What We Learned From the Chiefs' Players Following Thursday's Game

Quarterback Patrick Mahomes and several other players spoke with the media after the game

QUARTERBACK PATRICK MAHOMES

Q: How did it feel to be the starting quarterback of the Kansas City Chiefs?

MAHOMES: "Yeah, it was awesome. Just getting out there in front of those fans. We had a pretty packed house, it was really loud. Getting out there in front of those guys, it's always a great experience."

Q: How would you grade the performance of not only yourself but of the offense?

MAHOMES: "I think we did a lot of good things. There's stuff we need to keep working on. A lot of new guys on the offense. As a whole we need to keep perfecting our craft, keep perfecting the plays and hopefully move the ball and score a few more touchdowns."

Q: Can you explain the reality of preseason football?

MAHOMES: "It's a little bit of a tease. You get out there and you get going and you start to get in the rhythm of things. Then it's next guys up. It's a process. Everyone's going to get their time to play, everyone is going to try and figure those things out. As we get going a little bit more, I'll be able to play a little bit more and hopefully score a few touchdowns."

Q: A couple of nice plays by your receivers. Not only when you were in but later in the game. [Demarcus] Robinson another big game.

MAHOMES: "He has a ton of talent, D-Rob [Demarcus Robinson] does and he's someone that if you can get the ball in his hands he can make a lot of plays. He had that big touchdown grab. It helps when you have depth at receiver and depth around the whole entire offense."

Q: What do you wish would've gone better in your two series?

MAHOMES: "Probably scoring a touchdown or a field goal would've made it a lot better. We moved the ball a little bit. We made some plays. At the same time, you want to get the drive going a little bit more. I kind of got the feeling like we got the first down on the first drive and you kind of felt like you we're going but you kind of just maintain those. That's stuff you have to learn and keep doing as the process goes on."

Q: On the sack it looked like you stepped up and maybe looked to cut it loose and go down field, did you just not have a chance to or did you think better of it?

MAHOMES: "It was kind of one of those things, I stepped up, I was looking down field. They played pretty good defense, pretty good coverage. I looked to the check down, he was covered and I didn't want to make a bad play worse, so I took the sack. Hopefully I can find a way to get out of that, scramble out and maybe get a completion to somebody else."

Q: Do you feel overall you were a little more conservative then you might have been? You were kind of making sure of things then just cutting loose?

MAHOMES: "Not necessarily. In the preseason you don't want to show all your good plays and all your good stuff. We had some shot plays in. They played coverages, they played back so I took what they gave me. At the same time, being the quarterback that I am, I like to take shots down field. I just didn't get the opportunity to tonight."

Q: What broke down on that screen play where it seemed you were trying to look for Kareem [Hunt] and what did you see in front of you?

MAHOMES: "They played it well. It was 3rd-and-long. When it's 3rd-and-long the defense is alert to the screen plays. They played it well, they kind of just sat there, they didn't rush up field. Kareem was pretty covered so I just burned it at his feet, just punted it and lived to see another day."

Q: At one point you said you were going to tell Coach Reid that you wanted to go back in if you didn't score. Was that a conversation that you had tonight or did you just leave it?

MAHOMES: "I didn't necessarily tell him. He pretty much told me it was Chad's [Henne] time to go and I knew it was already done with the first quarter and I wanted to get those guys in on the side line there. I mean you want to score touchdowns whenever you play."

Q: What was the conversation like between you and the starters after the first quarter?

MAHOMES: "We were talking to each other about what they saw. I was talking about what I saw. We were trying to figure out ways we can improve ourselves already. You get to go home and watch the film and do that stuff and that helps a ton but being in the huddle and trying to figure out a better way we can bring energy and just try to score, get field goals or touchdowns or whatever that is. Just stuff that we talked about and try to learn from."

Q: I know you're trying to be efficient, but did you get a sense that you accomplished that the best you could?

MAHOMES: "Yeah we got some completions. We moved the ball a little bit. At the same time, you want to kind of move it a little bit more, progress a little bit more. Stuff that you need to keep working on. It's stuff that I can hopefully go to practice and improve on and next preseason game improve on."

Q: Other than trying to score points, what are some things you are trying to improve on against the Falcons next week?

