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What We Learned from Monday's Media Availability

Andy Reid and several Chiefs players spoke with the media on Monday


Opening Statement:"Great to be back. Good to see you guys and ladies. We look forward to getting started today, and our guys, they were all in and ready to go. It was great to see some of the old veteran players come back and then the addition of some of the new players – young, and a couple with experience there. We've got a lot of work ahead of us, we look forward to that. Seems like there's great energy in the room and I was able to address the guys and talk to them a little bit about expectations and going forward and what we're going to try to get accomplished this offseason. They were very attentive and ready to go and they broke up and we did lifting. This first phase that we go through is mostly lifting and working out and we get a little bit of meeting time with them. But no activity on the field for coaches and players, not until phase two where we can do that. But again, look forward to continuing on with it. It's good to have our leaders here – Eric Berry, Travis (Kelce) was here, and Justin Houston and the rest of these veteran guys. We bank on those guys so much, and again, they'll do a great job leading this football team."

Q: So many new faces – does it feel the same or feel different?

REID: "It's a little different, but it's kind of exciting. Look forward to when we can actually work with the kids on the field and get them going that way. There's great energy and sometimes change can be good and you work a little bit extra to get to know the guy next to you and sometimes that can turn out okay."

Q: The guys coming off injuries, where are they in their rehabs?

REID: "You're probably going to get to talk to a few of them here. Everybody's really doing pretty good which is a positive. We'll just see how it goes the closer we get to phase two and see who can run around out there and who can't. But right now they're doing well."

Q: Specifically Spencer Ware, are you counting on him when OTAs start?

REID: "I don't know how much we'll get him in OTAs. But he'll be ready once we get to camp."

Q:Losing guys like Alex (Smith), DJ (Derrick Johnson) and Tamba (Hali) – how does that effect the leadership in the locker room replacing those veterans?

REID: "You have new guys. Patrick Mahomes  is going to step up and he'll be in that role and he's got some natural leadership ability which we appreciated and we got to see a little bit last year. But we appreciated it when he was in college and was one of the things that attracted us to him. Then everybody's a year older – so Tyreek (Hill), and Chris Conley is a phenomenal leader in there. Our offensive line has a variety of those guys, (Mitchell) Schwartz and Mitch (Morse) and Eric (Fisher), are guys that have leadership ability."

Q: Who is in the mix at the slot position?

REID: "I haven't gotten them out there, I can't work with them during that. But I know, in this offense, everybody's got to be able to play in there. So, because we move people around so much. You've asked me before who the number one guy is, I don't know who the number one guy is. I've never had one of those, I've just moved guys around. So they've all got to play everything and it's been one of the great things about this offense. But I have confidence Chris Conley can go in there, I have confidence that De'Anthony (Thomas) can go in there. I can go on. These guys can step in and do that in a heartbeat."

Q: How is this time of the year important for Patrick (Mahomes) being the guy and develop the comfortability the guys have in him?

REID: "I thought he handled himself the right way last year, which was important. He wasn't a whole lot of nonsense, he just came out and worked. Handled himself the way that you're supposed to, tried to get better every day. He had a chance at Denver and he stepped in and he led. So it wasn't the scout team, it was getting out there and actually doing it in a game against good players and so on. He's very competitive, which I think we know, he's very competitive. But he's not afraid to put a little pressure on you to make sure you do your job. He's doing the same thing to himself, every day. If you're playing with him, you better be ready to go."

Q: Two different backups are new - can you break down the quarterback position?

REID: "Yeah we do. We have a couple veteran guys. Both of them have experience – we know one of them from the Raiders, that was the game where Jamaal (Charles) had the five-screen touchdown day. He just kept bringing them back and bringing them back. Anyways you guys know the guys just by being around, I love the leadership that they bring. We look forward to getting them out there and getting them going. I'm comfortable with what we've got there. I thought Brett (Veach) did a great job of putting the guys in."

Q: Running backs you've signed recently – guys you've liked or a need there?

REID:"Yeah, so we have some guys that were hurt, but in my mind and obviously in Brett's (Veach) mind because he's the one who did this, you can't have enough of those guys. That's a tough decision. There's availability there. We figured, listen, if we have a chance to get good players lets go ahead and better ourselves, let the competition be there and see what happens. I'm expecting Spencer (Ware) to be back, but you never know and you've got kids that can play. There's going to be great competition right there. It's going to be a pretty neat battle to watch."

