Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid Quotes
November 14, 2014
OPENING STATEMENT: “As far as the guys who will not play, (Jamell) Fleming, (A.J.) Jenkins will not play. (Anthony) Fasano and (Chris) Owens did not practice today, but they are questionable. We will just see how things go. Everybody else practiced today, and they’re ready to roll. (We) look forward to the challenge of playing Seattle; we’ve had a good week of practice. Figured we’d get outside today and move around a little bit which is always good. Again, I think the guys put in a good effort this week and look forward to the challenge of playing the World Champions.”
Q: How comfortable are you with Donnie Avery returning to the lineup this week?
REID: “Probably not this week.”
Q: Looking at Cairo Santos, he hasn’t had the opportunity to kick in the cold weather too often, it’s supposed to snow tomorrow. What adjustments does he need to make to be ready?
REID: “Well he’s not kicking tomorrow in the snow. He’ll be ok I think. I’m not too worried about that.”
Q: If (Anthony) Fasano can’t go how comfortable are you with (Phillip) Supernaw getting reps?
REID: “Yeah, he looked like he picked things up pretty well. I told you he had a bit of a foundation with the terminology, I don’t think it was as tough as if he had to learn everything from scratch. But he’s done a nice job, he’s spent a lot of hours here getting everything down. It looked like he’s pretty comfortable with it.”
Q: Was Phillip Gaines limited today?
REID: “Yeah, he practiced today.”
Q: So you expect to have him Sunday?
Q: Will he be in a position to play?
Q: What’s going on with Chris Owens’ knee?
REID: “His knee is sore, it was sore after the game. He tried to go and couldn’t do it so he didn’t practice today. We will continue to get him treatment and see how things work out for him.”
Q: Remind me, how did he hurt his knee?
REID: “I don’t even remember now, I’ll get the doctors to talk to you.”
Q: You’ve played in a lot of cold weather games. Is there anything that you think is important you need to practice with or get them ready for, I mean it’s cold today but when you’ve got snow flying around do you do anything different?
REID: “No, just focus on the job at hand. That’s the primary thing. Anytime there’s any kind of elements just make sure you’re focused in and secure the football.”
Q: So it’s more mental?
REID: “Yeah, I think so. Yeah.”
Q: Just with the wide receiver situation, does that mean Frankie Hammond’s the man now?
REID: “He’s going to play quite a bit yeah. We’ll have some different personnel groups in there for him.”
Q: What about (Albert) Wilson?
REID: “Wilson would be a guy that would work in too. Yeah, yeah.”
Q: I don’t know if you saw this past offseason, the Seahawks made a big deal about their tackle video. Are you familiar or have you heard of it?
REID: “Yeah, I thought they did a great job with it actually. Yeah, I think it’s good for young guys to see and I think it’s good for the game. It’s the fundamentals that you teach at this level and they were able to do a nice job with that video and I think that will help people.”
Q: What do you guys do to teach tackling? I know you don’t have a video or anything.
REID: “No, we tackle. We tackle. We teach it, then we go tackle during training camp. That’s why we do all the live stuff.”
Q: Oh I see, you teach that in all those drills.
REID: “Yeah and then you go live.”
Q: You only get those 14 padded practices so how do you stay on top of that?
REID: “You can do some things. They are similar to what they did in the video. You can do some things where you’re not live and work your form tackling techniques, yeah.”
Q: Do you guys teach all those techniques because you have different types of them?
REID: “We just teach ninja moves. That’s all.”
Q: Do you…
REID: “Get over here and I’m going to show you. You stand there and I’m going to show you right here.”
Q: Going back to the cold, what do you expect from Chiefs fans this Sunday?
REID: “Listen, I think they’ll be fired up. That’s what they do. They bring it every week and I know there will be a lot of excitement this week.”
Q: Have you been happy with your tackling this year? Have the guys been more consistent this year?
REID: “There’s always room to improve, but yeah. We’ve been doing a pretty good job.”
Q: You didn’t overhaul anything last year; you just stuck with your own program?
REID: “Just continue to work our tackling and fundamentals.”
Chiefs Defensive Coordinator Bob Sutton, Offensive Coordinator Doug Pederson, Special Teams Coordinator Dave Toub & Players Quotes
November 13, 2014
DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR BOB SUTTON
Q: You guys have had a number of guys fill a spot and play well for injured players. Do you see the whole next man up philosophy working especially well this year?
SUTTON: “I do and I think one of the things we’ve tried to do over the past two years is that no matter where you are at on the roster, I use the look team all the time, we talk to the look team all the time about, ‘this is your chance to get ready. You don’t get a lot of reps and the way the NFL is set up with the first group, because there aren’t enough reps to do that. So you’ve really got to push yourself to become a better player in those situations.’ Last year that was (Marcus) Cooper and (Ron) Parker out there taking a lot of look reps. That’s their games and if you’ll embrace that as player and not just say, ‘hey, I’m out here doing this for the offense.’ I always try to tell them, ‘hey, you’ve got an NFL offense that’s training you. They are working for you if you want them to be.’ You’ve got to do what’s on that card but if you take the mindset that this is my chance to get better. Hey, I’m working against Alex Smith today, that’s what I get to work against. That’s a fantastic opportunity. That’s how you have to get ready because in this league, you may have gotten five reps this week in practice but if somebody goes down, you’re playing the rest of the game and need to play like a starter. That’s important. I think the other thing that Andy’s done a great job of is that you don’t lower your expectations when somebody goes in. The team on the field is the team; they have to perform at that level. You were a second guy, you’re a first guy now and you’ve got to play. Those other 10 guys are counting on you to play. We know there are skill differentials and all that, but you’ve got to be able to perform, there are no trap doors, you’ve got to play right now. Obviously, I think we are all really proud of the guys that have embraced that, have stepped up and taken advantage of their opportunity. And like all players, the key part is to get better as you go forward. But I would agree we’ve certainly had some guys that have done a marvelous job. Unfortunately, we’ve had a lot of guys who have had to do it. I wish we didn’t but that’s just the way it is and we just have to keep banging away. We talked about this a week ago with our defense, there’s going to be somebody else before this is over who’s going to be called up and you’ve got to be ready.”
Q: How much does it help you as a defensive coordinator when you have players that have versatility and can play on multiple positions like Ron Parker and Eric Berry?
SUTTON: “That’s a huge deal. When you’re setting that final game roster that’s going to be ready sometimes injuries at different positions, sometimes offensively demand, ‘hey, they have an extra guy’. Well if they have an extra guy then we need somebody who can be a swing guy and it helps you make those positions and know that we have it covered. We have a lot of guys who have done that, Husain Abdullah has done it, he plays different positions. Ron’s played inside and outside, he’s done a really good job. (Josh) Mauga was trained that way when he first started, he was going to be a guy to play multiple positions. The more players you have like that, the easier it is to put your roster together, that’s one factor. The other thing it gives you is you can move these guys around a little bit. Like I always say, ‘sometimes you can’t get the license plates; you don’t really know what they are doing.’ So that’s helpful too.”
Q: Josh Mauga said yesterday there is an opportunity here for the Chiefs to prove they are the toughest team in the NFL if you get a win. Has that been a message?
SUTTON: “Well, certainly I think Seattle’s calling card is being physical, tough. They lead the National Football League in rushing, they are high in run defense, which are two staples if you are going to put that toughness card out there. They mirror each other in that regard, I think to win the game we are going to have to play a physical game. Everybody knows Marshawn Lynch, he’s probably the most physical back in the National Football League. It’s going to take a great effort by a lot of players to take care of him. This isn’t a one man show where you get him down, he runs physical, he runs hard and we have to get multiple people to the ball and get ready to play. It’s going to demand us to play at a very high level from the physical stand point.”
Q: Is there an added mental preparedness that goes into stopping a guy like Marshawn Lynch and Russell Wilson?
SUTTON: “Yeah you’ve got to. Russell Wilson I think has got three 100 yard rushing games which is more than most of the (running) backs in the NFL. He’s a dynamic player. A lot them are designed runs and then you add in the scrambles which are very difficult, but you’d like to be able to focus in on one of them, but you can’t neglect this other guy. This quarterback is a dangerous guy in the run game and not just like I saw drop back scrambles and that. We’ve got to play great team defense and there’s no real easy answer to that, but we’ve got to play our tails off and get a lot of guys to the football, got to win the line of scrimmage. That’s a big part of stopping the running game. You’ve got to win that battle up front there.”
Q: When you see four touchdowns on the ground for one player, what do you tell your team when you’re watching that in the film room?
SUTTON: “In between those 150 yards they had, there’s a lot of commas. You get to see a lot of runs. That’s one thing you see. It’s a really good offensive football team that I think plays to its strengths of their individual players. They’re not just one dimensional. Wilson is really an accurate passer. He has the ability to extend the play which makes it really dangerous and then he can take off and run. That challenges you and everything that you want to do on defense. Anytime that you’ve got a guy, like we always talk, there’s a play and then there’s a play within the play. That’s when he takes off and extends it and takes off and runs and you’ve got to be able to defend both the original play and this next play that just happens.”
Q: Does going up against a quarterback like Alex Smith in practice prepare you for a guy like Russell Wilson?
