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Andy Reid Quotes, June 18

Jun 19, 2015 -- 9:57am

OPENING STATEMENT: “Alright, first of all, our thoughts and prayers go out to Sanders Commings and his family. His cousin was a preacher in South Carolina, Charleston there, that was shot and killed, so we’re grieving for him and his family.

On the injury side of this, De’Vante Bausby is having surgery today on his clavicle to repair that. There’s really no update on Eric Berry. He’s having, like I mentioned, some testing done and the doctors will meet and talk it over along with Eric and his family. Tyler Bray has been here this week. We brought him back just to evaluate him and to give him a physical. We did our physicals this past week, so he was a part of that and it kept him in tune. He sat in the meetings and it kept him in tune and updated him a little bit on the offensive stuff. Cyrus Gray has continued to improve, Demetrius Harris has continued to improve. Other than that, I imagine Justin Houston will be a topic that I will be asked about. They’re continuing to talk and whether he is here or not, it just depends on how things go. So we’ll continue to move on and hope that he is here at the beginning of camp. The time is yours.”

Q:How is Sanders Commings dealing with all of this? How is he doing?

REID: “Yeah, he’s doing okay. As expected. That’s a pretty big shock. That’s all I can probably say to you.”

Q:It just takes a lot to go out and practice the next day.

REID: “Yeah, it does. He’ll be able to head back and take care of business.”

Q:How do you feel about the offensive line heading into training camp?

REID: “Yeah, listen, I think they competed like crazy. They’ll continue to do that through training camp and then we’ll see. I’ve said it before, we’ll play the five best and we’ll see how it works out through camp.”

Q:Is there any legitimacy to John Clayton’s report that the Chiefs are interested in Evan Mathis?

REID: “No, we’re not.”

Q:Do you think all of the injured guys will start the season on the physically unable to perform list?

REID: “Possibly. Dorse (John Dorsey) will take care of all of that. He is evaluating all of that now.”

Q:Now that the offseason practices are over, do you feel like you know this team’s identity?

REID: “I think you’ll know more once you get in pads and you just go through the process. You’ve got to let that play out. We’d all like to stand up and say, ‘this is it right now,’ but that’s not how this thing works. You let it go through the process. One thing I can tell you is they worked their tail off and there is some talent there.”

Q:When do you need Justin Houston here?

REID: “When they get it done. I don’t get caught up in all of that, never have. I let the business side take care of itself and then you move one and (if) a man misses, it’s another man’s reps. That’s how we go, so there’s a lot of rules and regulations, but I don’t get caught up in that. That’s what Dorse does; he’s got to deal with all of that. I don’t worry about that. I have trust in both sides that they’ll get something done.”

Q:Does the fact that he missed all of the offseason last year and still had the season he did give you confidence?

REID: “I think he’s working out, absolutely. That’s just him by nature, so he’s not going to let things slide on his side.”

Q:Where was Sean Smith today?

REID: “Sean had a personal matter that he had to deal with and he was excused for that.”

Q:What do you ask from guys from a physical standpoint during these five weeks away from the facility?

REID: “They have a program that they stay on. They’ll take a week here and do a recovery program and get right back into their intense workout and then there’s another recover program at the end of that three and a half weeks that they’ll go through and then you’re in camp, so it’s all laid out for them. They just need to follow that.”

Q:But it’s different based on your positon, correct?

REID: “Yeah.”

Q:What about a guy like Jamaal Charles? He indicated he was going to take a few days off and then hit it pretty hard.

REID: “Yeah, that’s normally what happens. You go through a recovery period here for a week. These guys have been grinding here, so you step back, go through the recovery period and you get back on it and gradually build yourself up towards training camp to another quick recovery period and you’re right into it.”

Q:Do you have any idea when there will be another update on Eric Berry?

REID: “No, I don’t. When we get it, we’ll get it to you.”

Q:Last year the message was finish. Is there a different message this year?

REID: “We understand that we need to take it up a level from last year, so that’s what all of the guys are striving to do. They have all challenged themselves with that, coaches likewise. And we’re fortunate here to have good talent and guys that work hard, so they take upon themselves that responsibility to do that and the coaches do the same.”

Q:How do you evaluate the offensive line when they don’t have pads on?

REID: “That’s why you need that training camp part of it. Some guys look okay in shorts and then you put pads on and vice versa. We want to try and get as close to a game speed and tempo as you possibly can.”

Q:While you’re out there, what do you have them working on, what can they improve?

REID: “They can still work technique, fundamentals, hand placement, foot placement. First and second steps are important as you’re an offensive lineman, so you can still do that. We’re fortunate that our guys know how to work in conditions like this with the rules that we’re given and they can still improve themselves.”

Q:You mentioned you liked Eric Kush’s energy, what does it do when your center is a guy who tries to vocally get people going?

REID: “That’s his personality, you want to let your personality show. He brings energy every day, he’s done a nice job with it. It’s when you get in those dog days of camp, when it’s hot and you’re mentally and physically about ready to become extinct and you just kind of push yourself through and (to) have a guy that helps generate a little bit. Whether you’re laughing at him or listening to him, it works either way. He’s got that ability there to do that.”

Q:Are you encouraged because this is the best your offense has looked the two previous years?

REID: “We know we’re going against a good secondary. One nice thing with these camps is you get to do ones versus ones more than maybe you do during training camp. It gives you an opportunity to get your best against best and then challenge each other. I think it’s gone back and forth just depending on the day and just the practice itself. You can split it in the middle, the defense will make plays, the offense will make plays. I think the competition has been phenomenal, that’s the way you improve on both sides of the ball.”

Q:How have Marcus Peters and Steven Nelson looked to you after missed OTAs?

REID: “I thought they did a pretty nice job, actually. Are they rusty? Yeah, they’ve got to get caught up. I say rusty, they haven’t had a chance to get rusty because they haven’t been in the place to get rusty yet. They’re getting caught up with the speed of the game, which looks like they adjusted to very well.”

Q:Is this the camp where you got to install a lot of your playbook since you’re in your third year?

REID: “The natural progression is you do that, you add a little bit more. You evaluate what you did, you’re coming off a season where your taking your scheme evaluation, then you make some tweaks and you add a little bit here, a little bit there, you might take away a few plays you weren’t real happy with. I think we’re kind of on course of where you (should) be in the third year.”

Q:Have the quarterbacks graded out higher this offseason than they have in past years at this time?

REID: “They’re about right on the spot. I thought they did a decent job. Like I said, they don’t want to grade out too high, because then your defense isn’t very good. I look at the balance there even though I work with the offense. I have to see how that thing balances out when you’re going ones versus ones, twos versus twos, threes versus three, you hope it’s right in the middle. I think it’s been well done.”

