Andy Reid and Chiefs' Players React to Win Over Redskins

Andy Reid, Alex Smith, Derrick Johnson, Zach Fulton, Tyreek Hill, Chris Jones, Marcus Peters, Travis Kelce, Harrison Butker, Kareem Hunt and Albert Wilson spoke to the media Monday

CHIEFS HEAD COACH ANDY REID

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Opening Statement: **"Really as far as the injuries go the only one is Larry (Laurent Duvernay-Tardif), he strained his knee. We'll do all of the tests tomorrow and see exactly where he's at. Appreciated the crowd and the great job that they did. It was a tough venue for the Redskins coming in. Jay's (Gruden) done a heck of a job with that team. He's really got a good football team and we knew that coming into it and it proved out that way. Our hearts and prayers go out to the people in Las Vegas for what they're going through right now. That's a tough deal and it kind of overrides the football part of it, but we were thinking about you today before the game for sure. By the way Salvador Perez being here too, with the Royals, it was great to see him bang the drum. I thought we played good physical football. That's a physical team, our guys stepped up and did a heck of a job with that. Albert (Wilson) is our unsung hero here, along with Buttkicker.com (Harrison Butker) did a nice job. He did a nice job I'll tell ya, welcome to Kansas City. Harrison was sharp. Anyways, Albert had those two big plays, the one that bounced off (Travis) Kelce and the one down the stretch and he's done nothing but do that here. Alex (Smith) was sharp, 27-of-37. We did better on third downs which we needed to do. I thought our defense was solid the whole day. They had a couple big ones on them and they never flinched at all. They just kept bringing it and bringing it. I think overall if you just had to sum it up I think everyone just kind of settled down and played. I thought we came out the fans were unbelievable, our guys were feeding off of that, but they maybe took it up one notch too far and we weren't executing as well as we should. Then everything just kind of settled down as the game went on and the guys kept battling. What a heck of a game. A tribute to the National Football League and what they're trying to do with giving each city an opportunity to be successful. This was a heck of a show tonight."

Were you confident sending Butker out for the game winning field goal?"I was confident because he was confident. I talked to him after the first miss and he goes, 'I got it. I got it. I was off by a tad'. He kind of gives you that feeling that everything's okay and he's a 'Ramblin' Wreck from Georgia Tech', tough kid. He did good."

You mentioned having the people of Las Vegas on your mind during the day. Was it difficult to step aside from that and focus on football tonight?"You know what you have to do, but at the same time you're heart goes out for these people. For one crazy person doing what he did it's ridiculous. It happened and there are a lot of people that are having to deal with this and it's a sad deal. We're better than that as a country. We've got a lot of great people and it's sad that one guy has an opportunity to overshadow it for a day."

There was time where we wouldn't have been able to say we've seen drives like that from Alex when you first got him. What kind of growth have you seen in him to allow him to be able to have some of these drives when it really matters?"Alex never says anything, everybody else says everything. He just keeps doing good and doesn't worry about all of that, he's a seasoned veteran. I've told you before I love having this guy. He's everything you want as a coach and comes to work every day, he's the first one in and the last one out. All of these things that you're supposed to do he does. This is what we see every day. This is what we have confidence in, players, coaches, we all have confidence that he does this. Whatever happened before he got here happened and he doesn't worry about, we don't worry about it, we just move on."

In the first half the Redskins defensive line was really having their way. What did you adjust in the second half?"I thought our mesh points got better. They were creating seams in there and it happened a little bit last week too. Our guys just kind of settled down and started working better together. You're doing all of that stuff with games or blitzes, you have to take care of those things. I thought we just did a better job of protecting each other out there and working together."

There were some more big runs by Kareem Hunt in the second half."I probably should have mentioned him, he went over 100 yards. Big yards down the stretch. He's doing well and he's keeping a level head about it which it important. He's a young guy and he's getting a lot of accolades. He got a ton of them last week and he came out and played hard-nosed football. Even though a lot of guys would have came out the second half and rushed everything coming out because there wasn't a lot of room in that first half, but he didn't do that. He stayed patient, hit the holes, did a nice job."

Washington was getting after you guys pretty good in the passing game the first half with four sacks. What were you guys able to do with the protection in the second half?"I thought our guys worked well together getting rid of seams, I'm talking about the O-Line."

Marcus (Peters) didn't have a great night, gave up a couple of touchdowns. How is he doing keeping his head right and letting those plays go?"This kid loves to play the game. He loves to challenge. You're going to have a night like this every once in a while when you give up some, but he made some too. He never blinks, he doesn't flinch on it he keeps coming. He's competitive that's what I can tell you. I'm there to look for the good and then help curb the part that needs to be curbed. I don't want to ever take away that competitiveness. The other guys around him feel it. They know he's all in 110%."

