Andy Reid Press Conference 11/03

Andy Reid addresses the media following the Chiefs week nine victory over the Jets

OPENING STATEMENT:"For the injuries really the only new injury we had was Jerry Franklin, he has a hamstring strain. We will just see how he does, he's pretty tender today. It's not a real bad tear, but it's a strain so we will see how he does. Jamell Fleming had the hamstring strain from the week before. If we had a practice today he wouldn't be able to practice. Josh Martin also had a hamstring strain.  Again, if we had a practice today, he wouldn't be able to practice today. All of them are getting better, at least Fleming and Martin are, and we will just see how Franklin does over the next few days. There's a chance Donnie Avery can get out and start practicing again here as we get going this week. And then Joe Mays will continue to progress here and we will just see how he does as we go forward. Eric Berry made it out of the game fine, no problems there. (Phillip) Gaines continues to improve.  Again, it was a good win yesterday against a team that, I think, is very well-coached and has some talent there. So every win in the National Football League is a good win. I appreciate our fans and the support they gave us yesterday, they were loud as ever. That's tough on the opposing teams that come in here. Offensively, I thought we did a nice job on our third down conversions again. Which ends up being a pretty important stat, we were 62% there. I thought Dwayne (Bowe) had some big catches for us as we went through the game, along with (Travis) Kelce, A.J. (Jenkins) and Anthony (Fasano). Haven't seen too many catches like the one Anthony had, but we'll take it. The offensive line, in order for the guys to have the catches they did, had to do a good job protecting. We know they have a good defensive line there. I thought our guys did a pretty good job with that group. Defensively, likewise, I thought we did a nice job defensively on third downs. The Jets were 4 for 12 there. And we were able to hold the Jets to zero points that second half, which was very important, in particularly in some of the situations we were in. We lost the time of possession game to them but again, holding them out of the end zone kind of trumped that.  And then, Justin (Houston) added two sacks to his league leading total of 12 and (Dontari) Poe added one to his grouping. I thought (Josh) Mauga, who doesn't get a ton of credit for what he's doing right now. I mean, he's leading the team in tackles and he led the team in tackles yesterday with 10. Special teams, I thought De'Anthony's (Thomas) kick return just before half was important and gave us a little momentum and gave us an opportunity to score. I thought Dustin (Colquitt) did a good job with keeping the field position, in a few of those cases, in our favor. With that, time's yours."

Q: You mentioned Josh Mauga, how big do you think that is that he was able to come in and take on responsibility and also do what he's done in terms of production.

REID:"That's been a good thing for us. Josh was one of the few people who had a little background with Bob (Sutton). He came from the Jets, knew the defense, and I think that's helped all the way around. I think that's been a positive for us."

Q: You touched on the offensive line a little yesterday, you have three newcomers and a first year left tackle and a third year center. What's been the thread that's enabled them to do what they've done?

REID:"I would take it all the way back last year with Branden Albert, John Asamoah and Geoff Schwartz. There was a continuity that developed then, they were able to build on it this year. We added some new people, they came in, and also added some leadership and continuity to the mix. The more they played, they've gotten better there. I'm partial because I think they are well coached with Andy Heck and Eugene Chung. I think it's a good combination. We have a ton of room to improve still but they are getting better. They are making progress every week and that's important."

Q: Who has been the leader in that offensive line group?

REID:"You can probably say Rodney (Hudson), Mike McGlynn, (Ryan) Harris does a good job in that area."

Q: Is it a question of finding out what your offensive lineman can and can't do and thus, each week you can tilt your game plan to meet their strengths?

REID:"Listen, they're working both of their games. Yesterday you saw them do a good job in pass protection so we've been doing a nice job – probably a better job in the run game in week's past. This week we did a better job with the pass protection, so I think that's a plus against a pretty good pass-rushing team so I was proud of them for that part."

Q: It seems like Alex Smith is getting the ball out faster with a lot of three step drops.

REID:"Yeah, we do a few of those, possession throws. The short, intermediate game, I think we do that halfway decent. It ties in with some of the run game part that we're doing, too."

Q: Do you think it's a coincidence that you don't have a wide receiver touchdown reception so far this season?

REID:"Yeah, I know Donovan (McNabb) was hammering me on that when he was here. I didn't even think about it until he mentioned it. It doesn't really bother me, as long as we're getting in and getting touchdowns. A.J. (Jenkins) came up like an inch short yesterday, so I don't think it's that big of a deal as long as we're scoring."

Q: The way you use Jamaal Charles in the passing game and your tight ends too, they are almost like wide receivers anyway. Is that an accurate statement?

REID:"Yeah, really you look at the one that (Travis) Kelce had yesterday. He was the third receiver out there; he was in a wide receiver position there so yeah."

Q: Is that something you tell the wide receiver group to maybe poke a little fun at them?

REID:"Do I give them the business about it, is that what you're saying? Yeah, I try not to let that slide. They're good about it though. Listen, the receivers are making big plays for us. You saw what Dwayne (Bowe) did for us yesterday. You look at what A.J. did on the catch, he came close to scoring."

Q: You're one of the league leaders in yards after the catch. Is that because of the design of your offense or is that because your players are good running after the catch?"

REID:"Yeah, I'd probably give the credit to the guys on that. They're able to make people miss. You see Dwayne do it, you see Kelce do it, you've seen Jamaal do it."

