Chiefs Coordinator Quotes
November 19, 2015
OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR DOUG PEDERSON
Q: What were your thoughts on your offense’s performance after looking at the video of the game against Denver?
PEDERSON: “Glad we won, biggest stat of them all, right there, wins and losses. It wasn’t the cleanest performance, offensively, we left a lot of plays on the field. That part is encouraging because that’s where you get better and that’s where you learn from that – all 11 players, or whoever played in the game on Sunday and you learn. And the next time we’re going to see a very similar defense this week with a lot of guys coming back from injury. They’re going to be full-steam. We’re going to see the same style, we can take a lot of stuff we did last week and learn from it and get better. But again, the bottom line that we did win the game was the encouraging part.”
Q: What does the term ‘we left plays on the field’ mean?
PEDERSON: “It means that we had opportunities to make longer runs, sustain blocks, complete throws, catch throws. Things that are kind of routine that we think, as NFL coaches and players, are routine. Plays need to be made and those are the things that we left out there that would’ve given us more opportunities to stay on the field instead of some of those three-and-outs that we had.”
Q: How much does game situation play into the aggressiveness you might show? In the third quarter, you had the ball three times in good field position and had three three-and-outs.
PEDERSON: “No, it doesn’t. In fact, you’re still in full-steam-ahead mode. Anytime you’re playing at that point, whoever was their quarterback – Peyton (Manning) or Brock (Osweiler) – they’re an explosive offense, we know that. They’re a great defense, we know that, so we have to continue to be aggressive. 19 points is not enough against the Broncos and we knew that. Again, it goes back to some of the plays that we left out there, whether it was sustaining a block or completing a pass, catching a pass, those types of things that broke down, that created those three-and-outs for us. 19 is not enough in this league and we have to stay aggressive in those situations.”
Q: Is Alex Smith pressing the issue and taking more chances? He hasn’t thrown an interception since Week Three, is that a sign that he might not be doing it as much as you’d like?
PEDERSON: “He is doing that for us. And you go back to the London game, some of the throws he made there – that touchdown pass to Jeremy (Maclin) down the middle of the field with tight coverage. And last week, the last touchdown there to Charcandrick, to be able to move in the pocket and locate him coming out of the backfield. Some of the things we’re asking him to do, he’s doing it. He knows in his mind, and we know in our mind that he’s just one of those quarterbacks that’s going to protect the football. We always have a touchdown, checkdown mentality – if it’s not there, find the back, find the tight end. He’s very good at that. It’s been a very positive thing for us, offensively, not turning the ball over.”
Q: Do you think things will be different this week from how they were last week in regards to field position because of picks?
PEDERSON: “We do, we do. I mean, you look at the last couple of weeks and we have been able to do that. Those are some of the things we take away from the Bronco game, is that we didn’t sustain that drive. We had great field position and we ended up with three points, but we still feel comfortable and confident that we can – if we need to go 80, we can go 80. We did it against Denver the first time when we needed to score. We went down to score to go ahead in that game. We’ve done it a couple of times this year, against Pittsburgh and teams like that where we know we can do that. We have to be clicking on all cylinders and it’s a mindset. You get into that third and fourth quarter and the guys have to realize where you are in the game and go make the plays that are necessary to stay on the field.”
Q: How important is it for your receivers to have a physical attitude and be willing to block?
PEDERSON: “We ask them to do a lot in the run game and it just kind of carries over. That’s just an extension of the run game in our minds. We ask our receivers to do a lot of that and I think you’ve seen it here lately. You’ve seen Jeremy (Maclin) down the field on certain blocks, allowing our backs and receivers to make longer runs. We’re going to continue to ask them to do that, it’s a pride thing with them and they welcome it. I think it just opens up a lot more in your passing game.”
Q: Has there been anyone in particular that has led the group in that area?
PEDERSON: “I think you just watch what Jeremy’s done in the last couple of weeks on the blocks he’s made downfield. I think it feeds to the younger player—to Albert (Wilson), to Chris (Conley), the guys that are in there playing. Jason (Avant) can do it because we ask Jason to do it quite a bit in the run game, especially in tight situations. It just feeds to the younger player. Jeremy has done a nice job there.”
SPECIAL TEAMS COORDINATOR DAVE TOUB
Q: Was last Sunday as solid of a special teams day as you’ve had even without a big play?
TOUB: “Yeah, it was solid because anytime you can recover three onside kicks, that’s a good day - because at the end of the day, you’re setting up your offense. And they’re trying to create a turnover, those are high-stress situations and the guys handled them well, they rose to the challenge and made big plays there.”
Q: What happened on the last field goal?
TOUB: “We had an operation problem between the three, one of the three guys. It happens. It won’t happen again, let’s just say that.”
Q: As far as Dustin Colquitt, have you been around a guy that’s had that kind of touch inside the 20?
TOUB: “I think he’s the best there’s ever been, really. When you look at it, over the years, 40 percent of his kicks are inside the 20. It’s unbelievable over the years. I don’t know if there’s anybody that’s been even close to him – maybe the guy that was at the Giants for years, (Jeff) Feagles. But I don’t think there’s anybody else closer than him. He does such a great job, he’s so consistent with it, confident.”
Q: Why is he so good?
TOUB: “He looks at it as an art craft. He takes pride in it. He’s so disappointed when he hits a touchback, I mean it really crushes him. He takes it upon himself to be the guy that’s going to do it, let alone having a gunner down there to make the play, too. When you combine it with him and the gunner being in good position, we’re going to have a high percentage of those kicks inside the 20.”
Q: What is the reasoning behind not seeing anyone try to kick the ball out of bounds anymore?
TOUB: “The evolution of the rugby kick. Yeah, it’s the evolution of the rugby kick down there. It used to be coffin corner, coffin corners no more. I mean, that was Feagles, what he used to be good at but now the rugby kick with the spin, when it hits, it comes back. So, everybody goes with that. It’s a much more high-percentage kick. Everybody has that now. You can’t be an NFL punter without having the rugby kick.”
Q: With Knile Davis being inactive, do you guys lose anything as far as kickoff returner?
TOUB: “We had a choice to make. Knile doesn’t, of course I like to have him, but you can’t just have a guy up just, you know, he’s only playing one phase. You have to make tough decisions sometimes and that was one of them. I think De’Anthony is good or as good. He’s a different style than him (Knile Davis) and we have other guys that can do it too, as well. You have to make tough decisions sometimes and that had to be one of them.”
Q: Are you getting a little anxious about getting a return for touchdown?
TOUB: “When I was in Chicago, we had Devin Hester, 2006, 2007, where we broke all kinds of records. 2008, 2009 – not one touchdown for two years straight, so we’ve got a long way to go before we get to that point. And there, we came back and had a whole bunch more after that. Touchdowns are hard to get, they don’t just come. When you get one it’s a special thing. I think we’re getting closer, I think the guys are working hard, we’ve got a lot of season left, too.”
Q: Who would you say is your number one kick returner right now?
TOUB: “Kick returner? It’s De’Anthony (Thomas). He’s our number one.”
DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR BOB SUTTON
Q: Is there something you tell your guys when facing a team that has been successful at getting yards after the catch?
SUTTON: “We’ve had this with different teams. One of the key factors, anytime you’re dealing with explosive runs after the ball is caught, it really demands everybody’s attention that when the ball is thrown you might be on the opposite side of the field but you have to play like you’re the key element in this whole deal. And you have to bring that mindset on. Just like handling (Danny) Woodhead coming back out of the backfield, cross formations or screens or whatever it is. You just really have to have good intensity and realize you can’t afford to not be at top speed every play because these guys can run and catch the ball. They’re doing a great job of getting the ball out quick. And so, consequently, they’re making a lot of catch-and-run style plays. I think that’s the most important thing of all.”
