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What We Learned from Andy Reid on Thursday

Andy Reid spoke to the media following the last day of mandatory minicamp

OPENING STATEMENT:"Ok, so as far as injuries go, there's really just one. D.J. Alexander tweaked his back a little bit. He'll be fine, so we're not worried. We didn't do much today. The guys had their conditioning part. They're pretty gassed. We did a little bit of that, did a little red zone, but not too much with the heat. The guys did a nice job on their run. It looked like they were in pretty good shape, even the big guys, which I'm always concerned about. We had a good camp. It was productive. I was probably most impressed by the young guys and the improvement that they made. Really all the rookies took steps forward, and in today's world, in today's NFL, those young guys in some cases are going to contribute for you, so it's important that they stay right on top of that. It's also important that when they leave here, that they don't lose that. We put a big emphasis on that. They'll stay on top there, so when they come back we're not just starting from scratch. They'll be able to step in and get going fast. With that, time is yours."

Q: What else made it a productive few weeks here?

REID: "In the offseason, you have a chance to go back through. You look at the things you did well, and some things that you didn't do well. Some of those you kick out, some of them you work on, try to get better, so we did that. I thought we improved in some areas. Then we added some stuff, which you do every year. You want to make sure you master that the best you can, and then you still know you have training camp to figure that out. I thought we were able to make some improvements in those areas, too.  And then special teams – I'll tell you, it's all three phases when you go through that."

Q: Since Jeremy Maclin has left, have you seen anything from that group of receivers?

REID: "We're going to be ok. I'm happy about the improvement that they've made over this camp, even last year. But listen, do we have work to do? Absolutely. We have to get this training camp in, get the pads on there, but for that to take place, we had to have confidence in the guys that are here. But we have to keep working. We have a ways to go. We have to keep working."

Q: You already talked about Demarcus Robinson. Any other young guys catch your eye?

REID: "Yes. I would say 81 (Seantavius Jones) has done a nice job. I know him by 'Stretch'. You guys know him by his real name. He's done a nice job. He's had a chance to work in there, in the rotation, and do some things. He's a big kid that can run, pretty good hands. But again, he hasn't played, hasn't played yet. So, we have to see how he does in camp."

Q: You and John Dorsey are always talking about competition. Do you feel like you have that?

REID: "Yeah, you try to create that at all positions. As you know, this thing is fluid as we go, but yeah, I feel pretty good about the competition."

Q: Any idea what Parker Ehinger's status will be when you guys start camp?

REID: "I'll let you know that there. I think it will be a race for him to be ready to go. I'm not counting on that."

Q: What about Travis Kelce?

REID: "There's a pretty good chance he'll be ready."

Q: With rookie minicamp, OTAs and this camp, what has Patrick Mahomes  improved the most on?

REID: "Well, I'd probably tell you everything. I mean that's how it is for rookies, so they come in and it's a clean slate and you're building every phase on the offense with them. If you take where he was in the rookie camp compared to now, there's no comparison there. I thought he's done a good job against the blitz, which is important for a young guy. I thought yesterday was his best day against the blitz. That's a positive thing that he can take into this off-offseason."

Q: What is the next step for him?

REID: "Just continuing to improve in all phases."

Q: At this point, do you have a specific plan for what you want the guys to work on?

REID: "Barry (Rubin) gives them a program to work on. Everybody has their own little thing that they add to that and do. We do give them a program."

Q: Where do you spend your time off?

REID: "In years past I would have told you eating, but I've pushed back in a way a bit, so I'm not going to do that. But I try to step back as much as you can. Your mind is never off it. At least mine isn't. I'm always thinking about how can we get better. I look forward to getting the guys back, so we've got that energy. I'll normally last about a week sitting there, and then I have to go."

Q: Any worry about Eric Berry's heel?

REID: "No, I'm not too worried about that. I think he'll be alright."

Q: How did he come to you guys? What did he say?

REID: "My heel hurts."

