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What We Learned From Sunday Post Game Media Availability

Andy Reid, Alex Smith, Chris Jones, Kareem Hunt, Travis Kelce, Dee Ford, Marcus Peters, Justin Houston and Anthony Sherman spoke with the media Sunday


Opening Statement:"As far as the injuries go, Mitch Morse was the only one that was hurt. He has a foot sprain and we'll just see how he does. My hat goes off to the fans for the great job that they did, any time you can get a team to jump like the fans were able to get that crew to jump, is a plus. I thought the takeaways were obviously big, landed ten points in our favor. Chris Jones had a nice day with his sacks, we were able to put second-half pressure both offensively and defensively. I thought our lines just kind of settled down as the game went on. My hat goes off to Doug (Pederson) and the great job that he's doing. He's got a great football team. That quarterback is something, his offensive line's good, defensive line's good and he's got good coaches. Again, the Eagles are in good hands and I'm glad we were able to get this one right here."

Any concern about Travis Kelce and his antics? He's two-for-two now with these penalties, are you afraid that he's going to affect the team in the long term?"He can't do that, right. He can't do that, so you have to be smarter than that."

How was your message different to him on the sideline this time than it was the other time?"I told him we got about three months until Christmas."

We spoke before about Alex Smith's toughness. How was that on display today?"I thought Alex did a nice job. He was resilient as he went, he took some big hits, and he just rebounded and kept playing. First of all he kept the guys around him fighting and that's an important trait when you're a quarterback in this league to get everybody, not only yourself, but everybody around you to rise up and continue to fight when things aren't going great. You're going to have games like this where not everything goes the way you draw it up. That's just how things work. There's a lot of competition and a lot of parity in this league, so for our guys to come out and battle like they did and just stay with it and Alex and the leaders on defense, we were without one of our better leaders here in Eric Berry, and those young guys had to learn. They had to step up and learn how to fend for themselves and they did that. Justin Houston did a great job of helping (Ron) Parker in the backend and helping and all of that. I was proud of them for that."

Was that timeout at the end of the first half called just so that Alex could gather himself?"Yeah, he landed on his shoulder and we ended up just taking it and reassessing it as we went to make sure he was okay, but he was fine."

He had a few big runs too which was sort of not as much of a part of his game last year. Is that an encouraging sign for you, something you expect to see more as you go into the season?"I don't ask him to run or not run. I just want him to execute the offense, if something's not there and there's a seam go ahead and take off and go. He's done a nice job with it in his career. Last year he didn't have as many opportunities. That wasn't there and this year he's had a few, he's taken advantage of it and done a nice job with it."

This game was obviously a lot different than the New England game, is that meaningful to you, winning a game and showing some different strengths today?"I guess the thing last week was that everything didn't go right, but it was early. It wasn't where it was sustained through quarters and you have to learn how to fix things. As coaches, as players we have to do that and I was proud of our guys doing it. It was different. I'm not going to tell you I'm glad we had the opportunity to do it. I'm glad we handled that and did it well."

I'm guessing you weren't too rattled after Philly recovered the onside kick. How about the hands team guys being able to step up in the end zone when Carson (Wentz) throws that Hail Mary pass?"We were kind of right in that gray area right there where they could take a short sideline throw if they needed. You saw they still had five seconds on the clock and then take another shot with a second left, it normally takes four seconds to get that done. So we had to kind of cover both bases there, make sure we had the sideline covered and deep covered and I thought our guys did a good job with it. I thought our special teams did a good job. The onside got us, but up to that point I thought we did a really nice job."

I'm sorry if you answered this already, but can you just speak to the dichotomy of Travis Kelce and the words you had for him? Obviously he had a spectacular play following that?"He's got to learn. He did come back with a good play."

Prior to Kareem Hunt's long touchdown he had seven carries for I think nine yards, how important is it to you guys to stick to the run game?"I thought Kareem and the offensive line kind of got warmed up as we went. We weren't having a ton of production in that first half with the run game, or first quarter for that matter, we had some runs in there. We got it straightened out, the offensive line kept coming and ended up doing a nice job with it. It was important."

What do you think the biggest adjustments are going to be between now and next week against the Chargers?"Well, play better overall without getting into too much detail."

