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What We Learned from Media Availability on Tuesday

Alex Smith, Kareem Hunt and Patrick Mahomes spoke with the media on Tuesday




Q:On Chiefs General Manager Brett Veach and the GM change.

SMITH: "Yeah, I think you kind of said it. As far as general manager change goes, he's been a part of our culture since we've all been here. He's obviously very comfortable with the building and how we do things, knows a lot of the guys in the locker room. So I don't think guys will miss a beat from it. It's always been something that all the stuff that goes on up there is not in our world.  We don't live in that. Obviously some of the stuff does affect us. You put trust in Coach (Andy) Reid and Clark (Hunt), they were all in on this together and it does have to do with what's best for the team. You move on, especially with football kicking off, you're all in. I don't think it will (affect us) because it is in-house and everyone's really comfortable with (Brett) Veach and he knows what we're about."

Q: What did it feel like to get back out there?

SMITH: "It was good. It was needed. Obviously having five to six weeks off it feels good to get back out and work our way to real football. Guys can press again, get real defensive looks. The offseason isn't fully realistic football, so it's good to get back out here. Good to be back here at Missouri Western State University, get in the dorms and its fun – it's always a special time."

Q: With all the changes on offense, is it reasonable to expect that this offense can pick up where it left off?

SMITH:"It's really rare that you have all 11 guys coming back. Generally you've got guys that aren't here anymore. Yeah it's going to be an adjustment, but I feel that every year that adjustment is somewhere. You got a lot of continuity, you've got a lot of room to grow. Got a lot of continuity in the tight ends and running backs groups with those guys coming back. I think that adjustment is going to come every year whenever guys don't come back, you'll have that."

Q: Are you excited to see what Kareem Hunt will give you?

SMITH: "I'm excited. Running back is a hard spot. Those guys are doing a lot, they're tackling. Those guys go about their reads and they go and do their stuff. The thing I'm really pumped about is I feel like (Hunt) has picked up the pass game and the protection and that's normally what's the hardest for young backs protecting the pass game. But as far as all that stuff, once the ball is in his hands he looks good in shorts. We're all excited to see how he's doing."

Q:How long does it take for you to want to get back out to training camp?

SMITH:"I think the older you get, the more it never really leaves you, more and more. Sometimes, when you are younger, you really need the breaks to mentally escape and you really do. The older you get, it is kind of a year round thing. You know the phases better, but it never goes that far from you brain. It is always there, it's always creeping around. I was excited and ready for this. To get back here, I always enjoy this. I love going away for camp. I love being up here with the guys. It is something you look forward to more and more as you get older."

Q:Do you get a sense of how fired up Kareem Hunt is to be back?

SMITH:"For sure, it is contagious. I think that energy and that positivity towards just competing and the game is just a healthy environment. Like I said, the offseasons are great but they are just so limited now. There are so many restrictions that it is nice to be like, 'Here we go, get to get into some football.' It just lets us go, we don't have to worry about all that stuff."

Q:What can you do to move on from the tweets from Tamba?

SMITH:"I didn't read all of them. I did hear about it. To be honest, I don't think it is a huge deal, I don't want to turn it into anything big. I think Tamba is one of the most unique teammates I have ever had and I mean that in a good way. He is a guy that says what's on his mind. He is honest. He is sincere. I think I appreciate that about him. Sometimes there are things that are said that just comes out. So, to be honest, I don't think it is a big deal. I don't think it's anything anyone has to worry about. This locker room is as drama free as they come, so I don't think it will be an issue."

Q:Why aren't you on twitter?

SMITH:"I kind of missed that wave. That wave passed me by. I remember coming into the league and MySpace was big. I didn't get on that train and then the Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, all roads passed me. At this point it is kind of refreshing."

Q:Is this just Tamba being Tamba?

SMITH:"Like I said, I think everyone appreciates how genuine he is, how sincere he is, how on the heart he is and how passionate he is about football. If you have been around Tamba for any length of time, you know sometimes you have to expect the unexpected. It is sincere, it is real. I don't talk to him. Like I said, I don't think it will be a big issue. This team will be full-steam ahead come Thursday."

Q:What are you focusing on with the new targets at wide receiver?