Q:Alex Smith said he thinks the passing game is in a better place than it was last year, do you agree with that?

REID: “I do, I think he is obviously in full command of it. He understands it and gets it, he has a lot of trust in the guys around him, which is a good thing – with some of the guys he’s played with. Then the other guys, like Jeremy (Maclin), comes in. Jeremy’s got experience in the offense, Jason Avant has experience in the offense. It just took them a short period of time to blend with Alex. That transition seems easy, they’ve really handled it right. They’ve got good communication between them. They’re willing to talk and get on the same page, then come back and make it an even better play the next time we run it.”

Q:Father’s Day is coming up Sunday, what does the day mean to you and do you have any special plans?

REID: “Yeah, my kids are going to take me to a buffet. I’m pretty excited. Listen, I’m obviously more into Mother’s Day because I know who really runs the house. I got it, I understand. But I appreciate the pat on the back from the kids. The girls love on you and the boys tell you to get off your tail and go get whatever you want to get, I got that, too. Sometimes on Father’s Day they take care of you, all of them.”

 

 

Chiefs Player Quotes, June 11

Jun 12, 2015 -- 10:04am

WR FRANKIE HAMMOND JR.

Q:In what ways are you a better player than you were before you got here?

HAMMOND JR.: “Just diving into the playbook and understanding the concepts and just kind of learning all of the positions and where I need to be when I need to be on the quarterback’s timing. So it’s just little details. It’s just taking it to another level and just taking the playbook to another level as a whole.”

Q:Are you ready to help out now that you know what it takes to be an NFL receiver?

HAMMOND JR.: “Definitely. I’m busting my tail to wherever they need me to be, whether it’s on special team or anywhere on the offense whether it be slot or the outside. I’m just trying to be available, that’s the best thing I can say.”

Q: You played a little bit last season. Why do you think you weren’t as productive as you wanted to be?

HAMMOND JR.: “Just work, I just needed to work. Just details, little things, just getting better.”

Q:Do you have any new responsibilities on special teams?

HAMMOND JR.: “There are always news responsibilities. You never know what’s going to pop up or where they may need you, so like I said before, I’m just trying to be available whether they need me to play gunner or inside on punt team, returner, wherever they need me, I’m just trying to learn a little bit of everything because you never know somewhere down the line, you may need to play that role, so I’m just making sure I’m available so when they need me I’ll be ready to go.”

Q:How valuable was the experience you got last year?

HAMMOND JR.: “The experience last year was really valuable. To just get that year under my belt and kind of see what it’s like and to just see how the game is and how fast the game is, and how things move Sundays. It was a great experience and now it’s just detailing it and making sure I do things the right way.”

Q:How fierce is the competition right now at wide receiver?

HAMMOND JR.: “It’s competition. Like I said, it’s going to bring the best out of us, each and every one of us. So that’s why we’re out here for OTA’s just putting in work and just competing.”

Q:What is it like working with the new wide receivers in the group as opposed to last year?

HAMMOND JR.: “There’s really isn’t any difference. We all come in and we all treat everybody like family. If somebody needs help or there is a little nuance that can help somebody get better, whether if it’s a rookie to Kenny Cook to (Jeremy) Maclin. We’re all here to help each other out, we’re on the sidelines, we see this, we see that, can we do this, can we do that, so just trying to help each other out and keep being a competitor at the same time.”

Q:Does Maclin answer questions or is he the one asking questions?

HAMMOND JR.: “I would probably say he is doing a little more answering because he has been in this offense before. With him being in it (before), he knows a little bit more and can get a little deeper into the offense so he’s helped out pretty much all of us as far as little detail.”

 

S SANDERS COMMINGS

Q:How did you deal with the mental part after getting injured in two consecutive seasons?

COMMINGS: “It’s tough, but God has a plan for everybody. I guess that was just part of his plan for me.”

Q:What do you feel you can still bring this football team?

COMMINGS: “I’m here to just contribute, give my all and help wherever I can. I’m here to fight my way onto this team and, like I said, just help wherever I can.”

Q:When you got hurt in camp last year, did you know immediately that it was bad?

COMMINGS: “You never know until the doctors tell you what it is.”

Q:Did you hear a pop or anything when it happened?

COMMINGS: “I really don’t even remember it. I forgot all about that.”

Q:What kind of words did Al Harris and Emmitt Thomas give you when you were put on IR?

COMMINGS: “They were very helpful, very positive. They just told me to stay up, keep my head in the game and be a part of the team as much as I can.”

Q:How close do you feel you are to being full strength?

COMMINGS: “I’m feeling great and I’m ready to go.”

Q:Have you gone back and watched the video of the play you got hurt on?

COMMINGS: “Yeah, I saw it last year. It wasn’t that bad, I’m fine now.”

Q:I don’t mean to make light of an injury, but that was a heck of a move by Jamaal Charles on that play.

COMMINGS: “Yeah, yeah it was. He’s one of the top running backs in the league.”

Q:Did he say anything to you?

COMMINGS: “Everybody was encouraging. Jamaal, kickers, long-snappers, everybody.”

Q:How hard is it to get the mental trust back after getting hurt in two consecutive preseasons, do you trust your body?

COMMINGS: “Yeah; you know, I’m not holding back. My position, DBs have to have a short memory. Those injuries are things of the past.”

Q:Do you feel like you still have that range in you?

COMMINGS: “Yeah, definitely. I honestly feel faster now than I was. I’ve lost about 10-15 pounds this past offseason just changing my diet. I’m feeling pretty good out there now.”

Q:Did you every think you would get down to 206 or 207 pounds again?

COMMINGS: “I didn’t. But, like I said, I just changed my diet.”

Q:What keeps you going when you have that much downtime with injuries?

COMMINGS: “It’s been a dream of mine to be a professional athlete since I was a little boy. That’s really what keeps me going, trying to live out this dream.”

Q:How do you think playing at 206 is going to benefit you as a football player?

COMMINGS: “I think I’ll be quicker, faster and more agile.”

Q:Were you working out with Strength and Conditioning Coach Barry Rubin in the offseason, is that how you got your weight down?

COMMINGS: “Really, the main thing was my diet. I’ve always worked out.”

Q:Since you’ve been injured, how have you been mentally maintaining the playbook?

COMMINGS: “Even though I’m hurt, I still went to meetings, I still went over all the plays and prepared as if I was playing in the game.”

Q:What do you feel like you’re out here trying to prove, do you feel like you have a lot to prove?

COMMINGS: “I feel like I had as much to prove as I did my rookie year. I’m just out here to compete and fight my way on the team and on the field.”

