you talk about the comfort ability of being an NFL kicker? You had to kind of get in groove and now are in the routine.
SANTOS: “Yeah you want to get in a rhythm and I’ve kicked for a lot of years now, but I feel like going from college to the NFL there’s a big difference in the speed of the game. That’s something that kind of caught me in the beginning so once I was able to slow myself down and just kind of relax more and just trust. Me, Thomas Gafford and Dustin Colquitt we work together every day, just snaps and holds. Just kind of go out there, trust it’s going to be there and keep my eye on the ball and just relax.”
Q: Is that it just overthinking it that hurts you and having the trust in it?
SANTOS: “Yeah, just relaxing a little bit. I mention quarterbacks and I think of Aaron Rodgers at the beginning they kind of struggled too and I remember he would continue to say relax and once he started saying that they got on a roll. That’s kind of how I’ve been approaching it too. Just slow everything down, relax and trust the process.”
Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid Quotes
December 8, 2014
OPENING STATEMENT: “Alright, as far as the injuries go, really from the game, Jamaal (Charles) would be the primary one. His knee swelled up, the same one that he had hurt last week. And the ankle that he had sprained earlier in the year, he had some issues with that on that one play during the game. And so he’s a bit tender today. (Allen) Bailey and (Junior) Hemingway have not passed their test as of yet so they’re still going through that. As far as the game goes, you obviously can’t have the penalties and the turnovers that we had against a good football team and come out on top. The positive things out of the game were that we did put ourselves in positions there to score, in particular down the stretch, but turnovers nulled that. These are things that we can fix and we’ll do that. We’ll get it taken care of here over this next week and make sure that we address some of these issues and get back again, continue to get back to better fundamentals where we’re keeping our hands in tight and also hanging on to the football. Time is yours.”
Q: What did the Cardinals defense show in that final minute and a half where you didn’t feel challenging them vertically?
REID: “Well, we had a couple verticals called; we just weren’t able to get them accomplished there. They did a nice job of covering them and I’ve got to make sure that I’m dialing the right things up in those situations to be able to do that.”
Q: On the Travis Kelce fumble, did you see it the way the review resulted?
REID: “We’re not allowed to talk about all that stuff so I’m just going to hold off on that.”
Q: Do you plan on submitting anything to the league?
REID: “I can’t get into all of that.”
Q: What did you see out of Albert Wilson that made you start him this week over Donnie Avery?
REID: “I just thought Donnie needed to step back; he wasn’t quite up to full speed the week before. It wasn’t anything of effort or any of that. With Donnie, he is just coming off that injury and I thought he needed a little more time. And then Albert has been playing well; he did a nice job. He’d like to probably have that last one back but other than that I thought he had a pretty good game.”
Q: Are the issues on the offensive line solvable in the next few weeks or is that something that will take more time than that?
REID: “I think most of these issues here – that’s the positive that I take out of this as frustrated as we all are – I think the positive is there are some things we can do here to fix the issues. They are not things that we can’t work out.”
Q: How much did Jamaal Charles’ first half injury affect the ability to utilize him properly in the second half?
REID: “Well, I can’t tell you he was 100 percent or feeling 100 percent, not that anybody is this time of year. He wasn’t feeling great but I probably still could have given him the ball a few more times.”
Q: Did you notice in the second half that Arizona put more guys in the box? Was that maybe to take away the run game?
REID: “Yeah they did, they loaded it up a little bit. We came out running the second half and had a little success. To some of our formations they put a few more people into the box. There were some things there that we had an opportunity to take advantage of with the pass game, that’s kind of how you work it. We didn’t get everything done there that we needed too, obviously.”
Q: Defensively, you guys held them to one-of-five in the red zone. How does that help give the offense a chance?
