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25 Things We Learned Wednesday From Andy Reid and Alex Smith

Andy Reid, Alex Smith and Rakeem Nunez-Roches spoke to the media Wednesday

Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid


OPENING STATEMENT: **"As far as practice goes, Bennie Logan won't practice today, he's got the knee contusion and he'll be held out. Look forward to the privilege of playing the Philadelphia Eagles. We know they're well coached, they've got good players – our guys are in their first step of our preparation today and will continue to do it throughout the week. We know we're playing a good football team."

Q:New England changed their field surface this week after the game – a lot of people think its sour grapes, they lost a game, they're saying its player safety. Eric Berry got hurt, was that a bad field?

REID:"You might be better off asking the players. I didn't hear anything about that, so I can't answer that too well for you. I haven't heard anything from our players."

Q: They thought it was too soft. (Julian) Edelman got hurt on a non-contact and Eric Berry.

REID: "They know something. I wouldn't say its sour grapes. If they aren't happy with it, they aren't happy with it."

Q: When you watch the Eagles on tape, how does 91 (Fletcher Cox) set the tone up there defensively?

REID: "(Fletcher) Cox is a very good football player, he's their defensive tackle. They move him all around. That front is good. That's really a big strength of their defense is that front four and those linebackers, they put a lot of pressure on the quarterback – they've done it now for a couple years. I think they feel comfort in that part and the things that they do up front. But 91, it starts with 91, he's a good football player."

Q: For you early in the season versus teams you've seen a little bit, as far as preparation goes, does it get easier for you when you've got a little take on these guys getting further into the season over the years?

REID: "Yeah, you get a little further into the season then you at least know what direction people are going normally. At least for the base part of it. But guys are always creating at this level. They're always adding new stuff, new wrinkles in so you've always got to be on your A game. Early in the season you know they're coming off a six month hiatus where there's a lot of studying going on and probably more apt to get new stuff now then you are later, by volume at least.

Q: Like last year, how similar did you think what the Eagles were doing is similar to what Doug (Pederson) was doing here in Kansas City?

REID: "Very similar, it was very similar to the things. They have a little bit of influx of the old San Diego staff in there so you're getting a little bit of that. But for the most part it's what we do here, same type of thing. The base part of it."

Q: As it relates to the QB position, do you have a process like at the end of last year where you look and say hey this is working, but it needs to get better? What types of things did you want to change this year, what is your personal process like?

REID:"That's a pretty important position, I've said this right from the get go, it's not any different. And Alex (Smith) knows, he's not getting any younger in this business. So you always want to stay up on that position, whether he plays today or he plays five years from now, 10 years from now. You want to make sure that position is solid at this level. So if you have an opportunity to go up and get one, especially where we finished, you take that chance of doing that. That's kind of how I feel as you go in. The process is if you like one there then you go get it, I learned that from Ron Wolf a long time ago about (Matt) Hasselbeck. He sent me out looking at 12 different guys and he said find one. So we found one and drafted him up there higher than I thought he would but he says if you've got one you go get him. It seemed to work pretty good for him."

Q:Do you want Alex (Smith) to do different things this year? Did you have a process where you thought 'I want Alex to do some different things this year'?

REID: "Not necessarily. I just want Alex to be Alex, that's all. We've added stuff, which we do every year. The more he's been in it the more input he's had. We feel very comfortable with his suggestions on things. It's not a problem. I think that's all part of the relationship and having trust in each other. There are certain things that he likes and we know he likes and we make sure that they are in there for him. But no, I just want him to be him that's the main thing. I don't want him to look anywhere other than getting ready for the game, whatever game it is, get ready for it and then be yourself. That's plenty good."

Q:Have you talked at all with Brett (Veach) about the possibility of him scouting who's available in the safety market after the injury to (Eric) Berry?

REID: "Brett does all that. That's what they do. They get in and look at it. To answer your question, yeah, they've looked at all that."

Q:Tyreek's (Hill) familiarity in the offense, and you mentioned last week how he came to you and said 'Hey I think this route's open' is that something that he would've done last year as a rookie?

REID: "No probably not. Again, he feels comfortable speaking up and he's a smart kid. I've said that from the time he got here, innately he's a smart kid, very good football intelligence. When they see something I want them to tell me. Let me know. That doesn't mean I want to be rushed with 11 guys at the same time with 11 different angles, but if you see something. You know on tape who's going to tell you what and when, but we have a lot of trust in him."

Q:Watching the Eagles offense and looking at what they're trying to do with Carson Wentz do you see a little bit of Alex in him?

REID: "They all put their own stamp on it. I guess there's a little bit of everybody in each person that does this offense, but they all put their own mark on the offense. It looks like he's off to a great start. He's a pretty talented kid. I think they made a great move by taking him and he's coming off of a good game against Washington. He made a couple plays that were phenomenal."

Q:You've had success in your career going up against guys who have worked for you in the past and not to make bigger anything about Sunday, but what's the key to not overthinking facing a guy who knows a lot about what you do offensively?

REID: "You're reminded every training camp that you better go do what you do. There's nobody you play more than your own defense and you go back and forth with them. You're going to have successful plays against your own defense. They're going to have successful plays against you, and they know it as well as anybody. I'm not into changing a whole lot of things. Let's go play and may the best man win type of thing."



Q: **With Doug Pederson there, do you feel like he can prepare for you guys better or you can prepare for them better?

