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Andy Reid Press Conference 12/29

Andy Reid addresses the media following the Chiefs Week 17 victory over the Chargers

OPENING STATEMENT:"Alright really there are no injuries to update you on. If something comes up here over the next bit we'll keep you abreast. A bit of an empty feeling as far as winning the game, but yet not having an opportunity to go to the playoffs. Some good things we can learn from that. Like I mentioned yesterday, you've got to take care of business particularly in the second half of the season and going .500 during the last eight games isn't good enough. We've had an opportunity to meet with players leading into the offseason. There's some positives we've found, in this room there of guys having an opportunity to play that might not have had a chance to play if we had stayed as healthy as one thinks at the beginning of the year or that you might. That's a positive going into the offseason. There's still great energy on this football team, a want to. We are a very young football team. In a lot of cases those young guys had an opportunity to grow which will also help us down the road. I think we started the season as the second team in the National Football League. It's a positive outlook going forward. There's got to be a tremendous amount of work that takes place in the offseason as far as the players from their standpoint in the conditioning. From the coaches' standpoint, going back and doing the scheme evaluation and for the personnel standpoint of continuing to bring in good personnel here to keep the competition level up. I think everybody is ready for that challenge there. I'll continue to meet with players when I am done with you. The players have had an opportunity to meet with myself on an individual basis, their coordinators and their position coaches. That's where we're at right now. Time's yours."   

Q: Can you give us an update of Derrick Johnson and Mike DeVito on where those guys are at? Do you expect them to be ready at the beginning of offseason training? 

REID:"I think they will be. We'll just see how things roll there. You remember phase one if you're considering that, that's really just conditioning that's not something where you're on the field. Phase two you're still conditioning, you're in the class. Phase three, now you're out there and that doesn't happen until later on so you buy a couple of months there. I think most likely they will be. They've been working out together here rehabbing and they've been challenging each other like crazy which is a neat thing to see go on."

Q: I'm sure this is a better question for John Dorsey, but you've had a chance to work a little with Chris Ballard. What are your impressions of him as personnel guy and his knowledge of football and the job he's done here?

REID:"Chris is a tremendous person and very sharp at what he does in the personnel side of things. He and Dors (John Dorsey) work hand in hand. I think he has a bright future in this business and quite potentially as a general manager."

Q: What would you guys lose if he moves on?

REID:"Probably those things I mentioned. He's a good person and he has the ability to help another team. We'll cross all that when that takes place. He's sure worthy of it and if given that opportunity, we have some good people here too. We don't want to slight anybody there."

Q: How much do you anticipate your staff getting calls for other opportunities?

REID: "It's that time of the year. That possibly could happen. I'm not into slowing anyone down from being able to better themselves professionally, but we'll see how all that goes down."

Q: We've talked about this before, but I'll ask you a loaded question. There's an opening in Chicago. I like to connect the dots and think maybe Dave Toub might be a candidate. Is it time for him? What makes him a good candidate?

REID:"Yeah, they know Dave. I'm sure those are pretty good dots to connect. What I think of Dave, I think he would be phenomenal, put him in that John Harbaugh category. I think the special teams coaches are probably as ready as anybody to be head coaches because they have to deal with not only the guys but they have to deal with your whole staff as well, but they're also the ones that seem to become head coaches often for whatever reason. It's just kind of what goes on. I think Dave would be very good."

Q: Do you intend to make any changes to your staff?

REID: "Not at this moment as we stand here."

Q: What could change that now that the season is over?

REID:"I really haven't even thought about that to be honest with you. That's not where I'm at right now. I haven't gone there. Personally I didn't think the season would be over number one and then two I've been in here getting everything situated for the players coming in. I haven't really gone in that direction. I'm just telling you as I sit right here, I don't plan on doing that, but that's it."

Q: As you go through this evaluation period and look at this offensive line, how much of a priority is being placed to fix some of the issues that were present during the season so they do not manifest themselves into next season?

REID:"We'll go back and we'll evaluate everything. That's what takes place in the offseason. You go back and evaluate. You do your whole scheme evaluation, you do personnel evaluation from a coaching standpoint and then obviously (John) Dorsey spends all year doing that. He looks at all the personnel decisions and go from there. He gets the information from the coaches and what they think and then makes that final decision. We do that for every position, every player and then we make sure we go back as coaches and make sure we're putting guys in the right position."

Q: Looking at how many sacks Alex Smith took this season, is there more to look at on the offensive line?

REID:"I wouldn't necessarily focus on the sacks. Those can be distributed around. I think you have to get in and look at each individual and that's what you do. You evaluate each player and each individual and make sure that you've got the right people in the right position and you kind of go from there. That's how you go about doing that. Some of these things, like a sack, could go a few different directions."  

Q: Every quarterback misses guys downfield sometimes, that's just part of the game. How comfortable are you with the strides that Alex (Smith) has made as far as keeping his eye level in proper, hitting guys down the field? I know he's conservative at times, but can you elaborate on the progress he's made this year? Are you comfortable with it?

REID:"Yeah, I think Alex really had a good year. I think he made more progress than what he had made throughout last year. I think, like any player, it really doesn't matter how good they are. It would be no different in your profession; you can always work to be better. He'll continue to do that. That's where we're at."

Q: How difficult is it for a quarterback to keep his eye level proper when there are defenders coming at him? Do you feel like pressure changes that a little or do they stay solid?

REID:"You've been studying his eyes obviously. I think for the most part his eyes are pretty good keeping them down field. There's a time and place when somebody's probably right on top of you. You're going to try and find a hole. One thing that he has that a lot of players don't have is he can look for a hole and run.  A lot of guys can't run. There's a point where you have to point your eyes down and go and he's had a lot of positive yards for us there.'