REID: “That’s big along with the two missed field goals. That’s a big thing. You’d rather stop them out wide but to not allow them to score touchdowns definitely puts you in a position to take care of business. We did, when you really look at this thing. Again, you try to find positives in situations like this. The positive is we had the ball in our hands going down the stretch with the ball just outside of the twenty when the fumble took place. We were on the move for either a tie or a win. With the negatives you can’t forget the things that you put yourself in a position to do. We did gain some yards throwing the football which were positive yards. Again, you can’t have the turnovers there along with the penalties. When you have a penalty on a drive your percentage of having a successful drive ending up in a touchdown is slim. The percentages go way down whether it’s a holding call or an illegal procedure call now you’re kind of playing back into that other team’s hands. You’re playing in an uphill battle and you don’t want to put yourself in those positions.”
Q: Last week you said you needed to move Alex Smith around in the pocket to put him in a position to make plays, do you feel like you accomplished that goal this week?
REID: “You saw three or four times there that we moved him out of the pocket. The first play I know you saw and some of the other ones there. We tried to make an attempt on doing that. Some of his best plays are in the pocket so you feel comfortable doing that. We have to do a little better job at times with the protection. Obviously we had too many sacks.”
Q: With the way the second half of the 2013 season ended and you look over your last three games, how do you apply the lessons learned from that period to now? You’re still alive in the playoffs.
REID: “Yeah. We are and so you do have to learn from that. We put an emphasis on finishing and so now you’re down to the three games and so you put the clutter of the playoffs and all that out of your mind and you focus in on how you take care of the finish and you take care of the game that you can control and that’s the one that’s taking place this week and then you get back to continuing to work on your fundamentals, improving in those. Those are things that you can control. The techniques, those are the things you can control and the rest of it you get out of your mind and go play and let your personality be a part of that and play with energy. That’s how we’re going to approach this.”
Q: Given the last three games, what is the team’s mentality right now?
REID: “I think the obvious is they’ve lost three games. I think it’s important. I’ll meet with them here after we’re done. I think it’s important to see where you’re at in the position. You look at the tape and see the things that could’ve been if we take care of a couple of problems. You have to be real with that. You have to learn from your mistakes in order to do that and be real with that. That’s how we’ll go about it here.”
Q: What did you like out of Joe Mays yesterday?
REID: “I thought Joe played physical, down-hill football which he did a good job with right there.”
Q: In your experience, when you send things to the league, do you ever hear anything back that makes you feel better about the call or what you saw?
REID: “You try to learn from them. Good or bad. I think they do the same thing, but I mentioned this, I think yesterday, last night that the game is over. So, it doesn’t really matter what I think or they thought because the record, the game stands. We lost the game whether they’re right or wrong. We lost the game.”
Q: What have you seen from Alex (Smith) these last three games? He’s facing challenges but it seems like he’s done decent with what he can.
REID: “Listen, I think we all have room to improve. Alex would tell you the same thing and so that shows he’s going about, I’m going about it and the team’s going about it. There’s been some good and there’s been some things we can do better.”
Q: The team prepares this week after dropping three straight. What does it mean to come back this week and play a rival game?
REID: “Well it’s Raider week. That’s one thing. You throw records out when you play each other and then you just play good AFC West football. It’s important that we get in and study the Raiders. We didn’t play them that long ago, but you go back and study them and learn from some of our mistakes there and some of the things that happened the last couple of weeks here and play some good football on Sunday.”
Chiefs Defensive Coordinator Bob Sutton, Offensive Coordinator Doug Pederson, Special Teams Coordinator Dave Toub & Players Quotes
December 4, 2014
DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR BOB SUTTON
Q: Dontari Poe didn’t have one of his better games on Sunday night. Are you rethinking about playing him so many snaps?
SUTTON: “Yeah, we probably should rotate a little more in there but there were a lot of things happening in that game. We didn’t do a good job getting off the field in the first half on third down and that puts us in a little different situation. The way the game is going is important too. As you well know we’ve got to get them stopped, we’ve got to get some plays. But looking back on it, we probably could’ve rotated a little more in there.”
Q: Do you think Poe is wearing down?
Q: Why such a disparity with how good your defense is against the pass and how much it struggles against the run?
