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What We Learned from Monday's Media Availability

Matt Nagy, Alex Smith, Tyler Bray and Patrick Mahomes spoke with the media on Monday


Q: What are your expectations for [Patrick] Mahomes on Friday night?

NAGY:"Really just to get the guys lined up the right way. Do the simple things and let him play. Go out there and make plays as much as he can, but don't try to go out there and do too much. Play within the system and if he does that, he'll be okay."

Q: What is the importance of a preseason game for Tyler [Bray]?

NAGY:"They're all important for every one of these guys and they understand. They've put in a lot of work over the years, Tyler in particular, and he's done a really good job at mentally getting into it. He's had some opportunities in preseason, so I know he's really looking forward to just coming out here and trying to do the best he can."

Q: Have you seen him take the steps over the years here?

NAGY:"He has. I'm happy for Tyler and the effort that he's given us, the patience that he's had. He's really improved as a player. He knows he has a long way to go, but right now we're just taking it day-by-day and he's doing a good job."

Q: How much would you tell players to look into where they stand in the depth chart when that comes out?

NAGY:"Right now these guys are just focused on themselves. I don't think they're worried too much about the depth chart. They understand that their play will do their talking and if they focus on that, they'll be fine."

Q: Alex [Smith] probably isn't going to play a lot in this first preseason game. Do you have an expectation or an idea of how many series or snaps each one of the quarterbacks are going to get?

NAGY:"I really don't. That's up to coach and I'm sure coach will get with us sometime here soon and talk about it, but so far he hasn't done that."

Q: Besides the obvious of running a successful play, when you see the young guys get out there on Friday and play, what do you need to see from them to feel good about what they were able to do?

NAGY:"Just to try to get the plays to slow down as much as possible. We'll try to give them the best opportunity to go out there and be able to play fast and not give them too much. We want to be able to see their talent, the work they've put in up until this point and then go out there and make plays."

Q: When you look at the wide receivers, how much will you determine how they perform in the preseason game versus what they've been doing in camp when you're trying to decide on those roster spots and where they stand?

NAGY:"In regards to the receivers, having them go out there and play and run their route. They're getting a million reps here right now with us in practice, so I think what's going to happen is you're going to see they don't get as many reps, so the ones that they do get they want to make count. But again I'm just going to go back to the biggest thing for these guys is for us to be able to pull back a little bit and let them go out there and play fast. If they do that we're going to see their natural talents."

Q: I noticed today that Kareem Hunt worked in a lot with the ones in with Spencer Ware. Is he starting to move up the depth chart a little bit or is he starting to just grasp more of the offense?

NAGY:"I think it's just more so of grasping the offense. We had a lot of plays out there today, a lot of plays, so being able to give Spencer a break is good. It's good for everybody all around."

Q:How big is the first preseason game in reality for your guys?

NAGY:"Well it's big for everybody, but again we don't overemphasize this first preseason game. We understand it's our first time out there. For some of these guys it's their first time out there underneath the lights, understanding that they're trying to live a dream. So you have to have that balance of not putting too much emphasis on it, but understanding that it is important."




Q:Do you remember your first preseason game?

SMITH:"Still remember it. I started it. It wasn't pretty. It wasn't pretty at all. A lot of nerves, I was really anxious. But yeah, I remember it.

Q:Did it have any kind of impact?

SMITH:"I think it was a good example of where you are at mentally as a rookie, at least for me. I carried a lot of weight, a lot of anxiety. I was starting. A lot of expectations, I put a lot of pressure on myself. Sometimes you are your own worst enemy. If you can just go out and let your natural abilities take over and play and get out of your own way, that's easy to say, hard to do sometimes. But, yeah, as a player, it took me a while to learn that and get past that. It is definitely what I remember looking back."

Q:What advice do you have for Pat (Mahomes)?

SMITH:"Just that, right? It's just ball, go play. He's different than me. Everybody is. He is wired different. I mean that in a good way, he is just more natural. I think he has a better grasp on in. I was pretty worked up, like I said, in starting and a lot of expectations. It is just a different place, and I think that is a positive for him. I think he is in a better place so he will be able to just go out and play."

Q:What do you except to see from Tyler (Bray) and Pat (Mahomes) now that we get into this game situation?

SMITH:"No different than every day. I think we have had a great camp from a QB room perspective. I think we have grown, I think we have been pushing it. Those young guys are playing well. I think to kind of continue that. One play at a time, go out and try to execute, be smart, make good throws, stay aggressive, all those things that we kind of talk about. Here as we get into games, little more situational football is going to take priority, right? So you have to take game situations. You have to be able to handle all those little intricacies as games go on. We are all going to get a different sliver of it. Come preseason, we are all going to do it together, but we are all going to get a different piece."

Q:Has Coach talked about how long you are going to play?

SMITH:"No, we haven't talked about it at all. I have no idea."

*Q: *You usually don't play a ton in the first preseason game, do you still look at it like you're working with the young wide receivers or just your guys?

SMITH:"I mean, it is the next step in the progression. It's the first one, we aren't game planning it. To be honest, you don't even know what they are going to run. I think you want your rules, your training camp rules, to take over and to go out there and execute. The opportunities you do get, you just want to go out and play ball. You don't want to do too much. Sometimes, when guys know they only have a few snaps, guys try to do too much and try to make too much happen. You just have to go out and do the little things."

