Chiefs Preseason Quotes
August 24, 2015
HEAD COACH ANDY REID
OPENING STATEMENT: “Alright, as far as the injuries go, these are the players that won’t practice today: Jeff Allen, Jason Avant has a hip strain – he won’t practice today – Tyler Bray; Sanders Commings might give it a shot, we just have to see, he’s going to keep rehabbing here, he’s got a little knee inflammation; Eric Fisher, Demetrius Harris, Junior Hemingway, Justin March, (Dontari) Poe, (Tavon) Rooks. De’Anthony (Thomas), again, he did some stuff in the walkthrough, but he probably won’t do much today, if anything. About our game, I thought the game was productive. We come out here today, we get ourselves ready for Tennessee. We’re going to try to keep this as much a normal week within the rules – the NFL training camp rules – that we possibly can. It’s not quite the same schedule, but as close as we can get to it. This would be like a Wednesday practice, tomorrow will be like a Thursday practice and so on, and then we’re going to take it from there. Time’s yours.”
Q: Will Josh Mauga be back to work today?
REID: “There’s a chance he does some stuff, yes.”
Q: Do you feel like you need four full preseason games to get ready for the season?
REID: “I was asked that up at camp; I’m a coach, so as much evaluation time and teaching time that I can have, I want. So I would tell you yes.”
Q: Could you make it work with two preseason games?
REID: “That’s the right side of me. The right side says that whatever you give me, I’m going to make work. Can you make it work? Yeah. Would you rather have it where you get full evaluation time? Yeah.”
Q: Do you think the players need four preseason games? Is it a physical thing or an evaluation thing?
REID: “You played, I’m sure, in high school or whatever. There’s shape, and then there’s football shape that you have to get into. It’s two different things. You can be great at distance running and all those things, lifting, but there’s the football playing part of it that you have to get yourself used to doing.”
Q: Where is Dontari Poe in his rehab process?
REID: “You know, he’s doing great. He’s made big strides. I can just tell you that he’s at least on schedule, if not a little bit ahead. Great attitude with the whole thing.”
Q: What is the schedule, when do you guys expect him back?
REID: “I figured that would be the second question. I don’t know that. We’re just taking it (as we go). He says he’s going to play in the first game, so I go ‘ok, alright, we’ll see.’ And then the doctors have to evaluate it. That’s really the thing – the time and how it’s healing – that’s up to the docs.”
Q: Have you heard that that’s a reasonable goal from the doctors?
REID: “We’ll see. It’s more we’ll see. Let’s see how he does in this phase, the exercise part of it. So far, it’s gone well, but let’s see how that goes. That’s kind of where the docs are at. He hasn’t run or done that, so we’ll see in that next phase and see where that goes. He’s moving around, he hasn’t had any setbacks – I guess that’s the positive that I’m telling you.”
Q: What have you seen from Knile Davis so far?
REID: “I’ll tell you, I think Knile has improved – I think more in the pass game, we knew he was a good runner. In the pass game, I think he’s improved, he’s spent a lot of time working on that.”
Q: Is this about what should be expected from the first team offense to this point?
REID: “You set out to score every drive, that’s what you try to do. I like the progress we made last week. I like the fact that we put a drive together – a 14-play drive, against a good defense. That front seven, that’s a pretty good front seven. I thought we handled that well for that drive.”
Q: What growth did you see from Mitch Morse from week one to week two now that you’ve had a chance to look at the tape?
REID: “Well, there’s a comfort there. You get more comfortable in that position. Again, he had a pretty good defensive front that he was going against – one of the best in the National Football League. I thought he handled it pretty well.”
Q: How are you going to line up on the offensive line with the first team on Friday?
REID: “It will probably be similar – today will be the same as what you saw. It will be similar, I’m sure, as the game that we had last week.”
Q: What is the situation with Junior Hemingway?
REID: “He’s down there rehabbing. His back is tender, so that’s what he’s going through. Just trying to work through that.”
QB ALEX SMITH
Q: What did you see from the tape; was there improvement?
SMITH: “Yeah, I think there were signs, we got more reps. I think we finally got into a rhythm. The touchdown scoring drive had some good things in it and there were some good things in the red zone. Obviously, there were some things that need to get corrected and things we need to get better at as well, but yeah, I think there was progress.”
Q: Were third downs apart of that progress?
SMITH: “Yeah, we were better. Better on third down, absolutely. Obviously, I think that’s the key to sustaining drives, you have to be good on it - Stay in better third downs. I think that was definitely part of it. The first couple drives you saw we got bad third downs that made it almost impossible to convert and then the scoring drive was better.”
Q: What were your general thoughts on the preseason? Was it too long or too short?
SMITH: “I don’t know, it’s tough. It’s different, there are different opinions every year. I think in a year when you have a lot of history together and you’ve been in the same offense you’re ready to go sooner. I‘ve been in years when you love having four games because you were still working out things when you had a lot of turnover, maybe there was a new system or new guys and you liked having the extra time because it got you ready for the season. I think all of the circumstances are different. I think the more veteran you get, certainly, you get ready to play quicker, generally speaking.”
Q: Do you think this team needs it?
SMITH: “Like I said, all situations are different. Every guy might answer that question differently on this team. So, it’s on an individual basis and it’s all out of our control, so to be honest, I don’t think it’s a thing that guys give a lot of thought to. Maybe some vets that have been around, but other than that, you have no control over it so you’re kind of keeping your head down. I know it’s cliché, but today’s Monday so we’re coming in and trying to get some work.”
Q: Do you feel like there’s enough time for guys to get the reps they need?
