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What We Learned From Sunday Post Game Media Availability

Posted Dec 10, 2017

Andy Reid, Alex Smith, Kareem Hunt, Chris Jones, Reggie Ragland and Terrance Mitchell spoke to the media on Sunday

CHIEFS HEAD COACH ANDY REID

Opening Statement: “Really there are no injuries right now to give you. Good team win. I thought all three phases played well and really for four quarters it was a grind. They put the pressure on the Raiders, who I think are a good football team and made them earn every yard that they got offensively. Our offensive line stepped up and did a heck of a job today. From the offensive side, number 27 (Kareem Hunt) got his 1,000 yards which is always a plus.”

This is such a dramatic turnaround defensively from last week and last time you played the Raiders. How do you explain that? “I thought the guys rallied to the ball well. I thought they challenged. I thought Bob Sutton had a nice game plan that he put together and they all played together. They did a good job.”

Do you feel like that first defensive series set the tone? “Anytime you can hit the quarterback the way he was hit early, that affects him. Then we rallied to the ball as far as the run game. The first series set the tempo, yes, but we found out last week there was more than that, you have to follow up on it. It was really all three phases. We’ve been up and down, offense one week, defense the next week, special teams here and there. They all played together.”

Some of the defensive guys talked about not waiting for someone else to make a play and a sense of urgency. What kind of energy did you see from those guys to set the tone early? “First of all it was great to play at Arrowhead and the fans were unbelievable. I said before the game that we need them. They bring something extra than what you have on the road. We do pretty good with the fans on the road, I’m not saying that, but at home it’s a special deal. Our players feed off of that and they did. They took that extra step. Each one made a pact with themselves and the man next to him and they played well. I thought they really did some nice things.”

You made the decision to suspend Marcus Peters for the game and a lot of people on the outside thought without him that your defensive backfield was really going to struggle with this group. How well did they come together and did you issue a challenge to them? “The guys, they know. We’ve always had the next man up thing and that’s how we’ve rolled from the get go. It’s no different than that. Marcus will be back and he’ll be back in playing, doing his thing. That’s where we’re at. There was nothing different. There wasn’t an extra challenge or any of that. The guys know that if somebody is down the next man steps in and goes.”

What was your confidence level heading in without him out there? “I thought we were going to do okay. I thought we were going to win the game, how’s that? Is that what you want? You could play and I’m probably going to think we’re going to win the game.”

Can you talk about Steven Terrell at the end being able to make the interception especially after that hard hit that he took? “He did a great job. Deflected ball, ball pops up and he follows it all the way in and makes the interception. 39 (Terrance Mitchell) had one earlier that was a tough one, tip ball up and he makes a play. I was proud of the guys for that.”

Do you think there was more energy or at least enthusiasm today than there has been in past weeks after plays and before plays? “One thing I thought, everybody rallied together and supported each other. Not that they haven’t before, but if something didn’t go quite right they were all in there. They made a point to do that. It’s hard (on teams) to lose in the National Football League. Sometimes you get into that washing machine where you’re going round and round and you’re hoping for something good to happen and when it doesn’t you get a little bit down. There was none of that. They just pounded all the way through. If there was a completed ball, they pounded through. If we got one yard on a run, they pounded it through the next time. Both sides of the ball were supporting each other. I thought that was good.”

Was that a coaching point during the week or did your leaders take that upon themselves? “I would tell you the leaders did a great job with that.”

We haven’t talked much about the offense, but a couple of missed opportunities in the first half, but you continued to move the ball down there. “We had a couple of chances down in the red zone. We’ve got an All-Pro tight end who doesn’t drop very many balls and he had a drop. Nobody hung their head, he didn’t hang his head. He got back in and had another big catch. We left some points on the field. Nobody flinched with it they just kept going.”

Kareem Hunt really got going today. How much did the offensive line factor into that? “I thought both lines played good. The offensive line did a nice job with the run game. I was proud of them with how they handled that.”