 

TE JAMES O’SHAUGHNESSY

Q:How has your first month of NFL life been?

O’SHAUGHNESSY: “It’s going pretty well so far. It seems things are progressing in the right direction. Still have got a lot to learn, a lot to do, but it’s very exciting and I’m enjoying every second of it.”

Q:Are you surprised at how much work you are getting with that first group?

O’SHAUGHNESSY: “I guess you can say surprised or more very happy with the fact that I get the opportunity to work with the number ones. Going against the number one defense really gives you a clear idea of what you’re going to face every Sunday, so I guess you could say surprised.”

Q:Do you have any idea of what you think a good role for you would be or what you can handle at least early in the season?

O’SHAUGHNESSY: “Currently I try not to think of that. I think I need to take it day by day. Like I said, I think I’ve got a lot to learn and we haven’t even put the pads on. It’s not really clear what I’m going to be able to handle just yet but my main focus right now is to learn the offense to the best of my ability, try to find a role. I know that I will do my best on special teams and I will do whatever they ask me on offense, so I’m just trying to make sure I take everything day by day.”

Q:Did you expect to get drafted?

O’SHAUGHNESSY: “To be honest, no. Going into my senior year, I didn’t have much preseason recognition and I think when the season ended I was listed as a tryout guy, but I was very fortunate that I worked my butt off to finish up the year properly with the whole team and made sure I did well at the pro day.”

Q:What is your impression of this offense?

O’SHAUGHNESSY: “It’s really interesting to learn. You think you know football, but to be honest I didn’t know anything about football. Now leaning all of the complexities of this offense, you really get to learn the game inside and out from every position, learning every defense and how it changes with what play you’re running. It’s pretty interesting.”

Q:Do you have to comprehend everything that the defense is doing as a tight end?

O’SHAUGHNESSY: “Without a doubt. It’s difficult to tell you the truth. That has been the most difficult thing, recognizing defensive fronts and coverages and being able to handle that, but it is extremely interesting to learn. I love going back and telling people who I played college football with and talking ball with them and knowing that now I know all of this little extra stuff. It’s fun.”

Q:What is it like knowing that if you and the quarterback aren’t on the same page then it could lead to an easy interception?

O’SHAUGHNESSY: “It’s the game of football. Now it’s just on a little bit of a higher level, but it’s not necessarily something that I haven’t faced, but now it’s just a little bit more upscale. I’m not overthinking it or anything like that. You’ve just got to come out here and do your assignment to the best of your ability and make sure you make the play when the opportunity comes.”

Q:Does the way the National Championship Game (Division I-AA) ended last year still sting a little bit for you?

O’SHAUGHNESSY: “Yeah, it’s something that I’ll never forget. I’ve got to give the opposing team a lot of credit. They won the game; they beat us in the last 1:30. We did a heck of a job to get there and had a chance to win, but we didn’t because we didn’t execute at the end. It’s something that stings, but now it’s come to pass and now I’m on a new team. I kind of look back at it as a fond memory to what that season meant to our school and our program. I’m not necessarily passed the whole loss yet, but I’m getting there.”

Q:Has it hit you at all how far you’ve come and that you’re on the field with players like Travis Kelce and Jamaal Charles?

O’SHAUGHNESSY: “Yeah, after the first two weeks. The first couple days it kind of hit me smack in the face. But the last two weeks it’s started to really sink it in that I’m a part of this team and I can compete at this level and play with some of the great guys that I’ve been watching the past six, seven years. To play on the same field as Travis Kelce and Jamaal Charles and Alex Smith is unbelievable to me. It’s even more unbelievable the fact that I’ve got to block Tamba Hali, (Allen) Bailey, and getting covered by DJ (Derrick Johnson), so it’s been a lot of fun and it’s something that I’ve really enjoyed the fact that I got this opportunity.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chiefs Quotes, June 10

Jun 10, 2015 -- 4:43pm

HEAD ATHLETIC TRAINER RICK BURKHOLDER

BURKHOLDER: “I just wanted to give you an update from yesterday. You guys saw De’Vante Bausby go down yesterday down here in one of the corners. He unfortunately fractured his clavicle. We did x-rays, CT scans, and that’s been diagnosed. He’ll see Dr. (Cris) Barnthouse on Monday and we’ll decide what his course of treatment is then. For right now, for the rest of the OTAs and minicamp, he’ll just be inside with me. Probably when we get to training camp, we’ll give you an update.”

LB JOSH MAUGA

Q:Where did you spend this offseason working out?

MAUGA: “Back home in Reno, Nevada.”

Q:Was there anything specific you were concentrating on during your workouts this offseason?

MAUGA: “Yeah, my strength and my speed. I didn’t really get that last year coming off the injury. I focused on my strength, mostly.”

Q:How much did you pay attention to the conditioning aspect this offseason as opposed to weight lifting?

MAUGA: “A lot, actually. Just having the experience from last year coming straight into training camp, it was a little tough trying to get through those practices. This past year I was healthy, so I was able to focus on the conditioning and the strength training to prepare me for this year.”

Q:How important was that, going through last season without any major injuries?

MAUGA: “Very important, I’ve been plagued by injuries the last couple years. It’s just awesome that I can finally get over that hump and start playing.”

Q:What about playing next to Derrick Johnson the first week you were out there with him during OTAs?

MAUGA: “It’s great to have DJ, he’s like that big brother in our room. To have him out there, he’s our leader, a great player who makes plays all over the field. He brings a lot of energy to that defense.”

Q:Can you get an idea of what the potential of the team is this early and how things are coming together?

MAUGA: “It’s coming together great, it’s a great atmosphere right now. A lot of competition going on on both sides of the ball. Guys are just having fun, there hasn’t been many mistakes out there, guys are learning quickly. We’re excited for this year.”

Q:Is this where chemistry is built before camp?

MAUGA: “Absolutely, these are the tough times right here when you have to grind. We just lean on one another to push through it and that’s how we build our team.”

Q:The second time around, do you feel more comfortable now than a year ago?

MAUGA: “Absolutely, I feel like I got the rust off from last year. This year I was able to come in and have a smooth flow going into the offseason.”

Q:What makes it more comfortable?

MAUGA: “Just knowing my assignments and having the feel out there. It’s a lot different when you know the playbook and then when you get out there and the bullets are flying, it’s a lot tougher with the speed of the game added to it. That part of it has helped me out a lot.”

Q:What has the road been like from getting the call during training camp and now being one of the veterans?

MAUGA: “I’m just really excited that I get to have an offseason. I didn’t get a chance to work with these guys last year and I have this opportunity to work with them now. It’s been going great and I’m looking forward to it.”