Q: Your defense has been consistent over the last few games, has this been a pleasant time compared to the start?
SUTTON: “I think consistency is a good word because in the beginning there were stretches, as we’ve talked about here, where we were playing really well and then whether we didn’t finish a game or whatever – we didn’t maintain it and go like that. But I think, again, over this period of time the one thing I really credit the players and the assistant coaches for doing a great job is drilling down and practice and preparation. I think that we’ve been able to maintain a high level. And we talked before about winning and losing. You can’t let that affect how you prepare and how that affects the next game. And so far, they’ve been able to keep ramping this thing up and if we do that we have a chance. Because we all know the key to this drill is you have to keep getting better. We have been able to stack a few together but we can’t back off now or we’ll be right back to where we were.”
Q: How much has that growth helped that your key group, with the exception of Marcus Peters, has been together before?
SUTTON: “I think when we were struggling there when we talked. I mean they had all been in the system, they have all seen the system work, they have all made the system work. I think that they trusted they could get it back to where they wanted to as long as we keep working. I think one of the real challenges when you’re not getting the tangible results is to maintain that belief that if we keep doing these things and we keep busting our tail that eventually we will get what we want. And that’s why we’re really happy with the way that the guys have approached it.”
Q: On aggressiveness of the secondary in recent games.
SUTTON: “Well I think you don’t want to ever be gambling. You want to play to tendencies, the things like you know. Like they say all the time, knowledge is power. So what you can learn about an offense and what you know about the defense and then be able to take advantage. Because defense is really knowing where your help is, that’s the key part to any defense whether you’re in run defense or pass defense. You have to understand where you’re at in this thing and how you’re going to leverage the football, whether it’s being thrown or whether it’s being ran. And if you do that, that can allow you to play with your tendencies a little stronger and if you don’t have the support - if you’re the last line, width or depth wise, then you have to respect that as well. But I think some of it comes from understanding the route combinations. Obviously you want to adjust to whoever the quarterback is because certain quarterbacks do certain things better than others, whether it’s throwing the ball down the field or outside. Whatever it is, you have to be able to understand all of those things as you get ready during the week.”
Q: What are your thoughts on Philip Rivers?
SUTTON: “Well, obviously, if he isn’t he’s got to be the closest to the highest ranked quarterback in our league. He’s at over a 100 quarterback rating and 19 to seven touchdowns to interceptions. And that was pretty much what he was last year. I think when we played them last year he was at 98 or 99 quarterback rating, which is outstanding. I think the thing that has been really impressive about Philip, no matter who comes into the game, it doesn’t faze him a bit. His production hasn’t gone down, he hasn’t changed, and I just think he’s done a tremendous job. He’s a high intensity competitor, he loves to compete and there’s no throws he can’t make and he usually tries all of them before it’s over. He’s that good and you just have to go battle this guy because it’s never going to be over and their team in this stretch isn’t a lot different than our team when we were in that stretch. Pretty close to getting through but didn’t. But when you watch him and if you didn’t have the scoreboard, at the end of the game, you’d think this is a real problem here. He’s playing really well I think and they have two really good guys in (Danny) Woodhead and (Antonio) Gates that are tough on defenses and (Philip) knows how to use them, trusts them, knows where they’re going to be and they’re just a really good offensive football team. They’re the number one passing team, number four overall in third and fourth down conversions. I think second in number of first downs in a game as well, so they’re playing really well on offense.”
Q: How much does it help going forward when you look back on the games from last year?
SUTTON: “You can always take things, good and bad, out of any competition when you look back on it. But it’s a different team, they had guys out on the line last year when we played them. There was different things happening and you just have to go. When a guy gets the ball out that quick you have to cover tight and hope you can get him to hold it for just one more click and maybe you can get home on it. I think that’s the biggest thing. The thing with a guy like him, when anyone throws a ball that quick you can’t get frustrated. The key thing out of it is moving the ball. If they’re not moving the ball and the chains aren’t changing then don’t worry. Just keep on pressing and eventually we’re going to get our chance, and he’s going to hold it one more click and maybe you can’t get him down but he’s a hard guy to get down.”
Q: When their offensive line is healthy does that help their offense get to the next level?
SUTTON: “Oh yeah, I’m sure they think that they would. Those are big, good, football players. And I’m sure that that would matter a lot, and what’s happened, I think, is they’ve now done a really great job of getting the ball out quick. So maybe through necessity, but they’ve done it and now they’ve got that going and if they get both of those guys back, I’m sure they plus themselves in that regard.”
Q: What did you say to Peyton Manning after the game?
SUTTON: “You would have to ask him.”
Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid
November 13, 2015
OPENING STATEMENT: “As far as injuries go, we had a couple injuries yesterday, actually, in practice. (James) O’Shaughnessy fractured his foot, so he’s out – a small bone in the foot. And Allen Bailey, actually, during warmups tweaked his calf, strained his calf. So he didn’t practice today and we’ll just have to see there. (Ben) Grubbs, he didn’t practice, he’s making progress, but most likely won’t be ready to go for this game here.
The guys have had a good week of practice, they look forward to playing the Denver Broncos – a good football team, we know that, if not by record, then by the way they play the game. You turn on the film, you know they’re a good football team. That’s why you do this, you play and coach the game to play against the best and they’re one of the best in the National Football League. We have an opportunity to play them up at their place, which is a good thing, too. Time’s yours.”
Q: How did the guys respond in the week of practice following the bye week?
REID: “I thought the guys moved around well. I thought all the way from Monday on through, they looked fresh and ready to go. They picked up the game plan well, so they were able to move fast and do what they need to do.”
Q: What kind of game are you expecting on Sunday?
REID: “It should be a great atmosphere for a football game. Weather’s going to be good, the stadium’s going to be packed. They’re wearing orange, we’re wearing red, let’s play. Let’s go.”
Q: You said you have to see with Allen Bailey, does that mean he’s questionable?
REID: “I’d probably tell you he’s leaning more to not playing than he is playing.”
November 11, 2015
HEAD COACH ANDY REID
OPENING STATEMENT: “Alright, as far as injuries go, the guys that will not practice will be Tamba (Hali) and (Ben) Grubbs. Grubbs did have an MRI. Not much has changed from the last time, although he’s making a little bit of progress, so we’re optimistic there. We’ll just see how it goes here, day by day. Everybody else, (Mike) DeVito will practice today and we’ll roll. We look forward to the opportunity of playing the Broncos. We know they’re a good football team; our guys will get prepared for them this week and make sure we put in a good week’s work. We were able to get out here Monday and do a couple things and then, again, we’ll have a normal Wednesday practice today. And then just a shout out to the Veterans; all that they mean to us and our country and the opportunity that we have to do this because of what they’ve done and their service. The time is yours.”
Q: Is Tamba Hali sitting out just for maintenance?
REID: “Yeah, just maintenance. Same deal.”
Q: How much of a hurdle is this game and is there something extra this week?
REID: “I think what we need to do is focus on making sure we have our game plan down; master that. That’s what you can control. And then get yourself ready to play a good football team. And keep it just like that.”
Q: How do you project Saalim Hakim to contribute?
REID: “Yeah, I would tell you probably more on special teams. He’s kind of close to 300 snaps as a special teams player. So we had an opportunity to go back and look at his tape. We think he can help us in a couple spots there. So I would tell you that that’s primarily where he would help out. He’s been playing a little corner for us, he’s helped us at scout team wide receiver. Most of his background is, I would tell you, is special teams and wide receiver.”
