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. Have the kickoff rules made more, less or the expected impact that you thought they might?
TOUB: "It's still a little early to tell because this is not return season yet. Return season kind of comes in November when it starts getting cold – in November and December - when the kickers can't kick it as far. It's five yards shorter so those touchbacks end up being five yards in the end zone and five yards in the end zone ends up being goal line kicks, so you get more returns. It's still hard to tell right now but I still really believe that there's going to be more returns, overall. At the end of the season, there are going to be more returns and it's going to be more of an exciting play I think for the fans."
2. How does a guy like Anthony Sherman fit in on your special teams units?
TOUB: "That's a good question because he's not the fastest guy in the world, but he's tough, he's smart and he understands angles and geometry to be able to get on blocks well. He does that and he doesn't make any wasted motion because if he did, he would get run by. He's a smart guy, he's a leader for us and we want him on the field as much as we can, but certain situations, obviously, we have to take him off. If it's a one-on-one [with] the fastest guy, obviously, he is going to have to come off."
Offensive Coordinator Eric Bieniemy
3. What can you prepare for against the Patriots knowing that they have extra time to prepare and it is a tailor-made defense for your offense?
BIENIEMY: "Well, you kind of prepare for everything, and I don't say that lightly. Heck, [Bill Belichick] is a Hall of Fame coach for a reason. He has done a great job over his career and they do a great job of scheming teams up. At the end of the day, we just need to make sure our guys are mentally and physically prepared for anything that can happen. Obviously, throughout the season, they put certain things on tape, but we know Coach Belichick likes to change things up every now and then. But that is OK. We still want to stick to our guns. We want to make sure we are efficient and sound in what we do. And when it is all said and done with, it will always be about us, how well we prepare and how well we perform on game day."
Defensive Coordinator Bob Sutton
4. What is the difference in [defensive end] Allen Bailey from last year to this year in regard to being an effective pass rusher?
SUTTON: "One thing with Allen is, and I think the number one quality of good rushers is, is that they are relentless. Relentless within a play, within the series, within the game. Allen is probably one of the best examples of that because he keeps rushing. He has had two or three sacks this year out of good effort where he's chased the quarterback out of the pocket and ran him down on the sideline, and that just comes from working. You don't get that many where you go by them like Dee [Ford] has a couple of times where you can sack, strip them and go. Most of them are hard work, banging, and the quarterback does something and you get that chance to go get him. I think he has worked really hard at it. [Defensive Line Coach] Britt [Reid] has done a really good job. He and [Outside Linebackers Coach] Mike Smith have worked really hard to get this thing going. Since the very first game, we have been rushing hard. We have been in the 80s play-wise and still getting great effort and rush. Usually, if you keep doing those things, it works out. I think he has done a really good job of improving."
5. What's made Dee Ford so consistent this season?
SUTTON: "I think he's become, instead of a guy that has a great first step, which he has, and great speed, he's become a real legitimate rusher. He knows how to counter. He understands pass sets. He understands who he is playing against, how they respond and what they do. That makes your job a lot easier if you can get that all down. That's a whole process and belief that this will pay off for me if I do those things. It takes a lot of work during the week. Mike Smith does a really good job with him and with all of those guys of giving them the information, the background and clips to match these things, saying, 'This is what we anticipating and this is what we think this guy is like.' I compare it to pitchers and hitters. They have to know each other to really take advantage of it. You can just get up there and swing or reel back and throw your fastball without knowing anything about them. Sometimes, that's good enough. Usually, when you get people of equal ability, you have to know something else. That's where I think the entire group of inside and outside linebackers has really kind of elevated."