Nuts and Bolts
- The Kansas City Chiefs held their fourth practice of OTAs on Tuesday morning.
- Like all last week, Eric Berry, Jamaal Charles, Tamba Hali, Vernon Harris, Justin Houston and Mike Williams did not practice.
- Jaye Howard did not practice Tuesday. He missed the workout for personal reasons.
- Wide receiver Jeremy Maclin, who tweaked his ankle at the end last week, appeared to be fine out on the field Tuesday.
A Look At Day Four of OTAs
A look into day four of phase three of the Chiefs offseason program at the University of Kansas Hospital Training Complex
What We Learned From Player Media Availability
DB RON PARKER
Karen Kornacki (KMBC):Could you talk about these OTAs and what you're getting out of them? Is there a progression every time you're on the field?
PARKER: "Oh yeah. I think every day we hit the field, we win. That's just an advantage for us players who have been here. It just gives us time to get better, know your assignment (and) to polish everything that we need to polish."
TJ Carpenter (WHB):How does it feel in the secondary now that the team lost Sean Smith and Husain Abdullah?
PARKER: "We got new guys, so that's why this time is most important for us. I think us, as a group, we've been doing a good job of communicating. Everybody's trying to be on the same page. We got new guys up and we're going to see what's up."
Terez Paylor (Kansas City Star):How is Eric Murray coming along at safety?
PARKER: "He's doing a good job coming along over there. Just trying to teach the young guys and teach them what I know."
Paylor:How would you best describe Al Harris' coaching style?
PARKER: "His coaching style is aggressive. He wants our DBs and corners up in the receivers' face, pressing. He wants tight coverage everywhere."
T ERIC FISHER
Paylor:When you're working next to a young guy like Parker Ehinger, what are you trying to do?
FISHER: "Yeah, Big Park, man. He's a good guy, working hard out there. I think he's a great addition to our offensive line. It was kind of cool to get next to him and help him out. It's kind of a whirlwind when you get in there with the ones, so anything I can do to help him. We're just shuffling the line around like Coach Reid always does, trying guys in different spots. Just another combination."
Paylor:In general, what can you say to Ehinger before the play to get him on the right path?
FISHER: "There's a difference between communicating before the play and then over communicating. If you're talking when the cadence is going, you're going to miss the snap count. We just try to know what we're doing before we get up there, make as few calls as possible. Mitch (Morse) is doing a great job in the center there and getting us going in the right direction, it all starts with him and we all go off of him. And there's a lot of plays where we don't even need to talk. We're kind of at the point with this offensive line that we're all on the same page. It's going good."
Carpenter:How big of an addition do you think Mitchell Schwartz will be to the offensive line room?
FISHER: "He's awesome. He's one of our oldest guys, actually. He's definitely a veteran, he played with Joe Thomas out in Cleveland – that's a great guy to learn from. He's got a lot in his arsenal and he'll bring that in the room also."
Paylor:What do you want this offensive line's reputation to be? What do you want opponents to know about the Chiefs offensive line and what do you want them to say after they've faced you guys?
FISHER: "I think that all starts in the run game. I thought we did a pretty good job with that last year. Our numbers kind of spoke for themselves on the ground. We're working to get better in our pass protection, keeping Alex (Smith) clean. You definitely want to build that line where d-lines are saying 'Man, we play the Chiefs this week.' Coach Reid's big thing is it all starts in the trenches with o-line, d-line and he'll tell us that before every game. We take that to heart, we've been building this thing for multiple years now and I think we're getting to that point where we're just about there and getting ready to go."
Mick Shaffer (Time Warner Cable Sports Channel):How much have you heard about your block on J.J. Watt in the playoffs last year?
FISHER: "I try to stay away from it all. I'm just looking forward to the future. Obviously, plays like that do some good things for you. I guess I really don't have much to say about it. It is what it is."
LB DEE FORD
Paylor:What did you do this offseason to stay in shape?
