15 Things We Learned From Andy Reid on Tuesday

Reid spoke with the media at the NFL Annual meeting in Phoenix

Q:How do you feel about the league's rules during CBAs and OTAs? REID:"You see how the game is being played -- and it's still a pretty good game. I think what we've got is great teachers in this room and in the coaching profession. Not only as head coaches, but also as assistant coaches. Again, you're right, they're coming from a college level where they've got a restricted number of hours in which they can practice. Then you bring them to the NFL and we've got a restricted number of hours and days that we can practice. You better be on top of your game as far as teaching and that progression on how to get guys ready to play. There's no wasted time there."

Q:With college offenses these days, does it take longer to develop a rookie quarterback? REID:"Looking at the positive of it, kids are throwing the football more than they ever have. We used to have what I think is an excuse, but we used to say, 'The kid has got to learn how to throw the ball.' Now they know how to throw the ball, so we have some other challenges: defenses, learning the secondaries and the blitzes and all those other things. Those have been there for a few years, so it's really a matter of digging in. I don't think the challenges are any greater than what they were before. You've got to dig in and make sure they get themselves ready. I think the biggest spot is the offensive line if you want to talk about development. Those are the guys that probably get short-changed more than anybody."

Q:NFL Films is doing a piece on your coaching tree. What's it like to get to a place like the owner's meetings this week and see all the guys that have been a part of your career and coaching tree? REID:"It's neat to see. Very seldom in this business do you reflect. You just don't do that. And then to hear all of the old stories -- some of them go all the way back to Veterans Stadium and some of the stories that went on there: the cats, the rats, all that crazy stuff, and the beer flowing into your office after games. You kind of put that on hold until you retire. This was a time to reflect. There were a lot of funny stories, and I thought NFL Films did a good job with it in how they went about it."

Q:How would you evaluate how Spencer Ware played last year and stepping into that role again as a starter?

REID:"I'm a big Spencer Ware fan. I like him. Well, the kid's dirty tough. He's going to give you an honest down every snap. He's not real fancy – that's not his deal, but he can block, he can catch and he can run. So, there's a place for Spencer, and this was really his first year as a full-time halfback."

Q:When you bring in a player with as much success as Tyreek Hill, what are things that you have to do to make sure that player succeeds here?

REID:"So, I think you need to do the background. I thought John [Dorsey] did a good job with that. I've been in that position before with guys. This country gives you a second chance, if you handle yourself the right way. There's no room for errors for some of these situations. So, you have to do your homework, and make sure the kid is focused in on making sure he does the right thing. You're getting your second chance – there's not normally another chance after the first chance there."

Q:What advice would you give a team who is looking at Joe Mixon and looking to bring him in?

REID:"So, I'm not really into all of his [Joe Mixon] deal right now. I would just say that you have to do your homework. That's what we did with Tyreek [Hill], and it's worked out so far."

Q:Can you compare this roster to any other roster that you've had in the past, where it was this competitive? * *

REID:"Well, I think in Philadelphia we got to that point – probably during those championship years. We felt like we didn't have a lot of holes going into the draft, and we could kind of just take the best player. That's how I feel this year. We're picking 27th, and whatever is there, you just want to make sure it's the right guy and best player. Not every team could say they could go out and play right now and play half way decent. I think we're in a position where we could do that if we had to do it today without the draft. It's a tribute to our personnel guys."

Q: Is Alex Smith the guy that you are completely riding with to take you all to the next level or do you feel like you'll bring in a guy to challenge him?

REID:"No, I'm very comfortable with him. That doesn't mean that I don't challenge him with things, but he's a self-driven guy. He's the first one in and the last one out. I think everybody knows that he's in charge. I think he's just a good football player. Can he continue to get better? Absolutely. I think we just keep surrounding him with good players, and he keeps on going. I wish I had him as a rookie. I love him. I love how he goes about his business."

Q:When you have guys like Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill, how much does that allow you to open up the playing calling?

REID:"It's exciting. Tinker toys, man. It's fun to find ways to get the ball in their hands. It's a good thing."

Q:Going back to Oakland, you don't think the atmosphere of playing there, the locker room and the fans will be a loss for them moving to Las Vegas?

REID:"There is something special about Oakland. I'm not going to tell you different. The fans are passionate. You hate seeing the fans losing. I said that with the Chargers. You hate seeing San Diego lose the Chargers. There's just something about Oakland that makes them the Oakland Raiders, but I think the organization will continue to grow and will be the Oakland Raiders in Las Vegas.  I don't think that mystique and all that will change. That's what they've been built on."

Q:Speaking with Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, he mentioned that your mother went to McGill as well?

REID:"Yeah, my mom was a radiologist. She graduated from McGill. She went to medical school there. So, it was a train ride up there. At that time, it was one of the top medical schools in the world. I don't know where it is now, but I know it's right up there. They took women, and a lot of med schools back then didn't take women. I've never been to McGill. I've seen a lot of pictures and heard a lot of stories. Great place."

Q:He mentioned that the team was okay to allow him to miss the beginning of OTAs for medical school?

REID:"We're always talking about players and their life after football, which we encourage that you work on. So, if you're going to be a doctor, you're going to have to spend a little extra time doing that. Then, hopefully you're driven enough when you come back to the football that you catch up and get where you need to be in order to play."

Q:Going into year five, where do you feel like you guys are at and what do you feel like you need to get better at?

REID:"Well, we obviously need to take it up a notch. I thought we did a pretty good job of that this year. We were better than what we were the year before. I think consistency throughout the year, we could get better in those areas – both sides of the ball and special teams. We'll get an influx of new players here, so I think it's important that we get them on board and contribute – whatever area that they become contributors. I mean you could look at the stats and look at the areas that need work. I think just overall, we could do a better job – coaches and players."

Q:What does losing Dontari Poe mean?

REID:"Yeah, that had kind of been ongoing for a couple years. So, it didn't work out, but we love the kid – great kid. Atlanta got themselves a top notch kid. We feel very fortunate that we got Bennie Logan, so he'll step in and play. I've heard great things about him, and I thought we did a good job at picking him up."

Q:How much does that solidify your defense, signing Eric Berry?

REID:"Well, first of all, he [Eric Berry] was the leader – still is the leader. Not just because of the story, not because of the cancer, but because of the person. For whatever distractions he might have had, as far as the contract – I wish I could show everyone how to do that by his example – he had his best year ever this year. His challenge will be to continue to build on that. I think he can continue to get better. He's hitting the prime of his career. I think the sky is the limit for him."

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