As it relates to improvement in the game, was that more to do with attitude or was there some scheme to it? “I thought Andy Heck did a nice job with the run game. I thought he did a real nice job. You have to come with an attitude and I thought the guys did that. I thought they did really well.”

Have you ever had a kicker like Harrison Butker that comes in and does incredibly well so fast? “I think David Akers did that. I would tell you this kid is doing phenomenal, the things that he’s done. Look at (Cairo) Santos who was here before, he did a good job too. You have to give him credit. I’ve had some good kickers. I’ve been lucky. That was a good question. I’ve just been fortunate to have some pretty good kickers.”

During the pregame warmups we saw Eric Berry addressing the guys. Was that something that you knew was going to happen and was it something that he took upon himself? “It’s always great to have him around and he’s been around rehabbing. He comes to practices and meetings and the whole deal. He’s not being a stranger which is a positive. Sometimes guys get hurt and they want to disappear, they don’t feel part of the team. He’s part of the team. A big part of the team. He’s welcomed back, yes. From my standpoint he’s always welcomed back and I’m glad he was here.”

I know that Albert Wilson had been banged up a few weeks ago and was working his way back. Thoughts on his performance today and on a couple of his effort plays? “That last one was a big one. That last one was huge, getting that first down right there was a big, big first down. He juggled it. He maintained his concentration on it and brought it in. That was a big play. Great job by Alex (Smith) too, finding him. He wasn’t primary on that and Alex found him and shot him.”

QB ALEX SMITH

Didn’t capitalize on everything – were you frustrated at all? “No, not frustrated, certainly we would have loved to not have kicked so many field goals. I think that was the one thing. I felt like we were moving the ball really well. Lot of stuff out there. A lot of guys contributing, making plays, so I think all of that was really positive. Had a bunch of drives though that for whatever reason, missed opportunities and negative plays in the red zone. We had chances I think to make plays and didn’t, so that was maybe the one thing. But certainly when we scored that second touchdown I think that kind of took that away a little bit.”

The defense was doing what they were doing – how much does that feed your offense? “Oh man, the field position that we were getting I think from our defense, certainly with how they were playing and attitude all day, yeah it was big. Big team football. I think it kind of kept us going, kept our energy going. Sometimes when you’re only kicking field goals and the other team is answering it can get frustrating. Certainly with the way they were playing there in the first half, yeah gave us a bunch of energy.”

How do you explain how you guys did in the running game today, any difference? “No, I think had we had the opportunity a little bit last week, I think you would have seen something similar. The way the plays worked out we had such few opportunities. I liked it. We mixed it up. Certainly when we got into the meat of the game, I think you saw a little more with that. Be able to take our shots there with Kareem (Hunt) and I thought he ran hard, the offensive line blocked great.”

Happy to see Kareem Hunt get over 1,000 yards as a rookie? “Yeah, it’s a heck of an accomplishment, no question. I think that the kind of teammate that he is, to be thrusted into the role he was thrust into that late right at the end of preseason. The way he’s carried himself, how much he cares, how much he invests. You know how much it means to him. I think there’s not a guy on this team that’s not happy for him, no question.”

You guys seemed to have a lot of fun today, how do you keep that going forward? “A little bit of that I think it’s been the journey of the season. To play the way we know we can play early on and to get challenged and to have a rough patch, but to kind of find our way out of it I think guys have that confidence now, kind of how we work and how we operate. Certainly on offense too. I think everybody contributing, I think you saw that today. Everybody contributing and making big plays for us. Then I think all three phases feeding off each other. I think all three phases playing together, playing good team football.”

What gives you hope that you can repeat this next week? “I think that you take the confidence with you that we’ve got going. But it’s a short week, brand new challenge. New defense, new guys. I mean that’s the deal, that’s the name of the game. We’ve got to figure out how to keep it going. They’re trying to stop it.”