Q: Nothing against the guys that have played here – have you ever felt like you've had this kind of depth?

REID: "No, probably not. I think that's fairly easy to say. We've had good players there but we've got a number of guys that have played and have done well playing. You can kind of see how Brett (Veach) is working this thing. Like I've said, I think he's done a real good job of that. To where he's not going to be forced into a position once he gets into the draft. We're one of the few teams that could probably go out there today and play and really compete at a high level from just what he's done. Now you've got the draft coming up which his focus is there. He's been bringing guys in and introducing them to the coaches and where we've had a chance to talk to these guys. You have 30 people you can bring in and so he's been bringing those kids in, where we're more focused now on the draft."

Q: What did you learn about your defensive scheme after self-scouting?

REID: "So like I said, I try to look at the whole of it. I know how solid the scheme is and the coaching and all that, I have a pretty good grasp on that. I think we need to get better in all areas, offensively and defensively and special teams fits into that. But we've been a pretty good defensive unit over the years here and so I trust that we'll be right back on board on that and roll."

Q: How has this draft preparation with Brett's (Veach) first year been different to previous years?

REID: "Listen, (John) Dorsey did a good job with us. I'm not, I'd never compare two different guys. Both of them are thorough and you remember that Dorsey helped Brett (Veach) learn too. Brett puts his own flare on things here and there. But what do you expect, they all put their own personal spin. Dorsey did the same thing coming from Ron Wolf, he put his own little flare on it and Ted Thompson. But I think he's very thorough, I'll tell you what he is. But comparing, he's very thorough. He's made some nice moves strategically with the cap that he's had to balance and work with. He's made some big calls letting veterans go and that's not an easy thing to do. But he's done that and he's worked to replenish the positions that we needed to replenish in with what looks like there has a chance to be good players."

Q: What stands out to you in this draft about players available?

REID: "Well, not getting into specific players and that, I think it's a solid draft. We're not picking until the second-round which is a little different, but I think there's going to be enough players there that are quality. I think when you actually sit, not that you don't do this in the first round, but you're sitting there and you have the opportunity, you're going to take the best player that's available for you. You're going to force something in there. (Brett Veach) has kind of put himself in that position to do that. I mean who knows, by the time you get where we're at, who knows who's going to be there."

Q: Any position groups that Brett (Veach) has asked you to take a look at?

REID: "Yeah, you know what he does a great job of is communication. He tells me to take a peek at this guy or this guy, he did that through free agency. He's done that with the draft coming up. He's a tremendous communicator now, I mean you guys have dealt with him, you know. The same way he is with you, he's high energy, he needs no caffeine. He just goes 100 hundred miles an hour and he's very thorough and he's a great communicator, he's going to put it out there. Not a lot of secrets is what you're dealing with."

Q: Anywhere near the depth where you need to be at on defense?

REID: "Well I think we've done a good job of adding players in there on the defensive line with Xavier (Williams), the linebacker position we've done the same thing. I think the secondary we've had some really good players there, so I don't think we're necessarily forced into anything. Dee Ford, he needs to play and that gives you another player in there for depth and he's on track to do that. He's done a great job with his rehab and we all know what he can do when he's healthy. You get Eric Berry back there and he's a pretty good player, so once you start looking at these guys that are coming back into the fold I think it's pretty good. I mention Anthony (Hitchens) at the linebacker spot, you got him and Reggie (Ragland) in there, they're two pretty solid players. (Ukeme) Eligwe coming back and (Terrance) Smith coming back, another year older so it gives you good inside depth there and youth at the same time."

Q: Jon Gruden recommended for Bob Sutton to be the defensive coordinator here, can you elaborate how all that came about?

REID: "So Jon (Gruden) and I, we've always stayed in touch. We talk about everything, now that he's back in I probably won't. But yeah I talked to him about different defensive coaches all the time, offensive, I talk with him about all that stuff. And he was a big Bob Sutton fan, loved him, as I was. Really thought the world of him and spent a lot of time with him actually when he was doing the broadcasting part. Loved talking football with him. Which a lot of people in this league like to do with Bob (Sutton). He's very well-respected that way, so that's one thing that Jon mentioned to me."

Q: What is your understanding about what Patrick (Mahomes) has done to prepare for this moment?

