SPECIAL TEAMS COORDINATOR DAVE TOUB
Opening Statement: "First of all, I'd like to thank the season ticket members for being here today. It was a great practice, a lot of physical stuff going on out there, it was really fun to watch."
Q: Any young guys you're particularly eager to see?
TOUB: "Yeah, a lot. A guy that stands out in my mind right now is Tremon (Smith). Tremon, he's really coming on as a corner. We're also really developing him as a returner. As a kick returner and punt returner, he showed a little punt return skills today, the way he catches the ball and gets to the top speed so fast, it's pretty impressive. Can't wait to see him in a game. Other guys, like (Dorian) O'Daniel, I really like to see him. The linebacker, number 44, he's got great speed, really excited about him. Ben Niemann, another guy really, really coming on as a linebacker. He was a free agent from Iowa. Excited about seeing him in a game. You know, the games are the most important thing for us on special teams where we can really evaluate tackling, blocking. So until we get to that game, which is not that far away now, like nine days or so, we'll learn a lot more about these guys and we're excited about seeing them."
Q: With all the rule changes this year with the kickoff, how does that change how you're evaluating when you're out here?
TOUB: "It really doesn't change much as far as that goes. The things that we have to look at is we have to figure out what other teams are going to try to do so we can make matchups for them. Like on kickoff return, do we have to have faster guys up on the front line to be able to get back to block, and I think that's my hunch, that's what we're going to have to do. We've been doing that, we've been practicing that. We've kind of got a leg up on the new rules and stuff because we knew it was coming, we've been practicing on it for a long time. We're kind of looking forward to seeing it in live action, to see what happens."
Q: With the new rule, your strategy is going to be evolving once you see it live and how it plays out at full speed?
TOUB: "Right now, we're thinking it's obvious it's going to be a more exciting play, we think there is going to be more returns because there is a lot of space back there now. Now you have all eight guys up front, there is not a lot of guys back, so the returner is going to catch the ball and there's not going be a lot of guys right on him immediately. So he's going to be more apt to want to take it out. The whole idea of the new rule is to make the play safer. So I think it's going to be an exciting play and I think it's going to be a safer play."
Q: Do you have an idea in your head of who's going to get the first crack at kick return for you guys in the first game?
TOUB: "Not really. I don't want to say anything right now, it's just way too early."
Q: Punt return is still Tyreek (Hill)?
TOUB: "Oh yeah. Tyreek is by far the best punt returner we have, and we want him back there at all times."
Q: There's a big group of young receivers, what have you seen out of the younger receivers on special teams?
TOUB: "I have to go back to a guy, and he's got some experience, but (Marcus) Kemp is doing really well. (Jehu) Chesson, I love Chesson. He's a great special teams player, you hope those guys excel as a wide receiver. But there's a lot of competition over there. There's a lot of young players, (Daniel) Braverman, and (Gehrig) Dieter, I mean you've got one guy after another. That's the good thing that Brett Veach has really developed here is a lot competition that's going to make us better."
DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR BOB SUTTON
Q: Any young guys you are particularly interested in seeing in the preseason games?
SUTTON: "Well, I would think all of them. We are interested in seeing what the new guys can do. Obviously, we have a lot of young guys. Young guys and new guys, I'll put it like that, that we haven't had a chance to see and play in a Chiefs helmet. I think we are excited about that. But I think just all of them, honestly, at this stage. Because until you really get out there in a game, you're never quite sure exactly how they are going to respond and what they are going to do and how are you going to deal with first time adversity that hits you. As an individual player, 'I didn't play the play right and I got beat. Can I come back and still have the confidence and belief in myself that you need?' I think that it will be exciting for all of us, coaches and the players."
Q: With that being said, would you think Breeland Speaks would be at the top of your list?
SUTTON: "Well, yeah. There's a lot of him that I am interested in. We have a lot of rookie defensive players as you know. The whole draft was set up with defense this year as it turned out. So we have all those guys, which is a few more than you usually have. We have several guys. But definitely Breeland (Speaks) we want to see what he can do. Dorian O'Daniel, we are interested to see what he can do. Tremon Smith has come along really well. I think he is going to be an interesting guy there. We have (Armani) Watts back, I think yesterday was his first day back. There are a bunch of those guys that I think will be fun to watch."