SMITH:"I think when you know each other this well, and you are that familiar with each other, it's hard. A lot gets made of that. Who is making what changes, are you trying to counter their changes, what if they do this, what if they do that, you can talk yourselves in circles a little bit. In the end, I think it is going to come down to who can execute out there. For us on offense, we are getting ready to play that defense. We aren't playing Doug or the offense. For our defense there is probably a little bit more carry over. I am not sure even how much they have shown on film and how much they are the same as us, it's hard to say. For us, offensively, trying to get ready for that defense, which there isn't a ton of familiarity with."

Q:How much does 91 (Fletcher Cox) stand out?

SMITH:"Yeah, good player. The whole D-line jumps out. The whole front, the linebackers, really good players as well. They are fast. Secondary, everything is coordinated. Safeties, lots of veteran guys that play fast and disguise well. They are a good test. Certainly, that D-line makes everything speed up."

Q:Do you allow yourself to enjoy the AFC offensive player of the week?

SMITH:"I mean, finding it out today when Coach told us this morning—if it had been a couple days ago, maybe. You have some time to relax. Today, it is certainly nice, but I feel like preparation has already begun on the Eagles."

Q:Why does it have to be that way for you?

SMITH:"I mean, it's not that you don't. I think if you play long enough, you realize how quick things can change. One week everyone is raving about you, and the next week it can flip if you drink the Kool-Aid."

Q: Has that happened to you before?

SMITH:"If you play long enough, I have certainly seen teams where they play really good and feel so good about themselves, then they walk into the next week and get smacked in the mouth. I've definitely seen it."

Q:Can something like the number of penalties keep you grounded?

SMITH:"Yeah, and certainly mistakes beyond that. Yeah, I think all this stuff is stuff that I think we are capable of playing better and that we had a lot of self-inflicted mistakes. Penalties being a part of that. Especially crucial ones."

Q:Do you think that was your best game as quarterback for the Chiefs?

SMITH:"I know statistically, and stats are really popular and people look into that stuff, maybe so. There are a lot of games where your QB rating you walk out of isn't that great but maybe you played an opponent that really was dialed in that week and presented a bigger challenge and you played great. You played lights out, but your numbers didn't necessarily match it and you did everything you could to help the team win. If you just look at the stat line, maybe so, but I think there is a lot more to it."

Q:Did you feel like you played well against that Patriots?

SMITH:"I felt like this last week, not just myself but offensively, in crucial situations we executed well. And that was the difference. I thought that made the difference last Thursday. And that is a lot to playing quarterback. The big moments: third down, redzone, two-minutes, all those situations, you have to be good and they change games."

Q:What do you and your offensive line have to do to adjust to the Eagles defensive line?

SMITH:"It's everybody. Those guys get a lot of attention up front because they are matched up with a good front. But everybody in the passing unit has to be on it. Timing becomes so important. You have to be good with the ball in the pocket because these guys are great at making the ball get out. Really everybody, not just the guys up front, but we have to be smart and execute well."

Q:It looked like the protection on a lot of those plays was really good.

SMITH:"Oh, awesome. No question. A lot of those plays, especially the one to Kareem down the middle, we are asking a lot of our offensive line and to give that kind of time to let the play develop, a play that does take a little time, it was big. All that stuff starts with those guys up front. They don't always get all the credit but, certainly, it is where it all begins for us."

Q:How impressed were you with Kareem Hunt and bouncing back from that fumble?

SMITH:"For a young player, it is hard to overcome those things sometimes. Mentally, you can get down on yourself. You build it up so much. I thought just coming right back to him on the next play and getting him going really said a lot about him mentally to be able to overcome that. As a young player, you have a lot of expectations on yourself, and when it doesn't go well it is easy to get down on yourself and get out of that."

Q:Did Kareem and Tyreek give each other a hard time when they found out they were the fastest players last week?

SMITH:"I just found that out not too long ago. I was surprised to see that Kareem was actually the fastest. So no, I haven't heard that. I don't know of anything, but when we come out today we will see what happens."

Q:What do you expect the atmosphere at Arrowhead to be like as you come back this week?

SMITH:"Home opener, I am pumped. Arrowhead is such a special place. Our fans are so special and so unique. I am excited to get back here with home field advantage and here them cranked up for our defense. So I am excited about that definitely."


Q:How do you treat this now, something to build off of or something to forget about, it happened we move onto the next one?

NUNEZ-ROCHES: "Of course you don't want to play it down, it is the Patriots but you don't want to make too big of a deal with it because it is the first game. It's great having that under our belt but you've got to have a short memory. Don't let it ride you too high but don't let it knock you too down. We'll be taking that stride."

Q: From a defensive line perspective, how different is it preparing for someone like Tom Brady versus a guy who was just a rookie a year ago like Carson (Wentz)?

NUNEZ-ROCHES: "It's a big change. I mean Tom Brady, he's a legend but he sits in the pocket. But (Carson) Wentz, he can move. He's great. I give him credit, he can move. He has a lot of pocket awareness, so it's going to be a challenge keeping him closed in."

Q: Doug Pederson was here, and you're probably going to see some things that are familiar with your own system. Is that advantageous or is that a challenge?

NUNEZ-ROCHES: "It goes hand in hand. It's nothing that we haven't seen but they're also a great unit so we've got to go out there and execute. But we're doing it for Big Red – that's where he came from so it's also a chip for Nacho."

Q: What do you know about this Philadelphia offensive line? Where are some of the weaknesses that you can exploit?

NUNEZ-ROCHES: "Interior wise, that's what we do best. But all around they're pretty good. I'm not going to lie. Their tackles are great guys, they're strong, they can move, they're agile. No. 71 (Jason Peters) in particular. But the guards, the center (Jason Kelce) there is small but he also learns how to use his body and his mind. You can't just say he's small and we're going to take advantage of that because he's pretty good."

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