Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid & Players Quotes
September 25, 2014
OPENING STATEMENT: “Really the only injury to talk about is Eric Berry’s. Eric’s ankle is a little different deal. It’s kind of right where the high ankle component comes in along with the regular ankle sprain. It looks like its leaning more towards a high ankle sprain, which you just don’t know until you get into it. He’s trying like crazy to get himself back, but he’s not going to be able to practice today. And we’ll just have to see how it goes here, but it’s not a lack of effort on his part. It looks like it’s leaning more towards a high ankle (sprain) than not. Jamaal will go and he’ll practice today and do his thing, likewise with De’Anthony (Thomas). We look forward to the challenge of playing the Patriots. It’s always exciting to have the opportunity to play on Monday night, that’s a privilege to be able to do that. Then to be able to play against a good opponent like the Patriots is another nice thing. Our guys are coming out, they are getting ready for the Patriots. That’s what they are going to exhaust their efforts on this week, of getting themselves prepared to come out and play a good football team. We had the first part of that today with the walk through. The other thing - I’m wishing the Royals good luck here, baby. We’re right there. I had the chance to watch the game last night as I was doing my work, and we are pulling for you. Skipper (Ned) Yost, we are pulling for you and your guys. I know the whole city is.”
Q: You’ve had a lot of injuries, how do you feel about the overall depth of the roster right now?
REID: “I’ve said it before, it’s a tribute to (John) Dorsey and his guys, and bringing in competition. Everybody is having a chance to play. The one that probably gets hurt, not because of effort, lack of effort or anything else it’s just knowing special teams get hurt just a bit. Because you’re bringing new guys to work in there and they’re just learning the system but they are playing their hearts out trying to make sure they get everything down. Again, I’m proud of the guys for the way they are filling in and doing their job. That’s what we expect and that’s what they’re doing.”
Q: Is this better depth than you’ve had in the past on other teams? It seems like the guys who are filling in are doing a fairly decent job.
REID: “Yeah they are working hard and doing a good job. They’re intensity level, they’ve maintained so that’s important. Is there a mistake here and there, yeah but there’s going to be a mistake here or there. But they are working through that. I don’t know how to compare it with other teams, I would say that so far they’ve done a nice job here.”
Q: This is the first week you haven’t had a personnel move on the active roster, at least not one that we know of. After 15 years do you just expect that kind of stuff or is this a week to celebrate?
REID: “I don’t even get into all of that. I honestly, I don’t get caught up on injuries, I know that’s a big thing, I don’t get caught up on the injuries and that. We just expect that next guy to come in. I don’t get caught up if we are doing something or not doing something – that’s Dorsey’s job and he’s doing a good job of that. Whoever’s there to coach we are going to coach and coach our tail off. I think that’s important. We respect the job the players are doing and the way they are going about their business. And we appreciate them working as hard as they are working.”
Q: Do you have an update on Mike Catapano? I saw you guys moved him to IR.
REID: “Yeah, Mike is back around here and he is just trying to get himself back, get his strength back. And I think he is starting to feel better. I had a chance to visit with him and he’s in good spirits so that’s positive. Now it’s just a matter of building back up and getting himself back where he gets his strength back.”
Q: So what’s going on with his health?
REID: “I’ll hold off on that. I’m not even prepared to tell you anything on that, maybe I can get Rick (Burkholder) to talk to you and give you something on that.”
Q: But that move eliminates any chance of him coming back this year?
REID: “Yeah and I think that’s where we are at. That was a long process, so I think it’s better that he just steps back, gets himself back healthy and feeling good and then we just go from there. He’s had a million different tests done. I’m not trying to eliminate telling you but there’s been a million things done on him just to try to find out what the answer is.”
Q: Did (Tom) Brady make Belichick or did Belichick make Brady?
REID: “I think they’ve just been a good match. I think both of them would tell you that. They work very well together; they’ve done it for a number of years. And they’ve had a lot of success.”
Q: You did that with Donovan (McNabb) too when you guys were able to do that. How vital is to get a very long relationship between a quarterback and head coach?
REID: “I think it’s important. It’s hard to have a lot of success in this league if you don’t have a good solid quarterback playing there. I was very fortunate to have Donovan for all those years and I know Bill would say the same thing, he’s lucky to have Tom.”
Q: You’ve gone up against a lot of defensive minds in the last 15 years. Where would you rank Belichick?
REID: “I think his record stands on its own right there. He’s a very intelligent man and we’re friends, you know, off of the football field. We’ve had an opportunity to compete against each other and that’s always exciting. So, we get another shot at it. We’ve been doing it a couple of years. We’ve been hanging around here.”
Q: 10 years ago you were preparing for a Super Bowl to face this defense. Now, this week, is there any differences you see?
REID: “Yeah, well, he’s changed and that’s what a good coach does. You change with the personnel that you have and you move people around, but I think some of his base fundamentals are the same and his philosophy is probably basically the same.”
Q: Is this a different Patriots team that wants to run the ball more? Is this almost a different breed of cat to go up against?
REID: “I think every game is different when you play them. Some days you’re going to get, depending on what he sees in you, they’re going to throw the ball a little bit more. Other times, like against the Colts they ran, in the playoffs, they ran it darn near every time. So, you’re going to get a different flavor every time you play and that’s what good coaches do.”
Q: You touched on this a little bit after the game in Miami, but the issue with punt returners bringing it back from where they are nowadays. What are they taught to do? What are you teaching Frankie Hammond (Jr.) and those other guys to do in those situations?
REID: “It depends on the game and the coverage unit that you’re playing. I mean, there’s not one set thing there. You’ll have (Dave) Toub up here tomorrow. You can ask him the question, but there’s flexibility within that according to who you’re playing and blocking is essential. You kind of game plan for it. You don’t want holdings. That’s one thing I could tell you.”
Q: The percentage of penalties on the kick game is relatively high. That’s going to be a big risk.
REID: “I think more teams are taking out the kickoffs. So, I think more teams are running back punts from different areas on the field than normally, you used to not do. Sometimes that happens. You end up with a few more penalties when those numbers go up in the return.”
Q: (Travis) Kelce is one of your more demonstrative players. Are you okay with that? Do you encourage that?
REID: “Is demonstrative the right word?”
Q: I think so.
REID: “Alright. So, he’s a young guy that’s learning every week. He’s getting a little bit better every time. He’s learned some plays. He’s got a little flare, maybe that’s the demonstrative part. He’s got a little zest to him.”
Q: You ask players a lot to be who they are. Why do you do that?
REID: “I ask them a lot to let their personalities show. You can’t play this without doing that, right? It’s an emotional game. If you’re trying to be something you’re not, you have a problem and there’s a problem, you’re not going to get the full genius or whatever person it is. These guys are the best in the world at what they do and they’ve all got personalities, and they’re all different and don’t try to hide it. Let it play out, unless it’s going to cost the team penalties, let it play out.”
Q: Have you ever had to tell anybody in particular to tone it down a bit?
REID: “I did with Hugh Douglas one time and then I told myself I would never do that again because he didn’t play very well that day.”
Q: What is it like to be featured on Monday Night Football?
REID: “I think there’s a little extra energy that goes with Monday Night Football. I think it’s important that you don’t get caught up in all of the hoopla that kind of comes with it and that you focus in on your job.”
Q: Have you counseled Kelce in how to hurdle a standing defender?
REID: “Yeah, if they’re standing, right? Yeah, he’s had some success doing that in college. I’ve had another tight end that did that a lot named Chad Lewis and he ended up in the Pro Bowl three times so that was a good thing. He helped us win a lot of games. That one happened when the guy didn’t happen to go low on him. A lot of those big guys, you know, they go right for your ankles there so you’ll see big guys try to jump over people, but he guessed wrong on that one.”
Q: What do you expect from the atmosphere and the crowd on Monday night?
REID: “Yeah, I should’ve mentioned that earlier. We welcome people into that atmosphere. The Sea of Red is something when it gets cranking. I have this feeling that they’re probably going to set a new record. It’s going to be a lot of red and we look forward to it and bringing the Patriots in here and letting them enjoy that part of it.”
Q: this will be the fifth time in your career you’ve started 1-2 with a team, twice you’ve been to the playoffs. What’s been the key to those seasons?
REID: “Oh boy. I don’t know every year is different. Every team’s different. I don’t know that. You surely don’t want to be in that position, but you’re there. The main thing is that you learn from your mistakes, you try to get better. None of us want to be in that position, but that’s where you’re at and you battle to make sure that you change the wrongs into rights and move forward.”
QB ALEX SMITH
Q: What do you think of when you think of Monday Night Football?
SMITH: “I hear that song in my head, I hear the intro song. So many memories as a kid growing up and watching Monday Night Football, and I think the whole country has similar thoughts and it’s a special deal. So to bring you back here for a home game, even more special.”
