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Five Takeaways from Chiefs’ Assistant Coaches Media Availability

Posted Nov 7, 2017

A few of the Chiefs’ assistant coaches spoke with the media on Monday

As the Kansas City Chiefs get set to enter the bye week, a handful of assistant coaches were made available to the local media Monday afternoon.

The coaches who spoke are assistant head coach Brad Childress, running backs coach Eric Bieniemy, cornerbacks coach Al Harris, and receivers coach Greg Lewis.

Here are a few of the top takeaways from those interviews:
Bieniemy was asked how rookie running back Kareem Hunt, who leads the league with 800 yards rushing and is a candidate for Rookie of the Year, stays level-headed. He laughed as he answered the question.

“You know what? That’s Anthony Sherman’s job,” Bieniemy laughed. “[Sherman] does a great job. He reminds him every day that he’s a rookie and he does a great job of reminding him of that. The kid is doing a great job, I cannot complain, he’s very professional. He’s very humble and he’s very mature in how he handles everything, but he also has a great deal of respect for the guys.”

For anyone who has ever spent time around Sherman, this makes complete sense. He loves that role.

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Childress was asked about reports from around the league that different teams are taking the Chiefs’ offensive concepts and using them. Obviously, one of those teams is the Philadelphia Eagles, whose head coach is Doug Pederson, who learned from Andy Reid. So, that’s not a surprise, and the other team was the Los Angeles Rams, who have been one of the league’s surprise teams in 2017.

“I mean it really is a copycat league,” Childress explained. “I texted with (Rams head coach) Sean McVay last week about a couple things we had seen them use against the Cowboys, so all that film is out there if you take the time to study and do the work, you could figure out what other people are doing. If someone is having success with something against an opponent, you’re likely to see it until you can’t stop it, so I think that’s what it’s kind of driven by.”
Harris was asked about his role as cornerbacks coach in working with players with different personalities and learning styles.

“The guys that we’ve had in the building have been great, and they’re somewhat adjusting to me,” Harris explained. “Everybody gets it the same way, but one thing I’ve had to adjust to is that guys don’t learn the same way. When you get a guy like Marcus [Peters], whose football IQ is off the charts, if there’s another guy, you may have to spend a little more time just break it down all the way to the smallest details and kind of coach them all the way through the play until the ball is on the ground.”

Harris spoke about how he works through that process.

“With (Pro Football Hall of Famer) Emmitt [Thomas] being in the room with me, it helps out a lot,” Harris explained. “Me personally, coming into this thing right off the field, as a young coach, I’ve leaned on the older guys so much, Coach Reid, Bob Sutton, Emmitt Thomas, of course, [David] Culley when he was here, [Bieniemy], just little things as far as coaching style and what should I do if I come across this and that.

“It’s tough at times, but all those guys gave me whole lot of advice, and how to go about it, and I just go at it.”

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Lewis was asked about what led to the 57-yard touchdown to Tyreek Hill at the end of the first half against the Cowboys, and he spoke specifically about the blocking.

“The big thing about blocking is that you don’t need the knockout blocks,” Lewis explained. “Those are the ones you see on ESPN and all those different highlight films, but if you’re pushing and pestering and covering that guy up, that gives the guys that have the ball in their hands, the playmakers we have, opportunities to get open and squeak through holes and get in the end zone. That’s what happened on that play.

“Demarcus [Robinson] wasn’t the only guy, [Travis] Kelce was down there, Demetrius [Harris] was down there doing a good job. Then it’s up to runner to find that crease.”

Robinson, who seemingly blocked two guys by himself on that play, has been the guy to step up and take the majority of the snaps after Chris Conley’s season-ending injury against the Texans in Week 5.

“He’s getting more opportunities,” Childress explained of Robinson. “What was particularly gratifying (against the Cowboys) was him in the run game. He went in there on the first play and walloped the guy, and he had a couple he’d like to have back where he could finish, but there’s got to be a little want to in that and then the passes come to you.”
Harris was asked about the right cornerback position opposite of Marcus Peters.

“Well, you know the play’s been up and down, which that’s a part of this league,” Harris explained. “Obviously, we have to get better. We have to make more plays. We have to prevent the big play from happening. The bye week’s coming in at a good time, and we can go back and self-evaluate and see where we can correct things.”

Harris spoke about the decision to insert Kenneth Acker as the starter on the right side in nickel defense (when Steven Nelson slides inside).

“Last year, we started four different right corners,” Harris added. “So, it’s a constant evaluation on our side of the ball. Just our football team. There wasn’t a glaring thing to say, Terrance [Mitchell] is being benched because that wasn’t the case. We’re just trying to find the right combination of players out there on the field in the secondary. You know those guys have to be on the same page. We’re just trying to find the best combination of guys.

“One thing about Acker, I can put him at corner, I can put him at nickel, I can put him at safety. He’s a versatile guy. We’re just trying to find the right pieces.”

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