K-State Weekly Football Press Conference
October 7, 2014
Head Coach Bill Snyder
On his experiences over the years…
“Well, you do not have enough time for all the things that I have learned. If you pay attention, you learn an awful lot. I cannot tell you how much. Part of it is choosing the right people to embrace in your life, making family important, being who you are and working at whatever you do. There are multiple things that you learn by having good people in your life. I have learned something every day from good people.”
On birthday plans this evening…
“I will be right here doing what we always do, evaluating film after our practice, practice tape, and Oklahoma tape. Same old thing.”
On the defense’s day-to-day improvements…
“I think it has been somewhat consistent, and that is what we hope for. They are easy to work with because they work hard on the practice field, dedicated to their preparation and are committed to improve day in and day out. They are a good group of young guys.”
On when buckling down on life came a priority…
“When I left high school and went to the University of Missouri in Columbia, I was not a loose cannon by any means. I was not smart enough for that. Probably my major turning point for me was when I left the University of Missouri since I was not doing well in the classroom and I went back to my hometown, St. Joseph. That is when Norris Patterson, the longtime Athletic Director and football coach at William Jewell, came to see me and would like to take me and told me a list of things that I needed to do. Most of the list was directed towards academics, but there were some other things as well. That did have an impact on me, but like I have said so many times, there are so many defining moments for me. My mother was a true guiding light in my life and she was there forever for me. In the good things that I have learned, I have learned from her.”
On Coach Norris Patterson mentoring and guiding him…
“There are a lot of people who have had a very positive impact on my life. Besides from my mother, prior to Norris Patterson, before I even got to college and that time of my life. It was in my first year of college and it was time to grow up. There are all kinds of people whether they have been in this profession or have some other involvement in my life.”
On K-State’s running backs…
“We had really done a nice job maintaining possession of the ball on turnovers until we had one turnover in the (Texas Tech) ballgame. That is an up and down situation, but overall, they did very well up to that one turnover. I appreciate that about them. They play hard, and they are good at trying to get the extra yardage after contact. They have been doing a nice job to get where they are supposed to be when they are supposed to, in other words, discipline. They have an understanding of what their role and involvement is and systematically executing where they are supposed to be. I think there are a lot of areas that can be improved upon. Certainly, we need to improve our pass protection and overall everything we need to work on. I like to see some breakaway opportunities for them, which is not always in their hands. More often than not, they are going to be dependent on blockers whether or not that is going to be the line or receivers.”
On the benefits of an off week…
“Like I have said so many times, let’s talk after the Oklahoma game; we will see if it benefits us or not. I think there are numerous things that are viable. Certainly, you have an opportunity to get rested a little bit and recover from nicks and bruises and have a longer period of time for preparation. There are a lot of things that you could say that could be a benefit to having an open week. There are also probably an equal number of things that could be said on the other side of the argument as well. The biggest question is, do you lose the continuity of the routine, day in and day out preparation that goes in and getting back-to-back games on the field where there is a similarity of Saturday games? We will see.”
Senior Quarterback Jake Waters
On being coached by the oldest active coach in the FBS…
“That is something I have not really thought about. It is definitely special to see. It is his birthday today, but you would never expect that based on how he acts and how he goes about his day. It is cool to be coached by someone that has been through everything that you might think of and has coached so many great players. For him to coach us and give all of his time to us is a unique place.”
On his play in the Texas Tech game…
“I did alright. I made some good throws, but again I made some mistakes that I want back. I had a couple throws that I could have made and a couple reads that could have been better. I could have done a lot of things better.”
On the offense putting things together…
“I think so, for the most part it is getting better. We had the hiccup on the goal line and not finishing it in the red zone. I think we have done a better job of that lately. Last game, I think we did a good job except like one field goal or something like that. I think we are getting better slowly, and we are getting better every single day.”
Senior Linebacker Jonathan Truman
On the safeties’ improvement this year…
“Yes, for sure. We have been challenged with a few of the early games with run offenses. They have proved that they can come down and make hits and make big stops for us. Obviously we have been challenged in the past through the air, and they have done a great job. It just shows how they prepare. They prepare well and play well on Saturdays.”
On if he thinks that Danzel McDaniel is ultra-aggressive…
“You cannot ask much more from a guy on defense to be such a sure tackler like he is. Being at the position he is, at cornerback, he is very physical with wide receivers. Not a lot of receivers are used to that. He is very physical and when we need to make a tackle, he is always there.”
Redshirt Freshman Punter Nick Walsh
On his reaction to playing at Iowa State…
“Going into the Iowa State game, I was preparing like I was going to be the starter. I feel like if I had not, then it would have been a mess. I went in there preparing like I was going to be playing no matter what. It ended up working out, but at the same time it is still competitive and we are still competing on a daily basis. Mitch (Lochbihler) and I just go out there and have fun and push each other. So, that is going to make us better and make the team better.”
On his consistency…
“Obviously I had a short punt the last game, and I am kind of glad that happened because I fired back with a 43-yarder that hung up and was fair caught. I was happy to see that I could just relax under those kinds of situations and come back with a positive punt.”
On achieving hang time…
“It is something that Coach always says I need to do more of. My hang times have all been around 4.1, 4.2, and 4.3 (seconds), whereas, in practice I have hit some 4.5, 4.6, 4.7 and those punts are going to be fair caught all day long. They are not going out there 60 yards, 45 usually is tops. I need to work on consistency with hang time right now. That is a big thing, and obviously distance. Like I said last game, I kind of got the drop inside which turned the ball over and that is just not going to go down the field as far as I want it to.”
Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid Quotes
October 6, 2014
OPENING STATEMENT: “Alright, as far as the injuries go, Phillip Gaines and Chris Owens had the collision there at the end of the game. Phillip has a concussion, should be okay, was feeling better last night by the time we got back. Chris Owens caught his knee pretty good there with a bone bruise, his lateral collateral ligament there was sprained so he’s pretty sore today. We’ll just have to see how he does down the stretch here. Cyrus Gray fractured his hand and they casted it up. We’ll just see how that goes – potential surgery or just leaving the cast on there, couple options there, both of which he can come back relatively quick on and be ready to go. And really for the most part, that’s really it. Donnie Avery is doing better, although he had the surgery, but he feels good. We’ll just see how the time goes on; normally those are six-week type injuries. And then Eric Berry is making progress. I appreciate the way the guys battled in the game although it obviously wasn’t good enough. The thing that I take from that is it’s very hard to teach physical football. We were playing if not one of the most (physical) teams in the National Football League; it’s very hard to teach that. And so when you can build off of that right there as a foundation as we go forward here and that’s an important ingredient to take into this bye week. And then we’ve got to work on some of the execution situations that we have and we’ll get that fixed. And some of the base fundamentals, we’ve got to keep working on those things and to get ourselves better. But again, those are things that you can change and get better at. Again, the heart of a football team, if you don’t have that, that’s a tough thing to build. Time of possession I thought was a big factor in this game, in particular first half – compare first half to second half, we were able to maintain the football a little bit better in the first half than we did the second half. A couple of the penalties that normally just don’t happen with special teams had a little bit of an effect on that just as far as another potential offensive series and/or time with that second penalty. But given the opportunities when you have the football in your hand from an offensive standpoint, you’ve got to sustain drives, in particular as you get into that latter part of the third quarter and fourth quarter there, you’ve got to make sure that when you’ve got the ball, you keep the ball and you keep your drives going. That’s where some of our execution can be better right there. And like I said, we’re going to get that thing right as we go down the stretch here. So it’s important that we step back here and as coaches we evaluate what we’re doing, look in the mirror first at what we’re doing, making sure we’re putting the players in the best position to make plays. It’s important that the players – they are going to get a little time off here – that they use it wisely and rest up and we’ve got a couple nicks and bruises, make sure we get those cleaned up, and so when they come back on Monday that they are ready to go. And that’s when they’ll reconvene here. Before I turn it over to you, congratulations to the Royals. That’s a definite positive in this whole weekend here, so we’re very proud of them and the job they’re doing and support them as they take that next step in the playoffs and know they’re going to do a great job. So the time is yours.”