Q: Will he be active on Sunday?
REID: “There’s a chance, yeah there’s a chance we put him up. So we’re just going to play it by ear and see how he does on special teams and see if it all works that way.”
Q: Is there a chance he could get involved as a returner?
REID: “He’s also done that, yeah. He’s had a little bit of return experience so we’ll see. We’ll see where he fits in.”
Q: What’s your evaluation of Laurent Duvernay-Tardif’s play since he is back into the starting lineup?
REID: “Larry’s done a nice job for us; tough, physical player. I would tell you he’s still learning, but he’s making improvement every week. Sometimes he can take that step back and take a little bit of a bigger step forward. I think he’s done that to this point. Again, this will be a great test for him and all of the offensive lineman this week. I think they’re looking forward to that opportunity.”
Q: Is it evident with Laurent Duvernay-Tardif that he’s got a little more going on upstairs than the average person?
REID: “He is a smart guy. I keep reminding his coach that someday he might be doing surgery on you, so you better keep it right.”
Q: Does Denver have the best defense in the league right now?
REID: “Yeah, well they’re number one in the league right now, so I would tell you yes. They’re holding that title.”
Q: What makes them so good?
REID: “They’re fast and they keep coming at you. They’ve got a good coordinator, experienced coordinator in Wade (Davis) and a good scheme that goes with that.”
Q: Is that defense better now than the first time you played them?
REID: “I thought they were pretty good back then, too. They’ve kind of remained the same – that same defense. I mean they’re basically doing the same things. They don’t do a whole lot, but they do enough to not show you the same picture every time, but they do it fast.”
Q: What do you take away from that game?
REID: “The obvious thing is you’ve got to take care of things in the red zone, you’ve got to eliminate turnovers. If you’ve got opportunities to create turnovers you’ve got to take care of those. Penalties were a factor, you can’t have penalties. So when you play against a good football team those things add up on you. And you’ve got to play four quarters of football, they didn’t finish the game. They won the game, bottom line. That’s all that’s there, you can’t do anything about that right now. That’s in the record books, but we can, ourselves, get ready for this one, that’s what we’re going to do.”
Q: What makes Chris Harris a good player?
REID: “I think he’s got good instincts. He’s always going to challenge you. I think those are important things for that spot.”
Q: Coming out of the bye week, you’ve got four of your next five games against division opponents. Is this a chance for you guys to make some hay?
REID: “Yeah, you know what, we don’t go there. That’s not where we’re at. We’re about right now. When we went to London, we were about right there. That’s over and now we’re here. There’s no time for anything else. You put all your energy into this. Every play, practice, every meeting that we have, put your energy right there. That’s what you can control. You can’t worry about tomorrow, next day, you can’t worry about that. Take care of today, let’s get it right. We’ll move on to tomorrow, tomorrow.”
Q: In London, you got Brian Parker involved a little bit instead of James O’Shaughnessy. What was behind that decision?
REID: “Yeah, again, I think Brian is a little bit better in-line blocker, maybe not as quite as good of a receiver, but a good in-line blocker. I thought we needed that at that moment, and we’ll see this week. I thought he did a nice job. I like where O’Shaughnessy is going. Again, sometimes you can take a little step back to step forward. I don’t think he’s quite physically strong as Brian is right now. I think both of them—I’m not down on O’Shaughnessy, that’s not where we are at. I think James has a bright future. We’re lucky to have both of those guys. (John) Dorsey did a good job, and his crew, of finding those guys and bringing them here.”
Q: Do you feel like the Chiefs are currently the same team you were when you last played Denver in Week 2?
REID: “Yeah, we’re similar. Obviously, we have a cornerback that we didn’t have at that time. We don’t have a running back and they don’t have a couple guys. Are you exactly the same team? In this league, week in and week out, you’re never quite the same team but I think both teams are good football teams.”
Q: Do you think the team has improved since then?
REID: “Well, yeah, I think that’s measured each week. I think the last couple weeks, we played pretty good football. I thought from the second half of the Minnesota game on, I thought we played some good football. Do we have plenty of room to improve? Absolutely. The sky’s the limit, so we’ve got to keep working, and that’s where we’re at right now. We’re into that, right now, getting better. That’s what we’re shooting for.”
Q: Do you think you’re right back in the playoff hunt if the team keeps finding success?
REID: “I let you guys do all that. I hear you, I hear you. I try to stay away from all that and keep it as tunnel vision as possible. I don’t go there. I can’t control all that. All we can do is take care of business right now. We don’t speculate.”
Q: But you know that you’re right there for the wild card?
REID: “Yeah, we’re aware of that. Yeah, we’re aware of that part. We’re alive.”
Q: Is there anything you do to combat playing in altitude, or anything you do differently because of that?
REID: “No. No, there’s not. There have been a lot of things proven back and forth on that. The Olympic team used to train there. That’s not where they go now. I think you go in and you get it, you get out and play your heart out, man. That’s what you do. I think we’ll be alright there.”
Q: How do you teach your offensive guys to deal with the opposing team using spirited plays that could draw penalties?
REID: “They’re going to bring it every play. So are you.”
QB ALEX SMITH
Q: What’s your experience after scoring 45 points, does that carry over to the next game?
SMITH: “Definitely momentum, for sure. Even just with confidence, having gone out there and played well and executed, there is that element for sure. Certainly the challenges change week to week and this is a new challenge – especially with the bye week in the middle of it, kind of a chance for us to regroup and catch our breath and heal some wounds a little bit and come back. Yes and no, I guess.”
Q: How much are you looking forward to the rematch against Denver?
SMITH: “Yeah, I mean, it’s big, it’s a division game. Certainly these guys have – every close battle we’ve been in with these guys, these guys have come out on the right end these last few years. We get another opportunity here at their place. Big, big game. Looking back at the film, it certainly felt like we did some really good things, moving the ball and having some production versus them. Certainly had our fair share of mistakes – and turnovers being them. You have that many turnovers, it’s tough to win.”
Q: Is getting over the hump and beating the Broncos still something you need to clear as a team?
SMITH: “For us, being so long ago and where we’re at in the season, you’re on to the next game. This is a new challenge and a new opportunity for us and I think all of us are looking at it like that. A lot at stake, a division game, these games just get bigger and bigger as the season goes on.”
Q: Do they have the best defense you’ll come across or see?
SMITH: “They’re really good. Very, very, very good. I don’t want to get into comparing them to anyone else, but there are not many weaknesses on that side of the ball. They’re very good up front, they get after the passer, they’re physical, they’re good at the linebacker level and really good on the back end. They’re all playing together, you can see that. It certainly will be a big challenge for us.”
Q: Is there extra motivation because Denver has been so successful against Kansas City the last few years?
SMITH: “I don’t know if there’s room for any extra. It’s always been huge, it’s a division game and these division games are huge with where we’re at – we kind of dug ourselves a hole – it’s even bigger for us. I don’t know if there’s any more, I think we’ve capped how important this is. We all understand it, this is huge. Certainly these guys have been the division champs the last few years, I think everybody knows that.”
Q: Does it feel a little bit like the season is resting on this game?
SMITH: “I don’t know about that. It’s a very, very big game, don’t get me wrong. Very important, biggest one we’ve got right now. But no, I don’t know if we’re getting to make-or-break yet. We’re pretty wide open right now with where we’re at. We need to get another win, we need to dig ourselves out of the hole we dug ourselves in.”
Q: How do you counter Denver’s speed and aggressiveness?
SMITH: “You just have to be on it. I think all the little things, the details, the execution, going out there and the timing of the passing game. All those little things get kind of blown up, you have to be on them if you want to execute against a good defense.”
