Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid Quotes
Phase III OTAs
May 26, 2016
OPENING STATEMENT: “As far as the injuries go, same people today – Jamaal (Charles), Tamba (Hali), (Justin) Houston, Mike Williams did not practice, everybody else practiced, so that’s a good thing. It was good to get this first week in and get some work done. I thought the guys were sharp, they retained quite a little bit from the Phase II and brought it in here and we were able to get some good work done – as much as you can get done in non-contact practice with a contact sport. Time’s yours.”
Dave Stewart (Time Warner Cable Sports Channel): What happened with Jeremy Maclin?
REID: “He just tweaked his ankle a little bit. He’s okay. No problem.”
Stewart: Why was it important to get outside today? You were outside for about 45 minutes, why was that important?
REID: “It’s nice to be outside in the grass. We’re going to be in here enough in the wintertime. It’s good to get outside as much as we possibly can.”
Adam Teicher (ESPN): In the first three practices, you’ve been consistent with your offensive line units, is that how you’re going to play it this season?
REID: “Next week we’ll move people, we’ll start doing that. For these three days, we felt pretty good about what we had right there and we wanted to get it kind of settled. Guys will move around next week a little, you’ll see them move around.”
Teicher: How many guys do you plan to look at on the line? Are you going to give a bunch of guys a look with that first group?
REID: “We’ll see. I don’t think it’s going to be as much as you’ve seen in the past. I feel pretty good with that group. It’s important that we still get guys in there, so that if something were to happen they can (fill in).”
Teicher: Do you plan to look at Mitchell Schwartz on the left side at all in case you need him?
REID: “We possibly could do that. But right now he’s just keeping his head above water with the plays, he mentioned that to you the other day. We’ll just let him settle in where he’s at and kind of keep him there for right now.”
TJ Carpenter (WHB): Can you tell if he has a knack for things here?
REID: “Yeah, the last two days were a little better.”
Terez Paylor (Kansas City Star): What are you expecting out of Knile Davis this year? It looks like he’s the No. 4 back now, how has he handled that?
REID: “You know what, he’s handled it well. He comes out here every day, busts his tail. And he works in, he works in with the ones, we have no problem working him in there, it’s no big deal.”
Paylor: What’s your message to him?
REID: “You want to just keep playing hard. You never know in this business what happens – you saw that in New England, in a blink he can be the guy in there.”
Karen Kornacki (KMBC): Is next week a progression from where you left off this week? Are you ramping it up?
REID: “Well there’s not a lot of ramping up you can do in this. We’ll continue adding plays in, yes. This is the tempo, this is all we can do. That’s where we’re at.”
Carpenter: Can you see a marked improvement with Chris Conley?
REID: “You see it with Chris and Albert (Wilson), Jeremy (Maclin) worked with them all offseason here. They were up here doing their thing, so you can see that they’re comfortable. Chris being the rookie of the bunch seems a lot more comfortable than what he was this time last year, for sure – and even when we ended.”
Carpenter: What have you thought of KeiVarae Russell so far?
REID: “Yeah, you know what, he’s done a good job. And again, it’s just a matter of settling down and continuing to learn, he’s three days into the install. But you can see how he’s got the talent there.”
BJ Kissel (Chiefs.com): With so many young cornerbacks, what gives you the confidence that they can develop?
REID: “We think they’re good players, we have to see how they progress. That’s one of the positions around the league, you’ll see guys be able to step in and play.”
Kissel: What have you seen from Marcus Peters, being the veteran guy that the rookies can look up to?
REID: “He’s here and he’s working hard – and the way he competes, instincts, how he studies, all those things the younger guys can get a feel on.”
Paylor: Marcus Peters was ranked in the NFL Top 100 this week, what’s your message to him to keep grinding away?
REID: “The one thing he hasn’t experienced is the league having a year to study him. Now you have to step up, this is where you find out – the first three years. If you sustain through that, then you have a pretty good thing going. But you have to push through those first three years.”
Paylor: As a coach, it has to be a good thing that he’s a really confident guy, right?
REID: “Yeah, you better be confident at that position. Short memory and confident.”
Paylor: What kind of role does the backup quarterback have in helping the No. 1 guy prepare and study?
REID: “That’s a really good room, period. They’re all smart guys, they’re all close and they all study together. They all challenge each other, which is good – even the young guys. Alex (Smith) challenges them, they challenge him back. It’s a healthy relationship they all have, a working relationship they all have.”
Bob Gretz (Topeka Capital-Journal): What have you seen in the development of Ross Travis?
REID: “I’ve seen steady improvement where he’s working in with the ones and the twos, he gets a little bit of each and he seems to be able to pick things up well. He’s improving, this is all new to him now, but he’s very talented.”
Gretz: He looks like a football player more than a basketball player.
REID: “Yeah, he’s done well. You saw that on the scout team last year. We’ve worked him in in some spots and we’ll see how he does. We still have to put the pads on and go through that part. He’s been able to retain and play fast and do the things he needs to right now.”
Kornacki: Do you see Marcus Peters relishing a leadership opportunity?
REID: “He’s got natural leadership qualities and he works hard, he’s not loud – that’s not what he is. He’s willing to share with the young guys – the younger guys, right. He just went through all of this a year ago, so it’s fresh on his mind, on what being a rookie is.”
Kissel: What’s the plan for the guys before you get back on the field next week?
REID: “They have four days off and then they’ll be back.”
HEAD COACH ANDY REID
OPENING STATEMENT: “Alright, just to talk about the guys that are injured: Jamaal (Charles), Tamba (Hali), Justin Houston and Mike Williams – Mike Williams has a hamstring strain, they did not practice today. They’re all here, they all worked out, rehabbing and they’re all making progress, which is a positive thing. (Phillip) Gaines practiced today, it was good to get him back out there, he had been somebody that had surgery, so it was nice to have him back out there.
All in all, listen, we kind of knocked the rust off a little bit today. It’s a non-contact day or camp, so there’s not a lot you can do with tackling and blocking and all that. The passing game, you can work the timing on that, which is a good thing. Time’s yours.”
Terez Paylor (Kansas City Star): Is Eric Berry here today?
REID: “Eric was not here today, no.”
Paylor: Have you had any recent discussions with him?
REID: “No, Dorse does all that with his agent.”
Paylor: How is Justin Houston doing?
REID: “Justin’s here, he’s doing good. He looks like Justin.”
Paylor: Do you get the sense that he’s going to be back earlier than you anticipated? Dorsey was a little optimistic.
REID: “We’re all optimists because we know the kid and how bad he wants to be back. But at the same time, we just have to let it heal. Whenever he’s back, he’s back. Whenever it’s ready, he’s back and we roll from there. We’re all optimistic because he is so optimistic. That’s how that goes sometimes.”
Paylor: Has he been here regularly over the last few months?
REID: “He’s come up and down a couple times, working out down where he had the surgery and that with the rehab center there.”
Adam Teicher (ESPN): Would you like to see Charles, Hali and Williams sometime during OTAs?
REID: “Probably more training camp, I’d tell you.”
Teicher: Is Gaines ahead of schedule?
REID: “Listen, I don’t want to tell you anything – he’s worked his tail off, I’d probably tell you he’s kind of right in there. They’re all different, he healed fast, but all the times are different. Within that window of when you thought he’d be back, he’s back.”
Teicher: They had their surgery around the same time, is Charles behind Gaines?
REID: “I don’t know the detail of the surgery for you, which was worse or not. But Jamaal is doing fantastic, too.”
Teicher: So you expect him by training camp?
REID: “I think you’ll see him by camp, yeah. I think that’s when you’ll see him.”
Darren Smith (KLKC): How encouraged are you by Tyler Bray and what you saw from him today?
REID: “You know what, I thought he did a nice job. I’ll go back and look at the tape on it, but he looked like he handled things well. I thought all the quarterbacks kind of handled it very well, even our rookie (Kevin Hogan). It was fun to watch.”
Teicher: Bray got more snaps than the other guys, are you going to mix that up or does he need more work since he hasn’t practiced in a while?
REID: “Somebody’s got to be the No. 2, so he’s the No. 2 right now. It’s an open competition. We’re only out here for so long, so we try to get as many reps with each one of them as we can, but somewhere you have to distinguish one over the other.”
Teicher: Do you plan to mix that up?
REID: “We’ll see how it goes. Right now, he’s doing a good job and we’ll just see how it rolls. It’s early yet.”
Paylor: Did you make the preliminary decision to go with Bray as the No. 2 based on what you’ve seen in offseason work?
REID: “That’s kind of it, he’s been here the longest of the three. You’ve got one from each of the last few years here. We skipped the second year.”
Bob Gretz (Topeka Capital-Journal): How soon or late do you feel comfortable making the decision of who the final backup quarterback will be?
REID: “We’ll just see. I’ll be curious to see how they do through camp and then once we get into the preseason games, we’ll see how they roll there. Whatever happens, happens, it’s as wide open as you can get. None of them have experience, so it’s as wide open of a competition as you can have there.”
Karen Kornacki (KMBC): Are you happy with the shape and conditioning the players are in?
REID: “Yeah, Barry (Rubin) has done a nice job with his crew. 90 percent of them have been here – maybe more than that, maybe 99 percent have been here doing it (and) it shows. They seem to be in good shape, they came out here and moved around fast and they weren’t huffing and puffing, so that was a good thing.”
Paylor: Is Marcus Cooper working more at safety?