Q: Why only four carries for Jamaal Charles in the first half?
REID: “Really, and I know you look at this stuff so I’ll detail it for you a little bit. We only had a few series that half. So in series six – that was the beginning series – we did pretty well with that drive and it was fairly short. We only ran 15 plays in the second half so there wasn’t a lot done there. We came back and had a couple carries for him that next series. They were just kind of okay, we probably didn’t block it up as well as we needed to. And really, it ended up being that seventh series in there, that’s where he didn’t get any carries. We were moving the ball okay but we probably should’ve given him more opportunities right there. And then really the rest of that was two plays in the two minute and we were kind of out of it right there. But we could’ve done a better job in that one series, that seventh series, we could’ve done a better job of giving him more carries and a better opportunity, in particular – when I say look in the mirror – that third and one. If I had to do it all over again – and this is hindsight – but I’d probably come back and hand it to him and give him an opportunity to make a play.”
Q: You referred to the 49ers as one of the most physical football teams. In your mind, what makes a team more physical than others?
REID: “You’d know by what you see on tape and their ability to play up front and how they go about their business up there, how they tackle. Those are all things that are ingredients to it, how they sustain it through four quarters.”
Q: You talk about taking this as a learning moment for your team being tough and physical. Is that more because it happened to them or is there anything in the team development that you need to do in practice where you can develop it?
REID: “No, I’m saying that we matched them physically. That’s one of our strengths I think of our football team right now is that we’re physical and we’re a tough team. There’s some things fundamentally and our execution that we can do better than basic fundamentals, techniques that we can do better, but I think one of our strengths is, right now, is that other part, but we’ve got to clean up a couple of things in the execution part.”
Q: You mentioned third downs and sustaining drives. What happened with third downs as the game went on?
REID: “Yeah, two times. Yeah, so there were two snaps. We ended up winning that battle as far as the third downs go, but if you’re keeping stats, which I’m not big on because those last two were the two most important ones. We just, we missed out on them. We had a third and four, had (Demetrius) Harris running there across the field. We missed him there a little bit by an inch or so, close throw and then the third and one; we lost out on that one.”
Q: You had a lot of third downs and you threw every single one. Was that because of the defense you were facing?
REID: “We thought we had an opportunity there to throw the ball. Like I said, that last third and one they could’ve gone either way with that. Probably should have run the ball as it’s all, as we’re sitting here. Listen, we did fairly well on the third downs. It’s those last two stinkers that, oh man they got us.”
Q: Are there times where it’s too much Jamaal because you didn’t get the ball enough to him yesterday and in Tennessee in which you lost.
REID: “Listen, there’s that chance. I think sometimes the numbers and how games play out, things work out sometimes that’s how it goes. We’re playing against a pretty good defense too. You’ve got to give them a little credit.”
Q: What have you seen from the offensive line and their development through week five?
REID: “We still have room to improve. I’m saying that with this, but they’ve done some nice things with, like I said, with plenty of room to improve. They’re playing as a unit, taking pride in their job. That’s what I think.”
Q: Is there improvement in a sense that Alex is not running as much as he had been?
REID: “Yeah, there was one. There were really two. He came out on that one when he threw it to 84 (Demetrius Harris) also, then he had the one scramble for four yards or whatever. I would say yeah. I think, the way I see it is their communication up front is better. We’re playing, we’ve played some pretty decent defenses here over the last few weeks and they’ve thrown, coming into it knowing we’ve got some guys kind of piece mailed in there in some positions. They’ve thrown some things at us. I’ve seen our guys be able to pick those up better as time has gone on here. I think that would be one reason here to say they’re getting better.”
Q: There was a play by Dee Ford yesterday that has made its way around. He looks like he went after (Frank) Gore then peels away from the play.
REID: “Yeah, he probably thought it was a play action there, at least that’s the way it looked. I haven’t had the chance to talk to him on that, but I know it probably didn’t look the best, but listen, he did some good things too. He’ll look back on that one say and I’m sure he’d say the same thing you’re saying, what was I doing?”
Q: You talked about the communication up front, a lot of that comes from Rodney Hudson. What have you seen from him?
REID: “Rodney’s kind of the, he’s the one in charge of that group and takes a lot of pride in that and he’s the steady force in that group. He’s playing good football and I’m saying all of these things telling you we can get and will get better, but he’s doing a nice job.”
Q: Five weeks in, how do you rate how the special teams have done? They have been kind of up and down.
REID: “Yeah, that’s probably accurate. Anytime somebody goes down, you bring those core guys up to your offense and defense, and so Dave’s got guys that we’re piece mailing in there and then the continuity is huge on special teams. We start that in the OTAs. We’re not making excuses for it, but sometimes that shows a bit. There have been some good things too. We’ve got to get everybody playing together and doing a better job there.”
Q: Was the 12th man call a miscommunication?
Reid: “That’s my fault, I’ve got to count it and make sure that we’ve got the right number on the field.”
Q: That’s afterwards, why did an extra guy run onto the field?
Reid: “Again that’s my fault, I’ll just leave it at that.”
Q: How do you feel Frank Gore did in general?
REID: “Well, listen, he did a nice job, you’ve got to give him credit. And I would tell you on our side, we did a pretty good job of sacking their quarterback. There’s a give and take and we put ourselves in position to possibly have three interceptions. We’ve got to take care of that business there and make sure that we come down with the football in those situations. But Frank had a good day and I don’t think that that was the overall reason for the outcome of the game. We had opportunities; we’ve got to take care of them. There are certain things we’ve got to make sure we take care of.”
Q: How do you approach third-downs when it comes to executing in the second half against good opponents?
REID: “Yeah, so we do, we need to take care of that. The 15 plays that we had in the second half, we’ve got to make sure that we take advantage of all of those. And then in order to extend drives, if you’re in a third down situation, you’ve got to make them. And I thought really the last two were the two primary ones that put us in a bad position down the stretch of the game. I’ve got to make sure that I’m dialing up the right things at those times and then if they are the right things, then we’ve got to execute. It’s that simple. We did fairly well, the last two were really the two primary ones.”
Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid & Players Quotes
September 25, 2014
OPENING STATEMENT: “Really the only injury to talk about is Eric Berry’s. Eric’s ankle is a little different deal. It’s kind of right where the high ankle component comes in along with the regular ankle sprain. It looks like its leaning more towards a high ankle sprain, which you just don’t know until you get into it. He’s trying like crazy to get himself back, but he’s not going to be able to practice today. And we’ll just have to see how it goes here, but it’s not a lack of effort on his part. It looks like it’s leaning more towards a high ankle (sprain) than not. Jamaal will go and he’ll practice today and do his thing, likewise with De’Anthony (Thomas). We look forward to the challenge of playing the Patriots. It’s always exciting to have the opportunity to play on Monday night, that’s a privilege to be able to do that. Then to be able to play against a good opponent like the Patriots is another nice thing. Our guys are coming out, they are getting ready for the Patriots. That’s what they are going to exhaust their efforts on this week, of getting themselves prepared to come out and play a good football team. We had the first part of that today with the walk through. The other thing - I’m wishing the Royals good luck here, baby. We’re right there. I had the chance to watch the game last night as I was doing my work, and we are pulling for you. Skipper (Ned) Yost, we are pulling for you and your guys. I know the whole city is.”
Q: You’ve had a lot of injuries, how do you feel about the overall depth of the roster right now?
REID: “I’ve said it before, it’s a tribute to (John) Dorsey and his guys, and bringing in competition. Everybody is having a chance to play. The one that probably gets hurt, not because of effort, lack of effort or anything else it’s just knowing special teams get hurt just a bit. Because you’re bringing new guys to work in there and they’re just learning the system but they are playing their hearts out trying to make sure they get everything down. Again, I’m proud of the guys for the way they are filling in and doing their job. That’s what we expect and that’s what they’re doing.”
Q: Is this better depth than you’ve had in the past on other teams? It seems like the guys who are filling in are doing a fairly decent job.
REID: “Yeah they are working hard and doing a good job. They’re intensity level, they’ve maintained so that’s important. Is there a mistake here and there, yeah but there’s going to be a mistake here or there. But they are working through that. I don’t know how to compare it with other teams, I would say that so far they’ve done a nice job here.”
Q: This is the first week you haven’t had a personnel move on the active roster, at least not one that we know of. After 15 years do you just expect that kind of stuff or is this a week to celebrate?
REID: “I don’t even get into all of that. I honestly, I don’t get caught up on injuries, I know that’s a big thing, I don’t get caught up on the injuries and that. We just expect that next guy to come in. I don’t get caught up if we are doing something or not doing something – that’s Dorsey’s job and he’s doing a good job of that. Whoever’s there to coach we are going to coach and coach our tail off. I think that’s important. We respect the job the players are doing and the way they are going about their business. And we appreciate them working as hard as they are working.”
Q: Do you have an update on Mike Catapano? I saw you guys moved him to IR.
REID: “Yeah, Mike is back around here and he is just trying to get himself back, get his strength back. And I think he is starting to feel better. I had a chance to visit with him and he’s in good spirits so that’s positive. Now it’s just a matter of building back up and getting himself back where he gets his strength back.”
Q: So what’s going on with his health?
REID: “I’ll hold off on that. I’m not even prepared to tell you anything on that, maybe I can get Rick (Burkholder) to talk to you and give you something on that.”
Q: But that move eliminates any chance of him coming back this year?
REID: “Yeah and I think that’s where we are at. That was a long process, so I think it’s better that he just steps back, gets himself back healthy and feeling good and then we just go from there. He’s had a million different tests done. I’m not trying to eliminate telling you but there’s been a million things done on him just to try to find out what the answer is.”
Q: Did (Tom) Brady make Belichick or did Belichick make Brady?
REID: “I think they’ve just been a good match. I think both of them would tell you that. They work very well together; they’ve done it for a number of years. And they’ve had a lot of success.”
Q: You did that with Donovan (McNabb) too when you guys were able to do that. How vital is to get a very long relationship between a quarterback and head coach?
REID: “I think it’s important. It’s hard to have a lot of success in this league if you don’t have a good solid quarterback playing there. I was very fortunate to have Donovan for all those years and I know Bill would say the same thing, he’s lucky to have Tom.”
Q: You’ve gone up against a lot of defensive minds in the last 15 years. Where would you rank Belichick?
REID: “I think his record stands on its own right there. He’s a very intelligent man and we’re friends, you know, off of the football field. We’ve had an opportunity to compete against each other and that’s always exciting. So, we get another shot at it. We’ve been doing it a couple of years. We’ve been hanging around here.”
Q: 10 years ago you were preparing for a Super Bowl to face this defense. Now, this week, is there any differences you see?
REID: “Yeah, well, he’s changed and that’s what a good coach does. You change with the personnel that you have and you move people around, but I think some of his base fundamentals are the same and his philosophy is probably basically the same.”
Q: Is this a different Patriots team that wants to run the ball more? Is this almost a different breed of cat to go up against?
REID: “I think every game is different when you play them. Some days you’re going to get, depending on what he sees in you, they’re going to throw the ball a little bit more. Other times, like against the Colts they ran, in the playoffs, they ran it darn near every time. So, you’re going to get a different flavor every time you play and that’s what good coaches do.”
Q: You touched on this a little bit after the game in Miami, but the issue with punt returners bringing it back from where they are nowadays. What are they taught to do? What are you teaching Frankie Hammond (Jr.) and those other guys to do in those situations?
REID: “It depends on the game and the coverage unit that you’re playing. I mean, there’s not one set thing there. You’ll have (Dave) Toub up here tomorrow. You can ask him the question, but there’s flexibility within that according to who you’re playing and blocking is essential. You kind of game plan for it. You don’t want holdings. That’s one thing I could tell you.”
Q: The percentage of penalties on the kick game is relatively high. That’s going to be a big risk.
REID: “I think more teams are taking out the kickoffs. So, I think more teams are running back punts from different areas on the field than normally, you used to not do. Sometimes that happens. You end up with a few more penalties when those numbers go up in the return.”
Q: (Travis) Kelce is one of your more demonstrative players. Are you okay with that? Do you encourage that?
REID: “Is demonstrative the right word?”
Q: I think so.
REID: “Alright. So, he’s a young guy that’s learning every week. He’s getting a little bit better every time. He’s learned some plays. He’s got a little flare, maybe that’s the demonstrative part. He’s got a little zest to him.”
Q: You ask players a lot to be who they are. Why do you do that?
REID: “I ask them a lot to let their personalities show. You can’t play this without doing that, right? It’s an emotional game. If you’re trying to be something you’re not, you have a problem and there’s a problem, you’re not going to get the full genius or whatever person it is. These guys are the best in the world at what they do and they’ve all got personalities, and they’re all different and don’t try to hide it. Let it play out, unless it’s going to cost the team penalties, let it play out.”