REID: "One thing Patrick (Mahomes) can do now, and what he did before today, today he can take the players out there, the skill position players, tight ends, running backs, wide receivers and then they can throw. Before this he took them and went over to another field and he couldn't do it here. There can't be any coaches there, so he kind of has to be both. But one thing he can do is work his timing. He goes back and he looks at everything film wise, got a film library and he goes back and he's evaluated everything, he's relentless that way. So he's gone back through the season a few times and looked at it. Listen, he's pretty passionate about how he goes about his business."

Q: Can it be tough for a quarterback to serve his will and does the power of possession give you the juice to do it?

REID: "Probably does. No different than you giving me the business. I'm an old guy and you're a young guy. I don't think he has any problem with that. He grew up in a locker room, so he's been around baseball players, but he's been around real quality athletes and he kind of gets it. He's competitive and when you're competitive people are going to feel that. So they know he's a pretty aggressive guy."

Q: What is the nicest thing his teammates have told you about him as a leader?

REID: "I think you heard (Kareem Hunt) say he's the most competitive guy he's ever been around. That's something we see every day. He goes out on the scout team and he wants to destroy the defense every play. That's how he rolls. You better run the right route, you better do that. He's going to let you know about it."



Q: **Since you found out about Alex Smith's trade what have you done to try to get ready for this season?

MAHOMES: "First off I've tried to get my body in the best shape possible. I trained back home for a little bit with a guy I've trained with my whole life in the Dallas area called APEC. I tried to get myself in shape and as I got going I started working more with receivers there and came back to Kansas City and worked with receivers here whenever they were in and out. Whenever they were in town we were working and then they would leave sometimes and have vacations. It was good to start building chemistry with those guys. Then mentally, just watching a lot of film, reviewing last year and just seeing how teams played. We play the same division opponents, we play some of the same teams this upcoming season so to see how they were playing us defensively."

Q:Coach mentioned that coaches can't oversee anything but privately you can take guys and throw the ball around a little bit. Did you do any of that?

MAHOMES:"Yeah I did. There are great high schools around and I talked to some of the coaches and they let us use their fields so we got to go out there and I would have at least four to five guys a day. It was everybody that was in town at the time they would come out there. The good thing with my teammates and the guys that we have in this locker room is they want to work and they want to get better so it was easy to get those guys out there."

Q:What were you guys doing out there?

MAHOMES:"I tried to simulate it as if there was a defense out there. I would give the routes and then I would give them based off of certain coverage because we run them differently compared to in the game when you have to adjust on the fly. I would say 'single safety middle zone' or 'cover two' and try to let the receivers run the routes how they would run it versus that so we can build timing and things like that."

Q:If you're going to do that you have to know what they're supposed to do too.

MAHOMES:"Exactly. It helped out a ton from last year learning all those things and then having veteran guys like Chris Conley and (Travis) Kelce and all of those guys that can help explain the routes even better to me. Then it helps me get a better understanding of what they're thinking."

Q:Is it tough to issue corrections as a 22-year-old?

MAHOMES:"Not necessarily. All of these guys in the locker room want to get better, so just as much as I'm listening to them they're listening to me. We're trying to make each other better every single day. When you have guys like ours you can say things and they listen to you and give feedback and that's how you get better as a team."

Q:How did you grade yourself after watching that game against Denver?

MAHOMES:"First off watching that game against Denver, which I knew during the game, I came out a little almost too excited. I think for me the turning point for the whole game was when I threw the interception. I remember being on the sideline and thinking 'Well, you got that out of the way. Now you can just go out and play,' and it kind of settled me down. A lot of things that I learned from that game and a lot of things I can keep stepping on and keep getting better at."

Q:How good can this offense be?

MAHOMES:"I think we can be one of, if not the best offense in the NFL. We have a ton of talent everywhere and we're deep at every position. I think with the offensive line all coming back pretty much and then having a good stable of running backs, having receivers and tight ends that can make plays, for me it's all about just getting them the ball and letting them make the plays."

Q:What did you think of the addition of Sammy Watkins to the offense?* *

MAHOMES:"It's always awesome to add a dynamic threat like him. A guy that has a ton of speed and can really stretch the defense, but at the same time can run really good routes and really focuses on his craft and his game. I feel like that just adds to an offense that was already one of the best in the NFL."

Q:As the quarterback what can you do to foster the culture of unselfishness that you need to have to reach your potential on offense?

