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Five Things We Learned From the Coordinators on Thursday

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 Thursday afternoon.

Here are five things that stood out.

Assistant Head Coach / Special Teams Coordinator Dave Toub

1. Take us through Tremon Smith’s 97-yard kick return

TOUB: “As you saw the day go on, he was building his confidence as he went. He had a little bit of a return [on the first one] - he had a chance to pop one and then got tripped up with an arm tackle. The next one was a little bit longer. The third one was the one that he busted. You could see his confidence build as he went. We got him a lot of touches through the preseason. He got a bunch there and then he sat back and watched De’Anthony [Thomas] a little bit in his first few weeks. He got really hungry for a return and did a really good job for us.”

2. What do you feel a return like that will do for Smith’s development?

TOUB: “Success breeds success. Confidence is huge for a returner. He knows those guys are blocking. The blocking was really good. They did a nice job blocking. There were guys on the ground. He just took advantage of his opportunity. The lane was there, and he hit it. He didn’t know the guy was behind him chasing him down, so we gave him a hard time on that. Next time, I think he will sprint in the end zone and not slow down.”

Offensive Coordinator Eric Bieniemy

3. What did you see in the second half against New England that allowed [offensive linemen] Jordan Devey and Andrew Wylie to not miss a beat with the offense?

BIENIEMY: “First of all, and I’m not saying this just to say it, we have a heck of a coaching staff. [Offensive Line Coach Andy] Heck does a great job. If you look at his career, he has done an outstanding job of developing guys. We always have this thing - and I know everybody uses it – but the next man is up. We can’t worry about what happened. Obviously, we are concerned about the injuries, but you can’t worry about what has happened. The only thing that we can do is continue to move forward. The next man steps up and he has to make the most of that opportunity.”

4. What jumps out to you about the Cincinnati Bengals?

BIENIEMY: “There are a lot of challenges. That defensive line is pretty darn good. First of all, let me just say this overall, the defense is very, very good. Everything starts up front. I know [defensive tackle] Geno Atkins does a heck of a job. You’ve got [defensive end Carlos] Dunlap. You’ve got [defensive end] Michael Johnson. They’re just solid. The linebacker corps [is good]. The secondary has been together for a while. This is an experienced defense that knows how to play the game and they do a great job of flying to the football.”

Defensive Coordinator Bob Sutton

5. How much do you think strong opposing quarterback play has had to do with some of the past defensive struggles?

SUTTON: “Well, we’ve played good quarterbacks and we’ve played quarterbacks before…[but] we could play better. I think you’re always judging a couple things when things are happening, and this is why - I’ve said this before, the single most important statistic if you’re going to have one on defense is points. That’s the game and that’s why you make that red-zone stop - that’s a big deal in the game. It gives you a chance to win it. Hey, I’d like for them have [zero] yards, but that’s probably not going to happen, and I don’t think yards are a true indicator of what’s going on. Now, if you’re going to give up yards, then you have to do some other things really well. You have to be really good on third down, you have to have takeaways - you have to be good in that area - and you have to be good in the red zone. If you do those three things, I think you’re going to have a chance to help your team be in position to win. Hey, we’ve played some really good quarterbacks. Obviously, Tom Brady, everybody knows that he’s an outstanding quarterback. [Chargers’ quarterback Philip] Rivers is lighting everybody up. You just have to play and it’s the way the game is today, you just have to go.”

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