FORD: "I just ate healthy. Same thing I've been doing. I think I'm starting to grow into my body now. Barry (Rubin) – our strength and conditioning coach – works us the whole entire offseason. I think I'm really just growing into my body. I think I weigh about 250, 255 right now. Feeling great, body fat is still eight percent."
Paylor:What do you expect from yourself this year?
FORD: "Consistency. I think anybody can have a great game, but what separates the great players from the good players is doing it every week. And now I have an opportunity to do that. Consistency."
Carpenter:Is that a mindset thing or a physical thing?
FORD: "It's all correlated. It starts with the mind, then, with the right mindset, you will focus on the technique. Then it becomes second nature, so it'll just be habit."
Carpenter:It seems like there were a couple of plays last year where it looked like there was less wasted motion. Was a key for you this offseason adding in technique so you're not wasting energy?
FORD: "Refining your technique. What I do well – do what you do and do it well – I'm not Tamba (Hali) and I'm not Justin (Houston), but I'm learning with them. What I'm incorporating is what they do that I don't do is the consistency – I like that you said no wasted motion. With that, the first two steps that's going to define your rush every down. That's a little thing that separates good from great is those first two steps, closing and hand movement. It sounds easy but it's kind of like ballet."
TE TRAVIS KELCE
Paylor:Where are you trying to improve as a football player? Is there one area in particular where you feel you need to get better at?
KELCE: "Just the overall, being more physical and not trying to let my mind tie up my feet. Just going out there and letting loose. There were times where I feel like I was just out there thinking too much instead of just playing instinctual football. It's definitely something that I've been trying to work on here, just go out there and let it run."
BJ Kissel (Chiefs.com):What have you seen from some of the other guys in the tight end group?
KELCE: "Guys growing, man. The guys are figuring it out, understanding the offense, understanding why we're calling plays against a certain defense and things like that. Overall communication. These guys, they're not asking more and more questions, they're more so answering for themselves now, which is awesome to see. Just seeing a lot of growth from James (O'Shaughnessy) and Brian (Parker), Demetrius (Harris) is right there up there with me in terms of how long he's been playing in the league now. It's fun to watch him kind of keep developing into an NFL football player. Then you have Ross Travis, who's coming in and giving 100 percent effort on every single play – that's all you can ask for a guy coming in new."
Adam Teicher (ESPN):Do you feel like with the new contract comes more responsibility?
KELCE: "Yeah, every single year comes more accountability. And the contract puts a lot more on my plate in terms of being a leader and being around the office and knowing that I have re-signed to where I'm going to be around for a while. It's definitely put a little more accountability, but just more of a understanding for me that I still have to go out there and play to make what I'm worth."
OL PARKER EHINGER
Teope:When did you get the word that you were going to be with the first team today?
EHINGER: "This morning. This morning in position meetings. Coach (Andy) Heck is kind of switching up the o-line, putting some guys in new positions and everything. I'm still at left guard, kind of bumped up and got a chance with the ones and everything. Kind of just mixing it up right now. Coach Reid likes to move around his offensive line, so he's putting people in new positions to see how they play, see how they respond."
Teicher:What does that mean to you at this point in your career?
EHINGER: "It's cool, it's something cool to kind of mix up and play with different guys. We all have to be able to play on the same page. When you get out there on Sundays, the five guys have to play as one to be good. And it's kind of cool to mix it up and play with some guys; I've been playing with the twos last week, kind of mixing it up with some other guys. The starting five isn't decided in OTAs, we have a lot of football to be played. Just going through this, it will kind of be a cool experience playing next to Fish, playing next to Mitch – learning from some older guys. They've been good mentors to me. Just a cool experience right now."
Paylor:Before the snap, which one of the guys are talking to you most and is most helpful pre-snap?
EHINGER: "Obviously, in the way our offensive line functions, Mitch Morse is making a lot of the calls. Whether it's Mitch making calls, Fish has got to make some calls, too. We kind of mix it up when we get up there. It obviously starts with the center, who makes the starting point call and we go from there. Before we step on the field, most of those guys are like 'Relax, it's just another day out there on the field, you're just playing with some different guys.'"