Q: What is reasonable to expect from Speaks?
SUTTON: "I think he is a guy that has grasped the information well for someone who has never been involved in that kind of position. From what we have seen in OTAs and what we have seen out here in this short period, I think this guy can go in and play. He can play from a coverage standpoint. He has some natural ability there just understanding what is happening. I think he can rush. He is a valuable rush guy because I think he can rush either inside and/or outside."
Q: Do you think sack totals will be up this year?
SUTTON: "Sacks to me are interesting. Would you love to have a million sacks? Yeah, I would love that. But the biggest thing to use is always effecting the quarterback. That is the key deal. That certainly comes through pressure. Sacks are one way to do it. But you have to do it sometimes with tight coverage, sometimes disguise, whatever it is. But you want to effect the quarterback. Obviously you can affect his timing. You don't have to sack him. But as long as you are moving him and making him get off that spot a little bit then you can affect him there."
Q: Is there anything that has surprised you about Anthony Hitchens?
SUTTON: "No, I would say we are excited because he is exactly the guy that we thought we were getting. Hitch is an all-consumed football guy. He is all football, great competitor, great student of the game. Great preparation. This guy prepares and does a tremendous job. He is physical and a highly competitive guy and I think he is exactly the guy we thought we were getting. He has demonstrated so far that he is."
OFFENSIVE GUARD LAURENT DUVERNAY-TARDIF
Q: How has it been having Mitch Morse back?
DUVERNAY-TARDIF: "It's good to have everybody back on board. It's crazy when everybody's healthy – you realize how much depth we have and how much competition we have at every spot. So, it's really good because that means we're challenging ourselves to be the best we can be."
Q: A lot of time, linemen say that you have to know what your offensive line counterparts are thinking in order to be successful. Do you find that with Mitch Morse and Mitchell Schwartz and feel like you know what they're thinking?
DUVERNAY-TARDIF: "Absolutely. We're building a really great chemistry together. I think with Mitch Morse being really good at knowing the front, knowing what's going on, and making the right calls, it makes it easier for me to play fast and do whatever I need to do."
Q: When you put on the pads, is it almost a different segment of camp versus before the pads?
DUVERNAY-TARDIF: "I think when you put the pads on, especially as an offensive lineman, it's on and it's one-hundred percent. That's where really you can challenge yourself and compete against the defensive linemen – you get to go one-on-one and the practices are longer and harder. That's what you want in order to get better. I think you really see a difference when you jump from being in shells to being in full pads."
Q: How have fans around Kansas City and Canada treated you differently because of your medical accomplishments?
DUVERNAY-TARDIF: "I've gotten a lot of support from the fans, both in Kansas City and Montreal in Canada. I'm proud of it. It's a huge accomplishment for me and it's good to feel that everybody is supporting what I've been trying to do, as well as respecting it. Now, it's time to play football and I have to focus one-hundred percent on that."
LINEBACKER JUSTIN HOUSTON
Q: Earlier this week, Dee Ford mentioned that you found your 22 sack 2014 form, as healthy as you were that season. What is your reaction to hearing that?
HOUSTON: "I can feel it, it's just my body presence. When you have surgery, and the surgery I had on my knee, it takes time. As much as you want to be ready, it still takes time to get your pop back and get where you want to be. I think I'm there. I think I'm beyond there right now and it feels great to be back in that feeling."
Q: How have you been feeling on the right side?
HOUSTON: "Like I said, it doesn't matter what side, I want to be everywhere. The weakest link is where I want to be. Every team is different, everybody has a different weak link. So whoever has the weakest link, wherever he is, that's where I want to be."
Q: When do you decide where to line up?
HOUSTON: "That'll be game planned. Right now it doesn't matter, I'm pretty much picking and choosing but week-by-week it will be game planned. Like I said it depends on the opponent."
Q: Do you have a goal in mind?
HOUSTON: "Super Bowl ring. Whatever comes with that, that's all that matters."