As you mentioned without Eric Berry out there today how do you think the safeties played, specifically (Daniel) Sorensen?"I thought the safeties in general played pretty good. You're not going to replace Eric Berry with an Eric Berry, that's not what you're going to do. I thought the guys battled and did a good job. We didn't get a lot over our head, there were some things caught in front of us and we'll go back to the drawing board and work on that, but I thought all-in-all they did pretty good."

What kind of role does Justin Houston give the defense as an energy giver?"I mentioned that here just a bit ago that Justin has always been a team leader. He and Eric are leaders on that side. He upped it even another notch which you have to do when you lose a guy like Eric and so the guys bank on him, both sides of the ball. He challenges everybody. He's not partial. That's one neat thing about this team, they can get away with challenging each other on both sides of the ball and it works. He's not shy about that and we appreciate that."

You've coached a lot of good players, but with Justin what's the thing you appreciate about him the most?"His positive attitude. He's obviously a good football player. He's a big guy that can really move. You don't find a lot of those kind of guys. If you ever have the opportunity to shake hands with him you get that feeling, he's got huge mitts. The rest of him is just big and for him to able to move the way he moves, the way he drops and covers people you just don't see a lot of that in the National Football League. So the football part of it I appreciate and then the leadership and the person I appreciate."

The 35-yard strike to (Chris) Conley late, what goes into making that call?"That was Alex. That was Alex and Conley just working together. You saw the last time you saw those two hook up was the Rams preseason game last year, same play. They just give each other the eye and change it up a little bit and went for it. They have some options on that play. I thought Chris did a great job of disguising that he wasn't getting the ball, man coverage. He gave no indications with his hands or eyes that he was getting the football and it paid off."


Obviously a different game than the New England game, is it meaningful for you that you have to do some different things to pull it out:Yeah, I couldn't agree more – I think really meaningful. No two games are alike in this league, I think you have to find ways to adjust sometimes. Hats off to Philadelphia, they're a really good football team. A really good defense. Good front. They made things difficult for us today. I thought it was big to be able to come in, not get frustrated, make adjustments at halftime. Came out in the second half and down the line I thought we were able to piece together some big drives that we were able to open that game up. Defense buckled down, kind of the whole day. It's the NFL, everyone is good and those guys are really good. To continue to fight, not get frustrated, to stay together and find a way. I think that's important. I think good teams do that. No two games are alike.

I think it was a 3 and 4 drop back, picked up at five yards or whatever – one of your better runs since you've been here, what did you see from that?To be honest, you're looking downfield and all of a sudden you're just reacting. Just trying to slip that tackle when that guy came in and just try to shrug him off. Fortunately was able to do that. The nice thing, I thought all of our guys worked hard on the scramble drill all of them working downfield and coverage stayed with them. So a lot of green grass was in front of me so I was able to pick that up.

You got hit pretty hard too, especially there at the end of the first half – what's the process like trying to get through that?For me, all week I was preparing for it. They're a really good defensive line, they're going to hit you. They bring pressure and even with just those four guys, if you play enough snaps they're going to get home occasionally. I think it's just important to not let it rattle you. I think it's important to not let it speed up your time clock. Know that you've got to stay disciplined back there, trust in your fundamentals. That's what they want – they want it all to speed up, for it to get to you and for you to make a mistake. For me all week, mentally getting ready for that. Something like that could happen.

Could you just describe what Travis Kelce gives you in that situation with his size?In the finish, the combination of size and speed hurdles the guy and the play before. To go air born like that, to find a way to get into the end zone I thought was crazy. Didn't necessarily think he was going to get in. Just a heck of a play. A lot of will with a heck of a lot of talent.

Since that New England game, how did other guys on defense step up leadership wise without Eric Berry out there?I think we have a lot of guys that have played, played in big games and played football. I mean regardless of years, we've had a lot of guys play in big situations so I think because of their confidence, I think it's almost a culture. I think it's the whole team. But certainly defense, those guys are confident in what they're doing. A lot of those guys have all played so it's nothing crazy. I think next man up and kind of roll. It's certainly part of the culture that we preach around here.

