Five Things We Learned From the Assistant Coaches on Thursday

ILB Coach Mark DeLeone, Secondary/CB Coach Al Harris, QB Coach Mike Kafka, OL Coach Andy Heck and OLB Coach Mike Smith met with the media on Thursday afternoon

Kansas City Chiefs' Inside Linebackers' Coach Mark DeLeone, Secondary / Cornerbacks' Coach Al Harris, Quarterbacks' Coach Mike Kafka, Offensive Line Coach Andy Heck and Outside Linebackers' Coach Mike Smith met with the media on Thursday afternoon.

Here are five things that stood out.

Inside Linebackers' Coach Mark DeLeone

1. Where do you think you guys are at with tackling?

DELEONE: "I think we are much improved. I think it is something we have been working on. We were working on it at training camp. The first two weeks of the season especially, I can speak for the linebackers, we didn't tackle well, and I know they would tell you the same thing. Since then, I think we have improved, especially going back to the Jacksonville game. I think the last three weeks our tackling has been a lot better. I think it is going to continue to improve. I think it is something that, as the season goes on, it will get better. And then the other thing I would say, those first few weeks with Hitch [Anthony Hitchens] and Reggie [Ragland], they were kind of coming off where they didn't play a lot in training camp. They were just kind of getting in the groove a little bit. I think they have both really improved the last few weeks."

Secondary / Cornerbacks' Coach Al Harris

2. What is it about Jordan Lucas that has allowed him to come in and give you such productive time at safety?

HARRIS: "The energy. I can't even explain it. I have a five-year-old and I think their energy matches. He's always energetic, but the thing about Jordan is that he is extremely coachable. He's hungry and you can tell him, literally, 'Hey man, I need you to go run into that wall.' Nine times out of ten, you look back again and he's running into that wall. He's extremely coachable, which is great, because you can just pour it all out into him and he'll give it to you on the field."

Quarterbacks' Coach Mike Kafka

3. Has it been surprising how fast Patrick has developed for how young and how good he is?

KAFKA: "He's putting in a ton of work. I think a lot of that is paying off and I think a lot of that starts up front. The offensive line is doing a heck of a job for him. The running backs are making plays, the receivers, tight ends, everyone is kind of a part of this. It's an 11-man operation. Patrick is just a small part of that and he's able to manage it and make sure everyone is in the right spot and that he gets the ball to his playmakers."

Offensive Line Coach Andy Heck

4. How are some of the young guys doing considering the injuries and how much they've had to work in?

HECK: "They're doing a great job. Brett Veach and his staff have done a really nice job of bringing guys in here to make this a competitive group. It's a hard-working group and I'm really pleased with how these guys approach their work every single day. Just like every position and just like the situation is across the league when you lose guys, it's next man up. That's the way these guys have prepared, so I like what I'm seeing."

Outside Linebackers' Coach Mike Smith

5. What progress have you seen from Breeland Speaks over the last few weeks?

SMITH: "I think he's playing well right now. What's helping him now is more reps. The more you get to do something, the better you're going to get at it. I think where I'm impressed with him, and we talk about this all the time, is what he played in college [compared to what he's playing now], which is playing outside linebacker a lot. Just getting lined up, understanding the call and the coverage, all that stuff. Now, he's getting to the point where he's understanding offenses. Now, we can talk about formations and backfield sets. He's seeing that, he's understanding what he's getting. That's becoming a good football player and that's really, as a coach, what you're coaching. You can coach technique and stuff, that's huge, but you got to understand what offenses are doing and how they're attacking. To me, that's what made me really proud with Breeland this week. He came to a point on the sidelines where he was talking, he was comfortable and he was understanding what he was getting. That's a big step for him and I think that's the direction that we'll keep going and he'll continue to get better."

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