MAHOMES: "One thing, like I said, is just move the ball a little bit better. Don't let drives stall. I feel like we were trying to get going and it would just stall, both of the drives. I want to make sure I can get those drives going a little bit more and that'll in turn help get into a rhythm of things a little bit quicker."

Q: How did you feel about your decision making overall tonight?

MAHOMES: "I thought I did pretty well. I thought on one play I might be able to hit [Travis] Kelce on the corner. The play where I stepped up in the pocket, I looked down field to hit the post and they covered it pretty well and instead of resetting it to Kelce I kind of got back across the field a little bit too soon. Other than that I feel like I did a pretty good job of taking what they gave me and moving the ball."

Q: You were pressured a couple times there. Even on the first pass you got hit. Did you feel like you handled the pressure well?

MAHOMES: "I said before the game, I was kind of happy to get hit once. It settles you down whenever you're playing. You kind of get into the rhythm of things whenever you get hit. I thought the O-Line did pretty well and we just have to keep improving as we go."

OFFENSIVE LINEMAN PARKER EHINGER

Q: How did you feel about the performance of the offensive line tonight?

EHINGER: "We need to go back to work at training camp and the first team only got eight plays. It was a good opportunity for the young guys to get out there and get experience and some of these rookies to get a chance to play in the NFL. It's their first NFL game. It was good. We got all of the groups out there. I felt good with everyone's work out there. We got a lot of snaps. Once we get back to training camp, we'll get back to work."

Q: How valuable is it to go out there and face another team?

EHINGER: "I think it's more just a relief. You're seeing these guys (teammates) every day. You're spending so many hours with them. It's just good to go out there and face an opponent who doesn't know your snap count and doesn't know your plays. That's definitely a relief to go out there and face someone who doesn't know everything you're going to run on offense."

Q: Has this group gelled?

EHINGER: "No matter who's in there, we've all been able to step up and jump in there and play. The good thing about us is that we're such a tight-knit group. In my three years in the NFL, this is the tightest-knit group that we've had. We do stuff outside of football together and spend a lot of time together. I think we're a good tight-knit group and we do a good job."

WR DEMARCUS ROBINSON

Q: How sweet was that touchdown catch?

ROBINSON: "It was good to show the coaches that I could come out and make a play. It was good."

Q: How are you guys adapting to the quarterbacks?

ROBINSON: "Very well. We all just go out and compete every day. They all have given us good balls. We are all working together, so our timing is coming together with all of the quarterbacks."

Q: You've scored a playoff touchdown and you seem to be just as excited to catch one tonight in a preseason game. Can you explain that?

ROBINSON: "A touchdown is a touchdown. A catch is a catch. I'll take them all, whether it's preseason or playoff, first game, whatever it is, I'll take it all."

CENTER MITCH MORSE

Q: How did it feel to be back out there?

MORSE: "It was a blast, man. We didn't execute the way we wanted to but personally it felt good to be back out there with the guys. We have a lot to look back and work on. It was fun being out there hitting someone else besides our guys."

Q: How would you grade the performance you guys had as an offensive line?

MORSE: "I'm not going to put a grade on it but I think there is definitely room for improvement. We came out and we know what we need to do to keep (Patrick Mahomes) off the ground. We will come back Saturday and work on our craft."

Q: How did your foot feel?

MORSE: "It felt fine. It felt good to be back out there. To be honest, it is feeling good and it is just getting back out there and getting game experience."

DEFENSIVE TACKLE XAVIER WILLIAMS

Q: Who all came out from your family to watch you play?

WILLIAMS: "Right now, this game was just my parents, my girlfriend and my daughter."

Q: You were in the backfield quite a bit, how did it feel to be back out there?

WILLIAMS: "Great. It was nice to get back out there, tee off on some people you don't have to see every day."

Q: Any different feel playing in the stadium you grew up cheering at?

WILLIAMS: "Definitely. Getting to see those names like Derrick Thomas and all those guys, it was awesome."

Q: How did it feel walking out of the tunnel?

WILLIAMS: "It was amazing. Walking out and seeing the arrowhead on the turf, getting to walk through the fog and everything. I remember being a kid and cheering for the guys coming out. Now I am one of those guys. It is amazing."

QUARTERBACK CHASE LITTON

Q: How did you feel on that last drive?