What role did Travis play when you guys were finally starting to get some rhythm in the second half?"I thought he had a big night in a lot of ways. He had a big night catching the football and running after the catch. He had a couple where I thought they were all over him and it was in that tweener area where he probably could have gotten a call on it and it didn't work out. He didn't get frustrated and do anything there. He just hung with it and kept competing and did a nice job."

I know this isn't the thing that drives you but did you know that touchdown at the end covered the spread for the Chiefs and these are things people talk about and think about?"Am I safe going home? That's all I care about. I don't even know all of that stuff. I just want to make sure I can get home that's all."

How much does it help Alex to have a running back (Kareem Hunt) give him this kind of production so early in his career?"Every quarterback will tell you that I think, that you love that part. Everybody does, the offensive line, the wide receivers, it's just another dimension of the game that the defense has to try to stop. I'll tell you yes he likes it. It helps everybody. It helps all of us."

With the back-and-forth in this game and the way that you guys were challenged and the way it ended, how can you guys use this game as a learning experience to help you guys moving forward?"We have a huge game coming up here. This is a short week and we have to get ourselves ready to get ready to play a very strong Texans team down there. But the guys know, if they didn't know which I think they did realize this, everybody's got to battle until the end and nobody's giving up. You saw Justin Houston come out and he was gassed. They were doing a pretty good job of grabbing and holding on to him and he worked through it, took a blow real quick and got himself back out. He fought to get himself back out there and just kind of take it to that next level, reached down just a little bit deeper. That's why there are team leaders. That's contagious in games like this. With the parity in the league you're going to have a few games like this, that's how it goes. You're going to have be able to go down there where you don't necessarily want to go, but you find a way to do it."

QB ALEX SMITH

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First few years here you struggled putting together a game-winning drive, what's different this year? **"Wish I had a concrete answer for you. We practice a lot at situational football. So many games in the NFL come down to a score and you're on one side of it. On offense, sometimes you have a drive to finish off a game and sometimes you've got to go get the points to win one. We've spent a lot of time in all those situations practicing them. So I think time on task is the biggest thing, we've spent a lot of time working on that stuff. I think the results have paid off for us thus far."

You have 50 seconds, tie game, what's your mindset? "It's a fine line with the field position. Any critical error there you flip the game -- it's tied -- all of a sudden a critical error and they've got points. You have to be smart in that situation, pick your spots. In any two-minute (drill) you're trying to get some momentum going, trying to get some positive yards. I knew we had a couple timeouts. Seeing if you can get the chunk here and there, but luckily we were able to get it there on the second play with the scramble. Albert (Wilson) made a heck of play reading that and then the catch."

A lot of calls were situational calls – on the throw to (Chris) Conley that set up the field goal, can you walk us through that? "Same thing there, the 'gotta have-its.' We go through that exercise every week, every single week about what we like and what we want. Every week they're different, different based on the matchup and different based on the tendencies. Felt good, we had a lot of options on that play. We knew we would be potentially getting pressured and they did, they brought everybody down and were bringing it. Two guys peeled on the back and I was able to hit Conley behind, which was really nice. There were a lot of viable options on that play, just kind of based on what the defense gave us. But with pressure that's certainly what I thought we were thinking."

Critics say that when you scramble you don't look down field – the play to Albert (Wilson), how did you decide to run or throw? "Same thing just trying to see it, make a good decision. Earlier I had a really similar scramble, I was coming up to the right and everybody was turning and running and I had backs to me and had a big run. I just try to play that game sometimes when I get out to the edge. Luckily I felt that time around I got some attention on me and Albert (Wilson) was able to hit the seam there. It's tough, there are a lot of times you look back on scrambles and guys are open, it's hard to see the whole field when you're moving fast and the game gets sped up a little bit on the edge. You just try to have your eyes up and make the best decision there, it's a little bit of a run-pass option."

They've got a good front, you guys have had some injuries – how chaotic was it in the pocket?"I thought our offensive line in the second half really settled down, especially with Larry (Laurent Duvernay-Tardif) out. I thought the first half we did some self-inflicted stuff. Got ourselves in some holes. But I thought the second half really just settled in, those guys played really well against a really good front. I thought we were able to mix it up, pass and a lot of different looks. I thought those guys really set the tone for us and guys going into the second half."