Q: You’ve played with a lot of backups so far this season. What kind of message is that from John Dorsey to be surrounded with good players even after injuries?
SMITH: “I think guys have done a great job. Look at Sunday as an example in the running back room alone. Those guys all stepping up, all scoring touchdowns, all helping us win and making plays. Yeah, a lot of depth, it’s certainly a credit to those guys upstairs but credit to the guys in this locker room. The attitude we have around here with the injuries, no one is feeling sorry for themselves, no one’s down, we all believe and we go.”
Q: How do you develop that?
SMITH: “I think it starts at the top. It certainly starts with Coach Reid and the mindset he has with the team. No one’s blinking. It’s part of the game, things are going to happen and we go.”
Q: Is there a difference between playing on primetime and Monday night over the years?
SMITH: “Certainly there is energy and emotion that comes with that. Certainly you look at the schedule of the week you are preparing, everything gets changed. So there things that go into it, yeah.”
Q: After all the injuries, how big is this game to show what you’ve got?
SMITH: “I think it’s a great opportunity. They are all big opportunities but certainly this one I think momentum can be a big, big thing in this game and I feel like we’ve got a little bit going and would love to keep it going.”
Q: Are you rooting for the Royals and their surge to the postseason?
SMITH: “Absolutely, yeah, no question. How could you not?”
Q: After starting 0-2 and then getting a win, how much of that is a shot in the arm?
SMITH: “I think the win is huge, no question. They are all big games but certainly I think yeah, the way we started and to get that first win and like I said momentum, and trying to keep it going, you realize how long the season is. There’s a lot of football left so they’re all important though. And that first one was our mindset last week and now it’s to get that second.”
Q: Is there a relief factor that you now got that first win?
SMITH: “Yeah, on Sunday. Once you finish and you’re done, then it’s pretty quick. You’re moving on to the next challenge. And the whole you reload so to speak and the whole mindset changes, right? And now it’s to get a chance to get to 2-2. And a big challenge on Monday Night Football with the Patriots coming to town.”
Q: What are your thoughts on the Patriots defense?
SMITH: “Extremely physical up front, extremely physical D-linemen, linebackers and on the back end a group that’s played smart. They’ve been together now for a little bit besides (Darrelle) Revis coming in but certainly he’s played a lot of football and seems to have fit right in. So experienced group back there, extremely physical and big up front.”
Q: What kind of confidence does it give you that you have been converting third downs at a very successful rate?
SMITH: “Yeah, you don’t necessarily think of it as a whole like that but certainly I think we do feel confidence, especially when we get in decent third down situations that we can convert and keep drives alive. Yeah, it just builds. It’s a momentum thing in itself and we do feel like in third down, that is still our down and we can go out there and make plays.”
Q: Your mantra has been to finish this season. Any advice to the Royals about finishing?
SMITH: “No, no. Those guys know what they’re doing better than me and that’s their job.”
Q: This is the first time in your career you are facing the Patriots. What does it take to beat a Belichick-led defense?
SMITH: “Yeah, that’s a good question, trying to put that together. Played them before, I never got to play though and got to watch them though and prepare for them a few times. Certainly they bring their own challenges. Like we just said, I think they’re a talented group, physical up front, and they throw a lot at you scheme-wise, play a lot of different fronts, a lot of different defenses so like I said, a big challenge for us.”
RB JOE MCKNIGHT
Q: Seems like a lot has changed within one week for you.
MCKNIGHT: “No, I mean nothings ever changed. I still have to come in every day and give a hard days work. Still have to go out to practice and do my plays.”
Q: If Jamaal (Charles) is healthy for this game, does that change your role?
MCKNIGHT: “I mean no. I just do my best to stay prepared and be ready to be on the field.”
Q: When you think about the Patriots, what comes to your mind?
MCKNIGHT: “I mean, they’re very disciplined in what they do, very simple.”
Q: What do you think of when you hear Monday Night Football?
MCKNIGHT: “This is a big stage for big time players to show up. We’ve got to come out there and play hard.”
Q: How big was it for you this past weekend with everything you’ve been through since college?
MCKNIGHT: “It was a big weekend, but I’ve just got to put that behind me. That was Sunday and we’re looking on to get ready for Monday.”
Q: Do you find yourself working into the game plan more this week rather than in the past because of your performance?
MCKNIGHT: “I mean it’s still the same way. Jamaal is our running back and you’ve just got to stay ready.”
Q: Do you guys see this as an opportunity on Monday to change everything that has gone wrong for you guys in the first few weeks with injuries and such?
MCKNIGHT: “These last couple of weeks we’ve just been stepping it up. Each week is just a chance for us to execute and do what we do best and play football.”
TE TRAVIS KELCE
Q: Did you miscalculate that play where you tried to jump over the guy?
KELCE: “No. I mean it was just like a miss-juke move. You know, it was just one of those things where that move didn’t work at that time and hopefully next time I try to jump over somebody I don’t get flipped.”
Q: How much different is it in the locker room now that you’ve got that first win under your belt?
KELCE: “Man it’s huge. It’s a huge momentum boost. On top of that it kind of gets us rolling to this Monday Night game.”
Q: That was an impressive win over Miami as well. Does that add to it at all?
KELCE: “No. I mean we know that what we do is special. We have enough guys to go ahead and execute and be special on offense and defensively, we’re always going to be a stout team because of our front. From that point on, it’ll be fun to see what we can do here.”
Q: This will be your first chance to play in a Monday Night Football game. What’s that going to be like for you?
KELCE: “We’ll see. We’ll see. I mean its prime time. The lights are going to be on. It’s going to be fun. Hopefully Arrowhead gives us the rocking stadium that we’re used to and we get the Sea of Red jumping.”
Q: Rob Gronkowski has been one of the tight tends to define the position. How much did you pay attention to him and maybe (Jimmy) Graham? How much has that helped the position of a tight end as a whole?
KELCE: “They’ve definitely set the bar and it’s fun watching those guys play, Gronk especially. He’s a great player. Athletically, it’s hard to find a guy that’s big and strong and as fast as him, but he’s an all-around player. Hats off to him and what he’s done. Hopefully I can go ahead and keep this legacy going with good tight ends.”
OPENING STATEMENT: “As far as the injuries go Eric Berry is making progress, most likely will start practicing when we return, likewise with Jamaal (Charles) and De’Anthony (Thomas). Everybody else really is ok. We came out of the game with guys that played, pretty unscathed. First of all, I think every win that you get in the National Football League is a good win. I think our defense really stepped it up, the leadership on the defense really stepped it up. We’ve had a couple injuries there but Justin Houston, Tamba (Hali), Dontari (Poe), Allen Bailey, (Husain) Abdullah, and then Sean Smith having been from there and knowing that environment, really showed great leadership yesterday. During the tough times when things could have gone either way, our defense really stepped up and kind of ended those situations abruptly. Offensively, I thought we played good, hard, aggressive football. The offensive line, anytime the runners can run like they ran, the offensive line has to be doing a good job. And they did that. Knile (Davis) ran really hard and aggressive and I was proud of him for doing that. We’ve got to continue to eliminate the turnovers. I count the sack and safety in the end zone as turnovers. I think they came out with nine points off of the turnovers. We had the two fumbles one we but the runner and one by the quarterback. We’ve got to do a better job there, none of it happens with the leadership of the quarterback out there, as far as the positive things go with the offense. He’s in complete control and we put a lot on his plate. And he always answers, whether it’s rerouting the run according to what we see and/or the pass game. He made some big throws there. You have to give Joe McKnight some credit too. Joe did a nice job of working in there in the pass game and played well. Special teams we had a couple penalties there that negated some big plays. The tough thing with the special teams is we’ve had a few of the core players on special teams end up being starters. So as much as any position the special teams have to play together, and they have to do that as a unit. So we are piecing new pieces in there, the one consistent is that they are playing hard. We will get the rest of it straight there. But it’s just a matter of time. We just have to have a little patience there, and this isn’t a patient business. But you have to have a little patience there to get that right. And Dave (Toub) is working along with his players like crazy to get that right.”
Q: How much of a concern is ball security with Knile Davis? I know he had a good day, but he dropped the ball a couple times.
REID: “Yeah, he did. The crazy part about that is both of them were high and tight. We always talk about keeping that leverage on the ball. One of them he probably should have put that second hand on it in traffic. The other one was kind of a freak deal. I really haven’t worried much about him in that area and you saw that we came right back to him. It wasn’t like we sat him down so the concern is not there. You can’t put that ball on the ground though, that’s the bottom line. And he’s aware of that. He can learn from that.”
Q: Are Jamaal Charles and Joe McKnight similar in what they can do? More so than Jamaal and Knile Davis?
