Injury Update: OL Ben Grubbs (neck) and DE Allen Bailey (calf) did not practice. TE James O' Shaughnessy (foot) was limited.
Defensive coordinator Bob Sutton
Sutton began by speaking on how to change Kansas City's seven-game losing streak against the Broncos.
"Our record against them is our record," Sutton said. "You go out every week and think if we do these things right, we have a great chance to be successful. We have to do certain things right at a high-efficiency level to win games against whomever we're playing. Certainly this week, that's of real importance. I think any time you get in games and things don't go the way you want them, it's important that you regroup and focus. If you just stay the course and keep working, you can get right back in it.
"On our last game, we didn't close out. We did a lot of good things, but in the end, we needed to close that last drive out and we didn't do it. I think when things go bad, it doesn't really matter who you're playing—it's a matter of [whether you] can you focus and regroup and concentrate on the very next play, the very next series."
Throughout nine weeks, the Chiefs defense has created and taken advantage of turnover opportunities across the board.
"I like to think it's been a lot of hard work by these players," Sutton said. "We work really hard on it and we have since last spring. We work on it daily in individual drills. You'd like to believe you can achieve what you emphasize—that's what I've talked to them a lot about.
"There's no guarantees that just because you're working, they're going to happen. The reality is that it probably isn't going to happen unless you work at it. Like we always say here, 'Numbers favor us.' The more people we have around the ball whether it's throwing or a run, the better our opportunity to get that ball if it's available."
Against the Detroit Lions in Week 8, the Chiefs recorded a season-high 6 sacks on a wide variety of blitz packages.
"The players make things work," Sutton said. "We can put it on the chalkboard and draw it up, and it's a great thing, but them being able to execute it and doing it the way it's designed is a big part of it. And they've done a really good job here, I think particularly the last three or four weeks, of trying to do the things we want to do to make these individual pressures work. A lot of it is you have a pressure and then somebody has to win. The one good part is there are no chips, no double teams, but somebody is going to be one on one and if you get that opportunity, you have to do it. Like all pressures, the key part is you have to do it with speed and you have to do it with force."
Sutton also touched upon how the defense's work ethic created energy during the Chiefs 45-10 win over Detroit in London.
"I think these guys particularly over these last four or five weeks have worked really hard and prepared really hard: extra meetings, working on their own. And I think when you're willing to commit yourself like that, there's an energy that comes from that.
"It's kind of a force multiplier. It creates energy within the group and you're relying on other people and they're relying on you. That's a great feeling if you can get that. I think they've done that and when you do that and everybody's in, I think it creates that feeling, atmosphere, energy. Then when you win, it's a lot more fun."
Offensive coordinator Doug Pederson
Six different players scored touchdowns in the Chiefs 45-10 win over Detroit in London.
"We're very pleased with that performance," Pederson said. "Looking at it and going back through it, it's great to get that many guys involved. When you can kind of spread the wealth, so to speak, and everybody has a part in it, then you know you're clicking on all cylinders in those situations.
"You like [seeing that] because then from a defensive perspective, who are you going to try to eliminate on the next drive or next possession you have? It just so happened that things were flowing and kind of clicking there first and second half. The guys did an outstanding job handling that whole trip, too, with the travel and everything. That was all part of it."
Now in his third game since taking over for Jamaal Charles, Pederson talked about how he learns something about running back Charcandrick West every day.
"He gets a little more exciting every time he touches the football," Pederson said. "He's still learning and he's growing. I think coach [Eric] Bieniemy does a great job of coaching those running backs and, particularly in his case, of not only understanding the run game, but understanding protection. As a young player in our system, we ask our quarterback and our backs to do a lot in pass protection. He's done an outstanding job.
"He's a smart kid that way and he's done a great job. He's somebody that you want to continue to feature as his weeks go on. As long as he can hold up and handle the load, then we'll keep featuring him each and every week."
Pederson touched upon how quarterback Alex Smith decides when to scramble based on defensive formations.
"A scramble for a quarterback can be kind of twofold: one, it's based on pass rush defensively," Pederson said. "If there's an edge guy somewhere then you have to make a guy miss. The other thing with last weekend in Detroit is that there was so much separation between the defensive line and the rest of the team that it just opened up natural running lanes for Alex. Then his ability to run 40-plus yards on the one is just his natural instinct.
"It kind of comes with studying the tape and understanding on certain situations how the defense is playing you. Then, sometimes, they forget about the quarterback and how athletic he is."
Pederson also commented on the Broncos aggressive style of defensive play, especially when it comes to division rivals like the Chiefs.
"That's their style," Pederson said. "That's the way they play and you can't take that away from them. That's the aggression and you play right up to the whistle. Sometimes you play through the echo, as they say, of the whistle. You just have to know that going into those ballgames. That cliché term, 'Keep your head on a swivel,' you have to keep your eyes moving and protect yourself that way.
"You have to stay aggressive. That doesn't necessarily mean you have to take a premature shot somewhere, but you don't ever want to lose that edge. Same way with us—you don't ever want to lose that edge. You're always going to protect your player whether it's the quarterback getting hit late or a running back or a DB. There is a fine line and you just have to control your emotions in those situations as an individual. Those guys are battling so hard out there on Sundays that you get to the end and it's a close game, things become a little heated or aggravated. That's where you have to kind of step back. That's where an Alex Smith can go in there and grab a guy and get him out of the pile. You never want to lose that edge that way, but again, there is a fine line. Controlling your emotion is a big part of that."
Denver's defense boasts the most sacks in the league with 30. Pederson expanded how the offense is prepared to handle heavy pressure.
"This is a good defense," Pederson said. "They pride themselves on rushing five guys and getting after the passer pretty well. Then they play man coverage on the back end. They're good that way. They're No. 1 in a lot of areas on defense because it's their aggression.
"But we understand that about this team. It's nothing we haven't seen in the past, not only from them but from other teams. We have a better understanding, I think, of how to attack and how to prepare for teams like this."
With Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib out for Sunday's matchup, Pederson spoke on the emergence of second-year cornerback Bradley Roby.
"We've played against him the last couple of seasons and he's a guy that has a lot of reps under his belt," Pederson said. "He's a young player, but he's good in their man-to-man stuff. He's an aggressive guy who will come up and hit you, he's good in coverage and he's a guy that I think fills in nicely for them.
"It's a big loss with Talib, he's a great player and he's having a great season. He's a Pro Bowl-type guy. It's hard to replace guys like that but in their case—like in our case—the next guy steps up and goes and plays."
Special teams coordinator Dave Toub
Toub spoke on the Chiefs new special teams weapon, Saalim Hakim, who was elevated from the practice squad to the 53-man roster on Monday.
"He's got a lot of speed," Toub said. "He played a lot of gunner for the Jets last year. [We'll see] If he can help us there in that spot. He played a little bit of returner for preseason games. We'll put him in all of those spots and we'll look at him.
"You can definitely see his speed, not only last year on tape but in practice it showed up. He's earned the right to move up to the 53."