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What We Learned From Day Two Mandatory Minicamp Press Conferences

14 takeaways from the Chiefs' media availability Wednesday


QB Alex Smith, LB Derrick Johnson and OL Ben Grubbs came to the podium Tuesday.

Quarterback Alex Smith agreed with wide receiver Jeremy Maclin in that they already feel on the same page.

"I feel really good about where things are right now, where they're going, how they've progressed," Smith said. "I think with all the restrictions and stuff that are in place in the offseason, I don't see how we could have done any more. I really feel like we've gotten great work as a whole, but he and I especially have gotten a lot of reps together, a lot of good looks."

Smith said that really likes what Maclin can bring to the table.

"He's a guy that can do everything," he said of the Chiefs' new wide receiver. "At this level, that's so rare— a guy that has the speed and quickness to be able to do that and be a threat downfield, but also has the size to move inside and can do a lot of things in there for us. I think [Maclin has] the smarts— the technical route running and understanding of how people are defending him."

Smith realizes that this offense comes with a great deal of weapons.

"It's fun," he said. "Especially this spring, it's been a ton of fun to move around. It's like, 'Who's going to have the big day?' 

"You don't know. I think that's the fun part, even for us, is going out and you don't know who it's going to be because everyone has had their turn. That's been a lot of fun for us, to kind of go back and cut it loose. There are good matchups all over the place."

Smith believes that minicamp is the "time" for quarterbacks.

"We (quarterbacks and receivers) probably have the biggest advantage this time of year because we can probably get the most out of this," Smith said. "I think the skill-position guys on offense, specifically throwing the football, this is our time of year. It's tough. We don't have pads on, so the run game is really at a disadvantage. It's hard to get a good look. The guys up front, the O and D-Line, they're limited. It's not real football for them, whereas us, outside, it's more realistic. We can really get a sense of timing."

Smith says that tight end Travis Kelce is showing an eagerness for the football each practice.

"[Tuesday] in practice, I can hear him make calls at the line of scrimmage because he wants the football," Smith said of the third-year tight end. "It's so great to see that confidence on the field, of him calling for when he wants the football. As a quarterback, that's encouraging. You want a bunch of guys out there that are feeling good about their matchup and want the football."

Smith said, in year three, this is "hands down" the most the playbook has been installed by this time.

That said, there can always be more.

"The crazy thing with coach Reid is there's no end game," he said. "It's never-ending because he's always thinking of new stuff."

Even from a statistical standpoint, Smith said the offense seems improved.

"We get our stats every single day that come back to us, especially as quarterbacks," Smith said. "It's not even close as far as this has been our best offseason for sure as far as any numbers in the passing game, whatever you're looking at— completion percentage, touchdowns, all that stuff."

Linebacker Derrick Johnson agreed with Smith's point above.

"Right now is a good time for the offense to not be getting hit," he said, "to actually see some looks, get some passes, get some confidence going, because when we get to training camp, it will be a lot more hitting."

In his first minicamp back from missing last season due to injury, Johnson feels good.

"I had a few days off due to inflammation from my knee, but I'm feeling really good," he said. "Those few days off helped me out a lot, so I'm feeling good. The Achilles is fine. I'm not feeling it at all. I'm healthy. That's the main thing— if I can stay healthy, I can help this team."

Johnson (985) is looking forward to his chance to break the Chiefs' all-time tackle record (999).

"The good thing is that I have another chance," he said. "I'm going to take advantage of the opportunity that I have and it's going to be sweet when it happens."

Johnson intends to spend time after minicamp training with fellow alumni of the University of Texas, including teammate Jamaal Charles.

"There's probably about 10 of us," Johnson described, "whoever went to the University of Texas, they come back and we all work out together."

The group in Austin helps keep the competitiveness of the players up.

"You'd be surprised," he said. "When we get out running different drills and see what people have going on one-on-ones, that competitive energy comes out. 

Johnson is very excited for training camp to get here.

"I missed a lot of football last year, so I am itching at the bit."

Offensive lineman Ben Grubbs is confident the line has taken the right steps to gel together.

"I think we're getting to where we need to be," Grubbs said. "Of course, it's a journey— the camaraderie of the offensive line. We're definitely working together and we're definitely getting that experience."

Grubbs gave his thoughts on whether he though the O-line was the "last piece" the Chiefs need in order to be complete.

"I don't know if it's the last piece; I know that it's an important piece," he said. "You have to definitely have an offensive line that can carry the load on their shoulders and step up to the plate. I've been on three teams now, and the offensive line play is very important. A lot of coaches say 'As the offensive line goes, the team goes.'"

Grubbs said his favorite plays are when he is afforded the opportunity to double team an opponent.

"Deuce blocks," he answered when asked, "when you have the guard and tackle double teaming a three-technique. Just really taking a beating to him, driving him five yard off the ball. That would be probably one of my favorite blocks."

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