OPENING STATEMENT: “Alright, really I don’t have any injuries to announce to you. Everyone that was banged up is good to go now. Justin [Houston] and [Spencer] Ware will be ready to go. We look forward to the challenge of playing Pittsburgh. We know they’re a good football team. We had the opportunity to play them in the season, and they got after us pretty good. We understand how good they are. We watched the game yesterday. They played pretty good there too. We look forward to that challenge.”
Q: What’s the plan with
REID: “Well, just practice and see how he does.”
Q: Do you anticipate
REID: “We’ll see – we’ll see how that works. He’s had a couple good weeks of practice. We’ll just see how he does there.”
Q: How much did the bye week help the players in where they are at right now mentally and physically?
REID: “I think they’re excited to get back to work and get going. It’s an exciting time of the year. We had practice today, and they did well with that – a lot of energy.”
Q: Will your loss last game against Pittsburgh be a motivation to get these guys going?
REID: “No, they were there. They know what Pittsburgh is all about.”
Q: Just a bad night or were there some matchups there that you have to fix?
REID: “Yeah, they’re a good team, so we have to make sure that we block and tackle and do the things that you have to do at this time of the year. We didn’t play very well that day.”
Q: In what ways do you feel like your team has improved, matured or better prepared since the first time you’ve played?
REID: “You have to get in the game and you have to play to see. I’m not much on the predictions or comparisons. They’re probably a little different. We’re probably a little different. We’ll just see. We’ll go out and play them and see how we do. “
Q: What’s the best way to contain Le’Veon Bell?
REID: “That’s probably what most defensive coordinators and coaches have been asked. He’s a good player. He has a unique style about him – that delay to get to the line of scrimmage. It’s been effective for him. He’s really the only one that does it, so it’s unique. The obvious thing is you have to contain him and take care of your gaps, for sure.”
Q: Is he the most patient runner that you’ve seen?
REID: “Yeah, the most patient that I’ve ever seen. That’s a unique style. One that he’s kind of created.”
Q: You watched the game yesterday and what did you think watching it all unfold?
REID: “I thought they played well. Good football team. I’m not going to slight the Dolphins either. The Dolphins had a good game against them in Miami, and Pittsburgh came back and had a nice game plan in place. They’d probably be the first ones to tell you that you have to take care of the ball, you have to block and tackle well and you have to play well. They’re a good football team.”
Q: That game kind of unfolded like your last game against Pittsburgh. Anything in particular about getting out to a fast start against these guys?
REID: “Well, listen, there are only a few teams remaining right now that are playing. They’re all good football teams, and I think that’s an important thing to know. You have to play good football and do what got you here. There is not a lot of room for error. That’s just not what this time of the year is about. You have to have good line play on both sides of the ball. That’s what you get this time of the year.”
Q: With contracts being the topic of discussion – how important is the continuity that you have between you and John Dorsey? It seems like you’ve done a really nice job of keeping the guys together. How does that help this organization over the last four years?
REID: “Yeah, I’m not going to talk about contracts and all of that. You guys had a week off, so you get to talk about all of that stuff. I don’t think [John] Dorsey or I are even thinking about that to be honest with you. We’re lucky to even have an opportunity to work here and feel very privileged to be here. I know it’s part of the business. I’ll answer the second part of that with the continuity. It’s great that we’ve been able to keep people together here – players, coaches and front office. It all starts with Clark [Hunt]. We’ve all been able to stay together and help build something. That’s been a tribute to Clark.”
Q: I don’t expect you to answer any of the questions about Chris Ballard, but working with him for four years now, what stands out to you about what he’s done here and how he’s helped you guys?
REID: “Yeah, he’s good. I’ll leave it at that. I’m not going to get into all that. Let’s talk football.”
Q: Do you like the idea of facing a team that you already played this season?
REID: “Listen, I don’t mind it. It’s part of it. You kind of have that in your division. We have some pretty good teams in the AFC West, so we’ve been presented with that challenge just like Pittsburgh has been presented with that challenge in their division. I like the challenge of playing against a good football team – that’s what I like. I get excited about that.”
Q: How do you try and prepare
REID: “Well, you know, every team has that. So, that’s part of this game, and then, you get yourself ready for their package. It’s complicated, but not as complicated as you might think it is from the outside. They have to keep it somewhat coordinated there, so they can function at the level that they function at and at that pace. They don’t dilute it. When a team is a blitz oriented team, everybody thinks that they blitz every down. The good blitzing teams normally pick and choose when they do it. They normally have a small package, and they study your protections and design it up to go there.”
Q: In your time with Alex Smith, in the playoffs, does something change about him?
REID: “I think he’s had a good year. I would agree with you in that he’s had some good games in the playoffs. He’s a competitive guy and he loves the situation. I can tell you, he’s done a pretty good job this year too. I’ve got a lot of respect for the quality of quarterback play he’s had this year.”
REID: “He brought a certain edge -- a competitive edge. He challenges people. He doesn’t shy away from anything. He loves the game and he’s smart on and off the field. He’s a smart guy period. He’s brought that not only to the position, but to our offense. And ‘What kind of year has he had?’ He’s been banged up just a little bit, but he’s overcome that and I think he’s playing good football. He had a real good game last week.”
Q: You’ve had success in the bye week. How does preparing for the next opponent change when you have the bye week?
REID: “I’ve had good players and good coaches around me. That’s not a big secret. I’ve been very fortunate to have good players and good coaches.”
Q: Is it accurate to assume you get to watch more tape? Is that part of it?
REID: “You do. By time, yeah you do. I’d say you get to see a little bit more. The other things are important too.”
Q: Do you feel like this is the time of the season you’re getting the best version of Jeremy Maclin?
REID: “I think he feels good. I think he’s healthy. You saw that last week. He had a couple nagging things and I think he feels good now.”
Q: What is it about this time of the year in the postseason that makes your job fun?
REID: “The competitiveness. The opportunity to play against the best. You love that. That’s why you do this. It’s an opportunity to play against the best. It’s an honor to be in this position as a coach and a player. You’ve worked hard. Now you’re here and you get to work a little bit harder and go up against these great teams.”
Q: Has this team been battle-tested late in the season for what they’ll face in the playoffs?
REID: “I think every week builds a foundation, whether you win or lose. You develop something as a team and take something away from the game that helps develop the personality of the team.”
Q: What kind of impact could the fans legitimately have in this game?
REID: “I love bringing teams in here. It was rockin’ and rollin’ in that New England game when they set the decibel record on fire. The crowd was shaking and I can’t wait for this one. They’ll be here and they’ll do their part. It’s important that we focus and do our part. They [the fans] will show up no matter what. Whether it’s rain or snow it doesn’t matter -- they’ll be there.”