REID: “Yeah, we did that a little bit last year with him, we kind of moved him around. He’s so smart and he’s got good size, he loves to play, so we moved him around last year a little bit doing that later in the season.”
Paylor: With the defensive backs, are you going to let the best guys float to the top and then mix-and-match?
REID: “Yeah, we’ll try to get them all reps and see what happens. Again, we’re talking first day, so we’ve got a long way to go here. Hey, let them go out and compete and there seems to be good competition at the positions and let’s see what happens.”
Michael Coleman (KCTV5): Do you judge rookies differently in this phase as opposed to earlier?
REID: “They were here for the rookie minicamp, so they had a little bit of an introduction. We’ve added more into it. Now, today, this is just the first day, but over the next 10 days here, they’ll get a nice little handful of plays – more than what they’ve had – and we’ll see how they handle it. You always give them a little bit of a grace period, some of it is brand new to them when it’s time for the veterans.”
TJ Carpenter (WHB): In your fourth year with Alex Smith, do you feel like there’s more that he can do?
REID: “Yeah, he’s so smart, we’re lucky to have him. He’s always wanting more and to be challenged more. We give it to him within realm, we give it to him. He just gobbles that kind of stuff up. He’s not getting any younger, I know that, but he’s loving every minute of it, which is kind of fun to be around.”
BJ Kissel (Chiefs.com): What have you seen from the transition with Coach Nagy and Coach Childress?
REID: “First of all, they’re friends, they’re close, so you don’t have that whole competition thing going between them. I would never have done that if that was the case. We get a lot done with them, they’re very intelligent, they’re great for the quarterbacks and for the offense for that matter. Both creative guys.”
Paylor: On Steven Nelson:
REID: “Yeah, he played both inside and outside today, but he made some plays in the inside with the first group there. He really started picking up towards the end of last year. I thought he kind of took off the last quarter of the season. We were excited to see if he’d continue to grow at that inside position. He made some nice plays today. That’s positive.”
QB ALEX SMITH
Karen Kornacki (KMBC): Do you sense that everybody is in good shape besides the guys recovering from injury?
SMITH: “Yeah, I feel like we’re good. Every situation is different, every guy, I don’t totally know how everybody’s doing. With the way things are structured, you have this long break – long break after the season and then when you come back, you have all these phases and steps until we finally get to today kind of building up to this. I think for everybody, it’s so nice to be back out here playing football against each other, competing. Tired of throwing routes on air out here, so it’s nice. These are really limited now – what do you get, like 10 OTAs and a minicamp? These are really precious days with each other to kind of get what you can out of it and enjoy it, this is really why we’re out here. A lot of fun. I certainly think you see a lot of energy because of that, because there are so few of these.”
Kornacki: What did you get out of today?
SMITH: “Oh, a lot. You’re rolling, today’s the first day. Certainly a chance to knock any rust off. It’s our first time going 11-on-11 since the playoff game, really. None of us have gone against a defense or an offense since the New England game. A chance to come out here and certainly we’ve had a long time to look at last season – coaches as well – and make improvements and make corrections and changes to the playbook and technique. And us coming out here, we’ve been working on that for a while now and to come out and see how some of this stuff looks in real football against real guys. That’s what this is, a chance to take a step and really kind of the kickoff to this season.”
Terez Paylor (Kansas City Star): When Eric Berry’s presence isn’t here, does it affect anything?
SMITH: “He’s missed, without a doubt he’s missed. You can’t have a guy like Eric and then not miss him. You can’t help but not notice it when he’s not here. He’s definitely missed, I don’t think there’s a guy in the locker room – in fact, I know there’s not – we know the deal, it’s pretty common around the league with the franchise tag and these guys negotiating contracts, as far as staying away. For us, obviously we’re – I know I am – I’m hoping it gets done as soon as possible and get him back here. That deal has to play out.”
Paylor: What is Justin Houston’s presence like when he’s in the mix?
SMITH: “Just having him around, him and Tamba (Hali), even though those guys aren’t out here taking the reps today, those guys mean too much to this locker room. And to have that veteran presence, these guys that have been through a lot, having them around – those two guys especially – all of them, they have great energy in the locker room, in the meeting rooms, in the hallways, that is a part of this.”
Shawn Rooney (Dos Mundos): Do you feel like there are more distractions for this team going into OTAs?
SMITH: “I don’t think so. I certainly haven’t felt like there’s been any. I feel like the focus has been on football. I can’t really speak as far as defensively and special teams, but the offensive side of the ball, I think to this point we’ve had a great offseason. Guys have been locked in, there’s been a bunch of great competition. So, no, in fact, I feel like it’s been, for us, I really feel like we’ve been in it. We’ve had our head down and been through the details and aren’t really paying attention to anything outside of this building.”
TJ Carpenter (WHB): Is this the best collection of talent you’ve had around you on offense?
SMITH: “I don’t want to get into comparing my years. It would be hard to even remember.”
Carpenter: It’s a lot of the same guys.
SMITH: “Yeah. I will say this, it kind of hit me day one of Phase I when we came out here and QBs and receivers and tight ends and running backs were throwing and there were only a couple of new faces. Definitely a rarity. So many years, there’s just so much turnover, especially the bottom of the roster and a lot of guys in and out and different things and it just hasn’t been the case here. There’s a ton of consistency, a ton of continuity, especially at the skill positions. It’s been nice. It was nice from day one, we came out, we weren’t really having to re-teach anything, guys knew it. Granted, there are a couple new faces, but those guys jumped in and were able to get coached up by their position group. We’ve been moving fast since we all got back here, whenever it was, April (18).”
Bob Gretz (Topeka Capital-Journal): I know an offense isn’t chiseled in rock, how much can you really change that?
SMITH: “For sure, especially with Coach Reid, nothing’s chiseled in rock. We are constantly changing and constantly trying to get better. He grinds over using the talent we have and how can we make it better and put guys in good situations and take advantage of strengths. We’re always changing. I think they spent a lot of time after the season, looking back at the entire collection of last season, all the snaps and really (thinking) what is our identity, where do we need to go from here, what are we good at, what do we need to maybe kick out of the offense, what do we need to add on, build on, things like that. I feel like it’s constantly changing. I know today we stuck on a little tape from last year’s first OTA just to kind of take a peek. Very, very different the install that went in today, very different than last year’s install. And then obviously there’s going to be a big change when you add (Matt) Nagy and (Brad Childress) in there. They’ve spent a lot of time this offseason, really, I think, trying to clean that stuff up with Coach Reid. You’re always changing.”
Michael Coleman (KCTV5): Could you talk about the bonding process during the offseason workouts?
SMITH: “Certainly the locker room is a special place when it comes down to trust. Trust and accountability. A lot of that goes on, like I said, like the day we reported back April (18) starting off. Guys coming in, seeing guys every day, putting in the work. It’s joking around in the locker room, it’s joking around in the training room, ice tubs, in the weight room. Running out here, competing when we run and then carried over to this, competing when we practice, talking and hanging out. That’s all a big, big part of it. Coming together as a team. We’re all here now and this will slowly get narrowed down to the final roster. But definitely, that’s a part of this, any team sport. It’s not just on the field, there is a big portion that takes place in the locker room and off the field.”
Darren Smith (KLKC): Talk about the new rookies on offense.
SMITH: “Yeah, I thought those guys did a great job. For rookies, really stepping in – especially the skill guys – of knowing their stuff out here and being ready to go. There’s a lot of little details, it’s not just coming out here and running fast. There’s a lot that goes into splits and the formations and motions and all the stuff we have in the offense. And it can be a lot for the young guys. I think those guys have done a good job, really paying attention and watching the older guys, especially those wideouts. Watching what those guys do, how they work with (Jeremy) Maclin and Albert (Wilson), those guys are really, really good at it. Really, really good about the details.”
BJ Kissel (Chiefs.com): What have you see from Tyler Bray and Aaron Murray as far as how prepared and ready they are this year compared to a year ago?
SMITH: “Yeah, they’ve both grown up a bunch in these few years. Both have changed a lot. Really, really matured, both different kind of routes. It’s been fun to watch up to this point and here we kind of really get going. This is the start of it, 11-on-11. Those guys are great guys, they work really hard, they’re really motivated, they’re handling it the right way. They’re good friends, we have a great QB room, but those guys come out here and compete on the field. Anxious to watch it as it goes along with those guys. But like I said, they’re both great teammates who put in a lot of time and a lot of work, they sacrifice a lot, you know it means a lot to them. Fortunate to have both of them here.”
T MITCH SCHWARTZ
Bob Gretz (Topeka Capital-Journal): How did it feel to be with the whole team to go through an almost real football practice?
SCHWARTZ: “It feels good. The first day is always kind of a feel-it-out, especially in my situation – kind of getting thrown in with guys that are more established here. In phase two you can do some stuff on the field but it’s pretty limited, so the majority of the day you kind of spend with your position groups getting used to Coach (Andy) Heck and how he runs things, the tempo of stuff and obviously getting used to team stuff with the offense. It was good, there’s a lot of stuff to get better and to correct. So I’m excited to come out tomorrow.”
BJ Kissel (Chiefs.com): What’s your impression of the playbook now that you’ve had a little time to get into it?
SCHWARTZ: “It’s pretty cool because this is now my fifth playbook in five years but for these guys it’s the same one for the last four years. So you can tell that it’s not just installing the base play, they’re getting into the finer details of it, you’re able to do more stuff off of it, you don’t have to start from day one like you’re teaching a bunch of guys in high school. So it’s been really cool to kind of integrate into that. Luckily I’ve had a lot of playbooks so I kind of have a grasp of a little bit of all of it, just trying to piece it all together to get on their level because like I said, it’s more detail-oriented than I’m used to in this time of year.”