MAHOMES:"I think with a head coach like Coach Reid and then with the guys we have in the building and the receivers coach G-Lew (Greg Lewis), we have a lot of guys that really can check their ego at the door. They really just want to win and that's the biggest thing. If everybody wants to win, we help each other out. I saw all that just working with the receivers off-site. Really seeing that they were trying to teach each other the routes and trying to help better each other every single day."

Q:Are you the kind of quarterback that listens when the receiver says throw me the ball or are you the kind of quarterback that says if you keep doing that I'm not throwing it to you?

MAHOMES:"I don't think it's really either way. For me I know those guys want to compete. I know those guys want to win the game. So for me I'm just going to play through the offense how we're supposed to play through it. With Coach Reid's offense everybody gets the ball, everybody has success, so I'm just excited to be a part of that and spread the ball around."

Q:Did you play with Jace Amaro at Texas Tech?

MAHOMES:"He left right before I got there, he had declared for the Draft. When I went on my visits I got to meet him so I had a prior relationship with him and I know he's a great player who hopefully can be a great asset to this team."

Q:Kareem Hunt has been quoted as saying that you are the most competitive person he knows in everything you do. Where do you think that competitiveness comes from?

MAHOMES:"Definitely growing up in a locker room. I would say if you watch those guys they compete at everything. My dad is the same exact way. He still competes with me to this day. He thinks he can beat me in a foot race. So it's something that's just kind of bred in my family and just bred as I went into a locker room and saw guys compete at everything."

Q:We've seen that you're a big Fortnite guy. Why have you taken to that game?

MAHOMES:"It started as an offseason thing. You have more time in the offseason after you work out, after you watch film, you have time to play games and do those things. Some of the guys on the team already played so I just hopped on and started playing with them a little bit. I had to set the controller down yesterday and get back into my football grind so I'm not going to be on it as much anymore."

Q:Which guys would you play with?

MAHOMES:"I've played with Gehrig Dieter, I've played with Demarcus Robinson, Demetrius Harris, Tyreek (Hill) plays, Chris (Conley) plays. A lot of guys on the team do play but as you get more and more into the season you play less and less."

Q:Are there things that are intimidating to you about running the offense at 22 years old?

MAHOMES:"That just comes with the relationship you build with the guys off the field and on the field. Whenever you have respect for each other and you know that you're trying to make the team the best you can and you know he's trying to make the team win you can talk to each other and say things to each other and you respect that. That comes with all of this offseason work, the weight room, the running. If you're giving it your all every single day people will respect you and respect whenever you say anything on the field."

Q:Is it natural for you to be in that leadership role?

MAHOMES:"I don't see anything as intimidating. For me it's all about just going out there and trying to win. Whatever that takes I'll do and I'm excited just to get back out here and start taking control and doing things in order for us to win."

Q:You talked about these informal throwing sessions who were some of the guys you were throwing to?

MAHOMES:"I think I threw to at least every single guy at least once. I think that's the big thing that helped out with having guys back and forth from here and we had group messages going. I had one with the tight ends, I had one with the running backs, I had one with the receivers making sure everybody knew when I was throwing. I would text guys and see if they were in town and I think I got everybody at least once as we've been through this process."

Q:Even guys like Kareem and Kelce?

MAHOMES:"Yeah with them they would come back in town and then when they came back in town we'd get some work in. That just shows how much work ethic and how those guys want to be great and they want to take their games to the next level."

Q:Today was the first day with Sammy Watkins?

MAHOMES:"I went with Sammy and we kind of went through a little bit of things but since he's been moving and doing a lot of stuff we didn't get a ton of work, but to get out here this first day and get some work in now you can see the elite talent that he has."

Q:What really stands out about Sammy?

MAHOMES:"I think the smoothness that he has in his routes. I knew he had the speed, I knew he had the athleticism to be a great receiver, but whenever he's just getting introduced to these routes now and to see how smooth he is already in and out of transitions is impressive to see."


Q:What gives you hope that you guys are going to be able to improve after losing guys like Derrick Johnson, Tamba Hali and other veteran players?

JONES:"Coach Reid, Brett Veach, we have winners in this organization. This organization is full of winners. Everybody is eager to win and they are going to take the necessary steps to put the pieces together and we have to trust and believe in one another that they're making the right decisions. What we can do is just give it our all every day and win the day. That's what we're focused on, winning the day and bettering each other around us."

Q:With the loss of Derrick and Tamba do you see yourself stepping into that leadership role?

