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What We Learned From Wednesday's Media Availability

Posted Aug 16, 2017

Andy Reid, Alex Smith, Tyler Bray and Patrick Mahomes spoke to the media on Wednesday

Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid

Opening Statement: “Great to have the military out here today and celebrate all they do for us, so we can do what we do and keep us free from harm’s way. With that, we finished up here with training camp. Missouri Western State University was awesome. The people here were phenomenal taking care of us. Whether it was the fields, the food, the dorms, they do a great job. We’ve been very happy with that. As far as the play time goes for the game with the Bengals, the ones will take the first half, and you can kind of do this by quarterbacks and then [Patrick] Mahomes will have the third quarter and then Tyler [Bray] will have the fourth quarter. Not everybody will play this game, everybody will be ready to play, but not everybody will necessarily play this game like the last game. We’ll get good work in against a good football team and that’s the most important thing right now. With that, time’s yours.”

Q: What kind of growth have you seen in Ramik Wilson, specifically with where his diagnostic skills were last year?

REID: “Ramik Wilson I think has stepped it up a notch even from last year. He had good experience last year and I like what we’ve seen. You asked about the diagnosing of plays, and being able to do that as a linebacker becomes very important along with having good instincts. He’s shown that he has both of those.”

Q: Eric Murray, second-year player this year, how has he developed over the course of camp?

REID: “Murray has continued to improve. He’s coming out of this camp really taking a big step from last year. We’re counting on him to give us snaps and it was important that he did that. We feel comfortable. Again, we still have the rest of the preseason to see, but up to this point he’s done a nice job.”

Q: Do you think Patrick Mahomes will see any reps with the ones at all against the Bengals?

REID: “I have no idea. I get in the game and then just kind of go from there. That’s how it worked last week with Tyler. We’ll see how the game goes. We’ll see how it rolls.”

Q: You said that the identity of the team changes every year. What have you learned about this particular group over the last couple of weeks?

REID: “Every team’s a little different, obviously just by the change you have in the National Football League. This crew here, not that the other crews didn’t, but they hit it where the weather wasn’t too bad so we were outside every day. Therefore you have an opportunity to get learning out there, they’re not battling the elements, the heat and the humidity and all of that where you get where you’re talking to yourself instead of concentrating on the play. We’ve been able to take it up a notch. They’ve taken that challenge to heart and this group never says anything, they just work. From a head coaching standpoint that’s a beautiful thing. You can get a whole lot done.”

Q: What was the conversation like with Mahomes when you told him about bumping him up to second string?

REID: “There wasn’t much of a conversation. It was just something that I think he’s deserved by his efforts to at least have a chance to play with that group and with that comes a little bit more responsibility. Tyler did a very nice job with it. He did a nice job when he had an opportunity to work with the ones. The idea is to come out here with three or four good quarterbacks that you feel comfortable playing with and so that’s how we roll. So far he’s done a nice job with it and we’ll see how he does in the game.”

Q: How do you keep Tyler Bray hungry knowing that you switched his position?

REID: “I think Tyler knows that he’s done well. He had the one touchdown called back, but he’s played well.”

Q: You brought in a few coaching interns, like every year, like Michael [Vick] and Derrick [Alexander]. What did you see from those guys over the past three weeks?

REID: “We bring in a bunch of interns and it’s a great step for them if they choose to go into coaching, some of them are in coaching already, but if you’re looking to go that direction, like you mentioned Michael. This gives them an opportunity, like Derrick Alexander he’s already coaching, but it gives them an opportunity to see it at this level and kind of what goes on. I was impressed with this whole group of interns that we had. It was a good group. They want to work and they want to learn. They’re taking advantage of that opportunity.”

Q: Derrick Johnson said that he would like to coach. Any other players out there that you noticed that coaching would be in their future?

REID: “I know he’s going to do it. There’s a chance our fullback [Anthony Sherman] does it to, but I’m not going to hold him accountable for it, but he has talked about potentially doing that.”

