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What We Learned From Sunday's Media Availability

HEAD COACH ANDY REID

Opening Statement: “As far as injuries go, Tanoh Kpassagnon, Dorian O’Daniel, Keith Reaser, Anthony Hitchens, and Charcandrick West did not practice today. The other guys did, so Reggie (Ragland) was out there and did some things and looked pretty good doing it. It was good to get this work in. Today was what we call a long-drive drill. We finished the practice with it. It’s ones versus ones and they get themselves 18 plays in a row and it is game situations as they go. We also had a third-and-long day so seven-plus. That’s good work. It’s normally a good day for the defense and the offense fights like crazy to get positive yards and that’s what they did. They battled each other with it. All in all, it was a good day. We got some heat today, but nothing where the guys couldn’t work through it.”

Q: How did the offense do today?

REID: “In the third-and-long it was hit and miss and up and down, which is normally the case. Once we got in the long-drive drill it evened out.”

Q: Do you have any update on the rookie (Tejan) Koroma?

REID: “Yes, (Tejan) Koroma hurt his knee and that’s where we are at. They are going to take a look at it now. He is a backup center.”

Q: With Tanoh Kpassagnon is he resting or was there something that occurred?

REID: “No, he hurt his foot. He should be okay. He will be back in the next day or so.”

Q: Was Dorian O’Daniel out yesterday as well?

REID: “He got hurt yesterday. He hurt his thumb, but he should be okay too.”

Q: Are you going to try to get Kareem Hunt into the game Thursday night?

REID: “We will see. I haven’t gotten quite that far. Normally, we go with one for a quarter, you see what I do. All of the quarterbacks get a quarter and we roll with it, but we will see. We will see how he does in the next few days here.”

Q: When you are in the middle of camp with the heat and everything, the guys are fighting through, how does a guy like Chris Jones and the energy he brings help those situations?

REID: “You know he’s got a big personality and he lets it show out here. It keeps it alive when you are going through the grind of one of these long practices. He is one of the parts of that chemistry that’s developing on the defensive side. They have some big personalities over there and I expect them to let their big personalities show.”

Q: What have you seen from Demarcus Robinson from a mental standpoint that’s led to more success this camp?

REID: “We are moving Demarcus around a lot of different positions. He is doing a nice job with it. It’s important when you’re in that role, and this is kind of new for him, that you are always going back and reviewing and staying up on it because we are still doing our installs here, but he is handling it very well and I am proud of him for that.”

Q: He had a big game in the playoff game against Tennessee. What does that do for his confidence?

REID: “It can’t hurt, which is the obvious. I think he has built on that. It is a nice little foundation he has. He knows he can play. He knows he has to continue to grow at that position. Wide receivers take time. It takes a little time to learn but he is pounding through that.”

Q: What are you looking to accomplish in game planning for the first preseason game?

REID: “Just allow the guys to play and play fast. We don’t really show much. We don’t really game plan much. Just show our base stuff and let them go have at it. Most of the things we work on out here we file away and then you can use during the season. You get a whole conglomerate of plays that you can draw from.”

Q: You mentioned some of these drills benefited the defense. It looked like the defensive line had the edge against the offensive line. How did you feel like they did?

REID: “It is a great battle because they know that we are going to throw the ball every down. We aren’t doing a lot of run game when it is third-and-seven plus. So there is a certain attitude that you develop in this. Normally the defense is going to win more than they are going to lose in that situation along with the blitz game. It is great for the offensive line. It is a great gage for them to work with. So when they get in the season, and games, there is a certain mentality that you need and an approach that you take in those situations and you develop it right here.”

Q: How have Ukeme Eligwe and Terrance Smith looked getting more time in the starting lineup due to injuries?

REID: “They are both doing a good job. They are young guys that are doing a good job. Smith knows everything. He is a real sharp kid. He has put on a little weight, which is good. He was more like a safety last year and now he has put on a few pounds of good weight and worked like crazy on it this offseason, so he has actually looked really good out here.”

Q: How did Reggie Ragland look out there today?

REID: “Reggie did a nice job for what we asked him to do. He really was a partial practice guy, but it was good work getting back into the swing of things. He has a pretty good feel on what we are doing. It didn’t look like he had lost too much there. He was pretty much up on it. All the calls and all the things that he is responsible for, it is good to have him out there.”

Q: What kind of camp has Steve Nelson had?

REID: “I think Steve has had a very good camp up to this point. He is playing very confident football and challenging everything. At the same time, we are trying to double move him at times and he is playing it smart. He has a good feel for things.”

Q: Is that confidence something new for him?

REID: “He is a confident kid. I think right now he is comfortable with his game and has worked like crazy this offseason. He stays on top of it. He is always challenging himself and I think he is comfortable with that. That day in and day out grind, he understands what it takes.”

Q: How much fun are you having building this team?

REID: “It’s a bunch of young guys or new guys. I love it. I love the way the veteran players and coaches are doing their job. They are bringing great energy every day. Everything isn’t perfect or pretty, I can’t tell you that, but the guys are working their tails off. And if they keep that up they are going to be alright.”

