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Andy Reid Press Conference 10/27

Andy Reid addresses the media after the Chiefs 34-7 victory over the Rams in week eight

OPENING STATEMENT:"Alright, as far as injuries go, (Jamell) Fleming has a hamstring strain, as does Josh Martin. Both of those happened yesterday. Chris Owens is making progress with his knee sprain but he wouldn't be ready to practice today if we practiced. Alex (Smith) actually has a shoulder sprain that happened in the game and he was able to obviously go through the game and everything worked out okay but a bit sore today, but should be fine. Donnie Avery is making progress again with a sports hernia injury. Eric Berry will continue to work as we get into this next week and is feeling good. I didn't mention this last night but should have: our fans were tremendous for the game. They were loud and louder so they do a heck of a job for us and we appreciate that. I thought overall anytime you win in the National Football League it's a good win. There are things we can get better at absolutely, that's a positive. I thought defensively after that first drive we came out and did a good job of putting pressure on their quarterback and at the same time taking care of their run game, which has been very good for them. I thought the game plan was good; I thought our third down percentages were good on defense. I thought (Ron) Parker played well in the secondary, made plays; he had a sack and an interception. At the same time I thought our secondary played well as a group. (Sean) Smith continues to show every week here and I'm proud of him for that. Our defensive line – Bailey is one that jumps out at you – but I thought they all played very well. Bailey had a sack and a half there and Justin Houston at the outside linebacker position, he and Tamba (Hali) were in that backfield a lot especially in pass situations and Justin had the three sacks to go with that. So overall, I just thought the defense played very well. I thought offensively we did some good things in the run game. We started off slow and kind of picked up momentum in the second half. First half, we had 12 carries for 14 yards so it wasn't very good. Second half we came back with 22 carries, 129 yards so that's a compliment to the coaches and players working together at halftime, figuring out the problems, and coming out and getting those things solved. Third down percentages were good – we were good in the red zone and time of possession – those are kind of three categories I thought we worked out well in. Special teams I thought did a nice job. The obvious is Cairo (Santos) with the two field goals, one of 53 yards. Dustin (Colquitt) had a beautiful punt that dropped down inside the five. I thought the coverage units were good for the most part throughout the day. With that, the time is yours."  

Q: On Alex Smith, is it the right or left shoulder?

REID:"It's the right one, yeah."

Q: Was it on the late hit in the second half?

REID:"No, I believe it was right before halftime actually where it happened. He just kind of landed on it. Probably more of a bruise than anything, but it was tender."

Q: Do you expect him to do his normal practice routine on Wednesday?

REID:"We'll see. He's tender today but he's upbeat about it and we did all of the precautionary things looking at it so just need a little time to get the soreness out of there."

Q: Eric Fisher has gone against some very good pass rushers in the last few weeks. What have you learned from him through the first seven games?

REID:"He had the one (sack allowed) just before half. Other than that, I thought he did a pretty good job throughout. You can see him growing every week and improving fundamentally. Not as much in the run game because he does a pretty good job right there. It's in the pass game that normally your young tackles have to learn the techniques and sometimes the pitches that those defensive guys are throwing at you. So you can see improvement here. I was pleased with how he played yesterday."

Q: You said in preseason he had a technique flaw. How much improvement have you seen in that area?

REID:"Well, the way that he was taught in college, you see a lot of college kids do that. They bring their hands up from their hips and bring them up. And in the NFL that's tough to do. You don't have the time right there to get that done. These defensive linemen are on you in a heartbeat. So you've got get your hands up and you've got to retrain yourself to deliver from a little higher position so he's learned to do that and done a good job with that."

Q: Do you teach cut-blocking at the second level with Fisher? When is that okay?

REID:"The fast ones, when you've got to get long and get out there so they don't run across your face. You've got to throw and try to get (them down) – some of those guys are pretty fast."

Q: How do you mix it up though because sometimes you want to see him put a big body on people too, right?