Q: The organization has got a decision to make in the next couple of weeks about bringing training camp back here next year. Would your vote be in favor of staying in St. Joe?

REID: “I’m going to do whatever our owner wants to do. I’m being politically correct. I can tell you though that the people here have been phenomenal. They’ve done a nice job for us and we appreciate that.”

Q: Your owner says he’s going to ask you, so?

REID: “Well that’s how this works. We’re just going to keep you in limbo.”

Q: What’s your lasting impression of what you got accomplished this training camp?

REID: “I thought we got a lot done this camp. I think schematically we probably got a little more done than in years past. We challenged them like crazy this year in all three phases of the game. With the weather cooperating the way it did you can get away with doing that. I thought the guys functioned at a high level, which is good. We still have a ways to go. We’re not clearly the finished product that we need to be. We’ll wait until we finish up camp.”

Q: When you are doing the roster making process, how much do the young receivers kind of bonding or creating relationships with the backups play a role as you look to develop?

REID: “That happens. That is the benefit of getting away, and they are housed together. You are forced to get to know the guy next to you. It is not just come to practice and go home and you are there. You are here 24/7 and you get to know the personalities. I appreciate our older guys in the way they treat our younger guys. Even though they are in competition, they are not afraid to share things with them, and that is what a team is all about now.”

Q: How much do you take into account when making roster moves, how close a QB is with a receiver?

REID: “If you are close to the quarterback, that’s normally a pretty good thing. That’s who you want to be close to if you are a receiver. You take some of that into consideration. All those kind of things you weight out. It is all a part of the process.”

QB ALEX SMITH

Q: I heard you say on the radio yesterday that this has been the most productive camp. How is that?

SMITH: “You know I do not always love comparing, but I think this camp has been great. I feel like every day we have taken a stab, we have gotten better. We have gotten something out of it. Guys have brought it. It is hard some days when you are back to back to back in the pads and the long days in heat. It is easy to slip into the mindset of just kind of trying to get through it. I feel like our guys have brought energy every day. We have had great competition, especially the O and D back and forth. It has been fun. It seems like it has flown by but I feel like it has been really productive.”

Q: How do you feel about the quarterback play?

SMITH: “I feel like it has been a big part of it. A lot of quality out of the quarterback room. You know good competition for all of us. Everybody kind of feeds off of each other, even in the quarterback room. Who is going to be the guy to go out there and makes the play and makes the throw. It has been fun.”

Q: Do you think that is because of better quality guys here this year?

SMITH: “I just think as a whole. I feel like all of the guys, you know Joel (Stave) does not get a ton of opportunities but certainly Tyler (Bray) and Patrick (Mahomes). I feel like everybody has had a good camp. There has been a lot of play making. Really I think the whole perimeter group as a whole is kind of involved in that.”

Q: How do you balance mentoring and competing with other quarterbacks?

SMITH: “It is no different. I have been doing it for 13 years. For me, it is just kind of being myself. I am going out there and playing and trying to take advantage of my reps and myself for the season as best I can. No different than any of the other young guys that have been here before. It is no different. I am going to be myself. Certainly I have been through a lot so if there is something I can help with or I see, I am not going to hesitate to vocalize.”

Q: Are you comfortable with where the wide receivers are?

SMITH: “I am excited about the group. I am really excited. One of the reasons I think we have had such a good camp is really those guys. They have brought so much energy every day. I think those guys have been infectious with their playmaking. I feel like they have been feeding off of each other. Each guy wants to step in and be the guy that sparks us. It has been fun every day. I feel like we have a lot of guys with a lot of strengths that have come in and been hungry and been making plays for us.”

Q: Have you seen somebody take a leadership role in that group since (Jeremy) Maclin has left?

SMITH: “You know we are a young group outside. I think all of those guys. Certainly the guys who have had the playing time naturally. You look at Chris (Conley) and Albert (Wilson) and Tyreek (Hill) and those guys that have been out there making plays. Young group as a whole but I think their energy is the strength.”