SUTTON: “Well, no we don’t really see Alex at all when we work against that. I think the experience we’ve dealt with (Colin) Kaepernick and that. That’s a good calling card for us and we’ve had a couple of other mobile guys. I just don’t know if we’ve played anybody quite as quick as Russell Wilson. He’s got really really good speed, but he has tremendous quickness. He can shake you and he makes it really challenging. He’s done that the entire year.”
Q: I know that one of the things that drives coaches crazy is pre-snap penalties. Defensively, you guys have had an amazing year. Knock on wood with that. I bring this up because last Sunday you had (Kevin) Vickerson jump up on fourth down and you go ‘oh my god, you never see that’. Then you turn around and he had a reason to jump. How have you guys limited that?
SUTTON: “Well I think that’s a tribute to the players’ focus and concentration and you understand snap counts. You try to understand that and the situations you’re in and just like that situation there, that’s a classic example of what we call a no brainer. You’re anticipating that they’re going to hard count you to try to get you to jump offsides. The balls on the other side of the 50, still quite a bit of time left and we talk about that a lot. Talk about that when you’re backed up and into the goal line. Any of that stuff, I think the players have done a great job of taking that in and internalizing because we don’t get to go out on the field with them in those situations. They have to know how to do those things and talk to each other you know?”
Q: What are the challenges you’ve faced with Seattle’s read options?
SUTTON: “Yeah, there’s a lot of problems. 24 (Marshawn Lynch) and their quarterback are problems no matter who keeps the ball. It demands you be disciplined, aggressive, all those things you have to do and the hard part is, you can be doing the right thing and you still have to tackle these guys both 24 and Russell when he comes out there. He’s a hard guy. There’s been several examples of him being out there and there’s a guy ready to take him, but again, he makes a mess and that. I think collectively it’s going to take a great team effort. We understand the play, the players understand the play. They execute that play at a very high level. Just like any of their zone runs they do a great job. Their line is very well schooled in zone blocking. Tom Cable has been one of the best line coaches in our league and pass schemes. They know what they’re doing and we’ve just got to play a great game. We’ve got to be very physical and do a great job of tackling.”
OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR DOUG PEDERSON
Q: A.J. Jenkins isn’t practicing today, (Anthony) Fasano, I don’t know what (Donnie) Avery’s situation is exactly, but who are you guys going to throw the ball to on Sunday?
PEDERSON: “I might have to suit up. No. I tell you it’s kind of our thought process, our mentality, the way we’ve gone about our business all year and that’s we’re going to play everybody. If it’s Frankie Hammond (Jr.) who’s had some experience out there, Albert’s (Wilson) had some snaps these last couple of weeks. Whoever we put out there has to go out there and play and we’re going against a fine defense and then they’ve got to execute their game plan.”
Q: If it’s not (Donnie) Avery, would (Frankie) Hammond (Jr.) be the next guy up?
PEDERSON: “Well, the next guy would be Frankie. It would be Hammond and then we’ve also got Albert. Albert, again, increasingly has gotten a few more reps each week and we’ve got to continue to get, he’s a young player, but keep him coming as well just like we did with Travis (Kelce).”
Q: Did you get your new tight end some work yesterday?
PEDERSON: “Got a few snaps, yeah. Got a few snaps and we’ll see where it is at the end of the week, but got him a few touches yesterday.”
Q: Is that realistic you think? He could be a part of the game plan on Sunday?
PEDERSON: “You know it could be. We’ve gone in every week with three tight ends and it should be no different this week. We’ll just see where it is at the end of the week.”
Q: How do you get Kelce more involved than last week?
PEDERSON: “Well first of all, you look at what Buffalo did and they were obviously very aware of where Travis was and is on the football field. We just kind of continued to dial up plays that directed for Travis. When we do call those plays, Travis has to execute and understand the coverage or his assignment in that particular situation, but we just have to call plays and get him the ball that way.”
Q: Do you see this as a week where you can get him more involved?
PEDERSON: “Well the tight end position, I guess this group has been successful, but yet it’s a defense that, not a very complicated defense, it’s not a very complicated scheme. You kind of know what they’re going to do. They’re very good at what they do. They’ve got great personnel over there and so from that standpoint, it becomes just an execution game and all our guys have to understand their assignment, understand the game plan and go execute against a good defense.”
Q: Looking back at what the Eagles did with Lane Johnson, he came right back in and started. With Stephenson, we’re still trying to see what’s going to happen with him. What’s going on with Donald Stephenson? He was arguably your best offensive linemen coming into the season.
PEDERSON: “It was a situation obviously with the suspension, four games at the start of the year and moving Ryan Harris out there to tackle and Ryan’s done a good job. He’s done well and I guess at this stage in the season you don’t want to disrupt that chemistry a little bit but yet at the same time, you want to continue to keep a guy like (Jeff) Linkenbach, a guy like Donald Stephenson involved with your system whether it be in short yardage at the goal line like we’ve done the last couple of weeks.”
Q: Are Stephenson and (Eric) Kush getting any reps at guard?
PEDERSON: “Just kind of keeping them in their spots right now. Kush is still growing as a center and he’s a fine center still keeping them right there in their spot.”
Q: Do you think you guys have an advantage this week with Brandon Mebane out to run the football?
PEDERSON: “I don’t know if there’s much. I mean, this is a good group. These guys fly around. I tell you what, I think for them, it’s obviously a guy they’re going to miss, but we just have to execute. Bottom line is we have to execute. He’s a big presence in there for sure”
Q: Dwayne (Bowe) at the game against Buffalo, his receptions are up compared to last year. He looks quicker, what changes do you see?
PEDERSON: “It’s a mindset with Dwayne. I think he understands that he’s kind of the guy for us on the perimeter. Alex (Smith) has a nice trust in him. Those two really work well together in practice and it shows in the game. Dwayne is different on Wednesday than he is on Sunday. When you get to Sunday, that’s his time, he loves the lights and the big show. He’s a gamer and it shows on Sunday.”
Q: It seems like when you guys ran drags on Sunday Buffalo was really aware of that. Was that with everybody or was that a (Travis) Kelce thing?
PEDERSON: “Going into the Buffalo thing we anticipated from them what they have shown on film, a lot more man-to-man, single safety, middle type coverages. They actually presented as a little more zone and that takes away some of that stuff so we had to make those adjustments during the game.”
Q: That four count play, the touchdown. Coach Reid said that’s a short yardage play, when you called it against that particular defense did you kind of feel like it was going to be a lot more than one yard?
PEDERSON: “Well you hope that every play is that. But obviously in that situation, yes that definitely has a play and you see it, everybody runs that play. It’s just a chance to get 25 with the ball in space on the perimeter with the hope of scoring and it worked. Guys executed the play extremely well. There was a sense of urgency being that it was a fourth down situation. It was just a well-executed play.”
Q: Is it hard to sit on that for the right moment?
PEDERSON: “Those plays like that are definitely game specific, certain situations. That one happened to be a fourth-and-one, could have been a third-and-one. But it’s those short yardage situations like that, and then there are obviously plays in the red zone or on third down that you’ve got to pick the right spot and pull it out. It may be a play that you’ve rep’d for two or three weeks and haven’t the chance to call it until that particular time.”
Q: So that’s in your playbook every week?
PEDERSON: “Not necessarily, because every defense will play that particular formation different. So it’s not in every single week.
Q: When you do your film study every week and you see a defensive end or outside back who’s prone to crash, does that move it up the playlist a little bit?
PEDERSON: “Yeah, there are certain things you look for with defenses. One, is defensive ends and linebackers and how they contain or scrape, or whatever. You look for those things as you game plan. Coach (Andy) Heck does a nice job of putting the run game together that way.”
Q: All the talk coming into the season about officiating and secondary physical play, and contact was about the Seattle Seahawks. But when you look at the first nine games, they have very few of those penalties. Why is that?
PEDERSON: “It’s a great fundamental football team. Some of the best corners you are going to see in the league and they play it well. Is there grabbing going on? Yeah, there’s going to be some grabbing and pushing and shoving, that’s just a part of the game. These guys do an exceptional job at the line of scrimmage and are able to quick jam receivers during the game at the line. Our guys have got to be aware of that and execute their fundamentals.
SPECIAL TEAMS COORDINATOR DAVE TOUB
Q: With Cyrus Gray out, does it look like Albert Wilson will now be the personal protector? That’s a lot of responsibility for a young kid.
TOUB: “Yeah, yeah. He came in in the last game in an important situation. We had two situations there where they went all-out rushes on us and he was able to handle that stuff, so we feel really good about Albert. For a rookie to be in that spot, in that situation, to come in without any reps the way he handled it, he did a really good job.”
Q: It seems like on that Anthony Sherman fumble he really hustled to get down there.
TOUB: “Yeah, that was his very first play. He makes the right call up front; he makes the right block, gets out; and goes down and makes the tackle, I mean that was impressive.”
Q: Was he getting any reps in practice there?
TOUB: “He got reps during training camp but during the week you don’t get reps. It’s kind of like the quarterback. He’s the quarterback of your punt team, Cyrus, you’ve got to let him get all the reps.”
Q: So that is an indication that he is paying attention in meetings?