Q: Denver got penalized for late hits, how do you make sure you play within your game and don’t get caught up in that?
SMITH: “You just go play football. I don’t think we’re worried about that. They’re a physical group, they play hard. You have to match that intensity.”
Q: How does Denver being without Aqib Talib change your offense?
SMITH: “You still have to go out and play them. It’s the same scheme, they’ve got a ton of depth on the back end. Those guys have mixed it all year and it shows. With him out, it will be a different guy wearing the number in there, a different player. They play really well as a unit, all 11 guys. I think it’s easy to get caught up in that, who’s playing and who’s not. They’ve mixed it all year and had success in it all year.”
Q: Is there anything you can do to prepare to play in altitude?
SMITH: “I don’t think so, not unless you’re practicing at altitude. I don’t know, I think it’s easy to get caught up in that a little bit. I think you just go out there and play and don’t worry about it.”
CB SEAN SMITH
Q: On starting the second half of the season against the Broncos:
SMITH: “It’s just a game. I’m not going to make it bigger than what it is. We’re 0-0 right now, we have a chance to go 1-0 for the week. Denver is a good opponent – great opponent, actually – they’re playing some really good football right now. We have our work cut out for us.”
Q: Do you guys view it as you have to get through Denver to have a shot to win the division?
SMITH: “I don’t even look at it like that. I can’t say ‘you guys,’ because I can’t speak for everybody else in there. It’s just a game. We’re 0-0 right now with a chance to be 1-0. They’re a great opponent and they’re who we are playing against this weekend, we have to beat them. I’m not going to look forward and think about any other scenarios like that. They’re the opponent right now this week and that’s how I’m going to take care of it.”
RB CHARCANDRICK WEST
Q: What is an example of something you carry during games that Jamaal Charles has helped you with?
WEST: “Just reading coverages and patience. Coming from college, a lot of guys just experience a big blitz pickup. But he taught me how to read this safety coming down, who’s coming with him. He just taught me a lot.”
Q: Who initiated that?
WEST: “It was just kind of a thing where if I messed up something one day and he just (said) ‘Come here and let me talk to you.’ Pulled me to the side and just guided me in the right direction.”
Q: What’s the story about the pizza?
WEST: “We stayed together this offseason. We were sitting there playing a video game one day and we were both hungry. We were just like ‘What do you want to eat?’ So we both came up with pizza, so we called in. You know both of us kind of talk a little slangish, so we were ordering the pizza, I said to order meat lovers. So somehow he got meatloaf out of that. He told the people we wanted a meatloaf pizza. I’m looking like ‘I wonder if they’re going to catch it.’ They never said anything, so we call ‘meat lovers’ pizza ‘meat loaf.’ That’s the pizza story.”
Q: Was it a meatloaf pizza when it came?
WEST: “It was meat lovers. I don’t even think they make meatloaf pizza.”
Q: Do you want to do what he’s done for you some day?
WEST: “I hope to do that. I hope so.”
Q: How much has Jamaal Charles been involved with your development?
WEST: “He’s the main reason I’m having the little success that I’m having right now. All credit goes to him and the offensive line, the team is doing a great job.”
BRONCOS HEAD COACH GARY KUBIAK
Q: How much of your interest in taking the Denver job was the fact that management always seems to do what it takes to win a championship?
KUBIAK: “For me, it was about family. This is where – my roots as a player – this is where I got my opportunity as a player. Other than a small stint at (Texas) A&M and one year in San Francisco, this is really where I got my first opportunity from a coaching standpoint, to be able to be a coordinator and those types of things. It was about family for me. As far as all those things that you just talked about, I understand it’s always been that way, since Mr. B (Pat Bowlen) has been here. And now that John (Elway) is in place here the past four or five years, obviously John is a very competitive person and is going to do everything possible to give his team a chance to be successful. I knew those things were in place; but really, for me, it was about family and having an opportunity to come back to where I got my start.”
Q: Do you feel the Broncos operate a little differently than some?
KUBIAK: “I can’t speak for anybody else. You ask me about us, and I’m just telling you how John operates and this organization, what it’s stood for for so long. But I can’t speak for any other organization.”
Q: Would you say things were different when you coached in Houston than how they are in Denver?
KUBIAK: “As I said, I’m not going to speak for any other organization. You’re asking me a question about the Denver Broncos and I’m answering the best I can.”
Q: What have you seen from Tamba Hali over the last few weeks?
KUBIAK: “They’ve been excellent. They’re as good as there are in football. They play extremely well and now they’re coming off a bye week, so you know they’re going to be very fresh. Obviously we had our hands full the first time around – we really struggled to protect and those types of things. So we have great respect for him, a great football team, great defensive football team. We have to handle up front, so it’s a big challenge for us.”
Q: What sticks out to you about Tamba Hali?
KUBIAK: “Well, I think he’s an all-around player. Sometimes you play guys in this league and you’re worried about them rushing the passer or you’re worried about him and other things – he does it all. The highest compliment I can give any player in this league is when I say they play hard as hell and this guy’s going 100 miles per hour all the time, chasing the ball, chasing down screens. And he’s a great player but he’s a total effort player and I have great respect for him.”
Q: What does it say to you that a 31-year old player like Tamba Hali is still going hard like that?
KUBIAK: “Well, that’s what he stands for. I tell our guys all the time, normally when you see a great pro like that that lasts 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 years that’s because they are made of stuff like that. We’ve got right here, DeMarcus Ware is a great example of that. So guys don’t stick around in this league that long and be that successful unless they’re made of those types of things and he’s obviously done it for a long time.”
Q: What’s your impression the Chiefs secondary?
KUBIAK: “Well, I think they’re very good on the back end – totally on the back end. And they’re getting a player back that they didn’t have the first time we came down there so that helps them and strengthens them. But when you play them defensively, you’ve got to find a way to hold up from a pass protection standpoint, they’re very aggressive on the back end regardless of who it is and I’ve got respect for everything they do on the defensive side of the ball.”
Q: What do you think of Marcus Peters?
KUBIAK: “I think he’s a hell of a player. I think they’ve got a lot of great players back there, so they’re doing a good job. A lot of great players in this league and he’s no different.”
Q: What does Aqib Talib need to take away from last week?
KUBIAK: “Well, he’s got to learn from it now. We can’t make those type of mistakes and with that mistake we’re playing a player short this week so that’s the most important thing. We have to find a way to grow from it, learn from it. We’ve been through this a couple times this year losing T.J. (Ward) and losing Derrick (Wolfe) and now we’ve got a couple guys that are going to be out this week so we’ve got to find a way to have other guys step up. That’s part of this league and we’ll face another tough challenge this week.”
BRONCOS CB CHRIS HARRIS JR.
Q: When you look back on your freshman year at Kansas and the fact that you played with two other guys in that secondary who were Pro Bowlers like yourself, what do you remember about that freshman year?
HARRIS: “I was kind of just a young cat, so I was just looking up to those guys, trying to learn as much as possible from them. We ended up winning the Orange Bowl, and then now, five, four years later end up being in the same Pro Bowl, so it just made it even more special that we could all be there together.”
Q: Was Aqib Talib a guy that you looked up to at Kansas?
HARRIS: “Oh yeah, definitely. When I came in, he was already All-American, so he was a person that I always looked up to. Me, being some freshman playing against an all-American, you got a lot of responsibility. He definitely made my transition a lot easier.”
Q: Are you surprised at what has happened at Kansas, and how far they’ve fallen?
HARRIS: “Yeah, I mean it’s definitely sad, but Charlie Weis, he definitely messed up a lot of things in the program, but I’m happy with Coach (David) Beaty. Even though we’re taking a lot of losses, I think Coach Beaty is doing a great job of just helping changing the atmosphere.”
