Nine Takeaways from Chiefs Media Availability Thursday

Chiefs linebacker Josh Mauga did not practice again on Thursday due to a thigh strain he suffered against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday.

**Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Doug Pederson

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Offensive coordinator Doug Pederson commented on watching the offense get into the red zone but not score touchdowns last week against the Cincinnati Bengals.

"It's a situation that obviously is getting into your scoring, you're giving up points," he said. "The seven field goals were nice, but you definitely are shooting for the touchdowns. There's such a fine line anywhere on the football field – any mistake can be magnified, penalties, sacks, turnovers, especially in scoring territory. We've got to be able to negate those and stay on the field offensively and convert those field goals into touchdowns. That's the bottom line."

Pederson said that the ability to gain yards in chunk this season is simply due to the high level of play from his players.

"It has nothing to do with plays and schemes," he said. "It's just our guys attacking the defense at the time. Whether it's a run or pass, our guys are executing that particular play. It's a lot of plays that we repeat, we've had a lot of time invested in these plays from OTAs to training camp to now, guys know exactly where they're going to be. Alex [Smith] knows exactly, as we would say, where all the bones are buried and he can deliver the football on time and allow for those chunk plays to happen."

Pederson said that he's been making a point of it to work on pass protection for quarterback Alex Smith, an area he believes is improving.

"Our guys are getting better," he said. "They're working hard. I'm not going to make any excuses about it, we do have to get better in that area and allow Alex some time to throw the ball down the field. Our guys know that and it's a pride thing and we continue to work on it every day."

**Defensive coordinator Bob Sutton

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Defensive coordinator Bob Sutton explained what happened with his defense in the game against the Bengals, against whom it gave up 36 points.

"We didn't start the game the way you would like to start a game," he said. "On the first and second drives we gave up touchdowns and you don't ever want to start the games like that. We had a long pass on a fumbled snap – a lot of things happened there. I think one of the lessons – we try to show guys all the time, even though things aren't going the way you would like them to go or the way you're picturing them going as you get ready to play a game – that game is 14-12 I believe, at halftime, and I think it's 21-15 with about 50 seconds left in the third quarter. And so even though you – I'm speaking defensively, you haven't played like you want to play, the game is right there. And sometimes we talked about this in the preseason, in camp we say 'look, hey sometimes you're not playing the way you want to play, but what you need to be able to do, you need to be able to make one big stop in a game or one big takeaway in a game to secure the victory or win the game.'"

Sutton said that despite the bad stretch, he remains happy with the attitude and effort of his players.

"We've talked about it – we've got a good group of guys," he said. "One of the things you have to do, I think you have to be very careful not to let your emotion, whether it's good or bad for a game – the highs of winning and the lows of losing affect how you look, speaking as a coach and really as a player. What happened on that video? You just want to be honest. You want to say 'hey, if we won and these things weren't right, we need to fix them. And you know what? If we lost we still need to fix them.' It doesn't really matter which way you go, so that's one of the real challenges I think for coaches and players."

Sutton is impressed with what Bears running back Matt Forte is able to do for their offense.

"Forte has been a great player in our league for quite a while," he said. "One of the things that he's like Jamaal [Charles] is he does everything – runs inside, runs outside, he catches the ball, he's a legitimate threat in that, he's good in pass protection, he's just a really good football player. And I think a lot of their offense goes through him. He's a really valuable player to them both, obviously in the running game, but I think just as much in the passing game."

**Special teams coordinator Dave Toub

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Special teams coordinator Dave Toub shared his thoughts on kicker Cairo Santos' record seven field goals against the Bengals.

"It's good for his confidence, knowing that he can make seven in a row in a game," he said. "That's going to go a long way for him down the road."

Toub described his emotions in playing against his former team in the Bears.

"This is the first time, and I'm kind of looking forward to seeing those guys," he said. "The crazy thing is, is that there are only five players on the team that were there when I was there. That's how much turnover they've had over the last three years, so it's kind of interesting. Just seeing some of the front office people, people that travel, it will be good to see those people."

Toub believes the return units are very close to scoring a touchdown.

"We're getting closer," he said. "I told the guys that, that we have to be sound, we have to finish with no penalties, illegal blocks, you know, stay on our guys and eventually it will come. You just got to keep chipping, chipping away at it."

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