REID: “One of the challenges as a coach is you try to play to a player’s strengths and what they aren’t good at you keep working to get better at. One of Joe’s strengths is he is a good route runner and Jamaal is too. So they are similar. So you try to incorporate that in there and it’s up to him to do it. Those are read routes that he was running, so he had an option of what he needed to do there. So you kind of tip your hat to him, he made the right reads and did a nice job. The quarterback and him were on the same page with limited amount of reps which is also a part of that.”
Q: Alex Smith has been sacked 11 times in three games, you talked about eliminating turnovers, how do you eliminate sacks?
REID: “Some of that, especially early, was my responsibility. We were in long yard situations, talking about third-and-forevers and I’m asking the guy to take seven step drops to throw the ball. So I’ve got to be a bit smarter with the play calling in a couple situations. And in other ones we need to make sure we block the right guys and do the right things.”
Q: What about Eric Fisher, I know he’s had some detractors since he’s been in Kansas City, in this game he had some good moments. What do you think about him?
REID: “I don’t know about the detractors, we feel very good about him and how he handles things. He’s a good football player and he’s young. He’ll just keep getting better and he did a nice job yesterday. It doesn’t matter who you are or what position you play, you’ve got to give players a little bit of time to grow. You get picked number one and it comes with a little scrutiny. You’re going to have a few eyes on you, but he’s done a nice job this year. We like the progress he’s making. Does he have room for improvement? Absolutely, we all do.”
Q: In the second drive of the second half following Alex’s fumble, four of the last five plays went for over 10 yards. How important of a drive was that for Alex and the offense?
REID: “Yeah, I thought that was big and you feel momentum swaying one way and you want to try and pull it back, get it going in your direction and I think we were able to do that. So, I’d tell you yes. I thought that was a positive start.”
Q: Sean Smith was one of the leaders out there yesterday. What did you take away from his game yesterday?
REID: “I thought that his whole approach going down there, that can go one of two ways when you go back to not only where he makes his home, but also where he played. You can lose your focus and you can allow clutter to get in there and distract you. He didn’t do that. I didn’t think any of the guys from there allowed that to happen. Dwayne (Bowe) makes that his home and (Anthony) Fasano also had played there. So, I didn’t think any of those guys let the clutter in and as a result, to answer your question, I thought Sean (Smith) played a good game too. He did well. He was very aggressive and seemed to have a pretty good feel of what was going on.”
Q: Three tight ends lined up together is little old school. Did you use that for this specific game or is there more of that coming?
REID: “We put that in. Really, we put it into OTAs and then we ran it a little bit last week that personnel group where we threw the ball, but then we did run. So, we thought we could get a decent match there with them. You look at (Demetrius) Harris and the improvement, I mean you look at the improvement that he’s made and those physical blocks that he made in that game. That was pretty impressive. I haven’t mentioned the coaches. I thought the coaches did a nice job on both sides of the ball and special teams, just game planning for this, for the Dolphins. I have a lot of respect for Joe (Philbin) and the job that he does down there and the things that he’s overcome with that organization there. So, anyways, to answer your question, yes.”
Q: With three tight ends, traditionally that tells the other team you are going to run the ball, but with (Anthony) Fasano and (Travis) Kelce and the development of (Demetrius) Harris, is one of the reasons you put them out there is maybe you can’t tell if it is a run play?
REID: “Yeah. They give you some flexibility because they’re all good receivers and the thing that probably will surprise you the most like I said was Harris and his ability to block.”
Q: What did you think of Dee Ford yesterday? Was that another small step for him?
REID: “Yeah, I though he played well. Last week he was in six plays and most of those plays he was in a drop position. This week he had an opportunity to rush the passer and you saw the job that Bob (Sutton) and Gary (Gibbs) did with him putting him in those positions and that’s what he does best right now. I thought he was able to put some pressure on the quarterback and he was playing fast, reckless-type football. It was good.”
Q: Coming off of last week’s 3 of 6 in the red zone to 3 of 3 yesterday, what was the difference?
REID: “I think red zone and those third downs are kind of big stat categories. If you don’t do well in those two spots, you’re normally going to come up short from an offensive standpoint. So, we did well the week before in third down, not as well in the red zone. This week we were able to do okay there. We had some nice plays between Joe (McKnight) and (Travis) Kelce and Alex (Smith). They worked that out, did some nice things there. Hats off to those guys.”
Q: How much does having that extra day in between effect how you guys game plan?
REID: “Our schedule will go like this, we’ll work today. The guys will be in today. They’ll look at the tape and do their lifting and running and that, then they’ll have the next two days off and then we’ll come back in and just go a normal week. So, Thursday will be a Wednesday and then you keep them riding the same routine and go through the week there.”
Q: At the end of the day, how do you judge whether or not your punter had a good day?
REID: “I thought the punter did pretty well. He had a pretty good day. I thought that he was able to change some of the field position for us to our advantage. I thought overall, I think he averaged about 51.”
Q: When you guys were a little slow getting going, he turned the tables.
REID: “Yeah he did. He did. Field position I thought was big. Field position was big in both areas. I’m not sure that I’ve ever been in a game where we’ve been backed up as much as we were, but at the same time, he was able to get us out of trouble there. “
Q: How big is it for you and for the team to have responded to adversity and finished like you have been wanting them to?
REID: “Yeah, well they’ve developed a certain character there. Sometimes you have to go through some tough times to develop that, but they’re playing hard like I’ve mentioned. They’re eliminating clutter and playing hard. That’s a good foundation to start with and you get your execution right as you go there.”
Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid Quotes
September 15, 2014
OPENING STATEMENT: “As far as injuries go (Husain) Abdullah has a foot contusion. Eric Berry has an ankle sprain and Jamaal Charles has a high ankle sprain. Cyrus Gray has a foot strain, looks like he should be heading in the right direction. And De’Anthony Thomas has a hamstring strain but should be able to work himself back in this week, we will just see how he does. As far as the game goes, it was a hard fought game, I was proud of the effort the players put forward. There were some real good things that they did, there were some things that we can do better. I think that’s what I’m most optimistic about, that the guys battled like crazy and we have room for improvement. With that attitude, with the attitude of this football team and the personality that they are building there together, it gives you an opportunity for success. Just to reiterate a couple things, the job that John Dorsey has done on bringing players in here through all the different realms that you can build a team with, as far as draft and free agency. You look at the job that (Ron) Parker did, for example, who’s been working at corner and we asked him to step in at safety and virtually plays the whole game at safety, and I thought he did a nice job. Jaye Howard, the job that he did. (Kevin) Vickerson coming in after just a few days here and Ryan Harris stepping in at tackle. These are guys that are good quality football players that as they get more used to our system in some cases will even get better. That helps to be able to compete when you have a few injuries. From a football standpoint I thought the third down differential was important in this game. Defensively, we held them three-for-eight on third downs. On the other side of that we were able to make 11 out of 16 there. We’ve got to do better obviously in the red zone, both teams struggled a little bit down in there. But we’ve got to do a better job down there of scoring when you have the ball first and goal at the four, you’ve got to make sure you get that in. I take, again, responsibility for that. Cairo (Santos) is taking a little heat right now. He’s a young guy who will continue to get better. There are some things he can do, just mechanically, to fix his issue there with the consistency. He will do that and get himself back on track. None of us have lost trust in him as a kicker, just got to make it a little bit more consistent.”
Q: What’s Jamaal Charles’ time table looking like with a high ankle sprain?
REID: “I don’t know. It doesn’t look to be, these things take time, but it doesn’t look to be real severe. But it does have the component of a high ankle sprain. What does that mean? Well we will see what happens here.”
Q: Categorize Cairo’s confidence level right now.
REID: “He hasn’t missed many field goals in his time, so this is a new experience for him. I would compare it to a batter in baseball, sometimes you get into a funk as a kicker and you’ve got to work your way out of it. He’s hitting it here early, if he figures it out and works it out, he’ll have a nice long career, steady career. And you’ve got to be able to do that as a kicker. Sometimes that ball is going to look real small, sometimes it’s going to look real big. So you’ve got to work through those things.”
Q: How much does this change Knile’s role, can he carry the same work load as Jamaal?
REID: “I don’t think it would change much from what you saw yesterday. He was involved in a lot of different areas. I’m not saying in number of carries. You saw him go and play a few different roles.”
Q: This is two weeks in a row you’ve struggled in the red zone, is it execution, play calling or a combination of things?
REID: “I’ll take responsibility for that. I have to make sure I put the guys in a better position to score touchdowns. We’ll work on that.”
Q: Is there certain things you’ve seen from players that make you not trust them in the red zone?
REID: “No, not at all. I’ll take responsibility for that.”
Q: Why move Ron Parker to safety when you have two safeties on the roster. Are they not familiar enough with the scheme?