SMITH: “Yeah, I feel like we’ve got a ton of great work. There’s been a lot of movement up front, there’s been a lot of moving parts and guys have been jumping in and out and those guys have all switched around. You’ve got a lot of guys playing multiple positions, I think that’s all really good work because during the season, that’s what happens. You get seven guys dressing, and if something happens, guys have to be flexible, they’ve got to be able to move around. You have to be able to have that I think. So this was all good work for those guys, especially the younger guys.”
Q: As a quarterback, is this the most comfortable you’ve been in your career?
SMITH: “Yeah, without a doubt. No question. I think even looking at the film, it’s almost so comfortable I feel like when I’m watching the film with coach, I’m trying to do too much because I’m so comfortable with where everybody’s at and you know all of those details. Even going back to the fundamentals of things, I’m doing too much with things like my eyes and things like that, but I’m very comfortable, without a doubt. We’ve got a lot of the same pieces in place, I’ve been with the same coaches for three years so it’s a good thing.”
Q: So compared to the start of your career it’s a night and day difference?
SMITH: “Yeah. It would be tough to even compare. Coming out of college and early on in my career where I was at and where I am now, so it wouldn’t be fair.”
Q: What do you mean doing too much with your eyes?
SMITH: “I just think trying to move defenders, trying to move guys and do too much of that. Sometimes in camp you get away with it and you do that and you get back into games, and that’s really what I felt like looking at the film – get back to just moving the ball and keeping the offense.”
DE MIKE DEVITO
Q: How are you feeling?
DEVITO: “Great. Feeling really good. You know, it’s nice to be back here in Kansas City and at the end of the day, I get to go home to my family. But I feel great. Body feels great. I feel like I had a really productive camp. Got my confidence back, I know I can go out there and play, so I’m excited.”
Q: Derrick Johnson mentioned he needed to get back out there and play to feel like he’s back in the game action, do you feel that way too?
DEVITO: “I’m ready to go now, but no question, the reps have definitely been necessary because when you’ve been out for so long, I think it’s kind of like you get in your mind, man, I wonder if I can still do this. These first two games were huge for me to, confidence-wise, to get out there and know that I can still play at this level.”
Q: Having been in the league for a while, do you think the preseason is too long or too short at this point?
DEVITO: “Yeah, it’s funny because I think when you talk to some of the younger guys, they might think it’s too long, but when I think about how it was in 2007, 2008 when we were doing two-a-days for six weeks, I mean, I feel great right now. If you would have seen me in 2007, it was a lot different. You’re always balancing with the injuries and things like that and you’ve got to be careful with that stuff, but Coach Reid and Rick (Burkholder) and those guys do a great job keeping us healthy and keeping us ready.”
Q: Do you feel like you would have still made the team years ago if there weren’t the four preseason games and coaches had less evaluation time?
DEVITO: “No, I wouldn’t have made it. I wouldn’t have made it. No, if I didn’t have – I mean, I got there, I don’t remember, I think it was in April and we went home for nine days in the summer. OTAs were 12-hour days, you had two practices a day in training camp, six weeks, you had all those reps in the preseason – that was the reason I made the team. If I didn’t have those opportunities, I wouldn’t have made the team. I wasn’t good enough.”
Q: With Jordy Nelson and his knee injury in the preseason amongst other preseason injuries, is that just football?
DEVITO: “Yeah, and I feel bad for him because I was right in that same spot about the same time last year. It’s tough especially, you think about, it’s a preseason game and you’re like, man, but that’s the game. I saw (Maurkice) Pouncey’s injury and that looked rough, but Jordy (Nelson) just came down on it wrong, and you’re right, that’s just football.”
Q: Do you think the players feel a certain way on the debate over the length of the preseason?
DEVITO: “I think that’s a good question. I think there are going to be different opinions, I think maybe you talk to some of the older guys and they know what it was like before. At the same time, you get to this time of the year and you’re just ready for the regular season to start.”
Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid
Conference Call Quotes
August 22, 2015
OPENING STATEMENT: “Alright, fellas. I don’t really have any updates for you as far as injuries go – we’ll get that to you later – so it’d be the same as I mentioned last night.
As far as the game goes, it was great to play at home here in front of our fans. It was good to get a win. I thought we were able to put ourselves in some unique situations that you need work on. We were able to get a two-minute drill with the ones, even though it didn’t work out quite the way we wanted it – we were able to get that done. We got (Chris) Conley a punt return – we wanted him to return it, really, at all costs, even though it was at that period of the game. So he kind of did what he was told to do there. We got a couple fourth down situations, where we were able to work on those and maybe you wouldn’t normally do that in the regular season at the 40 there. It gave us at least an opportunity to work on some things and get them on tape and analyze them. I thought, all-in-all, some situational things were very positive. I thought the 14-play drive by the first offense, I thought that was a good thing. It was good to see (Paul) Fanaika at the right tackle spot, I thought he held his own. There were a couple hiccups there, but for just doing it for a couple days, I thought he did a nice job. It was great to get Larry (Duvernay-Tardif) in there to get some work. I know the screen play kind of looked weird, but the whole thing was kind of weird by the position that the back had to come out on. But he did some nice things and then there are some things that he can improve on, which he will – he just needs snaps. It was good to get (Mitch) Morse some more snaps in there with the ones. Again, there are some young-guy mistakes those two probably made that they can clean up here. But for the most part, they were strong. Donald (Stephenson) got to play the left tackle position, which I think was good. (Ben) Grubbs did a nice job at the (left) guard spot. With the exception of probably three or four plays there, I thought they did a decent job. The first play of the game – that’s a great picture for the offensive line to learn from. We had a play action on and they had the perfect twist on up front. It’s a tough switch and they can learn from that and they’ll be better the next time. I thought the defense did a nice job with how they handled the Seattle offense – which I think is a good offense. They’re working through some things with their offensive line, likewise, but I thought we did a nice job there. Secondary-wise, we got to play quite a bit of nickel and dime looks, so I think that was a positive thing that came out of it.