Q: Have you ever had to tell anybody in particular to tone it down a bit?
REID: “I did with Hugh Douglas one time and then I told myself I would never do that again because he didn’t play very well that day.”
Q: What is it like to be featured on Monday Night Football?
REID: “I think there’s a little extra energy that goes with Monday Night Football. I think it’s important that you don’t get caught up in all of the hoopla that kind of comes with it and that you focus in on your job.”
Q: Have you counseled Kelce in how to hurdle a standing defender?
REID: “Yeah, if they’re standing, right? Yeah, he’s had some success doing that in college. I’ve had another tight end that did that a lot named Chad Lewis and he ended up in the Pro Bowl three times so that was a good thing. He helped us win a lot of games. That one happened when the guy didn’t happen to go low on him. A lot of those big guys, you know, they go right for your ankles there so you’ll see big guys try to jump over people, but he guessed wrong on that one.”
Q: What do you expect from the atmosphere and the crowd on Monday night?
REID: “Yeah, I should’ve mentioned that earlier. We welcome people into that atmosphere. The Sea of Red is something when it gets cranking. I have this feeling that they’re probably going to set a new record. It’s going to be a lot of red and we look forward to it and bringing the Patriots in here and letting them enjoy that part of it.”
Q: this will be the fifth time in your career you’ve started 1-2 with a team, twice you’ve been to the playoffs. What’s been the key to those seasons?
REID: “Oh boy. I don’t know every year is different. Every team’s different. I don’t know that. You surely don’t want to be in that position, but you’re there. The main thing is that you learn from your mistakes, you try to get better. None of us want to be in that position, but that’s where you’re at and you battle to make sure that you change the wrongs into rights and move forward.”
QB ALEX SMITH
Q: What do you think of when you think of Monday Night Football?
SMITH: “I hear that song in my head, I hear the intro song. So many memories as a kid growing up and watching Monday Night Football, and I think the whole country has similar thoughts and it’s a special deal. So to bring you back here for a home game, even more special.”
Q: You’ve played with a lot of backups so far this season. What kind of message is that from John Dorsey to be surrounded with good players even after injuries?
SMITH: “I think guys have done a great job. Look at Sunday as an example in the running back room alone. Those guys all stepping up, all scoring touchdowns, all helping us win and making plays. Yeah, a lot of depth, it’s certainly a credit to those guys upstairs but credit to the guys in this locker room. The attitude we have around here with the injuries, no one is feeling sorry for themselves, no one’s down, we all believe and we go.”
Q: How do you develop that?
SMITH: “I think it starts at the top. It certainly starts with Coach Reid and the mindset he has with the team. No one’s blinking. It’s part of the game, things are going to happen and we go.”
Q: Is there a difference between playing on primetime and Monday night over the years?
SMITH: “Certainly there is energy and emotion that comes with that. Certainly you look at the schedule of the week you are preparing, everything gets changed. So there things that go into it, yeah.”
Q: After all the injuries, how big is this game to show what you’ve got?
SMITH: “I think it’s a great opportunity. They are all big opportunities but certainly this one I think momentum can be a big, big thing in this game and I feel like we’ve got a little bit going and would love to keep it going.”
Q: Are you rooting for the Royals and their surge to the postseason?
SMITH: “Absolutely, yeah, no question. How could you not?”
Q: After starting 0-2 and then getting a win, how much of that is a shot in the arm?
SMITH: “I think the win is huge, no question. They are all big games but certainly I think yeah, the way we started and to get that first win and like I said momentum, and trying to keep it going, you realize how long the season is. There’s a lot of football left so they’re all important though. And that first one was our mindset last week and now it’s to get that second.”
Q: Is there a relief factor that you now got that first win?
SMITH: “Yeah, on Sunday. Once you finish and you’re done, then it’s pretty quick. You’re moving on to the next challenge. And the whole you reload so to speak and the whole mindset changes, right? And now it’s to get a chance to get to 2-2. And a big challenge on Monday Night Football with the Patriots coming to town.”
Q: What are your thoughts on the Patriots defense?
SMITH: “Extremely physical up front, extremely physical D-linemen, linebackers and on the back end a group that’s played smart. They’ve been together now for a little bit besides (Darrelle) Revis coming in but certainly he’s played a lot of football and seems to have fit right in. So experienced group back there, extremely physical and big up front.”
Q: What kind of confidence does it give you that you have been converting third downs at a very successful rate?
SMITH: “Yeah, you don’t necessarily think of it as a whole like that but certainly I think we do feel confidence, especially when we get in decent third down situations that we can convert and keep drives alive. Yeah, it just builds. It’s a momentum thing in itself and we do feel like in third down, that is still our down and we can go out there and make plays.”
Q: Your mantra has been to finish this season. Any advice to the Royals about finishing?
SMITH: “No, no. Those guys know what they’re doing better than me and that’s their job.”
Q: This is the first time in your career you are facing the Patriots. What does it take to beat a Belichick-led defense?
SMITH: “Yeah, that’s a good question, trying to put that together. Played them before, I never got to play though and got to watch them though and prepare for them a few times. Certainly they bring their own challenges. Like we just said, I think they’re a talented group, physical up front, and they throw a lot at you scheme-wise, play a lot of different fronts, a lot of different defenses so like I said, a big challenge for us.”
RB JOE MCKNIGHT
Q: Seems like a lot has changed within one week for you.
MCKNIGHT: “No, I mean nothings ever changed. I still have to come in every day and give a hard days work. Still have to go out to practice and do my plays.”
Q: If Jamaal (Charles) is healthy for this game, does that change your role?
MCKNIGHT: “I mean no. I just do my best to stay prepared and be ready to be on the field.”
Q: When you think about the Patriots, what comes to your mind?
MCKNIGHT: “I mean, they’re very disciplined in what they do, very simple.”
Q: What do you think of when you hear Monday Night Football?
MCKNIGHT: “This is a big stage for big time players to show up. We’ve got to come out there and play hard.”
Q: How big was it for you this past weekend with everything you’ve been through since college?
MCKNIGHT: “It was a big weekend, but I’ve just got to put that behind me. That was Sunday and we’re looking on to get ready for Monday.”
Q: Do you find yourself working into the game plan more this week rather than in the past because of your performance?
MCKNIGHT: “I mean it’s still the same way. Jamaal is our running back and you’ve just got to stay ready.”
Q: Do you guys see this as an opportunity on Monday to change everything that has gone wrong for you guys in the first few weeks with injuries and such?
MCKNIGHT: “These last couple of weeks we’ve just been stepping it up. Each week is just a chance for us to execute and do what we do best and play football.”
TE TRAVIS KELCE
Q: Did you miscalculate that play where you tried to jump over the guy?
KELCE: “No. I mean it was just like a miss-juke move. You know, it was just one of those things where that move didn’t work at that time and hopefully next time I try to jump over somebody I don’t get flipped.”
Q: How much different is it in the locker room now that you’ve got that first win under your belt?
KELCE: “Man it’s huge. It’s a huge momentum boost. On top of that it kind of gets us rolling to this Monday Night game.”
