On the Field with the Special Teams and Defensive Coaches

The defensive coaches and special teams coach speak with the media as the Chiefs go into their bye week

GARY GIBBS

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Q:** With Justin (Houston) taking the inside guys under his wing, do you think that's helped them?

Gibbs:"You know everybody's got to do their own deal.  Everybody's got certain roles they've got to play, they have to understand their responsibilities.  Everybody approaches it differently, in Josh's (Mauga) case he's been out for a year or so, coming off an injury so he's had to knock some rust off.  Certainly James (Michael-Johnson) contributed late in the year last year and did a very good job on special teams, but when DJ (Derrick Johnson) was injured and out for the year his mindset had to change and change in a hurry.  I think those guys have adjusted and I think as a defense, as a unit, everybody has gained confidence and everybody is trying to pick everybody up, but at the end of the day it's your job to get it done."

Q: What are Tamba Hali and Justin Houston doing well to get to the quarterback?

Gibbs:"Well the last couple years they've done a good job getting to the quarterback.  Those guys are good pass rushers, they're relentless, they work hard at their trade.  Those are the kinds of plays we'll need coming down to the last 11 games of the year."

Q: Where is Dee Ford in his progress this year?

Gibbs: "Dee's strength right now is rushing the quarterback.  He's helped us through the first five games as a pass rusher and he'll see more playing time in that role as we go forward.  As far as playing first and second down, he's in the learning process, he's making headway, he's doing a good job working hard, but we certainly understand where his strength lies."

BOB SUTTON

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Q:** You've done a nice job of not giving up the long pass plays this season. As best you can, what can you say about the adjustments you've made there, because it seems like there has been a big difference there?

SUTTON: "I think a lot of it comes back to technique and I think both Emmitt Thomas and Al Harris have done a great job working technique. And then it's also the players understanding when these 'shots' are more likely to happen. We don't have complete control of that, but you can know some by down and distance or formation or field position or any of that. That's part of understanding it as well. And I think the players have gotten better at it. I think some of disguises have been good and that's helped us. I think overall it's like most of these things, it's not one exact thing, but I think the players just understanding the importance of being on top of a receiver is really critical."

Q: It seems like you've done a much better job of staying on top of receivers and not giving them the deep passes?

SUTTON: "I know it sounds simple, but that starts with technique, whether it's hand placement or footwork. If you get in trouble low, it's hard to make up on some of these guys because sometimes it's just a matter of pure speed. If you add speed with accuracy, the deep ball is still the hardest ball to throw. There can be some long foul balls out there too that are open but they're not in the park. I think that's it. And I think a player has to feel confident too."

Q: Was Marcus Cooper's knee okay on Sunday? He had that one deep pass against him?

SUTTON: "Yeah, I think so. I mean, within reason of everybody in the league. That one he got in trouble down low, technique right off the bat. Then when you're dealing with speed and that type of thing and that was a really nice throw by (Colin) Kaepernick as well."

Q: Knowing that guys need a rest on the bye week, does it hurt the team mentally or take away some of the sharpness?

SUTTON: "Anytime you leave there's obviously huge benefits physically, mentally, the whole deal. Then when you come back, you've got to dive right back into it and not lose any of that technique, timing, all the things that happen that are part of football that when you're in a routine, it's a little bit easier to stay with. But I think obviously the benefits for the players, it's really important to get away, get a chance to recharge a little bit and for the guys, which includes almost everybody, you've got some kind of nick for every guy on our team I think. So hopefully that will heal up and allow them to be a little fresher, a little sharper."

Q: When you talked to Dee Ford after the game, what was his explanation to you on the Frank Gore rush where he got turned around?

SUTTON: "He didn't read the play right. It came out, he kind of felt pass, it was kind of a soft run fake look to him, and then I think he just kind of morphed into his pass responsibility there. Obviously it was a bad read on his part and he needed to come up and be part of the force there."

Q: Is he tough enough, physical enough to play?

SUTTON: "Oh yeah, that has nothing to do with toughness. That's just not reading your keys properly. It was kind of a different defense where we had him off into coverage to start with. He probably hasn't had enough reps of those and I think he's going to get that part."

Q: What about his development so far five games into his rookie season? Are you satisfied with what you've seen to this point?

SUTTON: "Yeah, because we've targeted him as primarily as a guy to help us in – his role for us – is to help us in the pass rush. And he's come in and done some nice things there. We're using him more and more each week in that role. We've got a package where we've got all three of those guys on the field at once and that's helped us, that allows us to move Justin (Houston) and Tamba (Hali) around on people and all that. It's a good thing and it takes advantage of a unique skill he has. He's got a great first step. I think he'll be fine when it's over with. We need him to keep going right now. This season, we've got a lot, a lot of football left. And we don't have to wait for the following year for him to develop. We need to get him going as fast as we can right now."

DAVE TOUB

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Q:**Is it a shot in the arm to have De'Anthony Thomas back?

TOUB:"Yes, it is.  It was exciting to see him.  He handled it really well, did a good job catching the ball and obviously the two returns were very good, so we're excited about him moving forward."

Q: What did De'Anthony show you?

TOUB:"He showed good poise that he can be able to make the catch and then obviously he set up the first return, there was a right return, but it started left and just his speed alone makes guys really adjust to it.  They jumped out to the field and then it opened up to the boundary for him.  He's got some natural instincts that you like to see."

Q: Two touches of the ball and two pretty impressive plays?

TOUB: "I know right.  A touchdown, a twenty yard return and a ten yard return, it was good."

Q: Why make the switch to put De'Anthony Thomas on the field for a kick return for the first time in this game?

TOUB: "We had a special return designed for him and had he gotten the ball it would have been nice to see how it would have went, but it was a touchback so it didn't work out for us."

Q: He seemed like he was disappointed he didn't get it.

TOUB: "He wanted it, he's a gamer, he wants to be the guy that sets up the offense.  That's what's so exciting about him."

EMMITT THOMAS

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