You’re very week-to-week – so with everything that has happened, everything washed away? Confidence right back where you were at 5-0? “I think offensively, I think we’re feeling really good where we’re at right now. You carry that with you. The reality of where the division is at doesn’t change though. Depending on what happens tonight, we’ll see. Obviously the ramifications will be big no question, either way the stakes will be high. So that doesn’t change.”

Second game with Matt (Nagy) calling plays, do you notice anything different in the flow of the game? “No. I think those guys do such a great job, the whole offensive staff collaborating always, those guys are always talking. Brainstorming. I think they all have a hand in it. If there was anything, one thing I can point to, I think sometimes without the relay, Matt (Nagy) has always been the guy to call it in. So without the relay, sometimes it can get in quicker, but that’s a small thing, you’re talking a couple seconds.”

What can you personally do as team leaders to welcome Marcus (Peters) back? “I mean I think everybody on this team knows what Marcus (Peters) is about and I mean that in the best way. The guy is such a heck of a competitor. I think sometimes that’s also been his worst enemy in his past. It’s not for a lack of caring. It’s not that he’s not in it. For me that’s the more alarming thing ever in a teammate. I think everybody will welcome him back. We need everybody. I imagine Marcus is pumped up from what he watched today. I think everybody is going to love to see him tomorrow when he gets back to the building.”

RB KAREEM HUNT

What was Coach’s message to you after the game? “We have a quick turnaround. Enjoy it today and be ready to go tomorrow.”

When was the last time you could feel this way after a game with big numbers and a win? “Honestly, I will feel this way if we win no matter what my numbers look like. It is just huge to go out there and get a big time win and keep it going. Now we just have to keep doing what we are doing.”

What does 1,000 yards rushing mean to you? “It is a huge accomplishment. Nobody can ever take that away from you. I just want to thank those guys up front. They did a great job all season helping me grind out those tough yards.”

DL CHRIS JONES

The Raider couldn’t get anything going, did you feel like that was the way the game was going? “I wouldn’t say that. I feel like the defensive line, we had to come in and set the tone on the defense. The defensive line got started on the fourth play of the game when we got a sack. Jarvis Jenkins on the outside, this guy rushing getting a sack. Justin Houston. It was about effecting the quarterback today. We know he likes to get the ball out fast and we affected him.”

How did the secondary step up today? “Terrance Mitchell. You can’t say enough about that guy, how well he played today. We knew they were going to go after him and he stepped up to the plate and made a name for himself.”

Did you feel a personal challenge to step up the energy on defense? “I felt personal. We had to get back to playing our ball. The defense, we came out playing like the first of the season. That’s all that boils down to, playing our type of football. We came in and we broadcasted that today.”

LB REGGIE RAGLAND

What was clicking for you guys on defense? “We played together. And we fought as a team. We didn’t worry about the past weeks and we said, ‘You know what? We are still in it.’ We just need to come out and play ball. And that is what we did today.”

Seeing the secondary making plays, what was that like with Marcus Peters out? “It was good. Marcus is still a leader on our team and we still listen to him. But (Terrance Mitchell) did a great job coming in and playing for him. He just needs to keep coming and he played good.”

What was it like hitting Marshawn Lynch? “Marshawn is a great player, but I am physical, too. Mindset coming into the game, I can’t worry about what he did to other guys on the field. I have to come in and play tough and strong. And that is what I did. Marshawn is one of my favorite backs in the league and it was a blessing to get to play against him. I was kind of upset when he retired, but I am glad he came back out and played.”

CB TERRANCE MITCHELL

Can you talk about the defensive energy? “Like Andy Reid said, Chiefs versus Raiders, if you can’t get up for that, you shouldn’t be playing football.”

Talk about your interception: Chris Jones put great pressure on the quarterback and the ball was just floating in the air and I was just hungry and I wanted to go get it.”

How big was this win? “It was real big. One game at a time and one play and we have to keep moving forward.”

How nice was it to have Eric Berry on the sideline as a leader? “Eric Berry, he helped me this week. He has helped me since I have been here with just the overall knowledge that he has given me and having him out there was like another coach.”                                   

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