Kansas City Chiefs’ Assistant Head Coach / Special Teams Coordinator Dave Toub, Offensive Coordinator Eric Bieniemy and Defensive Coordinator Bob Sutton met with the media on Friday afternoon.
Here are five things that stood out.
Assistant Head Coach / Special Teams Coordinator Dave Toub
1. What stands out about the Rams’ special teams units?
TOUB: “They are very well coached, risk-takers and they [run] a lot of fakes - like one every two games it seems like. They are not afraid to call stuff in different situations. We really, really have to be on our Ps and Qs. We have our hands full this week. They are good in every facet. They are a great unit and very highly ranked in every phase.”
2. In general, when there’s two teams scoring this much, does that affect the likelihood of a fake one way or the other?
TOUB: “Sure. Oh yes. Possessions are at a premium in a game like this. Anytime you get the chance to change a possession or try to steal one, both sides are thinking about doing that if the opportunity arises. That’s why we have to be ready on our end of it. I’m sure they are going to be ready on their end of it too. It’s going to be fun.”
Offensive Coordinator Eric Bieniemy
3. What did you see from the offensive line against the Cardinals and what can you take from that to prepare for the Rams?
BIENIEMY: “I sit up here and I say this every week: the Cardinals had a pretty darn good defense. They did some things and got after us a little bit, but one thing we did – and I was proud of our guys – is we hung together. There was no panic. We made the most of every opportunity. Now, just like I say each and every week, those guys get paid as well. Going into this week, we know that they’ve got some pass rushers. The kid Aaron Donald, Ndamukong Suh, Michael Brockers - I could name this entire defense. This defense is probably one of the top defenses in the NFL. But when it is all said and done with, we have to go out and perform at a high level. If we want to come out victorious, everybody has to be accountable. We have to play hard, we have to play fast and when [a player] is called upon to make a play, they are responsible for making that play.”
4. How have you seen wide receiver Sammy Watkins develop and fit in here in Kansas City?
BIENIEMY: “Sammy [Watkins] is a great kid. I will say this, and I will keep saying this, I think [General Manager Brett] Veach, our whole scouting department, those guys have done a great job of bringing great people in who are very, very good football players. That is what it’s all about. When it is all said and done with, it’s tough doing this job as it is being a coach and we are surrounded by each other 24/7. But, when you have good people in the building, it makes for a good environment. The chemistry has been great. Obviously, it is being displayed every Sunday when we play. Those are the things you look forward to. Sammy is a great kid, he is fun to be around.”
Defensive Coordinator Bob Sutton
5. What is it about your system that has allowed cornerbacks to come here and thrive?
SUTTON: “I think [coaches] Al Harris and Emmitt Thomas do a really good job of coaching. There is a lot asked of a corner in the system because you’re kind of out there on your own a lot. You have to become a really good technician. I think one of the hard things in football today is this year the QB rating is up almost eight points from a year ago. I don’t know what that is, but it seems like a significant jump to me. I think what it leads you to believe is you need to be willing to contest as many throws as you possibly can. These guys are getting really good and it’s kind of going [that way] across the board. They are spreading out more and creating more natural space in formations and that, so you have to be willing to do that. I think the other part is there are certain things you have to emphasize and you have to believe in. Takeaways are big for us. We work hard at them, we talk about them every single day and I feel strongly that there certainly is a talent [required] to do it, but there are all the other things that can be improved. I tell them all the time - you move in the direction of your most dominant thought. If you keep talking about it, you keep thinking about it and you keep showing them and they see it - then you have to do it in practice and you got to emphasize it in practice when they come off. Those are the things we’re looking for and really what you have to do - the number one thing in takeaways is taking advantage of your opportunities. Everybody asks, 'How are you going to create more?' Every study we’ve done every year at the end, we’ve probably missed, I’d say, between 15 and 18 what we call legitimate opportunities, whether it was a fumble or an interception - not making one of those unbelievable catches or diving over the top of somebody. [Making those plays] comes out of habitual practice. You see it in practice, you get the opportunity and you do it. It’s no different than being a receiver. If you’re not making the catches in practice, you’re not going to make the catches in the game.”