JONES:"We were fortunate to have those players, first off. You have to give it up to those players who have played for many years in this game with this team. The years playing with those guys were amazing. I watched DJ and Tamba, the way they led the team, the way they went professionally about their career and it gave guys behind them the ability to take the next step. To set themselves into a position to lead. I think we have a great group of guys behind them. We have Reggie Ragland in the linebackers room and I think he's ready to take the next step. It should be exciting."

Q:What have you seen from Patrick Mahomes going against him in practice?

JONES:"He's going to be amazing. We are going to light it up on offense. We have Sammy Watkins, we have Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, we have a monster in the backfield. We're ready to take off, thanks to Alex Smith, such a professional guy. But Patrick is going to be something serious."


Q: How much more comfortable are you now in the defense and one year removed from your knee injury?

RAGLAND:"I'm very comfortable now. Offseason workouts, I've done a lot of stuff to spark explosiveness and I feel like I'm getting my explosiveness back. Then as far as the defense I feel like I'm more comfortable now. The verbiage of it I'm spitting it out in the meetings now so I'm very comfortable."

Q:Have you had a chance to talk with Anthony Hitchens since you'll be playing next to him?

RAGLAND:"Oh yeah. I've been talking to him for a little minute now. He's a very great guy, a very smart guy. He knows his stuff when it comes to football and I'm very excited to be working with him."

Q:How important is it to be a three-down linebacker?

RAGLAND:"I feel like I am underrated as a cover guy, but as a three-down guy you want to be the main guy out there calling everything and you want to get the guys lined up. For me I did it in college and I did it in high school so for me as a player I want to be on the field when it's crunch time, and most of the time it's third down when it's crunch time."


Q:How's the foot coming along?

MORSE:"It's coming along real well. Just taking it day-by-day. I'm in cahoots with Rick Burkholder and Barry Rubin and those guys. I can't say enough about those guys and the dedication they've brought to me. Hopefully I've reciprocated that. We've made great progress on the injury and we're just taking it day-by-day. I have no timeline. I can't give you all specifics on what's going what's not going on, and not because I don't want to, it's because I have no idea because I'm clueless in most aspects of my life. We're just taking it day-by-day and it's going really well."

Q:Can you talk about the growth of Patrick Mahomes?

MORSE:"I think you can't deny the fact that he can toss that thing. He's a good football player. I think having a guy like Alex Smith, you can't say enough good things about Alex especially as a mentor in that group. I think Patrick took every chance he could to listen to what Alex had to say and was always picking his brain and that's what makes a good quarterback room having a few guys who can pick each other's brain and always keep the intellectual part of the game going and keep it stimulated football-wise. To answer your point, I think like every rookie, Patrick made excellent progress. I wish I was able to see him more but I think we're going to have a pretty special unit with Patrick at the helm."


Q:How was the offseason?

SCHWARTZ:"It was fun. I got married, which is pretty cool. That was probably the highlight of it. The honeymoon was pretty nice, too. Went to Thailand, which was pretty fun. I would say that kind of window there was a lot of fun. It is nice to be back. We did the traveling and it was just nice to get back here and get settled and kind of get ready for this upcoming year."

Q:What did you think as everything unfolded this offseason?

SCHWARTZ:"We got a lot of good players. That is the exciting thing from especially the offensive line perspective. Obviously, the better skill guys you get, the faster the ball gets out and makes our job a little bit easier. Obviously, it all works together and we are trying to do the best to give Pat (Mahomes) as much time as he needs. The more weapons you have, they only have 11 guys, they have to figure out to cover all five guys at any time are pretty viable options. Not just viable options, but upper echelon of their position."

Q:Was there a general style difference between Alex Smith and Patrick Mahomes with how they want to get the ball out?

SCHWARTZ:"No. Everything is built within the concept of the offense and the way they coach them, everything is very regimented in their reads and everything is timing based. There are plays where they are trying to hold on to the ball and trying to let things develop and you know – as an offensive lineman – the difference between that and a quicker pass. A lot of our things, even the longer plays, the quarterback's drop is timed with the routes and everything is still supposed to be on time even if it develops longer. You always understand how long you are blocking for. There is nothing that really changes. The quarterback is going to be where a quarterback is supposed to be. For the most part, the variance is if a guy sets up deeper or doesn't push up or things like that. Both guys did a good job of stepping up in the pocket for us. That is all things that are getting coached and obviously from an offensive line perspective you are just trying to do your best job, too. But you always know where the landmark is. Nothing changes too much with who is back there. There is the idea that Pat is going to scramble a little bit more but Alex did a lot of running out of the pocket and extending plays both throwing the ball and also running. I think that idea is a little bit overblown just given how much more Alex ran than I think people thought he did."