TOUB: “Yeah, it says something about him, it says a lot about him as far as being a football instinct guy and being able to step up and it wasn’t too big for him as a rookie. You never know until you put him in there and we had to put him in and he rose to the challenge.”
Q: Is Albert Wilson going to take over all of Cyrus Gray’s special teams duties?
TOUB: “Not all of them. You asked about the PP (personal protector), I’m telling you he’ll be the PP. We have a lot of other guys that can do other spots.”
Q: Does that mean Frank Zombo is kind of the special teams ace now with Cyrus Gray out?
TOUB: “Well I’ll tell you we have a great leader in Anthony Sherman too. Anthony Sherman is obviously AFC (Special Teams) Player of the Week and everything. We’re really proud of him too. He’s done a really good job this year – leading tackler and everything else. He’s one of our leaders as well.”
Q: How did you feel about the decision De’Anthony Thomas made to catch the punt near the goal line on Sunday?
TOUB: “I want him to stay aggressive. I’m not going to rip him for being aggressive. We want him to keep doing that. He just needs to check. If he’s down there inside the five and he has blue jerseys on him, let it go back for a touchback. So he’s going to continue to get better, but we don’t want to take away his aggressiveness the way he’s been going after balls and that stuff. He’s right on track. He’s going to be a dynamic playmaker for us down the road.”
Q: So that was your message to him this week?
TOUB: “Yeah, I didn’t rip him or anything like that. We looked at the tape and saw the situation and he knows what he needs to do.”
Q: Joe Mays recorded a special teams tackle this week too. Was it good awareness to get back into his lane and make the tackle?
TOUB: “Yeah, on the very first punt return they got outside of us and they tried to do that again and our guys – both him and McCray – stayed outside and forced him back inside and he was able to shed the block and make the tackle – him and Cyrus both. He did a nice job. Now he was a four-phase player for us in that game, Joe, so it was good to have him back on the field.”
Q: Is that a role you continue to envision him in going forward?
TOUB: “Yeah, if he’s not a starter on defense, we’re going to use him on special teams. If he’s up, if he’s one of the 46, we need everybody we can to help us.”
Q: Is he pretty humble about it?
TOUB: “Oh yeah, our guys are all bought into special teams. They know how important special teams are and Andy (Reid) puts a good emphasis on it and our guys take pride in playing on special teams. So it’s not like a demotion; that’s not the mindset for us.”
Q: You really swarmed to the ball on that fumble recovery. What happened there?
TOUB: “What happened there? That’s the way it’s supposed to look. And I think kickoff coverage we did a better job too as well. We only gave up 21 yards in that game and I thought we improved in that area.”
Q: When you are against a talented returner, is that the only way to slow him down by squeezing him?
TOUB: “Yeah, when you have a talented returner you have to have all your lanes filled. There can’t be a gaping hole, there can’t be a double team where it’s not filled with somebody else. And the guys played downhill and physical and that’s what you’re looking for.”
Q: How much of an impact do you think it is to have Anthony Sherman willing to do anything?
TOUB: “Yeah, he’s another guy who really takes pride on special teams. Every time he steps on the field, whatever play it is – offense or special teams – he is going full speed all the time. And we’re just so pleased to have him. I think he’s the best fullback special teams player in the NFL.”
OPENING STATEMENT: “Alright, as far as the injuries go, Anthony Fasano will not practice today with a knee contusion and Jamell Fleming has a hamstring strain. He’s getting better but not quite ready. Demetrius Harris had his foot repaired surgically today. He’s doing well but obviously is done. Anthony Sherman was the AFC Special Teams Player of the Week. Congratulations to him. Look forward to the challenge of playing the Seattle Seahawks. We know they’re a good football team obviously, the reigning world champs. We need to have a good week of preparation which our guys will do, and it starts today. We had our walk through and we get to practice this afternoon and get ready for a good football team. Time’s yours.”
Q: Your defense overall has been very, very good this year. Why do you think that is?
REID: “Well, they’re playing well. I think they probably have a better understanding of the defense than maybe what they had last year. Although, I thought they did some good things last year, too. They’re playing well together as a unit, a team and Bob’s (Sutton) doing a nice job as are the assisting coaches coaching.”
Q: Your offense isn’t ranked very high in the NFL. Are we starting to see that you don’t have to be an explosive passing team to win in the NFL now?
REID: “Well, you’d like to add that to the mix. It would be a little bit better there, but I think efficiency is important there and there are other things that go into it. The turnover factor. We’re doing a fairly good job there, but we need to keep getting better in those areas. We’re not satisfied with that. We’ve got to continue to get better in all phases on both sides of the ball, but yes about the offense and the offensive side.”
Q: Speaking of the passing game, Travis Kelce had only two catches on Sunday. What is the mix there with trying to get him the ball, but also trying to call plays that work? What are the different factors that go into how much a guy gets the ball each week?
REID: “Yeah, you go in and they’re going to try and take certain guys away, then other guys have opportunities where he maybe didn’t have an explosive play. You saw A.J. (Jenkins) step up and have an explosive play. That’s how it goes. Every week’s not going to be a big-catch week for receivers. They understand that, and we’re lucky here that we have guys that really understand that and work through it. D (Dwayne) Bowe had a big day, so that took a little off of what Kelce had.”
Q: Is that what happened in Buffalo when they were keying in on him a little bit or were you kind of using him as a decoy based on what you saw from the previous week?
REID: “Yeah, well the way they rolled their coverages, some of that gets involved in that. He was dialed up on a few of them and the coverage dictated the quarterback to go a different direction.”
Q: Where is Kelce at right now as far as completely understanding the concepts of the offense? He’s still a young guy, didn’t get to play a lot last year. Can you do more with him as the season goes on and he grasps all the concepts?
REID: “He’s got the whole thing down. It’s just, he and Anthony (Fasano), they work. You saw him at the end of the game when Anthony was hurt, go in and do a nice job with a play that Anthony is normally in on. The beginning of the year we kind of kept the packages a little bit smaller and then we’ve added to it, and he’s really caught up to speed with the whole deal right now.”
Q: Is he a guy that is starting to get more attention from the defenses? Has that happened more in recent weeks or was that happening a month ago?
REID: “I’d probably tell you it was happening a month ago. He had a couple of big games there and when you do that, it gets people’s attention.”
Q: Why have the Seahawks had some bumps this season?
REID: “That happens in football. They’re still a heck of a football team. They’ve had some injuries there, so they played some young guys, but those things happen. That happens.”
Q: When you read their stat sheets, some things stand out. They ran for 350 yards. That has to grab your attention.
REID: “That’s pretty impressive, very impressive. It wasn’t just one guy doing it. They had one that did the majority of it, but the quarterback was also involved in that and then the other two runners were involved. So, I mean they had some guys that were putting up yards. You’ve got to be prepared for that.”
Q: How do you prepare for that?
REID: “Well we will find out. I can’t tell you or else they will know and they will get 300 yards. So I can’t do that.”
Q: Is that more heart and guts rather than schemes?
REID: Some of it is fundamentals; you’ve got to make sure you are fundamentally sound and that you tackle. These are gifted guys carrying the ball. Their runner, both of their two primary runners, are pretty strong guys so you’ve got to make sure that you play good physical football and wrap up when you have an opportunity to tackle.”
Q: What about the tight end (Phillip Supernaw)? Do you anticipate getting him ready to play on Sunday?
REID: “Phillip will get some reps today, so we will get him in the mix and give him an opportunity here to go. Some of the things at the Ravens are similar to some of the things we do here. Terminology wise, he’s got a little bit of a foundation there. It’s not like learning French overnight necessarily, he’s right in there.”
Q: Do you see a lot of similarities between Seattle and you guys? Good running game, good defenses, mobile quarterback.
REID: “Yeah, I would say those are strengths of each team. Probably, from that standpoint, yeah.”
Q: With third down in the red zone you guys have been pretty successful all year. Why is that?
REID: “Well the obvious is its efficiency and execution; we’ve done a nice job there. I think the coaches have done a nice job of scheming and the players have done a nice job of executing the plays that were called on both sides of the ball. It’s a challenge; those are tough areas to be efficient at, things are quite a bit faster there, particularly the red zone. So you’ve got to make sure that you keep your eyes open. You can’t blink down there.”
Q: It’s an every week topic that the wide receivers haven’t caught a touchdown pass yet. But isn’t that evidence that Alex Smith isn’t going to force the ball and he’s making the right reads on those passing plays?
REID: “Yeah, I’d say that, when I talk about efficiency that would fit into that area there. I think he’s doing a nice job of spreading it around and then taking advantage of what’s there. I don’t get caught up, I don’t think any of the guys really get caught up in any of that. I know that’s been a topic, I got it, I understand. But I don’t think the guys are worried about it. This is a unique group, they just go play. Ball comes to them then it comes, if it doesn’t come to them then they are blocking, very unselfish guys.”
Q: In nine games this season, the defense has given up just 28 points in the fourth quarter. Is that conditioning, in-game adjustments? What do you think the reason for that is?
REID: “Probably a combination of all the above. I think Bob (Sutton) and the coaches do a nice job with the adjustments. I think the players are strong, Barry (Rubin) has done a nice job with them in the conditioning area. And then there is a want to from the players, I think there is a certain attitude that they have and pride. That has been a positive for us thus far.”