And then the twos, on both sides of the ball, did a pretty decent job. So that means you do have some legitimate depth there that’s going to help strengthen your football team. The threes didn’t play a whole lot – we’re trying to get (Aaron) Murray a throw in here somewhere. He’s got like one throw in the last two weeks, or two throws in the last two weeks. It’s just the way the game was going and field position, so he didn’t get much work there. Special teams-wise, I thought we were solid. We can do a better job with some of our blocking, but I thought we did a decent job tackling on special teams and I thought we did a pretty good job tackling on defense. With that, time’s yours.”
Q:Is everything alright with Tamba Hali?
REID: “Tamba’s fine. What we’re trying to do is, we wanted to give Dee (Ford) just a start here. Let’s see how he handles that and get him some extended playing time where we’re not having to rotate him. Tamba has been busting his tail all camp and he’s got plenty of reps. He’s been doing this for a couple of years, so I’m not real worried about him. I wanted to see how Dee handled that and you know what, I thought he did a good job. He learned a crucial lesson though. If you get a running back offset there in the pass rush, you don’t want to expose those ribs, so he took quite a shot there. But he bounced up and got himself back and we got him off the field there. But, that’s a good lesson to learn on how to pass rush in this league. Those backs can put a wallop on you if you expose yourself.”
Q:How do you feel Dee Ford did last night?
REID: “I really thought overall, he did a good job. He made plays. Actually, before the play he got hurt he had a nice play and made a nice tackle. I thought he had pressure on the quarterback. He still kept him in the pocket, which you really worry about with that quarterback, you don’t want to let him outside the pocket. So, for the most part he kept him in the pocket and there was pressure. In the run game, I thought he held his own in the run game.”
Q:Is that something you’ve been seeing from him during training camp?
REID: “Well, we’ve seen spurts of it, but again, we rotate him in. So, you don’t get that extended amount of plays back to back to back to back that you were able to see last night, which again, I thought was important.”
Q:What’s your plan for Eric Berry heading into the next preseason game?
REID: “I thought that was good. We actually kept him in an extra series just to get his numbers up there. I thought that was a good amount. Not that he can’t play more, but I thought that was a good amount for last night. We go into this next game and normally we go at least a half and then maybe the start of three quarters there, so we normally take them into the third quarter somewhere. We’ll just see how things go for him as we roll forward.”
Q:What was it like for you when the crowd reacted to Eric Berry on the jumbotron?
REID: “Well, listen, I’m happy for the kid. That’s where I’m at with him. I’m ecstatic that he can just be out there and play. I’m ecstatic that he’s just got life. There was a point there where you weren’t sure. When you initially hear about it, you’re not sure, is he going to live or die? That’s kind of what it is. Now he’s back playing and he’s beat this thing, and that’s a beautiful thing any way you look at it.”
Q:After everything Mike Catapano went through last year, how nice was it to get an extended look at him and how do you think he played?
REID: “I thought he got better as the game went on. I mean, his energy was good. He hasn’t played in a game in a couple years, so his energy was there the whole time. I thought when he was with the ones, he probably wasn’t as productive as when he was with the twos. He kept pushing and you could see him kind of refine a couple things. I thought initially he was kind of taking guys down the middle on his pass rush and they were pushing the center towards him a couple times, so he was doubled, and then he worked through it. He started working his technique and his fundamentals better so I thought that was positive.”
Q:Based on what you saw in last night’s game, are you still willing to ride with the fact that your starters at right guard and tackle are probably still on this roster? Are you still looking at who you have now versus looking at offensive linemen elsewhere?
REID: “We’re doing that. That’s what we’ve got here and that’s what we’re doing and so we think we’ve got some good, young talent. In some cases, it’s just a matter of reps, and then there’s enough good there where you felt like with some more playing time, they could be a good solid unit. You also have a couple injuries that will be coming back to you, so that’s a good thing too.”
Q:Any hope that (Eric) Fisher or (Jeff) Allen could be back this week?
REID: “I think it would be a stretch.”
Chiefs Assistant Coach Quotes
August 18, 2015
HEAD ATHLETIC TRAINER RICK BURKHOLDER
OPENING STATEMENT: “Alright, just an update from today, some guys that you may not know about that missed. Sanders Commings has some left knee inflammation that we’re working through – it’s different from the right side that he missed with last year. Eric Fisher had a left ankle sprain yesterday – Allen Bailey landed on his (Fisher’s) left ankle. It is what we call a high ankle sprain, we really never put out timeframes because all these are different. He’s literally day-to-day, he did a lot of work today as you saw down there, doing some reconditioning. That’s a positive – that he’s up on his feet. He’s worked with our group over the last two years, so he’s comfortable, we’re comfortable with him and we think he’s going to do very well with this left high ankle sprain. Justin March was injured in the ballgame, he has a right knee problem – he has a meniscus tear in his right knee. He’s going to be operated on tomorrow in Kansas City by Dr. Barnthouse, so we’ll give you an update over the weekend on him. And then Charcandrick West missed today due to illness. He started out, then he’s got a little cold working, so we pulled him out of that. Thank you.”
OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR DOUG PEDERSON
Q: What are your thoughts on how it worked for the first team against Arizona?
PEDERSON: “It was good. It wasn’t perfect by any means. We did miss some assignments up front, Alex (Smith) was a little off with Jeremy (Maclin) with that first play of the game, but that’s something we saw, they rebounded. They hit that same play yesterday, they made some good throws today, and so they learn from those things, they watch the tape. I thought with 15 plays, it’s hard to get into a rhythm, even as a quarterback, with that amount of plays. Sometimes, too, in the back of your mind, you know you’re only going to play a certain amount of plays, and so sometimes you just know that and you can’t get into that flow or rhythm of a game.”
Q: What are you looking for to gauge progress with the passing game?
PEDERSON: “The bottom line is that you want to see execution, the quarterback going to the right read, the receiver running the right route and that type of thing, especially from your starters because they’re getting the bulk of the work in training camp anyway. That’s what you want to see, that execution. Guys are going to get beat, they get paid to defend you, and you want them to see crisp, decisive decision-making and minimal errors if possible.”
Q: Are you seeing that execution, to your satisfaction?
PEDERSON: “We are. We are seeing that. Again, you’ve got a first-year center (Mitch Morse) who’s playing his first game, and he had some highs and lows in that game, but he’s also learning and he’s doing a nice job in practice. We’re still having that combination of guys and trying to find that best five, and Coach Reid mentions that all the time. We get Chris Conley back, so we’re working with him now, and we get Albert (Wilson) back from illness, and he’s a hundred percent. There are just some things as you go through camp that you’re trying to find combinations and see how things are going to work. Once you get closer to the regular season, those things become sort of ironed out and now those guys can work on becoming a cohesive group going into the first week.”
Q: On your list of concerns, where does the uncertainty of a starting offensive line settle right now?
PEDERSON: “You have to, I think by the time you get to your third week when your starters are playing a lot, three quarters, you should have that ironed out. Going into that last week, where you play all your backups, those starters now get ready for that opening day, so you’ve still got a couple of days here to really get that thing ironed out. From there, it’s all hands on deck. Give the starters all the reps they can handle, and they get ready for that first game.”
Q: If Houston, or anyone else you play this season shows the same blitz that got the pick in Arizona, will Mitch Morse be ready for that?
PEDERSON: “Yes. There’s no question in my mind. We see it from our defense every day so he understands it. It’s reactional, reaction play, and he knows what he did. That play is fixed and corrected and we can move on.”
Q: How do you feel about that offensive line being ready to go in week three?
PEDERSON: “Good. Really good. I mean, there are some things, obviously there are some combinations, some injury and things like that, but when those pieces are together and those guys get some reps, there’s some good up there. You’re seeing that as we go each day. You’re seeing that offensive line sort of come together and gel and doing a nice job.”
Q: Is it reasonable to assume Mitch Morse can get to that point of being the starting center against Houston if he’s needed?
PEDERSON: “Very reasonable, and here’s why I say that: we’ve got so much football—we’re changing plays every day. We’re still installing plays in our meetings at night so we haven’t even game-planned anybody yet. When you game-plan and you hone everything into a specific task, now you focus on that task. So, yes, he will be ready, he will be fine, and again, we will narrow it down once we get to Houston and go from there.”
Q: How do you compare what you see in a preseason game versus what you see out at training camp practices?
PEDERSON: “You grade them all the same. You grade practice just like you would a preseason game. Out here at practice, our starters do get the bulk of the work so we can evaluate those guys probably a little bit more than with these first couple of preseason games. To see them against other players, other teams, take what they’ve learned in the classroom here and take it to the game field, is what you want to see. It goes back to eliminating mistakes, being decisive and executing.”
Q: When you see Fred Williams doing some good things against Arizona, does that sort of set in your mind that he can transfer what he’s doing out here in practice to on the field on gameday?
PEDERSON: “Yeah, and you have to gauge a little bit, because I’ve been in that position as a player, where you have to take your instruction and coaching and teaching and just, why would it change on gameday? It shouldn’t. And you’re seeing guys like Fred Williams, Chase Daniel, play nice games, but they’re taking what they’ve been coached and taught and they’re just translating it to the field. That’s what you want to see week in and week out with these preseason games.”
DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR BOB SUTTON
Q: Is there a higher number of younger players doing better than you are used to?
SUTTON: “Well, I think this is a real good group. We’ve had a lot of guys who have stepped in there and competed at a real high level – didn’t really step back as far as getting into the actual game and that type of thing. Probably of all the things that they are itching for is making progress. That’s one of the most important things for really any player during camp is that you are on the upswing, you are getting better each day – that’s a big challenge, but if you want to become a good player, and if we want to become a good defense and become a good team, that’s what really has to happen every day out here.”
Q: What did you see from Eric Berry on the field?
SUTTON: “Well, I think he has done a great job at coming back, obviously, from a real challenging situation. I think he’s really back close to where he’s at. He’s still got a ways to go and the thing that I said before, the thing people forget about Eric, he missed a lot of last season – not only from the cancer, but you know he had an Achilles problem and missed a lot of camp. So, this is really a chance to get back into football, the fundamentals of his position and I think every day out there talking with him, he’s becoming more comfortable. Like I said earlier, we are going to follow his rhythm – whatever he feels – that’s what we are going to follow. So far it has been really good.”
Q: Coach, how has Ramik (Wilson) and the younger linebackers progressed?
SUTTON: “I think very good. I think all of those guys in there have done a really good job and they have a lot of things happening to them. Our offense has a lot of groups and a lot of different types of plays, so to stay on top of all that has really been encouraging to watch as a coach.”