SUTTON: “There are a lot of factors in there and a lot of things happen in games. For one, you have to look at a total game, both sides of the ball of what is happening. I remember Denver’s 45 rushes, Oakland’s 31 or 32 and I think Seattle was 35 or 37 – I can’t remember the exact number. So you have some factors in there that are going to happen and just like any of these games – Denver you’re defending a lot of different elements in here that are going on. So one of the key parts of when you play a Denver and they’re making you play honest, you’ve got to play both run and pass equally. Then one of the key elements is just what I mentioned. You have got to get off on third down. And we had them from our standpoint in some great third down situations in the first half. They weren’t all third and two’s, third and three’s; they were third and six, third and eight. They had very few above third and six’s going into our game and I think in our game we had – I’m going to throw a number out there – maybe seven or eight that were eight yards or greater. So to me, if you want to help your run defense, get off the field, don’t stay out there. Because every time you stay out there, then the sequence starts over: first down, second down, whatever, that’s when you can run. It takes a lot of that and that’s not to say – which we know – we’ve got to improve our technique first and foremost. That’s the key element in it. The second thing we’ve got to do is we’ve got to keep emphasizing our tackling. So those are all big things that have got to happen that are not really sexy, but it’s the truth. That’s how you get better at all this stuff. I don’t care whether you’re covering or whatever. You’ve got to do it with your technique and that’s how you’ve got to play this game. The tackling, what it does, it just increases the yards and maybe instead of it being second down and six or second and seven, now it’s second and three or third and three or third and two, whatever it is. So that all plays a huge factor in it.”
Q: Tamba Hali said something yesterday about guys being more focused on rushing the passer than stopping the run. Are you finding that to be true?
SUTTON: “Not the ones that I’m concerned about. I wish it was that simple. We could solve that problem easy. That happens sometimes on a down and distance or a formation that will say to you, ‘hey, go rush the passer more.’ And you want to be able to do that. You don’t want to be held to your call every play if you’ve got indicators that are saying otherwise. That’s why you do all of your scouting reports, why the players do all their film study, all those things so you want to be aware of that. But I really think like I said, I wish it was the other way. Now if it’s anything else from an emphasis standpoint then yeah, we need to emphasize it just like I said the technique part of it better.”
Q: You had a season-high 15 missed tackles Sunday night. Can you explain why the quality of tackling can fluctuate?
SUTTON: “Well I think there are several factors. One, the more stout you are up front, the less the ball comes through fast. And when it doesn’t come through fast, usually you get in pretty good position to tackle. Sometimes when a ball hits a crack in there and hits into the second level, then people are just barely coming off a block and you’ve got to make a play. Because to me, tackling is always about knowing how to enter a tackle. So you’re trying to judge where the ball-carrier is, what kind of speed he has for a receiver, whoever it may be, and then how I am going to enter this tackle because if I don’t enter it properly, I’m going to have a hard time tackling. The second part is understanding where is my help at when I tackle because I don’t want to be in many situations where it is just me. I want to know can I use the sideline, can I use my next guy coming in here? And I’ve got to be able to process all of that information that is happening as a play comes out. That’s why I say the stronger the wall is up front and the longer it takes to get to that level, I think the easier it is for the second level players – the linebackers, and DB’s – to know how to fit those tackles up properly.”
Q: Working on the technique, working on the tackling, is that a small part of the reason why you guys went full pads this on Wednesday?
SUTTON: “Yeah, we were really into the technique part of it. We don’t tackle live, not in practice. We never tackle; I don’t think anybody in the league does. We just don’t have enough players to do that. But you can come and do everything else but tackle and that’s the challenge, I think, for any player. This part doesn’t matter whether you’re in pads or not, to put yourself in a position that when you watch that video that you know I could’ve made that play. Not like the flybys or the reach out, no. You’ve got to get your knees bent, you’ve got to get into a position that you can demonstrate, most importantly of all to yourself that I’m in position. Each of these are, to me, you’re acquiring knowledge of how to make these plays. The more you play the better you should be and that’s why you should take advantage. I talk to our scout team guys all the time about the same thing, ‘hey, this is your chance to improve yourself right here. Don’t let it go away. You have to do whatever the card says but when that ball comes out just finish. Let us see what you can do.’”
