S ERIC BERRY
Q: How does it feel to be back?
BERRY: "Amazing, it's good seeing everybody, seeing the coaches and all of my teammates. It's a wonderful feeling to be back in the building."
Q: To some degree was it tough for you to stay away? I know business is business, but you enjoy football more than most. How tough was it to stay away from camp?
BERRY: "It was tough just because I love my teammates and I wouldn't trade them for anything. There was a part of me doing the whole struggling thing. It was definitely hard not to be here, let alone practice but just being around them on a daily basis that was kind of tough for me, especially the DB's."
Q: How did you spend August? What were you doing? Where were you at?
BERRY: "Mostly training and relaxing, I didn't do too much. I had a few speaking engagements, but other than that I didn't do too much."
Q: Is that time basically just a continuation of your offseason workouts or do you mix things up there?
BERRY: "I kind of mix things up. I try to tether things towards the way practice was structured and the way the game was structured, so I tried to mimic that. Even the hours that I trained, I trained during practice hours. I just tried to do everything I could on my end to make sure when I came here it could be as much as possible alike."
Q: How long do you feel like it'll be until you're ready to play in a game? Will you be in mid-season form for San Diego?
BERRY: "I should be. I'm confident in that. The only thing is just getting used to so many bodies flying around, NFL bodies. You try to fill it in with high school players and other people that are around training, but it's different when you have eleven guys on the field that know what they're doing and know where to be. Things tend to move a little faster so just getting that rust knocked off and adjusting quickly."
Q: Did you watch all three of the preseason games
BERRY: "Yeah, off course."
Q: What were you thinking of the run defense without you?
BERRY: "It's early, and one thing about our team is that we adjust very well. You saw that in the Bears game. The problems that we had early on, those will get fixed. It's just about making those adjustments and minimizing those mistakes."
Q: Were you getting the itch to play watching that?
BERRY: "Definitely, I always have the itch to play. I don't like sitting out too long. Like I said, I love being around my teammates as well."
Q: So when you got here what was the reaction, who greeted you first?
BERRY: "I always run into the quarterbacks for some reason. When I'm out of the building and come back, Alex [Smith] and those guys were the first people I saw when I came into the building. I saw the equipment managers."
Q: Coach Reid said he had a sit down with you. Said you were smiling, how did that conversation go?
BERRY: "It was good. It was all about football. Coach Reid and I have a different type of relationship. Just outside of the lines as well. That's something you look for in a coach. We talk about a lot of different things outside of football. Having a conversation with him and being able to see him face-to-face that's always good."
Q: Do you get the sense that you're going to be able to put the business side aside from the football side?
BERRY: "It's already aside. Once I stepped foot in this building, and everybody in this building knows how I am about business. I handle my business like a professional and aside of that I'm going to give you everything I've got every snap. Regards to whatever happened in the offseason, that's the offseason. Right now it's time to get down to business and play ball."
Q: So that means as a leader, as a football player, you're still as invested as you've always been?
BERRY: "Always, that's in my DNA. I can't change that."
Q: How do you look back on this whole process of sitting out? Were you uncomfortable with that?
BERRY: "At this point it is what it is. It was a different situation, I've never been a part of that, but at the end of the day I know that my teammates and my coaches, that we all are in it together. That's what we're doing right now. We want to keep working, keep moving forward to reach our ultimate goal and like I said I'm here and I'm going to do everything in my power to give it everything I've got."
Q: So did you come back with a page full of notes for everybody from all the preseason games that you'd been watching?
BERRY: "I had a lot of questions. Just because some things tend to change in camp to make different rules and different adjustments. Just watching on T.V. and watching the film copy, I had a few questions for Emmitt [Thomas] and Al [Harris]. They cleared that up for me and just going through the walk through this morning seems like everything is ready to go."
Q: Last thing about the contract, is there still any surprise on your part that you guys weren't able to hammer out something long term? Just wrap up your feelings on that.
