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What We Learned From Chiefs Chairman and CEO Clark Hunt

Chiefs Chairman and CEO Clark Hunt spoke with the media on Saturday


Opening Statement: "Good morning everybody. It's great to be wrapping up the first week of training camp up here in St. Joe. I want to thank all the fans who came out today. I think we had over 5,000 fans and I also would like to thank the governor for being a part of it."

Q: What are your expectations for this year?

HUNT: "Well we're in a situation where we have high expectations for the team. We're trying to build off of what we accomplished last year. I've jokingly said that I expect us to get off to a better start and I think that goes without saying. We do think we have a team that can compete for a championship and that's what the guys are about – they're out here working hard trying to do that."

Q:What is the state of the team's pass rush right now and what are coaches telling you about it?

HUNT:"Well it's not something that we talked about. Obviously we've got a couple of injuries at the outside pass-rushing positions. I think we're fortunate to have some very talented players behind them. We also have a talented defensive line that we think can get after the quarterback. So no doubt that we'll be better when Tamba [Hali] and Justin [Houston] are back. But you know we feel good about it in the interim."

Q: Do you feel as good about this roster as you have about recent years?

HUNT:"Yeah, I really do. And obviously a lot of that is based on the performance that we saw last year. The job that John [Dorsey] and his staff have continued to do in terms of bringing in young players and some veteran players who can fill in and make us stronger. I think this is the most complete team we've had since Andy [Reid] and John have been here."

Q:What was the amount of disappointment you had with the penalty? And how did that end up?

HUNT:"Well, I said at the time that we were very disappointed in the result. It is something that we've put in the rearview mirror and I'm not going to go back and rehash it. We've moved on. Looking forward to the start of the season."

Q:Is there anything that you guys can put in place if something like that would happen again?

HUNT:"We have a great staff and it was just an unfortunate circumstance and it's behind us now and we're looking forward to getting out for our first preseason game next week." 

Q:What do you feel Eric Berry's long-term future is with the Chiefs?* * 

HUNT:"Well we were disappointed to not be able to reach a long-term contract with Eric. He's somebody we think very highly of. He's been a great player on the field. He does so much in the community. He's a team leader. We certainly look forward to having him be a part of the team in 2016. And as soon as we have an opportunity next year, we'll sit down with his representatives and see if we can work out a scenario where he can finish his career here."

Q:What scenario is there where you two could come to an agreement then, but not right now?

HUNT:"Well I'll just say that every year is different. And you know, we couldn't close the gap this year, but next year is a different situation, so I can't say that they'll be anything fundamentally that happens that would make it possible, but it's certainly something that we'll talk about."

Q:Tyreek Hill, is that a situation that was brought to you before they made the pick?

HUNT: "John Dorsey did visit with me before the draft. He mentioned that it was a possibility and he walked through the diligence that he and his staff had done. And I have tremendous confidence in them and the work that they do."

Q:Was there any concern on your part in how he might be perceived?

HUNT:"Domestic violence is a very serious issue and it's never okay. I knew there would be people who would be concerned about it. I also felt confident that John and his staff had done a very good job of evaluating Tyreek and thought that he could come in here and fit in with the team and fit in with this community."

Q:What gives you confidence that he won't have any more issues?

HUNT:"That's really up to Tyreek. At the end of the day, he's been given a great opportunity. An opportunity to be part of the Kansas City Chiefs and part of this community. In the three months that he's been here, he's done everything that's been asked of him."

Q:Having drafted a few more 'characters' this year than the team has in the past, what gives you confidence that they'll pan out here?* * 

HUNT:"John and Andy know that I believe in having a team that's very high character all the way around. I think at the end of the day that gives you a better chance to compete. Certainly how the organization represents itself in the community is very important to me. And that's why it's incumbent upon John and his staff to do a lot of work. A lot of young men, whether it's in high school or college, make mistakes, but I also believe that sometimes you can give somebody a second chance. We've all made mistakes, and you know some of these guys deserve an opportunity to show that's not who they really are."

Q:Now with the absence of a franchise in St. Louis [Rams], what do you think your organization should do to perhaps capitalize on that, as far as Chiefs Kingdom and this region?

HUNT: "First of all it's something we're trying to be very respectful of. We know there are a lot of great Rams fans in St. Louis that are very disappointed to lose their team to Los Angeles. We're not proactively courting them at this point. Probably the best thing we can do to build a fan base over there is to go out and have a great season on the field."

Q: You voted favorably for the move from St. Louis to Los Angeles, correct?

HUNT: "I actually was not in favor of St. Louis moving. It had been my hope that one team would move to LA and that it would be one of the California teams. It ultimately did not play out that way though."

Q: Was it in your vote, did you vote for it?

HUNT: "We don't discuss votes at the league meeting."

Q: You're going into year four with Andy, have you talked at all about a contract extension?

HUNT: "It is not a conversation that we've had yet. I would expect at some point we will though."

Q: Is that the same with John, is he on a five-year deal too?

HUNT: "Well as you know our contracts are not public, but leave it as, I am very satisfied with the job that both John and Andy are doing and hope that both will be part of the organization for a long time."

Q: Thinking about St. Louis, do the different NFL teams around St. Louis have some influence there in the preseason, like Chicago, Indianapolis, and Tennessee -- what's the status of that? I know you're not actively courting, but are you guys doing something in the preseason?

HUNT: "Our games will be on TV in St. Louis. And I think what you're referring to is a number of NFL teams – Chicago, Indianapolis – their games are going to be on in the preseason there, that's something the league has allowed this year. Which it won't necessarily be that way every year."

Q: Tell me if I understand this correctly: they're going to see how it goes with preseason but eventually one of these teams that surrounds St. Louis will get the rights to that city?

HUNT: "Well, an NFL team has the rights to the region around it – a 75 mile region. Really the only rights that someone would have would be to televise their games in St. Louis."

Q: Are you trying to get the St. Louis fan base as far as season ticket holders from St. Louis?

HUNT: "We do have some there – certainly going back to the period of time when St. Louis didn't have a team. Over time that may grow, but again it is not something that we're actively courting this year."

Q: Another thing, Eric Fisher. How long did that deal come into works: last minute before camp or how long were you guys thinking about extending Fisher?

HUNT: "Those discussions all took place really in the two weeks leading up to camp. They went very quickly and we were hopeful to get something done before camp and it just worked out that way."

Q: Just to clarify something I heard earlier: the Chiefs games in the preseason are going to be on TV in St. Louis this year?

HUNT: "I believe that is correct, yes."

Q: You've got an SMU guy [Shak Randolph] out here, did you arrange for that?

HUNT: "I didn't arrange it, but John every year - when we're going over the draft board - always likes to point out the one SMU guy that he thinks might be a fit. Sometimes they are not a player you would draft, but a player you would sign in free agency. So we're delighted to have him here."

Q: Have you had a chance to talk to him?

HUNT: "We had a chance to visit at the rookie dinner back in the spring."

Q: Did you guys sing the fight song or anything like that?

HUNT: "I'm not sure I still remember it."

Q: Are you still on the Board of Trustees there [SMU]?

HUNT: "Yes I am."

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