REID: “He would probably tell you that’s his natural position, Parker would. But he’s not bad at corner either. We’ve had him learn that position because we want to put who we consider the best players out there as often as we possibly can, even if it means switching positions. We’ve done it with the offensive line, the same type of thing. Moving guys from guard to tackle and tackle to guard. So that’s why he’s out there.”
Q: What were your impressions of the offensive line?
REID: “I thought they did a nice job, they played good physical football. Both in the run and the pass game, is there room to improve? Absolutely, I’d say that about all of us, we’ve got a ton of room to improve here. They are playing a little bit better as a unit and that’s important. I think every game that they play together they’ll improve in that area.”
Q: What about Zach Fulton, he’s a young guy. Where is he at?
REID: “Zach’s getting better every chance he has to get out there. Some of these looks are new looks for him. For a rookie he’s doing a pretty good job right now.”
Q: First game without Derrick Johnson, how would you assess James-Michael Johnson and Josh Mauga?
REID: “I thought for the most part they did a good job. Early, there might have been a couple things in there. I thought they had good communication and set the front well. I thought they played physical football, they tackled well. I think early they settled themselves in and played pretty good.”
Q: Marcus Cooper’s first game and got targeted on that first play and then responded well.
REID: “Yeah, that was probably the perfect call for that coverage that we had on. You respect Peyton for being able to put you in positions like that. So they got us, they got Coop on that one. But he came back and, I thought, did well after that.”
Q: What were you able to do defensively the second half?
REID: “The best thing is to keep them off the field the best way you possibly can. They didn’t have a ton of plays the second half on the field. Then we were able to get pressure on Peyton – which is a tough thing to do. When you get pressure on the quarterback it kind of encompasses everybody. That’s your coverage doing a good job, that’s your front doing a good job. I thought guys stepped up, we had a nice little rotation going there and guys were fresh throughout the game. And again, I’m telling you this, we can even do better. In this thing you count the wins, that’s what you count and we didn’t win the game. So in all areas we can get better.”
Q: Eric Fisher was lined up with DeMarcus Ware the entire game, what were your thoughts on his performance and development?
REID: “I thought he did a nice job. Again, he’ll be able to go back against a top notch pass rusher in pass rush situations and analyze his performance and see where he can even do a better job there. Again, you’re talking about one of the real good pass rushers in this league. I thought he did a nice job and he didn’t worry much about the left side there.”
Q: You chose to defer and put Peyton Manning and that offense on the field first. Why that decision?
REID: “Well I knew we were going to have a 23 play drive in the second half. I wish. The obvious answer there is they got points and we didn’t. Your studies will show you that teams that deferred, for whatever reason and mainly it comes back to that first drive in the second half, have a better win percentage. I’ve always been one that took the ball to start the game. But the studies the past few years have shown the opposite there and I’m not sure exactly of the reason, other than the first drive opportunity knowing what rhythm the opponent is in and being able to come out and take advantage.”
Q: Can you remember the last time you deferred?
REID: “I’ve deferred every game since the first preseason game, I believe it was. We just haven’t won a toss.”
Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid & Player Quotes
September 10, 2014
REID: “Alright. On the injury front, Jeff Allen will not practice today; he’s got the elbow strain. Tamba (Hali) has a sore ankle sprain so he’s going to go do some things. De’Anthony (Thomas) will not practice today, but he’s getting better. We look forward to this week against the Broncos. We know they’re a good football team. Our guys are looking forward to that challenge. We’ve brought some new people in here, and we’ll see how they do incorporating them to the defensive side of the football and we’ll just see. We’ll see. I can’t tell you playtime. I don’t know all that yet. We’ve got to give them a couple of practices here and get it under their belt. We look forward to the new additions. The time’s yours.”
Q: With the Ray Rice thing being very big recently, you were involved in Philadelphia with bringing Michael Vick in, what made you decide you were good with bringing in someone who’s been in trouble like that?
REID: “Yeah, well listen. I’m focusing in on the Denver Broncos and not the Ray Rice situation right this minute, but we’ve talked to the team about it and addressed it there which is important. As far as Michael’s situation, it was a bit of a different situation. However I felt that as long as they go through the repentance process and do those things that are needed there, there are certain cases people should be given a second chance. That’s what America is. As long as they learn from the situation.”
Q: If something occurs here will you have your own team policy?
REID: “Now listen, I can’t get into all of that. Let’s just move on to the Denver Broncos.”
Q: Who takes over on calling the plays in the middle between Josh Mauga and James-Michael Johnson with Derrick Johnson being out?
REID: “Yeah, well, they both do it, they both have done it and they’ll both have certain responsibilities of who calls. I’m not sure if Bob’s (Sutton) made that decision on who he green dots yet.”
Q: Dwayne Bowe’s back and he will do what he normally does?
REID: “He is. Yeah, we’ll ease him back in. Just make sure he gets back into the swing of things. He really hasn’t done much for a few weeks. Remember, he had the quad there before his suspension.”
Q: Do you plan on him playing a full role this weekend?
REID: “Yeah, I believe he will. Yeah.”
Q: He’s getting to be that age where guys in this position tend to lose their skills. What have you seen, if anything from him that would indicate that he’s still got it?
REID: “I’ll tell you, he had a great training camp and preseason. I haven’t seen anything there. I liked what I saw there and he came back in great shape, and I expect that he’ll have a real good year.”
Q: Has his hand issue resolved itself?
REID: “Yeah, he did. He had a finger that he messed up pretty good there, but he’s doing good now. He’s back and ready to roll.”
Q: How much more can you do in the offense with him?
REID: “Frankie (Hammond Jr.) did a nice job for what we asked him to do in the game. Dwayne has been a big part of the offenses here since he’s been here and he was with us last year, he’s an important part of that. He’s somebody the quarterback has a lot of trust in and a lot of reps with. He’s got a high skill level. He’s always got a pretty good chunk of our offense for every game.”
Q: Does it make Alex Smith feel more at ease having him in the line up?
REID: “As a quarterback you like to have your guys there, the guys in particular that you’ve had your reps with. They’ve seen all the looks that you can see and they’ve developed that relationship and trust factor.”
Q: What did you like about Kevin Vickerson bringing him in here? Obviously he’s familiar with Denver.
REID: “He was somebody we were very concerned about last year when we played them. I told him when he got hurt I felt bad for him, but I can’t tell you I was the saddest guy in the world because he’s a pretty substantial load there and a good football player. We welcome him in. He’s coming off an injury that he had and went through training camp and did his thing there. And now he has an opportunity as a seasoned veteran to come in here and help this football team.”
Q: On Monday you mentioned the run defense needs to get stronger, in particular is it disciplined?
REID: “I thought we played real good defense the first half and then things got away from us a bit as the game went on. I thought, for the most part, that first half was good quality football. I thought the offensive side had to pick up the pace there. The defense I thought played good football, we just have to maintain that through the game.”
Q: How much of the run game was losing Derrick Johnson and Mike DeVito?
REID: “The other guys haven’t had as many reps, there might be a little bit of that. I hate to get into that because it sounds like you’re belly aching up here and that’s not what we do. The next guy we expect to come in and play but there was obviously something that took place there without those two in there.”
Q: Just to leverage talking with your players about the Ray Rice thing. Do these guys need to be reminded? They know right from wrong. What’s your message to them?
REID: “I would say we are just a microcosmic society. We have the same issues here that you have in the world. Constant reminders are important, I think, on a lot of things and for all of us.”
Q: Any particular reason Jerry Franklin went off the practice squad instead of Nico Johnson?
REID: “Listen, Nico is a good football player but (Frank) Zombo’s also been working at the mike linebacker and the other kid is a real good special teams player.”
Q: What kind of challenge do you have as a coach not only playing at Denver but also with the injuries that happened on Sunday?
REID: “With this football team, the way they’re wired, I don’t really worry about the latter part of that question. It’s always a challenge to play in Denver, we understand that and we are up for it. We’ll prepare ourselves and get ourselves right. And go up there and play our best football.”
Q: What do you say to the young players about Peyton Manning? They haven’t seen him and all the things he does. How do you prepare a young player for him?
REID: “You’ve have to study him. And he’s going to complete a pass or two, that’s what he does so you don’t get down on that, you get on with the next play.”
QB ALEX SMITH
Q: Are you excited to have Dwayne Bowe back going into Denver?
SMITH: “Yeah, I mean we wouldn’t be very, very excited if he wasn’t a big play maker for us and a real weapon on the outside. So yeah, we’re happy to have him.”
Q: Is Denver the same team that you saw last year?
SMITH: “No, but no team is, that’s the nature of the NFL. There’s so much turn over. For them there’s some new faces, especially for us looking at them. Three big additions in free agency in (Aqib) Talib, (T.J.) Ward and (DeMarcus) Ware, and they have some new personnel besides that. Some young guys playing, some new faces. Even the scheme in general is new. But coaches work on new and put new things in. So yeah, brand new test.”