Q: Was it easier to learn and get better at gap discipline when you guys could hit more than now?
SUTTON: “Yeah but if that would be the case then everybody would not be as good as they’d like to be in run defense. There are some teams that are playing pretty good run defense and they are under the same rules we are under. So I don’t really look at it that way. Obviously, any defensive coach would love more contact. These are the rules, these are what we are playing and there is no reason we can’t be better in run defense with these rules, they are fine.”
Q: It seemed like against Denver that their offensive line was able to get to the next level and cut off your linebackers so there wasn’t any help, for a guy who maybe had a spot there was nobody coming around it. Was that a problem?
SUTTON: “Yeah, anytime you’re playing zone teams they’re going to have ability to get to that next level. You try to slow them down but most people will tell you that if you want to go flat enough in a zone scheme it’s going to be for a d-linemen to keep an offensive linemen off a linebacker. You just physically can’t do it because the worst thing you can do is be a lateral playing team. You don’t want to be a lateral playing team you want to be a penetrating team and you want to come across through a man. I think that’s it and as a linebacker I have to know how to deal with blockers. I have to be able to get off blocks just like a d-lineman does, I have to be able to stun him, be able to use my hands, escape and go like that. It’s a combination of all those things if it was just one thing it’d probably be a lot easier to address and fix. I think our guys know its technique, you have to bear-down and work on your technique and fundamentals every day. The challenge, like you’re talking about, is when you don’t have pads you can’t let your technique suffer because it will suffer. It’s not the same, when a guy has pads you know he’s coming off and getting you. You know when there’s no pads he can’t come off as hard. Like we say, ‘we’ve got to set the tempo on defense.’ That initial part of the charge has to be exactly the same. Our hand placement has to be the same and all that we’ve got to be able to do. That’s how it is in the NFL. I’ve been on good run defensive teams and we practice the same way and had the same rules. So you have to improve you’re technique, there’s no escaping that. That’s just the truth of it and we’ve got to do it. Tackling and get your tail off the field on third down will help you or help all the causes.”
Q: How is Joe Mays doing?
SUTTON: “He’s close, he’s pretty close.”
Q: Is Dee Ford making progress?
SUTTON: “Yeah, he’s getting better. He’s had two really good weeks of practice and I think we all have high hopes for him. I think he is pointing in the right direction right now.”
Q: He’s had two good weeks of practice, like play recognition and run recognition?
SUTTON: “Yeah and all the things of practice, whether it’s run or rush. I think he’s made a significant improvement the last couple weeks.”
OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR DOUG PEDERSON
Q: What is (Anthony) Fasano in the red zone? He’s kind of got a perfect batting average these last three or four games. Why is he so good in those situations?
PEDERSON: “First of all, he’s a smart route runner; he understands the scheme, the concept of what we’re trying to get done. He understands the coverage and his past. He’s been a good red zone route runner. It’s sort of that security blanket for Alex (Smith) to be able to look for those big guys in and around and over the ball.”
Q: Why is Jamaal Charles about 80 touches below his usual this season?
PEDERSON: “I guess we’re not giving him the ball enough. The thing is too that we’re using more (running) backs. We’ve used him more as a receiver.”
Q: His receptions are down about 30.
PEDERSON: “Yeah they’re down too. They’re down too. These last couple of games we’ve gotten in situations where we’ve gotten behind when you play catch up. You end up throwing the ball. Touches are going to go down to some of your key guys and that has something to do with not getting him the ball.”
Q: Not that people weren’t paying attention to him earlier, but are they doing different things defensively to kind of figure out what he is and what he does.”