With Mitch (Morse) leaving the game, just how important is he on offensive line?I mean center in this offense makes a ton of calls. He's kind of the glue for those five guys, making sure everyone is on the same page – run and pass. Then there's a lot of unspoken communication between the center and I, especially with Mitch though. It's a big adjustment when he goes out. That communication with all the other five guys up front, me in the backfield whether it be run game protection. So fortunate enough for Zach (Fulton), same thing, he's played in a lot of big games. He's been in there before so I don't think anyone blinks. Hopefully Mitch gets healthy and he's back soon. Fortunate though to have Zach step in like that.

To have 35 points in the fourth quarter, what would explain getting that success so quickly?I mean there's a lot of things that go into something like that. For one, I think the coaches with adjustments and the game plan, seeing what they are able to be doing and being able to counter, things like that. I thought they're doing a great job. I think having a comprehensive game plan together these last two weeks, so that it's still early. There's still that unknown and whatever we're getting, there's still something to go to. The guys I think getting in on the details, no one panicking and making adjustments. Then us knowing that it is a long day, that we'll make adjustments and we'll get it going.

Obviously Travis' (Kelce) motor has been part of his success, but also gets him in trouble sometimes, do you as a quarterback, do you feel you need to work with him to harness that? Or how do you handle that:I mean, we love the passion around here. We talk about having personality and letting the personality show, playing with passion and enjoying what you do. You have your teammates and joining in on that kind of atmosphere. He's a guy that plays with a ton of passion. Certainly the touchdown run was an example of that. I mean how much it means to him, how much he works and sacrifices every day to go out there I mean certainly you've seen times the last two weeks that it's gotten the better of him too though. I think it's a balance. Not trying to eliminate any of that passion or that will, or that hunger. He's just got to be smart at times because it could end up costing you for sure.

The pass to (Chris) Conley, the four minute, what led you to believe that play was going to work?It was a nice adjustment I thought on the fly there. We had a call, we had a lot of options on and I had a good look there with Chris, I have a lot of faith in him. Big, physical that he could – we talked about it all game, we had been talking about it all game that they were going to come up and challenge us and finally they did there in the four minute. I think those are the situations in the past necessarily, myself or whoever, haven't stayed aggressive, so it was nice to be able to hit that today. I thought it was a big play in the game.


How big is this win for you guys?"It's huge. I know Coach Reid had some inner grit going on within him. He tried to play it cool about it the whole time, but we needed this game for him. I know how much this meant to him, I know how big this is to him. He was with Philly, what, 12-plus years? And to come in here, and they come on to our field, we had to show up for him today. It was a great team effort. Defense played relentless. Offense came to play with Alex (Smith), Tyreek and Kelce. And the freaking rookie running back. They all came to play. We believed in the scheme of the defense and we executed."

Talk about how you felt out there:"We felt good, like I said we didn't get rattled up. Defense stayed calmed, played hard throughout the game. Bob (Sutton) had a plan for us, Coach Reid had a plan for us. We just continued to fight out. We knew it was going to be a tough game but we just continued to fight. We knew it was going to be a fourth-quarter game even if it made it that far."

Carson Wentz, tough guy to bring down?"Yeah we watched him all week. He's like a smaller version of Ben Roethlisberger. He's very agile, he can run. He can even throw the ball better when he's on the run better when he's sitting in the pocket. So that guy is very tough."

Three sacks, an interception – talk about the day personally:"It feels good. Had some plays out there I feel like I could get better on but enjoy the win. I'm going to be in the office tomorrow and see what I can get better at."


How good does it feel to prove naysayers wrong saying that first game was a fluke?"Honestly, I just want to keep doing what I do. Just keep helping this team win. That comes from the offensive line and everybody just straining to finish."

Take me through both your touchdowns:"I pride myself on being a balanced running back. Some speed, some power. Just being able to finish, you just need to fight for every yard."

What was your nap celebration about?"Stop sleeping on me. That's what I want everybody to know and pretty much what I like doing, scoring touchdowns."

How good did it feel to see the offensive line work against this front seven?"Honestly, they did a great job up front on both sides of the team. They got us some plays and we got them some plays. We just have to keep battling all game and I am proud of the way those guys finished up front for us and we just had to keep battling."

You guys are 2-0, what does it mean to get a big win like this?"It is just another win. Honestly, we have to keep it going and we have to keep winning. Hopefully we can finish it off and end with the main prize."


What was the part of your touchdown where you just went for it?"Well, I failed to hurdle a guy two plays before that so I just dusted myself off and tried it again."