Q: How do you get 25 (Jamaal Charles) the ball?
SMITH: “There’s a lot of different ways. I think with a guy like him, he’s got a full range of abilities and we’ve shown it in the past. Certainly, I think, Sunday we all looked at it and I wish we could have got him involved more. All last season we did a lot of different things to get him the ball, and hopefully we’ll get back to some of that.”
Q: How does that happen where you get to the end of the game and he only has seven rushes?
SMITH: “I don’t know, that’s a great question. I don’t think we realized it during the game. I think we got one dimensional too soon, probably, in that case. It’s easy in hindsight.”
Q: How important is it to get in manageable third-and-threes?
SMITH: “That’s a big part of the game for sure, not putting yourself in hard third down conversions. In the entire NFL that’s an uphill battle and nobody in the NFL is that great at it. The good third down teams run a bunch of third-and-medium and third-and-shorts and they convert, they sustain drives. That’s the goal. When you do get down there in an area to score point with an opportunity, be opportunistic.”
Q: Is that maybe where you missed Dwayne (Bowe) the most? Maybe turning a first-and-ten to a second-and-two?
SMITH: “I don’t think there’s one area where we missed him the most, there’s a lot of different facets. Dwayne’s the type of player that contributes everywhere, on all areas of the field and in all situations. But that was certainly part of it.”
Q: When you play an offense that is prolific and gets points on the board in a hurry, does it change your mind set at all? Like I’ve got to keep up.
SMITH: “I don’t think you can let it. Certainly, we are trying to score points as an offense. That’s our deal, that’s what our job is. With that, it’s the little things. We just talked about it, we’ve got to have some first and second down production, we’ve got to convert on third down. When we are down there in the red zone, we’ve got to come away with some touchdowns. That’s the deal, it’s easy to say but we’ve got to go out there. And so much of it comes down to the little things, the details.”
Q: You guys didn’t play the way you wanted offensively on Sunday and then you lose two huge guys on defense. Now you’ve got to turn right around and play Denver. What kind of challenge is that?
SMITH: “It’s certainly tough, a lot of adversity early. But we’ve got a good group and I think we’ve got a deep group. There are a couple new faces here but we welcome them in and full steam ahead. We’ve got to go and everybody’s got to trust each other that they’re going to do their job in order for it to work.”
Q: Andy said he talked to you guys about the Ray Rice situation, what do you guys need to be told?
SMITH: “I feel like a lot has been said, and probably enough has been said on that. I don’t think I need to get into it and right now I’ve got my hands full with Denver.”
Q: How well do you know Peyton Manning and were you at all surprised that he was able to come back after the neck injury?
SMITH: “I know Peyton a little bit. I’m not surprised; I don’t know all the details that went on there with the surgeries, his neck, and the injury. But certainly the type of player and competitor he is, no I’m not totally surprised he came back the way he did.”
Q: Do you watch him? Do you think there’s anything in particular that is the key to his success?
SMITH: “A lot of things, you do watch him as a quarterback and you see that kind of longevity. He’s smart first off all, he makes good decisions and he’s accurate with the football.”
FB ANTHONY SHERMAN
Q: How do you go about making sure everyone is held accountable after a loss?
SHERMAN: “Just going and coming to work every day, working hard, and showing guys how to work and guys just try to follow along and just keeping guys and making sure they’re not doing the little things wrong, and just keeping everyone on course.”
Q: When you see the coach go out and take responsibility for what happens on the field, what does that do for you?
SHERMAN: “It just shows the leadership in him (Andy Reid). He realized that he might have made a couple mistakes, so he’s going to let everyone know that it was his mistake. But it’s not all on him. A lot of it is on us. We have to execute the stuff that he calls and we didn’t do that that great last week so it’s on both ends.”
Q: How do you handle the altitude in Denver during the game?
SHERMAN: “Coach Rubin, his strength staff does a great job of keeping us in great shape so we rely on that and just go out there. It’s more of a mental thing and you just don’t let it affect you more than it is actually affecting you.”
Q: Is it still a potent defense in Denver?
SHERMAN: “Oh, absolutely. They have a great front seven, great back end. They did a good job this offseason of adding guys, so we’ve got our work cut out for us but it’ll be a fun challenge.”
DL KEVIN VICKERSON
Q: What happened in Denver? You started 16 games two years ago and then every game until you got hurt.
VICKERSON: “Life in the NFL, that’s all. Some things you can do is control what you can control and that’s all I was trying to do was go out and play hard and show that I was healthy. Business is business so at the end of the day I landed here. I’m happy, I’m glad to be here and just ready to go.”
Q: What can you tell us about getting to Peyton Manning having practiced against him the last few years?
VICKERSON: “Just playing your technique and just getting after the ball. When you have a quarterback – he gets the ball out fast and he’s a king of the no huddle, snap counts and everything like that. So it’s important not to panic when he does go hurry-up, and you’re feeling like it’s a go and then you need to hurry up, but the main thing is keep your composure and play ball. And at the end of the day, if you keep your composure and play ball, everything will work out.”
Q: Can you pick up anything that he is saying at the line that makes sense to you?
VICKERSON: “I don’t know. There’s a lot of stuff, but we’ll see.”
Q: Are you healthy now?
VICKERSON: “Yeah, I’m going to show the world that I’m healthy, so I’m glad to be here, I’m glad I got the opportunity. That’s been a question that’s been circling in my area is, ‘Are you healthy, are you healthy?’ I’m healthy, yes.”
Q: How fitting is it that you’re first game back is against your former team?
VICKERSON: “Well that’s crazy because every time I went somewhere I signed, I always played my former team the first game. I was in Seattle, I got traded to Seattle from Tennessee; I ended up playing Tennessee the first game. I got released by Seattle, picked up by Denver, ended up playing Seattle the second game so the same thing. I’ve seen it all before, same thing. The game doesn’t change, it’s just a ball. Players do, players are the same, that’s the only thing that changes about football. Football is one on one, football is simple, and you can’t overthink it so the game is the game, just go out and play. Play fast and physical.”
T ERIC FISHER
Q: How do you move on and put last week behind you and bounce back against the best team in the division this week?
FISHER: “Just simply do that, you move on. You can’t cut your losses, you’ve just got to move forward. You can’t dwell on the past, look forward to the future and that’s what we’re doing.”
Q: How did it feel to be back on the left side again?
FISHER: “It felt good. Like you said, a comfortable feeling and happy to be back over there.”
Q: How long does it take to find rhythm with new guys on the offensive line?
FISHER: “You just take it a day at a time. It comes naturally and that’s what we’re out here practicing for.”
Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid Quotes
September 8, 2014
OPENING STATEMENT: “Alright, as far as the injuries go, Mike DeVito and DJ (Derrick Johnson) both have Achilles ruptures and will be out for the season, they’ll have surgeries on those. Jeff Allen has an elbow strain; he’s being evaluated right now. It looks like it’s probably more of the bicep than the elbow. (Husain) Abdullah has a quad contusion, Eric Berry – quad contusion, Tamba (Hali) tweaked his ankle – has a slight ankle sprain there and Frankie Hammond hurt his shoulder a bit, but he should be okay. And De’Anthony Thomas had the hamstring strain and is making progress. We’ll just see how he does this week. We’ll get Dwayne Bowe Back and Marcus Cooper back this week which will be a good thing.
For the game, obviously it was disappointing. The positive was the energy that the fans brought and our guys, they appreciate that as do the coaches and the management. We weren’t good enough yesterday obviously, but we’re a young football team and will get better as we go. The guys that are hurt, our heart goes out to them for the hard work that they put in, but we also know that we’ve got some good young players that can step up and do a good job and that’s what is expected of them. The obvious from the game is three turnovers is too much and too many. Our third down efficiency, when you only make one conversion on third downs out of 12 opportunities – that’s a negative. Both of those two I’m directly related to and have a responsibility for, so I’ve got to do a better job on my end of putting the quarterback and the rest of the offense in a better position to make plays. Not giving 25 (Jamaal Charles) the ball more than seven times is negligence on my part also.
Defensively, I thought for the first half we played good football. The second half, the thing that jumps out at you is the amount that they ran the ball and the yards that they got on that. So again, we’ve got to secure that up and do a better job there. As far as special teams go, Cairo (Santos) made one field goal and an extra point and missed one from the 30-yard line. There are no excuses for that. He’s got to make that, he’s very capable of making them, we all know he’s making those. Everybody has trust that he’ll get that worked out. The fake punt was the right thinking. We were short on one block there but the setup was what we wanted and had seen. We just had a deficiency on one of the blocks, and that led to points. And then, when we jumped offsides there when they were in punt formation, that also led to a field goal. Dave (Toub) will be the first one to tell you, you surely don’t want those things to happen there, where it ends up being points for the other team. (Jaye) Howard and (Vance) Walker will work in there like they did yesterday – more Howard yesterday than Walker, but they’ll both have that opportunity to work in on the defensive line with DeVito being down. And then JMJ (James-Michael Johnson) got a lot of reps yesterday, and he’ll also have that opportunity.