Q: How good is Phillip Supernaw at blocking?
REID: “He’s super at that. We will find out. Off of the preseason stuff, he did a nice job. But we will see. This is kind of his first deal going here, with a chance to potentially have extended play.”
Q: He has experience in zone blocking?
Q: How much has changed since the first game with those two injuries (Derrick Johnson and Mike DeVito) on the defense?
REID: “There’s been a bit, but (Josh) Mauga knew the defense. That part has been a plus. Bob could continue to kind of do the things that you do with that being your primary transmitter to the front and the secondary. He hasn’t had to pull off anything. There hasn’t been a ton of difference, but at the same time you try to play to your player’s strengths. So each guy that comes in you try to play to their strength so there might be a wrinkle here and there.”
QB ALEX SMITH
Q: You’ve faced the ‘Legion of Boom’ before. Can you talk about the challenge of facing the Seahawks defense?
SMITH: “Yeah, I mean, shoot, they’re a good football team obviously, defending World Champions. Yeah, a little more familiarity with the scheme since Pete (Carroll) has been there and been running that system. Some of those players carry over from a few years ago. You turn on the tape, those guys play fast, they know what they’re doing. They’ve been in that system for a while now, and everybody’s flying around. They’re good. Good, good style of defense; it’ll be a big challenge for us.”
Q: What makes that defense unique?
SMITH: “I don’t know if there is any one thing. They play good football, it’s 11 guys all on the same page, all flying around. I think they all kind of fit the scheme well from the secondary perspective to the front, then get up to the passer. The guys on the outside disrupt routes, timing, safeties fly around, matchup well in coverages. They’ve got some physical linebackers too so good across the board; it’s hard to find a weakness.”
Q: Why have you been so good in the redzone?
SMITH: “I know you guys won’t like this answer, but I think it comes down to executing. I think another reason is our balance this year. We’ve had such good balance all over the field, especially down there it kind of gets magnified. You make it tough on defenses to really zero in on what you’re doing. And then just executing, all of those things kind of get magnified down there.”
Q: Efficiency is huge for your offense. What does it mean to not be as efficient on third down last week and still come away with a victory?
SMITH: “Yeah, we hadn’t won a game like that this year to be able to come back like that on the road against a good team, good defense and find a way to win that game. I think you look back and that first half, a lot of negative plays, getting behind schedule and putting ourselves in bad third downs, penalties, sacks, negative runs. And it’s tough, tough versus any defense, let alone a defense like that on the road, to convert. So I think it just kind of more reaffirms the way we have been doing things. When we’ve had success is being productive on first and second downs and putting ourselves in more convertible situations.”
Q: You guys are 30th in passing yards. Do you have to be an explosive passing offense any more in today’s NFL?
SMITH: “I’m not getting caught up on that. First and foremost, we’re trying to win the game. I think you want to be efficient in the passing game, good passing games are efficient in that when you are throwing the ball, that you’re productive, you’re completing a lot of balls and putting guys in good situations to make plays. So certainly I think you want that, yeah.”
Q: It seems the NFL is putting in so many new rules against the defense on passes, yet you are still bucking that trend.
SMITH: “I don’t know. I think for us it’s about executing and scoring points. I think I’m more concerned with how many points we’re scoring than yards we’re throwing for. I think that whole group kind of thinks that way.”
Q: Are defenses putting more bodies on Travis Kelce now that they have seen what he is capable of?
SMITH: “I don’t know. This last week it didn’t feel like there was necessarily more attention to him. I think certainly he has put more things on film, so teams are aware of him. I think it really kind of comes down to all of us doing it and finding those matchups and throwing the ball where it’s supposed to go.”
Q: What were the factors that allowed him only two catches on Sunday?
SMITH: “A lot of things. I really think it was more of a collective deal than anything. They were playing good defense and a little lack of execution on our part. Failed to execute a little bit, but certainly he is a guy you’d like to get the ball to – a playmaker for us like a lot of the other guys.”
Q: How much different are the coverages he is seeing now compared to Week 1?
SMITH: “I don’t know. I don’t necessarily notice any difference with them. Like I said, I think we move the ball around enough that they’ve got a lot of guys to worry about. I don’t know, it’s tough. It’s probably a better question for some of these D-coordinators.”
Q: What determined that you were going to Travis Kelce on that play late in the fourth to pick up a first down?
SMITH: “They actually went and dropped eight guys into coverage. O-line did a great job protecting up front. He did a great job moving, it was kind of a second deal there in the zone, finding the soft spot in the zone and having a good feel for it. Made it pretty easy.”
Q: So he made an adjustment on it?
SMITH: “Yeah, it was kind of not in the original timing of the play. He kind of moved and found the soft spot.”
Q: Was that something he was doing in the preseason?
SMITH: “No, I think he’s always had that kind of feel. He’s always kind of been that kind of player that I think has a good feel of just understanding leverages and defenses and it’s just kind of innate.”
Q: Does that make it easy to trust a guy then?
SMITH: “I think once you have the reps with him, for sure. You kind of know what he’s going to do and you have a good sense of it. You can kind of anticipate it, no question. When it’s the other way though it’s tough.”
Q: Do you think how the Bills attacked you with their front seven will be similar to how Seattle attacks you?
SMITH: “I don’t know. It was a physical front last week and we’re going to face another physical front, so in that sense. But different scheme and different players and we’ll have to find a new way to attack this defense.”
Q: Do you have a sense for how much Brandon Mebane meant to their defense?
SMITH: “Elite player inside for them, elite player. You turn on the film and the guy’s disruptive, very disruptive. They’re still a very good football team though, but no question a very, very good football player.”
Q: How do you think Special Teams Player of the Week will change Anthony Sherman?
SMITH: “Ha, that’s funny. New contract, player of the week. I’ve never seen it for a fullback on special teams and he deserves it. A big, big game, made the game-changing play there to give us a chance to win.”
Q: We’ve seen many quarterbacks not throw at Richard Sherman. Is that something you don’t think about?
SMITH: “No, that’s just not the way we operate here and not really my mindset either. I’ve told you guys this before: I’m dropping back and throwing the ball where it’s supposed to go. We’re not necessarily forcing the ball to anybody or shying away from anybody either. So really the play and situation, all that stuff is going to kind of dictate to where the ball goes.”
TE TRAVIS KELCE
Q: What are your thoughts about Seattle coming to your place and that opportunity you have to go against them?
KELCE: “It will be a good opportunity for us, a good challenge for us. They are very solid defense; I mean they didn’t win the Super Bowl for nothing. They are a very solid team. They returned a lot of guys on defense that made them as good as they were last year. They’ve been hit with a couple injuries, but they’re doing a good job at filling in the spots. So it’s going to be a good challenge for us.”
Q: What makes them so good on defense?
KELCE: “They’ve got good players everywhere. They have a solid defense, very stout. They play both the run and the pass very well. They know their job, they play in unison. They play as a team. When you’ve got 11 guys playing together, it’s going to be a tough team to beat. I think we will go out there and play our style of football and give it to them.”
Q: Is it changing in the NFL now that you don’t have to be as explosive or pass heavy in the past decade or so?
KELCE: “As long as you go out and execute, I don’t think it really matters if you’re a run heavy or pass heavy team. You just go out there and play together, execute and stay true to the fundamentals of the game I think you’ll be good.”
LB JOSH MAUGA
Q: How much has knowing the defense helped you to step in and play well?
MAUGA: “It’s helped me a lot. Just being familiar with the calls and with Bob (Sutton). It’s helped me a lot to come in and transition.”
Q: People were skeptical when you guys lost two big guys right off the bat and this defense would feel the effects of it. You guys are playing so well. Why?
MAUGA: “It’s just staying together. Coach Reid preaches that. One guy down, next man steps in and fills that hole. He doesn’t want us to have a step back there so he expects the next guy to always prepare like he’s the starter.”
Q: You guys are on top of most of the defensive stats. What do you attribute that to?
MAUGA: “Just playing together, being consistent, being all on the same page and then our preparation. Guys around here are doing a great job, coaches included on helping us understand formations and what they’re trying to do to us. It allows us to play fast.”
Q: The Seahawks rushed for 350 yards last week. What do you see on tape when you look at that? What kind of challenge is that going to be on Sunday?
MAUGA: “That brings a big challenge to us. They ran the ball great with (Marshawn) Lynch and with Russell (Wilson). That will definitely be a test to our front seven and we love these kinds of games. They get physical and that’s the type of game that we like to play.”
Q: How do they run for 350 yards?
MAUGA: “Getting guys out of position. There’s a lot of times where guys are chasing the ball one way and Wilson is bouncing out the opposite way.”
OPENING STATEMENT: “Alright, as far as the injuries go, today the guys that will not practice will be Jamell Fleming with the hamstring, these are all hamstring strains. So, Jerry Franklin and Josh Martin. Look forward to the challenge of playing the Buffalo Bills. We know they are a very good football team, and we need to make sure we have a good week of preparation to study the opponent and take care of business there. That’s what we’re doing. Time’s yours.”
Q: Anthony Sherman, obviously you like him from your trade last year. Are you getting more from him than you anticipated?
