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What We Learned From Thursday's Media Availability

Head Coach Andy Reid, QB Alex Smith and LB Derrick Johnson spoke with the media on Thursday.


OPENING STATEMENT:"Alright, as far as the injuries, the guys that didn't practice today were Tyler Bray, Tamba [Hali], Justin [Houston], [Josh] Mauga, Dezman Moses and Charcandrick [West]. [Jeremy] Maclin practiced and then, Jamaal [Charles] actually took a few snaps on 7-on-7. It was good to get them some work. Listen, we appreciate the military and the military day, and all that they do for us. We can't do our job without them and they have the tough job, and we get the benefits of that. So, we've got a great country – we're lucky to live here. Then, the people of St. Joe [St. Joseph], Missouri Western State University, treat us phenomenal. We appreciate everything that they've done for us over the last few weeks here. We've been able to get a lot done – a lot because of the care that we've had here. It's been a productive camp for us, and we appreciate, again, all the support that we've gotten for it."
Q:Any chance that any of those guys you listed on the injured list will play Saturday?  

REID: "Possibly Dez [Dezman Moses]."

 Q:What about Jamaal Charles – no?

REID: "Jamaal [Charles] will probably not play."

Q:What about Jeremy Maclin?

REID: "[Jeremy] Maclin will play unless something crazy went today, but I mean he was fine out there."

Q:What about quarterback rotation Saturday?

REID: "So, we're going to go a half with the ones', and then, the twos' will go in the third quarter and threes' will go in the fourth quarter."

Q:Will you keep Alex Smith in with the ones' the whole time?

REID: "Yes, I think. I make those decisions on the fly."

Q:What did you say to your players as you broke camp today?

REID: "Well, first of all, you had a good camp and a productive camp. Second of all, the military had come up by the time I got that out that. We welcomed them in and gave out, actually, a few game balls to a few of the specific people out here, but to thank them for taking care of us, so we can do what we do and do what we love doing."

Q:Can you say this is the sharpest that your team has been since you've been here?  

REID: "It was the sharpest, but again, it should be the sharpest having been together four years. You expect it to continue the longer you're around. They've done it and they kind of know the offense, and defense and special teams. So, I would tell you – yeah, they started off sharp and finished sharp. Do we have room to improve and things that we need to get straight before we play? Absolutely."

Q:In your mind what constitutes as a successful and productive training camp?

REID: "Well, I look at execution, and are you getting closer to getting game ready every day – closer to being ready every day. I'm talking about in-season game ready, so not preseason game ready."

Q:What about Phillip Gaines Saturday? 

REID: "Probably will not play. I'll see how he did. He practiced today, so we'll see, but I'd probably lean – I'm leaning away from that one."


Q: Alex is there always a good feeling when this day comes?

SMITH: "Yeah of course. I think everybody is excited to get out of the dorms, especially the older ones. Camp is complete. This portion of summer football here and heading back to the facility. It's a little bit of a change in mindset. You realize around the corner that the regular season will be here and how fast it is and how quick this goes."

Q: Do you feel like some of the younger receivers, Chris Conley in particular, have taken some steps forward here in training camp?

SMITH: "I feel like a bunch of our guys, that position group as a whole is so deep. All those guys seem to continue to make plays out here, all of them, but certainly Chris. I feel like especially this past week Chris has played really well. He continues to just add to his game. Physically he's always had it, and I think mentally he's been sharp. He's been seeing things really well, he's playing fast, and he's made a bunch of strong catches as of late. So yeah excited about that."

Q: Is that something as a quarterback that you take note of, when someone doesn't drop a pass?

SMITH: "Yeah, you take note of everything. In fact, sometimes you get more excited, when there's a route that you have to make a lot of adjustments, when he see's things, when you're seeing them, and then especially when you're seeing them together, especially as a young guy it's really refreshing. It gets you excited especially as a QB because that trust level is there. You can really just start to trust those guys and let balls go even earlier, no question with those strong catches. Windows are small, and there's a lot of contested throws, and you love when guys are aggressive, that much more trust to go their way for sure."

Q: Is this the best offensive group that you've broken camp with?

SMITH: "Every year, I don't want to compare any group to any prior group. Certainly like I said, across the board, whether it be the receiver group, the tight end group, the running back group, when you look at the skill positions we're so deep. I feel like we've got a lot of guys that can make plays no matter who's in there and that's what you want. We're able to mix it up personnel wise, get different match-ups what we're looking for dependent on the group and it's really fun to do that."

Q:Chris Conley said last year that you used to help him out and let him know exactly what the route was. Is there a time that clicked for you to trust him and not have to do that anymore?

SMITH: "I feel like it just goes to a different level. Certainly when they're a rookie you're making sure sometimes that they know the route they have. You get to a whole different level. Like for me now with Chris I'm continually just trying to talk to him. The things I'm seeing, the things I'm thinking. I just think for those guys, and it goes in our direction too to hear their feedback, what they were seeing and what they were thinking. The more we think alike the better. I think Mac [Jeremy Maclin] sets a good example for them. Mac and I are always talking, and Mac thinks like a quarterback. A lot of times he knows the looks, he knows when the balls coming his way, he knows what I'm thinking about. With Chris, you get to that level of it and Chris is so smart, so you just kind of continue to bank all of that stuff. There's so many little nuances to all of that and you just continue to bank it and that's what all these reps are for."

Q:Game number one you were so efficient. You didn't really get a lot of time out there, so what do you want out of game number two since you'll have a whole half?