We’ll keep our eyes open to fill those spots. We’ll look at our practice squad players, we’ll also look in the free agent area and also any other option that’s available. Dorse (John Dorsey) came back after the game with his guys and they’re looking at different players around the league. Dee Ford probably didn’t have enough snaps, we’ve got to work him into the rotation and do a better job there, which we’ll do. And then as I mentioned we’ll get a couple of the guys back that weren’t out there. As the head coach, I’ve got the guys in here today and they’re going to go through the tape and they’re going to learn, we’re going to continue to teach them and we’re going to get better at what we do. The time is yours.”
Q: What did you see from JMJ and Jaye Howard last year when you brought them in on waivers that made you keep them this year?
REID: “Howard is an explosive player. His big thing was just making sure that was something that took place on every play. Consistency was the factor, he’s shown us that he can do that throughout his time here. He had a good preseason with us and now will have an opportunity to get in there and play a little bit more. We thought JMJ was a good, solid linebacker. We felt that he was – at least from what he had shown – had been better in the sub-group so that’s where we used him a little bit last year and we had started using him in that position this year. But we do feel like he can step up and if he needs to play more, then he’ll play more.”
Q: You mentioned that Jamaal probably didn’t get enough carries; you also mentioned yesterday that Tennessee did some things to take him away. I know you saw the film now, were they stacking the box? What were they trying to do?
REID: “They primarily went with a cover three look and a cover four with a cheat safety look, both of which are good run stopping coverages. And then they played gaps and so on, it wasn’t anything that should have veered us off of the run game as much as it did.
Q: How much of Anthony Sherman kind of getting in the mix there could help with the running game?
REID: “As far as blocking?”
REID: “Yeah, we could have done a little bit more of that.”
Q: You’re very good at taking responsibility for the team, but at what point do you start holding the players accountable?
REID: “We all hold each other accountable. I make sure that I teach the players and that’s what we are here to do as coaches. And nobody knows better than a player if they are not doing their job to the best of their ability. They take a lot of pride in what they do, we are all accountable. My name is on this and this is my press conference. So I’m the one accountable when it’s all said and done. And it goes from there.”
Q: You’re talking about getting Dee Ford more playing time, is he ready for more? Has he earned it?
REID: “He’s getting better in the run game. Right now his strength is the pass game, but he’s getting better. So there are some things you can do rotationally there where he gets in and has an opportunity to play.”
Q: A big guy like that I would have thought he might play more on special teams, is he not there yet with that part?
REID: “Yeah, that’s not necessarily his strong point right now.”
Q: We got a good look at De’Anthony (Thomas) during the preseason, he’s a guy that would help on offense. How much did the timing of his injury kind of hurt you guys as far as getting ready for this game?
REID: “Were we going to use him, is that what you’re saying? Yeah, we were going to use him. But things happen, that’s how this league works. You see it with every team. I’ve got a lot of experience in this business, and I’ve been on teams where things happen. Then you work around it and you get better. That’s where we’re at right now.”
Q: You say he’s getting better, is there a sense of optimism that he’ll be ready to go. Or with a hamstring do you just not know?
REID: “It’ll be a fight for him to get there. Those things normally take a little bit longer, but we’ll see. We’ll see how he does.”
Q: You opened the year with Derrick Johnson, Joe Mays and now it’s JMJ and (Josh) Mauga. I know it’s all next man up and all that, but that’s the guts of your defense. Can’t be another Derick Johnson right now, but how do their skill sets mesh?
REID: “You’ve got scheme and you’ve got players that can play. We still have a lot of good football players on this football team. You’ve got a personnel department that’s looking at different options there and we’ve still got a lot of games left. That allows for optimism there.”
Q: What have you seen from Mauga?
REID: “Mauga, he knows the system. That’s one thing. He was a starter in the nickel package for the Jets, and he’s a good football player, overall a good football player. That’s why we brought him, to give him that opportunity to play, at that time backup, and now he’s asked to start.”
Q: What is their challenge as far as communication on the field? I know they have played a little together in the past, but that was college. What’s the process?
REID: “I think reps, game plan, knowing the game plan, studying it. Like I said, Mauga knows the system, has a pretty good feel for the system. It’s just a matter of getting in there and doing it.”
Q: Did you see any improvement on the continuity of the offensive line as the game progressed?
REID: “I did early. I thought through the first quarter and half, we had a little bit of flow going. We had some penalties that took some things away. I saw some positives there. Do we need to get better? Yeah, we need to get better.”
Q: How much do you think watching Derrick Johnson will help JMJ? Have you seen growth in JMJ?
REID: “DJ is a great example, he’s not going anywhere. He’ll be around too, so he can continue to be a good influence for these guys.”
Q: What are your thoughts on the way Travis Kelce played in his 18 snaps? What does he need to do to get more playing time?
REID: “Keep doing what he’s doing. Keep learning. He’s a good football player, and so we’ve got to continue to work him in there.”
Q: Is it a knowledge thing for Kelce?
REID: “He’s young, but he’s capable of more than 18 plays. I’ve just got to make sure I call those plays.”
Q: What is the hardest part in staying committed to the running game?
REID: “Well this offense is best when there’s balance, so I’ve got to make sure that I maintain that and continue to give your best player – or one of your best players – the football. So that’s just doing it.”
Q: How do you evaluate Alex Smith’s performance after three interceptions?
REID: “Listen, I’ll take responsibility for those and the situations that I put him in there. Those weren’t good situations. And we’ll go back to the drawing board with that and make sure we get them right.
Q: Do you feel like your players are closer to learning how to finish?
REID: “Well, I thought they played hard, that’s what I thought. That’s a positive that you can take out of this game. We’ve got to get our execution right, particularly on the offensive side and I’ve got to make sure again that I put these guys in the right positions to do that. And we’ll get that done. We need to get back to the drawing board here and make sure the players see the game tape, go out and have a good practice, and we learn from our mistakes and move on.”
Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid & Player Quotes
September 3, 2014
HEAD COACH ANDY REID
OPENING STATEMENT: “Alright, as far as injuries go really the only one to talk about is Eric Kush. He won’t practice today, he has a shoulder that is injured, and we will see how he does the next couple days. We haven’t counted him out for this game. Just a quick recognition to Brian Waters - anytime you play in this league for 11 plus years, in particular, the 11 years right here in Kansas City, have six Pro Bowls under your belt, and won Man of the Year, you’ve covered most of the bases. I couldn’t stand competing against him because he’s a heck of a football player, and I didn’t have a chance to coach him. But I know the organization holds him in high regards, in particular, Clark and the Hunt family. He’s one of the all-time favorites that they’ve had here. We, and I, wish him well in retirement and nothing but the best as he goes forward. With that, we look forward to the opportunity to play the Tennessee Titans. We know they are a good football team; they’ve got a new coaching staff. Similar situation to what we came into last year as a team. They are playing good, hard, aggressive football. We did play them last, basically the same personnel with the exception of a couple spots. Probably the primary one is the quarterback, (Jake) Locker is back and he’s a heck of a player. They are an explosive team and they play great defense. Ray Horton is a quality defensive coordinator, and he’s got good players there. Offensively, Ken Whisenhunt has a great track record of not only being a head coach but being an offensive mind. We’ve got to make sure that we prepare ourselves, go through all the steps that it takes here each day, take care of business, learn the game plan, learn the personnel we are playing against, understand the schemes and then go play.”
Q: A.J. Jenkins is good to go?
REID: “Yeah, A.J. did the walk through and he’ll go out there unless there’s a setback. He’s scheduled to go today.”
Q: Donnie Avery last year showed flashes, early in the year against Philly and at the end of the year against Indy. What can we expect to see from him in the middle?
REID: “Donnie was hurt last year. He’s recovered and coming off a really good camp. He’s a great kid, obviously, and he’s shown great toughness out here. He didn’t miss a day of practice, so he’s all in. Very good leader, and it’s good to have him on this football team. He can still run very fast, so we’re excited to have him healthy.”
Q: So it was a health issue, the ankle then the shoulder?
REID: “It was the shoulder primarily. The shoulder, for him to push through and play, that was something.”
Q: Obviously with Dwayne Bowe out, how important is it for Donnie to be a target?
REID: “Just to be Donnie, that’s all he has to be. He doesn’t have to be anything other than that. Likewise, I’ll tell you the same thing about Frankie (Hammond Jr.). Go play and play your game. You don’t be anybody different or do anything different.”