REID: “Well, in this offense, which isn’t the case for most offenses in today’s football, the fullback ends up being an important part of that and with that, they’ve got to be good blockers and they’ve also got to be able to catch the football. He can do all of that and on top of that, be a good special teams player as one of your top special teams player. With that, we, (John) Dorsey extended him and I also think he’s one of the leaders on the football team. So, he kind of covers a bunch of bases there, but most of all he’s a good football player.”
Q: Are you getting more out of him than you anticipated out of the trade?
REID: “Yes. I mean, I’ll tell you, he’s done well. On the other hand, the fullback position, he’s doing what the fullback has done in this offense. Yeah.”
Q: If you find someone that can do what he does in this offense, you want to keep him around don’t you?
REID: “There are not a lot of them out there right now and college football, not a lot of teams are using a fullback. Most teams are going with more tight ends than fullbacks.”
Q: Would you say this is a reward for what he’s done not only on the field, but off as well?
REID: “I’m not sure if reward is the right word. He’s a good football player. He does do things the right way. I don’t want to off sight that part of it either. I think you’re accurate with that. I would tell you, we feel that way with all our players and we’ve got good guys here. You can’t single out one guy like that. We’re fortunate to have good guys.”
Q: Dustin Colquitt does a phenomenal job pinning guys to the corners in the end zone. How much does that effect what you like to do defensively?
REID: “Yeah well, field position is a big thing in the National Football League, and that’s one of those stats that your drives start as, you know, it’s tough to drive along the field. For what he does for us, I think it’s very valuable.”
Q: The Bills have had to pass a lot in the recent weeks because of the injures to their running backs. What does that do? When you look across and you see Kyle Orton finding Sammy Watkins, what are the challenges that you face?
REID: “Well, I’ve faced Kyle Orton as a head coach. I’ve faced him. My teams have faced him a few times and he’s a very good football player, he has been for a number of years. Get Sammy into the mix and I know Kyle’s not complaining about that. That’s a good football player and there’s a reason why he was drafted as high as he was and he’s producing. They’re one of the top long ball teams in the National Football League and that’s a great challenge for our secondary that way.”
Q: Is Sean Smith better than he was last year?
REID: “More consistent, yes.”
Q: What do you attribute that to?
REID: “It’s his work ethic and how he’s approached things. He comes to work every day. He’s been banged up a little bit, and he’s been able to work through that. He doesn’t let that slow him down. He’s obviously here every day and in this profession, you’re going to have nicks and bruises and things that don’t feel so good when you come out to practice and he makes sure he gets out here and works and works through that and gets his game right.”
Q: Basically, I remember a two month stint where he was a backup. How did that affect him?
REID: “Well I thought he handled it really maturely. He didn’t complain, he just came out and worked and he’s carried that through here. That’s important.”
Q: How do you explain how this defense has come together? Top three in a lot of different categories.
REID: “They work well together; I think is what you’d say. They have good communication. Every week is a new challenge. They haven’t gotten caught up in all those stats, which really don’t mean much every week. They put that aside, they’ve studied the game plan and learned it inside out. They take a lot of pride in their job.”
Q: How close is Chris Owens to returning?
REID: “He’s close. He’ll take some snaps today, just taking that next step. He looked good the next couple weeks. I think he’s anxious to see if he can test it even a little bit further.”
Q: What makes this Bills defensive line so unique, compared to others that you’ve faced?
REID: “I’m singling out just their defensive line because they’ve got a great combination there with their secondary linebackers and front and they’re very explosive in all those categories. Their defensive line is quick and athletic and they do have size. You see them dominate in games at times. Again, that’s a great challenge for our offensive line.”
Q: Are you doing different things with your secondary to put them in better positions to not give up the big plays? Is it an understanding in the defense or are there changes in the defense?
REID: “I think it’s more of an understanding right now. However, Emmitt (Thomas) and Bob (Sutton) work hard to put guys in positions where they can utilize their talents. You add another part of that statement, we all have strengths and we all have weaknesses. We want to exploit your strengths and work on getting you better at the things you’re maybe not as good at. I think between that combination, the guys are little bit more well-rounded in the defense that way.”
Q: After facing the Rams defensive line and the Jets defensive line. How does that help the offensive line going up against another stout defensive line with the Bills?
REID: “Well you practice. You come out here and spend all these hours working your tail off and you love that challenge of being able to play against the best. We’ve had that opportunity the last few weeks to do that. You could argue that this is one of the better defenses, if not the best, in the National Football League at this point in the season. I just think, again, it’s a great challenge for the offense and it starts up front. So the offensive line, they do take some responsibility in how things go and a lot of pride in what they do.”
Q: You said some of those defensive numbers don’t matter, one that tends to (matter) is forced turnovers. How has the defense been so successful with only forcing five turnovers?
REID: “I didn’t say the numbers don’t matter, the numbers matter in your success. I’m saying the guys don’t worry about those numbers. They just concentrate on their job.”
Q: They’ve only forced five turnovers. How has the defense been so successful with a limited number of takeaways?
REID: “We’ve done well in the red zone, we’ve done well on third down and that’s helped us in that area. We do want the turnovers; we would like that to be better. So the guys are going to keep working at it and making sure we get better in that area.”
Q: Last week you said Joe Mays was a long shot to play. Is that the case this week?
REID: “Yeah, Chris Owens and he will both work in there. We will just see how things go, I can’t guarantee on either of them. Let’s just take it up a notch and if it feels that way – take it up a notch from what we did last week and see what happens.”
Q: But it’s still no longer a long shot?
REID: “Right, yep.”
WR DWAYNE BOWE
Q: Do you find it odd that none of the wide receivers have a touchdown catch? They tried to get you one on Sunday and Anthony Fasano caught it.
BOWE: “Aw man, he’s a receiver. As long as we are making progress, it’s going to come my way. Right now other guys are getting opportunities and making plays on third down. They are moving the chains and getting guys in positions to score those touchdowns. As long as I’m contributing then I’m feeling good. The team is rolling and everybody has that confidence that they need to move forward late in the season.”
Q: How do you make sure you don’t press trying to score a touchdown?
BOWE: “Easy, you just go out there before every big play, take your time, take a deep breath and just know the ball is going to be where it needs to be. I’ve been doing this for eight years and once I go out there it’s like clockwork. Once they start coming like it was in 2010, they are going to start coming.”
Q: Can you talk about the value of riding the clock and time of possession? You had a couple scoring drives, 12 and 16-play drives – that kind of sucks the life out of the defense.
BOWE: “I actually don’t feel it while I’m in the game because at the time we are just going through what we do every day in practice. Like you said that does drain the defense, and if you can keep a good quarterback off the field for 30 or 40 minutes a game, you should come out victorious. That’s Andy’s style of offense, and I think we are doing a good job at fitting into it.”
Q: From 0-2 to 5-3, what do you think the biggest reason is?
BOWE: “I think guys have calmed down and found themselves and learned how to play within the system and helped guys get into a good position to make plays. And I think that’s what this team is doing.”
QB ALEX SMITH
Q: Is it nice to see Anthony Sherman get an extension?
SMITH: “Yeah, absolutely. I really don’t think there’s a guy in this locker room that’s not happy for him today. So selfless, team guy, team first, does it all – special teams, fullback, we move him around, we do a lot with him. It doesn’t matter. You could ask him to go out there and play any position and he would do it. Incredibly selfless guy but a guy everybody loves to have around, love to have in the locker room, that kind of personality. So I’m happy for him.”
Q: How much do you think his willingness to do anything on the team rubs off on some of his teammates?
SMITH: “That’s part of it. He just has an infectious personality. I think he’s fun to have around. He loves the game of football, he loves his teammates so that’s infectious. Certainly, part of this is him being a really, really good player as well – a guy that can do it all. He wants to do it all and he can. The guy that we isolate a lot on blocks and he wins for us consistently. A guy that can be a weapon for us as well in the passing game. You saw that play he made a couple weeks ago against the Chargers and a rare play for a fullback to be making a play like that.”
Q: It seems like there are a lot of players in this locker room that are willing to do whatever it takes to win.
SMITH: “Yeah, certainly. It doesn’t get talked a lot about but I think we have such a selfless group in general, and everybody that puts the team first. That’s a unique thing in the NFL, unique thing in professional sports I think. It’s fun. The guys enjoy being around their teammates, enjoy coming to work and being around each other. It’s fun, fun group.”
Q: How amazed have you been with the offensive line so far? They’ve kept you pretty clean so far.
SMITH: “Really, a credit to those guys. I think the thing that really jumps out is just the pride they have as a group, a collective group that the pride they have in going out there and playing and setting the tone for us. They really take that one. That’s it, they do it and take it on every single week. They’re detailed, they’re tough and it’s a good, good group. And like I said, I think they do set the tone for us.”
Q: Does it surprise you a little bit given that you have a rookie and a few free agents signed during training camp that are starting?
SMITH: “Yeah, certainly it was a difficult situation at the beginning of the year, having guys move around. Really, Rodney’s (Hudson) the only guy playing the same position from a year ago. So when you think about that, it is amazing. But right now in the thick of it, we’re just going.”
Q: How big of a factor do you think Buffalo’s defensive line will be?