PEDERSON: “Not really. I mean teams still blitz his alignment and try to hold him in protection. They know 25. He is one of our better offensive players so when you can eliminate your best player then there’s an advantage on defense. Teams know that going in and Jamaal knows that. Each week he’s got to come ready to play and, again, we as a staff and me as a coordinator, I have to allow him to touch the football as often as we can.”
Q: You mentioned a couple of weeks ago that you get caught up and forget that he’s down there. How do you do a better job of not forgetting?
PEDERSON: “Well, it’s all based on the personnel on your call sheet. How you set things up in certain situations. Who do you want to focus on? Each week when you game plan, you look at your top four or five assets on offense and you try to put a plan together that would benefit those four or five guys. He’s part of that group and each week you’ve only got one football, at the same time we also know that defenses are scheming him up just a little bit and when they do that then hopefully Alex understands that and finds another one of those targets.”
Q: The offensive line has had some really good performances this year, but you’ve also had some performances like you had against Denver. Why do you think the shift from when they do well to they’re not doing so well is so drastic?
PEDERSON: “I think a lot of times with those guys, I say it every week or every couple of weeks, everything starts up front with Rodney (Hudson) and the communication. It’s a matter of those guys understanding either the run or the protection at that particular time. It comes through your film study during the week and it comes through understanding the leverage of the defensive line, linebackers, safeties, corners and kind of anticipating a move. Our guys this past week, it was just 58 (Von Miller) and 94 (Terrance Knighton) are all pro pass rushers and those are dominant forces. They have done a good job. We expect them to bounce back this week and get right back on point.”
Q: What do you look at that you can do against Arizona?
PEDERSON: “One thing that Arizona does that other teams maybe don’t do is they’re going to line up five guys. Their hands are in the dirt and rush the passer and play their game. It becomes one on one matchups this week with your offensive line and they have to be sharp with that and then they have to pass off the games. It’s not different really each week. This is a good group on defense. It’s another good pass rushing group. We’ve had our share of good fronts the last four, five or six weeks. Our guys will bounce back. They’re professionals. They take their job with pride and anybody does. They’ll bounce back and do fine.”
Q: Alex had that late hit on him. 20 years ago, back when you were playing…
PEDERSON: “Easy. 2004.”
Q: The game was different then. Would that have provoked a more obvious response or was it always game situation?
PEDERSON: “In 1999, or ’98, ’99 actually. No I’m sorry ’98. I broke my jaw on Monday Night Football against the Vikings and I broke my jaw. It was a helmet to helmet deal, left side. The DB (defensive back) got fined. From that standpoint, the fact that they’re protecting the quarterback, those things usually get flagged. Back then maybe they don’t get flagged as much back then, but now protecting the quarterback as much as they do in the pocket with moving their hands or helmet to helmet or whatever to the face area, to the head area. I think it’s a little more brought to light so to speak now than it was 10 years ago.”
Q: When the DB broke your jaw, were there any guys on the team that got mad?
PEDERSON: “Well they didn’t know. They didn’t know until after the game.”
Q: How do you react? How do they decide when to get a guy back or if to get a guy back? What does it come down to?
PEDERSON: “I don’t think there is anything about getting a guy back, but I think guys understand that they took a shot on our quarterback, let’s just come back and play football and not let that happen again. Again, it goes back to guys being prideful and protecting the quarterback. There’s nobody out there saying, ‘hey we’ve got to get so and so’ or anything like that. There’s none of that going on.”
Q: You were talking about Jamaal earlier because the conditions of the games, things kind of got away from him. How do you ever get away from him considering his skills in the passing and running game? There shouldn’t be anything taken away from him.
PEDERSON: “The only thing that gets you away from him is the defense. If they’re going to blitz him which teams have done, it keeps him in and it takes him out of that particular play in that particular time. Where we do a better job is we use different protections, we line him up in different spots. 13 (De’Anthony Thomas) becomes a little more important in certain types of situations to free up Jamaal. Kind of the things you saw earlier in the season, kind of in mid-season there where Jamaal was getting all those touches. Those are the things we have to get back to.”
