Opening Statement from Head Athletic Trainer Rick Burkholder
"So, last time I talked to you about Jamaal [Charles], I told you he had his right knee operated on by Dr. [James] Andrews and that when we were going through the process of deciding what to do with him, he was having right and left knee pain. So, Monday, November 14, right after the Carolina game, Dr. Andrews operated on his other knee [left]. So he's had his right knee scoped, and now, he's had his left knee scoped. The rehab is the same, we anticipate recovery will be fine. We'll see how it goes. Right now he's still down at Dr. Andrews because he just got operated on, on Monday. We'll probably get him back up here after Thanksgiving."
Defensive Coordinator Bob Sutton
Q: Whose job on the defensive staff is it to tell Eric Berry not to carry the ball around with one hand?
SUTTON: "Well, as long as he carries it into the end zone with one hand, then probably nobody. That's ball security. Anytime you have a defensive player with the ball, our first rule is always block – always block the intended receiver first because he's the most dangerous guy to come from behind. Obviously, defensive players don't have a lot of experience, presently. They might in their past carrying the football. So, we'd probably like to see that ball tucked away a little tighter, but he did a great job on it."
Q: Eric Berry has done a nice job when he does get the ball in his hands in the past, is he just good with the ball in his hands?
SUTTON: "I think, one, Eric [Berry] is a really good athlete. He has great speed, he's a good athlete. Obviously, at some point in his career, here – college, high school or whatever – he carried the ball. He knows how to run with the ball. He knows how to cut. So, whether that is backyard football or whatever, he knows how to do that. It shows up. That was a tremendous run that he did in the game, there. I don't know how many people would have done that – could have done it. He just did a great job on it."
Q: Did you like what you saw from Rakeem Nunez-Roches?
*SUTTON:* "He always brings a lot of energy and enthusiasm. I thought he played with good technique. We know we're going to get a high motor guy. He was involved in getting out on a lot of the screens and outside plays. I thought he did a really nice job for us."
Q: Has Chris Jones progressed further than you thought?
*SUTTON:* "I don't know if it's further than we thought. We all had high hopes for Chris [Jones]. We know he's a very talented guy. Like any young guy, he needs a lot of reps to get to the level of consistency that you're really seeking. He's flashed, I think, ever since he's been here. Now, he's becoming a more consistent player. He still has a long way to go, as he would tell you. As long as he keeps working at it and keeps trying to get the most fundamental things down, he's just going to become a better and better football player. He's blessed with really good talent. He's worked really hard – to his credit. He's tried to work on the things that we bring to his attention from pad level, to whatever. You're talking about a really big man – big wing span. He's going to be a really good football player if he just stays at it like he's doing. We're really happy with where he's at and what he's done. So, we'll hope that things just keep going forward here."
Q: Coach Andy Reid said if Marcus Peters tried to punt it again, he was going to block it. Have you made any such promises?
SUTTON: "Well, if Coach [Andy] Reid said he was going to block it, I'm going to let him take that."
Q: With Justin Houston making his return and Dee Ford stepping up, as a defensive coordinator it's kind of an embarrassment of riches, but how much fun is it for you to try and figure out different ways to get all of these guys on the field?
SUTTON: "I'm not embarrassed – I promise you that. It's like I say all the time, it's great to have all your players back. Unfortunately, we get him back and somebody else is out. You're excited as a defense, you're excited for the player. These are guys that love to play, love to compete. Justin [Houston] has been down. He got a hand full of plays in the Houston game last year, a few less than that in New England. He hasn't really played in quite a while, so I know he's excited to get back out there and see where exactly he's at. We're probably not going to know that until he goes out and plays and does it. I just think we'll have to see. We're excited about having him back. He's an outstanding player. He's going to help our defense. We just want him to be 100 percent or as close to that. I think the more he plays, the more comfortable he's going to get."
Co-Offensive Coordinator Matt Nagy
Q:Is there a limit to how much you feel like you can use Tyreek Hill based on him being a rookie, smaller sized and a special teams player? NAGY:"We do ask him to do a lot. And then you take into account his role on special teams and the fact that he's a rookie. So right now, it's a long part of the season and we certainly need to take that into consideration and understand how his body and mind will react."
Q:Have you seen any signs of him struggling or anything like that? NAGY:"No. He's doing great. We've loaded him up offensively with some things and he's done a great job with it. But you have to keep all of that in mind moving forward."
Q:Rookies often struggle to adapt to a new offense. What's different about Tyreek Hill that he's been able to adapt so quickly? NAGY:"He puts in the work during the week and he asks a lot of good questions. And if he makes a mistake, he normally doesn't make the same mistake twice. He takes that Wednesday through Friday, Saturday walk-through and puts it onto the field. On Sunday, if he does make a mistake on a certain play, it normally doesn't happen again."