BERRY: "It wasn't a surprise. People don't agree on a lot of things in life period, so that's just a part of it. I just didn't agree with it and the other side didn't agree with it, but at the end of the day, we all want to win games. That's the part we agree on. I feel like we have a chance so we're just going to keep pushing forward to get that done."
CB KENNETH ACKER
Q:What was your reaction to coming to Kansas City? Are you happy about this?ACKER:"Yeah it was a good move for me. I like the organization, and I'm getting to know everybody. Everyone seems pretty good and I feel like it's a good fit for me."
Q:How long does it take to get acclimated to this? Can you get into this pretty quick you think?ACKER:"You've got to get acclimated pretty fast. The move happened fast, so really I'm just taking it day by day. Today I got into my playbook and was able to meet some of my other position coaches, so it's going pretty good."
Q:When and where were you when you found out about the trade?ACKER:"I was at home. We'd had a game the day before so it was essentially our 'cut day.' They called me in and told me I was coming here."
Q:What do you know about Kansas City?ACKER:"Nothing at all [laughing]."
Q:Any excitement with being a member of the Chiefs?ACKER:"Yeah there definitely is. I don't know much about the city, but I know this is a pretty good team. I feel like I bring a lot to offer. I'm just trying to figure out where I can fit best and trying to get acclimated as best as I can."
Q:How does special teams figure in to your overall game?ACKER:"I've played it in all of my years being in the league, and I feel like it's one thing I could bring to this team as well. I'm not one to shy away from special teams. I like any way that I can get on to the field. That's probably where I'll try to stick my head in there faster because you don't have to learn as much on the scheme side."
Q:Do you remember the Chiefs showing any interest in you when you were coming out of the draft?ACKER:"I don't really remember. That's too long ago."
Q:Any similarities that could carry over from San Francisco to help get a quicker start here?ACKER:"At the end of the day it's still a business and a game I've been playing for a long time now. I just need to put my hard hat on, come to work every day, and like I said just try to continue picking up the scheme. It's the only thing I'm concerned about at this point."
Q:How well do you know Shak [Randolph]? You guys went to Southern Methodist at the same time. ACKER:"When I found out about the whole situation, he was one of the first people that I did call just to make sure he was still around. We talked a little bit. This is my first day so I've only talked to him a little bit as the only person I actually knew and had a connection with. There were a few other people I talked to that I knew from other squads. Everyone seems to have accepted me so far. I'm not much of a talker."
Q:If you were writing a scouting report on yourself, what would it say?ACKER:"Hard worker. A guy that handles good adversity. A guy that can fit into a lot of places. A smart player. Real hungry for winning, a team guy. Someone that's not trying to make too big of a splash, just someone that's trying to do his job and fit in with the rest of the guys."
OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR MATT NAGY
Q: Do you like the way your No. 1's went out and handled it in the third preseason game?
NAGY: "Yeah I thought it was good – they came out and had a good tempo and put together a nice string of plays. I think one of the things you're seeing right now with the No. 1's is the consistency with the tempo and now the huddle. A lot of completions, moving the sticks, trying to produce more touchdowns."
Q: Are you happy with where you sit?
NAGY: "Yeah that's huge. We ended up having 40-plus plays in the first half last week. So for those guys to get those reps and production on top of that, we're getting a lot of situational stuff within these plays and these quarters and drives. It's been really beneficial to us."
Q: How difficult is it to put together your first season playbook with the starters? How much of the stuff is real?
NAGY: "There's a good mix. Obviously, most teams in the league aren't going to come out and show everything they're going to do in week one, week two or week three. But at the same time you're going to need to be able to challenge your guys and see what you're putting in – installing in the preseason. Can they comprehend that? Can they transfer that to the field? So you do hold back a little bit. But at the same time, you need to be able to test them and see what they can take."
Q: Do you guys run the same stuff each preseason so it's consistent? Or do you just kind of mix it up a little bit?