Q: With Jamaal, he’s your best blocker as far as picking up the blitz. He’s shown that for the last couple of years. When you’re facing a team like Denver that shows you a lot of extra people coming. Does that make you a little weary of taking him out of the backfield and putting him split or wide?
PEDERSON: “It does. You definitely want to utilize his ability out of the pocket as well. Then again it puts the emphasis back on Knile Davis or Charcandrick West, the guys that are taking that spot. Could be a tight end in there or Sherm (Anthony Sherman). You kind of give up something to get something and the number one thing in any passing game is your protection and then protecting your A and B gaps. Like you said, he’s a very good pass, blocking (running) back. We’ve got to utilize that when we can.”
Q: Are you ever surprised when you look at the snap count sheet after the game and see that you used a guy more than you anticipated or a guy less than you thought?
PEDERSON: “Yeah, you look at that stat sheet and you look at the targets and the number of touches that guys get and then you go back and kind of replay the game in your mind. You’re going to go back and say, ‘Oh, I wish I would have done this or I wish I would have done that, or more of this or less of that,’ after the game, win or lose. But yeah, you take a look at that and you go, ‘You know what, we should have given Dwayne two more targets, or given Jamaal two more or three more touches in a certain situation.’ But again, as the game unfolds, it sort of dictates how you spread the ball around and it’s unfortunate that sometimes guy’s touches are sometimes going to go down or up based on game situation.”
Q: What did you think of Jason Avant’s debut and Donnie Avery in his return to the lineup?
PEDERSON: “I thought they did a nice job. Donnie, just getting back in there and shaking a little bit of the rust off for him and getting back into that game mode, I thought he did a good job for what we asked him to do. And Jason, just a savvy veteran guy that is familiar and comfortable with the things we are doing offensively. He wasn’t in there a ton but when he was in there, he was effective and had a couple of catches. So we expect better things again this week.”
Q: How will the addition of Richard Gordon help you offensively?
PEDERSON: “Well, I think a guy like Richard – again, a veteran guy, he’s a smart guy, he’s been in our system here recently. It will allow us to get into our three tight end set a little bit. We’ve used Anthony Sherman a little bit in that situation. The more he gets comfortable and the more he hears our offense again, the more we can get him in the ballgame.”
SPECIAL TEAMS COORDINATOR DAVE TOUB
Q: The fake punt has gotten you twice this year, what is happening there?
TOUB: “Well, we had a couple guys out of position in the last game. In those situations we are going to double the gunners. We are a return team so we take a little bit more risk than other teams do. We don’t put a lot of guys in the box. I could probably help the guys out a little bit, in situations where we think there is going to be a fake, by putting more guys inside the box. But we try to push the return game and we double the gunners, we have six guys in the box and they ran a sweep on us. They got us, we could do a better job at tackling and getting there and noticing it.”
Q: That followed a punt.
TOUB: “Yeah it followed a punt, it was fourth-and-eight as well, it was a gutsy call. I think it was an automatic that they had, I’m not sure the coach called it from the sideline. I mean, I’m guessing. I’m assuming it was just a look and they go with it. Those things happen sometimes.”
Q: What determines who is returning kickoffs?
TOUB: “Situations, I also have designed returns for each individual guy. So if we want to call one return it’s going to be that returner. Between those two, I don’t really have a starter or a second team guy. I think they are both equally as dangerous and at any time we could use any one of them.”
Q: How’s De’Anthony Thomas on the punt return? Do you like what you are seeing from him?
TOUB: “Yeah, he’s still our starter as he was last week. We just didn’t get a lot of opportunities last week, the kick went out of bounds, he was mishitting balls and the ball hit us in the back, it was a bad punt. Just bad luck on that one. But he’s our guy we will go to in the end with De’Anthony.”
Q: What have you seen from Dee Ford?
TOUB: “Yeah, he’s doing a good job. Him and (Anthony) Sherman together are a pretty good tandem back there, they get us going. They get our kick return going that’s important to make sure we are going to get past the 20. That’s what their job is and the front line is to get us a big return.”