Gretz: It’s only been one practice, but has Larry Duvernay-Tardif been able to help you adjust?
SCHWARTZ: “I think so. He’s a guy, just based on his intelligence level, he can pick up those things pretty easy and kind of remember stuff from a year or two ago. They’ve all been really great in terms of questions. Fish (Eric Fisher) has played both sides and having been a tackle I can ask him more tackle-oriented questions, Mitch (Morse) seems like he’s got a great understanding and is kind of the one leading the show in the center there so being able to ask him stuff like ‘what are you seeing on certain plays,’ who he’s going to point to, things like that. They’ve all been great.”
LB DERRICK JOHNSON
Karen Kornacki (KMBC): What do you get out of the first day of OTAs and what is this day like for you?
JOHNSON: “Well it’s always good to get back into form and get on the field. We’ve been running cone drills and lifting weights, doing a bunch of things that aren’t football related. So when you get the chance to get out on the field you can always work on your craft, you never get complacent or you never get too old to not work on your craft.”
Carpenter: When guys like Eric Berry and Tamba Hali aren’t out there at practice, how does that affect practice?
JOHNSON: “Well we’re trying to focus on who’s here, that’s always the focus. We have confidence that when those guys get here they’ll be plugged right in. You’re talking about high-character, veteran guys that we’ll depend on during the season. Right now we have a lot of young guys that are trying to learn some new positions and new schemes and some of the older guys like myself are trying to coach the young guys up.”
Carpenter: Maybe for some of those younger guys this is an added benefit that they get more opportunities?
JOHNSON: “Always. Regardless of the situation, who’s here and who’s not, when you get the chance to play you’ve got to show the coaches that you can produce.”
Kissel: As you get a little older and you take care of your body in the offseason, do you do anything different or do you do the same things to get ready to go?
JOHNSON: “For myself, you kind of do the same thing. It’s been working, so what is it, if it’s not broke, don’t fix it? It’s one of those things where I take care of my body all the time as far as getting chiropractic work or massages, making sure I’m in shape. When you get out here on the field, that’s when injuries start happening if you’re not in shape and you’re trying to stretch and do something that you’re body’s not ready for. My body’s ready for this pounding of football.”
Gretz: This is your fourth year with Defensive Coordinator Bob Sutton. When you started your offseason meetings this year, how much has it changed?
JOHNSON: “It’s changed a little bit, but it hasn’t changed that much. We have the same defensive coordinator but there are always new wrinkles that he’s going to put in. The best thing about football is it’s never perfect, so you can do the same thing but have different reactions all the time. There are so many adjustments and movements that go on when you’re playing football, especially when you’re going against Alex Smith and Coach Andy Reid’s offense. There’s a lot of stuff going on, so we’re steadily adjusting.”
QB AARON MURRAY
Bob Gretz (Topeka Capital-Journal): Does it feel good to be out there going against a defense and closer to real football?
MURRAY: “Oh yeah, it’s great to go out there competing and have some fun. There are some new faces, but definitely going against the defense it’s great, it’s fun. These past few weeks doing a little team work offensively. To get out there and compete, get those juices flowing again is a good thing. ”
Gretz: What’s your goal for this year, personally?
MURRAY: “Just keep getting better. I want to keep showing these coaches that I’ve really taken the past two years to learn from Alex, learn from Chase, from the coaching staff and go out there on the field and demonstrate it with my knowledge of the plays, protections and defenses. Every day is really an audition to demonstrate that I’ve taken full advantage of these redshirt years, I guess you can say.”
Darren Smith (KLKC): How much pressure are you putting on yourself to try and get that backup spot, number two?
MURRAY: “Oh, you’ve got to, we’re all competitors. You can’t be in the NFL if you’re not a competitor. This is a competitive league whether it’s with veterans, whether it’s’ with rookies coming in, everyone’s pushing each other, that’s what makes teams better, that’s what makes players better when you have guys push each other, get better day in and day out. You can never relax, you can never have that bad day, it makes it fun and you’ve got to bring your “A” game every day.”
QB TYLER BRAY
Karen Kornacki (KMBC): What do you think the expectations are for you, from yourself and from this coaching staff?
BRAY: “Just getting back out there. I haven’t taken a rep in a while so just going out there, commanding the huddle, getting in and out with enough time to run a play and just trying to execute a play.”
Bob Gretz (Topeka Capital-Journal): Can you improve as a quarterback without playing a game?
BRAY: “You can take mental reps. You can sit there and say, I throw it here, I throw it there, but when you have five or six guys rushing at you it’s a little different.”
Herbie Teope (Topeka Capital-Journal): Coach says for right now you are the number two quarterback, when did you find out that you would open OTAs as the number two?
BRAY: “Last week I think, but nothing is locked in. We still have a lot of time to go before preseason, so we have to come in everyday and compete.”
Teope: How much does that change or alter your preparation knowing that for right now you are the number two quarterback?
BRAY: “I mean number two, three or four, you’re still going to prepare as if you’re the number one guy. As they say you’re always one snap away, so you always want to be ready at all times.”
Rookie Minicamp Day Three
May 9, 2016
HEAD COACH ANDY REID
OPENING STATEMENT: “Alright, so it was great to see these kids out here playing the last couple of days here. I’ve told them – this is probably the best group we’ve had, just in the way they went about their business and learning and so forth. We were able to actually have a good camp and get some things done there.
We got good snaps on each kid, they all got plenty of reps. Dorse will take it from there and make the decisions if there’s any changes in the roster, he’ll make that decision on that.
But, again, it was great – I appreciate the effort that they put forward.”
Darren Smith (KLKC): What’s been the most enjoyable aspect of coaching these players?
REID: “Yeah, listen, it’s a fresh slate. They’re coming in here, they don’t really have any idea of your offense, defense or special teams. That part’s always a bit fun. And then seeing them execute after the things that you’ve been able to teach them.”
Terez Paylor (Kansas City Star): What’s your first impression of Kevin Hogan? What do you see out of him?
REID: “Kevin is highly intelligent, I think we know that. And then he’s a very good timing thrower. You saw that, that ball’s out, there’s no wasted motion. He’s on top of it, he can get the play in and out of the huddle fast, which is important. We throw a lot of words in there, so he’s able to digest all of that and get the guys in and out. You see guys that might not line up right, but he’s able to adjust and get that taken care of.”
Paylor: Does he grasp that quicker than quarterbacks typically do this early?
REID: “I was actually impressed, I was impressed with that group, they did pretty good. But he did a very nice job.”
Paylor: Are you okay with Hogan’s delivery?
REID: “Yeah, listen, I mean Philip Rivers is pretty good that’s all I need to say. Philip’s got a little bit of an awkward delivery and the guy plays. I don’t care about that, I don’t even go there with that. There are other little things with the feet and just the placement of the ball and the drop that you can talk about. But the delivery, he’s done it so many times – that’s him, that’s what got him here. You just leave it alone.”
Paylor: Does a delivery like that ever preclude a quarterback’s ability to make certain throws?
REID: “I don’t think it’s that, I think it’s more the velocity on the ball, those things that take place with the delivery. And he’s able to sling it good enough. It doesn’t really bother me. He’s got great anticipation, which, if there’s anything that needs to be covered up, he can cover it up with his smarts.”
Adam Teicher (ESPN): Are any of your draft picks going to have to sit out the OTAs?
REID: “You know, there are a couple guys. I’ll have to get that to you – I think there are two of them because of school, graduation. I’ll get that to you. I don’t think it’s the OTA part of it, I think it’s more of this phase two part. We’ll get you those names, though.”
Teicher: Hogan wouldn’t be one of those guys?
REID: “No, he’s already graduated.”
Herbie Teope (Topeka Capital-Journal): Did Terrance Smith practice today?
REID: “He’s got the flu. He’s got the stomach flu.”
Teope: What have you seen out of Parker Ehinger that gives you optimism heading into minicamp?
REID: “He’s obviously got good size. He’s smart, he picks things up well. He and Chris (Jones) were kind of going against each other there. Both of them, I thought, had some good snaps against each other. You can’t do much right now, there’s no contact, so it’s hard to tell until we get into pads with those guys. He looked pretty good, I know he can run a screen, so he did pretty good with that.”
Teicher: What did you get from your three drafted defensive backs?
REID: “We kind of rate them. We got them all corner reps, and actually, they looked pretty good. And then you can always move them into the back end if you need to, into the safety position. I thought they did a pretty good job with the corner reps.”
Teicher: Is the fact that the guys you have in those roles are fairly young, anywhere on your radar?
REID: “I grew up with that whole Bill Walsh thing where he went in with the four rookies in the secondary and won a Super Bowl. I’ve seen it done the other way, so I’m not quite as worried. As long as they can play, I’m okay.”
Teicher: So are you making a prediction here or what?
REID: “No, no. You set me up for that.”
KMBC: Any of these undrafted players impress you, make you take a second look at them?
REID: “Listen, I thought they all did a pretty good job. I’m not going to pick any guys out, they all busted their tails and did a nice job.”
Tod Palmer (Kansas City Star): What about Donnell Alexander, Derrick Thomas’s son?