Q: That was an impressive win over Miami as well. Does that add to it at all?
KELCE: “No. I mean we know that what we do is special. We have enough guys to go ahead and execute and be special on offense and defensively, we’re always going to be a stout team because of our front. From that point on, it’ll be fun to see what we can do here.”
Q: This will be your first chance to play in a Monday Night Football game. What’s that going to be like for you?
KELCE: “We’ll see. We’ll see. I mean its prime time. The lights are going to be on. It’s going to be fun. Hopefully Arrowhead gives us the rocking stadium that we’re used to and we get the Sea of Red jumping.”
Q: Rob Gronkowski has been one of the tight tends to define the position. How much did you pay attention to him and maybe (Jimmy) Graham? How much has that helped the position of a tight end as a whole?
KELCE: “They’ve definitely set the bar and it’s fun watching those guys play, Gronk especially. He’s a great player. Athletically, it’s hard to find a guy that’s big and strong and as fast as him, but he’s an all-around player. Hats off to him and what he’s done. Hopefully I can go ahead and keep this legacy going with good tight ends.”
OPENING STATEMENT: “As far as the injuries go Eric Berry is making progress, most likely will start practicing when we return, likewise with Jamaal (Charles) and De’Anthony (Thomas). Everybody else really is ok. We came out of the game with guys that played, pretty unscathed. First of all, I think every win that you get in the National Football League is a good win. I think our defense really stepped it up, the leadership on the defense really stepped it up. We’ve had a couple injuries there but Justin Houston, Tamba (Hali), Dontari (Poe), Allen Bailey, (Husain) Abdullah, and then Sean Smith having been from there and knowing that environment, really showed great leadership yesterday. During the tough times when things could have gone either way, our defense really stepped up and kind of ended those situations abruptly. Offensively, I thought we played good, hard, aggressive football. The offensive line, anytime the runners can run like they ran, the offensive line has to be doing a good job. And they did that. Knile (Davis) ran really hard and aggressive and I was proud of him for doing that. We’ve got to continue to eliminate the turnovers. I count the sack and safety in the end zone as turnovers. I think they came out with nine points off of the turnovers. We had the two fumbles one we but the runner and one by the quarterback. We’ve got to do a better job there, none of it happens with the leadership of the quarterback out there, as far as the positive things go with the offense. He’s in complete control and we put a lot on his plate. And he always answers, whether it’s rerouting the run according to what we see and/or the pass game. He made some big throws there. You have to give Joe McKnight some credit too. Joe did a nice job of working in there in the pass game and played well. Special teams we had a couple penalties there that negated some big plays. The tough thing with the special teams is we’ve had a few of the core players on special teams end up being starters. So as much as any position the special teams have to play together, and they have to do that as a unit. So we are piecing new pieces in there, the one consistent is that they are playing hard. We will get the rest of it straight there. But it’s just a matter of time. We just have to have a little patience there, and this isn’t a patient business. But you have to have a little patience there to get that right. And Dave (Toub) is working along with his players like crazy to get that right.”
Q: How much of a concern is ball security with Knile Davis? I know he had a good day, but he dropped the ball a couple times.
REID: “Yeah, he did. The crazy part about that is both of them were high and tight. We always talk about keeping that leverage on the ball. One of them he probably should have put that second hand on it in traffic. The other one was kind of a freak deal. I really haven’t worried much about him in that area and you saw that we came right back to him. It wasn’t like we sat him down so the concern is not there. You can’t put that ball on the ground though, that’s the bottom line. And he’s aware of that. He can learn from that.”
Q: Are Jamaal Charles and Joe McKnight similar in what they can do? More so than Jamaal and Knile Davis?
REID: “One of the challenges as a coach is you try to play to a player’s strengths and what they aren’t good at you keep working to get better at. One of Joe’s strengths is he is a good route runner and Jamaal is too. So they are similar. So you try to incorporate that in there and it’s up to him to do it. Those are read routes that he was running, so he had an option of what he needed to do there. So you kind of tip your hat to him, he made the right reads and did a nice job. The quarterback and him were on the same page with limited amount of reps which is also a part of that.”
Q: Alex Smith has been sacked 11 times in three games, you talked about eliminating turnovers, how do you eliminate sacks?
REID: “Some of that, especially early, was my responsibility. We were in long yard situations, talking about third-and-forevers and I’m asking the guy to take seven step drops to throw the ball. So I’ve got to be a bit smarter with the play calling in a couple situations. And in other ones we need to make sure we block the right guys and do the right things.”
Q: What about Eric Fisher, I know he’s had some detractors since he’s been in Kansas City, in this game he had some good moments. What do you think about him?
REID: “I don’t know about the detractors, we feel very good about him and how he handles things. He’s a good football player and he’s young. He’ll just keep getting better and he did a nice job yesterday. It doesn’t matter who you are or what position you play, you’ve got to give players a little bit of time to grow. You get picked number one and it comes with a little scrutiny. You’re going to have a few eyes on you, but he’s done a nice job this year. We like the progress he’s making. Does he have room for improvement? Absolutely, we all do.”
Q: In the second drive of the second half following Alex’s fumble, four of the last five plays went for over 10 yards. How important of a drive was that for Alex and the offense?
REID: “Yeah, I thought that was big and you feel momentum swaying one way and you want to try and pull it back, get it going in your direction and I think we were able to do that. So, I’d tell you yes. I thought that was a positive start.”
Q: Sean Smith was one of the leaders out there yesterday. What did you take away from his game yesterday?
REID: “I thought that his whole approach going down there, that can go one of two ways when you go back to not only where he makes his home, but also where he played. You can lose your focus and you can allow clutter to get in there and distract you. He didn’t do that. I didn’t think any of the guys from there allowed that to happen. Dwayne (Bowe) makes that his home and (Anthony) Fasano also had played there. So, I didn’t think any of those guys let the clutter in and as a result, to answer your question, I thought Sean (Smith) played a good game too. He did well. He was very aggressive and seemed to have a pretty good feel of what was going on.”
Q: Three tight ends lined up together is little old school. Did you use that for this specific game or is there more of that coming?
REID: “We put that in. Really, we put it into OTAs and then we ran it a little bit last week that personnel group where we threw the ball, but then we did run. So, we thought we could get a decent match there with them. You look at (Demetrius) Harris and the improvement, I mean you look at the improvement that he’s made and those physical blocks that he made in that game. That was pretty impressive. I haven’t mentioned the coaches. I thought the coaches did a nice job on both sides of the ball and special teams, just game planning for this, for the Dolphins. I have a lot of respect for Joe (Philbin) and the job that he does down there and the things that he’s overcome with that organization there. So, anyways, to answer your question, yes.”
Q: With three tight ends, traditionally that tells the other team you are going to run the ball, but with (Anthony) Fasano and (Travis) Kelce and the development of (Demetrius) Harris, is one of the reasons you put them out there is maybe you can’t tell if it is a run play?