Q:  **What was your perspective on all the moves made this offseason?

KELCE:"It is exciting. It's exciting, right now you just look at the offensive side of the ball, we have talent everywhere. Even when I thought the tight end room couldn't get any better, we picked up (Jace) Amaro and Tim Wright and right now it is looking like as athletic of a room as I have been in, which is awesome because Coach Reid loves to throw to his tight ends. Just on the offensive side of the ball, it is exciting to see where this offense can go and right now we are just growing together."

Q:What do you think you guys are capable of offensively this year?

KELCE:"Sky is the limit. We have pro bowl caliber, top-notch wide receivers. You can move that into the tight end room and even the running back room, you get Spencer Ware back. You added some pieces there, it is exciting. It is something we will have to do together knowing Pat's situation and him coming into a role with a lot of scrutiny. It is definitely going to be a team effort to get him rolling."

Q:Have you worked on some timing with Patrick this offseason?

KELCE:"Without a doubt. We have been getting acquainted on the football field for sure. Today being one of them. That is all you can do at this point is just try and build that as much as you can before training camp and when training camp comes you're not trying to do any of the timing stuff. You are just working on defensive recognition and hit the ground running in that aspect."

Q:With the amount of weapons this offense has, what do you think that can do for your game?

KELCE:"Bring us some wins. Bring us more wins than we have had in the past and take us further in the playoffs. That's all I can really hope for is to come out here and put everything I have on the field every single day. Hopefully guys see how I am trying to lead and help this team and grasp that and put that into their own game."


Q:What was Coach Reid's message to you guys on the first day?

COLQUITT:"I think he just shows his vision for the football team. Where he sees us and when you have a little bit of a turnover like we did this year, we have a lot of new faces, he wants everyone to be on the same kind of level. Know our expectations, know why you are in the room, know what he thinks you can do for the football team to make it better than it was the previous year. We go through the same things, what to stay away from, what he expects us to be doing. Whether a vet or a new guy, all the coaches are encouraging spending more time, get to know each other as much as we can. You build up that trust level. Obviously then training camp, we have to be hitting the ground rolling."

Q:Dave Toub was named assistant head coach, why is he deserving of that?

COLQUITT:"I've talked about this before. He, second to Andy, is responsible for 44 guys. They are always in his room, whether that be the practice field giving us a great look. We have used guys that are definite starters, like Justin Houston type guys, that we need a look this week and only you can provide this. Dave just has that experience. He's right at that level where every year we are talking about, 'Hey, is he going to go be a head coach?' He is definitely worthy of that title and the way he deals with those players on a day-in and day-out basis, he is very deserving."


*Q: *Have you talked to Patrick Mahomes or Tyreek Hill yet and what has it been liking getting to know those guys?

WATKINS:"It has been pretty good. We did a couple drills and workouts today. I was observing and looking back and I was like, 'I don't know how Coach is going to get everybody the ball.' You have so many weapons out there. You have Travis Kelce running routes like a wide receiver, it is going to be a fun time."

Q:How did you handle the Los Angeles situation last year not getting as many targets?

WATKINS:"All athletes, we can only control what we can control. That is your effort, your attitude and how you come to work every day. I just look back at a guy I played with, Robert Woods, who I played with for three years. He wasn't getting those targets and I was. I just looked at his situation, he still came to work every day and worked hard. He went and got a nice contract. I had guys that helped me through it. That is one thing I remember, even though I am not getting as many targets, I am going to come in and play the game like it is supposed to be played. I feel like those moments made me a better player. I feel like that needed to happen to make me an all-around player, play without the ball. I am a better player because of it."


Q:How are you feeling?

CONLEY:"I am feeling good. It should say something that they are letting me up here talking to you all. They are pretty strict about that. The offseason has gone well. I spent the majority of it here. It is just good to be back in the locker room around people in the same time that they are in the locker room and in meetings the same time they are in meetings."

Q:How did you feel the season was going for you at the time of the injury?