Q:What’s the added benefit that comes from that?

MAUGA: “Just the feel of being around the team, that chemistry, I didn’t really get that last year until the season started. Being around these guys, I get to know them better and communicate with them better.”

Q:What are some of your early impressions on the rookies, Ramik Wilson and D.J. Alexander?

MAUGA: “They look great, these guys come in and work hard every day, asking a lot of questions which is great – because we don’t want them out there not knowing what they’re doing. They’ve been flying around making plays for us.”

 

 

WR CHRIS CONLEY

Q:Is this hot, even for you?

CONLEY: “I think there’s an acclimation period for everyone. I’m from the south, so we have hot days like this. It’s just a little bit different being in Kansas City.”

Q:What has the experience been like on the field?

CONLEY: “It’s a learning experience, a huge learning experience. Things are flying at 100 miles an hour. Once again, the rookies, we haven’t had a moment to think and rest since last July, really. Now it’s just a whirlwind of information. Right now we’re having to compete, having to show what we can do and make good impressions. It’s been great, it’s been fun, loving it here in Kansas City, just continuing to work to try and get better.”

Q:Have you been able to show a little more than you may have anticipated?

CONLEY: “I hope so. I have high expectations for myself. Every rep is important here, every single thing counts. Everything is a job interview, it doesn’t matter if it’s a run play that’s going away from you, what you do on the backside is important. There’s a lot of attention to detail here.”

Q:Are you enjoying that part?

CONLEY: “I’m really enjoying working with Coach (Dave) Toub on special teams, returning kicks has been exhilarating. I didn’t get the chance to do that at Georgia – that’s also a huge learning experience and learning curve. After you catch the ball, it just comes down to being an athlete. I’m really enjoying it and hoping to get better at that as well.”

Q:Did you work on that at all in practice at college?

CONLEY: “I did work on it in college, I just really didn’t do it that much in games.”

Q:Why did you not do it in games?

CONLEY: “We had some really talented guys back there. And they tended to like to go with the smaller scat back types.”

Q:Is the terminology the hard part so far as a rookie?

CONLEY: “That’s not difficult when you’re inside and it’s the first play on a drive and there’s air conditioning. Once you get out here and bullets are flying, it’s hot and it’s hard to think, then it becomes difficult, you have to pay attention. It gets really hard when there’s a long play being called and there is certain tags and words that speak to you, you have to pay attention a lot. Most definitely the most difficult part is translating those things into the plays. Every single play moves and changes after the defense does.”

Q:Do you think this offense is going to highlight what you do well?

CONLEY: “Yeah, I think so. I think that I’m made for an offense like this. I believe that the coaching I’m getting from Coach (David) Culley, I’m getting better as a player. That’s really one of the important things in this offense, you have to be able to do everything as a receiver. I’m feeling like I’m getting better at that. Right now I’m trying to keep my head down and keep grinding.”

Q: Is this the time where you form the connection with the quarterback, or does that come in training camp?

CONLEY: “(It starts) day one. As soon as you come in and you meet the quarterback, that’s when the connection really starts to live. You have to show that you’re a professional, you have to show that you’re here to work, you have to show that you’re about business and that you’re going to get things right. If the quarterback comes back and has a correction, you fix it that day. You don’t make that mistake again. There’s a lot going on, so you might make mistakes multiple times, but every time you get told about it, you fix it. It’s just creating that rapport with the quarterback to the point where he can trust you.”

Q:At this point do you tell him what you do well or does he tell you what he wants?

CONLEY: “At this point, they’re telling you what they want. That’s why you come here. You’re in the National Football League, you do what you’re asked to do. If you’re not that good at it, you work on it until you’re great at it. That’s really what being a receiver in this league is about, it’s being well-rounded and being a player who can make all of those plays.”

Q:What have you learned from watching Avant and Maclin?

CONLEY: “How to be a professional. How to go about your business, how to be efficient with your reps. That’s a really big deal here, because being healthy is very important. You take a lot of reps, you run a lot. Taking care of your legs while also being explosive and clean in and out of your breaks is really hard to do. Being able to learn from those guys has been invaluable. Every single rep that they take, I watch.”

Q:How much does it help having Aaron Murray here?

CONLEY: “It helps tremendously. It helps because Aaron knows how I work, Aaron knows how I think, he’s able to ease that transition a little more. If there’s a question I can’t get answered by Coach Culley or by someone else who’s in that huddle, then I can go after practice and sit with Aaron and ask those questions. He’s been here, he knows the answers. Being able to work with somebody like that – there’s constant information coming everywhere – but having someone who knows you eases the transfer of information.”

Q:Is Aaron Murray different than he was at Georgia?

CONLEY: “For sure, there’s more maturity from him. Even Aaron is still learning things about this offense. When Aaron was at Georgia, he knew everything there was. This offense is so big and grand and every year wrinkles are added. Aaron is still evolving as a quarterback and I think he’s light-years better than he was.”

Q:Does this remind you at all of your transition into college?

CONLEY: “To an extent it reminds you of coming into college. But this is completely different. Going into college, you don’t know if you can play football or not. Coming here, you know that you can play football. It’s learning how to play football on a different stage, on a different level with more pressure and learning how to play and be adaptive in different ways. There’s another tier of learning, and it comes at you so much faster. In college, they kind of ease you into things and they allow you to accept the transition as it comes. Here, they throw you in the fire, they throw you straight in there and they want to see who rises up.”

 

OL LAURENT DUVERNAY-TARDIF

Q:What is it like being back in the swing of things?

DUVERNAY-TARDIF: “I love it. It’s good to be back.”

Q:Is this a time where team chemistry is built?

DUVERNAY-TARDIF: “I think we’re building a lot of chemistry right now actually. With the new guys we learn to get to know each other, we learn how to play with each other, and there is a lot of rotation in the lineup, so you get to play with a bunch of different guys. It’s good to learn how to play with those guys and build team spirit.”

Q:What do you think of the potential for the offensive line this year?

DUVERNAY-TARDIF: “There are a bunch of new guys in and the competition is going to be really high this year. I think when you have competition, everyone is getting better and everyone is improving. I am looking forward for training camp to compete against my teammates and against everybody.”

Q:Could it be the most competitive group in training camp?

DUVERNAY-TARDIF: “I think everybody is going to work as hard as they can and everyone is going to try and compete for a job. I’m not playing any other position, so I cannot tell.”

Q:What do you think you have improved upon the most since last season?

DUVERNAY-TARDIF: “I think just my fundamental learning against this type of front, how to step up, how to make the proper adjustment, how to do the proper footwork. I think after watching a lot of film, I improved a lot on that side.”

