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What We Learned From Monday's Media Availability

Chiefs coach Andy Reid, plus Eric Fisher, Xavier Williams and Anthony Hitchens all spoke with the media 

OPENING STATEMENT: "As far as injuries go, (Ukeme) Eligwe has a foot strain and (Keith) Reaser has a quad strain. (Ashton) Lampkin, Reggie (Ragland) and (Charcandrick) West did not practice or participate in this today. With that, we had a 10-10-10 practice today. We were able to work on some specific situations. It's carded it but yet it's fast. It is good work for them but at the same time we are able to work on situational football."

Q: We saw Kareem Hunt out there today, is he progressing?

REID: "It is progress, yeah."

Q: When it is your guys versus your guys, how do you determine good defense or bad offense?

REID: "So I am the head coach so I don't have a good play. If the offense wins, that is not good. Defense, likewise. What you expect is for it to go back and forth like a good boxing match. So there is back and forth and they are just getting after each other. You want production on each one. The thing I try to look at the most is are we assignment sound. If both sides are doing that then you stand a chance. We are asking them to do a lot in these first few days and they have digested it well."

Q: What kind of benefit do you find from a 10-10-10 practice?

REID: "It used to be way back when you had two real practices a day then you do the pads in the morning and the 10-10-10 in the afternoon. It was great for situational football. You could work it in relative speed with being all carded up and so on. That's really what it still is. They are still getting out and they are still working but you are able to get specific with them on certain situations. And get production out of those situations. When you are going against each other, Bob is going to call a certain defense and I am going to call a play on the offense. It might not be the secondary I really wanted to see that against. That is how it works. You are able to get that done in 10-10-10s."

Q: What have you seen from Damien Williams?

REID: "He has done a nice job. That was a good pick up by Brett (Veach). He is learning but I think he is doing well. He just has to keep going. It is new for him. He is a big physical guy that loves to play football. He is smart so that helps in there, too. He is picking it up well and we just keep coming."

Q: With the new rules, do you feel like your young players are making progress and how do you tell?

REID: "We had the officials here the last few days. They are doing the best they can to work through situations. Remember, the game is fluid. To put a stamp on, 'This is absolute,' it doesn't happen. There is a human element of error that is going to happen whether it is on the players' side of it or whether it is on the officials' side. You just have to work through it. Preseason will be real important for some of the new rules."

Q: Is Patrick Mahomes reading things the way you would like so far?

REID: "So, again, this period we are just trying to test certain things and we just want to make sure we have it right. I want to make sure the alignments are right and everything is set up because you might not get another rep on that particular coverage that we are trying to get it again. And whether it is the line, a receiver or Pat, that is how we go. That is what these plays are. You will see us do that periodically during this where we don't do it in a padded practice.

Q: There was a helmet-to-helmet hit yesterday, is that an example of something we could see called this year?

REID: "That is a good one. They initially picked the flag up then they came back in the afternoon and looked at it and they came back in the afternoon and said, 'You know what, after we looked at the tape we probably should have left that thing on.' It was a good teaching tool for our players and it was good for the officials. That is a good example."

Q: Is Anthony Hitchens giving most the calls to the defense?

REID: "Yeah, he is. He is the primary signal caller in there. He is smart. He is relentless. I try to get up and get going early and I saw him up at 5:00 in the morning getting ready for everything. He is a focused individual, which we appreciate."


Q: Is it important with a first-year starting quarterback to develop cohesiveness with the offensive line?

FISHER: "Yes. That's why we're here right now. That's why we do the amount of reps we do. Coach Reid has his system, and it works. We win football games. I think Pat is going to step right in and we are going to pick up right where we left off."

Q: This is your sixth year with the Chiefs, what goals do you set for yourself as a veteran?

FISHER: "I want to constantly approve and get better. I think especially as an offensive lineman, it's such a technical position, we watch film over and over again. There are little minute things to take your game to the next level. I hope to improve on those and come out here and work every day."

Q: Do you feel like the AFC West is one of the tougher divisions for football when it comes to pass rushers and how do you prepare for that?