Q:What has it been about Spencer Ware's training camp, preseason or early schedule that's gotten him to the point of being the Chiefs No. 1 back?NAGY:"I think it's his mindset. His mindset is so focused at being humble at the position. He does the little things. He has no problem making that extra block. When he gets the ball on a third and two or three, he has a pretty good sense that he'll probably get it because he runs so physical with the ball. At the beginning of the season, he made a couple miscues with the ball handling, but he's made up for that. He cares about the game. Whether it's pass protection, running a route downfield or getting the ball from the quarterback and running with it, he does all of that really well and he cares greatly about it. It circles back to the mindset."
Q:Did you sense fumbles really hurt him?NAGY:"Yeah. Because he really cares. You see his reaction after the fumble because he's angry. He's angry at himself and he knows he can play better. It was a good situation this past game where we had the ball at the end of the game to set up the field goal and you saw it -- he had both hands on that ball and it wasn't coming out."
Q:How big was that play?
NAGY:"It was big. Anytime you can get even a yard closer for that field goal to win the game is huge."
Special Teams Coordinator Dave Toub
Q: James [Winchester] is one of your guys, how'd you find out and what was going through your head?
TOUB: "I actually found out somewhat simultaneously, I got a text from James [Winchester] himself at the same time my phone was ringing, it was Coach Reid. He had talked to Coach Reid first, Andy [then] called me. Of
course I took Andy's call, I picked that up and he told me and shocked, we were all shocked."
Q:You've coached a long time, I can't imagine this is the first time you've had a player deal with a significant loss.
TOUB: "This was more of a shocker than anything I've ever experienced. We've had people that have been sick before and passed, it's hard to deal with. Our team, the good thing is we're a family, we can't wait for him to get back and to support him. I know he knows that, he heard from a lot of people."
Q: We saw [Anthony] Sherman taking some long snaps yesterday and Andy said that Travis [Kelce] was also a long snapper, I didn't see him but did Travis do some?
TOUB: "Travis [Kelce] is our backup long snapper. Number one he would be the first guy we'd go to. The idea behind using both guys is that it's so hard to be a snapper, to do a long snap and then shift to a short snap so I just wanted [Travis] Kelce to focus on long snapping and then [Anthony] Sherman is another guy that we can use in a short snapping situation. He's not the number one guy he's more like the number three guy."
Q: So Travis [Kelce] will do it Sunday if [James] Winchester isn't back?
TOUB: "Yes, Travis does it. He's a gym rat. He was a quarterback at Cincinnati when he first got there. He could do a lot of things. You're dealing with world class athletes here and you give him a couple of reps here and he's firing it back there and he looks great."
Q: For punts and placements?
TOUB: "We just worked him in punts yesterday. If need be he could do shorts as well."
Q: Are there any gunners we haven't talked about that have impressed you?
TOUB: "Now that you say that, Eric Murray is doing a great job. Out of all of the rookies he's our most consistent guy. We have different grades that we give guys during the year or each game, either you're average or you're above the line or you're below the line. He's been above the line pretty much the whole year. He's only had one average game. That says a lot for a rookie. He's under the radar. He's not making the splash plays but he's making all of his blocks he's covering great, he was an up blocker on kickoff, he's doing a nice job."
Q: Knile [Davis] was back there returning kicks last week, do you anticipate that to continue?
TOUB: "Yeah, Knile [Davis] is active. He's active on the 46 man roster so you want to use him. I tried to tap into his desire to make a play and it just didn't work out that game. They were hanging the ball, kicking it deep, we didn't come out with a lot of them. When he did get his opportunity we didn't get it blocked up well enough for him. Knile is a very good kickoff returner as we saw in the playoff game. We're very fortunate, we have a lot of guys. We have Knile, we have De'Anthony [Thomas] and we have number 10 [Tyreek Hill] who's outstanding. We're lucky."
Q: Is any of that because Tyreek [Hill] is getting increased playing time?
TOUB: "Yeah, he's getting a lot of offense, everybody has seen it. He's out there a lot, he's running a lot, kickoff returns, you run that and then you're playing offense. It makes sense to take a guy, a good player that can come off the field instead of having to run a long route for an offensive play. "
Q: If you can tell us right now, I know you switched up the point system, [Frank] Zombo and [Daniel] Sorensen last year, who's leading that competition right now?
TOUB: "Right now Tyreek [Hill] is leading. He's leading everybody and then a close second is Eric Murray. It bothers [Frank] Zombo because he's playing so much defense that he's not playing special teams and he's a very competitive guy. The point system is big for him."
Q: Cairo [Santos] had the first walk off kick of his career, what was going through your mind?
TOUB: "I'm happy for him. The last two games, he was 4-4 the week before, 4-4 this week, last week, he's on a role right now, we want to keep it going, we're happy for him."
Q: Are you guys the most confident you've ever been in Cairo [Santos]?
TOUB: "We've always been confident in Cairo. Everybody misses kicks, even [Adam] Vinatieri misses a kick every once in a while. We know what he does in practice and we know what he does in games. If he misses one he always bounces back. We're confident in his ability."