REID: “I thought he did a nice job. I thought he did a real nice job. He’s actually got a tattoo right on the back of his head there. Right on the back of his neck. It’s pretty neat, with an arrowhead and the whole deal. How many guys have an Arrowhead tattoo at all? He’s got that and I know he’s proud of his dad.”
Shawn Rooney (Dos Mundos): Do you think the younger guys are going to have to step up more on defense or offense or what?
REID: “If you’re in there and you’re young, you’ve got to step up, right? So I’ll put it to you that way. Whoever makes that roster, and in particular who is starting and playing, you’ve got to step up to the challenge and make sure you do your homework.”
BJ Kissel (Chiefs.com): What was your message to the draft picks and free agents you’ve signed who will be here, in regards to what they need to know in two weeks when they come in with the veterans?
REID: “They’ll start tomorrow when the vets are back in for phase two. We’ll jump right in and we go. That’s all they really need to know right now. It’s going to be similar to the stuff we’ve done. It will just be increased a little bit in volume.”
Kissel: Before practice during the punt returns, was there any reason Jay White got out there and was kicking it to Tyreek Hill) after using the jug machines?
REID: “Yeah, just to see what he can do with them. We couldn’t do all of it because Jay couldn’t handle it. No, I’m kidding. Jay—that’s quite a deal when one of your equipment guys can be a punter too. That’s not bad.”
Paylor: What have you seen early on from D.J. White and Eric Murray?
REID: “We tried them all at corner and they’ve all got corner ability. That was what we wanted to come out with. We wanted to give them an opportunity in that area. I thought both guys did well. I thought they showed well for themselves, and at the corner spot, that’s specifically what we were looking at. We’ll just see with all three of them. You mentioned two, but I thought all three of them showed pretty well.”
Paylor: Early on, can you tell if those guys reacted well, even without pads?
REID: “Yeah, I thought all three of them transitioned well at the top. When you’re looking at corners, that’s what you’re looking at. Can they come out of the break? How well do they see a transition, and then be able to drive and make the play. I thought all three of them did—as far as the physical part of it, you can’t do anything. You can’t play bump and run, you can’t tackle. All those things, we’ve got to get later.”
RB DONNELL ALEXANDER
Adam Teicher (ESPN): You’re wearing Priest Holmes’ number, is that a coincidence?
ALEXANDER: “Quite frankly, even to wear his number is a humbling experience. I didn’t think anybody should be able to wear it. Being able to put it on, I’m glad I was able to do it.”
Teicher: Do you remember him much from when he was playing?
ALEXANDER: “Priest Holmes? Oh, definitely. Yeah, he’s one of my favorite running backs ever. Definitely, definitely.”
Tod Palmer (Kansas City Star): Do you have any memories of your dad (Derrick Thomas) playing for the Chiefs?
ALEXANDER: “I have memories, but I was quite young. So a lot of the memories mostly comes from film. When I was in Colorado, I did a camp and I had a lot of people come up and speak to me. And just the way that they said they idolized my father, to me, that was amazing because they have no idea, really, who he is. But for them to be a die-hard fan, I like that, that’s showing me a lot.”
Palmer: What did it mean for you to be invited out here?
ALEXANDER: “It’s a surreal experience. Like I said, no matter what, I think I would have come here regardless – at least tried out. Because this is where I would love to be, a Chief.”
Mick Shaffer (Time Warner Cable Sports Channel): On the Arrowhead tattoo on his neck:
ALEXANDER: “Oh yeah. I’ve had this for quite a while. Like I said, I take pride in being from Kansas City. Being able to even put this uniform on, to me, is a surreal experience and I appreciate it.”
Shaffer: For Kansas City kids coming here, is it max effort? Is it a little something more for the kids from Kansas City?
ALEXANDER: “I think it has to be. Like you said, this is our stomping ground, we’re from here. I think it’ll mean a lot more to play here. Playing in the NFL, period, is a privilege. But being here in Kansas City, I don’t think there’s anything better than that at all, period.”
TE GARRETT GRIFFIN
Pete Sweeney (Chiefs.com): What are your impressions of the last three days?
GRIFFIN: “It’s been pretty awesome, kind of an awesome experience, happy to be a part of it. I think, overall, for everyone it went pretty smooth. They put in a lot of stuff, a lot of mental stuff and I think everyone did pretty well handling it. So it was a pretty awesome experience.”
Sweeney: Do you think this matters more to the local players?
GRIFFIN: “I think the first day, the owner got up and talked about how awesome the fans are and all the alumni got up and talked about how awesome the fans are. But I don’t think you really appreciate that and now the support unless you’re from here. You can start to see it when you play for them, but growing up with that and recently with the Royals, the World Series, that’s how it’s been for the Chiefs growing up. You kind of know how passionate everyone is and you know how much they love football.”
Sweeney: What was it like working with Tom Melvin?
GRIFFIN: “It was awesome. We would watch film from when he was with the Eagles and different teams he’s coached. He’s coached some really good guys, and he knows a lot about the game, he pushes you to get better every play and challenges you to really know what you’re doing. It’s been awesome, a great experience and I learned a lot from that.”
Pete Sweeney (Chiefs.com): What was your experience like out here the past three days?
PARTRIDGE: “It was a cool experience. It was something that I’ve always—your dream as a little kid when you grow up in this area is to play for the Chiefs, so that was sort of lived this weekend. I just wanted to come out here and play as well as I could. The chips will fall how they will. It was a really cool experience.”
Sweeney: You’re from St. Joseph, so did you grow up a Chiefs fan?
PARTRIDGE: “Yeah, when I was little. Most of my Saturdays were spent watching my father coach at Missouri Western, so any Sunday we had off, obviously we’re a football junkie family, so that’s what we were doing.”
Sweeney: What’s it been like for you to get this NFL opportunity after jumping from league to league?
PARTRIDGE: “Out of college, I kind of did this similar thing with the Vikings. I bounced around. I was up north for a year and a half or so. It’s one of those things where it’s a very fine line between making it and not making it, and you just have to hang on long enough to get that real opportunity. That’s kind of what I’m trying to do—hang on long enough, get a real opportunity and play well.”
WR MARQUISE CUSHON
Tod Palmer (Kansas City Star): Did you not do track this spring?
CUSHON: “No. It was a big decision I made, and I graduated from college but I also had a track year I could have finished out this year, but I decided to train and get ready for the NFL. This year I left my eligibility of track and triple jump, which I was All-American in, and continued to follow my love of football.”
Palmer: If you didn’t get a camp invite, would you consider going to the track trials in June?
CUSHON: “At this time, it would be pretty difficult. I wouldn’t say unrealistic, but it would be very difficult. Any opportunity, I’ll take to do what I love to do, and first is athletics.”
BJ Kissel (Chiefs.com): Was local pro day the first time you’d met Coach Reid?
CUSHON: “Yes, it was my first time actually meeting Andy Reid and like I said, I’m a big fan of Andy Reid. He was one of my idols from Philadelphia. I was a big Philadelphia fan and obviously he was the head coach and had a lot of success there. The first opportunity I had to meet him face to face, I took it head first.”
Chiefs Player Quotes
Rookie Minicamp Day Two
May 8, 2016
QB KEVIN HOGAN
Terez Paylor (Kansas City Star):Is the way you deliver the football just a natural thing? How much do you think it helps you?
HOGAN:“I mean it’s definitely natural. I’ve been throwing my whole life. There are some things that you can always clean up with your mechanics and delivery. As far as the throwing motion, it’s natural. It’s something I’ve done since I was a kid.”
Paylor:How long have you been playing quarterback?
HOGAN:“I’ve been playing since freshman year of high school, but I’ve been playing in the backyard since I was very young.”
Paylor:Can you elaborate a little bit on how difficult the verbiage was at Stanford?
HOGAN:“It’s very difficult. It takes a lot of studying. There aren’t enough hours in the day to master it, but you do what you can. The coaches trusted us enough to put a lot on us. We’d go into the huddle with three, four plays called. For 11 guys to be on the same page with all of those plays and get up to the line of scrimmage, communicate to get into the right play, it was awesome. It made us a better football team and it really showed how much the coaches trusted us and how much we were able to handle. Coming over here, it’s a very similar offense. The same West Coast style, different in some ways, but just having that background, it helps me a little bit.”
Paylor:How many words do you think you had to spit out in the huddle at Stanford before you walked to the line of scrimmage?
HOGAN:“I mean, the longer plays, 15, 15 to 18 words. Just the play call sometimes if you want to communicate something specifically, you’ve got to spend a little bit more time. They’re long play calls but you get to the point of where you can just rattle them out. You know the gameplan inside and out so you can rattle them out. The guys, once they hear half the play, they know what the rest is.”
Paylor:Do you think using signs in calling plays would present an advantage for you?
HOGAN:“Yeah I definitely hope so. I think it’s a huge advantage. Just calling a play in the huddle, that’s a big step. Getting up to the line, communicating with your teammates, going through the reads, going through the progressions, it’s different. Just having that level of communication where you can talk to your teammate in the huddle, you can tell them what’s going to happen, what the down and distance is, so that you’re all on the same page. It’s very different than kind of being on your own island at the beginning of each play.”
Brad Porter (Time Warner Cable Sports):Being in a pro-style system, have you talked to other kids around the country who did not and are having to adjust?
HOGAN:“Are you talking about players that played at Stanford?”
Porter:No, other players around the country who played at different schools.
HOGAN:“I haven’t really talked to too many guys so I wouldn’t be able to tell you other than Stanford players.”
Paylor:When you got the Chiefs playbook, what was your first impression?
