DT CHRIS JONES
Q: There was a lot of talk this week about talking to the young guys about how fast the game gets in the playoffs. How real is that? How much do you feel more comfortable going into these types of games later in your career?
JONES: “It’s a little different. The game speeds up, the level of intensity, the level of discipline you got to have to make sure you minimize error and maximize potential. So, I think we beat the young guys up over the week to understand what type of level of play we need from them and the expectation (of) playing playoff football at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium.”
Q: When you guys played the Jaguars earlier in the season, did you think you would see them again later in the playoffs? Have they surprised you with where they’re at?
JONES: “No, actually. I had a conversation with (Jaguars Senior Defensive Assistant) Bob Sutton prior to the last game and I told him that, ‘We may see you again in the playoffs. You got a good, young team.’ As long as they put it together, they can be very special. Leaning on it with a good quarterback (Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence) and DP – (Jaguars Head Coach) Doug Pederson, he’s their head coach. They got a special connection going, so they’re a tough team. (They) got a nice defense also, so they’re leading those guys in the right way.”
Q: On the evolution of the defensive line throughout the years and him being able to tie his season sack total.
JONES: “I think it’s an accumulation of the D-line room – unselfish guys – the D-line coaches starting with (Defensive Line Coach) Joe Cullen, Assistant (Defensive Line Coach) Terry Bradden staying with me before and after practice, me committing to be the leader – be the best – committing to improving my pass rush from last year, me committing to making sure I put the extra work in. And it shows. It shows. I give all the credit to my D-line being unselfish – some guys taking two, three people at a time, so I can get the one-on-one. And Spags (Defensive Coordinator Steve Spagnuolo) scheming for me. It’s a lot that goes into that – the success of one player – especially the players around you or the players in your room committing to you and letting you receive whatever that may be – a specific play or them taking over gaps. It’s the game of football – unselfish guys all doing it one-eleventh. And I’m truly appreciative for the guys I have in the room.”
WR JUJU SMITH-SCHUSTER
Q: Your last playoff game was with the Steelers and now you’re playing with the Chiefs. As you think back, how does it feel to now be with the Chiefs?
SMITH-SCHUSTER: “It feels, I’ll say this, it feels good to be on this side of the ball. It’s amazing I would say yeah, last year was a tough situation coming in here and playing a great team and now that I’m here and I’m going into this game (and) playing against another good team but like I said it just feels good to be on this side of the ball.”
Q: When you played Jacksonville last time, did you think they looked like a playoff team or has something changed for them?
SMITH-SCHUSTER: “I think everyone brings their best ‘A’ game. And I will say this, even teams that we’ve beaten – really good teams that we’ve beaten in the past – they come out and they go on a game winning streak and beat everyone, and that’s kind of how we see Jacksonville. That’s also kind of how I see the 49ers. Another team that’s a very, very successful team – really good team, a really successful team and now both those teams are playoff teams. So I would say yeah, Jacksonville is a playoff team. They’re going to come in here (with) a lot of energy and they’re going to give us their best game.”
Q: Head Coach Andy Reid talked about how well Patrick Mahomes has adapted well to his different receivers. As a unit, how do you look back on how all that has developed?
SMITH-SCHUSTER: “Yeah, man, you have so many different types of receivers that Pat (Mahomes) is dealing with. You have small guys, guys who move around, fast, slow, whatever you want to call it, he has it and he’s going to adjust and that’s the thing that he’s really, really good at. But not only that you think about the running backs that we’re using. We’re using three to four different running backs in a game, we’re using five different receivers, using three different tight ends, so for a guy like Patrick Mahomes to go in a game and know everyone’s tendency of what they have, I mean, the chemistry is there and he’s building it day in and day out and you’ll see it this Saturday.”
Q: Is there something that you’ve learned or maybe an example of something that is more than you expected from when you got here from either Coach Reid or Mahomes? Or is it as expected?
SMITH-SCHUSTER: “Not really. Honestly, it’s been the same. As expected, you know. Go show our personalities and we got them cheeseburgers, so (laughter).