REID: “Yeah. They give you some flexibility because they’re all good receivers and the thing that probably will surprise you the most like I said was Harris and his ability to block.”
Q: What did you think of Dee Ford yesterday? Was that another small step for him?
REID: “Yeah, I though he played well. Last week he was in six plays and most of those plays he was in a drop position. This week he had an opportunity to rush the passer and you saw the job that Bob (Sutton) and Gary (Gibbs) did with him putting him in those positions and that’s what he does best right now. I thought he was able to put some pressure on the quarterback and he was playing fast, reckless-type football. It was good.”
Q: Coming off of last week’s 3 of 6 in the red zone to 3 of 3 yesterday, what was the difference?
REID: “I think red zone and those third downs are kind of big stat categories. If you don’t do well in those two spots, you’re normally going to come up short from an offensive standpoint. So, we did well the week before in third down, not as well in the red zone. This week we were able to do okay there. We had some nice plays between Joe (McKnight) and (Travis) Kelce and Alex (Smith). They worked that out, did some nice things there. Hats off to those guys.”
Q: How much does having that extra day in between effect how you guys game plan?
REID: “Our schedule will go like this, we’ll work today. The guys will be in today. They’ll look at the tape and do their lifting and running and that, then they’ll have the next two days off and then we’ll come back in and just go a normal week. So, Thursday will be a Wednesday and then you keep them riding the same routine and go through the week there.”
Q: At the end of the day, how do you judge whether or not your punter had a good day?
REID: “I thought the punter did pretty well. He had a pretty good day. I thought that he was able to change some of the field position for us to our advantage. I thought overall, I think he averaged about 51.”
Q: When you guys were a little slow getting going, he turned the tables.
REID: “Yeah he did. He did. Field position I thought was big. Field position was big in both areas. I’m not sure that I’ve ever been in a game where we’ve been backed up as much as we were, but at the same time, he was able to get us out of trouble there. “
Q: How big is it for you and for the team to have responded to adversity and finished like you have been wanting them to?
REID: “Yeah, well they’ve developed a certain character there. Sometimes you have to go through some tough times to develop that, but they’re playing hard like I’ve mentioned. They’re eliminating clutter and playing hard. That’s a good foundation to start with and you get your execution right as you go there.”
Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid Quotes
September 15, 2014
OPENING STATEMENT: “As far as injuries go (Husain) Abdullah has a foot contusion. Eric Berry has an ankle sprain and Jamaal Charles has a high ankle sprain. Cyrus Gray has a foot strain, looks like he should be heading in the right direction. And De’Anthony Thomas has a hamstring strain but should be able to work himself back in this week, we will just see how he does. As far as the game goes, it was a hard fought game, I was proud of the effort the players put forward. There were some real good things that they did, there were some things that we can do better. I think that’s what I’m most optimistic about, that the guys battled like crazy and we have room for improvement. With that attitude, with the attitude of this football team and the personality that they are building there together, it gives you an opportunity for success. Just to reiterate a couple things, the job that John Dorsey has done on bringing players in here through all the different realms that you can build a team with, as far as draft and free agency. You look at the job that (Ron) Parker did, for example, who’s been working at corner and we asked him to step in at safety and virtually plays the whole game at safety, and I thought he did a nice job. Jaye Howard, the job that he did. (Kevin) Vickerson coming in after just a few days here and Ryan Harris stepping in at tackle. These are guys that are good quality football players that as they get more used to our system in some cases will even get better. That helps to be able to compete when you have a few injuries. From a football standpoint I thought the third down differential was important in this game. Defensively, we held them three-for-eight on third downs. On the other side of that we were able to make 11 out of 16 there. We’ve got to do better obviously in the red zone, both teams struggled a little bit down in there. But we’ve got to do a better job down there of scoring when you have the ball first and goal at the four, you’ve got to make sure you get that in. I take, again, responsibility for that. Cairo (Santos) is taking a little heat right now. He’s a young guy who will continue to get better. There are some things he can do, just mechanically, to fix his issue there with the consistency. He will do that and get himself back on track. None of us have lost trust in him as a kicker, just got to make it a little bit more consistent.”
Q: What’s Jamaal Charles’ time table looking like with a high ankle sprain?
REID: “I don’t know. It doesn’t look to be, these things take time, but it doesn’t look to be real severe. But it does have the component of a high ankle sprain. What does that mean? Well we will see what happens here.”
Q: Categorize Cairo’s confidence level right now.
REID: “He hasn’t missed many field goals in his time, so this is a new experience for him. I would compare it to a batter in baseball, sometimes you get into a funk as a kicker and you’ve got to work your way out of it. He’s hitting it here early, if he figures it out and works it out, he’ll have a nice long career, steady career. And you’ve got to be able to do that as a kicker. Sometimes that ball is going to look real small, sometimes it’s going to look real big. So you’ve got to work through those things.”
Q: How much does this change Knile’s role, can he carry the same work load as Jamaal?
REID: “I don’t think it would change much from what you saw yesterday. He was involved in a lot of different areas. I’m not saying in number of carries. You saw him go and play a few different roles.”
Q: This is two weeks in a row you’ve struggled in the red zone, is it execution, play calling or a combination of things?
REID: “I’ll take responsibility for that. I have to make sure I put the guys in a better position to score touchdowns. We’ll work on that.”
Q: Is there certain things you’ve seen from players that make you not trust them in the red zone?
REID: “No, not at all. I’ll take responsibility for that.”
Q: Why move Ron Parker to safety when you have two safeties on the roster. Are they not familiar enough with the scheme?
REID: “He would probably tell you that’s his natural position, Parker would. But he’s not bad at corner either. We’ve had him learn that position because we want to put who we consider the best players out there as often as we possibly can, even if it means switching positions. We’ve done it with the offensive line, the same type of thing. Moving guys from guard to tackle and tackle to guard. So that’s why he’s out there.”
Q: What were your impressions of the offensive line?
REID: “I thought they did a nice job, they played good physical football. Both in the run and the pass game, is there room to improve? Absolutely, I’d say that about all of us, we’ve got a ton of room to improve here. They are playing a little bit better as a unit and that’s important. I think every game that they play together they’ll improve in that area.”
Q: What about Zach Fulton, he’s a young guy. Where is he at?
REID: “Zach’s getting better every chance he has to get out there. Some of these looks are new looks for him. For a rookie he’s doing a pretty good job right now.”
Q: First game without Derrick Johnson, how would you assess James-Michael Johnson and Josh Mauga?
REID: “I thought for the most part they did a good job. Early, there might have been a couple things in there. I thought they had good communication and set the front well. I thought they played physical football, they tackled well. I think early they settled themselves in and played pretty good.”
Q: Marcus Cooper’s first game and got targeted on that first play and then responded well.
REID: “Yeah, that was probably the perfect call for that coverage that we had on. You respect Peyton for being able to put you in positions like that. So they got us, they got Coop on that one. But he came back and, I thought, did well after that.”
Q: What were you able to do defensively the second half?