SMITH: “For me, just going out and playing my game. It’s no different every week. I feel like every week, teams have good fronts. And this group does, this group has a really good front. For me though, I’m trying not so much to think about those guys, but the guys down the field and make good decisions and get the ball out. With that though, yeah, you don’t want to sit back there and hold onto it and create problems, and when you do, you want to be good with the ball in the pocket and be responsible.”
Q: Is there anything you can take from your game against Buffalo last year and use to your advantage this year?
SMITH: “Yes and no. From a personnel side, a lot of the same faces over there, a lot of the same guys playing, but different scheme, different coordinator. So different in that sense.”
Q: Is there a danger in pressing a little bit because you want to see a wide receiver catch a touchdown pass?
SMITH: “We want to get everybody involved in scoring touchdowns, but to be honest, when you’re out there playing, that’s not something I’m thinking about. The play gets called, there are reads and things that go into this that, you’re going out there and trying to throw the ball where it’s supposed to go. So certainly, not a thing we’re trying to press and force to this guy or that guy.”
Q: The Chiefs rank sixth in the time of possession. What does that do for an offense when you look across the line of scrimmage and see a tired and frustrated opponent?
SMITH: “I think we take a lot of pride in that as well as an offensive unit and once again with the guys up front, taking a lot of pride in that. And I think as a result of it, we’ve been good on first and second down. We’ve put ourselves in good third downs and converted when we’ve had them. We’ve been able to sustain drives and wear down some teams. Yeah, I think so and it’s a big part of the run game as well – the run game, a four quarter deal and sticking with it. But there’s certainly something that I think this group is taking a lot of pride in.”
Q: As a fellow quarterback, what can you appreciate about Kyle Orton?
SMITH: “I think it’s tough for me to comment. Like I said, I don’t know anything. But certainly a guy that has taken advantage of an opportunity. I think anyone can appreciate, not just quarterbacks.”
Q: Why do you think he has bounced around the league so often?
SMITH: “I’ve got no idea. It’s tough for me to say. I don’t know all the in’s and out’s. Kyle and I did come out the same year, so from that perspective, we’ve been around each other a lot and played against each other a lot. But everyone’s got a different journey.”
Q: How do you like playing in the snow?
SMITH: “Rather snow than rain, that’s for sure. But we’ll see. We get good work here with the weather. You never know what you’re going to get every day.”
Q: Do you like where this team is at this point in the season, sitting at 5-3 and only a game out of first?
SMITH: “I think the thing I appreciate about this team is we just don’t think like that. To be honest, you’re in the middle of it, you’re in the thick of it. And our focus has been on Buffalo and that’s it. We’re not thinking about anything else and nor should we be I think. We’re focused on the task at hand and not getting ahead of ourselves.”
FB ANTHONY SHERMAN
Q: How big is this for you to get an extension and stay in Kansas City?
SHERMAN: “It’s huge. I definitely wanted to stay here, definitely wanted to be a part of this team. We’re going to do some good things. I want to stay in Kansas City, so it was definitely good to get out of the way. Right now, I’m not really too concerned with it, I’m more focused on the Buffalo Bills.”
Q: Do you think the coaches utilize your strengths better here than when you were with the Cardinals?
SHERMAN: “Absolutely. Coach Reid does a great job of knowing the type of guys he has and putting them in situations to execute their jobs.”
Q: What does it do for you when the team commits to you like that?
SHERMAN: “You just know that you’re wanted somewhere and it’s a good feeling to have someone that wants you to stay here and play for your team.”
Q: How do you think your willingness to do anything has rubbed off on some of your teammates?
SHERMAN: “I think Coach (Reid) and (John) Dorsey did a great job of bringing guys in where that’s their whole attitude. I don’t think it’s just necessarily me that has rubbed off on other people. I think it’s just the way that they structured this team and that’s what makes it so good right now. Anyone is willing to do anything to help us win.”
Q: Andy Reid mentioned you as a leader on this team and in the locker room.
SHERMAN: “I just try to lead by example and hopefully guys will follow.”
TE TRAVIS KELCE
Q: It snowed in Buffalo last week. What are your thoughts on going to Buffalo and potentially playing in those conditions?
KELCE: “Well, I am accustomed to snow. I grew up on Lake Erie so that won’t bother me at all. But you’ve got to play no matter what the weather is and where it is in the States. So we’ll just go up there, we’ll jell together and put in the hours needed during the week to go out there and play a good game on Sunday.”
Q: They’re one of the best teams at sacking the quarterback. Do you expect more double tight end sets to protect the quarterback?
KELCE: “No, we do what we do. We know that our guys are capable of blocking anyone in the league. I’m sure we’ll go ahead and do some things to help out everybody. That’s the nature of the offense to go ahead and take advantages of the matchups that we have out there. So we’ll do what we have to do and just go out there and play together.”
Q: What has the first half of the season been like for you to be healthy and productive after missing most of the season last year?
KELCE: “It’s been fun for me, just to be out there playing with these guys and going out there and jelling with them and having a good time every Sunday that we go out there. But we’re not where we want to be. We’re 5-3, we’re still in the playoff race and things like that, so we’ll just go ahead and take it game-by-game and see where we end up here.”
Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid Quotes
November 3, 2014
OPENING STATEMENT: “For the injuries really the only new injury we had was Jerry Franklin, he has a hamstring strain. We will just see how he does, he’s pretty tender today. It’s not a real bad tear, but it’s a strain so we will see how he does. Jamell Fleming had the hamstring strain from the week before. If we had a practice today he wouldn’t be able to practice. Josh Martin also had a hamstring strain. Again, if we had a practice today, he wouldn’t be able to practice today. All of them are getting better, at least Fleming and Martin are, and we will just see how Franklin does over the next few days. There’s a chance Donnie Avery can get out and start practicing again here as we get going this week. And then Joe Mays will continue to progress here and we will just see how he does as we go forward. Eric Berry made it out of the game fine, no problems there. (Phillip) Gaines continues to improve. Again, it was a good win yesterday against a team that, I think, is very well-coached and has some talent there. So every win in the National Football League is a good win. I appreciate our fans and the support they gave us yesterday, they were loud as ever. That’s tough on the opposing teams that come in here. Offensively, I thought we did a nice job on our third down conversions again. Which ends up being a pretty important stat, we were 62% there. I thought Dwayne (Bowe) had some big catches for us as we went through the game, along with (Travis) Kelce, A.J. (Jenkins) and Anthony (Fasano). Haven’t seen too many catches like the one Anthony had, but we’ll take it. The offensive line, in order for the guys to have the catches they did, had to do a good job protecting. We know they have a good defensive line there. I thought our guys did a pretty good job with that group. Defensively, likewise, I thought we did a nice job defensively on third downs. The Jets were 4 for 12 there. And we were able to hold the Jets to zero points that second half, which was very important, in particularly in some of the situations we were in. We lost the time of possession game to them but again, holding them out of the end zone kind of trumped that. And then, Justin (Houston) added two sacks to his league leading total of 12 and (Dontari) Poe added one to his grouping. I thought (Josh) Mauga, who doesn’t get a ton of credit for what he’s doing right now. I mean, he’s leading the team in tackles and he led the team in tackles yesterday with 10. Special teams, I thought De’Anthony’s (Thomas) kick return just before half was important and gave us a little momentum and gave us an opportunity to score. I thought Dustin (Colquitt) did a good job with keeping the field position, in a few of those cases, in our favor. With that, time’s yours.”
Q: You mentioned Josh Mauga, how big do you think that is that he was able to come in and take on responsibility and also do what he’s done in terms of production.
REID: “That’s been a good thing for us. Josh was one of the few people who had a little background with Bob (Sutton). He came from the Jets, knew the defense, and I think that’s helped all the way around. I think that’s been a positive for us.”
Q: You touched on the offensive line a little yesterday, you have three newcomers and a first year left tackle and a third year center. What’s been the thread that’s enabled them to do what they’ve done?
REID: “I would take it all the way back last year with Branden Albert, John Asamoah and Geoff Schwartz. There was a continuity that developed then, they were able to build on it this year. We added some new people, they came in, and also added some leadership and continuity to the mix. The more they played, they’ve gotten better there. I’m partial because I think they are well coached with Andy Heck and Eugene Chung. I think it’s a good combination. We have a ton of room to improve still but they are getting better. They are making progress every week and that’s important.”
Q: Who has been the leader in that offensive line group?
REID: “You can probably say Rodney (Hudson), Mike McGlynn, (Ryan) Harris does a good job in that area.”
Q: Is it a question of finding out what your offensive lineman can and can’t do and thus, each week you can tilt your game plan to meet their strengths?
REID: “Listen, they’re working both of their games. Yesterday you saw them do a good job in pass protection so we’ve been doing a nice job – probably a better job in the run game in week’s past. This week we did a better job with the pass protection, so I think that’s a plus against a pretty good pass-rushing team so I was proud of them for that part.”
Q: It seems like Alex Smith is getting the ball out faster with a lot of three step drops.
REID: “Yeah, we do a few of those, possession throws. The short, intermediate game, I think we do that halfway decent. It ties in with some of the run game part that we’re doing, too.”
Q: Do you think it’s a coincidence that you don’t have a wide receiver touchdown reception so far this season?