Q: You mentioned you have a lot of faith in Coach Beaty, what’s your message to the fan base?
HARRIS: “I just try to be patient. When you have 25 players cut from the college team, we’re down a lot of scholarships, so all the fans and stuff, they definitely have to be very patient with them. I think Coach Beaty will do a great job of getting the program back up, but he probably needs three or four years to get it back rolling.”
Q: What’s Turner Gill’s guilt in how things got messed up there?
HARRIS: “Well, Turner, he came in and tried to fix the program fast, but he really only got two years. He didn’t really get a lot of time to mess things up, really.”
Q: Has Coach Beaty asked you and Aqib and any other alumni to come back and talk to the kids?
HARRIS: “Oh yeah, we already came back. I come back every spring game, try to talk to those players, just being around them every year that we can. Coach Beaty does a great job with the alumni.”
Q: What message does it send to you when the Broncos add guys like Vernon Davis and Aqib Talib to the roster?
HARRIS: “We’re in win-now mode, and that the mindset. Just try to win the Super Bowl now, try to win the division every year. That our mindset. Right now, we’re in first place in the division. It’s in our hands so we just got to keep it rolling.”
Q: In regards to the administration bringing those key players in, do you look at that as motivation or something to help you do your job?
HARRIS: “I mean, it kind of keeps you on your heels, too. It kind of keeps everybody on their heels knowing that you’ve got to make plays. We’re always looking for better talent around here, we’re always looking for playmakers so you always got to stay on your toes.”
Q: That’s a good thing, right?
HARRIS: “Oh yeah, and it just makes it more competitive here. We’ve got a lot of competitive guys and when they come here and they see the atmosphere we have once they join the team, they fit right in.”
Q: What are your impressions of Charcandrick West?
HARRIS: “Yeah, he’s definitely a quick guy. They’re probably using him a lot more in the screen game, trying to replace (Jamaal) Charles in the screen game, so we’ve got to be ready for him, change the pace back. We’ll definitely be ready for him when he comes in.”
Q: What was the big benefit for you guys with the earlier victory over the Chiefs?
HARRIS: “Just watching that game, seeing how they tried to attack us, so that will be huge. We’ve seen we killed ourselves a lot with penalties that game so we can’t give them yards on penalties that week. That’s something we’re trying to focus on this week.”
Q: What were your thoughts on that last touchdown you guys scored?
HARRIS: “Well, they ran the ball. They ran the ball at the end of the game and we were able to force a turnover. That’s what we try to do fourth down, try to force more turnovers. We haven’t had a lot of turnovers the past two weeks, so we’ve got to get it back going again this week.”
Head Coach Andy Reid Press Conference
November 9, 2015
OPENING STATEMENT: “Alright, good to be back. The guys got back together today and we had a practice; a 10-10-10 practice. (Mike) DeVito, Ramik (Wilson) practiced today, (Ben) Grubbs did not. We’re just taking Grubbs day by day here, we’ll just see. He’s making progress, we’ll just see where he goes here this week. We look forward to the challenge of playing Denver coming up this weekend. So, again, today, mainly was just getting back into the flow and moving around a little bit and we were able to do that. The time is yours.”
Q: Is Ben Grubbs’ injury season-ending?
REID: “I think what they’ll do is they’ll go back in and re-MRI it here and just make sure – or see where it’s at. If it comes down to he can play, make sure he’s ok to play, if not then we’ll see how much longer it will take.”
Q: What do you hope your team got out of the bye week?
REID: “Well, just step away – but not too far. So you want to make sure that you understand you’re only half way done with the season. But at the same time get some rest and relaxation – get healed up and ready for the final push here for the second half of the season.”
Q: What can the bye week do for veteran players?
REID: “Again – heal up. Get off of your feet, take a little bit of time there. But again, you don’t want to eat yourself – this is particularly with the big guys, don’t eat yourself into being an average team. You don’t want to do that. So that would be the gist of it.”
Q: What have you seen out of Tamba Hali in the recent weeks?
REID: “I think he’s moving around well. It’s good that he can get a breather here and there and we’re able to spot him during games and practice. So he’s keeping his knee under control, he’s got a knee that bothers him at times and will swell up and he’s been able to keep that under control. And he takes care of himself, that’s how he rolls.”
Q: Is there a hump to get over for this Broncos game?
REID: “Yeah, well they’re the best team in the division, right? So they’re rating that, they’re holding that, they’ve had a good season to this point. So you’ve got to be able to beat them to take charge of the AFC West. And that’s how it rolls. So that’s what’s real. The important part on our side is we take care of our business, study them, respect them – but get ready to play them and play a good football game against them for four quarters of a game.”
Q: When you speak to the team is there any difference in your approach when you speak about an AFC West opponent?
REID: “Well, the fact that you play them twice; there’s an emphasis there. Something that we start in the offseason with and we work on it. We do that with all of the AFC West teams. It’s an important game, you’ve got six of those and you’ve got to make sure you do well in those six games.”
Q: Looking back on how the first game against Denver ended, do you feel like there was any hangover that took some time to recover from?
REID: “I said it then; I didn’t think there was, but there might have been. I thought we played some good teams along the way. And they got us, there was some good football in there, but not enough to win those games. You probably could argue that; to say that there was a bit. But I haven’t looked at it that way.”
Q: What is Denver doing defensively that makes them so dangerous in the AFC West?
REID: “Well, they’ve got good players, they play fast. Wade (Phillips) is a good defensive coordinator, they’ve got a good scheme. They stay relatively healthy at their primary positions there. It looks like they’ve taken to what Wade’s presenting them.”
Q: What’s the team’s frame of mind right now coming off of two straight wins?
REID: “Listen, they’ve been great all the way through here. They’ve worked hard, they’ve stayed focused. I think some of the young players have grown up here a little bit. We’re playing more young guys than most of the teams in the league. And then some of the guys that were banged up a bit, either from last year or earlier in the season have come back and look like they’re getting more into the swing of things. Listen, they practiced well today, they’ve got a great attitude. I’ve said it before – I like this football team. They’ve showed that the last few weeks of why. I mean they’ve got good character and play hard and they’re tough.”
Q: What are your general thoughts on what transpired at the University of Missouri recently?
REID: “I’m a big Missouri fan, I loved my time there, it’s a great university, phenomenal university. They’re taking care of their situation. We’ve all got situations we have to handle, that’s how life is in every business, probably in every phase of life. So they’re doing what they have to do to fix whatever problem is there. So that’s how it rolls, we’re all dealt with things that you have to take care of and that’s what they’re going through now.”
Q: When you’re addressing your team, do you even bring up the last game against Denver?
REID: “Yeah (I don’t bring it up), just keep rolling.”
Q: What do you hope your team took away from the last encounter against Denver?
REID: “Listen, they got us. I said that after the game, they won the game – that’s all that counts. So you move on and get yourself ready for this game.”
Q: When you and John Dorsey are making personnel decisions, how much of the talk is about bringing in a player who can help and match up well in the six divisional games?
REID: “I think normally what you do, and I kind of went through this in Philadelphia – where the Giants were kind of that team – I think you just keep building your roster is what you do. You start trying to work against that, that’s not what you do. You know what you need to be strong within your system and you try to build it that way and be the best you can at that position depending on where you pick (in the draft) and free agency and your cap and all of the little variables that go into putting a roster together. And then you go from there. You take care of what you do first and what you believe in, a certain way of building teams. You try to take care of that the best you can.”
Q: Does free agency and the salary cap work against you if you bring in a player specifically to go against a player from a divisional opponent?