Q: What’s your evaluation on how Jaye Howard has done?
SUTTON: “Good. I think Jaye has really taken the challenge on. You know, he has done a good job of stepping in there for (Dontari) Poe. As I just said, he has to continue to get better and keep working on a lot of little fundamental things and techniques that happen. That’s what this time of year is about – to develop your base, your foundation, that’ll carry you through the season.”
TIGHT ENDS COACH TOM MELVIN
Q: There’s a lot of talk that Travis Kelce compares favorably to Rob Gronkowski and Jimmy Graham – what is Kelce’s mentality when he hears that or does he ignore it?
MELVIN: “Well, you have to because all three of them are completely different players. To make a statistical comparison, that might be as close as you’re going to get. As far as the way that they play the game, all three of them have a distinct, different personality set with the way that they approach the game, what their pluses and minuses are. So you can ignore that, because it really doesn’t apply.”
Q: How has Kelce assumed a leadership role with the young tight ends group?
MELVIN: “First off, he is extremely adept to the game of football. He understands the chess pieces, the 22 guys on the field, he knows where everybody goes, how they should fit, who went the wrong way, who should have gone where. So he’s very good at that. Whether you forget or not, you realize he was a quarterback and he was a center man in hockey, so he was that leader. To him, it comes naturally to him. It was real easy for him to move right into that.”
Q: What have you seen in Adam Schiltz’s development from last year to this year?
MELVIN: “His biggest thing was the offseason. He transformed himself physically, which, coming from a smaller school, that’s always the first thing – they didn’t have the training tables, they didn’t have the weight staff, they didn’t have it quite as regimented of a routine as you have in a bigger school. It took him this offseason to transform himself to where, now, physically, he can do the things that he wanted to last year that couldn’t hold up over time or couldn’t handle then. Right now, he’s done a great job, he’s right where we were hoping he was going to be coming into camp. And he’s an extremely smart kid, so he can play all three of the tight end sets when we have all three of those guys on the field at the same time. He’s a great asset to us in that case.”
SPREAD GAME ANALYST/SPECIAL PROJECTS COACH BRAD CHILDRESS
Q: How do you look ahead, what do you work on as far as the Thursday-Sunday game?
CHILDRESS: “From my standpoint, I look at everything that Romeo Crennel has done. Also, it’s kind of funny, you’re looking at the Texans, but you’re looking back a couple of years when Wade (Phillips) was the defensive coordinator there and what kind of system he’s running in Denver. Then, of course, you take the Denver film from Seattle this weekend and the other ones.”
Q: What are your thoughts on the schedule this season?
CHILDRESS: “I’m excited about it. I know we’re all excited to play. You have to play them one at a time, you have to play a Thursday night game, people make gripes about that, but you’d rather play one early in the year than late in the year.”
Q: What type of challenges do Vince Wilfork and J.J. Watt bring when playing the Texans?
CHILDRESS: “It all starts up front, always, on the offense. You better be able to change the line of scrimmage offensively. Those guys are going to give you problems physically, they’re going to give you problems with their movement and their pass rush. We’ll really have to be about our business with those guys.”
DEFENSIVE BACKS COACH EMMITT THOMAS
Q: How have you seen Marcus Peters progress?
THOMAS: “With him being on the quarter system we lost a lot in OTAs and minicamp, but he’s been working hard since he’s been here. We’ve been fortunate enough for him to stay healthy and take a lot of reps and hopefully this week we’ll get a chance to see more of him in live action in the game against Seattle. But right now, he’s got great ball skills, we’ve just got to get him to finish harder and be more consistent, but he’s a good athlete. He’s what we’ve been missing back there; he’s a guy than can intercept the ball and get turnovers back there. I saw him in the running game the other night and he will tackle, he’s a tough guy. He’s working off his rookie mistakes and there are some ups and downs, but he’s a talent that we’re fortunate to have.”
Q: Is it harder to play corner in the league now opposed to when you played?
THOMAS: “Yes it is, because we could use our hands and be more physical down the field, whereas within four yards they have to get their hands off and can’t be as physical. We could intimidate receivers a little bit more than they can right now. Right now, it’s an offensive game. It’s basketball on grass sometimes, but we’ve got pretty good athletes back there and hopefully we’ll come through.”
Q: Is it harder to learn the corner position today?
THOMAS: “Yes it is, because you play more combination coverages now than when I played. Even back when Al (Harris) played, you played a lot of man-to-man and just straight up. But now, you play a lot more combinations.”
Q: What has having Eric Berry back meant for the room?
THOMAS: “Well, I was here when they drafted him as a rookie. He came in as a leader and for him to get that ownership back and to come in, we just hope his health holds up, but right now he’s progressing really well. We like what we see; he made a couple of plays in the preseason and during training camp. I think he’ll be the leader back there.”
Q: Do you expect him to be 100% in the first couple of weeks?
THOMAS: “We’ll bring him along slowly, but we play so many different packages. We started with four or five, so he’ll be able to play a lot.”
WIDE RECEIVERS COACH DAVID CULLEY
Q: What does it say about guys going from undrafted to fighting for roster spots?