HOGAN:“First thing I saw was just all the similarities. It’s the Bill Walsh, West Coast offense. If anything, it’s some of the things that I saw as a freshman at Stanford that were soon adapted and changed, but it’s the pure West Coast offense which is great. You go through your progressions and go through all your reads. You’ll do check-downs and make your protection calls, but I just saw the similarities that it had with our offense.”
Paylor:Did your receivers at Stanford have to make slight adjustments?
HOGAN:“On some plays if there were blitzes coming off the edge, defensive back blitzes, then they might have to make an adjustment, but we didn’t really have too many hot adjustments.”
Paylor:What has it been like spitting out these plays from Coach (Andy) Reid? Do you think you’re doing a good job?
HOGAN:“It’s always a challenge when you’re doing something new, but I feel like I’m doing a good job with it. I feel like I’m getting better each time I step in the huddle and I feel more confident. As long as I just keep that trajectory, I’ll be happy with it. Just keep getting better.”
Paylor:When you’re out there, is Coach Reid behind you, and are you hearing a lot from him or someone else?
HOGAN:“Well, it’s my first time having the headset in my helmet, so I’m hearing that. And then Coach Reid is right behind us, talking to us before and after each play, giving us some advice, seeing where our eyes are, Coach (Brad) Childress, Coach (Matt) Nagy, so we have a lot of great advice coming to us and coaching points. It’s a great situation right now.”
Paylor:Would you say that it’s overwhelming?
HOGAN:“No. I mean, I feel like you want to put a lot on us right now and see what we can handle. I feel like all of us have done a great job with it so far after one practice. I’m excited to get to the second one later this afternoon.”
OL PARKER EHINGER
Terez Paylor (Kansas City Star):When did you get here? Friday?
EHINGER:“Yep. Got in Friday.”
Paylor:Specifically for you, what has it been like having to understand these long play calls?
EHINGER:“It’s been different. We get here and open up the playbook and kind of see what it’s all about, but there are a lot of similarities in the playbook from what I did in college to here. It’s just familiarizing yourself with all the stuff and just kind of trying to get it down. You just listen to a certain part of the play call that pertains to you, so you just listen for that, go out there and run the play.”
Paylor:Yesterday, were you mainly at guard or tackle?
EHINGER:“Just left guard yesterday.”
Paylor:Did you start there in college? I think you started at right tackle and right guard in college, right? Never at left guard?
EHINGER:“Yes sir. No, just for the East-West Shrine Game.”
Paylor:How do you feel about left guard?
EHINGER:“It’s a little bit different. It’s a little bit of an adjustment at first. I played left guard at the East-West Shrine Game so it’s not too uncommon for me, it’s just bumping down inside. I’m a little more comfortable coming out of a right hand stance at guard, but it’s nothing I can’t handle at left guard.”
Paylor:Are you more comfortable on the edge or on the inside moving these big guys?
EHINGER:“Whatever the team needs me to do. Whatever is best for the team, I’m happy to do it. I’m comfortable at both positions, so I’ll do whatever is best for the team.”
Paylor:Do you feel like you have the skillset to chip in at tackle if you need to?
EHINGER:“Yeah I think so. I played a lot of games at tackle in college and I think I could compete for a spot at tackle if they need me to go in there. Whatever is best for the team.”
Paylor:Are you getting a sense that they will place you at tackle at some point? Have you begun the process of cross-training?
EHINGER:“You know, right now it’s just mentally preparing yourself for what could happen. Coach (Andy) Heck told me I could get some tackle reps here in the next few days, so it’s just mentally preparing myself so that if I get bumped up at that position, that I can make that switch physically and mentally and it will be an easy switch.”
Paylor:Have you talked to Travis Kelce yet?
EHINGER:“Yeah, he actually took me out for sushi the first night I got here.”
Paylor:How did that go?
EHINGER:“Good. It was good to see him again. The last time I saw him was probably last year during spring ball. We were good friends in college.”
Paylor:How comfortable are you getting to the second level and squaring guys up?
EHINGER:“I feel very comfortable doing it. I have done it, had to do it in college when I played guard and tackle. Have to get on the second level and have a good base. A lot of guys are not afraid to hit you, so especially with my frame as a big, tall guy, you have to have a good base and play with low hips. When you get up on the second level, not have your feet close together. You’re going to be put on your butt.”
Paylor:Did you watch a lot of pro football before?
Paylor:Which linemen do you see or like to emulate?
EHINGER:“Probably either Alex Boone or Joe Staley. Joe Staley went to the same high school as me, was coached by the same head coach, so I heard a lot about him growing up through the ranks in middle school and freshman, sophomore year.”
Herbie Teope (Topeka Capital-Journal):When the Chiefs drafted you, were you aware that left guard was basically an open position?
EHINGER:“I didn’t know before I had gotten drafted that the Chiefs availability was possibly at guard. After I got drafted, I kind of looked into it, but obviously Coach Reid is going to put the best five guys out there. We’re all just competing to get a spot out there, so the best five will play on Sunday.”
Teope:Has there been any pressure to pick up this offense so you can get to OTAs running?
EHINGER:“Yeah, I mean they’re throwing all this stuff on you in three days. It’s quick. You’ve got to be able to learn fast and once you get out there, you’ve got to be able to perform. Putting it all together is a big part of it.”
Brad Porter (Time Warner Cable Sports):What are you doing for Mother’s Day?
EHINGER:“Actually I took my mom out for dinner and got her a gift before I left to come down here, but I’ll call her when I get a chance later today.”
Porter:So you already celebrated before you came to Kansas City?
EHINGER:“Yeah, I already took her out and got her gifts and everything.”
Porter:How do you like Kansas City so far? Have you gotten out to do anything yet?
EHINGER:“I haven’t gotten out and done anything yet. I like the city a lot, just kind of wandered around the area with Travis (Kelce). Travis kind of showed me around a little bit, but I came from the city in Cincinnati, so it’s kind of the same thing, but obviously there’s a little more country out here too. Hopefully I’ll move out there when I get a place around here.”
DB ERIC MURRAY
Terez Paylor (Kansas City Star): How did you end up with No. 21?
MURRAY:“They kind of just sprung it on me. It was just there in my locker and I was surprised just like everybody else.”
Paylor: You said ‘like everybody else,’ do you mean your teammates?
MURRAY:“When you come in and you’re a rookie, you don’t really expect to get a good number. It’s always a surprise.”
Paylor: Did any of your rookie teammates say something to you about that?
Paylor: What did he say?
MURRAY:“He was like ‘Man, I’m going to have to fight you for that 21.’ We’ve been arguing back and forth about that.”
Paylor: Is the speed in the NFL normal for you or is it fast?
MURRAY:“The speed is normal, it’s just the learning curve, which is the fastest part about it because you want to learn the system in three days and you have to come out here and do it and they throw a book at you. That’s the toughest part about it.”
Paylor: Just to be clear, when you came in Friday, you were in the locker room when you got your jersey number?
MURRAY:“Yeah, I didn’t pick any number.”
Paylor: But you walked to your locker and saw it?
MURRAY:“Yeah, it was Friday.”
Paylor: How much more complicated are the concepts that you’re seeing or is this kind of what you did at Minnesota?
MURRAY:“Most of it, we did at Minnesota. The only thing that’s different is the lingo, that’s the only different part. But most of it we did (at Minnesota) and we probably had more concepts, but they have more definitive concepts if that makes any sense.”
Paylor: How comfortable are you playing off coverage and reading and reacting?
MURRAY:“I didn’t do too much of it at Minnesota, so I’m really not that comfortable with it. But I’m always open to learning, adding something else to my repertoire.”
Paylor: Do you get the sense that that’s something you’re going to have to add here?
Paylor: What has it been like working with Al Harris?
MURRAY:“It’s been great, just being able to learn from him, somebody who’s been through what you’ve been through, so I think that’s a huge plus.”
Paylor: Three rookie corners in one draft, this is going to be a little bit of a competition. What was your reaction when you saw they took D.J. White?
MURRAY:“Just more competition, I have to be sharper and I have to be better than anybody else I have to compete with.”
Paylor: The scout who scouted you said people at Minnesota said you were the toughest guy on the team. What does that mean, does that sound right to you?
MURRAY:“I don’t just go around trying to exercise or something like that. I just don’t take any mess, I guess. If somebody wants to get crazy, it’s fine.”
Paylor: How important is it when you’re on the field to let receivers know that this is going to be a battle today? What happens if you’re a corner and you don’t do that?
MURRAY:“I feel like if you don’t do that, they think they can do whatever they want and they think they can get away with certain things. If you let them know early on (they’re) not going to get away with this today, then they’re going to have to come up with something else to do.”
Paylor: When did you learn that?
MURRAY:“I don’t know, it just kind of came, kind of came as the years went by.”
Paylor: Did you learn that before college or was it as a football player, you just learned that early?
MURRAY:“Probably not as a football player, just more as a person in life. Just upbringing and stuff like that.”
Herbie Teope (Topeka Capital-Journal): How often have you found yourself working at nickel cornerback at these practices?
MURRAY:“Not very often. Not often at all.”
Paylor: Have you ever played safety?
MURRAY:“I never played safety before, at all.”
Paylor: Even in high school you were a corner?
MURRAY:“Yeah. So, we’ll see.”
Nathan Vickers (KCTV5): What are you doing for Mother’s Day?
MURRAY:“I’m calling my mom later. We’ll have a long conversation and just talk.”
LB DADI NICOLAS
Terez Paylor (Kansas City Star): Is this about normal speed for you?