SMITH:"Certainly we're going to get more extended time as a group. To still play good, to still have a sense of urgency every single play, to go out and execute but know that you're going to get more extended time. It'll be a little more extended time. Week two, teams do start to game plan a little more. I'm sure we'll see more out of them as a defense. You could see some more exotic stuff here in week two. You kind of have to be ready for it a little more. The mindset still is to get out and be effective every single play, but we're going to get more opportunities. With that you just want to see consistency. You don't have the huge ups and downs, and go out there and be able to execute on a consistent basis."

Q:Is making in-game adjustments something that you test out at all?

SMITH:"Yeah it's big. This is a great example. Like preseason, here week two you just don't know their mindset and that's a good thing. They could come out and they could be coming after us and pressure a lot or they could sit back and be vanilla. You just don't know and that's part of the deal, and that'll be part of the adjustment is to trying to get a feel for how they're treating us. I feel like every coaching staff treats preseason a little different on what they want to show and what they have in and how much they game plan. There's that unknown factor which is a good thing I think. They make you get ready for that because that's what every Sunday is like you don't totally know. You do your week's prep, but they could certainly do a lot of unscouted things or things they haven't shown before. It's a good dress rehearsal for that."

Q:The tablets on the sideline with the video, how does that change the process of what guys talk about?

SMITH:"It was my first experience with it last week. To watch the entire play was pretty awesome to sit there and watch it live instead of the pictures. I don't know if they're thinking about going to it, but I thought it was a great tool."

Q:How does the dynamic work with having a veteran offensive coordinator like Brad Childress and a younger guy like Matt Nagy working together as offensive coordinators?SMITH:"Childress has a lot more stories from over the years. It's fun though. Something I appreciate the most about those two and this staff is the lack of egos. With both Childress and Nagy, everything is about the team. There's a selflessness here that starts at the top and works its way down. Everything is about what can 'WE' do to help 'US' get better as a team. Nobody cares whose idea it is so long as it helps us get better. They work together to get through problems and set a good example for us with their work ethic, mindsets and their attitudes. It's about the team. Both those guys have so much experience and so much to give. It's great."     

Q: What's it going to be like for Nick Foles to face his former team?

SMITH:"I'm sure he'll be pumped up. You want to go out and show up in front those guys. There's a lot of emotions you go through. The nice thing here is that it's just a preseason game. At the other end, you start playing the game and wonder if they're going to go after him. We've been joking around a bit in the QB room about that already. You never know how things will go overall though. I'm sure there will be extra emotions there. It's human nature regardless of how much you try to block it out and focus on the details. I'm sure he'll be looking forward to getting into the flow of the game and getting a few plays under the belt. At that point you can sort of lose yourself in the game and let that stuff out of your head."

Q:Was the experience you had in San Francisco a few years ago any different to that?

SMITH:"It's similar to that. You're just fired up and have a lot of emotions. You certainly don't have trouble 'getting up' for the game. It's that, and you're excited to get into the flow of the game. Any QB likes that when you can get into the flow of things and get into the rhythm. Especially when it's a game like that when you're jacked up during pregame and all week prior to. It's good to finally get sweating and take a hit."

Q:Once the game starts, does that all go away?SMITH: "Yeah. I mean every QB is different. For some guys it could be getting that first completion, for others it's running around and getting sweaty. For me, I think getting hit helps me. I'm so used to running around all week and we're untouchable. So it's nice sometimes to get hit in games and get a little bit of 'wakeup.'"

Q:How was throwing passes to some of the military members after practice and how was their route-running abilities?

SMITH:"Yeah we did throw some after practice -- usually we do even more. There's usually a bunch of guys itching to run routes which is a ton of fun for us to get them out here. We sing the national anthem before every game and it's a wakeup call for all of us -- at least for me during pregame as to how thankful we are to be able to play a sport in this great country. It's a tribute to all of these guys and the ones before them. To be able to let them come down and fool around, take pictures and browse is a ton of fun. It's a chance for us to let them know how much we appreciate them."


Q: Is this the best team you've broken camp with since you've been a member of the Chiefs?

JOHNSON: "Probably, yeah. Definitely at the top – one of the best teams I've broken camp with for sure."

Q: Do you like breaking camp like today; do you like leaving St. Joe? You've gotten all this hard work done, is this a good day?

JOHNSON: "It's bittersweet. It's a time where you [build] camaraderie with your teammates – on the field and off the field – it's kind of like a college atmosphere. But it's time to go home now and that's a good thing to lie in your own bed. We definitely got a lot of work done here – got a lot more to do. We still have another second preseason game, so we're still early in this process. But we're getting better – that's the best part."

Q: Why do you say this is the best team you feel you've broken camp with?

JOHNSON: "This is Andy [Reid's] fourth year. When you can have a steady coaching staff, a steady core group of guys that you can build off of and we've been getting addition to other people to the team – that's great. We're a pretty good team – I've been here for 12 years, and I know a good team and this is definitely a good team."

Q: In your 12 years – having been here – is this the most stable situation you feel you've been in? Same group, same coaching staff – it seems the same coming in this year.

JOHNSON: "I would think so but when you say [most stable] I would think more of a winning atmosphere, that's what makes it stable. When you're not winning, you're not stable. To be under Andy Reid, having a winning season since he's been here – that's a good feeling. We haven't had the feeling in this type of longevity as far as winning every year and this year isn't going to be any different – we expect to win."

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