11 Takeaways from Wednesday's Media Availability

Chiefs head coach Andy Reid, quarterback Alex Smith and running back Charcandrick West addressed local media Wednesday

Injury Update: DE Mike DeVito (concussion) practiced. LB Tamba Hali (knee) and OL Ben Grubbs (neck) did not practice.

Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid

Reid began Wednesday's media availability with a salute to United States veterans.

"Just a shout-out to the veterans and all that they mean to us and our country," Reid said. "We have the opportunity to do this because of what they've done in their service."

Reid expanded on Kansas City's last meeting with the Broncos on September 17, when the Chiefs lost 31-24.

"I thought they were pretty good [the first time we played them]," he elaborated. "The obvious is you have to take care of things in the red zone, eliminate turnovers. If you have opportunities to create turnovers, you have to take those, and penalties were a factor. You're playing against a good football team—those things add up on you.

"You have to play four quarters of football. We didn't finish the game. They won the game, bottom line. Can't do anything about that right now—that's in the record books—but we can get ourselves ready for this one."

On Monday, the Chiefs announced defensive back Saalim Hakim had been elevated from the practice squad to the 53-man roster.

"He's gotten close to 300 snaps as a special teams player, so we've had an opportunity to go back and look at his tape," Reid explained. "We think he can help us in a couple spots there, so that's primarily where he would help out. He's been playing a little corner for us and he's helped us at scout team wide receiver. Most of his background is special teams and wide receiver.

"He's had a little bit of return experience, so we'll see where he fits in. There's a chance we put him up, but we're just going to play it by ear and see how he does on special teams."

After recently finding success with the front five, Reid discussed how offensive lineman Laurent Duvernay-Tardif has contributed to protecting the signal caller all while earning his medical degree.

"Larry's done a nice job for us," Reid said. "He's still learning, but he's making improvement every week. Sometimes you can take that step back and take a little bigger step forward. I think he's done that to this point. Again, this will be a great test for him and for all of the offensive linemen this week. I think they're looking forward to that opportunity.

"He's a smart guy. I keep reminding his coach that someday he might be doing surgery on you so you better keep it right."

Reid's receiving corps boasts a deep tight end position with Travis Kelce, James O'Shaughnessy and Brian Parker. In London, Parker saw his first playing time with the Chiefs in a 45-10 win against the Detroit Lions.

"Brian is probably a little bit better in-line blocker, maybe not quite as good of a receiver but a good in-line blocker," Reid said. "I thought we needed that at that moment and we'll see about this week. I thought he did a nice job.

"I like where O'Shaughnessy is going, and again, sometimes you can take a little step back to step forward. I don't think he's quite as physically strong as what Brian is right now, but I think James has a bright future. We're lucky to have both of those guys."

Currently on a two-game winning streak, Reid also delved into how he believes "success is measured by each week."

"The last couple of weeks, we've played pretty good football," Reid said. "From the second half of the Minnesota game on, I thought we've played some good football. Do we have plenty of room to improve? Absolutely. The sky's the limit there. We have to keep working and that's where we're at right now."

Quarterback Alex Smith

Smith commented on what a rematch with the Denver Broncos means to this team after suffering a loss in Week 2.

"In every close battle we've been in with these guys these last few years, they've come out on the right hand," Smith said. "We'll get another opportunity here at their place. Looking back at the film I felt like we did some really good things like moving the ball and having some production versus them. We have to fix our mistakes and the turnovers. When you have that many turnovers it's tough to win.

"This is a new challenge and a new opportunity for us and I think a lot of us are looking at it like that a-lot-at-stake division game. These games just get bigger and bigger as the season goes on."

The Chiefs look to Sunday's game to continue their winning streak and the division rivalry with Denver.

"I don't know if there's room for any extra [motivation]," Smith explained. "It's a division game and these division games are huge. With where we're at, we kind of dug ourselves a hole and it's even bigger for us.

"We all understand that this is huge. These guys have been the division champs the last few years and they're very, very, very good."

Smith also talked about his strategy for Sunday when the Chiefs offense takes on the National Football League's No. 1 defense.

"I just have to be on it," Smith said. "I think all of the little things—the details, the execution, the timing of the passing game—all of those little things get kind of blown up and you have to be on them if you want to go out and execute against a good defense."

"There's not many weaknesses on that side of the ball. They're very good up front, they get after the passer and they're physical at the linebacker level and really good on the back end. And they're all playing together—you can see that. They're a physical group, they play hard and you have to match that intensity."

Running back Charcandrick West

After his recent success, West gave credit to one of his mentors, eight-year veteran Jamaal Charles, who suffered a torn ACL in Week 5 against the Chicago Bears.

"I messed up on something one day and [Charles] said, 'Come here, let me talk to you,'" West remembered. "He pulled me to the side and just guided me in the right direction.

"He's the main reason that I'm having the little success that I'm having right now. Being around a great person like that makes you want to be great."

While Charles is sidelined, West believes his effort and determination are a tribute to a mentor and friend.

"I can just keep going out there and doing things that he would do, play like he would play," West said. "As a running back, we play for each other, so I'll just keep doing the things I'm doing.

"I feel like I'm honoring him."

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