Eight Takeaways from Chiefs Media Availability Wednesday

Both head coach Andy Reid and quarterback Alex Smith spoke to the local media

*Injury Update: Both DL Mike DeVito and WR Jeremy Maclin have concussions and are undergoing league protocol and will not practice. DT Dontari Poe (high ankle) and LB Josh Mauga (groin/Achilles) returned to practice Wednesday.*

Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid

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Head coach Andy Reid provided updates on the status of running back Jamaal Charles and cornerback Phillip Gaines.

"Jamaal [Charles], you know, had surgery yesterday with Dr. Andrews," he said. "Reports were good, [Phillip Gaines] also had his surgery last week and all of the reports there were good on his ACL; again, with Dr. Andrews."

Reid shared some thoughts on the recent play of rookie wide receiver Chris Conley.

"He's learning as he goes," he said. "He's had some real good downs, he had a couple drops in the game and that jumps out at you when you play that position. But he got right back on it and made a phenomenal catch. Again, that kind of gets bypassed because of the loss, but he went up and got one and got trampled there a little bit and hung onto it. But he's got to make the other two, it's that simple. He knows it, but again, he's had some good downs and some of the things he's learning, that's what happens with rookies."

Tight ends James O' Shaughnessy and Demetrius Harris saw increased roles last week.

"We've tried to utilize their talents and they've got some good downs for us," Reid said. "James is learning, a little bit like we said about Chris [Conley]. He's learning as we go here. But the effort's good, and again, he's had some good downs for us. Demetrius looks like he's back now. I thought he played faster this past game than the previous ones, you could see him gradually get faster and faster. So we try to play to their strengths and give them opportunities."

Reid explained why linebacker Tamba Hali (knee) hasn't been practicing lately.

"Tamba's not getting any younger, we understand that," he said. "I've done this with players that have been around a little bit that have issues, and so Rick [Burkholder] is dealing with that part and keeping it right. Tamba's staying on top of it and then he's got enough experience where you can do this, he's always going to stay in shape with the cardio part of it. And when he can get out here, he can get out here, that's how you roll in those situations."

Reid thinks that despite the losing streak, the Chiefs are very  "close."

"In the National Football League, things are close," he said. "You see it by our scores, things are close. And it's one play here or there that matters and that's really where we've got to focus in and get that taken care of. So listen, whether it's a play call, whether it's an opportunity to make a play, if the play works that's called, then we've all got to kind of step that up and get over that hump. There's a very fine line between winning and losing in this league. And you can say it by score for us – literally, is very close here."

Quarterback Alex Smith

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Quarterback Alex Smith commented on what he foresees in the Pittsburgh Steelers defense this weekend.

"It's going to be physical, it's going to be four quarters, that's always the nature of the game," he said. "Then I think, from my perspective, always having played there, be ready for the pressure. The zone pressure, they invented it and still do it and do a lot of it and throw a lot at you. From a quarterback's perspective, it was always a lot to deal with."

Smith explained what he can take away from last week's game against the Minnesota Vikings and build upon.

"That second half in the sense of less mistakes and better execution," he said, "going out there, getting into a rhythm, playing with better energy, all that stuff. I think you'd love to start the game that way. There's no reason to wait around a half to do that, you make it tough on yourself. So certainly for us, you have to come out with some better energy, start faster, get into a rhythm early."

Smith commended coach Reid for taking a lot of the blame for the current situation.

"I think that's just the way coach is—he's very accountable," Smith explained. "He steps up and yeah, I think he does, he takes a lot of pride in what he does. And certainly, I think with all of us, the way we started, extremely frustrated, not happy with where we're at.

"At the same time, we're playing Sunday. You have to have a good week of prep and you have to try to find a way to win. You have to look forward to some degree. You can't just sit here and dwell on it, as bad as it is. You have to keep looking forward, there is a game on Sunday. And it's all of us, I think this building all has kind of that same attitude – that we're all accountable in this and we all had our hand in it. But collectively, that's how we're going to get out of it, is together."

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