Q: You've talked about working on him being more aggressive in the offseason down the field. Has he made any progress in that area?

REID:"I thought he did, yeah. I thought he gave people an opportunity to be down there and take a peek at them and worked his way back down from there. I thought he was very disciplined in that."

Q: He seemed to run less this year than he did in 2013, was that something you asked him to do or the progression of the offense?

REID:"Yeah, I didn't ask him to do that. That's not part of it. I think the more they get to know the offense the less that happens. You just end up knowing when to go and when not to go. I think as well as anybody, he does that in this league. He has a great feel for that."

Q: How important are jump plays, the big plays, to a team's success and your ability this year to make them.

REID:"That's an area we can do better in. I thought we got better, this last quarter of the season than we did in the beginning part."

Q: For the guys who are here next year, what key points do you want them to take away from this?

REID:"Kind of the things I mentioned earlier, there's some things we can get better at. In particular, the second half of the season, we had opportunities there and we didn't, I think, take full advantage of them as coaches and players. We've all got a piece of this, I'm not pointing at one group. Just as a team, when I talk that's who I talk to. We need to do a better job in some areas, individual areas, red zone, turnovers, those types of things. We can improve in those areas when given the opportunity."

Q: You talked about finishing last year and this year. Is the record something you will go and look back at and evaluate and ask 'why is this happening, did we hit a wall, was it depth, was it injury'?

REID:"Well you go back and look at everything so that's what we will do. I don't have an answer for you right this minute. But I do know we need to get better. The obvious part is you look at the schedule. You have to look at that. That's also a factor. I was pleased that we had the schedule we had. I think we played 11 teams that ended up over .500. I think we won nine of those games so that shows me that we can do some things there as a football team. We just need to be more consistent at it."

Q: You lost a lot of leaders in the defense to injury, were you surprised with how well the defense played this year?

REID:"Yeah, I thought the defense did play well. I was proud of the guys and the way they stepped up. I was proud of the coaches and how they worked through the strength of the player. That's not always an easy thing to do. There are certain things that you can be engrained in that you just won't change. You see that all the time in coaching. I thought we maintained flexibility there and tried to work with what the player was best at. Can we get better? We can always do better. We tried to put the players in what we thought were the best situations at that particular time. Again, we always go back and evaluate that. That's part of the coaching process."

Q: Sometimes a team that goes 11-5 as you did last year takes a step back the following year.  Where do you see your team, where do you see your program after a few years?

REID:"We are sitting here and we are disappointed that we are not continuing to play. I love the fact that we had a strong schedule and we were able to test ourselves. That was from a standpoint of the teams we played and the travel that we put together to play those teams. That will pay off for us down the road as we continue to build this. I like the fact that we were young and we have something to build with there. I like the attitude. I think we have great leadership starting with Clark Hunt on down through. Who gave us an opportunity to do what we do best as players and coaches. That's a positive. Kansas City is very lucky to have the leadership that they have in that position. I think strength is John Dorsey and his staff and that they have 11-plus picks to work with to bring in people. We actually have a second round pick this year. We are sitting 18th in the draft. Not that you want to be there but we are there. I think that's a positive. I think all those things add up to a future. We are disappointed right now, I don't want to slight that. You should be. If you're not there's a problem. But I think there are some things going forward that we can do better. We have a phenomenal organization here, people who want to work together that are willing to check their ego. That's a beautiful thing. In a tug-of-war they are all trying to pull that rope in the same direction, which sure helps."

Q: Have you thought about the historical significance of what Justin Houston was able to accomplish this year?

REID:"Yeah, I just got done talking to him actually before I came down. He was the next man up in that line up there. I'm proud of him for what he did. At no point did you feel like he was going for the record. You felt like everybody around him was pulling for him. But it wasn't from him. He was all about winning and trying to be the leader of the defense. He kept it upbeat and positive for the guys. I would have liked to see him get that other half. It's got to be out there, somewhere. Doggonit. He brought a great energy to the team."

Q: Tell me some of the good things you saw from (Eric) Fisher and (Dee) Ford and where do they need to get better?

REID:"I thought Fisher made big strides this year. Number one, he played every game and took down the left tackle position. He did all that without having really any offseason. I think he's looking forward to an offseason where he's not rehabbing an injury. That will be important that he gets in and continues to increase his strength, which he'll do. Again, very talented physically, very talented, smart kid, willing to work, those are all positives. I thought Ford, as he continued to learn the position, remember he was learning a new position. He didn't have his hand on the ground, he wasn't a rush end. He had to learn a whole new position, which is a tough transfer going from college football to the NFL. He attacked that part of it. You saw him get better as the season went on. He eventually got more playing time, which also helped as he grew there. He had two great guys to learn from. He tried to do that, tried to absorb some of their information they were sharing with him. He practices hard. Again, I think he has a bright future. He's another one that will continue to get stronger this offseason, physically stronger and that will help him. Great get off, great explosion. Explosive player, period. But great get off."

Q: Have you spoken to Eric Berry recently? There are things you guys can do to manage the cap number next year, even though that's not the main concern, you want him to get better. You guys had an interesting situation with Mike Patterson in December of 2012. Can you talk about the business side of it vs. the personal side of it? REID:"I was involved with that with Mike, those are two different situations. I'm not involved in that part of this. I haven't even gone there to be honest. You brought it up and I can sit here and tell you that I haven't really thought of that. Two different situations between the two. I did talk to him last night. I wanted to make sure he saw that helicopter with his name and number on it, flying over it. I thought that was pretty neat, tribute to our armed forces for doing that. I can't tell you I've gone there on that part that you asked about."

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