Andy Reid Press Conference 10/01

Head Coach Andy Reid speaks to the media before practice

OPENING STATEMENT: "Alright, really the only injuries I have for you, Donnie Avery has an abductor strain, a groin strain, Eric Berry, they won't practice.  They won't practice today. Jamaal (Charles) was the AFC Offensive Player of the Week and we congratulate him for that. It's good to have him back in the mix most of all and then for him to do as well as he did, that's why he's a great player and then,  just a quick shout out before we get going here for the Royals. What a great game last night and they get to advance here against the Angels. It's great for the city. We look forward to the challenge of playing the 49ers. We have the opportunity to go out there and play. Our guys are busy at it getting ready and preparing themselves for a good football team. The time's yours with that."

Q: How do you plan on working Donald Stephenson in the mix? Will he be your starting right tackle?

REID: "Not right now, no. He's just going to get himself back into the swing of things. He'll rotate in there during practice, hadn't done any football for a month. We'll let him kind of get acclimated here again."

Q: How did the team get so much better in so little time?

REID: "Listen I think the guys, coaches and players, stepped up their game a bit. Did a nice job with that. The important thing is that you're only as good as your last game or the game that you're fixing to play. You've got to make sure you are focused in on that and what happened Monday doesn't matter when you're playing the 49ers. We've got to make sure we get ourselves ready and prepared for that, understand the process that it takes to get and play a game in the National Football League."

Q: Was it a difference in effort in that Titans game compared to the rest of the weeks?

REID: "I didn't think it was effort. I thought the guys played hard. I just think we've done a little better from a coaching standpoint. I've mentioned to you before that I know from a personal standpoint, I wasn't very good in the first game doing my job and so I think everybody took accountability for that. We're trying to do better as we move forward here."

Q: Is reps or practice time an issue? Are more things installed? How much more do you have when the team is up and running compared to week one?

REID: "No. It's all the same. It's all the same."

Q: Every season's team is different from the last one before.  With this group, you've mentioned every week that you need balance on your offense. Why is this year maybe more than others?

REID: "I think every team has a different personality. I've always been a balanced guy. I always have been right around 60/40 and that area maybe a little higher 60 than the 40, but somewhere in that area and it's all about match ups, it's all about keeping people off balance, doesn't matter if you're an offensive coach, defensive coach. That's what you're trying to do. You spend a lot of time on each phase of your game as players and as coaches. I just think it's all about the balance part, you know, keeping people off balance."

Q: You guys have a lot in your toolbox with running backs, tight ends. Has that lead to more opportunity offensively?

REID: "Listen, we've got some good players. Everybody's had an opportunity to play and contribute. When you're using six or seven receivers in there, they're all having an opportunity to be a part in it. Everybody feels accountable, the coaches, the players feel accountable for their job and making sure that they do it like professionals."

Q: Going back to the offensive line, when they're playing as good as they did, is it tempting to not tinker with things with a new guy coming back?

REID: "Right now that's kind of what we're doing. (Ryan) Harris is the guy right now and he's playing and Donald (Stephenson) get himself back into football shape. We'll just see how it goes. You need everybody. You need all the players as you go on and you want to make sure they're all ready to play and ready to go."

Q: Last year, passes seemed to be going over the secondary's head way more than this year. You guys have barely given up a play over 20 yards. What is the biggest difference this year?

REID: "Shhhh… We've talked about this. In this league, big plays add up on you. You want to minimize the big plays against you and try to maximize plays from the offensive side and I think our secondary has done a nice job with that to this point. That's important that we stay on top of that. That's an important step there."

Q: Is there a sense that you might have found something in Ron Parker playing one high? How has he done so far stepping in, as far as seeing things in front of him?

REID: "He's done a nice job. He's getting better every week. He does so many things for us, he's also a good special teams player, that was kind of where he started. Then he played corner for us, started there. He's had an opportunity to play inside, nickel position and he's played safety now. I think when you talk about 'football smarts,' he has 'football smarts.' He understands the game. But again, he just has to keep getting better. The more he plays the better he'll get. He'll tell you that he has plenty of room to improve."

Q: Is anything about how your offense has evolved at this point, quarter way through the season, surprised you at all?

REID: "No, I always tell you it starts with the O-line. Then Alex has done a nice job at making sure he is like a coach on the field, managing the whole thing. Collectively, we all know we have a ton of room to improve. So that's how we are going about our business everyday as coaches and players. Guys are getting to know each other and coming together a little bit."

Q: Injuries might have forced this a little bit, but did you anticipate Knile Davis' role evolving to this point?

REID: "Yeah, we did. We expected him to be able to step in and do some things. That's kind of how we went about our OTAs and training camp was rotating him in and making sure that he felt a part of it and comfortable in there with some of the schemes we're doing."

Q: I know you had high hopes for your tight ends but are you getting more from them at least in the passing game?

REID: "Well you didn't know, you thought you knew but you didn't know until you saw some of the results about (Travis) Kelce and D (Demetrius Harris), I mean he's playing good football. Again, they've got room to improve. I feel like these are end of the season questions, I'm having a hard time with it because we have so much room here to get better and we are right in the grinder of it. So that's what we are trying to do, we're nowhere near where we need to be."

Q: What challenges does the 49ers front seven of their defense present?

REID: "So their front seven is a tough unit. Big physical guys, the linebackers can run. I would say that their defense is one of the top defenses out there right now. So we need to make sure we prepare for a good bunch of players there and that's what we'll do. We'll study them and make sure we know them and then get ourselves right."

Q: Alex is a pretty competitive guy, what is the key for him to not get too caught up in his return home? Because he's going to get asked that, that's going to be the big thing going on. Because you went back to Philly, what would be your advice to him?

REID: "What I did, I just ordered a cheesesteak and then went and coached. You focus in on what you do. All the distractions, going home and all that – it doesn't mean anything. You're there to play the game and once you've said hi to your buddies it's over. You're playing the game, that's what you're doing. You've got to prepare and you've got to go through all the steps here on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday. That's what it is, everything else is kind of fluff. Everybody talks about it but that's not what's real. The real is you get in the grind and get yourself ready to play a game."

Q:  I know you weren't thrilled with clock management at the end of the half, you say there are a lot of things you can work on to get better. Is there a procedure, did you talk about that? How do you get better at that?

REID: "I don't know, well you saw the protection; it was a two man route, everybody is supposed to be in the end zone but it didn't work out that way. But that play is set up so you max protect, that ball is either in the end zone or thrown away. Then if you don't score you kick a field goal and win. And that came down to inches there, but still we need to be better. We need to be in the end zone, there's no excuse for it.  That's what we need to do."

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