Does this one mean a little more to you?"Yeah, it is more than last week. We are 2-0. It felt good."

What happened toward the end of the game?"It was a close game until the fourth then we just took off. It was exciting to see the offense come together. When we are rolling up front, we are a heck of a team."

What happened on Kareem Hunt's long touchdown?"Kareem Hunt went to the house. He can play some football. The o-line blocked it perfectly up front and from there it was just to the house."

What changed after halftime?"Mentality. The mentality of the entire team came together there and told everyone to kind of man up. Everyone started to do their job and we got some momentum going and from there it is just guys making plays. Chris Conley made a huge, huge play when we were up seven and around our 30 yard line. Hit a double move on him and Alex put it right on the money. Those kind of plays kept unraveling for us and, sure enough, we came away with a win."

Bragging rights for you, and I am sure everyone felt good for Coach Reid:"Oh yeah. That is who we are doing it for, Coach Reid. We know his past and we know this means a lot to him and we were there and we had his back."


What impressed you about Carson Wentz?"He's a great quarterback.  We call him a smaller Big Ben.  He is going to make his mark as a quarterback.  The whole team in general, the offensive line was great.  It's a great team, man, a great team."

How were you able to bring so much pressure on the opposing quarterback?"That's just what we want to do up front.  We know we are capable of that.  That's just the level we want to play at every week.  We understand that, when we are pressuring the quarterback, that is crucial for our wins and losses."


Is it ever frustrating for you as a corner when they don't come your way that often. How do you deal with that?"When they came my way today, like I said, don't start off slow, like the first half I started off slow. They caught that deep dig on me, I was just out there you know. Just come out there, keep myself composed, wait for my plays to come and just play my game while we're out there playing defense. Stay in contact with what I need to do, communicate, aligned and sign and then play fast."

Talk about how important it is to start out 2-0?"It's big to win any game, it's real big. But for us to start out 2-0, that's real big but we got a game next week and we just take it to next week." **  * *   


On the performance of the Chiefs defense:"I think we did okay.  We gave up a lot of big plays.  On defense, every time we should have three and outs. I think the defense on that last (touchdown) drive was terrible.  We can't do that.  To be the team we want to be, a championship team, the championship defense we claim we are, we have to get off the field.  It should be three and out.  The defense shouldn't have even been on the field.  That should have been the offense kneeling on the ball at the end of the game." 

Do the defensive players challenge each other during the game?"We have fun.  We compete.  That's what we do.  We have fun with each other.  We play for each other.  This is all about each other.  Every time we put on our Chiefs helmet, that's who we play for."

How good do you feel two games into the season? "I feel good but I feel like I have a lot of improvement to do.  That fourth quarter I made a couple of plays but on that last drive, I have to do better.  I've got to get in shape.  My rushing has to be better.  For us to be a better team, we have to do better.  That last drive the defense didn't do good.  That last drive the defense should have been three and out.  The offense should have been kneeling the ball the last two minutes.  We've got to do better as a whole.  We made some plays when we needed to but again, we've got to do better."

What do you think about the performance of Chris Jones today?  "He played great but it's not just about one person.  It's about us as a whole.  I can come out here and get 20 sacks but if we don't dominate as a whole, it does not matter what one person's does.  It matters what we do as a whole.  He had a big game.  It was good.  I hope and pray that he does that every week.  We are going to need that every week, week in and week out, for us to be a good defense."


Comments on the forced fumble on special teams:  "I was in the right spot at the right time. I was running down the field and I saw it come out and it rolled right to me."

Was that a big moment in the game?  "It was huge.  There was under two minutes in the half and we were able to go out there and kick a field goal before half to go up by three."

*Was the special teams performance against New England a motivator for this game? *For sure, a lot of the core guys on special teams, we left a lot out there and we tried to make up for it as much as we could this week.  I think we did a pretty decent job.  They got that onside kick at the end which is a thorn in our side right now but we'll watch the film and get better."

*Comments on quarterback Alex Smith: *"He is such a competitor.  It's awesome to have him as a quarterback and the leader of this team.  To go out there and know that he is going to give everything he has, every play, regardless of what he has to do with his body is fun to watch him.  It's fun, as a team, to have a quarterback who is going to lay his body out there for a first down or something like that."

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