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Press Conference 4/20: Head Coach Andy Reid

Kansas City Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid speaks with the media as offseason workouts begin.

OPENING STATEMENT: "Welcome back, it's good to see everybody. It was good to see our players today. We're excited that they are back in town and we are able to start phase one today of the three phases that we are given in the offseason program. Phase one consists of the opportunity for the players to lift and condition and then they can meet in the classrooms with the coaches. There is no on-field work for them with coaches. The receivers and quarterbacks do have the opportunity to go out and throw at this time. But again, only those positions. With that, I'll turn it over to you folks."

Q: Is everybody here?

REID:"We are missing a couple guys. Two of which are related towards their academics, S (Daniel) Sorensen and OL (Laurent) Duvernay-Tardif. Sorensen is graduating and Duvernay is finishing up his residency. LB Justin Houston isn't here and S Eric Berry isn't here for obvious reasons."

Q: Do you expect Houston at all for the offseason stuff?

REID:"I would probably say it will probably be similar to last year until things get worked out. I think they'll get worked out."

Q: Where are the negotiations now? Do you have a good feeling that he will sign long term?

REID:"I think both sides want to be here, for whatever's said, I know how the jockeying has been. I've been in this long enough to understand how it all works out when you're dealing with negotiations, particularly with a good player. They will come to a number that's good for both sides. It will all work out and he will be here for a long period of time."

Q: There are certain options that can happen in this situation. Do you have to entertain all of the options or are you dead set on getting a deal signed?

REID:"That's the one thing you have to start with. You have to see how all of that works and try to work in that direction. Then whatever option comes up there, I mean if something happens we will be ready for that too. We want him here and I think that's been stated before. He's a good person and a good player. He's one of our team leaders. Sometimes these things just take time to get worked out."

Q: Do you get antsy in these situations?

REID:"I've been doing it a long time. I know the business and how it works. I'm not as close into working with the personnel side as what I used to be and having to deal with all the negotiations, but I was in enough of them to know, for 14 years there, how that works. I have complete trust in Dorsey and his guys, Trip (MacCracken) and Brandt (Tilis), they will get it done. That's how it works. I know on the other side that Justin is going to work his tail off because that's the way he's wired. He's going to make sure he's ready to go when the time comes."

Q: How many guys are limited because of medical issues?

REID:"I'll have to get you that. I don't have that with me just off the top of my tongue. I think we are pretty healthy right now and that's a good thing."

Q: What about specific guys like LB Derrick Johnson?

REID:"Yeah, I'll get you all that. He's been working out really since a couple months ago, actually. He should be ok doing everything."

Q: (Mike) DeVito?

REID:"DeVito would be the other one, yes. Both of those two are ok."

Q: What's the latest on S (Eric) Berry?

REID:"Just from talking to him, Rick has kept in communication with his doctor, but he's doing very well. He has a couple treatments left. Those treatments kind of knock the dog out of you, but he's fought through it and he's working out like a wild man. I know it was tweeted out, there were pictures of him at the Tennessee spring game. You could see where he lost that red hair he had, but that will be back."

Q: Going back to Houston, you said he wants to be here, is that from recent conversations with him or just knowing the guy?

REID:"I think it's probably knowing the guy. He knows that this is a good place for him. We know this is a good place for him. We just have to get it worked out. Both sides will do that, he has a good agent and we've got good representation here. Between Joel (Segal) and Trip, they will get it all worked out."

Q: Talking about trusting the personnel side to get things done, I'm guessing with the upcoming draft you trust that John Dorsey has the right guys in mind?

REID:"The scouts came in this past Wednesday and they've been in lock down. They will do that for 14 days there. Before that I was able to sit in with John in the afternoons and go through the board and look at the players. I can tell you that he has a good grasp on it. He's got good people around him who work with him. John is relentless, he is going to grind, grind, grind and I will put anybody up against him in that area. He makes sure every stone has been turned. He does a good job with that."

Q: How much do you grind? How does Dorsey present players to you to watch? How many players do you watch?

REID:"Obviously the scouts, this is their third go-around on this. They narrow it down, John will give X numbers of players to each coach on the staff to get their evaluation back on return to them. I'll have an opportunity to watch all of the guys at whatever pace I choose to watch it at. John keeps me abreast of it before I watch the players of what I am looking at and getting into. He's doing the majority of this thing, it's his deal and he does a great job at it."

Q: How many games do you need to watch of a player before you have a good grasp on him as a player?

REID:"That's where you have to be careful in this position. You watch four games on a guy whereas John has watched every game on a guy. I'm not the expert on these players, but it gives me a general feeling of the guy. But I'm definitely not near the expert that he is on those players."

Q: If you had a general overall message that you wanted to give players today, what would it be?

REID:"It's simple, we are in year three so you take it up a notch. You know what you are all about. You've walked in these moccasins. You know every step of the road. Now you just take everything up one notch and get ready to roll when it comes time to play."