Q:What can you learn playing alongside Ben Grubbs?

DUVERNAY-TARDIF: “Everything, everything. And he is a great guy. It is easy to talk to him and to get some (questions). It’s really helpful for me to go to him and ask him little tricks, little detail and he is always willing to share that knowledge, so that’s pretty cool from him.”

Q:Is it hard to build chemistry along that offensive line when you are moving guys in and out so often?

DUVERNAY-TARDIF: “Yeah, of course, but I think this is the time of year where you need to work on that and to get used to playing with a bunch of different guys and to learn the little detail of everybody’s footwork and everybody’s play.”

Q:Do we call you doctor now?

DUVERNAY-TARDIF: “Not yet, but almost. I was back in Montreal during the offseason. I did four months of medical school back there, and I have four months left before getting my M.D.”

Q:It seems like you like a lot of training whether it comes to football or medicine. How hard is that?

DUVERNAY-TARDIF: “When you have two passions, you don’t count the hours and you just work as hard as you need to. I love being in med school, I love being here and playing, and the good thing now is I when I am here, I can focus 100% on football and I don’t care about med school. When I was back in college, I had to do both at the same time, so I think it’s a good thing now that I am able to focus on football and I really enjoy it.”

Chiefs Player Quotes, June 9

Jun 09, 2015 -- 6:22pm

RB KNILE DAVIS

Q:What’s the biggest thing you’ve seen from Charcandrick West from this year to last year?

DAVIS: “He’s learning the playbook. You can tell it’s slowing down for him. Kind of like myself in my year two, he’s more confident with the playbook. He’s playing faster, he’s looking good.”

Q:How much are you in his ear helping to develop him?

DAVIS: “All the time, we help each other. Cyrus (Gray), he’s rehabbing right now but he’s doing more of the talking, helping us out. We help each other, all through practice, all through the season.”

Q:What do you set as personal goals for yourself heading into the season?

DAVIS: “We have one goal, that’s to win a Super Bowl. For myself, it’s really just to stay healthy and when I get in, to take advantage of the opportunity.”

Q:What do you feel like, a veteran even though you are 23?

DAVIS: “I feel like a vet, this is going on my third year, so everything is kind of slowing down. I know what to expect, I’m comfortable, I’m having fun and enjoying my NFL career.”

WR JASON AVANT

Q:How is practice going so far?

AVANT: “Everything is going well. Getting chemistry, getting better – that’s the purpose of being out here – getting camaraderie, learning the guys, learning the system in and out.”

Q:There are a lot of familiar guys in this camp for you, right?

AVANT: “Some, with Jeremy (Maclin) and a couple other guys. Again, we’re just trying to build teamwork and camaraderie together. It’s a good time for teaching, where the coaches can teach you why we do certain things. Knowing the why behind it makes you a lot smarter player and a better player.”

Q:Is it an easier transition coming back with Coach Reid?

AVANT: “Yes and no; because, when I was in Philly, Andy wasn’t calling the plays. Here he does a lot of that. It’s seamless because I know what he expects, but at the same time, you have to get used to what he thinks about routes – it was different from (former Eagles) Coach (Marty) Mornhinweg. Both of them are great, so you just have to learn his philosophy behind things. I can basically tell you what Marty would say, every word, in a meeting. But Coach, I’m still learning.”

Q:How much do you take it upon yourself to become a mentor with the younger receivers?

AVANT: “First of all, I come out to play and lead by example. That’s the biggest thing. Again, if you are a guy that just talks and your play doesn’t back it up, guys won’t listen to you. First of all, you have to lead by example. What happens is, when you lead by example, it gives you the ability and the right and the platform to speak. A lot of times, the guys just come up and ask me stuff, most of the time, because you do it right all the time. Coach will say this is how you do it, or a guy is turned around while you’re running a route and they will say ‘how did you do that?’ We have a lot of guys that are hungry to learn and that’s good and those guys listen and take advice. We don’t have any arrogant guys, so it’s always good. If you’re humble, you’ll be able to learn.”

Q:What’s the biggest difference you see in Alex Smith as opposed to other quarterbacks you have played with in the past?

AVANT: “I would say timing. Alex is always trying to get the ball out of his hands quicker, so you have to be on his time. That’s one of the biggest things, the timing is a lot different. Every quarterback is different, but Alex is one of those guys that wants it out at a certain time. If you have man-to-man and the route normally times out at 10-yards, he’s still going to throw it like it’s in the air, so you have to know that you can only get eight (yards) now. All of those little things, so I’d say that’s the biggest thing, which is a good thing.”

Q:How long does it take you to pick up on things like that?

AVANT: “You just have to get hit in the back of the head one time with the football and you should be good. One thing that is different for Alex is he has a great receiver-quarterback relationship, where he gives the receivers a platform to speak to him and tell him what they like. It’s a constant dialogue about what each guy is thinking – that’s always good. There’s no ambiguity when you go out on the field, you know what you have to do. He cuts out all the gray area so you can go and execute your job.”

Q:What’s your initial impression of Chris Conley?

AVANT: “He can play, he can play some football. Real fast guy, he has to learn the little small things at this stage. Those are the big things from graduating to the next level. He has the potential to be really, really good.”

Q:What’s the difference between Jeremy Maclin when he was learning the little small things and now?

AVANT: “It’s the same thing. Learning (route) stems, learning releases, when to burst, when not to burst, when to do an outside release and when not to do a release move. All of those little things, those things are the difference between first downs and touchdowns and all of those types of things. Being on the quarterback’s time, because they’re getting a group of plays and the play says run 20 yards and make a left on a sheet of paper, but it’s not always that simple – sometimes it’s 16, sometimes it 18, sometimes you can delay in the middle of it. All of those types of things to get open.”

CB PHILLIP GAINES

Q:How much of a difference do you see from last year to this year?

GAINES: “It’s a big difference. Just from pure confidence. Last year, you’re coming in and seeing all these players you’ve never seen before, never played with before. You’re not playing as fast as you usually do. Now that I got some playing time and saw how things move, I have a lot more confidence so I can play a lot faster.”

Q:Where is your weight at now?

GAINES: “I was 182 (last year), I’m right around 190, I’m about 188.”

Q:Where did you work out during the offseason?

GAINES: “I was here, I came back and (strength and conditioning) Coach (Barry) Rubin did a great job – he and the strength staff. I just grinded it out here so I could get ready for offseason workouts.”

Q:How much time did you spend in the film room?

GAINES: “A whole lot. Anytime you can watch film and learn tendencies and stuff like that, you’re going to increase your play speed. Once you focus on that and get everything working, you could be a good player.”