Q: When did he start taking that duty?
TOUB: “It was (Travis) Kelce, then we had (Demetrius) Harris. As soon as we lost Harris it was Dee Ford.”
Q: You said that if a guy can make it through special teams it’s a positive indication of growth. Are we at that point with Dee yet?
TOUB: “He’s getting there. He’s gaining more confidence all the time, he’s making more plays for us. Possibly see him more on defense, that’s the way it works. That’s just the way the system is.”
Q: Why is it taking so long for him?
TOUB: “I don’t know, I don’t want to comment on that.”
Q: Somebody knocked De’Anthony out of bounds and stood over him then (Anthony) Sherman went over there and was jawing at him a little bit. Do you like to see that?
TOUB: “I always tell our guys, ‘finish in a winning position, don’t let a guy finish over top of you.’ I mean but at the same time you don’t want to have a penalty. Let them know that we aren’t going to be pushed around, that’s the main thing. You want to push it to the edge but you don’t want a penalty.”
Q: Do you think with a guy just standing over (De’Anthony), was Sherman justified in going over and saying something to him?
TOUB: “Yeah, you have to take care of your guys. You don’t just let that happen and Anthony (Sherman) is one of our leaders so you expect that out of him.”
DT KEVIN VICKERSON
Q: What are your thoughts about going in pads yesterday?
VICKERSON: “Just trying to get back to the basics really. We didn’t have the best performance we wanted to Sunday night so when you have something like that, Coach (Reid) wanted to send us messages: we want to do stuff this way and we’ve got to get back to the fundamentals of football. That’s all it was.”
Q: Do you think getting back to the fundamentals works for veterans like you?
VICKERSON: “Yeah, if not, you’ve got the leadership part of it anyway for the younger guys to buy into it too so everybody is aboard, everybody needs to work and be on the same page as the head coach is and what he wants and what he is trying to get out of putting us in pads.”
Q: Is this a must-win game or at least a must-needed game?
VICKERSON: “From here on out, from here on out is a must-win for us to do what we want to do and go where we want to go – deep in the playoffs or in the playoffs period. We’ve got to start right now. These are the months right now that are crucial because for running the ball, this is the crucial time and these months are what championship football is built and made of. I’m not saying what we did so far hasn’t been a stepping-stone to whatnot, but these months right here are really crucial.”
Q: How do you improve on stopping the run?
VICKERSON: “Like you said, we put the pads on for a reason – technique, getting back to fundamentals, hitting with your hands, getting off blocks, shedding blocks, getting off and making the tackle. It’s just something we’ve got to do as a unit.”
Q: What do you attribute to getting away from the fundamentals?
VICKERSON: “No, but sometimes you get sidetracked by some wins and some other things that happen over the course of the season. That might sidetrack you, you might want to take this way out but sometimes you’ve got to go the hard way. And there is nothing wrong with the hard way. We just have to know it’s going to be hard and we’ve got to be able to get through that.”
RB KNILE DAVIS
Q: What are your thoughts about heading out to Arizona this week?
DAVIS: “Just trying to get a win, trying to get back on a roll. That’s basically it, we just need to go down there and take care of business.”
Q: You haven’t been getting the ball on offense as much as you were earlier in the year. Why is that?
DAVIS: “That’s the coach’s call. I don’t control that.”
Q: Is it frustrating at all?
DAVIS: “Not really. I just like to play football. I love to go to practice and I love to go to the game. When my number is called, I’ll be ready.”
Q: What is the state of the locker room right now going into this game?
DAVIS: “We’re just hungry for that win and that feeling. That losing feeling is a bad feeling. We’re just trying to get to the playoffs and collect our goal, which is the Super Bowl.”
Q: How has De’Anthony Thomas come along in the return game?
DAVIS: “I think he’s done a great job. He made a few rookie mistakes but for the most part he’s looked great out there. I love when he is back there.”
