What We Learned from the Chiefs' Rookies on Sunday

Offensive Guard Kahlil McKenzie

Q: How's your time been in Kansas City so far? 

McKENZIE: "It's been a lot of fun. I've had some good barbecue already so it's been nice. I love the city already, it's been beautiful outside, so that's been a plus. Just getting here, being around the guys, being around the coaches and the facility. Still trying to take everything in, but it's been awesome so far." 

Q: What do you know about the gameday experience at Arrowhead? 

McKENZIE: "They tell us a little bit about it. You see, you can kind of get a good feel about what's going to happen on game day. The parking lot is huge, the stadium looks awesome. You always hear about how loud it is. So those things, you can already tell that it's going to be a great gameday experience." 

Q: Have you been warned from your dad about it from his standpoint? 

McKENZIE: "Of course he's talked about it. He's talked about the feel of the stadium, how great of a stadium it is, how passionate the fans are and everything like that. So a little bit."

Q: How did it go on the other side of the ball yesterday? 

McKENZIE: "Just trying to take everything in. Getting some reps at center, rotate at guard. Trying to take everything in, be a sponge right now. That's the big thing. Just trying to take all the information I'm getting and apply it to the field as soon as possible." 

Q: What was it like growing up around a locker room and having that experience?

McKENZIE:"It's an amazing experience. You grow up wanting to do this your whole life being around guys who are doing this for their jobs. You get a lot of love for it, a lot of respect for those guys, the time they've put in. I'm just trying to take that same approach that I've seen other guys take to it. Just come in, head down, ready to work and be a sponge in the meeting rooms and respect my players and my coaches."

Defensive Back Tremon Smith

Q: You played quarterback in high school, did you have any hopes of continuing that in college?

SMITH: "I did, but I got a lot of offers for receiver because I played receiver my junior year. They loved me at quarterback but I was always 5'10"."

Q: What was the transition like from offense to defense?

SMITH: "At first, I was asking my defensive coordinator, he was the one that recruited me, to get me on the offensive side and at least have a package. In the long run, I started getting better at it, started learning my position and the ins and outs of cornerback. I fell in love with it real quick. We ran man so it wasn't too hard."

Q: Did you have any Football Bowl Subdivision opportunities?

SMITH: "I did have Auburn offer midway through my senior season, but they said I wasn't going to qualify so they pulled it and offered me a preferred walk on. So it was a lot of D1-AA offers."

Q: How do you think having that offensive background helps you on defense?

SMITH: "Ball skills. Ninth through eleventh grade I played receiver. I always was able to go high-point the ball. I knew when I went to defense I wanted the ball in my hand, I missed having the ball. It just made me play more hungry, wanting to be a playmaker."

Q:How much are you hoping to show your punt return skills and show your value on special teams?

SMITH: "A lot. Rookies make their names on special teams their first few years so I am willing to do whatever it takes on special teams. Like I said, moving from offense to defense, I want that ball in my hand. Every time I get the ball in my hand I am trying to score."

Q:Is returning the last thread of offense that you have?

SMITH: "Right, I am clinging on to it and don't want them to take it away from me."

Defensive Back Elliott Berry

Q:What advice did Eric (Berry) have for you about all of this?

BERRY:"Stay sharp and be focused all the time."

Q:What intrigued you to take this opportunity with the Chiefs as opposed to other teams in the league?

BERRY:"For one my brother's here. That's one thing that's familiar. I'm just a little bit more familiar with Kansas City than some other places."

Q:Are you able to pick your brother's brain with the playbook and ask him for advice?

BERRY:"We haven't really been able to talk about the playbook a whole lot because everything's been moving so fast. We just started yesterday. Outside of this we do talk a lot of football, we just don't necessarily get too specific when we talk about schemes. It's just football."

Q:Did you learn anything about your brother that you didn't know watching him go through his cancer treatments?

BERRY:"I knew he was always resilient, never really scared of anything. After that experience it kind of showed me how resilient he really, really was. That just kind of taught me if you put your mind to something you can do it."

Q:What are you trying to cherish most about this opportunity and what do you want the coaches to see that maybe has not been clear for them yet?

BERRY:"That I'm here. I'm serious. I'm taking advantage of the opportunity that I have."

Wide Receiver Byron Pringle

Q: What has your experience been like this weekend?

PRINGLE: "It has been great. Being here with a great group of guys and being able to compete."

Q: Is there anything you've had to get used to this weekend?

PRINGLE: "The tempo is different from Kansas State, along with verbiage with the play calling is more than I was used to at Kansas State. Other than that, I am catching on pretty well."

Q: Was it the proximity that drew you to Kansas City? 

PRINGLE: "I feel like right as I got that call I was ready to come be a Kansas City Chiefs player and bring all my ability to this team. I'm ready to work."

Q: What do you remember from Tremon Smith when you played Central Arkansas?

PRINGLE: "During that game, he came up to me after we threw the ball for a couple hundred yards on them and he said, 'I thought you were a running team?' And he also said Coach Snyder is the G.O.A.T. That's what I remember from him."

Q: Do you remember thinking he could be an NFL player when you played him?

PRINGLE: "Yes sir. He wasn't the type of player that was going to let you get by just because he was at a smaller school. He was a hard-working player at Central Arkansas and he was a competitor. I knew he had a chance of making it to the NFL."

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