REID:"Yeah, well there are enough of those, too, so you've got to be able to mix it up. In particular, when you have those backside cutoffs and you've got an outside zone play going in the opposite direction, and you've just got to get out there and you've got to use all 6'7 of you to do it so that's when he normally does it."

Q: What can you guys do to make sure he keeps developing?

REID:"Process. You just keep going through and keep learning and working hard. He's easy to coach; he's got good tools to work with. He just keeps coming and working it the way he works. He shows up every day and works his tail off at practice. He's not afraid. You watch the great players and they're not afraid to work on the things that they're not good at. So he spends a lot of time working his techniques and fundamentals there."

Q: The way your pass defense is playing, not just talking about the pass rush, but the defense as a whole.  Is that beyond your expectations of maybe what you thought this group was capable of? Given some of the guys you've leaned on, (Eric) Berry, Derrick Johnson and to some extent Brandon Flowers, aren't there anymore.

REID:"From the stand point that we are young and you're never sure about what the growth pattern is going to be. First of all if it's going to take place and second of all how fast it will come about. I would tell you that I'm pleasantly pleased with that. As a coach you always have expectations that you think and I thought that – I still think they have room to grow but I had high expectations for them."

Q: What were your expectations?

REID:"Well to kind of do what we're saying here. Take these top pass offenses and be able to compete against them and challenge them."

Q: You mentioned all the good pass rushers Eric (Fisher) has gone against, but look at the quarterbacks you've gone against the past couple weeks.

REID:"Yeah, it makes you better. It's going to make you play at the top of your game and they are going to challenge you every which way. It's a game of match ups, so the NFL they are going to try to match their guy on you and you've got to be able to stand up and meet that challenge. These guys have done that fairly well. We do have room to improve though."

Q: A guy like (Husain) Abdullah, obviously you like him. You resigned him, you made him a starter but is he maybe one of those guys who are playing better than you expected?

REID:"Yeah, well I thought he was a good player before he took a sabbatical for a year. And then I thought it was a matter of just kind of getting back into the swing of things. You saw that taking place last year. I thought he finished the season strong and then he just kind of carried that over into the OTAs and training camp. The way he works and handles his business, I expected kind of what he's doing here, just by the way he carries himself."

Q: Sean Smith had a nice year last year and it looks like he's playing better this year. What's different?

REID:"I'm proud of Sean for the step up. I think he's matured in a lot of ways, about how he goes about his business out here. He comes out and he works, first off he shows up every day – even if he's nicked up a little bit here or there. He makes sure he gets out there and he pushes himself. And then he's challenging himself at practice to get better every day. He's seeing that himself which is most important initially, he's seeing how that paid off for him here."

Q: For a time you had him running with the twos. Number one, what was that about? Number two, was that good for him looking back on it?

REID:"I don't know about all that. I know he powered through that, he powered through all that. He didn't pout about being in the twos, he just worked on his game. That was the most important thing. Get your game where it needs to be and he's done that."

Q: It's Monday and the game is on Sunday, so obviously a lot can happen. But it sounds like Michael Vick is going to be playing quarterback for those guys. Talk about a guy that keeps coming into your world.

REID:"I like him better when he was in my world with the same helmet and team because he's a good football player. So we have to make sure we prepare for both of them. And Geno's (Smith) a good football player, they both have their strengths. So whichever one plays we have to make sure we are ready for it. Make sure we study them and then take care of our business and get ourselves down where we need to be."

Q: Talking about having some patience watching a group come together like your secondary, all head coaches have to be patient, that's understood. But with the rules the way they are set up today with practicing and offseason, do you have to be even more patient not to write off a group or a guy and say, "we haven't seen him enough."

REID:"Yeah I would probably add in there the way the cap is today from when I first started. The time that you have the player from first contract to second contract, you've got to make sure you give the guys an opportunity to develop. I think that's important. There might be outside pressures with the practices and the cap and contract length and all that. But you still have to allow some of these guys to mature if you are going to truly use the draft as the way you build your football team."