REID: “You can’t do that. There’s so much changeover in this league. You look at when we first got here to our team now, you go and look at the different changes that have taken place in the league with different rosters and head coaches and general managers and that. Too much change that takes place to match it – you against the other team. Right when you get it matched, their roster is completely changed.”
Q: How important has Charcandrick West’s relationship with Jamaal Charles been?
REID: “Jamaal took him under his wing – you all know the pizza story and that whole deal – he let him live with him and so on. It’s been kind of a neat thing, I think, for Charcandrick. You don’t know the pizza story? I can’t tell the pizza story, I’ll let him tell it. Listen, Jamaal’s done a nice job of mentoring Charcandrick.”
Q: What is it that you’ve seen out of Charcandrick West?
REID: “Smart kid, determined. Physically, he’s got good balance, speed, he has great feet. Wants to be good, he comes to work the same guy every day. You’re not going to get this fluctuation of personality with him. He’s going to come to work, have a smile on his face, and he’s going to play good, hard-nosed football when he’s out there.”
Q: Has West done more than you expected him to do?
REID: “You kind of hoped that he’d be able to do what he’s doing. And you’re right, you don’t know until they do it. He still has eight games to keep pushing forward – and how do you handle that. Every week is a new step for him to build on. But you think that he’s going to be okay – that’s just the feeling that he gives you by his work ethic, by the way he’s wired, personality-wise.”
Q: Did Ben Grubbs suffer his injury against Pittsburgh?
REID: “It was Pittsburgh. As a matter of fact, he didn’t really even know he had it.”
Q: Do you expect your offensive line to be the same as it was against the Lions?
REID: “If Grubbs can’t go, then it will be that, yeah.”
Chiefs Chairman & CEO Clark Hunt
November 1, 2015
Q:What are your thoughts on how the season has gone this far?
HUNT: “Well, clearly during the five-game losing streak, we were all very disappointed. It’s not what any of us expected going into the season. I was glad to see the guys get it turned around last week and play a solid four quarters of football, and the challenge for us now is to do that two weeks in a row and build from there.”
Q:Have you or will you consider making any staff changes?
HUNT: “Well, first of all, any decisions on the coaching staff are Coach Reid’s decisions, not mine. I have full confidence in Andy and John Dorsey, think they’re the right people to lead our football team. They’re as disappointed as I am, but I think they’re the right guys to lead us not only this year but going forward.”
Q:So if the team ended up taking a top five or 10 pick in the draft, you still plan to stick with Andy Reid and John Dorsey?
HUNT: “I would, I would. They’re both extremely talented, they do a great job. They have very good staffs, they do a good job of leading their staffs, so they’re the right guys for the Kansas City Chiefs.”
Q:What is your best explanation for the start?
HUNT: “I don’t think there was a good explanation for it, and there wasn’t just one thing. We lost as a team. Until last week when we played better across all three phases of the game and played a full four quarters, we just hadn’t done what we needed to, to win a football game.”
Q:Regarding the International Series, are the Chiefs done with home games overseas for the time being?
HUNT: “I don’t foresee us playing a home game in the near future. It would be much more likely that we would play an away game before we would play another home game. Having said that, the League is going to expand the International Series. Beginning in 2018, there will be four games here (in London) and the League is already looking at other markets like Mexico, Canada, Germany, Brazil, maybe one day somewhere in Asia. I think the series is going to expand, but certainly, I don’t want to give up another home game in the near future.”
Q:Any regrets about giving this home game up?
HUNT: “No, none whatsoever. It’s been a great experience for the organization. I know we have fans who are disappointed that this game is not at Arrowhead today, and I understand that, but I think it was the right thing for us to do for the Chiefs and the National Football League.”
Q:When will the Chiefs go abroad as a road team? Is next year out?
HUNT: “No, I don’t think next year is out. It could be as soon as next year, but I certainly would expect it to happen in the next three or four years.”
Q:Being the chairman of the International Committee, how important was it for you to lead from the front on this, in regards to willingness to take part in playing an international home game?
HUNT: “Well, the Chiefs have never shied away from a leadership role in the National Football League. In some ways, I don’t thing we were necessarily leading because I think there have been 10 or so other teams that have given up home games as well. I think there’s a growing willingness among the ownership group to play games overseas. I’m just sort of thinking back to when we first approved the resolution where we played one game here, there were people that had a lot of concerns. I don’t hear those concerns now. I think in part because so many teams have the experience of coming over here either as a home team or an away team, and the experience has been great. I think in part, the League has gotten better at helping teams with all the logistics that go with that. From everything I’ve heard from our football staff, this has been one of the easiest trips that they’ve ever made, in terms of a road game.”
Q: Can an owner determine that their team will not travel internationally?
HUNT: “Well, I’ll answer the question two ways. Owners, at this point, still can say ‘I’m not giving up a home game.’ They have that right, unless they’re hosting a Super Bowl – then it’s a requirement that they have to. But the practical matter is, going back to what I said earlier about just a growing acceptance, is teams understand what the league is doing in terms of growing the International Series and are willing to do it. And there’s no longer significant concerns from a football standpoint that I think existed seven or eight years ago when the series started.”
Q: All 32 owners approved of the expansion of the International Series – what would you say to an owner that approved of the expansion but doesn’t want to give up a home game?
HUNT: “I don’t see that at all. I think we’ll see more teams willing to give up home games. Going back, again to the first couple years of this series, I think there were very few that were willing to do it. But now there’s a bigger group and that’s going to grow in the future and that’s going to have to grow in the future. I don’t know what the number of international games that will be played but it could be six, it could be as many as eight one day. And just practically, teams are going to have to give up home games. I think that there’s an acceptance that it’s good for the team, it’s not bad from a football standpoint and it gives you a chance to grow your brand.”
Q: And you’re still confident that eventually, all teams are going to have to give up a home game for an International Series game?
HUNT: “Yeah, I think five years from now, we’re going to look back and there will be significantly more that have given up a home game. At that point is it going to be every team that has done it? I don’t know.”
Q: Why do owners feel that England is such an untapped market?
HUNT: “Well, I think it’s important for us to grow the National Football League from a fan standpoint, on an international basis. The NFL has a very strong position in the U.S., but internationally, unlike other sports – like soccer, which is obviously very international – even basketball, which has a pretty strong international following. Because American Football is typically only played in the United States, the growth hasn’t been there. And so this was, at first, a test to see if we could grow the fan base here in the U.K. And there was a small existing fan base going back to the old days of playing preseason games here and for NFL Europe. But through the growth of this series here in the U.K., the number of avid fans here have doubled roughly over the last seven or eight years. So it’s worked out, I think, as the League envisioned. And the thought process is now ‘can we do the same thing in other markets?’”
Q: Have you seen fans in London over the last few days become engaged with the Chiefs?
HUNT: “From a fan standpoint, probably the best experience that the fans have had – and I enjoyed it to – was the pub party that we hosted on Friday. We had approximately 400 fans attend it. And there were a lot that came from Kansas City, but there were also a lot that lived somewhere in Europe who are Chiefs fans and this was their chance to come to a game that wasn’t too far away. There were a lot that live here in the U.K. I met the guys who run the fan club here which, I was just told, started a few years ago – there were originally 50 members, now it’s up to 500. I’m sure playing the game here this week had a lot to do with the growth of the fan club. So I think, really, on both fronts, it was a chance for us to engage our fans from home who wanted to come over for the trip as well as those who were here.”
Q: Are you guys going to continue to be as aggressive in scheduling non-football events at Arrowhead?
