Nine Takeaways from Chiefs Media Availability Thursday

Offensive Coordinator Doug Pederson

Offensive coordinator Doug Pederson touched upon what exactly happened during their fourth quarter fumble in last Sunday's game versus the Vikings.

"Well, I don't think there's any explanation, I just think you watch the tape and you know that those two collided and hit right on the ball," Pederson said. "It's no different than a defensive back or linebacker tackling or hitting the football as the same. He hit him and the ball comes down, unfortunately."

"They had a line stunt and he was trying to get to his end and just came back inside and there was Charcandrick at the same time."

After being targeted 7 times last Sunday, Pederson describes the progress of rookie wide receiver Chris Conley. He is expected to start his third straight game on Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

"I think what you're seeing is the youth and the understanding of our offense. The longevity of the National Football League season— I think you're beginning to see some of that. Sometimes I think as a young player, the longer you play, particularly as a starter or a substantial role, some things become exposed to you and just understanding your offense.

"Chris is a tremendously hard worker, you guys know that, and he spends a lot of time in the classroom, on the practice field and working on his skill. And it's just going to come with time, with more reps that he's going to develop that natural relationship with his quarterback, Alex (Smith)."

Second-round pick center Mitch Morse will face a talented front seven on Sunday's game. Pederson mentioned Morse will be relying on Smith, especially in communication for blitz packages.

"Alex is a veteran guy that's sharp with all of the protections and checks and [Mitch is] going to rely on Alex a little bit and vice versa," Pederson said. "They meet together in the afternoons and they go over all of those different schemes and make sure they're both seeing the same things and identifying the proper guys.

"Every team is going to bring pressure, it's just a matter of identifying the proper guys. Then once you identify the right guy, your rules take care of themselves. And again, that falls back on the quarterback identifying the proper [guy], whether it be a linebacker or a safety."

Defensive coordinator Bob Sutton

Defensive coordinator Bob Sutton sees Steelers quarterback Landry Jones' play style as similar to that of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger after being with Pittsburgh for three years. Sutton believes second-string quarterback Michael Vick's style is different to prepare for than the others.

"I think it'll push back to where they were with Ben because, obviously, [Landry's] been trained in the system and is familiar with it," Sutton explained. "When Michael came in so late, he was trying to catch up without many reps so that puts him in a difficult position. In turn, they adjusted the offense to Michael and took advantage of some of Mike Vick's strengths.

"We don't know exactly how [Landry is] going to play, but we have a better feeling of how [the rest of the team] may play structure-wise."

Kansas City faced Pittsburgh in Week 16 of the 2014 season. Sutton believes facing the Steelers not so long ago will help the defense to be familiar with the offense's strategies.

"I think Ben was off to an unbelievable start at the beginning of this season, as was their offense," Sutton said. "I think their offense was as good as anybody in our league – the way they were executing, moving the ball.

"Collectively, they're a really talented group. You have Antonio Brown, who's the most targeted guy in the NFL. But you can't just deal with him and say 'hey, take him, carry him' and it's over – there's a lot of other weapons there. The back is playing probably as good of football as anybody in our league the last two years. He's a complete back – running, catching. He's a different style back. He waits things out and he's got a great ability to just kind of sit there, sit there and then bam, he hits it."

Last Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings, Sutton's defensive front held running back Adrian Peterson to just 60 yards on 26 carries. Sutton believes this will be the key again in the matchup with the Steelers.

"I think one, you have to really play well up front," Sutton explained. "The front has to do a great job and you have to limit the time these guys can get to your second level right away. The second thing, when you're playing these backs like this, you really need a great team defense.

"You need to keep the ball inside and in front of the defense and you need your backside people never to relax. That's one of the big things in this game all the way, because their receivers are all great vertical threats, but they're also great catch-and-run guys and they make a lot of yards catching the ball and turning it into a huge play. It's going to demand every player on every play in this game, and you have to think 'I'm the key guy on this play. I may be over there on that far number, but before this thing's over, they may need me. So I have to be working and working really hard this week.'"

Special teams coordinator Dave Toub

Special teams coordinator Dave Toub touched on Rakeem Nuñez-Roches' first NFL snaps saying he saw "an explosive guy."

"I mean, we see an explosive guy in practice, that's why we put him in there," Toub said. "We had a punt block that we put him in and he shows real good explosiveness and he almost blocked that punt right at the end. As long as he's up we're going to continue to use him little by little."

Due to injury, Chiefs running back Knile Davis has been taking more and more offensive snaps, but Toub still plans to use Davis as a kick returner for now.

"He's going to continue to be our number one kick returner going forward," Toub said. "He played a little bit of punt return for us last week.

"We might use Spencer Ware in that role a little bit more, we'll see. But we have a number of guys that we could use there. We keep an eye on it, game to game it changes. If he's the hot hand and he's getting a lot of touches, we'll take him off some special teams during the game.

Toub also touched upon the success of Pittsburgh's special teams under the direction of coach Danny Smith.

"Their returners are great," Toub said. "I mean, their punt returner, [Antonio Brown], is unbelievable.

"And then Dri Archer as a kick returner is unbelievable – real speed, 4.24. Hits the edge and if you're out of position he can go the distance on you, so we've got our hands full as usual."

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