REID: “The best thing is to keep them off the field the best way you possibly can. They didn’t have a ton of plays the second half on the field. Then we were able to get pressure on Peyton – which is a tough thing to do. When you get pressure on the quarterback it kind of encompasses everybody. That’s your coverage doing a good job, that’s your front doing a good job. I thought guys stepped up, we had a nice little rotation going there and guys were fresh throughout the game. And again, I’m telling you this, we can even do better. In this thing you count the wins, that’s what you count and we didn’t win the game. So in all areas we can get better.”
Q: Eric Fisher was lined up with DeMarcus Ware the entire game, what were your thoughts on his performance and development?
REID: “I thought he did a nice job. Again, he’ll be able to go back against a top notch pass rusher in pass rush situations and analyze his performance and see where he can even do a better job there. Again, you’re talking about one of the real good pass rushers in this league. I thought he did a nice job and he didn’t worry much about the left side there.”
Q: You chose to defer and put Peyton Manning and that offense on the field first. Why that decision?
REID: “Well I knew we were going to have a 23 play drive in the second half. I wish. The obvious answer there is they got points and we didn’t. Your studies will show you that teams that deferred, for whatever reason and mainly it comes back to that first drive in the second half, have a better win percentage. I’ve always been one that took the ball to start the game. But the studies the past few years have shown the opposite there and I’m not sure exactly of the reason, other than the first drive opportunity knowing what rhythm the opponent is in and being able to come out and take advantage.”
Q: Can you remember the last time you deferred?
REID: “I’ve deferred every game since the first preseason game, I believe it was. We just haven’t won a toss.”
Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid & Player Quotes
September 10, 2014
REID: “Alright. On the injury front, Jeff Allen will not practice today; he’s got the elbow strain. Tamba (Hali) has a sore ankle sprain so he’s going to go do some things. De’Anthony (Thomas) will not practice today, but he’s getting better. We look forward to this week against the Broncos. We know they’re a good football team. Our guys are looking forward to that challenge. We’ve brought some new people in here, and we’ll see how they do incorporating them to the defensive side of the football and we’ll just see. We’ll see. I can’t tell you playtime. I don’t know all that yet. We’ve got to give them a couple of practices here and get it under their belt. We look forward to the new additions. The time’s yours.”
Q: With the Ray Rice thing being very big recently, you were involved in Philadelphia with bringing Michael Vick in, what made you decide you were good with bringing in someone who’s been in trouble like that?
REID: “Yeah, well listen. I’m focusing in on the Denver Broncos and not the Ray Rice situation right this minute, but we’ve talked to the team about it and addressed it there which is important. As far as Michael’s situation, it was a bit of a different situation. However I felt that as long as they go through the repentance process and do those things that are needed there, there are certain cases people should be given a second chance. That’s what America is. As long as they learn from the situation.”
Q: If something occurs here will you have your own team policy?
REID: “Now listen, I can’t get into all of that. Let’s just move on to the Denver Broncos.”
Q: Who takes over on calling the plays in the middle between Josh Mauga and James-Michael Johnson with Derrick Johnson being out?
REID: “Yeah, well, they both do it, they both have done it and they’ll both have certain responsibilities of who calls. I’m not sure if Bob’s (Sutton) made that decision on who he green dots yet.”
Q: Dwayne Bowe’s back and he will do what he normally does?
REID: “He is. Yeah, we’ll ease him back in. Just make sure he gets back into the swing of things. He really hasn’t done much for a few weeks. Remember, he had the quad there before his suspension.”
Q: Do you plan on him playing a full role this weekend?
REID: “Yeah, I believe he will. Yeah.”
Q: He’s getting to be that age where guys in this position tend to lose their skills. What have you seen, if anything from him that would indicate that he’s still got it?
REID: “I’ll tell you, he had a great training camp and preseason. I haven’t seen anything there. I liked what I saw there and he came back in great shape, and I expect that he’ll have a real good year.”
Q: Has his hand issue resolved itself?
REID: “Yeah, he did. He had a finger that he messed up pretty good there, but he’s doing good now. He’s back and ready to roll.”
Q: How much more can you do in the offense with him?
REID: “Frankie (Hammond Jr.) did a nice job for what we asked him to do in the game. Dwayne has been a big part of the offenses here since he’s been here and he was with us last year, he’s an important part of that. He’s somebody the quarterback has a lot of trust in and a lot of reps with. He’s got a high skill level. He’s always got a pretty good chunk of our offense for every game.”
Q: Does it make Alex Smith feel more at ease having him in the line up?
REID: “As a quarterback you like to have your guys there, the guys in particular that you’ve had your reps with. They’ve seen all the looks that you can see and they’ve developed that relationship and trust factor.”
Q: What did you like about Kevin Vickerson bringing him in here? Obviously he’s familiar with Denver.
REID: “He was somebody we were very concerned about last year when we played them. I told him when he got hurt I felt bad for him, but I can’t tell you I was the saddest guy in the world because he’s a pretty substantial load there and a good football player. We welcome him in. He’s coming off an injury that he had and went through training camp and did his thing there. And now he has an opportunity as a seasoned veteran to come in here and help this football team.”
Q: On Monday you mentioned the run defense needs to get stronger, in particular is it disciplined?
REID: “I thought we played real good defense the first half and then things got away from us a bit as the game went on. I thought, for the most part, that first half was good quality football. I thought the offensive side had to pick up the pace there. The defense I thought played good football, we just have to maintain that through the game.”
Q: How much of the run game was losing Derrick Johnson and Mike DeVito?
REID: “The other guys haven’t had as many reps, there might be a little bit of that. I hate to get into that because it sounds like you’re belly aching up here and that’s not what we do. The next guy we expect to come in and play but there was obviously something that took place there without those two in there.”
Q: Just to leverage talking with your players about the Ray Rice thing. Do these guys need to be reminded? They know right from wrong. What’s your message to them?
REID: “I would say we are just a microcosmic society. We have the same issues here that you have in the world. Constant reminders are important, I think, on a lot of things and for all of us.”
Q: Any particular reason Jerry Franklin went off the practice squad instead of Nico Johnson?
REID: “Listen, Nico is a good football player but (Frank) Zombo’s also been working at the mike linebacker and the other kid is a real good special teams player.”
Q: What kind of challenge do you have as a coach not only playing at Denver but also with the injuries that happened on Sunday?
REID: “With this football team, the way they’re wired, I don’t really worry about the latter part of that question. It’s always a challenge to play in Denver, we understand that and we are up for it. We’ll prepare ourselves and get ourselves right. And go up there and play our best football.”
Q: What do you say to the young players about Peyton Manning? They haven’t seen him and all the things he does. How do you prepare a young player for him?
REID: “You’ve have to study him. And he’s going to complete a pass or two, that’s what he does so you don’t get down on that, you get on with the next play.”
QB ALEX SMITH
Q: Are you excited to have Dwayne Bowe back going into Denver?
SMITH: “Yeah, I mean we wouldn’t be very, very excited if he wasn’t a big play maker for us and a real weapon on the outside. So yeah, we’re happy to have him.”
Q: Is Denver the same team that you saw last year?