Q: You have so many people in this building and on staff that know every number there is to know since Josh Martin came to the Chiefs. That feeling as to where a player is, how much is that just feel for talent?

REID:"It helps to have John Dorsey here who has been around this a long time and some of the other coaches who have been here, been in the business a long time. That does help I think with that whole process that goes on. It's not just my set of eyes looking at it, it's everybody's. We try to evaluate the guys every day and not only from a personnel standpoint, but also so that player knows where he sits every day. Anytime there's a question, if they ever question. These are young guys. Sometimes they want to know why they aren't playing quite as much or what do I need to do to play more or whatever it is and so you can tell (them). That communication is important there."

Q: My last images of St. Joe (training camp) are of Justin (Houston) hitting the sled time after time after practice. What sets him apart from other pass rushers?

REID: "First of all, he still does that every day after practice. He does that thing. He goes through that same process every day and he works. That's important. These other guys have been banged up a bit. He's stepped up as a leader. He's a young guy, but he stepped in there. He's doing a nice job with leadership here."

Q: Why is it so important to you to defer the coin toss? Why is it more important to get the second half kickoff?

REID: "There's an advantage. You can go either way. I've taken the ball the majority of my career, but stats have shown, by a small margin, that it's better to defer. I think one of the positives of it is that you have an opportunity to evaluate what the defense is doing and kind of how they are going to try and defend you as an offense for a half and then you get to come out and make those adjustments."

Q: Is Rodney (Hudson) playing with a little more power this year. It seems like his injury was a two year sort of thing coming back from what he was.

REID: "Rodney? Yeah. Rodney's doing a good job. I thought he did a good job last year, but he's doing a good job. I think the place where he's maybe taken a step is that he understands all the schemes now. He's had a year to play in it versus all the different looks. So, he doesn't have to sweat that part. If he can think just an inch less, you play an inch faster. That's what he's done so far."

Q: Your offense is pretty interesting because you put up points and you put up yards without really going up top and down field to receivers. Is that sustainable going forward? It's unique.

REID: "We're just saving those. We'll see, we'll see how that all works."

Q: What were the Rams taking away in the run game in the first half?

REID: "First of all I think that Jeff Fisher, number one, is a very good football coach and a very defensive football coach and, so teams come in and they're going to try and take 25 (Jamaal Charles) away and Gregg (Williams) is a good football coach too. Need to make sure I mention that because he's been that good for a long time. He put some people in the box. They had a good scheme for all of that. Allowed us to throw the ball a little bit in certain situations and be effective there in our short, intermediate game, but they did a nice job with the run game part of it."

Q: Going back to the question about deferring, how much of the time do you guys finish the first half, like yesterday, with points and then start off the second half like yesterday, where there is a 10 point swing and they hadn't touched the ball much.

REID: "That goes into the equation, how many times you finish the half. You don't know that for sure, but you go by percentage on how much you finish the half."

Q: 50/50 shot.

REID: "That's right. Yeah. Yeah and then what happens with the return part of it. It can be beneficial then if you've had the opportunity of how they're going to treat it."

Q: Do you expect anything before the trade deadline?

REID: "I haven't heard of anything right now. I know they're pounding it. Dorsey stays on that like a wild man. They're always staying, like around these times when things are happening they are on lockdown mode. He's got his guys in there doing that."

Q: The defensive stop after Jamaal's (Charles) fumble that stopped a drive and led to the Rams missed field goal and a Cairo (Santos) 53-yard field goal, how important was that sequence in the game going into halftime?

REID: "Yeah, I thought that that was important. That's tough. That's a tough change around for the Rams I thought and fortunate for us, and then Cairo stuck that thing. Again, Cairo was impressive yesterday with the lengths of his kick offs and that kick there."

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