HUNT: “It’s a balance every year and this was an unusual year as far as the number of events that we hosted at the stadium. We’re cognizant of the impact on the schedule. As I said, it’s a balancing act with trying to figure out how to make it work, particularly with the Royals. And now we can count on the Royals being in the postseason every year. So we have to take that into consideration.”
Q: Do you anticipate the schedule being as back heavy with home games in future year as it has been this year?
HUNT: “I sure would hope it’s not as heavy (as) this year. And every year, we make a point of asking the League for as many home games in September and October as they can give us.”
Q: And this year was just because of the London game?
HUNT: “Yeah, this was one issue that clogged the scheduling up.”
Q: So next year can you ask for more games in September and October.
HUNT: “They’ll listen to us and I think the fact that we had such an unusual year this year, where we’ve played so few home games – really, until mid-November – I do think that they might take that into consideration and help us with that issue.”
Q: Remind us what the League is committed to internationally.
HUNT: “There’s not been an announcement on next year, but that will be coming pretty quick. I would expect that there will be at least three games next year in the U.K., and potentially a game in another market. The League is working on that. When we get to 2018, the League has committed to play two games at Wembley, two games in Tottenham’s new stadium – which will be open at that point. And then, again, no commitment, but a desire to be playing games elsewhere. So that would be the minimum beginning in 2018."
October 28, 2015
HEAD COACH ANDY REID
OPENING STATEMENT: “Alright, as far as the injuries go, Mike DeVito will not practice today – concussion. Ben Grubbs has a stiff neck that he’s having evaluated, he will not practice today. Tamba (Hali) has continued to have a little bit of knee swelling, so we’re trying to back him down today, so we’re going to do that. Ramik Wilson has a high ankle sprain – that’s kind of the area we’re concentrating on. He had the knee and the ankle - the knee is doing pretty good, the high ankle we’re still working on. So those four guys won’t practice today and then we’ll just see – they’re all day to day. We’ll just see how things work there. We look forward to the opportunity of playing Detroit and the opportunity of going to London to do so. So we’re going to stay here, we’re going to prep up through tomorrow and then we’ll leave from there. We’ll have a normal Wednesday practice today, normal Thursday tomorrow. We’ll do our Friday practice over in London along with our mock game Saturday. The time is yours.”
Q: What’s Jeremy Maclin’s status?
REID: “Maclin is back. Full practice today, he says he feels good. Right now no symptoms so he’s doing well.”
Q: A lot of young guys contributed last week, do they seem to be energized?
REID: “Yeah, they’ve done good. You hope for progress as you go. There will be some hiccups, we understand that. We’re playing more young guys than probably anyone in the National Football League right now. But they’re making progress in the right direction and as long as they keep that up, as long as we keep taking steps forward, we’re going to be okay. You’ve got to keep that moving forward. They’re in the right frame of mind – they do have a ton of energy – ton of energy, which is great.”
Q: Will Ben Grubbs’ neck issue cause a change in the rotation of the offensive line?
REID: “We’re just going to take it day by day, we’ll see. We’ll see how he does, if it does, I mean we’ve got guys that we feel comfortable playing. But we’ll see how it all rolls.”
Q: How do you go about evaluating the offensive line?
REID: “You try to do that. I wanted to make sure that we had the guys in there that – first of all, it was good to get Jeff (Allen) back, he added into the equation. He had been working at tight end, and we were just seeing if he could push off – that full push off that you need to go, not just five plays again, but sixty or seventy plays a game, and we felt like he got to that point. With that, he brings a certain attitude in there, along with the other guys. I mentioned before that Larry (Duvernay-Tardif) is not lacking in toughness. I mean, he’s about as tough as you’re going to get in there and he brings a certain attitude. And so I was looking for that, that’s what I was looking for. And we need to get better, there are some young guys in there, so we need to keep getting better and building on that, but you need to bring a certain attitude at that position. It’s not one week, you’ve got to do that every week. And then every day in practice that you have an opportunity to go against each other, you’ve got to bring it there. And we’re learning as we go here.”
Q: Is following up your performance something that you were preaching to Charcandrick West after his performance vs. Pittsburgh?
REID: “That’s right. They’re reminded of this often, but this business isn’t necessarily about what you did yesterday, it’s about what you can do today. And so he’s going to work on that today, his body feels maybe a little different than it did in previous weeks because of the carries, but what are you going to do? How are you going to handle that? And then tomorrow, that’s your first Thursday after a full start – what are you going to do then? And then eventually, you get to Sunday and then how are you going to handle that? And then you start all over again.”
Q: Were you surprised by Charcandrick West’s performance in the fourth quarter?
REID: “I think in house we kind of know and feel what he is. We’ve felt that way since he’s been here. Andy Heck does a great job with the run game and putting guys into position where they can make some plays. And then the offensive line kind of took that challenge upon themselves, along with Charcandrick. I though he handled it well. Again, are there things that we can get better at? Absolutely. We’ve got plenty of room to continue to grow at both positions – the offensive line and the running back spot. But yeah, that was a good thing. The attitude was right there. And you have to be able to do that, to finish a game, you have to be able to do that.”
Q: How valuable has Sean Smith been for your team?
REID: “I think every week he’s getting more comfortable. This is kind of his training camp, as we’ve gone the first couple of weeks with it and I think you’ll see him just keep getting better and better. And kind of getting his body underneath him and legs and all of that that goes with it.”
Q: How great was it to see Sean Smith track down Le’Veon Bell?
REID: “I thought that was one of the bigger plays. It probably gets over looked in the game. If he scores there it’s potentially a different game. And for him to jog him down there that was pretty good I thought. He’s a pretty good player – the one he jogged down, too.”
Q: Do you like the idea of growing football globally?
REID: “Yeah, I think I do. We saw with the World League, they all ended up in Germany, but I think with the fans over there, they seem to be open to it. We’ve had people come over here and kind of follow us from over there, and they’re enthusiastic. We look forward to going over there to see what it’s all about. I can’t answer you – I don’t know exactly what it’s all about, but they’re showing up, they seem to enjoy it. It’s not new, teams have been going over there for a few years, so I would imagine there’s potential to grow. You would probably have to ask the league office - I don’t know that, but it seems that way.”
Q: What are some challenges your coaching staff will face due to the trip to London?
REID: “I think the primary one is just travel; it’s a nine hour flight. So you try to make the players as comfortable as you possibly can and get rest. We’re flying at night, we’re leaving in the evening and we’re flying all night, so it’s important that they get rest on the flight, the best way they can. Particularly, the big guys; planes can be a little tight, even big seats are a little tight. So you’ve just got to get rest and then Friday is a work day, so once we get over there – and then you have the time change. I would probably tell you that those are the primary things.”
Q: Have the Chiefs consulted with a sleep specialist?
REID: “Yeah, Rick (Burkholder) had talked to some people about it, so he was heading that part up. Did a little homework on that and I think we’re going to be okay there. I think we’ll be okay. It’s important that we handle that right way, absolutely.”
Q: Was Chris Conley particularly dialed in preparation last week or has it been an appreciable growth?
REID: “You saw it in Minnesota, when he was taken out and then he had to come back in. The way he handled that, I thought was mature for a young guy. Very easily you put it aside and you pout and do that, that’s not where he went. He figured it out - had to move a position over because of Jeremy (Maclin), so without a lot of reps there, he moved over and handled that and made a big catch in the process there. And he came back this week and he did have a few reps at that position because Jeremy – the earlier part of the week, Jeremy was out, he handled himself well during practice. I think when you’re around him, you get the feeling like he’s a perfectionist, he wants to make it right. He seems to be kind of wired that way, so he takes it seriously. And I think that showed up.”
Q: On the Lions’ coaching staff changes.