Q: Is that a common thing for guys to lose what they've worked on by the time training camp rolls around?

REID: "Well, it can be if you don't put an emphasis on it. I think we've done a pretty good job at that with the guys. I try to put an emphasis on that every year. We've had luck doing that. You get drowned if not. Training camp is so fast, and then you're tired, and it's hot, obviously, with a little humidity thrown in there. If you come in behind, it's very hard to catch up."

Q:Is the rookie camp that you guys do a pretty good refresher course?

REID: "When they do the rookie camp, they're going to get the same thing in the first install here. They get it once camp starts and they get it one other time in the mandatory camp, so by the time they get there it'll be their third time and they should have it pretty well figured out by then."

Q: Is Steven Nelson ok?

REID: "He's ok."

Q: You talked about dealing with Tyreek Hill how you've done with DeSean (Jackson), what about the mental side of having an increased load?

REID:"Well you have to make sure they have the aptitude. We experimented with him in that area last year and we found out he's got good capacity and can recall it quickly and he's able to make adjustments, so we've tried to expand his role a little bit.  Does he need to continue to learn, yes. He's a second year player, so he's got to continue to learn and work hard and do those things, but he's a pretty sharp kid."

Q:You'd mentioned the team was embracing the high expectations, have you seen that manifest in the way that they've worked?

REID: "Normally that's how it goes, high expectations and then patience level for making mistakes goes down, that's how it works.  I've seen that, they're hard on each other if someone goofs up.  They're willing to teach each other, but their hard on each other and the coaches likewise.  We try and be demanding with them and they seem to respond to that which is good.  Sometimes you have teams that back away from that, but this group doesn't.  It hasn't been that way since I've been here and it doesn't seem like this group is that way at all."

Q:Given the rule restrictions during this time is there anything you can get more out of one phase than another?

REID: "The offseason is probably set up better for offense than it is for defense. Phase two it's hard to go against a trash can, so this phase three you get to go offense versus defense and that helps put everything together and do their thing.  So I'd tell you phase three is better than phase two or one.  Rookie minicamp is the same way, you can go against each other there which is good.  Defense gets a little slighted there in those first couple phases."

Q: What have you seen from Bennie Logan during minicamp and OTA's?

REID: "I like what I've seen.  Tough guy, good leader. He's got a good personality, works his tail off.  Right now we haven't had the pads on, but he's been there before so it's different than having a rookie coming in that hasn't played at this level.  I definitely like what I've seen and I assume I'll see the same thing at camp."

Q: Over the years how do you decide whether to throw out something in the playbook or keep it?

REID: "I tell the players, I'm going to give you one, maybe two shots at it and if it stinks it's gone, we've got a lot of options and a lot of plays so I'm not going to sit there and beat our heads up against the wall with something that's not good.  A lot of those I'm drawing up, so you just check your ego at the door and it goes in the trash can, bad idea ,move on to the next one and here we go."

Q:When the group gets back together in St. Joseph, what's your number one priority?

REID: "Getting them in football shape, it will always be that.  Then taking our game up a notch here, we've done ok the last few years, but I'm never satisfied with that at all."

Q: Anything from a strategic standpoint that you'd like to work on?

REID: "If I told you that it'd probably be a mistake. That was a good try though."

Q:You talked a couple weeks ago about the New England game and you really liked having that test right off the bat, why is that good thing?

REID: "Well first of all it gets everybody's attention, it's on a Thursday, so when you finish camp it's not like you finish camp and get a couple days off, you're right there.  You have to get in, you have to prepare yourself and you've got to come out and be ready to go.  It's against good competition, national TV, all of that."

Q: Does this get everybody's attention unlike your normal season opener?

REID: "No it gets their attention, I'm just saying you don't have the days off.  There's no time to just back off for a couple days and relax.  That's not how this rolls, you're kicking it off so you better be ready to roll."

Q: Did you ever have the Thursday opener with the Eagles? REID: "I'm not sure I did."

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