CULLEY: “Well, that happens. I go back to Albert Wilson being an undrafted guy. We have had a lot of success with those kinds of guys. I think one of the reasons is that when we get those young guys and they come in like that, first of all, our personnel department does a great job of identifying those kinds of guys. Somewhere along the lines in college there was something missing or whatever or we might have missed something, but you saw enough to know those guys have a chance to make it. With Albert (Wilson), and Frankie (Hammond) and Fred (Williams), obviously, once you get them in here, the thing about Coach Reid’s training camps is that if you’re in a training camp here, you’re going to get an opportunity to show what you can and cannot do at this position, and that’s critical, because you get reps just like the last game. Every kid we got out there got to play and that might not be the case in every game, but you’re going to get a chance to say if you can or you cannot play in this league.”
Q: So are you pleased with what you saw from that first game?
CULLEY: “Very pleased, and there’s still things we can improve on, but very pleased. Guys are making plays. You've got to make plays, that’s what that position is all about, making plays. We’re fortunate enough that some guys were able to make some.”
Q: Was it promising to see three different guys score touchdowns?
CULLEY: “It is. And in this offense, that’s what happens. The ball gets spread around so much and when you’re in the situation to have a chance to get a touchdown or make a play, you’ve got to be able to make it. Fortunately, the other night we were able to make those plays and hopefully we have the same opportunities for those guys coming up.”
OFFENSIVE LINE COACH ANDY HECK
Q: What are the things guys struggle with on the line, initially?
HECK: “Particularly, for a tackle moving inside, as a tackle you’re playing with a lot more space and so you’re covering more ground. Inside, those movements and reactions need to be much smaller and much tighter and much more controlled, so that takes a little bit of a learning curve to slow yourself down.”
Q: What have you been getting out of Jarrod Pughsley?
HECK: “Jarrod’s a versatile guy and a talented guy. We had him last year on our developmental squad and so this is really our first opportunity to see him working in different situations, whether it’s with the ones or the twos, or at tackle, and that’s not to say we couldn’t play him at guard. It’s a great opportunity to evaluate him, it’s a great opportunity for him to continue developing and becoming a better football player and really see what he can be and what we’ve got on our hands.”
Q: Are there more battles than you anticipated at this point in camp?
HECK: “I wouldn’t say that. This is a very deep group. There’s a lot of good, talented and hungry guys. I’m very pleased with how they’re all coming out to work to better themselves individually, to not just be one of those five guys but one of those seven that’s up on game day or to be one of however many we keep on this football team and it’s a process we’re still going through and the guys are really doing a nice job with that.”
QUARTERBACKS COACH MATT NAGY
Q: What has impressed you the most this training camp?
NAGY: “Well, I think for us, being able to evaluate off of three years – this being our third training camp – you look back at year one and things were going so fast, I’m talking from the quarterback’s position. This year, we are in year three, basically being able to go so much further when we are watching film after practice, being able to evaluate ourselves with what we’re doing versus what we’re seeing the defense gives us. Our defense gives us so many different looks that really prepares us well for the season.”
Q: Looking back at last season, was there something that you thought (Alex) Smith needed to improve on coming into Training Camp and really focus on?
NAGY: “You know what, that’s a good question. I think the biggest thing probably in the offseason was really his footwork, and trusting his feet and matching up with the timing of the wide receivers. We started the second the season ended this past year till now, and he’s done such a great job – all the quarterbacks have been really focusing on their timing and matching it up with the receivers. As long as you can keep growing with that, then this offense, you become tough to stop.”
Q: With the injuries on the offensive line and all the rotations, how has (Alex) Smith handled that?
NAGY: “Great. Alex doesn’t worry about any of that. It’s the next man up mentality. That’s one of his biggest strengths – he plays with what’s given to him and he worries about himself, he doesn’t worry about other teammates – he trusts them. At the quarterback position, trusting your teammates is one of the biggest things you need to have.”
Q: Seeing Chase (Daniel) make big plays under pressure, how will that set him apart this year?
NAGY: “Well, again, that was big for Chase to have such a good game the other day. He stood tall in the pocket. He took some hits, but that happens – that’s part of football. So I was proud of him for that. To really show the confidence in his teammates and really trust his wide receivers, trust his line, trust his backs – he did that – and when you do that you see good things happen.”
Training Camp Quotes
August 17, 2015
HEAD COACH ANDY REID
OPENING STATEMENT: “Alright, as far as the injuries go, today Fish (Eric Fisher) sprained his ankle, he’ll have that checked afterwards here with an MRI. (Tavon) Rooks had a little bit of shortness of breath, so we took him in. And then (Sanders) Commings came out, did a little bit, and he’s got just a little ankle inflammation, swelling of his ankle, we had him do a few things and pulled him out. Everybody else worked and did a nice job. It was good to get back out on the field and get some work in. I’m glad our fans showed up today, that was a good thing. That practice after a game is normally a tough one because the guys are a little sore. It’s good to get them out here, they worked hard and we’re working on getting better. Time’s yours.”
Q: What is going on with Justin March, he wasn’t at practice?
REID: “Justin hurt his knee in the game, so he couldn’t practice today.”
Q: Is it a high ankle sprain with Eric Fisher?
REID: “They’re going to look at it. I’m not sure exactly sure what it is yet, but it’s an ankle sprain – that’s what I’ve been told. They’ll MRI it and see what the deal is. We’ll get you all that.”
Q: What is Jeff Allen doing?
REID: “Jeff didn’t practice today. He’s sore today.”
Q: Are you expecting him back anytime soon?
REID: “We’ll see. We’re just taking it day-by-day and see how he does.”
Q: What did you see out of Jarrod Pughsley starting with the first team at right tackle today?
REID: “We saw good things in the game and good things today, he had a lot of reps. He’s not short on opportunities out here. He got a lot of reps in the game and then we asked him to come out here and take a lot of reps today. I’m sure he’s a little bit tired and sore, but he did a nice job of pushing through it.”