Q: What have you missed without Donnie Avery in the lineup?

REID:"It would be experience. That would be it. But I think this has been very valuable for A.J. and he's done a very nice job for us and every week he gets a little better and more confident and feels more comfortable in there. So I wouldn't take anything away from A.J. to make that statement, but Donnie has been around the game a long time."

Q: Is there something A.J. Jenkins gives you that Donnie Avery doesn't?

REID:"That's not a healthy thing to do, start comparing like that. They're both good players for us."

Q: What is the most encouraging thing about Eric Fisher's growth?

REID:"He just keeps getting better and better. You saw him yesterday, but I thought he just played a heck of a game yesterday."

Q: As a run blocker or in every aspect?

REID:"Yesterday it was everything. Yesterday he kind of did everything; he did well."

Q: What has De'Anthony Thomas been able to give you guys in the offense and return game?

REID:"He's an explosive player and not only quick, but also has that speed that goes with it. So if you give him a little daylight, if you can find a way to do that, then he's normally going to hit that and hit it fast. So he's created some big plays for us in some areas."

Q: What have you seen from Justin Houston's leadership role that is different from last year?

REID:"I see it in practice every day. He puts a lot of pressure on himself. He also puts it on the players around him, but he also has that personality that he's funny. He can kind of keep it loose. He knows when to crank it and when to loosen it up. He's developed a good feel for that."

Q: You've talked about how he stays after practice to keep working. What does that say to the rest of the team?

REID: "They see his work ethic. He and Tamba (Hali) are constantly doing work in between when the one offense is up doing their practice part of it and the defense is, the one defense, is on the sideline. He and Tamba are out there doing all their pass rush stuff that they do and games that they do. The guys know and I think Justin could probably tell you he learned a lot of that from Tamba and the way Tamba goes about his game, just that Tamba's a relentless worker too. It's always good for a young guy to see that and probably a lot of the credit goes to Tamba too with just being able to teach Justin and for Justin to stay with it and continue to take it to another level."

Q: What did you think of Eric Berry's performance and the job of the guys who have been filling in for him?

REID: "The guys have done a nice job with him out. It was good to get him back in though too. He had a couple of nice players there. Early the one with Michael (Vick) scrambled there and he came up and took a great angle which normally you worry about with somebody who's been out for a bit, but he took a great angle, closed on him and ended up bringing him down. It was good to get him back in the swing and kind of get caught up to the game speed. When you really think about it, you look at what's real there. He hasn't had a lot of reps since training camp and during training camp. He was hurt then too. This was a way of getting him back in and going. He's sore today, just body's sore from playing, but that's a good thing. He's back in and I think he feels pretty good about it."

Q: I'm sure it's a good problem to have him back in there, but you guys have had good guys involved at the safety position. How do you get everybody involved to balance it out to make sure you have the right guys in the right spot?

REID: "In Bob's (Sutton) defense, everybody's going to play. That's just how it rolls. You saw all the different personnel groups he's got going in and how he handles that. Everybody plays, that's not necessarily an issue."

Q: You guys are among the leaders in the NFL in defense, yet you only have five takeaways. I didn't think that was possible. I thought you had to have a lot of takeaways to have a good defense.

REID: "Yeah it's unusual. It is unusual and those things kind of come and normally come then grow, but we'll see. Normally one leads to another. We haven't been able to string those together yet, but we're going to keep working on it."

Q: You've played some pretty good quarterbacks too.

REID: "We have played some good quarterbacks. Yeah." 

Q: Ron Parker is able to be mixed in at cornerback. How valuable is that?

REID: "Yeah, he played corner, he played nickel and safety yesterday. That's pretty good, for a young guy. Gives you a lot of flexibility out there, good football player. Even though he dropped that interception, good football player."

Q: Has Phillip Gaines come as far since he started the regular season?

REID: "Yeah, I think special teams is great for him. You hear that."

Q: Elaborate on that.

REID: "You hear about special teams. What it does is it teaches leverage. It teaches angles. It keeps you in open space with speed players. You learn to work the angles and how to close on people and that transfers over. It really transfers over for secondary players and linebackers for whatever reason. You just see improvements. If they can handle the special teams, they normally improve on defense. He's been one of those guys. Did a nice job as a gunner, and he's had the opportunity to get in work at the nickel, did well there. He was able to start for us in the corner spot and do a nice job there. We're lucky to have Coop (Marcus Cooper). Coop's another good player that we can mix in. You can't have enough of those guys. It's good to have all of them."

Q: Can you recall a guy that's come as far as Gaines has in half of a season as rough as it looked for him in the preseason?

REID: "You're thinking of the Green Bay game. The Green Bay game was a little rough on him. I think he grew up in that game. He learned some things there in the preseason and that focused him in even more than what he might've been before. Quintin Mikell was one that I had that started off as a special teams player and ended up being a Pro-Bowl caliber safety and it was kind of the same progression there."

Q: Was it this quickly?

REID: "Yeah, I can't remember. That was a long time ago."

Q: You had to play Gaines because of injuries in the nickel, but you didn't have to play him yesterday. Do you feel like you were taking a bit of a leap of faith with him or have you seen enough from him that he will respond okay? REID: "We thought he would. We thought that he would be able to handle it and he looked like he did, but it was all off from what he showed us prior too."

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