OPENING STATEMENT: “Really the only injury that we have that would be out is Junior Hemingway with a concussion. Everybody else practiced today and looked good, actually. We look forward to the challenge of playing the Broncos, guys have had a good week of practice. We look forward to bringing the Broncos in here to Arrowhead with our crowd.”
Q: Is (Donnie) Avery going to play on Sunday?
REID: “There’s a chance, he practiced this week and looked pretty good. We will see how things go.”
Q: So he will be listed as questionable again?
REID: “We will see. Rick (Burkholder) has all that stuff.”
Q: What about the cornerback situation? How’s (Jamell) Fleming? How’s (Chris) Owens? How’s (Phillip) Gaines?
REID: “They worked today.”
Q: Between Fleming and Gaines, who has the edge?
REID: “Everybody plays, they all have packages. I can’t tell you any of that stuff.”
Q: Can you give us an Eric Berry update?
REID: “Yeah, Eric is doing well. He went over to his grandmother’s yesterday and ate before they give him anything or any treatment so that he can’t eat. He made sure he took care of business yesterday.”
Q: There was a report that says you will know something Monday. Is that right?
REID: “Yeah, the doctors are working through that. I’m not sure about the timeframe on that but they’ve done the studies and they have to go through and analyze the material, or whatever information they gained. We will see, you will know though, we aren’t going to hide it from you.”
Q: Can we probably say early next week we will know something?
REID: “Yeah, whenever they give it to us. That’s way out of my league.”
Q: How is Jason Avant doing with the playbook?
REID: “He’s been working like crazy trying to learn it. Most of it, I think, he has a pretty good grasp on. He’ll be in a position where he’s ready to play, we will just have to see how things go from there as far as play time.”
Q: Do you think you’re running more or less package plays than last year?
REID: “We mix and match, it depends on the team. We mix and match things, I’m not sure what that means. Packages?”
Q: The plays where you’ve got the run/pass option. The ones that are attached with the bubble, hand off. Duck calls are what the defense calls it.
REID: “Yeah, we have a couple of those. Not too many. They’re the same.”
Q: When did you realize you wanted to incorporate that stuff into the offense?
REID: “That’s always been, that’s been a big part of our offense. Is that what you’re talking about? Or the defense?
Q: Your offense.
REID: “No that’s always been a big part of the offense. The play-action game. You play off your run, your run strengths. Normally you have a play-action off of your runs.”
Q: Alex (Smith) has the ability to scan the defense and hand it to Jamaal (Charles) and pass it as well. That’s what I meant.
REID: “Yeah I gotcha. We did a little bit of that with Donovan McNabb early in his career. We backed off then we brought a little bit of it back with Michael (Vick). We had Michael and both of those guys had done that in college. They were really comfortable with it, but we didn’t do it quite as much as we’re doing now, but our guys are good at it. Listen, they come from college football. They know how to do that. That was one of the primary things that Alex did in college. They’re very comfortable with that action and having a couple, two or three things to think about on a play.”
Q: Is this a fad? Miami does that. San Francisco does that. Are defenses adjusting now?
REID: “Well I think they’re getting better at it, sure. That’s how it works and really, listen. Football is one big circle. You go back to the Wing-T. They were doing all this stuff and then it swings around and you just keep recycling and try to break trends. Right? That’s what’s you’ve got to do.”
Q: What kind of role has Chris Ault had to kind of mold that package?
REID: “He’s had a definite impact on some of those things we’ve done in there. Very knowledgeable of it. He and Brad (Childress) have got a good relationship and have spent a lot of time talking through that stuff. It’s pretty good.”
Q: Broncos are coming off of a game where they gained over 200 yards rushing. Obviously the Chiefs defense these past two weeks almost 400 yards rushing allowed. What are some of the challenges of this game knowing that you’re not just having to worry about Peyton Manning?
REID: “They’ve had it in the past, pretty good run team. You’ve got to make sure that you’re obviously ready for both. That’s what you do. They’re going to give you a little of everything so you better be on your game.”
There are no games scheduled for today.
There are no games scheduled for today.