Q: There’s a pattern of NFL teams when they make a big jump like your guys did last year, they fall back a little bit. In Philly you avoided that, is there anything in particular that allowed you to do that?
REID: “I don’t know that, other than good players and good coaches and working hard. I think that normally works. I’m not here to predict any future or anything else. The guys have worked their tails off and we’ve got good quality players. Now we need to just go play and that’s the part I get excited about. They’ve worked so stinking hard, now let’s go play and whatever happens, happens.”
Q: When you were in Philly was that on your mind at all?
REID: “Not at all. It hasn’t really been on my mind until you mentioned it. We do it one way and I think hard work is a part of that.”
Q: You’ve got three College Free Agents that made the team this year and 15 on the roster total, is there a common thread among those guys that have allowed them to overcome the odds?
REID: “There’s a variety of positions there, right? Starting with the kicker who had a tough battle against a good football player, Ryan (Succop), and ended up winning that out. I guess the common denominator is execution of what they were asked to do, doesn’t matter the position. I guess execution would be the primary thing.”
Q: You mentioned similarities between the Titans this year with Whisenhunt there and what you went through last year. Do you think you caught some people off guard last season? Is there any advantage at all to being a new coach in a new system? Do you study the tendencies at Arizona?
REID: “I mean, they are doing similar things. They aren’t going to change that much, it’s been successful for them at Arizona, the offensive side, and the defensive side when Ray was there. So I don’t see a huge difference in what they’ve done. Normally, you’re going to coach what you know best and present it to your players. It looks like that’s what they’ve done.”
Q: We haven’t seen Eric Berry on the field in a preseason game. Concerns about rust? How is Eric?
REID: “He had good practices the last couple days. I’m not worried about it. He knows what he needs to get done and he’ll do it. I’m not saying that he won’t have to get caught up on speed of the game but I think he’ll be fine.”
Q: Taking nothing away from the effort of Daniel Sorensen but is there a coincidence that it was kind of an Achilles heel that Eric Berry wasn’t in and you guys were a little vulnerable on big plays.
REID: “I think it was great for Sorensen to have the opportunity to show, especially working with the first group. I think it was absolutely positive for him, a lot of reps.”
Q: Talking about Whisenhunt, if you’re getting prepared for a Whisenhunt offense, first off is he from the Ron Erhardt kind of school? And what is his signature as an offensive mind?
REID: “Well, he’s always combined a solid run game with a good short intermediate game. And he’ll take his shots periodically. But he’s pretty well rounded there around the pass.”
Q: Got some young guys and some guys out of position on the offensive line. Not a ton of time playing together as a unit. What’s their readiness?
REID: “Well, I’m expecting them to play well. So I don’t really care about the position that you play, I just care that you go execute it. It doesn’t have to be pretty, I don’t care about that either. I just care that you get the job done and the guys here are wired that way. And I think they look forward to the challenge, this defensive line is a good defensive line that we are playing. It’ll be a good challenge for them.”
QB ALEX SMITH
Q: Is there a different feel to the game week now with preseason behind you?
SMITH: “Yes, absolutely. They count, this is it. No question you want to go out there and win every game and play well and execute but as soon as that fourth preseason game is done, the slate is clean. No one remembers and no one cares what your record is. These count, the win-loss column counts, and so no question the atmosphere and energy is definitely different.”
Q: Can you talk about Donnie Avery and what you expect him to do?
SMITH: “Yeah, he’s a real matchup for us. I think a real playmaker, big, big-time speed and with that comes big play potential. I think the tough thing with last year is Donnie played through a lot, got banged up, kind of played through it, gutted it out a lot of times, but certainly I don’t think was 100 percent at all times, which is hard. So I think with that, yeah he was a guy we looked at last year, I know I certainly did at times and could’ve done a lot more. There was a lot out there that we left on the field and certainly I think we need to take advantage of at times because there are some times we have some matchups that are really favorable with him.”
Q: How nice is it to have your contract taken care of before the regular season?
SMITH: “Yeah, I think the biggest thing is that it’s done and the peace of mind of not having to deal with it. It’s all on football and the focus is there 100 percent, that it’s not sitting in the back of your head, thinking about playing for a new contract as you go out on the field. Anything else, you’re living week to week. You’ve got to go out there and play well this week and we’ve got to prepare this week and try to find a way to win. As a quarterback that’s your deal and you’re not thinking beyond that so very, very shortsighted.”
Q: What about having three healthy tight ends and how they can add another dimension?
SMITH: “Yeah, no question. I think that’s a part of it. Every room, every especially skill position room on offense, yeah, they all have a piece to play and I think it’s our job collectively to get it done. It’s certainly no question the tight ends I think are a matchup for us. I think we like that, I think we like getting them on the field and seeing how teams play us and the balance that we have with those guys on the field, run and pass.”
Q: Is there any way to quantify the difference between a first year and second year system?
SMITH: “No, it’s tough. I think when you step back, you look at the years as a whole, you could. But the matchups are so unique every year, they’re always changing, and this week it’s a new matchup vs. certain personnel and scheme and you’ve got to try and find a way to go out and execute against it. The next week it’s different, and the week after that is different so tough to compare. Certainly we’re ahead of the game from where we were last year as far as what we have in and I think what we’re capable of. It’s a matter of going out there and playing up to that though. You still have to do it, you’ve got to go out there on Sundays and play well. I think it comes down to execution and all of those little details.”
Q: Was last year at all complicated as far as getting the offense down?
SMITH: “Yeah, it’s complicated because it’s news. These are NFL offenses, they’re all complicated. Regardless of volume or anything like that, just the details of what you are doing. So no question, as the season went on, you got more comfortable with it because you were doing it so that’s only natural.”
Q: How collective is the process of game planning?
SMITH: “Some weeks more than others. Some weeks, ideas hit you, you look at them and coaches accept the ideas and some weeks the stuff is already in and ready to roll. So it just depends. But certainly us as a quarterback room, once we get the gameplan, we digest that together, and going through it and trying to play the game in advance as you’re watching film, as you’re getting the looks out on the practice field with the looks. Yeah, you’re trying to digest that and go through all the what-ifs and have answers for all of them.”
Q: What gives you hope that you will be able to do the same things on offense this year even if teams know what is coming?
SMITH: “I think the package on the offense that Coach Reid and Doug (Pederson) put together speaks for itself, that it’s comprehensive enough especially with his role that it’s tough to defend, that you can’t defend all of it. Certainly it’s up to the other guys on the field, especially in the perimeter group, that we need to pick up the other end of that so they can’t defend everybody. And if they want to give Jamaal (Charles) a bunch of attention, then other guys are going to have opportunities and we need to capitalize.”
Q: What is realistic to expect from the offensive line in this first game?
SMITH: “To be honest, I haven’t even thought about it. And I don’t think necessarily like that. For us, what do we need to do as an offense to go out and execute and put points on the board and then what do we need to do as a team – the 53 guys in that locker room – to find a win no matter who’s out there. There’s no real stat sheet for those guys up front, it’s just we’ve got to go out as a unit and find a way to win. Everybody’s got to do their job – quarterback, guard, receiver, whatever. We all have to go out there and execute in order for the group as a whole to have a chance.”
Q: So do you reach out to the younger guys like Frankie Hammond Jr. with no Dwayne Bowe there?
SMITH: “To be honest, nothing different than I would do on any week preparing. If I’ve got little things with Dwayne, I’m going to tell him. If I’ve got little things for Frankie on certain plays, I’m telling him that, no question. If I guess I saw something that I felt like I needed to say, I would, but certainly Frankie for example, I feel like he’s a guy who prepares hard every day so I’m not worried about it.”
Q: How important is it for this team to go out there and make a statement?
SMITH: “I mean, the statement is the win. That’s all that we’re worried about is just trying to find a way to win and every team, all 32 teams in the NFL are trying to do the exact same thing and Tennessee is trying to do the same thing. You just hope you’ve done all the little things preparing and those little things on game day that will give you the edge. I don’t think there’s a statement we’re trying to make other than get to 1-0.”
Q: You wore that Len Dawson shirt a couple of weeks ago. How important is it to you guys to win for not only yourself, but for these ambassadors?
SMITH: “I think it just lends itself to the environment around here. There’s a tremendous amount of tradition, tremendous amount of family-feel around here going all the way back to the beginning and you can feel that. I felt it from my first day here and I think that’s only a part of it. You walk around the building and it’s the same thing. You see it. You see the past, you see the history. Certainly with Len, we get to see him a lot. It’s great, and for me as a quarterback, that’s awesome. I get to pick his brain here and there and to talk to him, but certainly it kind of speaks to the bigger deal and the environment around here and how special it is to have that kind of tradition and legacy and family-feel.”
Q: Can you talk about the Tennessee defense? Is there a different feel of this defense?