REID: “Yeah, I know Donovan (McNabb) was hammering me on that when he was here. I didn’t even think about it until he mentioned it. It doesn’t really bother me, as long as we’re getting in and getting touchdowns. A.J. (Jenkins) came up like an inch short yesterday, so I don’t think it’s that big of a deal as long as we’re scoring.”
Q: The way you use Jamaal Charles in the passing game and your tight ends too, they are almost like wide receivers anyway. Is that an accurate statement?
REID: “Yeah, really you look at the one that (Travis) Kelce had yesterday. He was the third receiver out there; he was in a wide receiver position there so yeah.”
Q: Is that something you tell the wide receiver group to maybe poke a little fun at them?
REID: “Do I give them the business about it, is that what you’re saying? Yeah, I try not to let that slide. They’re good about it though. Listen, the receivers are making big plays for us. You saw what Dwayne (Bowe) did for us yesterday. You look at what A.J. did on the catch, he came close to scoring.”
Q: You’re one of the league leaders in yards after the catch. Is that because of the design of your offense or is that because your players are good running after the catch?”
REID: “Yeah, I’d probably give the credit to the guys on that. They’re able to make people miss. You see Dwayne do it, you see Kelce do it, you’ve seen Jamaal do it.”
Q: What have you missed without Donnie Avery in the lineup?
REID: “It would be experience. That would be it. But I think this has been very valuable for A.J. and he’s done a very nice job for us and every week he gets a little better and more confident and feels more comfortable in there. So I wouldn’t take anything away from A.J. to make that statement, but Donnie has been around the game a long time.”
Q: Is there something A.J. Jenkins gives you that Donnie Avery doesn’t?
REID: “That’s not a healthy thing to do, start comparing like that. They’re both good players for us.”
Q: What is the most encouraging thing about Eric Fisher’s growth?
REID: “He just keeps getting better and better. You saw him yesterday, but I thought he just played a heck of a game yesterday.”
Q: As a run blocker or in every aspect?
REID: “Yesterday it was everything. Yesterday he kind of did everything; he did well.”
Q: What has De’Anthony Thomas been able to give you guys in the offense and return game?
REID: “He’s an explosive player and not only quick, but also has that speed that goes with it. So if you give him a little daylight, if you can find a way to do that, then he’s normally going to hit that and hit it fast. So he’s created some big plays for us in some areas.”
Q: What have you seen from Justin Houston’s leadership role that is different from last year?
REID: “I see it in practice every day. He puts a lot of pressure on himself. He also puts it on the players around him, but he also has that personality that he’s funny. He can kind of keep it loose. He knows when to crank it and when to loosen it up. He’s developed a good feel for that.”
Q: You’ve talked about how he stays after practice to keep working. What does that say to the rest of the team?
REID: “They see his work ethic. He and Tamba (Hali) are constantly doing work in between when the one offense is up doing their practice part of it and the defense is, the one defense, is on the sideline. He and Tamba are out there doing all their pass rush stuff that they do and games that they do. The guys know and I think Justin could probably tell you he learned a lot of that from Tamba and the way Tamba goes about his game, just that Tamba’s a relentless worker too. It’s always good for a young guy to see that and probably a lot of the credit goes to Tamba too with just being able to teach Justin and for Justin to stay with it and continue to take it to another level.”
Q: What did you think of Eric Berry’s performance and the job of the guys who have been filling in for him?
REID: “The guys have done a nice job with him out. It was good to get him back in though too. He had a couple of nice players there. Early the one with Michael (Vick) scrambled there and he came up and took a great angle which normally you worry about with somebody who’s been out for a bit, but he took a great angle, closed on him and ended up bringing him down. It was good to get him back in the swing and kind of get caught up to the game speed. When you really think about it, you look at what’s real there. He hasn’t had a lot of reps since training camp and during training camp. He was hurt then too. This was a way of getting him back in and going. He’s sore today, just body’s sore from playing, but that’s a good thing. He’s back in and I think he feels pretty good about it.”
Q: I’m sure it’s a good problem to have him back in there, but you guys have had good guys involved at the safety position. How do you get everybody involved to balance it out to make sure you have the right guys in the right spot?
REID: “In Bob’s (Sutton) defense, everybody’s going to play. That’s just how it rolls. You saw all the different personnel groups he’s got going in and how he handles that. Everybody plays, that’s not necessarily an issue.”
Q: You guys are among the leaders in the NFL in defense, yet you only have five takeaways. I didn’t think that was possible. I thought you had to have a lot of takeaways to have a good defense.
REID: “Yeah it’s unusual. It is unusual and those things kind of come and normally come then grow, but we’ll see. Normally one leads to another. We haven’t been able to string those together yet, but we’re going to keep working on it.”
Q: You’ve played some pretty good quarterbacks too.
REID: “We have played some good quarterbacks. Yeah.”
Q: Ron Parker is able to be mixed in at cornerback. How valuable is that?
REID: “Yeah, he played corner, he played nickel and safety yesterday. That’s pretty good, for a young guy. Gives you a lot of flexibility out there, good football player. Even though he dropped that interception, good football player.”
Q: Has Phillip Gaines come as far since he started the regular season?
REID: “Yeah, I think special teams is great for him. You hear that.”
Q: Elaborate on that.
REID: “You hear about special teams. What it does is it teaches leverage. It teaches angles. It keeps you in open space with speed players. You learn to work the angles and how to close on people and that transfers over. It really transfers over for secondary players and linebackers for whatever reason. You just see improvements. If they can handle the special teams, they normally improve on defense. He’s been one of those guys. Did a nice job as a gunner, and he’s had the opportunity to get in work at the nickel, did well there. He was able to start for us in the corner spot and do a nice job there. We’re lucky to have Coop (Marcus Cooper). Coop’s another good player that we can mix in. You can’t have enough of those guys. It’s good to have all of them.”
Q: Can you recall a guy that’s come as far as Gaines has in half of a season as rough as it looked for him in the preseason?
REID: “You’re thinking of the Green Bay game. The Green Bay game was a little rough on him. I think he grew up in that game. He learned some things there in the preseason and that focused him in even more than what he might’ve been before. Quintin Mikell was one that I had that started off as a special teams player and ended up being a Pro-Bowl caliber safety and it was kind of the same progression there.”
Q: Was it this quickly?
REID: “Yeah, I can’t remember. That was a long time ago.”
Q: You had to play Gaines because of injuries in the nickel, but you didn’t have to play him yesterday. Do you feel like you were taking a bit of a leap of faith with him or have you seen enough from him that he will respond okay?
REID: “We thought he would. We thought that he would be able to handle it and he looked like he did, but it was all off from what he showed us prior too.”
Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid Quotes
October 27, 2014
OPENING STATEMENT: “Alright, as far as injuries go, (Jamell) Fleming has a hamstring strain, as does Josh Martin. Both of those happened yesterday. Chris Owens is making progress with his knee sprain but he wouldn’t be ready to practice today if we practiced. Alex (Smith) actually has a shoulder sprain that happened in the game and he was able to obviously go through the game and everything worked out okay but a bit sore today, but should be fine. Donnie Avery is making progress again with a sports hernia injury. Eric Berry will continue to work as we get into this next week and is feeling good. I didn’t mention this last night but should have: our fans were tremendous for the game. They were loud and louder so they do a heck of a job for us and we appreciate that. I thought overall anytime you win in the National Football League it’s a good win. There are things we can get better at absolutely, that’s a positive. I thought defensively after that first drive we came out and did a good job of putting pressure on their quarterback and at the same time taking care of their run game, which has been very good for them. I thought the game plan was good; I thought our third down percentages were good on defense. I thought (Ron) Parker played well in the secondary, made plays; he had a sack and an interception. At the same time I thought our secondary played well as a group. (Sean) Smith continues to show every week here and I’m proud of him for that. Our defensive line – Bailey is one that jumps out at you – but I thought they all played very well. Bailey had a sack and a half there and Justin Houston at the outside linebacker position, he and Tamba (Hali) were in that backfield a lot especially in pass situations and Justin had the three sacks to go with that. So overall, I just thought the defense played very well. I thought offensively we did some good things in the run game. We started off slow and kind of picked up momentum in the second half. First half, we had 12 carries for 14 yards so it wasn’t very good. Second half we came back with 22 carries, 129 yards so that’s a compliment to the coaches and players working together at halftime, figuring out the problems, and coming out and getting those things solved. Third down percentages were good – we were good in the red zone and time of possession – those are kind of three categories I thought we worked out well in. Special teams I thought did a nice job. The obvious is Cairo (Santos) with the two field goals, one of 53 yards. Dustin (Colquitt) had a beautiful punt that dropped down inside the five. I thought the coverage units were good for the most part throughout the day. With that, the time is yours.”
Q: On Alex Smith, is it the right or left shoulder?
REID: “It’s the right one, yeah.”
Q: Was it on the late hit in the second half?
REID: “No, I believe it was right before halftime actually where it happened. He just kind of landed on it. Probably more of a bruise than anything, but it was tender.”
Q: Do you expect him to do his normal practice routine on Wednesday?
REID: “We’ll see. He’s tender today but he’s upbeat about it and we did all of the precautionary things looking at it so just need a little time to get the soreness out of there.”