FISHER: "Yes, and I think it has been since I came into the league. What an awesome challenge. Some of these guys are incredible athletes and it makes it challenging for us. We embrace that challenge and have each other's backs on the offensive line. We help each other out and go to work. Film and confidence is huge. You need to trust your technique. When you start getting away from things, sometimes it's more of a challenge than you think. If you stick to what you know and go out there and do your thing, usually it works out pretty well."


Q: What have you seen so far in training camp?

HITCHENS: "So far there are a lot of guys who are willing to work and are willing to get better. Our defensive coordinator (Bob) Sutton brought up some stat numbers that we need to improve, third downs was one of them and rush defense was another. We're definitely working on that now. I've seen guys out here, including myself, trying to get better at those situations. So when those situations come up in practice, we're really locking in. He (Bob Sutton) brings it up at the end of practice and shows us how we did for the day. That's the big emphasis for us this year, third downs and rush defense."

Q: What was it that drew you to this situation?

HITCHENS: "I spoke on this earlier in the spring. It was when (Brett) Veach was trying to get me last year from the Cowboys. It made my decision a lot easier. He told me what type of players he wanted and it fit my category. He wanted hard nose players that work hard and aggressive and want to play ball. That right there is exactly what I wanted in a team and I have everything here. The other fact that he called my agent and he called the Cowboys and tried to get me here last year during training camp. Obviously that didn't happen and once free agency started he came right back at me again. It made my decision a lot easier and I know a couple players that came through this system and I asked them about it. I don't know if y'all remember Justin March(-Lillard), he was a linebacker here last year. He's with the Cowboys now. He explained to me how the people here are, the coach, how the players are and it's similar to what I'm used to and it made the decision a lot easier."

Q: How do you see your role in this defense?

HITCHENS: "My role can change. It just depends on the week, the situation that we're in. My role right now, as for me, is just to get better. It's to learn the system the best I can and learn as many positions as I can. I did that my whole career. I always learned all three positions when I was playing in the 4-3. Here it's three positions but it's just different terminology. It's just to learn as much as I can, soak it all in and work hard. Week One, I can tell you more on my role and as we go on."

Q: When you talk about stopping the run, what are your feelings about some of the young guys on the defensive line getting off their blocks and trying to stop the run?

HITCHENS: "They're doing a good job. Obviously it all ties in. It's not just the guys up front. It's the linebackers, it's the safeties, it's the corners, everyone has to tackle. This league is making a lot of corners tackle, crack replace, bringing receivers down cracking linebackers getting them outside. It's going to take all. Most people think it starts up front, in my mind it starts everywhere, it's all 11. It starts everywhere. If one guys moves out of his lane or his assignment it can gash you. For me, it takes 11 guys to stop the run. That's what we're working on right now."


Q: What's it like being a member of the Chiefs?

WILLIAMS: "Man, it's amazing. A lot of guys grow up dreaming about their childhood team and getting a chance to play and only a few guys get an opportunity to play in the NFL – even still rarely do they get an opportunity to come and enjoy home cooked meals with all the family and everything. It's been amazing."

Q: Through camp so far, do you guys feel good about where you guys are so far in terms of run defense?

WILLIAMS: "Yeah, I do – it's still early. We know what we need to improve on. We know what our deficiencies were last year, we know what we need to attack – that's something that coaches, players, and everybody keeps at the front of their mind. You want to be physical, you want to stop the run – you just have got to get after it by coming out every day. Coach (Andy) Reid runs a practice where he allows you to get physical and to push everyone around."

Q: Can you talk about the talent level on the defensive front?

WILLIAMS: "I think we've got a good defensive front. Everybody across the board – Chris Jones is young and is going to be an animal. Allen Bailey is a proven veteran and has been doing it for a while – I'm trying to match what those guys bring to the table. Just everybody -I'm really excited to see what these guys can do."

Q: What's been your observation on some of the young guys on the defensive line?

WILLIAMS: "They're coming along. They're talented guys – especially playing on the line in general is a harder thing to get used to because it's a completely different game than college. You're not just bigger, stronger and can throw people around wherever you want. They're picking it up – learning about leverage and maintaining your technique throughout the entire play. They're coming along pretty well and are going to be good. They're going to be useful for us this year."