Q: How much more advanced are you guys now in year three?

REID:"Normally by year three you have most of your stuff installed and the players have a pretty good feel for it."

Q: You mentioned the players you expect to participate, what about S Sanders Commings?

REID:"Yeah he's out there working. I'm not going to let him practice the first day of training camp. You know why. He's gotten hurt both years. I just told Dorsey, 'we just won't let him practice the first day and we will be ok.' He's been hurt the last two times we've done that. He'll help us down the road here and he's rehabbed like crazy. It's just matter of getting him past that first little bit of training camp."

Q: What about OL Jeff Allen?

REID:"Jeff is back and doing everything. Looks good, very good."

Q: He'll participate in OTAs?

REID:"Should be. I'll get you more accurate information on that as we get closer."

Q: OL (Donald) Stephenson will be back on the offensive line?

REID:"He will be back on the offensive line. I think he's had a good offseason so far, to this point. I think he's in the right frame of mind. He wants to prove to people that he deserves to be a starter so we should have a little competition in there as we go. It should be healthy."

Q: What happened to him last year after the suspension?

REID:"What happened was other guys got in and did their job. One thing you learn in this league, especially when you have Dorsey bringing in players like he brings in, he's going to try to create as much competition as possible. So if you allow another man into your spot, there is no guarantee, in particular if that guy does well. You want to make sure you capture that position when given the opportunity and there's a lot that goes into that."

Q: Do you anticipate a possible suspension for CB Sean Smith? Have you heard from the league on that?

REID:"We have not heard. That's in their hands and we will be ready either way. If he is suspended we will handle it from there and if he's not then he will be in there playing."

Q: You've coached a lot of teams where you were the hunted. The Royals are kind of going through that. What are your thoughts on that and how you handle success?

REID:"Well when you are the hunted at time teams are going to shots at you. They have to know that you are willing to put your foot down. Looks like that's what the Royals are doing. From what I understand, if teams throw at you, beware. Right? Beware. That looks like what they are doing. I had a chance to go watch some of their spring practice. They have a good team, virtually almost the same team they had before. They have a great manager and a great front office, so good things are going to happen for them. They have a great locker room. I was able to kind of walk around and meet some of the guys and you can tell it's a tight group. So I'd say the things you are seeing the past few days, I mean I can talk about baseball, I'm like you are, I'm a fan.  I would imagine that they are putting their foot down and saying, 'hey if you want to mess around, we aren't backing down."

Q: As a coach, how do you feel about that?

REID:"I've got to say, I kind of like it. I've got a Royals hat, I'm wearing it."

Q: How important is this time of year for guys to get some continuity?

REID:"Very important, if you're in the room you're a part of this football team. Dorsey spends a lot of hours looking at the guys, not only as players but as people. So if we've invited you into that room you are going to be accepted and be a part of it. Then you have to earn the respect. The playing part is if you go on and your work ethic, all of those things, you better toe the line the right way."

Q: Why did you guys decide to release TE (Sean) McGrath? It seems like he wanted to come back and play.

REID:"I think at a point there he wanted to go a little different direction and he did that and then he wanted to come back, but by that time we had things kind of filled up. This gives him an opportunity to hook onto somebody else. He can play in the National Football League. He's a good guy, a hard worker. I had a chance to talk to him. You never know in this league. You could be right back here, but for right now it gives him an opportunity to hook on with another team."

Q: When you guys started talking about what your priorities where in the offseason, was the number one priority finding guys with more juice?

REID:"You're always trying to find energy givers and guys who can help your football team. We've got a lot of those guys on this football team, which I've appreciated. We've got guys who like to play the game and I appreciate that part. I don't know about the juice."

Q: You've used the word Juice.

REID:"Yeah, I know what juice is."

Q: All good football teams need guys who have some edge. Do you think you have enough edge? Are you happy with what you've done in the offseason to bring some of that here?

REID:"I thought we had enough edge last year and we've added to it. We have guys who, again, like to play the game. They've played hard, they've played aggressive. I've grown to appreciate that. Are you always looking to upgrade and create competition? Absolutely."

Q: Especially on the offensive line, how much does it help to have one guy who is kind of mean?

REID:"Well, you hope they all do that. That's what you're hoping. A lot of times one guy can help bring out the best in other guys. You see that in all sports, but you certainly see it in that position."

Q: Is QB Alex (Smith) cleared to take part in everything?

REID:"Yes. Alex Smith? Yes, he's fine."

Q: Where are we at with (QB) Tyler Bray?

REID:"He is rehabbing. He's not doing it here on campus. He's off campus doing it. But he is rehabbing."

Q: Why not here?

REID:"I'll get you that. He's got a set up where he's doing it at his place. It's a good set-up. He's getting good treatment. I don't know if there are any league rules on that, Dorsey has all that stuff."

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