NAGY: "No, I think that's one of the great parts of Coach [Andy] Reid is he keeps changing. There's some staples to our offense but we grow. We adapt to the players that we have, and he's very creative. He does a good job of mixing guys around – mixing and matching. So that's a part of keeping the game fun as well."
Q: If you put it on tape last season, is that fair game that you're going to run it in preseason?
NAGY: "Yeah I think so. Going into our fourth year now there's going to be some tendencies that you have. They have to play defense and we need to go out and produce and play offense. But at the same time, we do want to change up some things and maybe come out in the first and second game to give them some different looks."
Q: Did you guys learn anything about Darrin Reaves in this camp and this preseason that you didn't know about him even though he was around last year?
NAGY: "I would say yes. We knew going into it that he was always a tough runner. What he's doing now is he's playing even faster. I think he's getting more and more confidence in himself and you saw that. He's getting the football in big time situations. He took a nice little hit the other day on a third and one or third and two and popped right back up. But he's in a good spot and he's doing great things."
Q: Is he more advanced in the passing game part of it than he was last year?
NAGY: "Yeah he's been doing that since he's been here. So it really hasn't surprised us, but it's nice when you give a guy a chance and you see him go in there and run hard and play fast."
Q: We've seen Ross Travis in some of the three tight end sets; where have you seen him come since the beginning of training camp – especially being a basketball player?
NAGY: "Mentally I'll say – just seeing him grow mentally on where to line up, where to go with all of our particular formations, shifts and notions and then just the little things as just learning how to block – that's new to him. So we just need to stay patient and understand that it is new to him and not get frustrated. I think both the coaches (and players), collectively they've all done a good job in not getting frustrated. So it's looking good."
Q: Have you seen progress in the blocking?
NAGY: "Absolutely, absolutely."
Q: We focus on players a lot in the preseason but this is kind of a dress rehearsal for you as well in your new responsibilities. How has this gone for you?
NAGY: "It's going good. Coach Reid makes it a lot easier for you. He really helps me – get some plays into me quick – and then again it's a benefit for me being with Alex [Smith] the last three years and having that communication with him. So we're on the same page in a lot of ways. That part right there automatically gives me an advantage in that."
Q:Are your tight ends as a group getting the job done as a front blocking unit?
NAGY: "Yeah. They've been doing a great job all preseason and training camp of blocking and that's a big part of our offense – that's a package that we really like to use to our advantage and also be able to spread them out in a passing game."
Q: Of all the backups to Travis Kelce, is Demetrius Harris the post of the bunch on run blocking, how does that shift out?
NAGY: "Demetrius – another guy that has come in and really grown in the position – so yeah I would put him probably near the top if not at the top. They all have their own special values to how they produce – how they block, how they play, how they catch. To me Demetrius definitely is at the top."
DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR BOB SUTTON
Q:What's the biggest challenge in getting him [Eric Berry] ready in such a short time frame now?
SUTTON: "I think just getting out there for him just his reactions. I don't think knowledge is going to be an issue. He's been in the system for four years. I think as a player you get comfortable. My body goes where I want it to go right now as fast as I can the reaction time. And that's going to come through practice. Fortunately, you have a guy who's played a lot of plays in his life and I really don't think it will be that big of an adjustment for him. We plan as long as he feels good get him in there as much as he can go and let him become comfortable and again get that reaction and change of direction and all that. I think that to me, and he probably could speak more detailed on what really is for him the biggest challenge, but that's what I would think as a coach."
Q:Put in your perspective. The guy hasn't played any football for seven, eight months and he has a game in two weeks. Put that in perspective for us what kind of challenge that is.