You got to show off some toughness tonight that we haven't seen a lot here in Kansas City – did your taking a beating in San Francisco help out tonight? "You don't always get opportunities to run the football. I get asked that a lot, why don't you run? Some games there's a bunch like this, and all of a sudden I find myself on the edge and that's the way the defense played us and I got a lot of good looks. And there's other weeks where there's none. I don't ever drop back looking to run. You just kind of play ball, your eyes downfield and things happen. I hope I've shown toughness all the time. I think there's a lot of ways to show toughness as a quarterback, it's not always overtly running the football and getting tackled. I think the biggest thing for a quarterback is that mental toughness of you're getting hit, and not letting that speed up your time clock. Not letting that affect you, being able to stand in there and still make throws. It's not as overt as running the ball and getting hit and things like that."

Andy (Reid) said the team had thought a lot about the people in Las Vegas – how did you focus tonight? "I think it's a little bit of the culture of this team. Talk a lot about the ability to focus, be in the moment. Everybody has distractions, there's distractions in all of our lives. From the 21-year-olds to the old guys on the team, they're all different. And then when you have something like this – a national tragedy – everybody has to deal with it. I think sometimes, the world gets crazy, it's nice to get back to football on the field. It's an escape for a lot of us, certainly as players and probably for fans as well. It's certainly something we talk a lot about as a culture, snap back in and sharpen your focus, be in the moment. Especially in big stages like this, big environments."

Started 9-0 your first year here. What's the level of confidence that this team has really changed since then with this start? "Tough to compare those. I think this team has been through way more as a whole, the core of this team has been through a lot, played on a lot of big stages and has much more experience. Then, we certainly were riding hot but we were a really young team, still kind under the radar. This is a little different this year."

Your kicker wasn't on this team a week ago. How much confidence do you have in him with the game on the line? "What a crazy job, right? You get these moments at the end of the game, just go win the game. I imagine a lot of anxiety and pressure. Part of the deal for those guys is to be able to handle that. Can they lock in and be in the moment? But a young kid, just got here and to be put in that situation to go kick a game winner. It was windy out there, they were calling timeouts, they were doing the icing thing and it wasn't a chip shot. Pumped. I'm not on special teams so you're just sitting over there hoping he makes the thing so but happy for him. To come back and get the opportunity there, the big one at the end of the game and to hit it, really happy for him."

LB DERRICK JOHNSON

What was the difference between the two halves?"We had to play better in the second half. We were not pleased with the play in the first half. Some of it was on us. Some of it was due to the Washington Redskins doing a great job. But we got stronger as the game went on. I am proud of the guys."

How big was the stop in the first quarter down at the goal line?"We don't like to give up seven. We will give up three, we can give up three all day. You will always be in the game. But at the same time, they did a great job with that first score of seven, but we were like, 'We cannot give up another seven points.' This is the ultimate team game. When we are struggling, the offense picks us up. When the offense is struggling, we have to pick it up."

How was it with the young kicker getting the game winning field goal?"You know what, a young guy. I think he is a rookie. He is a guy that showed a lot of strength. Very strong minded. First game, Monday night, big kick. We were loving up on him. We were proud of him."

OL ZACH FULTON

*How different was it with Jordan Devey in there? *"It wasn't that much to talk about. We just kept chipping away, kept doing our thing and executing our game plan."

Did you feel like you guys struggle at first when Larry (Duvernay-Tardif) went out?We struggled the first drive to begin with. But sometimes that is how the game goes. You can't let anyone get you down, you just have to keep going."

When you don't have cohesion, how hard is it to put together a good performance as an offensive line?"It is very hard. We are all interchangeable. We all hang out together off the field. That builds cohesion, and that translates on to the field."

WR TYREEK HILL

How does this team keep from getting down when you are losing?"We have a tremendous amount of leaders on this team. And they do a good job of being vocal in both huddles. I think once that translates inside, it helps a lot."

What was the difference in the first half and second half?"We came out and we were more aggressive. We came out and we did what we were supposed to do. That's what it takes to be the best in this league."

Washington had the answers in the first half, but you guys really picked it up on them:"Washington is a good team, don't get me wrong. But I feel like we are better and we had all the advantages and the keys. We just had to take advantage of them. We didn't in the first half so we just have to learn from it. Go back and watch film and learn from it."

DE CHRIS JONES

How would you describe that ball game tonight?"It was tough. We had to dig deep. It tested us to see what we were about. Defense played hard, offense came through and that was a good team right there. We were fortunate enough to pull it out."

Pass rush was slow going, was it just a good Washington front you were facing?"We came here and made adjustments. That is a good team and they have a good line. Dynamic quarterback who can run and pass the ball. We had to come in and make some adjustments. Britt Reid made some adjustments and we were able to get out there."

Was that something you were prepared for, Kirk Cousins legs?"Yeah, we knew he was a runner. Early in the game he started off as a pocket passer then he transitioned to running the ball and we had to adjust to that also."