SMITH:"I don't necessarily think like that. I try to get in work with all those guys. I think we got a bunch of young guys that are really, really talented. They all have different levels of ability and experience and are more proven then others. But every year, it is new. We got new stuff in and we have them moving around, playing different positions, too. And they realize that as a group. I don't necessarily think of it as a receiver, we have a lot of playmakers in the tight end room and the running back room, so really we are in it together. I am excited to get the work in. I am excited to get out here and get one-on-ones in and get the pads on. Get all the reps we are going to get with these guys because we need to take advantage of them"


Q:So how is camp so far?

HUNT: "You know, it is hot. You know it is a grind and I am just excited to be here."

Q:Do you think you have had an opportunity to show your hands here?

HUNT: "I feel like I have been doing a great job taking it play-by-play and trying to catch every pass that comes my way. Honestly they use the running backs a lot out the back field. Probably the most balls thrown to me at a camp, so I am just enjoying it."

Q:Are you familiar with the routes and concepts they want you to know?

HUNT: "Yeah, I have ran a lot of the routes they want me to do. There is a lot of new ones too that they are asking me to do. It goes hand in hand. I am just learning everything and trying to take it day by day."

Q:How excited are you to play in an NFL game?

HUNT: "No more two-hand touch, so I am excited to get some guys and get hit. It is going to be a process, but I'll enjoy it."

Q:How comfortable are you now after working with Coach (Andy Reid) in OTAs?

HUNT: "I am a lot more comfortable because I know his expectations now and I know what he expects out of his running backs. Honestly, I am more comfortable because I know what to look forward to and what he wants out of us."

Q:Do you think you get better when the pads come on?

HUNT: "I definitely do. I definitely feel like I have great balance and am able to stay up on my feet. On contact some backs fall off, but I feel like I am better when the pass comes up."




Q:As a player who's just starting out, what does it mean to have a GM that was already in house?

MAHOMES: "It's awesome to keep someone that was in the organization already. Mr. Dorsey was an awesome guy and I really enjoyed my time with him. Now we have Brett Veach and I've gotten to know him well and he seems like a great guy."

Q: What have your conversations with Brett been like since you first met him?

MAHOMES:"I met him in the process before the draft and I had talked to him, just with him being the player personnel guy at the time. When I went and signed the contract he was there and we got to talk a little bit about coming in, working hard and making sure you're ready for every rep."

Q:What was your first reaction when you met him?

MAHOMES:"He's a super intelligent guy, but he has high energy and I love that. A guy that really loves football and loves the Chiefs."

Q:How'd your time in between the end of OTA's and now go?

MAHOMES:"It was really good. I spent a lot of time with family, but at the same time tried to stay in shape and tried to workout. Work on my quarterback stuff, my footwork especially and tried to make sure I was ready when camp came."

Q:Do you feel like it paid off for you?

MAHOMES:"Yes, definitely with the footwork. We were just out there working a little extra and working with Coach Kafka and he could see the improvements that I had stayed with and didn't lose anything. So trying to keep building on that, and keep building and building until the season comes."

Q:You cut it a little bit close with the contract, were you getting concerned that it might not get done in time for you to be here?

MAHOMES:"No, not at all. My agent and Veach, once he got hired, and Mr. Hunt had all talked through it and I was really sure I was going to be at camp on time. I'm glad I am so we can just focus on football now and try to be the best teammate I can be every single day."

Q:Were you getting a sense that the transition with the GM delayed your contract a little bit?

MAHOMES:"Not necessarily. I think with my agents and Mr. Hunt, they had good communication the whole way and I knew that the contract was going to get done. I wanted to be at camp on time. I didn't want to miss any reps. I wanted to be here. I'm just glad it got done and we can just play football now."

Q:How'd it go out there for you?

MAHOMES:"I thought it went really well. A lot of young guys were out here and they fought through it. There's not a lot of guys and seeing them work hard every single rep and giving it their all is always awesome."

Q:What have you seen in Kareem Hunt and what do you like about him?

MAHOMES:"Kareem's a great runner. A guy who can really pound the ball inside and bounce it outside, but at the same time he can catch the ball. So he's a guy who can do a lot of things from the backfield. I think he'll be a big asset for the team."

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