SUTTON:"Well, it's a challenge. We all like to think practice is important, but you have a really unique player. He's very talented, he's a guy that takes great pride in the way he conditions, so there's none of that that you're going through. I think the other part for EB, I just can't imagine anybody in the National Football League that has a better outlook on the opportunity to play than him because of what he's been through. He's always been a guy that was passionate, loved football and then to be in the position he was two years ago now I just think he's going to be excited to get back out here and do what he really loves to do. We just have to hope that it works the way we think it can. There may be some bumps in the road, but I'm pretty confident that he can do this. I think he'll do a great job."
Q:How did Phillip Gaines look the other day?
SUTTON:"I thought Phillip was good, and talking to him felt the same way. We talked about a week ago that he's in the same boat for a little different reason, but just the ability to react the way you want to react. Sometimes you see something but you can't get your body to do it exactly how you want. I think he's become more and more comfortable with that, and I'm not really talking about confidence from the injury, but just his reaction time to go and this stimuli hits and bam I do this. I thought he did a really good job and in talking to him he felt pretty comfortable out there."
Q:Do you feel like he's ready for a regular season game?
SUTTON:"Yeah. We'll see where he's at and how many he can play, but he's made steady progress. I think the training staff has obviously done a good job. Al [Harris] and Emmitt [Thomas] working him in and kind of letting him come back, which you have to do. Every one of those injuries is individualized. There's no this is day whatever and you're back at this stage – that's individual. From what we've seen, I think he's making progress and would anticipate him being ready to go."
Q:Have you seen any tape of Kenneth Acker yet?
SUTTON:"I have not. I don't know that much about him."
Q:You haven't heard anything as far as skill set?
SUTTON:"No. I really trust my eyes."
Q:I ask you this because of your unique perspective working with Army. Did you have a particular reaction to Colin Kaepernick and that whole situation?
SUTTON:"No I just think we obviously have a great country, and I think everybody has their own outlook on it. One of the beauties of our country is you respect individual rights and individual viewpoints. That's a huge part of where we live, and certainly 17 years at West Point I have tremendous appreciation for the men and women who allows us to do the things that we're talking about there. But I didn't really think too much about it, and I think it's just one of those things. I don't think for me personally it has a real big story."
Q:What stood out, blanket wise, with the first-team defense on Saturday versus Chicago?SUTTON:"We played with a little more energy and a little more grit. We've also had a lot of new faces in there. Anytime you're a player whether you're a young guy or someone new in the system, when you first go out there, your first couple times, you're focused in on your job exactly how it's supposed to be done. You want to do it the best possible way. The defense is always going to be about being a unit. You have to play together and know where your help is. You need to have this energy and emotion. Saturday up in Chicago, I thought we had a little more of that. Guys were into some of the other parts of the game outside of just their job and their job description. You've got to do that first, we all understand that, but it's more than that if you really want to excel on the defensive side."
Q:Do you and Coach Toub ever get into it about final roster cuts? SUTTON:"No. Dave is a lot bigger than I am and I don't mess with him [laughing]. You've got to know your personnel. I think we all have the same outlook. Dave has an incredibly difficult job because his gets swung back and forth out of different things. For me, defensively, and I'm sure it's the same on offense, what Dave does and the guys that make up his unit, they provide us with a great opportunity. They provide us the field position and a lot of things for us. A lot of times they have a lot of defensive players on those units. I have a great deal of respect for Dave with all kidding aside. He knows what it takes and you've got to have players to do those jobs. If you don't stock that aspect well, it's tough. There's a lot of field position that gets changed quickly and that has a direct effect on defense -- I know that for sure."