Last 4-0 team, do you take pride in that?"That is not important right now. The most important thing is getting prepared for Sunday."

CB MARCUS PETERS

How did you feel about your play?"I played weak. I gave up two (touchdowns). I should have kept back pedaling on that first one, you feel me? But we came out with the win."

TE TRAVIS KELCE

Monday night football, can you just talk about?"I am just happy we got the win, man. It is awesome to come away, especially in a fourth quarter game like that. It feels like in just about every game we started off here is pretty close. To just see us finish, it is pretty unbelievable."

How does it feel to be undefeated through four weeks?"It is the NFL. It is 'Any given Sunday' for a reason. All these teams are scheming everybody up. It is a testament to this team, especially being 4-0, but the way we won. We handled adversity very well and showed out and got the fourth win today."

What were the conversations in the first quarter to shift this offense?"We knew we weren't playing our style of football. Especially offensively. We started off with a penalty. Had a couple missed blocks early that put us in some bad positions. It is just the accountability. It is looking at the guy next to you and knowing he is busting his tale all game just for the same outcome you are. It is just trusting that the guy next to you is doing his job."

K HARRISON BUTKER

*What were you thinking going into that last field goal? *"I knew they were going to ice me.  I went ahead and kicked the ball.  It went off my foot and went in, so I felt good going into the second kick.  I was just confident and it went through."

*Were you still confident after the first kick (after the timeout) moved a lot before going in? *"I just told myself to aim, right-middle.  I just hit it good.  I am glad it went through."

*How nervous were you for today's game? *"I wasn't really nervous. I had a good warmup.  I was excited about it.  After I missed the first kick I was dwelling on it a little too long but once it goes off of your shoulder, you have to forget about it.  I knew I was going to have another opportunity.  I wouldn't say nervous, I was really excited.  It was a fun environment to play in."

*Did you have butterflies in your stomach for the last kick? *"I didn't have butterflies.  I felt confident.  I knew Dustin Hopkins was going to make his kick.  I knew it was going to come down to a field goal.  I felt pretty calm. I wasn't excited.  I wasn't nervous.  I didn't have butterflies.  I hit the ball well."

*How long did it take you to figure out how to kick at Arrowhead with the wind blowing? *"There was wind.  There was wind in practice.  There was wind in the game.  I thought it was consistent, from warm up to the fourth quarter, I thought it was consistent wind.  It wasn't too difficult."

RB KAREEM HUNT

*How does this win feel? *"It was great.  Monday Night Football is still football.  There are a lot more people watching.  I just feel like it's just football.  You've got to go out there and play in between the lines."

*You started the game with only a couple of yards but ended up rushing for over 100, what changed? *"Up front, those guys stuck with it and kept on pushing.  I just got better as the game went on.  My reads got better and I just started running a little bit harder."

*How were you so successful running the ball in the second half? *"We just had to stick with it.  We didn't shy away from it.  The o-line, we had a big injury up front, early.  The guys kept on blocking their tails off all night.  I was able to hit some holes and follow guys like (Anthony) Sherman and other people." 

*Any thoughts as the game came down to a new kicker making a field goal? *"He has a leg so I wasn't too worried.  Just make it routine.  He had a rough start.  Honestly, I thought he was going to bounce back. Everybody did.  We didn't get down on him because he missed one field goal.  Everybody just stuck together and kept fighting for the win."

*You have 100 yards rushing in all of the first four games.  Is that meaningful to you? *"It is but winning is more meaningful.  Honestly, I could have 50 yards and as long as I win, I'm happy."

*Did you think you would have had this much success to start your career? *"I don't know.  I just like to win. That's the biggest thing.  If I have success, that's what it is but I just like helping my team win and doing whatever it takes."

WR ALBERT WILSON

*Comments on his last catch in the game: *"Scramble drill, we've been preaching it for a long time.  Alex does a great job of keeping the play alive. It was a scramble.  Prior to that, I felt like I was open on the sideline and that time, I just stayed with it.  He did a great job, I made a pretty good catch."

*Is there an art to when you break off your route and start running down field on scramble? *"The more you run it, the more you get together.  It is just a feel thing.  You just react off of what the defense gives you.  That's pretty much what I did."

*How tough was this game? *"It was a really tough game.  The Redskins are a great team.  They are doing a great job over there.  At the end of the day we stuck to what we knew, Kansas City football and at the end we pulled it out."

*Comments on new rookie kicker Harrison Butcher: *"Great introduction to Kansas City.  I'm glad to have him.  He is doing a great job since he's been here.  Great guy.  I'm glad to have him."

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