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What We Learned from Saturday's Media Availability

Dave Toub, Bob Sutton, Dustin Colquitt, Cairo Santos and De'Anthony Thomas spoke with the media on Saturday




Q:Are there any special teams young guys that have impressed you that may have been under the radar?

TOUB:"I talked about Ukeme [Eligwe] last time, he keeps showing up. I think [Jehu] Chesson, since the pads came on, he's really showed up a little bit. [Leon] McQuay a little bit more as a gunner the other day. I think that's about it."  

Q: How about Chesson, do you see a potential multi-phase type of guy?

TOUB:  "We were hoping that could be the case. We really get a lot out of our wide receiver position. Just like with [Demarcus] Robinson, we get so much out of him. With Chesson we're thinking he can be the same type of guy as Robinson was last year for us."

Q: How about Gehrig Dieter?

TOUB:  "He's doing a good job. He put a couple of balls on the ground, that's the only thing that stands out. I always think about the bad stuff, yesterday he put some balls on the ground during the live punt situation. But as far as effort, he runs well, he plays hard. If he makes the team it's going to be because of special teams, so he's going to have to show out in the preseason games."

Q: How about Seantavius [Jones]?

TOUB:  "Seantavius is doing a good job. You know he's a big guy that can run. We're thinking he can be a gunner for us. There are so many guys at the wide receiver position."

Q: With the weather being what it was with all the rain and the wind, are there different drills that you do to take advantage of this weather being that you don't get it all the time?

TOUB:  "Yeah, I don't know if you guys know this, but Cairo [Santos] was 100% going into today as far as field goals. He made like almost 30 in a row. We didn't want to talk about it, but he hadn't missed a kick until today. We put him into the wind and with a rainy, cold day, he missed one today, so we know he's human now. I'd rather have him miss one now than during the season."

Q: How far was it?

TOUB:  "It wasn't a real long one, he just pushed it right. I think it was like a 45-yarder and then I took him way out and he missed one deep. I wanted to see what his range would be. Then he went on the other field over there and kicked the other way and kicked a 60-yarder for the fans."

Q: So overall you feel like he handled the elements okay?

TOUB:  "He handled the elements great. He's really having a good camp, both of them are. Dustin [Colquitt] is as well. We only have the two guys and the long snapper. They push each other and they do a good job of pushing themselves. That's why we don't need to bring another person in to compete."

Q: With the new rules that you have one cut down after the last preseason game, how much are you looking forward to getting that extra game?

TOUB:  "I've said this before, preseason games for us as a special teams unit is the most important time for us to evaluate. It's live tackling in a kicking situation. We don't do that out here and it's smart not to do it. So preseason games are important and being able to keep those guys all the way through four games is going to be huge for the players and it's going to be huge for us. We used to have to cut down and I'd be scrambling for bodies that last game because we don't want to play our starters in the last game. Now every special teams coach across the league is happy that we can keep everybody until the last game."

Q: I know you guys have things planned out, but when you see the weather like today, do you say 'oh I'm going to adjust things a little bit and test Cairo' and stuff like that?

TOUB:  "Yes, we could've easily flipped it around and kicked that way and he'd be 100% again, but we wanted him to kick into the elements and make it a little harder for him."

Q: What's the most promising development as far as his development goes? What's the most promising thing you've seen?

TOUB:  "His confidence. He's so confident. His leg strength has improved a little bit, but he's never going to have strength like [Justin] Tucker, not too many people do. The number one thing is his confidence and his strength has gotten a little bit better."

Q: When he's gotten into slumps in the past he's talked about getting out of his routine. What can a kicker do during camp to keep that routine?

TOUB:  "Rod Wilson, my assistant, spends a lot of time with those guys. I do a lot more with the x's and o's stuff with the blocking and tackling, but Rod will watch him all the time and see what a good kick looks like. If we see that he's starting a little hitch or something like that, he's more like a swing coach and he tries to let him know that that's happening. We get him out of it right away. They meet every day and they talk about it and watch tape, they're going to be watching it right now. It's just about watching the tape and watching yourself and coaching yourself pretty much."