REID: “Well, you look a little bit at his background. He’s kind of from that Denver system, so he was with Adam for a bit, so you have that in the back of your mind there. And then the other group is from the New Orleans system, this one’s sort of the Indianapolis, and what was going on in Denver, so you keep that in mind and you make sure you kind of have both bases covered. And then you go play, that’s the most important thing – that you go play the game.”
Q: What kind of challenge does Ezekiel Ansah present?
REID: “Well, not only did he go to the greatest university in the country, but he’s a good football player. He’s a good kid, too – he’s a good football player. Great story and you’re watching him mature as we go here. He’s caught our eye, I think he’s probably caught everybody’s eye in the National Football League, he‘s putting together a pretty good year. So we’ll know where he is. He’s not the only one they have, so you’ve got to make sure you’ve got them all covered, but he’s playing at a very high level right now.”
QB ALEX SMITH
Q: Are you ready for a long flight?
SMITH: “Yeah, I will be tomorrow.”
Q: Have you been abroad?
SMITH: “Yeah, I have. I was there a few years ago when the Niners went and then a couple other times.”
Q: Have you told your teammates about what to expect? What are some of the things you remember?
SMITH: “Ours was different, we went over the whole week before. Obviously, I think guys know what to expect as far as the flight. We have a good idea of the schedule moving forward.”
Q: Is it different from a normal NFL game?
SMITH: “Oh yeah, for sure. There’s not exactly home field advantage. Certainly these are football fans in general, NFL fans, so I think anytime there’s a big play in the game, it will be loud, regardless of whose it is. If you get down in the red zone, it’s probably going to be loud; short yardage plays, it’s going to be loud just from general excitement – not necessarily cheering for one team or the other.”
Q: So is it kind of like a college bowl game?
SMITH: “Maybe a little bit. Certainly I think even a Super Bowl, just in the sense that you have a lot of fans there for the NFL and not particularly one team or another. You have to be ready, if it does get loud, to make adjustments with cadence. You just never know.”
Q: Does it feel like this is just a regular week?
SMITH: “I think the advantage is that this is a normal Wednesday as of now. And then we should get a normal day in tomorrow as well and then we’ll have to deal with the travel. It’s something both teams have to deal with. Who knows the best way, this or that, it’s just something that both teams have to overcome. We’ll see who can be mentally strong enough to compartmentalize all that stuff and stay focused on the game.”
Q: Is this week any different for you guys since you’re coming off a win for the first time in a while?
SMITH: “Yeah, definitely, I think so. It was good, especially the way we won. I think there in the fourth quarter, a very similar scenario to the last two home games. And for us to make the plays in the fourth quarter, in all facets of the game, was important, something to build off. I think we do need to keep the sense of urgency we had last week, and I think we will.”
Q: Are you surprised about Laurent Duvernay-Tardif’s mean streak?
SMITH: “Everybody has their own personality, especially those guys up front, it’s close combat up there. I’ve played with a lot of different guys and it’s funny to see some guys are the nicest guys ever off the field and you get on the field and something just switches. You like to see it, you like to see the confidence those guys get and build off, especially the young guys like Larry. To cut it loose and play like that is good to see.”
Q: When you went over earlier with the 49ers, do you feel like that was beneficial?
SMITH: “I think the acclimation probably was positive. But then all week you were dealing with a lot of distractions – guys in a different country, practice facilities and things like that. There certainly were disadvantages, for sure. With that, I do think probably from a time clock, you dealt with it earlier in the week so maybe there was an advantage. Like I said, there were a lot of distractions, there was a lot for guys, a lot going on. It was tough sometimes to stay focused.”
Q: If you get off to a fast start, do you think the casual fans will help to build momentum?
SMITH: “Yeah, it could, for sure. That’s probably not out of the question.”
Q: How does getting Jeremy Maclin back change the offense?
SMITH: “It’s just an advantage for us. I thought the young guys did such a good job this last week taking advantage of that opportunity. And then obviously bringing Jeremy back in is good, the more weapons the better. That stuff’s going to happen throughout the season, so I thought that experience for those young guys was invaluable. I think it will really help us as we keep going here.”
Q: What kind of difference has Sean Smith made for the defense since he’s gotten back?
SMITH: “I think as a quarterback, you’re getting ready to play the opponent DBs every week, anytime you’re going against a veteran guy, especially like Sean, who’s smart and studies it and knows routes, knows tendencies, they’re dangerous. They just kind of have a confidence about them over there that they don’t get spooked easily, they’re going to hunker down. You have to be careful, because one mistake in their direction can change a game.”
Q: Did guys on the sideline give Sean Smith a hard time when he ran down Le’Veon Bell last week?
SMITH: “I went over and gave him a hard time after the game. I didn’t know he could tackle like that. It was good, it changed the game. It held them to a field goal, it was a huge play.”
Q: What was it with the offense that seemed to make it click, finally, for all four quarters?
SMITH: “I think that was it, just four quarters of execution, there in the second half, we continued to execute. I think in the red zone early, we had our problems, but we were moving the ball and continued to make adjustments, stay out of it and there in the fourth quarter, we were able to make the plays that helped us win the game.”
Q: How do you build on that this week?
SMITH: “I think you take that confidence. You take that confidence in a game like that and as the game moves on, it is a four quarter game, you’re not always going to make them and maybe you miss some early in the red zone, but you continue to make adjustments and do all the little things. And there late, you make the one play that changes the game.”
Q: Are you going to make it to the airport in time to make the flight?
SMITH: “Yeah, I don’t foresee that being a problem.”
Q: Have you ever been or thought you might?
SMITH: “No, I never have. Travel situations are different. Usually when you are traveling, you’re leaving straight from here after a full day of work, so you usually don’t have to worry about stuff. Some guys do run home – it’s not like it’s never happened. I’ve been with teammates that are driving up when the buses are pulling out. It does happen. Not from me, though.”
LB TAMBA HALI
Q: On his playing standards and improving:
HALI: “I can run faster. I mean, I feel that way. I feel like I can chase more plays. I feel like I can rush better. When you say standards, you know, you get guys who get double-teamed all game and they played well. The stats might not say it, but they played well. I can’t say I’m not playing to a better level than I like playing. I think I could get better.”
Q: So you’re not unhappy with how you’re playing?
HALI: “Well, I’m never happy if we lose. When we win, also have to look at things that I can get better at.”
Q: With long travel for London, are you worried about it affecting your knee at all, and is it harder for you older guys to make a flight like this?
HALI: “I don’t really think about it as much. I do everything I can now to help with my knee with the travel, but once we touch down, we’ll get treatment, I’ll rest it and prepare for Sunday. You don’t want to cloud your mind with negative thoughts and things that could, may happen. It hasn’t happened.”
Q: Are you doing anything different to prepare?
HALI: “Running in the pool more, yeah, so taking stress off the joints. All of the little things, this cryotherapy they have outside of the facility, a lot of the trainers and what they’re doing there and just following their direction.”
Q: Does the trip to London require you to pack different or do anything different, or has Coach Reid done a good job of keeping it like a regular game week for you?
HALI: “Yeah, we’re here until tomorrow. Practice, we get three practices, or two practices in, then travel overnight so that’s bed time usually. Wake up in the morning and go through whatever we need to go through to get there, then have meetings and have our normal Friday and go from there. Then, mock game on Saturday, play Sunday.”
Q: So really no difference than a regular week?
HALI: “You know, mentally, we’ve got a bye week coming up so if there’s any incentive, it’s to be strong this week, handle business the way we should, go down there and do what we have to get done, and then come back and Coach will take care of us.”
There are no games scheduled for today.