LINEBACKER BREELAND SPEAKS

Q: It seems like there is another gear for you when the game gets going, do you have a switch that flips when it’s game time?

SPEAKS: “Yeah. I feel like me, regular, and me, on the field, are two different people. I’m definitely out there having fun, that’s one thing I like to do is make sure I have fun. I’ve heard you got to be a little crazy to play defense, so I’m a little throwed off.” 

Q: What is it between the white lines that gets you a little more intense?

SPEAKS: “I think it’s just the heat of the battle. One man versus another. Not allowing somebody else to beat me. I feel like if somebody beats me they beat me as a man and that can’t happen.”

Q: What have you learned from guys like Justin (Houston) and the other veterans that you’re taking with you so far?

SPEAKS: “Definitely take care of your body. It’s going to be a long season, that’s what they keep reminding me of, they like what I’m doing so far but they just keep reminding me, ‘hey, you’re going to have to play a lot of games so,’ it’s just making sure you take care of your body to be able to do that within a span of time.”

Q: You mentioned that coverage is a bit of an adjustment for you, how’s that going?

SPEAKS: “I’m getting comfortable with it. I’m getting a lot more comfortable with it. Still got to make sure I stay disciplined and go through my reads, my pre-snap reads, seeing backfield sets, seeing wide receivers, stuff like that. Overall, I feel like I’m finally getting it.” 

Q: Do you think coming out of school, you always had the fear of the targeting rule back in college, do you think rookies are a bit more prepared to handle the new ‘tackling with the helmet’ rule changes?

SPEAKS: “I think so. We go through a whole lot more better tackling techniques. Not really using your head, putting your head across the body, not really trying to hit him with the helmet. I feel like the awareness, for now, is at an all-time high and our coaches definitely make sure that we’re doing it the right way.”

WIDE RECEIVER DEMARCUS ROBINSON

Q: How much confidence did the playoff game last year where you scored a touchdown and had a few big plays give you going into camp this year?

ROBINSON: “It gave me a momentum boost coming into camp. It showed what I can do during game time and playoff-wise. It just let the quarterbacks and coaches know that I can do the same thing coming into this year.”

Q: Coach said that moving you around is “different” for you. Is it a better opportunity for you?

ROBINSON: “Usually I only play one position, which would be the single receiver. But now they’re putting me in the offense more – getting me into the slot and things like that. There’s definitely more of an opportunity to get the ball and showcase my skill level.”

Q: You’ve had great chemistry with Patrick Mahomes stemming from the preseason last year going into the game at Denver. How much has that developed this year and what do you think you’re capable of with you now playing multiple positions on the field?

ROBINSON: “I think it’s going to be a good year for us. Just being good with Pat in the locker room, during the offseason, and doing things outside of football – like being a great teammate or going to Top Golf, it just builds the chemistry way better when you get on the field.”

LINEBACKER UKEME ELIGWE

Q: You’ve had a lot of opportunities to run with the starters throughout this camp. Do you feel like you’ve taken advantage of those opportunities?

ELIGWE: “Definitely, but there’s always room for improvement to get better.”

Q: Does this camp feel any different for you going into your second year?

ELIGWE: “Most definitely. Last year, I didn’t really know what to expect – Coach (Andy) Reid had one of the hardest camps. Last year, I wasn’t getting many reps so it wasn’t that hard for me. This year, I’m getting more reps, I’m getting to run with the starters, and I’m definitely more comfortable.” 

Q: In Week 17 last year, the coaches had you playing out of position at the outside linebacker spot. Do you think that’s helped with your development this year?

ELIGWE: “Yeah, last year at the ‘Mile High’ – the Denver Broncos, getting to play outside linebacker is something I’ll never forget. I’ll literally never forget that game – I had my first sack, I made some good plays on defense, had to play some on special teams and I almost died (laughs). It was a great experience.”

Q: Was it a good conversation with Clark regarding the Anthem and social justice? Did you guys come up with something together?

ELIGWE: “Yeah, most definitely. When it comes to helping the community, the Chiefs are going to match whatever we throw in. When we give back in to the community, and when we decide what we want to do, it’s going be great.”

Q: What are some of the community issues that you are really passionate about or would consider putting money toward?

ELIGWE: “My money, the money out of my pockets, I would put money towards after school programs for kids to get kids out of the streets into places where, after school, they can learn. Or maybe just a sport, activity, music, whatever the case is. That’s what I would like to do with my own money to give back to the community.”

Q: Is that something you took part in?

ELIGWE: “Yeah, when I was young, of course, I played sports, but I used to go the Victory Baptist Church where this guy, he would really look out for young guys like myself and others who may not have had the best of opportunities outside of school.”

Q: Do you feel like that made a big difference for you, in terms of, where you ended up?

ELIGWE: “Anything keeping kids off the streets taking in crime, or whatever the case may be, I believe is best for all.”

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