CONLEY:"I felt really good about last season. I felt good about where I was and the progress I was making. I felt good about where things were going but, unfortunately, sometimes life takes a turn and you have to deal with what you are dealt. Last year, I learned a lot about myself. I learned a lot about this system being on the outside and watching. Being on the sidelines and seeing everything from a coach's perspective. I think the experience I gained was invaluable. I am glad to apply some of those things and learn from some of these new guys coming in."


Q:What kind of culture do you hope to help bring to the Chiefs?

FULLER:"I think, really just the main thing my father instilled in us when we were young is we are always going to work hard and we are going to compete. No matter what the situation is and no matter what is going on around us. Those are the two things you are going to get from us. We are always going to compete and we are always going to work. In life in general, that is just two things we try to take with us."

Q:Any change going to the outside corner full time?

FULLER:"A lot of people look at it as you are inside, you are outside. When I got to college, you just had to learn how to do everything. Whether you are inside or outside, or you drop back as a safety. For me, it is always just been learning a position and learning football. Inside, outside, it is just a different area of the field. Not too much of a difference at all."


Q:What did you think when you heard Sammy Watkins was coming here?

HILL:"I was very excited. Adding another weapon to this offense makes us more dangerous."

Q:What do you think this offense can be?

HILL:"I feel like this offense can be the best offense in the league. We can take the top off of every defense that we play. We have Kareem (Hunt) in the back, we have Pat slinging it around. We have me, Sammy (Watkins), Kelce, Chris (Conley), (Demarcus Robinson). Our offensive line protecting. Our offense can be the best in the league. We just have to put all the pieces together."

Q:What kind of confidence does having a quarterback like Patrick Mahomes give you?

HILL:"He believes in us. He is going to give us every opportunity to win. He is a young quarterback, but I feel like, in my heart, Pat is going to get the job done. We all know Alex (Smith) was a great quarterback, but I feel like Pat is going to step in, it isn't going to be like anything is missing."


Q:Did you get a sense of what your role will be on this defense?

HITCHENS:"Just learning the basics. Coach (DeLeone) isn't putting too much on me right now, don't want to fill my head up. But we are taking it step-by-step. I learned the day one install today. It was pretty simple. Just looking forward to continuing to learn and learning more tomorrow."

Q:Have you met with Reggie Ragland yet?

HITCHENS:"Yeah, I met with Reggie. I have been texting with him since I signed here. We actually went to the baseball game this last Thursday. Talked all seven innings and then we ended up eating after that. I met with him, we talked, clicked right away. He is a good dude. There are a lot of good guys on this team and I am just looking forward to playing with these guys. Excited about the opportunity."


Q:How frustrating was it to go through that injury and not be on the field?

FORD:"It was frustrating, but it was a lesson learned. Players have a tendency to ride the wheels 'til they fall off and it doesn't really work that way. I did the best thing by getting that surgery. I feel excellent now."

Q:What did Tamba Hali teach you?

FORD:"The flow of the game. A lot of inside information philosophically of how to approach the game. Different ways to rush. I learned a ton from him and Derrick Johnson."

Q:What excites you about this Chiefs defense?

FORD:"The new coaching staff. I am happy for a lot of young coaches that have an opportunity now. We brought in some great guys, some new faces and we will build that chemistry in this offseason. I am very excited. We have a lot of young players and I am very excited about what we are going to do. Still the same style of defense."


Q:What did your offseason look like?

BAILEY:"Home for a little bit in Georgia, then to Miami and start training. That was about it."

Q:What do you want the identity of the defensive line to be?

BAILEY:"Just be attackers, you know? Not thinkers, attackers."

Q:How comfortable are you to playing a three technique versus a five technique?

BAILEY:"Same thing. Same thing in our defense pretty much."

Q:How tough is it with all the guys leaving this offseason?

BAILEY:"It is a business at the end of the day. I usually bond with them outside of here, which is a good thing. New guys come in, you have to adapt and get comfortable with them."


Q:How did you handle the injury and what did they tell you about it?

WARE:"That it wasn't common. I didn't really have anything to go off of or refer to. I knew it would be a process and take time."

Q:If the team asks you to take a backup role, will you still be a team player?

WARE:"Absolutely, that's what a good teammate does."

Q:Coach Reid said this is the deepest running back room he has seen, would you agree with that?

WARE:"I would say so. I've seen a little bit of tape on the other backs that came in because I love the game of football anyways. But I guess we will have to see."

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