Q: Do you have any thoughts on Colin Kaepernick’s situation since you used to play with him?

SMITH: “A lot changed in a few years obviously since I had been gone and came here. Everything that has gone on since is certainly not something I saw coming knowing Kaep. My relationship with Kaep is we always got along really well. He was always extremely respectful with me so he and I got along really well. I have not talked to Kaep in a long time though with all of the stuff going on. Hard for me to even talk about like I said when I was with him none of this was even there at all. Obviously a lot has changed since then, but it is hard to even comment on it. Like I said, don’t know. There is a lot going on in that landscape right now. Certainly when I was there he was playing at a really, really high level. He had a lot in front of him as a career goes playing really good football. It is crazy to think that he is not playing. That is a crazy thing because like I said as good as he was playing, young, strong, I felt like he had a long career ahead of him and it is crazy at this point he is out of a job.”

Q: Is he someone you would welcome back into a quarterback room?

SMITH: “Yeah, like I just said Kaep and I got along really well. He was always someone who was really, really respectful. He was a really good teammate. He cared, so yeah no question.”

QB TYLER BRAY

Q: How did you handle being moved to the third spot on the depth chart?

BRAY: “It is a competition. The season hasn’t started yet. I don’t think it is a set depth chart, I just know he is going in there and getting some second team reps. In the preseason game, I will be going third. Coach’s decision.”

Q: What do you want to improve on from the first preseason game?

BRAY: “Accuracy of throws. The one pick, should have seen the DB outside. Spencer (Ware) was on the right page, I should have been on the same page as him. Just clean some footwork stuff up.”

Q: How much do you go back and look at some of that on your own time knowing you only get a limited amount of snaps? Do you go back and look at the ones you do get?

BRAY: “Yeah, I think you go back and look at your mechanics and make sure you’re doing the right things. You don’t want to go out there and put sloppy mechanics on the film. You go back and you view that, and just try and improve from there.”

Q: What does it mean to you guys spending the last day of camp with the veterans?

BRAY: “It is great. They sacrifice a lot so that we can play this game. So anything we can do, we could spend all day with them. This is great.”

 

QB PATRICK MAHOMES

Q: After the game you were asked if you regretted any of the throws you made. After going through the film, did you change your mind on that?

MAHOMES: “There’s always things you can learn from and try to get better from. I don’t know if I regretted any of the throws. If it is a mistake, if it is a bad throw, you can just learn from those and try to get better after watching video and having more and more days of practice.”

Q: How do you describe your competitive relationship with Alex (Smith)? He feels like he is competing, do you feel like you are competing?

MAHOMES: “Being the quarterback of any football team, you are going to compete and you are going to go out there and work hard to make each other better and, at the same time, make the team better. Really, it is a great relationship. I learn a ton from Alex. Just having him in front of me, you can’t even explain how much he teaches me on the sidelines. He is always helping me out. And at the same time, we are always pushing each other to be better every single day.”

Q: On the throw to Gehrig Dieter in the first game, the corner jumped out on the route. At what point did you see the corner and when were you able to pull the ball back?

MAHOMES: “We had kind of saw throughout the game, with Bray and Alex running the plays, that there would be a chance that that was open. Their corner and their nickel safety kind of both went to it. I pulled it down. I should have dotted Dieter right there, but I scrambled a little bit too soon, just have to complete that pass.”

Q: Are you always looking down field to throw first before you rush?

MAHOMES: “Throughout my whole football career, I have always known I wasn’t the fastest guy. I’m a little quick, I can run a little bit, but I know I can’t make a lot happen. So my thinking always was, ‘why don’t you put it in the fast guys hands and let them make plays.’ So, when I scramble and do those things, I try to look down field, look for the play makers, put it in their hands and let them make all the big plays happen.”

Q: Who is a better runner, you or Alex?

MAHOMES: “Alex, for sure. It is not even close.”

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