SMITH: “Tough to know to be honest. Certainly a lot of the personnel is the same so you kind of look at the film from last year from a personnel perspective of who you’re playing, but for me as a quarterback, I feel like I’m playing against all of the guys. So for me, it’s a little more beneficial looking at the scheme as well as the personnel. That’s tough. Are they showing everything in the preseason or are they not? Are they saving stuff? Are they hiding stuff or surprising you with something. So, a little bit. You’re kind of preparing for the unknown. You try to prepare for everything, have some answers. Know you might get something that they didn’t show because it was only preseason.”
TE TRAVIS KELCE
Q: How hard was it just watching last year?
KELCE: “It was a really frustrating time but I’d rather not go into the dark ages because right now I’m living high and I’m ready to get things rolling on Sunday.”
Q: How do you tamper that excitement playing in front of your fans this weekend?
KELCE: “I’m as excited as everyone else is to see what I can do out there. I put the most expectations on myself more than anyone can possibly put on me so I’m putting in the work now so that Sunday I can really just go out there and let it go.”
Q: Are you a fantasy football guy? What if I told you people have identified you as a sleeper pick?
KELCE: “I don’t live in a fantasy world. I’m living the dream, but I’m not living in a fantasy world. Hopefully I won’t be a sleeper for too long.”
S KURT COLEMAN
Q: Why did you choose to sign with Kansas City?
COLEMAN: “I think this defense is a phenomenal defense with what they put up last year. And I think what they’re trying to build on for the second year with the defensive coordinator (Bob Sutton), I think I can be a great fit for this defense and help just make plays the way they do consistently. I think this thing is something special that they’re building here. I just want to be part of something special.”
Q: Where do you think you project in this defense?
COLEMAN: “Right now I’m doing both (free safety and strong safety). I’m learning a little bit of everything. I’m trying to take it all in like a sponge and hopefully every practice I get more and more comfortable in the system. Obviously, there are going to be some growing pains because it’s crash course. But I think I can pick things up pretty quickly.”
Q: Did already knowing Andy Reid affect or weigh in your decision to sign in Kansas City?
COLEMAN: “Obviously I know a lot of the guys on the offensive staff, the training room and it’s a comfortable nature. I felt very welcomed when I came here. But also I think the defensive role, I saw myself being able to come here, play just as big of a role because I want to be able to play, I want to be able to contribute and help this team win.”
RB JAMAAL CHARLES
Q: The season is here. Does it ever not get exciting as ever? Here you are through the preseason and you’re not overworked. Are you itching to go?
CHARLES: “Yeah, I’m very excited. I’m very mature now, I’m 27 years old and I’ve seen a lot through the years I’ve played in the NFL. I know how to handle these situations, I didn’t know how to start a game at Arrowhead and now I’m experienced and I know how to open a game at Arrowhead. I can help the young guys as well and be a leader.”
Q: What do you tell the young guys about the season opener?
CHARLES: “It’s no pressure. There’s going to be a Sea of Red and a lot of fans are going to be excited. It’s going to be packed and just go with it. It’s joyful to play here on Sundays and you show out. When you get the opportunity to make plays, you’ve got to make plays.”
Q: Is there a difference between the week leading up to the season opener? Do you know this is the week when it’s for real?
CHARLES: “Yeah, its game time, its game week. Everybody has a different feeling. Coaches are excited, they are pumped. I know my running backs coach (Eric Bieniemy) is really excited, he texted me at six o’clock in the morning. I told him, ‘I’m still asleep and don’t do that anymore’. So, I mean he’s really excited, he can’t wait to go. I’m excited to get back on the field and start making more history, again. I have more records to break; it’s all about breaking records.”
Q: What are your goals? What records are you trying to break?
CHARLES: “Anything, I don’t tell people my goals. I just go out there and whatever comes up. Records are meant to be broken. So that’s what I go out there and do, and try to help my team win.”
Q: How important is it to win the first game?
CHARLES: “I mean winning your first game; you always want to win your first game. I’ve e been wanting to win my first game since I was in Pop Warner playing and in college. Winning that first game is important, things happen, but our goal out there is to win the first game of the season. We’re not even worrying about who our next opponent is because we’re just taking it one game at a time. Whoever comes next that’s who comes next.”
WR DONNIE AVERY
Q: How do you become more consistent as a player through 17 games?
AVERY: “The biggest thing is just staying healthy, just being out there. I felt like even though you might think I fell off, I was still available to help the team whether it was blocking, taking two down the field or wherever.”
Q: Do you see a bigger role for you this year with it now being your second year here?
AVERY: “Year two, we know the system. Last year was the foundation, so we’re building on the foundation. And just whenever coach calls, we’ve got to be there to make plays.”
Q: Do you think your role will be any different this week without Dwayne Bowe in the lineup?
AVERY: “No, I think coach is going to put us – everybody that’s playing – in position to make plays. It’s my role this game to calm down all the rookie guys, tell them, ‘hey, this is an ordinary game, just be yourself and go out there and play hard.’”
Q: What do you think about Frankie Hammond Jr. going out there in his first real NFL game?
AVERY: “He’s a cool, collected guy. Nothing seems to faze him. I think he’ll do well.”
Q: How do you not put too much pressure on yourself with you now being the number one receiver for this week?
AVERY: “Coach is going to put us in position to make plays. Wherever it is, we are going to be there, whether it’s putting me in some of Dwayne Bowe’s plays backside or putting the young guys in some of Dwayne Bowe’s plays. We’ve just got to step up and take that role.”
TE ANTHONY FASANO
Q: What do you expect from the tight ends this year?
FASANO: “Tough year last year, some injuries, some guys stepped up, but we’re onto a new year now and I think we had a good camp and we’re getting better day by day. I think the tight ends in this offense can really be a weapon and can help us create some mismatches and help win games.”
Q: Have you thought about in numbers what the tight ends could produce for this offense if you guys stay healthy?
FASANO: “I think you can go back to Coach Reid’s offense and history and try to track those numbers. I haven’t. I think they’re pretty consistent and pretty strong.”
Q: Seems like he likes to keep you active in the offense. Is that why you came here?
FASANO: “Sure, yeah. Coach Reid has a great history with tight ends in this offense and part of the reason I came. Super frustrating year last year, but hope to erase that and be productive this season.”
Q: What is your comfort level with this offense from last year?
FASANO: “I feel pretty comfortable. There were times last year coming in on Wednesdays getting new plays and having to adjust, but this year so far I feel pretty comfortable and able to help out some of the younger guys when I can but also kind of concentrate on my details at my position and my responsibilities.”
Q: What are your thoughts on Travis Kelce and the threat he can have out deep as well as his range?
FASANO: “Very athletic. It’s good to have him back. He’s not only a great player on the field, he’s a good guy in the locker room, in the huddle, has a lot of spirit, youthful attitude, but he’s going to be a problem for the defenses and we look forward to getting two of us on the field and even three of us sometimes and creating mismatches.”
CB SEAN SMITH
Q: How excited are you to start up a new season? Does this week have a different feel?
SMITH: “It is, it is. You know, it goes back to OTAs. We’re grinding out in that heat going against our offense every day, going through camp. Same thing, pounding against our own offense. So, we finally get to go out there and show what we’ve got for real.”
Q: You faced (Tennessee Head Coach Ken) Whisenhunt twice last year. Does this help in your game plan?
SMITH: “It definitely does. We understand that he did play, well he did coach for San Diego and they might carry over the same offense. Their playmakers are kind of similar in the sense that they have a very athletic tight end. They have some shifty guys out there on the edges. So, we assume they’re going to come out there and carry on the same game plan they’ve faced us with before. You never know. You go off what you see in season and preseason. As long as you prepare your technique you’ll be alright.”
Q: When you play against a team that runs 11 personnel exclusively, does that change anything for you as a cornerback?
SMITH: “For me, it doesn’t change anything. I think last year we pretty much ran nickel which means someone else was in 11 personnel pretty much, almost, the whole season. We’re definitely used to it. In the DB room we actually look forward to it because we have more of our guys on the field. That’s why it’s fun.”
Q: What’s the comfort level of all of you in defensive back field?
SMITH: “It’s cool. I mean the good thing we have pretty much the same guys with the exception of Chris Owens coming in. So much of the same guys we had last year, guys are getting the opportunity to step up, make some plays for us. We’re all tight; we all hang out with one another off the field. The comfort level, it’s up there.”
Q: How much did you miss Eric Berry on some of those balls that you guys did get beat on?
SMITH: “Not only did we miss him as a person, but as a leader, playmaker out there. You can’t replace Eric Berry, but I think the one positive that came out of it was guys stepped up. We understand that he brings so much to the table and we weren’t looking to one guy to replace him. We all brought energy, effort, excitement. We all hustled to the ball and try to make those plays that Eric would usually make.”
There are no games scheduled for today.