OPENING STATEMENT:"We talked to you about Alex (Smith) and his situation and then Phillip Gaines we'll also list as out. He's got something going on with his inner ear there, equilibrium and so on from a previous illness or whatever. So they're working with that right now. He practiced, did the scout team and just not quite ready. Look forward to the challenge of the Chargers. The guys had a good week of practice, good to get them back in here today. They had yesterday off. They worked well and got after it. Time's yours."
Q: Can you talk about the process of having to change quarterbacks kind of late in the practice week.
REID:"Yeah that's where you're fortunate you have Chase (Daniel) here and the guys have a lot of trust in Chase. He'll have an opportunity to get out there and play. Our heart goes out to Alex (Smith). This isn't something that he wanted to happen for sure. He wanted to be there, but again, Chase, the guys know Chase and they're confident in him."
Q: The fact that you went into last year in a similar manner under different circumstances at the end of the year, does that make this any easier?
REID:"Yeah that's kind of weird that it's the same team. That's crazy, but it can't hurt, right? That's a good thing."
Q: When did you first get the inkling that something was major with him?
REID:"Yeah were you here for Rick's (Burkholder)?
Q: No I wasn't here.
REID:"They'll get you that. They found out yesterday. That was kind of the thing. They've got a whole statement for you there to save me all those words."
Q: You mentioned Alex and Phillip Gaines. Are you expecting everyone else to be available?
REID:"Yeah everybody else should be ready to roll. Yeah."
Q: Attitude wise as a team you want to rally around a backup quarterback and all that stuff. Did you get a sense that it was any different for the team today with that rallying type point?
REID:"No I mean they went about their business. It's what they do and like I said, they all have confidence in Chase and there wasn't any let down in practice or anything, went and did their thing and they always practice fast and with good energy and that's how they did it today."
Q: How did Dwayne Bowe do today?
REID:"Dwayne did good, yeah."
Q: He did everything?
REID:"He did everything, yeah. He practiced today so yeah."
Q: Do you have to adjust the game plan at all for Chase as opposed to Alex?
REID:"No. No, we'll just keep it the same. There's nothing that you have to do anything different. He's got a good grasp on everything. A very smart guy, studies like crazy in case something like this happens. That's what he's doing."
Q: How important is Chase and Alex's relationship for something like this to happen?
REID:"That's a good question. They've got a great relationship, always challenging each other in a positive way. They have a lot of trust in each other throughout games and meetings and practice. They always check their ego and they feed off each other which is a very positive thing in their relationship and the room."
Q: This is the second big loss or blow that you've lost a key member of this team.
REID:"Yeah. First of all the guys don't approach it that way. They feel bad for Alex, but at the same time they go 'hey next man up, let's go' and they don't really flinch with that kind of stuff. It's a unique group that way. They're mentally tough that way."
Q: Having that experience of starting against San Diego last year, does that help you at all now?
DANIEL:"I think so. I mean, it's pretty much the same team, some personnel changes. But to have a start under your belt and knowing the way to prepare, going back through that game, I actually watched it a couple weeks ago and just fine tuning some stuff. It's been fun, it'll be fun this week. We are excited to go out there and play our tails off against a good San Diego team."
Q: Alex (Smith) said earlier that his biggest regret was that he cost you two days of practice. Did he mention that to you?
Q: How much smoother would that have made it for you to have those two days?
DANIEL:"Not much. You want as many reps as you can possibly get but like I said before, I've worked my entire career being the number two and preparing day in and day out like I'm going to be the starter. You're one play away and unfortunately you don't want these circumstances. Thank goodness Alex is ok, but this is a chance. This is a chance that you have to be ready for. I know the team believes in me and we will go out there and try to put drives together against a good San Diego defense."
Q: Talk about when Alex called you last night.
DANIEL:"I called him after Coach Reid called me. I wanted first and foremost to see if he was alright, how he was doing. He had mentioned some stuff earlier in the week, we had been talking. He was like, 'hey man my gut hurts I don't know if its bubble guts or what's wrong'. I told him, 'hey man just go check it out, check it out'. He sort of put it off a little bit and went in last night, I guess, last night and found out. First and foremost, as a friend – that's a scary deal. Your spleen laceration can bleed out, possibly. We don't want that at all. Luckily we found it and he's going to be alright, six weeks to heal. We are excited about it. Alex and I have a great relationship. We even chatted a little bit about the game plan last night, even on Christmas. He's here to help me all the way."
Q: Last year you wanted to win the game but the stakes weren't as high.
DANIEL:"Yeah, I mean I don't see it like that, I see it as every game that you possibly can play and play in the NFL, is a big game. For us, we have to take care of business. We can't worry about anything else but the San Diego Chargers. They are preparing the same way. Quite honestly I wouldn't rather have it any other way to be put in a situation than to go out there with everything on the line. You have to win to get in and obviously we need some help but what we are focused on is winning the game."
Q:They are in the same spot they were last year, they needed to win the game to get in, they are a win and in team, just give us a scouting report on them and what you have seen the last few weeks?* *
DANIEL:"They have been playing really well. One thing you know with this crew is you can never really think the game is over with Philip Rivers. I mean he is one of the better quarterbacks in the league at coming from behind, staying in the game. With that type of quarterback they are always in the game, so we have to try to keep out foot on the pedal a little bit, get as much going on the offensive side of the football as we possibly can and just know that hey, we have to play 60 minutes of pure football."
Q:You've been a backup your whole career, and you have talked about preparing like you want to be a starter every week, and you get the chance to do it this week. Does this game mean anything more for you personally for what it could mean for your future or anything like that, or do you try to block that out?
DANIEL:"What this means for me is that is the next game up on our schedule and we have to win to even have a shot at the playoffs."
Q:What did you learn last year from that start that you think will help you maybe be a little more settled or is there anything you can take from that game?
*DANIEL: *"I think a little bit more settled for sure, knowing what to expect a little bit. As far as just playing time goes and how it goes onto the field, how you go into a real rhythm. That's what I am most excited about, is going out there playing a full game, getting into a little bit of a rhythm, getting the calls in and out. We have a sharp game plan this week, we are excited about it and it was great to get out here on Friday and really go over the entire game plan. Its already been in so to come out here and just execute a little bit of short yardage, a little bit of goal line, a little red zone, third down, nickel pass, everything was thrown in today so it's a good review for me."
Q:Were you pretty nervous last year? Do you remember how you felt before that one?
*DANIEL: *"I was excited, wasn't nervous."
Q:Do you expect to feel excited again or do you think there will be a few more nerves.
Q:Last year you didn't have everyone else either; you didn't have a skeleton crew but you didn't have all the starters. Is it a little different this time around with everyone else? DANIEL:"I just think it is different because it's a new year, it's a brand new team, and you know we have something to play for."