SMITH: “No, but no team is, that’s the nature of the NFL. There’s so much turn over. For them there’s some new faces, especially for us looking at them. Three big additions in free agency in (Aqib) Talib, (T.J.) Ward and (DeMarcus) Ware, and they have some new personnel besides that. Some young guys playing, some new faces. Even the scheme in general is new. But coaches work on new and put new things in. So yeah, brand new test.”
Q: How do you get 25 (Jamaal Charles) the ball?
SMITH: “There’s a lot of different ways. I think with a guy like him, he’s got a full range of abilities and we’ve shown it in the past. Certainly, I think, Sunday we all looked at it and I wish we could have got him involved more. All last season we did a lot of different things to get him the ball, and hopefully we’ll get back to some of that.”
Q: How does that happen where you get to the end of the game and he only has seven rushes?
SMITH: “I don’t know, that’s a great question. I don’t think we realized it during the game. I think we got one dimensional too soon, probably, in that case. It’s easy in hindsight.”
Q: How important is it to get in manageable third-and-threes?
SMITH: “That’s a big part of the game for sure, not putting yourself in hard third down conversions. In the entire NFL that’s an uphill battle and nobody in the NFL is that great at it. The good third down teams run a bunch of third-and-medium and third-and-shorts and they convert, they sustain drives. That’s the goal. When you do get down there in an area to score point with an opportunity, be opportunistic.”
Q: Is that maybe where you missed Dwayne (Bowe) the most? Maybe turning a first-and-ten to a second-and-two?
SMITH: “I don’t think there’s one area where we missed him the most, there’s a lot of different facets. Dwayne’s the type of player that contributes everywhere, on all areas of the field and in all situations. But that was certainly part of it.”
Q: When you play an offense that is prolific and gets points on the board in a hurry, does it change your mind set at all? Like I’ve got to keep up.
SMITH: “I don’t think you can let it. Certainly, we are trying to score points as an offense. That’s our deal, that’s what our job is. With that, it’s the little things. We just talked about it, we’ve got to have some first and second down production, we’ve got to convert on third down. When we are down there in the red zone, we’ve got to come away with some touchdowns. That’s the deal, it’s easy to say but we’ve got to go out there. And so much of it comes down to the little things, the details.”
Q: You guys didn’t play the way you wanted offensively on Sunday and then you lose two huge guys on defense. Now you’ve got to turn right around and play Denver. What kind of challenge is that?
SMITH: “It’s certainly tough, a lot of adversity early. But we’ve got a good group and I think we’ve got a deep group. There are a couple new faces here but we welcome them in and full steam ahead. We’ve got to go and everybody’s got to trust each other that they’re going to do their job in order for it to work.”
Q: Andy said he talked to you guys about the Ray Rice situation, what do you guys need to be told?
SMITH: “I feel like a lot has been said, and probably enough has been said on that. I don’t think I need to get into it and right now I’ve got my hands full with Denver.”
Q: How well do you know Peyton Manning and were you at all surprised that he was able to come back after the neck injury?
SMITH: “I know Peyton a little bit. I’m not surprised; I don’t know all the details that went on there with the surgeries, his neck, and the injury. But certainly the type of player and competitor he is, no I’m not totally surprised he came back the way he did.”
Q: Do you watch him? Do you think there’s anything in particular that is the key to his success?
SMITH: “A lot of things, you do watch him as a quarterback and you see that kind of longevity. He’s smart first off all, he makes good decisions and he’s accurate with the football.”
FB ANTHONY SHERMAN
Q: How do you go about making sure everyone is held accountable after a loss?
SHERMAN: “Just going and coming to work every day, working hard, and showing guys how to work and guys just try to follow along and just keeping guys and making sure they’re not doing the little things wrong, and just keeping everyone on course.”
Q: When you see the coach go out and take responsibility for what happens on the field, what does that do for you?
SHERMAN: “It just shows the leadership in him (Andy Reid). He realized that he might have made a couple mistakes, so he’s going to let everyone know that it was his mistake. But it’s not all on him. A lot of it is on us. We have to execute the stuff that he calls and we didn’t do that that great last week so it’s on both ends.”
Q: How do you handle the altitude in Denver during the game?
SHERMAN: “Coach Rubin, his strength staff does a great job of keeping us in great shape so we rely on that and just go out there. It’s more of a mental thing and you just don’t let it affect you more than it is actually affecting you.”
Q: Is it still a potent defense in Denver?
SHERMAN: “Oh, absolutely. They have a great front seven, great back end. They did a good job this offseason of adding guys, so we’ve got our work cut out for us but it’ll be a fun challenge.”
DL KEVIN VICKERSON
Q: What happened in Denver? You started 16 games two years ago and then every game until you got hurt.
VICKERSON: “Life in the NFL, that’s all. Some things you can do is control what you can control and that’s all I was trying to do was go out and play hard and show that I was healthy. Business is business so at the end of the day I landed here. I’m happy, I’m glad to be here and just ready to go.”
Q: What can you tell us about getting to Peyton Manning having practiced against him the last few years?
VICKERSON: “Just playing your technique and just getting after the ball. When you have a quarterback – he gets the ball out fast and he’s a king of the no huddle, snap counts and everything like that. So it’s important not to panic when he does go hurry-up, and you’re feeling like it’s a go and then you need to hurry up, but the main thing is keep your composure and play ball. And at the end of the day, if you keep your composure and play ball, everything will work out.”
Q: Can you pick up anything that he is saying at the line that makes sense to you?
VICKERSON: “I don’t know. There’s a lot of stuff, but we’ll see.”
Q: Are you healthy now?
VICKERSON: “Yeah, I’m going to show the world that I’m healthy, so I’m glad to be here, I’m glad I got the opportunity. That’s been a question that’s been circling in my area is, ‘Are you healthy, are you healthy?’ I’m healthy, yes.”
Q: How fitting is it that you’re first game back is against your former team?
VICKERSON: “Well that’s crazy because every time I went somewhere I signed, I always played my former team the first game. I was in Seattle, I got traded to Seattle from Tennessee; I ended up playing Tennessee the first game. I got released by Seattle, picked up by Denver, ended up playing Seattle the second game so the same thing. I’ve seen it all before, same thing. The game doesn’t change, it’s just a ball. Players do, players are the same, that’s the only thing that changes about football. Football is one on one, football is simple, and you can’t overthink it so the game is the game, just go out and play. Play fast and physical.”
T ERIC FISHER
Q: How do you move on and put last week behind you and bounce back against the best team in the division this week?
FISHER: “Just simply do that, you move on. You can’t cut your losses, you’ve just got to move forward. You can’t dwell on the past, look forward to the future and that’s what we’re doing.”
Q: How did it feel to be back on the left side again?
FISHER: “It felt good. Like you said, a comfortable feeling and happy to be back over there.”
Q: How long does it take to find rhythm with new guys on the offensive line?
FISHER: “You just take it a day at a time. It comes naturally and that’s what we’re out here practicing for.”
There are no games scheduled for today.
There are no games scheduled for today.