Q: Obviously this team has had a lot of success over the past couple of seasons being able to win field position with Dustin's punts pinning teams inside the 20. Based on what you've seen so far in camp what gives you confidence that you're going to be able to continue that this year?

TOUB:"Well right now if we keep the guys that we have, our core is back. This will be like the third or fourth year we've been all together. We lost DJ Alexander, but we're also gaining KP [Kevin Pierre-Louis], he's a good player too. If I can keep the core together, obviously we're going to keep our kicker and punter, there's no reason to think that we're not going to be good again. I really believe that. We have a lot of confidence, guys are working hard and we're going to continue to strive to get better."


Q: How was the weather today for your guys? 

SUTTON: "I don't think it matters. We are going to play in this, so we just got an earlier taste than we normally do. It is unusual weather for camp, I would say that."

Q: How much for you is it about guys getting used to taking guys down to the ground versus evaluation?

SUTTON: "It is everything. It is all of those things that you mentioned. It is the closest thing we have to preseason before we get to preseason. You get to see cleaner reactions. You can find out if guys can really make the play they say they can make in practice. That is one of the things we talk a lot about in practice is making sure you are putting yourself in a position where you can demonstrate to yourself and prove to yourself that I can make that play in the game. Your knees have to be bent and all of that, so this one is real in that sense. I think it would be all of the factors you just mentioned."

Q: How is Kevin Pierre-Louis fitting in? What are you seeing from him?

SUTTON: "I think he has done a great job. Obviously, any time you come into a new system like these guys that come into camp right now, it is a real challenging because you are learning one thing and we are still installing and still addressing other facets of the defense as we go along. It is not like you just get this and say 'I got it' and then there are other new things. I think he has done a really good job. We have used him in a couple different positions. I think he is showing us that he will be a good football player. He is a pretty aggressive guy as we said a week ago. He is like every guy out here right now. We all have to get better."

Q: Are there any guys that you are particularly looking forward to seeing on Friday?

SUTTON: "I am really interested in seeing everybody play. You know it is the one chance to get out there, after you have gone against yourself as much as we have now, when you get to that game and when you get a chance to see guys play. You get to see them with the swings that happen in games. That is really what it is all about is how you deal with these swings and can you get your focus right back in. Can you let that play go, good or bad and get right into it or hey, we have had two or three series that have not gone the way we wanted it to go on defense. So can we get this thing back on track and get in position to win the game. We have a lot of young guys, so I think it will be exciting to see them and I am looking forward to it."

Q: What are your early impressions of Bennie Logan?

SUTTON: "Bennie (Logan) has done a great job in here. He is a pro. He is highly competitive. I think he is real physical. He plays with that grit that you need to have to play defense with and certainly on the defensive line. I think he is going to be a real good addition."

Q: Is there a little more pass rush work with him this year?

SUTTON: "Like we always say, there are a lot of different ways with (Logan). He has the ability to certainly push the pocket. He is strong in there and he is a little more slippery than people might think. His number one asset is he is so doggone competitive. He is tough mentally and he is competitive and that goes a long way in whatever you are doing out there."

Q: What can your interior seven guys do better up front this year in the run game?

SUTTON: "I am going to tell you that you have to put four more guys into that equation. It is an 11 man game and everyone is involved in it. It is just like a passing game, it is no different. Up front it gets down to being tighter in your assignments, better in your technique, finishing things off and then everybody else that is involved in the way the running game is today there is either really spread out formations or a lot of condensed formations. The more people they bring to the party the more people we have to bring, so that involves everybody knowing how to support properly and get a tackle. All of those things come into it."

Q: Did the defense do a good enough job shedding blocks last year?

SUTTON: "I don't think we were as good as we could be. I don't think it was shedding blocks. I think our run defense has to improve."

Q: How does Tyreek Hill keep you guys honest and help you guys prepare?

SUTTON: "Well he can run right by you. He can run right around you. There is not too much he can't do. He is a dynamic football player and certainly has the ability to run by you, it is a real challenge because of his great speed. The other factor is he can catch a short ball coming across or catch the ball out in the flat. You have to deal with this guy and we know what a dynamic returner he is and that same thing out there. You better not get out there where you are doing much tackling by yourself. You need a lot of people there. As we always say, numbers favor us. Definitely when you are going up against him you need as many people out there. It is a great opportunity for us because you are dealing with speed and that is something that is hard to get all of the time. As difficult and challenging as it is, I think it will help us defensively."