Q: How about Laurent Duvernay-Tardif? You guys elevated him.
REID: “Again, we’re looking at combinations. We’re going to find the five we feel play the best together and work from there. We’re going to keep moving and shuffling if we need to until we feel we’ve got it.”
Q: What did you see from Laurent Duvernay-Tardif on Saturday?
REID: “He played well in the game, he did a nice job. He’s got good athletic ability. It’s just the more he plays, the better he’s going to get. This gives him an opportunity to get some more reps and we’ll see how he does.”
Q: Are you frustrated with where the offensive line is right now?
REID: “No, we’re improving every week. We did better this year in the first game than we did last year, so we’re getting better. We’ve got young guys and we’re working to get better every day.”
Q: How much better does it need to be?
REID: “We’ll keep getting better. Everybody needs to be better, including your questions (joking).”
Q: How would you say Marcus Peters is doing so far?
REID: “He’s doing well. Marcus is playing good, solid football. He’s had a lot of touches on the ball and he’s been working his tail off. Now, does he have to keep doing it? Yes, you have to keep doing it every day. It’s a long camp, it’s a long season and so we’re just at the beginning here. The more film people get on you and they study you, the better you have to be there. So, it’s a constant process.”
Q: What have you seen from Ryan Taylor?
REID: “Again, Ryan is another guy that’s improving. He got banged up early; he’s come back out, he’s made improvements, he’s a tough kid and we understand that and know that. I think it’s a matter of just continuing to get reps in this offense. This is new to him, so the more he gets, the better he’s going to be.”
Q: What about David Irving?
REID: “He had a nice block in the game on the field goal and he did that in college. He’s got to continue to grow though and he’s got to do better on the line against the run and the pass. So he’s working, so you give him the credit of that and he’s improving.”
LB RAMIK WILSON
Q: How do you think the first team defense played?
WILSON: “I think they did great – great stopping the run and playing against the pass. They did good with the couple of series that they had.”
Q: How do you think you are playing so far?
WILSON: “I think I’m doing a lot of things right, but a long way to go. I’m blessed to have Josh Mauga and Derrick Johnson to help coach me.”
Q: Ramik, what was going through your head when you had that interception?
WILSON: “Get to the end zone. Just run and try and make a play.”
Q: What did you see on that play?
WILSON: “Getting into my zone. Saw the quarterback throw it to the curl. I sprinted over to the curl to help. Cornerback made the tackle. You know, a good play made by the defensive back – made it pop out. You know, shear handed it and try and run it in.”
WR FRED WILLIAMS
Q: Fred, just talk about the other night and how you think you did. What were your feelings after the game?
WILLIAMS: “I felt good. I felt like I took advantage of my opportunity. I just want to continue to make plays.”
Q: How much of an advantage of being here last year helped you with the playbook heading into this year and in that game?
WILLIAMS: “It was a big advantage. I feel more comfortable in the offense. I still need to tighten up a few things, but it was a big advantage coming in being on practice squad all last year and learning the offense.”
Q: What are those things that you need to improve on?
WILLIAMS: “Just understanding the scheme of things. Being more versatile on the offense and just continue to make plays.”
Q: You and Chase (Daniel) found a lot of time together – just talk about that relationship.
WILLIAMS: “Chase is getting a little bit more comfortable with me. We just had a good game – good chemistry coming in from the week. I just want to continue to build on it and just keep making plays and making progress.”
Head Coach Andy Reid
August 16, 2015
OPENING STATEMENT: “The guys are still visiting with Rick (Burkholder) and the docs, so I really don’t have much of an update for you. We’ll get that to you later when everything is in, just with the late arrival and all. There were some good things that I saw, really from all the groups. We’ve got to straighten a couple things out with those first units. The big play on the defensive side got us. There was a third-down play, and we’ve just got to take care of business there. Offensively, there were a couple little things that we’ve got to take care of for a couple of the young players, and that will get done. That’s why we’re playing these things, and that experience will help them, either knowing the situation or identifying the blitz and that type of thing. I was happy with the twos and threes, really what I said last night, the same people. After I watched the tape, I thought the same people were pretty productive. I didn’t mention (David) Irving, who blocked the extra point. I didn’t mention Cairo (Santos) on his kicking, I thought Cairo did a nice job there. All in all, there were some real positives that we could take out of this thing. We’ve got a good bunch of guys, good locker room and all, so they’ll work hard, sticking with the ones, to make sure we straighten out what we messed up on there.”
Q: Regarding Chase Daniel’s ability to make a play under pressure, was his performance last night a side of him you haven’t seen a whole lot of?
REID: “I saw it in that San Diego game, the first one that he started in, he took some hits there and was still able to make throws. He had three or four of them in this game where he was under a little bit of pressure, and they blitzed him too. They didn’t hold back much on him and he did a good job with it. They did the same thing with Aaron (Murray) too. Chase hung on to that ball right to the end and I just thought he did a real nice job with that.”
Q: What did you see in Fred Williams last year and why did you keep him around?
REID: “Well, Freddie is an energy giver. I mean you’ve been around him and you know the energy that he brings to the locker room and when he is playing. I think it’s just a matter of him – and I still think it is – I think he is better than he was here, but just the more he plays in this offense, the better he gets. So, last year he was just learning and kind of got thrown in the hopper there a little bit late. You know he has had time to learn this thing and he is getting better at it and we are asking him to play a couple different spots and he is handling that. He has a good way about him and you saw by the way his teammates greeted him that he’s a well-liked guy in the locker room.”