NICOLAS:“Overall, yesterday I took it like ‘Welcome to the NFL.’ I wasn’t expecting anything, but I was just going with the flow.”
Herbie Teope (Topeka Capital-Journal): How similar is the playbook to what you had at Virginia Tech?
NICOLAS:“Very different. It’s the NFL, professional, more details and all that good stuff. Compared to when I was at college, it’s simpler – just because I was on the defensive line where I’m worrying about covering and rushing at the same time.”
Paylor: Do you feel like you have to train your eyes to understand the stuff that’s going to be run at you? How comfortable are you coming out of a two-point stance?
NICOLAS:“I’m really blessed to be in this position that I am here in Kansas City. I’m looking forward to the opportunity of growing as a player. I think I have great potential at the position and I have great coaches and great veterans around me to help me grow.”
Paylor: Did you do much in coverage at Virginia Tech?
NICOLAS:“Not as much as I’m going to do. But I prepared before getting here, prepared for everything.”
Teope: How did you prepare?
NICOLAS:“Just getting with the right people – Chuck Smith, stuff like that, (Defensive Line Inc.), they got me right.”
Paylor: What was it like working with Chuck Smith?
NICOLAS:“Chuck is good people. He’s a good mentor as well.”
Paylor: What made you want to work on the technique with Smith instead of focus on your 40 time?
NICOLAS:“Just because, what I had in front of me in terms of the Senior Bowl, stuff like that. So I was preparing for that as well as the Combine and everything else.”
Paylor: How long did you work with Smith?
NICOLAS:“A good seven weeks.”
Paylor: What do you think you learned?
NICOLAS:“I was able to grow my IQ, learn a whole lot more about the position and pass rush.”
Paylor: What’s your go-to pass rush move?
Paylor: What do you do off that?
NICOLAS:“After that? Spin.”
Paylor: Do you have a comfort with those? Did you regularly work those in or was the spin something you added?
NICOLAS:“I always had that, I feel like, but I still need to perfect it because there’s a right timing to do everything. Detail is way more important the higher you go up. Just still growing as a player.”
Teope: Do you get a sense that the Chiefs want you to put on more weight or are they happy with where you’re at?
NICOLAS:“For me to play as much as I want to play, I need to gain weight, that’s obvious. I plan on gaining about 15 more pounds, 10-to-15 more pounds by the time August comes around.”
Nick Jacobs (Time Warner Cable Sports Channel): What pass rushers in the NFL do you try to craft your rushes after?
NICOLAS:“We have great rushers. Right now, all I’m worried about are the ones that we have here – Justin Houston and Tamba Hali. I’m just trying to get right and learn from these guys and just grow as a player, stuff like that.”
Paylor: Do you get the sense that you’re going to have to do more thinking at the line of scrimmage as far as understanding the concepts that are going to be run at you?
NICOLAS:“Indeed. That comes with the position, there’s more of a responsibility and all that good stuff.”
Teope: If you do put on 10-15 more pounds, how worried are you that you’ll lose your speed?
NICOLAS:“I’m not worried at all. I’m just looking forward to growing. It’s mandatory to do that, just because of the demand of the game and to protect myself, for me to last.”
Paylor: There are some people that had you as a second-or-third-round pick, did you get a sense for why you ended up falling?
NICOLAS:“I’m not sure, I don’t care. I’m just grateful for this opportunity. Looking forward to it, looking forward to making the best of it.”
DB D.J. WHITE
Terez Paylor (Kansas City Star): What was the base coverage you guys relied upon at Georgia Tech?
WHITE:“Our base coverage was cover four.”
Paylor: So you ran a lot of cover four?
WHITE:“A lot of cover four, yeah.”
Paylor: Did you do a lot of man coverage or was it mainly zone stuff?
WHITE:“It was a mixture. We ran some one-high and mixed that in with the cover four as well as cover three.”
Paylor: Do you feel comfortable with your ability to play off coverage?
WHITE:“Oh yeah, definitely. Just trying to keep working, trying to get better. But I definitely know I have the ability to do it.”
Herbie Teope (Topeka Capital-Journal): What about press-man?
WHITE:“Press-man, too. I feel comfortable in both. Coming in here as a rookie, I’m just trying to continue to get better.”
Teope: What is it about playing press-man that you enjoy?
WHITE:“The competitiveness of it. Getting in guys’ faces and just competing.”
Paylor: How complicated is the defensive playbook so far? Is this more complicated than you’re used to?
WHITE:“Yeah, it’s a little bit more of a step. Coming in from the corner perspective, a lot of it is kind of consistent with what they’re teaching. But it’s more of a step as far as conceptually picking up on things.”
Teope: What do you need to do to set yourself apart from the other two cornerbacks the Chiefs drafted?
WHITE:“Just work. The way I look at it, I’m competing against myself, first and foremost. Those guys are good players, they’re here for a reason. But for me, I’m just trying to be the best I can be.”
Nick Jacobs (Time Warner Cable Sports Channel): On his play against Pittsburgh chasing down James Conner in 2014:
WHITE:“I just saw the guy take off and, from where he was, I felt like I could get him. Honestly, when I stripped it, I didn’t think we were going to get the ball back. I didn’t know the rule at the time; but when we got it, it was pretty cool, my teammates were happy.”
Jacobs: Do you feel like that’s a play that defines who you are?
WHITE:“Yeah, part of it. That’s one play amongst some others. But that’s a play, I would say, as far as my effort, I try to play with that kind of effort.”
Jacobs: Where do you find those playmaking abilities?
WHITE:“I don’t know, I just love the moment. When the moment’s there, I just try to make the most of it.”
Paylor: When you chased down James Conner, did you know you could get him because he’s 240? He’s a big dude.
WHITE:“No, honestly – he is a big dude. It’s funny, because earlier in the season, I tried to do the same thing to another team, but the guy was a little bit too far ahead. No disrespect towards him, but I kind of saw he wasn’t too far, so I just tried to go get him.”
Paylor: It’s not unusual for you to give that effort, is it? Even if it was a little guy, you would have done the same?
WHITE:“Definitely, I would have done the same thing. Absolutely.”
WHITE:“A couple reasons: You’re competing, you’re trying to win the game, so you don’t want them to score – you never know how that may end up. If you stop him, you can get a stop or a turnover. And on top of that, your teammates look to that. They see that it’s fuel and energy.”
Paylor: On film, when you give that kind of effort, do you feel like the coaches give you a little more love?
WHITE:“Yeah, coaches always respect effort. That’s not why you do it, to get the love. But they definitely, from a coaching perspective, when you see that, you don’t have to coach effort, it’s just there.”
Paylor: Where did you pick up that mentality?
WHITE:“I’ve always been competitive growing up as a kid. That’s kind of where it comes from. I know, in college, my defensive coordinator, he really emphasized playing until the whistle blows.”
Paylor: Which coordinator was that?
Chiefs Player Quotes
May 7, 2016
WR TYREEK HILL
Terez Paylor (Kansas City Star): When did you get to Kansas City?
HILL:“I got in this morning – well, yesterday morning.”
Paylor: How do you hope people perceive you going forward? What do you want people to know about your role in the incident and what you can do going forward?
HILL:“Going forward, I just want people to know that I’m a hard-working kid dedicated to what he does. Really, a good citizen, a good teammate, and, like I said, a good, hard worker who’s just trying to help the team out.”
Paylor: When you arrived yesterday, how do you think you were perceived, how were you perceived by the people here?
HILL:“The guys here, they welcomed me in just like a brother. Just like any other team. Nobody wanted to know (anything). It was just all love, everywhere you go. They’re making me feel comfortable and that’s all that I really can ask for.”
Paylor: What was the first thing Coach Reid said when you got here?
HILL:“The only thing he said was just work hard and you’ll be alright. That’s all.”
Paylor: How did the rookie dinner last night go? How did being around the team structure feel?
HILL:“It felt good. Coming from a small town and just seeing all this, I’m just thankful for the opportunity. I met the owner, Mr. Hunt and Mr. Dorsey, Coach Reid. I’m just really thankful for those guys for believing in me and that’s it.”
Adam Teicher (ESPN): What did Clark Hunt say to you?
HILL:“He didn’t say much, he just shook my hand and said good luck with everything.”
Darren Smith (KLKC): Now that you are in the NFL with more people looking at you, what are you going to do to make sure you don’t put yourself in a situation like that again?
HILL:“Growing up, I always had people looking at me, so I’m used to it, really. I kind of like it, so it is what it is.”
Sam Mellinger (Kansas City Star): Besides court-appointed counselors, is there anybody outside of that you talk to about what happened at Oklahoma State, like friends or anybody?
Danny Clinkscale (WHB): When you first spoke, you said you needed to pick your friends better. That seemed to indicate that if you hadn’t met the victim, you wouldn’t be in this situation. Is that the wrong way to look at it?
HILL:“Yes sir, it’s the very wrong way to look at it. I don’t blame nobody but myself. It’s my fault, it’s my mistake, nobody can live my life but me. I just have to deal with it.”
KMBC: Do you understand the criticism that some people in Kansas City have for the Chiefs drafting you?
HILL:“No sir, I have not been aware of that.”
KMBC: Can you understand why some people would have reservations?
HILL:“Yes sir, no doubt. Those guys, those fans, they have every right to be mad at me because I did something wrong and I just let my emotions get the best of me and I shouldn’t have done it. They have every right to be mad. But guess what, I’m going to come back and be a better man, be a better citizen and everything will just take care of itself and let God do the rest.”