Q: On a day like today, do you have to make an adjustment with the weather?

COLQUITT:"Definitely. This is cold for St. Joe and KC, but it is good work. We get a lot of weather like this in Kansas City and the Midwest, obviously. It is good work for me and (James) Winchester to get on the same page. We had a few rainy games the last three or four years here. And it was good work for Cairo (Santos). The balls get a little heavier when they get wet. So it is good work whenever you can get this. We are going to have a rainy game here and there."

Q: You could have gone inside, I guess?

COLQUITT:"Definitely, but when you play in the elements, this is an opportunity for the coaches to see how players perform in different circumstances and different situations and weather. It is good for the center, quarterback exchange and punting, kicking stuff. All ball carriers have to be conscious about it on days like today."

Q: Is there a trajectory you like in the wind?

COLQUITT:"Yeah, definitely. When you are going into the wind you want to have a level drop. You don't want the nose to drop or come up. The biggest thing you don't want is the nose to fall because then you have a line drive punt. Yesterday, we had a little right to left wind, so I got to work on some of those cutting balls over to the sidelines. That's what Tyreek (Hill) is going to get this year a lot. He is going to get directional kicks, kicks trying to get out of bounds, lot of rugby stuff. It is good for him to get, it is good for me to get. Whenever we have weather like this, it changes our direction and how far the offense has to get into Cairo's zone. It is just as crucial for me because the ball acts differently, too, when it is wet on that turf kicking up. Wind gives you a chance to get better because you are working on different stuff that could arise during the year."




Q:Is this about as confident you've been heading into the season?

SANTOS:"Yeah I think so. We talk about it every year about how good competition is to bring in to push me. But I like to think I'm my biggest competition out here - I'm trying to be perfect. So if I go nine for 10 one day, then the next day I'm trying to go better. So that mentality has made me a lot more comfortable kicking in the NFL and more confident. So having just James (Winchester) or Dustin (Colquitt) here nobody else to take those reps away, helps us get those reps in and get in sync and get better. Today they got me kicking in the wind with a little wet ball so I missed one. But these last four days we've been a hundred percent so it's been awesome having this confidence heading into the season."

Q: How far out was the miss?

SANTOS: "I think it was 41 (yards). Which is that mid-range that you should make everything but if it's a day like today it can get you. I'm glad it happened today and not in a game, so I was just wondering when it was going to happen."

Q: Were you surprised when Couch (Dave) Toub saw the weather he saw it as an opportunity to test you. Were you surprised?

SANTOS: "No we've had perfect weather the other days that I've kicked so today was the most challenging one. We've had other days in OTAs where it was really windy and he asked me which way I wanted to go. I remember when I was a rookie he didn't give me a choice but now I always choose into the wind because it makes me better. But I always appreciate the challenge."




Q:Heard you're one of the toughest guys on the team, what does that mean to you?

THOMAS: "It means they're focusing in on me. They're seeing what I bring to the table, what I bring to the Chiefs. Just how I'm trying to contribute whether its offense or special teams - wherever they need me to go." 

Q: Where's that mentality come from? Being one of the toughest guys out there?

THOMAS: "I want to say South Central Los Angeles. Growing up there, different environment. That's where I feel like the ability just growing up there, wanting to play on this level I wanted to show people what I could do. So that's where I think it comes from." 

Q: You've been in the league for a few years now, what have you learned?

THOMAS: "It's been a great experience. Like I said not too many people get this opportunity, so it's been a blessing for me. Learning the offense, learning where to go, different spots. Being an outside receiver or being an inside receiver, being in the backfield. So many different positions that I have to learn so four years of that experience has been great for me and now just taking advantage of it and executing it."

Q: Your ability to return kicks, this job is open now – what does that opportunity mean to you? Are you focused in on winning that thing and going for it?

THOMAS: "My focus is just giving it my all and contributing. If they want me to be there I can definitely be there. Just knowing I'm doing everything I can to contribute, to help."

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