Q:Do you feel good about making the right cuts and keeping the right group of guys?SUTTON:"Yeah. I think one is what Coach Reid touched on. John Dorsey and his guys provide us with a lot of competition at a lot of positions. That's a good thing and like we talked about last week, sometimes you have to let go of a player that can play for you. You can only keep so many at each position. The thing I always say when we leave camp is that you don't want to have misjudged someone because they didn't get a good enough opportunity or you didn't get them in there long enough. Those are the ones you don't want to look back on. The other ones you know. You can only keep so many at certain positions and that's it. Usually those are hard decisions and are influenced greatly by special teams. Sometimes if a certain player can do this, this and this, that's ultimately what you're trying to figure out -- who can give us the best chance of winning. And that involves a lot of units and a lot of people. I never try to even think about it. You know they're going to make a heck of a decision. The other part is, they're not making the decision based off just this week. It's an accumulative decision from OTAs on and all the way through. There's a lot of plays that have been looked at, viewed and overall a lot of opportunities that have been had. Certainly you can stand out or not do well and that influences the final decision. But I like to think most of them have been made over a long period of time."
Q:What was your take on Connor Shaw's hit? SUTTON:"I didn't pay that much attention to it. To me it looked like two guys that hit and as they slid down it rolled up. It's an unfortunate thing. There isn't anyone out there whether it's coaches, players or anyone that wants to see anyone get hurt. Like we talked about here, we'd like to have everyone here available on our roster and I believe every NFL team wants the same. I didn't personally see it like that. As a player, of course you're disappointed. He's trying to make the team and do a great job. That's a tough injury to see happen in the third game. You feel for him and you understand his disappointment. I honestly didn't see anything wrong with what happened. It's an unfortunate part of playing a contact sport."
SPECIAL TEAMS COORDINATOR DAVE TOUB
Q:How was Chicago?
TOUB:"It was good. It was really good to see a lot of people. It's kind of strange being on the other sideline and seeing the visitors' locker room for the first time. It's a little different."
Q:It looked like you were making your rounds before the game – you were visiting with a lot of different people.
TOUB:"I tried to see as many people as I could – say hello to people. I didn't get to everybody, but it was good to see the people that I did see."
Q:Why did you make the change to have the rookie Tyreek Hill back there instead of Knile Davis?
TOUB:"We had a special return designed just for him. It was a counter return, if you remember. We started one way and tried to bounce outside the other. The Bears did a good job of reading it and staying wide – probably anticipating, maybe, that he'd [Tyreek Hill] be in there and possibly run a counter. So, they did a good job there and stopped it."
Q:What made that return special for Tyreek Hill?
TOUB:"Utilizing his speed. Starting it one way and hopefully they will over pursue and try and get outside. Their one guy got up the field pretty far. They got to [Chris] Conley and had the block, and then, Conley got called for block in the back."
Q:Do you feel like Tyreek Hill is starting to find his feet out there?
TOUB:"He's close. He's getting closer. He really does a good job when he hits the edge. You can see that he changes everybody's angles when he hits that corner. It's just a matter of time before we get him a really big one."
Q:It just seems startling his speed and how he makes that cut.
TOUB:"Yeah, if you're a cover guy. It's not normal and it kind of surprises you sometimes. So, you kind of have to prepare for that ahead of time."
Q:It looks like Kenneth Acker you picked up has some special teams' value?
TOUB:"He's got some value there – yeah. I watched him a bunch yesterday. I wanted to see what he does. He plays a little bit of gunner, he plays a lot of spots – the speed spots that we look for. So, we'll put him in the mix. Now, there's a lot of competition on this football team. He's got his work cut out for him."
Q:Is this what the fourth preseason game is going to be about?
TOUB:"Yes, the guys that are going to be playing in this game are battling for spots – there's no question."
Q:Do you know how many spots are still open?
TOUB:"No, I wish I could tell you a number, but there're a number of spots – probably a handful of guys that we're looking for still."
Q:You think this is more so special teams rather than offense or defense?
TOUB:"Special teams is a factor, but it's going to come down to offense and defense – priority – and then, like I said before, if we have two guys that are close, special teams could be the deciding factor."
Q:How hard do you get to lobby for a guy that is a special teams' player?
TOUB:"I'm going to give my point of view and then they'll weigh that accordingly, depending on how many players we have at that position, who's going to be up and active every week. All those factors come in play. I'll definitely give my two cents, for sure."