Paylor: If there’s another incident in the NFL, they look at you as a repeat offender, which could mean banishment from the league. On your part, is there an understanding of how big the stakes are? Do you understand the repercussions if you were to mess up again?
HILL:“I try not to think about all that. The only thing I’m really thinking of is just doing my counseling and playing football. That’s it. I’m just trying to be a better man and help this team. I try not to worry about all the social media talk, I deleted all that.”
Paylor: How much does it mean to you to know that the prosecutor discussed your plea with the victim. How do you feel that there was consultation and the victim ok’d it? Do you get what I’m saying?
HILL: “No sir, I don’t.”
Paylor:The fact that there was consultation on the plea deal, it seems like it helped you. Are you appreciative that there was discussion with the victim?
HILL:“Oh yeah, I’m most definitely appreciative. Everything really just worked out, it worked out like it was supposed to work out. I made it to the NFL – well I haven’t made it yet, I’m trying to make it to the NFL. Everything worked out how it’s supposed to.”
BJ Kissel: Have you had a chance to talk to Coach Toub yet and if so, what have your interactions been like?
HILL:“No, I haven’t talked to Coach Toub yet.”
WR DEMARCUS ROBINSON
Danny Clinkscale (WHB): I’ve heard three different explanations of your final suspension at Florida. One was that you left your hotel the night before a game, one was you missed a meeting and yours’ was that you met with a marketer. Which one is it?
ROBINSON:“I met with a marketing lady to try to seal the deal with who I was going to pick to be my marketing person and that was basically it.”
Terez Paylor (Kansas City Star): When you got here, how did you feel you were welcomed, you had the rookie dinner and you met Coach Reid, how do you feel that went?
ROBINSON:“It was great. Getting in there and meeting all the veterans and some of the Hall of Famers, guys that used to play here. It was an awesome time. We had a great dinner, I talk to a lot of the guys. It was good to get well-acquainted with some of the teammates.”
Paylor: Is there any part of you that feels like you would have been drafted higher had you not had the issues in the past?
ROBINSON:“There’s always that thought in your head (saying) ‘Man, if I wouldn’t have done this, I could have definitely done something better or I could have played more.’ There’s that thought in my head that if I wouldn’t have done that, then I could have (gone higher).”
Paylor: Did you give much thought to staying in school another year?
ROBINSON:“I did, but not after I talked to my coach. After we had our conversation, then we both felt it was the best fit for me to leave.”
Paylor: Why did he encourage you to leave?
ROBINSON:“We just had a talk. Me, him and my mom sat down and thought it was a great fit for me to leave.”
Paylor: How can you guys welcome Tyreek Hill into the fold?
ROBINSON:“Just keep encouraging him. He’s a great football player, I saw him out here today going through the walkthrough. Man, he’s got some explosive moves. Just befriend him and stay humble with him.”
Paylor: What position did you play at Florida?
ROBINSON:“I was the X-receiver.”
Herbie Teope (Topeka Capital-Journal): Coach Reid’s offense is widely regarded as complex, what was your reaction when you got your hands on the playbook?
ROBINSON:“I looked at it and was like ‘Man, I definitely can see myself fitting in and making some plays.’”
Darren Smith (KLKC): How would you compare it to your college playbook?
ROBINSON:“It’s very similar, actually. When I looked at it, I saw a lot of similarities (to what I saw in college).”
Paylor: Is it the fact that you have to make slight adjustments on the run? What makes it similar?
ROBINSON:“Yeah, stuff like that and just playing the x-position and some of the similar ways that they call the plays.”
Paylor: You’re going to face some press coverage, how comfortable are you beating that?
ROBINSON:“Playing at Florida, we had a lot of press corners like Jalen Tabor and Vernon Hargreaves, we practiced (against) a lot of press corners.”
Paylor: Ryne Nutt, the lead scout on you, said he watched the practice tapes of you and Hargreaves and you more than held your own. What was it like facing him and how did he make you better and did you beat him more than he beat you?
ROBINSON:“No, I feel like I (beat) him. If you talk to him, he’ll probably say the same thing. We definitely went at it a couple of times in practice, so we definitely made each other better.”
Smith: What was your first impression of your first day out here?
ROBINSON:“It was a great time. Just getting out here and seeing the pace of the game, talking to the coaches and seeing all the teammates and how excited everybody is to be here. Everybody’s trying to make a spot.”
Smith: How would you compare Kansas City to Florida?
ROBINSON:“It’s definitely a little faster going to a higher level of football. It’s definitely a faster pace. But like I said, the offenses are pretty similar.”
Paylor: What do you have to do to make sure you don’t fall back into some of your old habits?
ROBINSON:“Just stay humble and get with a great guy on the team who’s doing right with himself. And just stick around great people.”
Paylor: Do you have any ideas on who that guy may be?
ROBINSON:“I don’t know yet. A lot of the veteran guys aren’t here yet.”
Herbie Teope (Topeka Capital-Journal): Have you heard from Frankie Hammond Jr., your former Florida guy?
ROBINSON:“I haven’t seen him yet, not since I’ve been here. We’ve got a lot of the rookie guys in now, so we’re doing the rookie minicamp now. I haven’t seen a lot of the veteran guys yet.”
BJ Kissel (Chiefs.com): What are your goals and what are you trying to show this weekend?
ROBINSON:“Just trying to show that I can learn the playbook pretty well and just making plays at the rookie minicamp. Letting them know that I could be a factor for the team.”
DL CHRIS JONES
Terez Paylor (Kansas City Star): What has this last week been like for you, knowing that you’re a football player and you’re in the NFL?
JONES:“It’s pretty exciting, man. Especially getting drafted to Kansas City – I heard it’s the best barbecue around. It’s pretty exciting.”
Paylor: Where did you go?
JONES:“I haven’t been anywhere yet. I got in at six yesterday and we had some things to clear up. I’m definitely going to have to go around the block to some barbecue places.”
Jay Binkley (610 Sports Radio): Do you have a favorite place or are you going to play it politically and say everybody’s good?
JONES:“I’ll have to check everybody. You can’t just go on one of them, you have to go around.”
Paylor: How much of an issue is it for you to control your weight?
JONES:“No, I’ve really never had an issue with it. My weight, I can keep it balanced. But I definitely have to watch how much I eat and what I eat and what time I eat so I won’t just be packing on pounds.”
Paylor: Do you find that you gain weight easily?
JONES:“I can. You know those late night snacks, they’ll get to you. The late night snacks, they’ll get you.”
Darren Smith (KLKC): What are your first impressions on the first day of rookie minicamp?
JONES:“Just trying to get better and know my role on the team. Trying to figure out schemes and things I can get better at. Talking with Coach Reid, trying to figure out how I can get myself to be a better fit for this team.”
Smith: Have they talked about how they may want to utilize you going forward?
JONES:“Right now, it’s just knowing the defense and getting me in the right places where I can make plays.”
Paylor: What are you guys doing to welcome Tyreek Hill into the fold?
JONES:“He’s a part of the family. We’re all looking to get better, know our role on this team and try to make the cut.”
Herbie Teope (Topeka Capital-Journal): You’re joining a pretty tight position group, have any of them reached out to you yet?
JONES:“Not yet. I definitely want to reach out to them. They’re a good group of guys, I want to see what they do best, pick up from it, see where I can excel my game from them.”
Teope: You said McDonalds is the biggest thing in your hometown. What about here, are you going to try to stay away from McDonalds?
JONES:“Oh man, I have to. I told you those late night snacks, they’ll get to you. I definitely have to stay away from McDonalds.”
Brad Fanning (Sports Feed KC): What’s your late night snack?
JONES:“My go-to? I don’t know, I have so many go-tos, it just depends on what my appetite feels like. If I feel like I’m in a smashing mode, McDonalds is probably the thing. They’re the cheapest, but the burgers are alright. They’re not that bad.”
Fanning: When you do to go to a barbecue place, what do you like? Ribs, brisket?
JONES:“All of the above. You know on the test back in high school – a, b, c or d? I like all of the above. All of the above.”
CB KEIVARAE RUSSELL
Adam Teicher (ESPN): You seemed pretty emotional when you were drafted and it seemed like more emotion for the school part, more for graduating than being drafted. Is that right?
RUSSELL: “Not really, it probably sounded like that. But I think just the accomplishment of being drafted and the fact that I haven’t graduated just yet – I have a semester left at the University of Notre Dame – but the fact that I will be the first one to graduate from my family, I think that’s where the emotion came from. I’ve accomplished something this big and the fact that no one in my family has graduated – even from high school – like I said, everybody dropped out of high school, to come from the circumstances I came from. Like I said, I lived in the projects, that same story everybody always talks about – not having a father, all this other stuff – so to come from those circumstances, there wasn’t much around me as far as education I can go to, to look for how to be successful, I had the love, I had the support from my mom and my grandfather, but I could look at them like they’re a success story. So for me to accomplish (and make it to) the NFL, that’s where that emotion came from, we really made it, this is crazy.”
Teicher: What’s your degree in?
Teicher: What are your plans to finish up your degree?
RUSSELL: “Whatever’s convenient. Rookie year, it’s not going to be this rookie year just because of how hectic it is – I want to get the playbook down, I want to try to earn a spot at the Chiefs. I just want to be a great rookie, that’s the main thing for me right now, just worry about football. Eventually, when the time is right, I’ll try to go back and get my degree. Right now, it’s all football for me.”