Q: What are your plans for the offensive line at practice this week?
REID: “You know what I’m going to do, I’m kind of going to reserve that answer. I’m going to meet with the coaches here after we are done, the offensives coaches, we’re going to go back over the tape and I’m going to listen to their opinion on it. We’ve all had a chance individually to look at it, so I’m just curious to see what, in that case, Andy Heck and Eugene Chung have to say about it, and then we will go from there. We’re going to play and try and find that combination of five best guys, whether it’s the guys that are in there now, or injuries or whatever – we’re sticking with that.”
Q: How much did Alex Smith’s interception have to do with the communication with Jason Avant and how much had to do with the offensive line’s protection?
REID: “Well you saw they crossed on it and No. 20 (Cardinals’ safety Deone Bucannon) came free there. That’s something that we have to learn, we’ve seen that before, up front. That’s a young guy mistake and that will all get taken care of. There was no miscommunication between those two – between Alex and Jason – he was just trying to get it out of his hand as fast as he could before that guy hit him and he got it too far to the right there. Lesson learned, all the way around.”
Q: With Frankie Hammond, Da’Ron Brown, Fred Williams, how did those three separate themselves in the race for the receiver position?
REID: “We still have a lot of time here. Frankie, obviously, knows the most and is most comfortable with all the different positions and is also a good special teams player. When he had a chance to punt return, I think at one point he was second in the NFL (in 2014) in returns. He gives you a little bit of everything. Freddie is doing well and played very well in this game. Da’Ron, he’s just learning. Da’Ron is very smart and he’s picking it up quickly. I thought he did a pretty decent job, too. He had a couple little things in there, but for the most part, he was pretty on it.”
Q: How did you evaluate Aaron Murray’s play yesterday?
REID: “I would have liked to been able to throw the ball more. We ended up running the ball and kind of running the clock out, the score got a little messed up there. But, when I had an opportunity to see him I think he did a nice job.”
Q: How did you assess Jarrod Pughsley’s play?
REID: “I thought he did some good things. Again, I would be curious to hear from Andy (Heck) and Eugene (Chung). I thought he took a step up from practice, even. I just thought he did some nice things, mostly in his pass protection stuff.”
Q: How would you categorize Pughsley’s physicality and mean streak?
REID: “He’s a nice guy and he’s very soft-spoken. On the field though, he’ll take care of business, he’s very competitive. Very smart and very competitive.”
POSTGAME NOTES: CHIEFS AT CARDINALS (8/15)
BERRY RETURNS TO THE GRIDIRON: Chiefs S Eric Berry saw action in his first game since last year’s Nov. 20 contest at Oakland prior to being diagnosed with Hodgkin Lymphoma on Nov. 24, 2014. He was declared cancer-free on June 22, 2015 and cleared to practice heading into training camp on July 28.
DEVITO AND JOHNSON RETURN TO STARTING LINEUP: Chiefs DE Mike DeVito and LB Derrick Johnson return to the starting lineup after they each suffered an Achilles injury in the club’s season opener vs. Tennessee on Sept. 7, 2014.
ALLEN BACK IN THE LINEUP: OL Jeff Allen returned to the starting lineup at RT after sitting out the majority of last season with an elbow injury suffered during the club’s season opener vs. Tennessee (9/7/14).
MORSE STARTS AT CENTER: Chiefs 2015 second-round draft pick (49th overall) Mitch Morse started tonight’s contest at center.
DANIEL LEADS TRIO OF TD DRIVES: QB Chase Daniel entered the game on the team’s fifth offensive possession. He connected with RB Charcandrick West on a 20-yard pass and capped the 12-play, 79-yard drive with a 13-yard touchdown completion to WR Fred Williams. In the team’s next offensive possession, Daniel hit Williams with consecutive completions of 33 and 12 yards before connecting with WR Frankie Hammond on a 14-yard TD catch, putting the Chiefs up 17-10 going into halftime. The Chiefs opened the third quarter and marched down the field scoring on a three-yard pass to rookie WR Da’Ron Brown to seal a nine-play, 80-yard TD drive.
Daniel finished the game completing 17 of 21 passes for 189 yards with three TDs, logging a 143.8 passer rating.
WILSON LOGS INTERCEPTION: Rookie LB Ramik Wilson, the club’s fourth-round pick (118th overall), intercepted a QB Logan Thomas pass and returned it 27 yards. Wilson led the team with six tackles.
MURRAY LEADS TD DRIVE: QB Aaron Murray followed suit, entering the contest leading the club to a four-play, four-yard drive capped by a one-yard TD run by RB Darrin Reaves.
WEST LOGS 92 YARDS FROM SCRIMMAGE: RB Charcandrick West led the team with six carries for 49 yards. He added three receptions for 43 yards. His 92 yards from scrimmage were a team high.
WILLIAMS TOP RECEIVER: WR Fred Williams led the receiving corps in tonight’s contest with six receptions for 82 yards and one TD.
SANTOS HAS PERFECT NIGHT: K Cairo Santos accounted for 10 of the team’s 34 points, converting 48- and 34-yard FGs and four extra points.
IRVING BLOCKS FG: DE David Irving blocked a 52-yard field goal attempt by Cardinals K Chandler Catanzaro in the fourth quarter.
OFFENSE UTILIZES BIG PLAYS: The club logged six big plays, including two passes over 20 yards and four rushes over 10 yards.
OFFENSE PUTS UP POINTS: The Chiefs scored 31 consecutive points to amass a 31-10 lead entering the fourth quarter, including four straight TDs on consecutive offensive drives.