Q: Eric Fisher has gone against some very good pass rushers in the last few weeks. What have you learned from him through the first seven games?
REID: “He had the one (sack allowed) just before half. Other than that, I thought he did a pretty good job throughout. You can see him growing every week and improving fundamentally. Not as much in the run game because he does a pretty good job right there. It’s in the pass game that normally your young tackles have to learn the techniques and sometimes the pitches that those defensive guys are throwing at you. So you can see improvement here. I was pleased with how he played yesterday.”
Q: You said in preseason he had a technique flaw. How much improvement have you seen in that area?
REID: “Well, the way that he was taught in college, you see a lot of college kids do that. They bring their hands up from their hips and bring them up. And in the NFL that’s tough to do. You don’t have the time right there to get that done. These defensive linemen are on you in a heartbeat. So you’ve got get your hands up and you’ve got to retrain yourself to deliver from a little higher position so he’s learned to do that and done a good job with that.”
Q: Do you teach cut-blocking at the second level with Fisher? When is that okay?
REID: “The fast ones, when you’ve got to get long and get out there so they don’t run across your face. You’ve got to throw and try to get (them down) – some of those guys are pretty fast.”
Q: How do you mix it up though because sometimes you want to see him put a big body on people too, right?
REID: “Yeah, well there are enough of those, too, so you’ve got to be able to mix it up. In particular, when you have those backside cutoffs and you’ve got an outside zone play going in the opposite direction, and you’ve just got to get out there and you’ve got to use all 6’7 of you to do it so that’s when he normally does it.”
Q: What can you guys do to make sure he keeps developing?
REID: “Process. You just keep going through and keep learning and working hard. He’s easy to coach; he’s got good tools to work with. He just keeps coming and working it the way he works. He shows up every day and works his tail off at practice. He’s not afraid. You watch the great players and they’re not afraid to work on the things that they’re not good at. So he spends a lot of time working his techniques and fundamentals there.”
Q: The way your pass defense is playing, not just talking about the pass rush, but the defense as a whole. Is that beyond your expectations of maybe what you thought this group was capable of? Given some of the guys you’ve leaned on, (Eric) Berry, Derrick Johnson and to some extent Brandon Flowers, aren’t there anymore.
REID: “From the stand point that we are young and you’re never sure about what the growth pattern is going to be. First of all if it’s going to take place and second of all how fast it will come about. I would tell you that I’m pleasantly pleased with that. As a coach you always have expectations that you think and I thought that – I still think they have room to grow but I had high expectations for them.”
Q: What were your expectations?
REID: “Well to kind of do what we’re saying here. Take these top pass offenses and be able to compete against them and challenge them.”
Q: You mentioned all the good pass rushers Eric (Fisher) has gone against, but look at the quarterbacks you’ve gone against the past couple weeks.
REID: “Yeah, it makes you better. It’s going to make you play at the top of your game and they are going to challenge you every which way. It’s a game of match ups, so the NFL they are going to try to match their guy on you and you’ve got to be able to stand up and meet that challenge. These guys have done that fairly well. We do have room to improve though.”
Q: A guy like (Husain) Abdullah, obviously you like him. You resigned him, you made him a starter but is he maybe one of those guys who are playing better than you expected?
REID: “Yeah, well I thought he was a good player before he took a sabbatical for a year. And then I thought it was a matter of just kind of getting back into the swing of things. You saw that taking place last year. I thought he finished the season strong and then he just kind of carried that over into the OTAs and training camp. The way he works and handles his business, I expected kind of what he’s doing here, just by the way he carries himself.”
Q: Sean Smith had a nice year last year and it looks like he’s playing better this year. What’s different?
REID: “I’m proud of Sean for the step up. I think he’s matured in a lot of ways, about how he goes about his business out here. He comes out and he works, first off he shows up every day – even if he’s nicked up a little bit here or there. He makes sure he gets out there and he pushes himself. And then he’s challenging himself at practice to get better every day. He’s seeing that himself which is most important initially, he’s seeing how that paid off for him here.”
Q: For a time you had him running with the twos. Number one, what was that about? Number two, was that good for him looking back on it?
REID: “I don’t know about all that. I know he powered through that, he powered through all that. He didn’t pout about being in the twos, he just worked on his game. That was the most important thing. Get your game where it needs to be and he’s done that.”
Q: It’s Monday and the game is on Sunday, so obviously a lot can happen. But it sounds like Michael Vick is going to be playing quarterback for those guys. Talk about a guy that keeps coming into your world.
REID: “I like him better when he was in my world with the same helmet and team because he’s a good football player. So we have to make sure we prepare for both of them. And Geno’s (Smith) a good football player, they both have their strengths. So whichever one plays we have to make sure we are ready for it. Make sure we study them and then take care of our business and get ourselves down where we need to be.”
Q: Talking about having some patience watching a group come together like your secondary, all head coaches have to be patient, that’s understood. But with the rules the way they are set up today with practicing and offseason, do you have to be even more patient not to write off a group or a guy and say, “we haven’t seen him enough.”
REID: “Yeah I would probably add in there the way the cap is today from when I first started. The time that you have the player from first contract to second contract, you’ve got to make sure you give the guys an opportunity to develop. I think that’s important. There might be outside pressures with the practices and the cap and contract length and all that. But you still have to allow some of these guys to mature if you are going to truly use the draft as the way you build your football team.”
Q: You have so many people in this building and on staff that know every number there is to know since Josh Martin came to the Chiefs. That feeling as to where a player is, how much is that just feel for talent?
REID: “It helps to have John Dorsey here who has been around this a long time and some of the other coaches who have been here, been in the business a long time. That does help I think with that whole process that goes on. It’s not just my set of eyes looking at it, it’s everybody’s. We try to evaluate the guys every day and not only from a personnel standpoint, but also so that player knows where he sits every day. Anytime there’s a question, if they ever question. These are young guys. Sometimes they want to know why they aren’t playing quite as much or what do I need to do to play more or whatever it is and so you can tell (them). That communication is important there.”
Q: My last images of St. Joe (training camp) are of Justin (Houston) hitting the sled time after time after practice. What sets him apart from other pass rushers?
REID: “First of all, he still does that every day after practice. He does that thing. He goes through that same process every day and he works. That’s important. These other guys have been banged up a bit. He’s stepped up as a leader. He’s a young guy, but he stepped in there. He’s doing a nice job with leadership here.”
Q: Why is it so important to you to defer the coin toss? Why is it more important to get the second half kickoff?
REID: “There’s an advantage. You can go either way. I’ve taken the ball the majority of my career, but stats have shown, by a small margin, that it’s better to defer. I think one of the positives of it is that you have an opportunity to evaluate what the defense is doing and kind of how they are going to try and defend you as an offense for a half and then you get to come out and make those adjustments.”
Q: Is Rodney (Hudson) playing with a little more power this year. It seems like his injury was a two year sort of thing coming back from what he was.
REID: “Rodney? Yeah. Rodney’s doing a good job. I thought he did a good job last year, but he’s doing a good job. I think the place where he’s maybe taken a step is that he understands all the schemes now. He’s had a year to play in it versus all the different looks. So, he doesn’t have to sweat that part. If he can think just an inch less, you play an inch faster. That’s what he’s done so far.”
Q: Your offense is pretty interesting because you put up points and you put up yards without really going up top and down field to receivers. Is that sustainable going forward? It’s unique.
REID: “We’re just saving those. We’ll see, we’ll see how that all works.”
Q: What were the Rams taking away in the run game in the first half?
REID: “First of all I think that Jeff Fisher, number one, is a very good football coach and a very defensive football coach and, so teams come in and they’re going to try and take 25 (Jamaal Charles) away and Gregg (Williams) is a good football coach too. Need to make sure I mention that because he’s been that good for a long time. He put some people in the box. They had a good scheme for all of that. Allowed us to throw the ball a little bit in certain situations and be effective there in our short, intermediate game, but they did a nice job with the run game part of it.”
Q: Going back to the question about deferring, how much of the time do you guys finish the first half, like yesterday, with points and then start off the second half like yesterday, where there is a 10 point swing and they hadn’t touched the ball much.
REID: “That goes into the equation, how many times you finish the half. You don’t know that for sure, but you go by percentage on how much you finish the half.”
Q: 50/50 shot.
REID: “That’s right. Yeah. Yeah and then what happens with the return part of it. It can be beneficial then if you’ve had the opportunity of how they’re going to treat it.”
Q: Do you expect anything before the trade deadline?
REID: “I haven’t heard of anything right now. I know they’re pounding it. Dorsey stays on that like a wild man. They’re always staying, like around these times when things are happening they are on lockdown mode. He’s got his guys in there doing that.”
Q: The defensive stop after Jamaal’s (Charles) fumble that stopped a drive and led to the Rams missed field goal and a Cairo (Santos) 53-yard field goal, how important was that sequence in the game going into halftime?
REID: “Yeah, I thought that that was important. That’s tough. That’s a tough change around for the Rams I thought and fortunate for us, and then Cairo stuck that thing. Again, Cairo was impressive yesterday with the lengths of his kick offs and that kick there.”
There are no games scheduled for today.