Teicher: When you were suspended at Notre Dame, did you think that was it? That this dream was over for you?
RUSSELL: “Initially it ran through my mind, like ‘Man, what could happen? Am I going to play football again?’ It wasn’t like I can’t make the NFL, it was really about would I be able to play at Notre Dame again. That was the football thing. I figured I was talented enough, even if I left after I was suspended, I feel like I would have done well enough at the Combine or put up the numbers, I feel like I would have been drafted or even made some type of team. It wasn’t really an NFL thing, it was just will I be able to play at Notre Dame again? That’s where I was kind of skeptical, (saying) I don’t know if I’ll be able to go back to ND and play football, I might have to go to an FCS if I can’t go back to ND, I might have to wait until the end of the year and go to another Division I school. That was the worry for football.”
Teicher:What did you do in the meantime while you were suspended?
RUSSELL:“That was a busy time for me. I went back home and I worked in real estate for about 12 or 14 hours a week. I was going to school full-time at a smaller community college and I was still training six days a week. Went back home to the Seattle area, trained six days a week, got a job in real estate and was still going to school full-time.”
Teicher:What did you do to get reinstated by Notre Dame?
RUSSELL:“It was a lot of process at first, just talking to all the advisors, deans…reinstatement letters, going over constant paperwork, personal statement, all that stuff. Just really showing that I’m dedicated and want to come back. Like I said, doing the real estate, going to school. Going to school helped me out as far as getting reinstated with the NCAA as well because I didn’t have — I think they call it the nine-hour rule you have to take as far as being reinstated for the following year. I had those already accomplished because I was suspended for one semester but during that semester I was able to take 18 credits that came back to Notre Dame.”
(KMBC):What did you learn from that experience that’s made you the man that you are now?
RUSSELL:“Just that you’ve got to do the right thing all the time and not some of the time. I think that’s what it was for me, just like at the Chiefs, you want to do the right thing all the time, when nobody’s watching and not just when the camera is on you. I’ve got to do the right thing all the time and for me, I’ve never been through something so tough. Football and school was something I’ve always exceled at. I graduated high school with a 3.7 (GPA), I’ve always been at the top of my game in football, so the fact that those two things are gone, it put me through a tough time and a challenging time. You guys know, or people know me as this charismatic, energy guy. Now during that time, are you still that same person? Is it a mistake or a character issue? So that was the one thing I wanted to show everybody, that yeah, I made a mistake but I’m still this charismatic, hard-working, ambitious kid that’s going to make it through tough, good or anything. I’m still going to be this person and I’m not going to change.”
BJ Kissel (Chiefs.com):What was it like to put on the jersey and run out on an NFL field today?
RUSSELL:“Man, it’s wild. As you see, I smile with joy. When I put it on, it’s like, I literally ran out here and looked at all the coaches and was like, ‘This is crazy. This is not Notre Dame anymore.’ I looked around like, this is real, I’m playing in the NFL. We aren’t on a college field. It was cool. I think today when we put the helmets on, it will feel even better to really compete with these guys. I can’t wait for the afternoon.”
Teicher:What was the mistake you made that got you suspended?
RUSSELL:“I just put myself in a tough situation. I followed a different crowd of individuals where I basically plagiarized some answers, instead of like during high school, what got me there was I did all my work. I worked hard, but this time I didn’t cite the person who helped me correctly, and I just got lazy. I got the help and just took credit for somebody else’s work instead of me working for it like I did before. I took that mistake and got lazy obviously, got overwhelmed, school was hard and all this, football was stressful. I got overwhelmed and I let my laziness get to me at that point. But, like I said, I went back to Notre Dame and did it the right way my senior year. That’s why I said there’s no issue there. It brought me back to reality. Everything you’ve got today, the reason why I’m in the NFL right now, I worked to get here. I have got to keep doing that. The last time I didn’t work, the last time I took it easy, I got suspended. That kind of reassured me that if you want to be great, if you want all the aspirations that I’ve got, obviously pro football and all those, you’ve got to work for that. You can’t just take the easy way out. You’ve got to put that extra work in that somebody may not. You can’t just sit there like, okay it’s just going to come to me. It won’t come if you don’t work. That’s really what I learned throughout that process.”
Terez Paylor (KC Star):How have you guys welcomed Tyreek Hill into this thing?
RUSSELL:“That’s not a situation I’d like to talk about because I don’t know anything about that, so I’m just sticking to myself. I don’t know much about that situation.”
Chiefs Chairman and CEO Clark Hunt Quotes
April 29, 2016
Michael Coleman (KCTV5): Your impressions on what John Dorsey did yesterday?
HUNT:“Well I think it was a really smart move on his part. It was something that he had mentioned to me earlier in the week. He felt, to some degree, that the player you would get with the 28th pick would be largely similar to the player you could get at the top of the second round. Being able to add some picks, I think, was very appealing to him and ultimately he found a partner that was willing to do a trade that he thought made sense and pulled it off at the last minute and here we are today. Excited to be selecting two players in the second round.”
Coleman: Are you more excited today than you were yesterday?
HUNT:“Well, you’re excited every day. Although we didn’t end up with a player yesterday, the importance and the value of getting a couple of draft picks ultimately will be just as beneficial as taking the players today.”
Al Wallace (WDAF): How would you assess the value of picks in rounds two, three and four?
HUNT:“I think you can go back over time and look at the players that we’ve selected in the lower-to-mid rounds and can see the value that those guys have for the team. Not everybody can be a first-round pick. Obviously you hope your first-round pick turns into a star player, but you also have to be successful in rounds two, three, four. Part of that is having more picks. To some degree, it’s a numbers game and having more picks is going to help us.”
Tod Palmer (Kansas City Star): Losing the third-round pick, did that make it more important to get a few more picks in this draft? Did it make more sense to do what Dorsey did yesterday?
HUNT:“I don’t really think the two are linked together at all. As I mentioned, having more picks is always better. I think John would have made exactly the same decision he made yesterday independent of the tampering penalties. The two don’t really go together.”
BJ Kissel (Chiefs.com): As far as trading up or trading down – how much fun was it for you being in that room and not necessarily knowing what is happening but knowing he (John Dorsey) is on the phone and all the different options and seeing how it all played out?
Hunt:“Well, one of the things about having a late pick like we did yesterday is that there is more trade activity just by nature than there is when you have a higher pick. There were opportunities to move up, there were opportunities to move down, we were making calls, other teams were calling us. It was a very hectic period in the two or three picks leading up to ours.”
Palmer: Was there any consideration when Paxton Lynch was sitting there and Denver went out – was that in the discussion at all – talking about moving up and getting a quarterback at that spot and something you were mulling over?
Hunt:“I am not really going into any specifics on who we were looking at either up or down as it relates to that. There were some players that John was interested in higher in the first round. Ultimately that didn’t work out and we ended up going down – happy with that decision.”
Dave Skretta (Associated Press): Clark, we have talked a lot the last couple years about character. As things unfolded last night with (Laremy) Tunsil, what was going through your mind as a NFL owner?
Hunt:“Well, character, first of all, is a very important quality. You want to have as many high character guys as you can in your locker room. I think we are very fortunate to have a truly outstanding locker room in that regard at this point. You know, not everybody is going to be the kind of leader that you would like, that you draft. But certainly, you want the majority of the guys to be like that. I don’t think we felt like he was going to fall all the way to 28, so it wasn’t something we had to consider.”
Adam Teicher (ESPN): In regards to the schedule, do you think you will be looking at a back-loaded schedule for the foreseeable future?
HUNT: “You know, I don’t know if it’s something that we are going to see every year. I think I have mentioned before that we lobby to the league pretty hard every year to give us as many games as possible in September and October. We do have a couple in September, which is great. I do like, from a competitive standpoint, having those games at home in December. Some of those games are division opponents so that will give us an advantage. But, I don’t think you could say it is going to be like this on a going-forward basis because there really wasn’t anything that was blocking the league from giving us more games in October. It’s just the way it ended up.”
Teicher: So you don’t need to worry about keeping a weekend open for the American Royal?
HUNT: “No, that’s not something that factored into the scheduling, no.”
Teicher: Do you like having two of those three December home games at night?
HUNT: “I like having as many primetime games as we can have. I’m glad that we are going to be on Sunday Night Football a couple times this year. Obviously delighted to have the Thursday night game with the Raiders, but frankly, we feel like we deserve more primetime games. I’m disappointed that we don’t have a Monday night game.”
Teicher: How did that 3:30 p.m. preseason game versus Seattle come about?
HUNT: “I really don’t know the answer to that question. I’d have to check.”
Coleman: Knowing how successful Chicago has been hosting the draft, any thoughts on Kansas City bidding for the draft in the future since the league is looking to share the wealth a little bit?
HUNT: “Yeah, absolutely. I think we have all seen the event that the draft has turned in to, and I think Chicago has shown everybody that you can have the draft somewhere else other than New York City and that it can be very, very successful. Clearly, I am personally interested and the organization is interested, and I think the Kansas City community is interested in trying to bring the draft here. When we get that chance, we will put our best foot forward.”
Teicher: Would there be anything that would prevent Kansas City from being able to host a draft, similar to the restrictions we face with hosting a Super Bowl?
HUNT: “I really don’t think so. I think it’s a question of coming up with the right venue. Clearly Chicago has a great venue and a lot of open space for the draft, but I think we need to put some thought into what the best venue in Kansas City would be to do it. I really don’t see anything that would preclude us.”