Q:There were games you missed last year with an injury or illness, how frustrating was that for you?

GAINES: “It was very frustrating because you always want to be out on the field. It sucked to be on the sideline, but I was helping out the teammates, telling them, when they came to the sideline, anything I saw. The next man up mentality, we have a great set of DBs, anybody can come in and play.”

Q:When the team drafts somebody at your position, is that an extra offseason motivator?

GAINES: “Not really, anytime you’re out there, you’re trying to solidify your position anyway, regardless of it’s a first-rounder or seventh-rounder. If the seventh-rounder beats me out, then the best player is going to play. It’s all about putting your best work out there and seeing what happens.”

Q:Without the pads being on, as a defensive back, how much work can you get done out here?

GAINES: “Really a lot. Pads for the outside guys are just protection because we can’t be too physical, but for five yards. It’s really about getting your feet in the right position, your hands, eyes and just playing the ball when it’s in the air.”

Q:How big is it for the young guys to show they can help out and make an impact on special teams?

GAINES: “It’s huge. Coming from college, usually the guys aren’t on special teams any more after their freshman year, so you kind of forget about how important it is. Then when you’re out there, Coach Toub does a really good job of getting everyone going and making them realize that it is important. One of the biggest plays in my short career so far is special teams and that’s what got me going. It’s definitely a big thing.”

Q:How much pride do you take in playing the nickel?

GAINES: “It’s definitely a lot different from corner, but if the coaches ask me to play it, then I’m going to have to pick it up and play it. There aren’t a lot of opportunities to get on the field, it’s hard to get out there, so any chance that you can.”

Q:When you’re in the box shedding blocks, what is it like having those big guys coming at you at times?

GAINES: “You have to have your head on a swivel, you have to attack them in ways that can work to your advantage. I’m not going in there trying to blow up any linemen or anything, but I’m going to do my job and hope for the best.”

Q:Is 188 where you want to stay, or do you see yourself putting on more?

GAINES: “I’ll probably stay in between 188 up to 193.”

Q:Who has been your favorite receiver to match up against?

GAINES: “I really like Albert (Wilson). He’s a really hard cover. He’s short but he’s really fast and explosive. He can get in and out of his breaks really quick. You have a little bit of everything when you cover him. I really like guarding him.”

Q:Now that you have been in the system for a year, how much responsibility do you take in helping the younger guys are in the same position you were in last year?

GAINES: “It’s a big responsibility. When you’re coming in trying to learn, the coaches might explain it one way, but the players might be able to simplify it even more. I’ll always try to make it as simple as possible and let them know you don’t have to overthink it, it’s just this instead of making it something that’s really big. I’ll definitely be ready to help them out.”

Q:How much is Sean Smith in your ear?

GAINES: “He’s huge. He’s an amazing player, he’s one of the best corners in the league. His frame, his intellect on the field is really, really good, it allows him to excel. He can play off and read the quarterback. When he’s up pressing, his arms are really long, so it’s hard to get around him. And he’s a really big body, so he brings a lot to the table.”

 

Royals Take Russell in First Round

Jun 08, 2015 -- 8:55pm

KANSAS CITY, MO (June 8, 2015)— The Kansas City Royals have selected Ashe Russell, a right-handed pitcher from Cathedral Catholic High School in Indianapolis, with the 21st overall pick of the June Free Agent Draft.  Russell was one of four prospects invited to attend the draft this evening.

Russell, 18, a 6-foot-4, 195-pound hurler, was 5-1 with a 1.02 ERA and 67 strikeouts to just nine walks in 41.0 innings as a senior.  The two-time Gatorade Player of the Year in Indiana has committed collegiately to Texas A&M University.

Chiefs Asst Coaches Quotes, June 3

Jun 04, 2015 -- 10:04am

DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR BOB SUTTON

Q: What is important about these OTAs?

SUTTON: “I think it’s really trying to deal with the system. You’re trying to get that as grooved as you possibly can with everybody involved. You’re working with your first group, but you’re also trying to develop your depth and you’re trying to make sure the young guys, from guys that will come out here on their own, undrafted guys, you want to make sure you evaluate everyone and you haven’t let anyone slip through the cracks because there are players out there and we just have to do a good job of trying to get them as coached up as much as we can so we can evaluate them the best we can. So I think it’s really about getting the system in, making sure that they’re grounded in their fundamentals, which is really important at this time of year and then just trying to make sure we are aware of everybody that is on our roster and can this guy find a role to help us win in 2015.”

Q: Was it uncommon for a player like Phillip Gaines to come such a long way in a short period of time?

SUTTON: “I think really as the season went along last year, he went in and really went in to play nickel. And that was a position that we really weren’t sure was really his best position. But he went in and did a great job stepping in there. And I think that really helped him. He got a chance to get on the field, he got some exposure in there and I think that settled him down. There is a transition for everybody that comes in the league and I think each guy is a little different, each position is a little bit different. But I think he’s done a great job and I would echo your thought. I think he has come back and been really good in this camp so far.”

Q: How much of a setback is it to not have your two rookie cornerbacks here at OTAs?

SUTTON: “Well, I don’t know if you can really say it’s a setback. It’s just what it is. We had to do it with De’Anthony last year. You just hope they can get as many reps when they come back to the mandatory camp as they can. And it’s just the way it is. There is nothing really they can do about it and nothing we can do about it, so you’ve just got to live with that and those are the cards you’re dealt with. We’re going to coach them up hard and they’ll come back prepared and go like that. And the biggest thing is you get that technique base that you’d love to have. But that’s the way it is and we’ve just got to adjust.”

Q: Are there any real surprises or anything you are excited about so far even though it is early?

SUTTON: “No, I don’t know if there are any real surprises. We’ve been really happy with the energy and the effort that these guys have had day-to-day. I think that’s one of the things that we’ve really tried to emphasize, that each of these OTA days is an opportunity for you individually and us collectively to move forward and kind of cut the path that we want in 2015, and you can’t just look at it as another OTA. This one is a special one, tomorrow is a special one as it comes up. And if you can keep that focus, I think as a player, a coach, it’s really important because you’ve got to stack these bricks. You’re building your foundation. That foundation has got to be laid perfectly. So I think that’s a big part of it. But I don’t know if anything has been super surprising or anything like that. I’ve just been really excited about the effort and the enthusiasm that they’ve practiced with.”

Q: What have you seen in the development of Josh Mauga from last summer to now after having all of those reps last season?

