Q: Have you played at Buffalo before?
SMITH: “Nope. Never played there. First time.”
Q: Have you heard anything about what that’s like there, with the winds?
SMITH: “I haven’t heard anything about the wind. I mean, it’s a game on the road. Defense is playing good now, so I think the usual things that come with that. Obviously, you have to deal with crowd noise, especially on big plays. Cadence, snap count, things like that obviously come into effect.”
Q: Are you anticipating Buffalo to be the most hostile environment on the road, so far?
SMITH: “I mean, they’re all hostile. For me, I’m not thinking about comparing them or anything. They’re all, as an offense going in, they all present challenges, playing on the road, dealing with crowd noise. From my perspective, yeah, it’s a loud place, but seems like every time we play on the road is a loud place. For me, once again, I’m not comparing. No question, there will be things we have to deal with, but I don’t necessarily see it being different than any other road trip.”
Q: Are you a running quarterback or a quarterback who runs?
SMITH: “I just feel like I’m playing quarterback. Certainly, part of that is, yeah, when things break down or when things open up and you have a chance to run, you’re a ball carrier, as well. It’s certainly something I like to take advantage of and if they’re going to give you that, take it. As far as some of this read option and things like that, I’ve obviously done it my entire career, going all the way back to college. It’s something I’m very comfortable with.”
Q: What is your instinct as a runner, when you slide?
SMITH: “Yeah, I mean, I think I’ve learned a lot of lessons over the years by not making good decisions. I think as you get older, you get smarter with it and try not to take unnecessary hits. There is a risk-reward there, pulling the wall down and running as a quarterback and knowing when to take the chances of do you go down headfirst, do you not slide, when to get out of bounds and things like that.”
Q: You’ve gotten five rushing first downs in the past games. Do you think you put a little more pressure on the defense too?
SMITH: “I don’t know about that, certainly a better question for them. It’s something that I think there can be a lot of hidden yardage there and I think a lot of times you can move the chains, especially on third down. You’re facing a lot of men, things like that, so a lot of times there is no one playing the quarterback, so if you can get out of the pocket, there are some plays to be made.”
Q: What’s your fresh start like here in Kansas City?
SMITH: “For me, I was excited for the opportunity, to say the least. Going through last year and didn’t know how that was going to come and didn’t know how that was going to present itself. When this opportunity arose, I jumped at it. I was thankful for it and still am thankful for it. For me, just looking forward, trying to make the most of every day and every week.”
Q: How are you going to get
SMITH: “Once again, I think it’s a better question for Doug (Pederson) and Andy (Reid).”
Q: Is it all game plan?
SMITH: “It’s game plans and matchups. It’s certainly a guy that we try to move around. We try to find ways to find good matchups and get him isolated and put him in good situations. I think a couple of weeks ago, we did a great job with that. This last week, (not) necessarily. I need to look at the stats and we didn’t do it enough, maybe. He’s certainly a guy that we need to get the ball to. He’s that type of player. He’s a guy that can get it in a lot of different ways, he’s that versatile. He’s big enough to move inside, outside and he matches up extremely well, especially against some of these corners. Definitely, it's still a focus point for us, a guy we need to get touches.”
Q: What about Buffalo’s defense? How do you exploit them?
SMITH: “I mean, it’s Wednesday, so we’re still working on that. They’re a good group. You turn on the film, they’re a talented group and I think it starts with their front. I think they’re second in the NFL in sacks. They get a lot of pressure, especially with the front four. They create a lot of turnovers; they’re very unorthodox in the back end. They run a lot of different coverages and try to confuse you. They’ve had success and created a lot of turnovers. We certainly have our hands full this week.”
Q: Tell us something about Coach Reid’s leadership that has had a positive impact.
SMITH: “I think the thing that stands out most to me is that he’s just kept it about football. From day one, he just created a healthy environment and just kept this about football, about competing and getting better every single day. I think Coach (Reid) has just done such a good job of keeping the focus on teaching. Then, for us as players, the focus is on execution. I really think he’s done a great job of eliminating exterior distractions and things like that and kept this about football. I know I enjoy it; I think the guys enjoy it.”
Q: Is there a strong sense of family?
SMITH: “No question. That’s not something that’s forced; I think that just comes with time. You have to go through things together – offseasons, camps, games. There are a lot of situations like that where you just have to go through to kind of build those relationships. I think he’s created a healthy environment to come in and just focus on football every single day. I think it starts with him and he does a great job of doing that, of eliminating distractions for the guys and me. I know I really enjoy it.”
Q: You’re one of the winningest quarterbacks in the league. What does that say about you?
SMITH: “I’ve been fortunate enough to have a lot of great teammates. I think that’s what it says. I think as a quarterback, you’re so much a product of the guys around you, coaches included. For me, I’ve been very fortunate for the last few years to have been a part of some great groups and this one is no different. Great group of guys, who take their preparation very seriously. Throughout the week, they prepare themselves for Sunday and then they go out there and compete. If anything, I think that’s what it says.”
Q: Was the concussion (last year) on a sack or a running play?
SMITH: “Scramble run.”
Q: Did you learn from that?
SMITH: “No question. Absolutely, I learned from that. I look back on it and even then, I knew it was kind of a stupid hit to take; it was first or second down, certainly wasn’t a third down, wasn’t close to the chains. You live to fight another day there, looking back at it.”
Q: It hasn’t stopped you though?
SMITH: “No, I mean it’s still football. I still go out there and play and I don’t think anything will as long as I’m playing. I think you go out there and certainly never go out there and play scared, or anything like that. In fact, I enjoy it. I enjoy running, I enjoy getting hit occasionally. I think it is part of the game. But, no question, I think avoiding the unnecessary big hits.”