Q:Is it still more timing based?

SMITH:"Yeah, some plays are timing plays, some plays aren't. We have all kinds of stuff in the offense. Certainly, the timing throws you want that. We have to go out and see things as a unit. Without communication, nonverbally, we have to be able to adjust and see things at the same time. And you have to do it with precision. Those guys have to be seeing what we are seeing. We all have to react to it the same way and then cut it loose. A little bit, that's what you are anticipating out there and that's why I guess I say, let the rules and fundamentals take over out there. Don't try to do too much. All the things we have been doing and coached to do on the practice field, carry them over."

Q:If you have your choice, would you play all four quarters of the preseason game?

SMITH:"No. They don't count. You got to warm up and have to be ready to roll, you want to hit that opener at full speed. That's what they are there for. You have to figure out the 53 guys on the team and that's the coaches and the personnel guys' job. But let me tell you in a month, no one really cares. Can you tell us our preseason record last year? I don't know. That's not to say it is for not. We want to go out and get up to speed. The kickoff game with New England, we want to be rolling. We need to use these four preseason games the right way. We also have to find out about this team. There are 90 guys here right now. We have to whittle this down to 53 and the best way to do that is all this competing. We all have to go and compete and do the best we can."

Q:Is there anything you have done in camp that you want to roll over to the season that will really help you?

SMITH:"I think like you said, I would like to keep the same mentality and mindset that we have going. I think especially as a perimeter unit on offense, I know we have a good mindset right now. I think guys are seeing things really. We have been communicating really well. I would love to see that keep going. Don't let just because we are in the game jerseys and we are at Arrowhead and under the lights, don't let that affect you. Don't let being worried about how many series you are going to get or how many snaps. Just go out and how ever those opportunities present themselves, you don't know how or when or who is going to get them, but let's just go and play fast. I think if we let our fundamentals take over like they have on the practice field, good things will happen."

Q:How much do you guys talk about the QB competitions and how much do you look forward to those?

SMITH:"We keep score every day in everything we do. That's kind of the culture. I don't care if we are playing cards, shooting darts, or throwing at nets, or 7-on7 who throws the most touchdowns. Completion percentage every day. Those are things every single day that we compete at. I just think that is a healthy culture. It is healthy to have competition and intense competition and then when you walk away from it, you are still teammates and you play the same position and that we can still put the team first. I think that culture, it helps with that. All those competitions, it lends itself to that."

Q:How much fun is it when the coaches get involved?

SMITH:"Yeah, it is fun. It is fun for us, especially because those guys are big talkers. We have a few guys that used to play and it is fun for them to talk when they are not in it and then it is fun to see what they got in the tank."




Q:What is your comfort level with the offense?

BRAY:"I feel a lot more comfortable. I am going up, making checks, getting in and out of the huddle quickly so I have more time to do that. And executing the plays."

Q:Do you see how complicated Andy Reid's offense is?

BRAY:"Yeah, it is a big jump from college. You go from, I ran a no-huddle offense, it was all signals and not having to huddle up to having to come here and having to spit out some lengthy play call. It is tough."

Q:What is your expectation for Friday night?

BRAY:"Same thing out here. Getting better, executing the offense the way coach wants it."




Q: What are your expectations for yourself on Friday night?

MAHOMES: "Just to go in, try to be efficient when I get my opportunity and just try to move the ball. Put it in the playmakers hands and let them hopefully score some touchdowns."

Q: Alex (Smith) said you guys are wired a little bit different. He said in his first preseason game he was wired and nervous, but he thinks you won't be. What do you think about that?

MAHOMES: "I mean, definitely, it is going to be exciting especially playing at Arrowhead. It is something that you can't really dream of how much excitement will be in the stadium. I think with veterans in front of me that can kind of explain to me what you need to do, how you need to go in and just be yourself and be efficient. That has helped me a ton on just helping me make that transition into the NFL game."

Q: How do you expect your nerves to be?

MAHOMES: "I mean my first game at (Texas) Tech I came in in the fourth quarter. I was a little excited and a little jumpy, but I feel like now with having Alex in front of me and Tyler (Bray) and the guys I can kind of learn off of the them and then when my time comes I have a little more experience going into it."

Q: What are you going to look at to grade yourself on besides touchdowns after Friday?

MAHOMES: "I am just trying to get us in the right play if that is protection wise, if that is having to change a play or if that is having to run the ball in certain situations. Whatever I have to do to keep the chains moving. Be efficient and don't turn the ball over. I think that would be success for me, not necessarily throwing touchdowns. If we get down there and run the ball in, that is a great drive for me."

Q: How much do you appreciate the defense here?

MAHOMES: "I mean I appreciate them. There are a lot of veteran guys and young guys that are superstars that make Pro Bowls. Just to have those guys on that side of the ball, it lets you kind of not take as many chances but at the same time know you can score a couple of touchdowns and you can win a football game."

Q: How are you dealing with the critique?

MAHOMES: "I feel like it is awesome having those smart offensive minded guys tell you exactly what you need to do on the plays you did good and on the plays you did bad. Really just critiquing all of the time. It helps you better. It helps you learn and make a better decision the next time around."

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