SUTTON: “Well, I think he’s done a great job. He came in here last year. It was a situation where he was going to provide us depth. And like every guy on our team, we always tell them, ‘one play, you could go from the guy providing depth to being the starter,’ and he was a guy who really never left the field for most of the entire year. And he was coming off an injury season before we got him. I had him in New York as well. I just think he’s really done a good job. He’s always been a really smart football player, being able to play multiple positions and do a really good job that way, and I think he’s just going to get better and better like anybody with the more playing time you have. That experience and how you deal with just the little things out there, how you deal with this block, that block, your recognition, all of those things become honed and sharp and better, so I think we’re looking for him to kind of continue that rise forward.”

OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR DOUG PEDERSON

Q: Has there been any big surprises so far?

 

PEDERSON: “No, when you’re in your third year like this, when your quarterback is in his third year, most of our guys are in their third year. They understand the offense. That’s kind of what we’re seeing from our guys that have been around. There are a few guys like Jeremy Maclin and Ben Grubbs and guys that we pulled in and Paul Fanaika, they’re just kind of plugging in and picking up where we left off. This spring has been really good that way because now again, everybody understands what we’re doing offensively. It allows us to play and practice faster.”

 

Q: How is Jeremy Maclin doing in this system?

 

PEDERSON: “It’s really big, a lot of familiarity. He’s only a couple years removed from our system. We’ve changed some things since he’s been in the offense, but he’s such a smart, savvy veteran guy that he’s really picked up on what we’re doing really fast. He and Alex have sort of developed that continuity right away and done a nice job.”

 

Q: Is Maclin sort of a receivers coach on the field?

 

PEDERSON: “He does, but again, he’s still learning our system. Again, he’s been a couple years removed from what we’re doing, so there is some newness to him. He’s got to get himself familiar with what we’re doing, but yes, he has played a lot of snaps in this league and he knows our offense inside and out. He can definitely help the younger receivers.”

 

Q: How do you think Mitch Morse and Chris Conley are doing?

 

PEDERSON: “I think they’re doing an excellent job. We’ve thrown so much – even at our vets, but we’ve thrown so much at our rookies during rookie camp, all the OTA practices, Phase 2 and 3. These guys have really studied. You can see they’ve taken playbooks home at night. They’re studying to prepare, and they’re smart guys. They really have come in and handled themselves very well. They’ve put themselves in a position to help us.”

 

SPECIAL TEAMS COORDINATOR DAVE TOUB

Q: On PATs, besides the 13 yards, what’s the difference between a 20-yard PAT and a 33-yard PAT?

TOUB: “Big difference, it’s a big difference. They can’t miss it, I think Cairo (Santos) said this before, you can’t mis-hit a 33-yard field goal. If you mis-hit you’re going to miss. A lot of times with those kicks on the two-yard line, you can have a bad hit and it’s going to go through no matter what. He’s got to focus and we’ve really got to practice, we’ll be practicing a lot more, we have to make that 33-yard extra point mentally seem just like a PAT. We’ll just have to kick a lot of them.”

Q: Looks like you’ve been doing that?

TOUB: “We’ve been doing it a lot.”

Q: What are the angles to the new rule that people might not be thinking about?

TOUB: “There are a lot of different angles. Number one is that the field goal block team is going to try to come after those extra points a lot harder.”

Q: Why now more than the old way?

TOUB: “Because the chance of fake, there’s not a lot of chance. Nobody’s going to want to try to run a fake for two points from the 15-yard line, it’s too hard to get. There will be some, but not a lot. So chances of a fake are slim so guys are going to try to go after it a little more.”

Q: So you’ll be working on that part of it even more than you’re used to?

TOUB: “Yeah, that and it’s also the mindset of the field goal team too that’s going to change. They have to be a lot more solid because they’re going to get some hard pressure up the middle.”

Q: What are you telling your kicker about this change, what advice do you have for him?

TOUB: “Well we’re going to put the ball in the middle, that’s what we’ve been working on. He’s just got to kick a straight kick. Good snap, good hold, good solid kick. Really got to focus now, the focus is going to be a little bit more.”

Q: If you don’t bring in a veteran snapper to the competition, are you going to be able to sleep at night with your long snapper being one of two guys who have never snapped in the NFL before?

TOUB: “Sure. By the time we’re done at training camp, and maybe even before that, we’ll know who our long snapper is going to be. The good thing is I like both of these guys. I think both of them can do it in the NFL and we’re going to get the best one. We have to decide who that’s going to be, maybe after the second or third preseason game.”

Q: How much do you know about those guys right now?

TOUB: “I know that they’re both very athletic, they both have excellent snaps, they both have good speed on the ball. The thing that we don’t know is how they’re going to protect when there is live bullets coming at them. Those are things we’re not going to be able to know until we get to a preseason game or training camp.”

 

WIDE RECEIVERS COACH DAVID CULLEY

Q: What is the difference between getting Jeremy Maclin now as a veteran instead of a rookie?

CULLEY: “Well when I got him as a rookie, you know how all rookies come in, you know how they are. He was a first-round draft pick. But I’m going to tell you something, (I) loved the kid. And getting him now these years later, I’ll tell you what, he is a consummate professional. He knows our offense, he’s been in this thing before, his leadership, he’s grown tremendously since then into a heck of a player.”

Q: Is he a tremendously different player than the last time you had a chance to work with him?

CULLEY: “Just a more mature player. He knows now what the game is about in the NFL, he knows what it’s all about. He’s been a consummate pro even when he left Philly to come here. Obviously he has had tremendous years up there, obviously the last year being his best year, which just goes to show the maturity that he’s had since he’s been in the league.”

Q: What are your thoughts on Chris Conley?

CULLEY: “I’ll tell you what. Chris is a big strong kid. The thing we like about him physically, the tools are there. He’s had some familiarity obviously with Aaron (Murray) having been his quarterback for a couple of years. I think the sky is limit for him. He fits the M.O. of the type of receiver you want in this offense, big and strong, playing the position he’s playing. He’s learning right now. He’s learning again, he’s learning right now what Jeremy went through five years ago, he’s going through it right now.”

Q: What does it mean moving De’Anthony Thomas to the wide receiver meeting room?

CULLEY: “Basically what he is doing now, a lot of the special plays we did for him last year as a running back, we put him at that position and we called it differently. And basically after looking at it, we used him more as a wide receiver, we used him more coming out of the backfield catching balls and so now it just made sense for him to be in that room learning what it is to be a wideout doing those same things. And of course now, he’s more outside, he’s getting comfortable with it, he’s learning and doing a heck of a job.”

 

RUNNING BACKS COACH ERIC BIENIEMY

Q: Can you talk about the running back group as a whole?