LITTON: "We lost. I wanted to win the game. There are a lot of guys out here that want us to win and expect us to win. I missed a guy on the goal line. I could've hit the fullback and he would have walked into the endzone, I threw it too far. Everyone played their tails off. Every young guy got in there and had success. Everyone just wanted to win."

Q: How was it running the huddle out there?

LITTON: "I just treat it like practice. We practice real hard here. I knew I had to take care of everything at practice and implement it to the game and that is what I did."

CORNERBACK KENDALL FULLER

Q: What do you want to work on as the preseason progresses?

FULLER: "The big thing for us is just communicating and being on the same page and at the end of the day, making plays on the ball. As a DB, the more plays on the ball that you make, the better the opportunity you give your team to win."

Q: How did Armani Watts look tonight?

FULLER: "He was doing good. He communicated with me well. Right now, we aren't doing a lot of game planning. Just going out there and just following your keys and flying around and making plays."

Q: Do you feel like you learned anything about the defense?

FULLER: "You learn more and more. Specifically tonight, it is just little things. At this point, you get to a point where you know the defense. When you start getting to the season, that is when you start studying offenses and see what we can do to put ourselves in the best situation to make plays. In terms of tonight, we know the defense. It was just kind of playing situations and things like that."

DEFENSIVE LINEMAN CHRIS JONES

Q: What was your biggest takeaway tonight for your room, the defensive line?

JONES: "For us, the D-line, mainly I just want us to focus on stopping the run. Last year if you look, we came in 27th in stopping the run. So that's a point of emphasis going into the season. Let's block up the run more. Then we can get after the quarterback."

Q: Is the talent there, to be successful?

JONES: "Definitely. You look at the D-line, pound for pound, we have one of the best defenses in the game. It's not about an issue of talent, it's about us executing the defense."

Q: Are you making more of a concerted effort to be a leader this year?

JONES: "Yeah, that's every year. You want to improve your game, whether it's vocal or the mental aspect of the game. You always want to improve and that's my main thing. I went down last year during the playoffs with a knee injury, that kind of helped me analyze myself as a player, as a leader. I wanted to take a different approach, or not so much as different, but more so of a leader approach this year."

LINEBACKER TANOH KPASSAGNON

Q: As far as the defensive front, were you able to generate as much pressure as you wanted to?

KPASSAGNON: "That's definitely something we need to work on, but they were throwing some quick passes, so it's hard to get pressure when the ball is coming out quick."

Q: With you guys not getting a ton of reps, is it something you try to not look too far into?

KPASSAGNON: "Yeah, that's what I'm trying to do. I'm one of those guys that looks at every little thing and that's what I've been learning. For pass rushing, you fail 20 times then you succeed once, and that's good. It's definitely something I need to work on, and you can't really look into those things too much.

SAFETY ARMANI WATTS

Q: Have you done any work with the ones?

WATTS: "Oh yeah, I've worked with the ones, twos, threes, rotating with all the groups. We do a lot of rotations with the DBs so everybody is running with everybody."

Q: What did it feel like to get out there?

WATTS: "It was just fun to get out there, play against somebody else. Obviously, we've been at training camp. Just seeing what the team is like, fixing little kinks, and having everybody get in and play their role."

Q: Most people get in and it's the biggest stadium they've ever been in, coming from Texas A&M, that's not the case for you?

WATTS: "It was pretty normal out there. I was excited, obviously, but just experiencing the spotlight it wasn't too big for me. Playing at A&M, great stadium, obviously here at Kansas City, it felt just like I was home, the fans and everything. It felt great out there."

QUARTERBACK CHAD HENNE

Q: Can you talk about the touchdown?

HENNE: "Yeah, Coach Reid called it up, a little double move, and we got the perfect coverage, one-on-one, and D-Rob (Demarcus Robinson) made a great move with the first move, and just beat him over the top."

Q: When you have success, does it make you feel like all those workouts are paying off?

HENNE: "I think anytime you get an opportunity, in practice or the game, you want to exploit yourself, do the best you can and play your best."

Q: Can you explain the reality of preseason football to fans at home?

HENNE: "Yeah, you're going to have your goods and you're going to have your bads. Best thing about it is, it's preseason, you get to look back, go back to the grind in practice, and you just work on what you can get better at."

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