BIENIEMY: “I have a very, very unique group. I never complain. Obviously I am blessed and fortunate to have a Jamaal Charles, an Anthony Sherman, a Knile Davis, a Cyrus Gray, Charcandrick West. I also have Spencer Ware, one of our newcomers. We’ve got Keshawn Hill, a youngster. And then on top of that every now and then, I get blessed with the opportunity to work with De’Anthony (Thomas). So I can’t complain, I cannot complain at all.”

Q: How much of a better coach are you with a guy like Jamaal Charles back there?

BIENIEMY: “Great players make great coaches. They make our world a whole lot easier.”

Q: Is it a tug of war between you and Coach Culley for De’Anthony Thomas?

BIENIEMY: “Not at all. De’Anthony brings a tremendous amount to the table. He is a very, very unique football player. Obviously he is blessed and fortunate to be a dynamic player when he is in the backfield, but also too he can bring a different thing outside when he is placed on the perimeter. And obviously when you have somebody as unique as he is, you want to make sure that you utilize all of his skillsets to our advantage.”

Q: Is that a challenge or is it exciting to try and find different areas to get him the ball?

BIENIEMY: “I think it’s some of both. And obviously between Coach Pederson and Coach Andy Reid, they will work it out and also with Coach David Culley. But at the end of the day, you want to make sure to find a way to feed him the ball every now and then to make sure he makes a difference.”

Q: Any steps Jamaal Charles has made this offseason? What have you seen from him?

BIENIEMY: “Each and every year, Jamaal always seems to amaze me. First and foremost, he is a unique person because he is a great leader in our room because he leads by example. He is out here every day working his tail off and the thing that I appreciate about him is that he brings his professionalism in the classroom every single day. What he does on the field speaks for itself, but he bring professionalism to the classroom each and every day and that’s all you can ask for.”

OFFENSIVE LINE COACH ANDY HECK

Q: How important is swapping guys’ positions across the offensive line?

 

HECK: “I think in today’s game, when we’re only dressing seven on gameday, everybody should know how to play more than one position. If I’m a tackle, I need to know how to play both sides. If I’m a guard, I have to know how to play center and tackle and so forth. The more you can do, we always say. In a game, we might (say), ‘Oh, this guy goes down, you go to right guard, you jump over to right tackle.’ We have to be prepared to do that and be comfortable in uncomfortable situations.”

 

Q: What do you think of Eric Kush and Mitch Morse at center?

 

HECK: “Both those guys are built ideally to play the position. The thing with Eric Kush, he’s been in our system now for a couple years. He knows our calls. He knows our system. He’s been drilling our techniques for a couple years. He’s right where he needs to be. Mitch is quickly picking things up and we’re cross-training him at both center and guard. We love his quickness and his leverage. He’s a very explosive guy.”

 

Q: With all the additions in skill positions, is it the offensive line that is really going to make this thing pop and get this thing going?

 

HECK: “When we meet as an offensive line, that’s what we talk about. We say, ‘hey men, let’s lead this team. Let’s lead by example because as we go, the team goes.’ That’s got to be our mentality. We want to get out there and be the most physical unit. We know the things we need to improve upon. Pass protection, that’s something we’re working hard to get better at. If we can do that, then we feel like we can give our quarterback some time, and our quarterback, receiver and skill guys, they’ll do their thing.”

 

Q: How is Donald Stephenson doing?

 

HECK: “Donald is a super talented guy. He’s come in. He’s working his butt off. He’s been great in the classroom, so he has a great opportunity.”

 

DB COACH EMMITT THOMAS

Q: You haven’t been able to have Marcus Peters and Steven Nelson here in OTAs. How has the communication been going with them?

THOMAS: “It’s been going good. It’s a three-way thing with Al Harris and Dino Vasso. They send off all the installments to them day-by-day and week-by-week and any questions they have they’ll answer them. They’ll be ready when they come back.”

Q: What are the challenges of them not being here, what are they missing out on?

THOMAS: “I think the daily routine of repeating every day and getting the new material right now and then coming out and executing it in full flow. They were here earlier and both of those guys learn real well, so they’ll be ok.”

Q: They’re both coming from the West Coast, did you warn them about the heat?

THOMAS: “But one of them grew up in Georgia and the other one grew up in California. So both of them are really used to the heat, so they said the heat won’t bother them. But we asked them to get in tip-top condition because we don’t have much time to waste and we don’t want them to get injured. But they’ll be ready to go.”

Q: How has Phillip Gaines looked so far this year?

THOMAS: “We think he’s gotten a little stronger, which will help. He’s competing a little bit better, he’s definitely in better condition than he was last year. He’s getting his hands on a lot of footballs, we just hope they turn into interceptions and not just PBUs.”

Q: It looks like the defensive secondary is having a lot of fun out there on the field?

THOMAS: “Well one day Coach Reid came down and kind of stuck a burr under their saddles and kind of upgraded their play in that particular part of practice and they stood up to the challenge and had some success. But we’re still in shorts, but they are competing.”

 

QB COACH MATT NAGY

 

Q: You’re getting Jeremy Maclin and Jason Avant who have both had a number of years in this offensive system. How much of a game changer is that for what you guys are doing?

 

NAGY: “That’s important because what you get is guys that know the offense – now Jeremy had two years away from it, Jason coming in last year to come back into it – but they are very friendly in the offense because they get all of it inside-out, so they’ve been in it for awhile. So coming back for Jeremy, it was kind of like riding a bike, you just kind of refresh your memory, you come back and you get at it. And that’s kind of really what he’s done with Alex.”

 

Q: What’s Alex been working on the most so far in OTAs?

 

NAGY: “The big thing, and we were just talking about this earlier, is working on some of his technique and fundamentals individually and trying to take what we saw from last season, things that we could improve on and incorporate it in our own offense this year. Really I’d say the big thing right now is just focusing on some footwork and meshing that up with the timing with the receivers.”

 

Q: Do you remember we talked about trying to get Alex a little more aggressive in his decision making, how’s that going?

 

NAGY: “You know, being the third year now for him, it’s become a little more natural. That third year I think is so key to be able to focus. Really to tell you the truth, this offseason we’re doing a lot more fundamentally for him, the progressions, the footwork and everything that goes along with it, it all kind of goes together. We’re still focusing on that, we always do, but I’d say this year we’ve been a little bit more towards technique and fundamentals.”

 

Q: Alex was talking about, that maybe improved footwork might help with all of that and improved throwing motion.

 

NAGY: “Yeah, the timing with everything, the timing with the wide receivers. Working with our feet and really self-evaluating our own footwork, mechanics, at our position and how it meshes up with some of the stuff we’re doing on the offense.”

 

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