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What We Learned from Thursday's Media Availability

Matt Nagy, Derrick Johnson, Laurent Duvernay-Tardif and Roy Miller spoke to the media on Thursday




Q:What do the pads do once they come on?

NAGY:"Well, it makes it real. We are coming off of a day off here and into install six with our guys, so there is a little bit of catch up to do. I think it is good for these guys to come out here and understand, physically, all the live stuff, but then, mentally, it wasn't as good as we wanted to be, but they are trying hard and they will keep improving every day."

Q:Do you think the defense was ahead of the offense today?

NAGY:"I'll have to go back and watch the tape. That's the fun part. We get to go back and end up watching the tape to see what is going on."

Q:Is it more live periods today than what you have done in the past? Or is it the same?

NAGY:"Today there were a few periods that were more live."

Q:How do you feel about the offensive line?

NAGY:"We feel real good about those guys right now. They are working hard, the whole group is working hard. The benefit of us being able to come back from last year with the majority of those guys back on that line, with the communication, is so important. Any of the new guys that show up, just understand how to fit in and work with each other, stick to their basics and fundamentals and just keep communicating."

Q:Is it a new learning process and new install for new guys like Mahomes?

NAGY:"Yeah, there is a lot of new learning that is going on. We are throwing a lot at these guys, in regards to mentally, with all the plays that we have. Most of this stuff we have done in OTAs so they are aware of it, but then you see it against our defense and some of the different looks our defense gives them, it can be challenging at times. That is the beauty, I think, of training camp here. To be able to go back and watch it on tape and then try to slow it down for them next time they are out there."

Q:How long did it take you to learn the offense?

NAGY:"It takes time. I would say a good three years is a general number. Now, everyone is going to be a little bit different, based off any previous experience they have had. Three years to really understand the ins and outs of knowing what you are doing is probably realistic."

Q:Are you surprised how fast the young players are picking up the offense?

NAGY:"I am. They are doing well. Again, we throw so much volume at them and there are so many intricate details in this offense that you have to know. Different conversions, alignments, splits, formations, motion shifts, it catches up with you quick. It is so important for these guys to make sure, at night time, to be in their play books."

Q:Any player stick out with picking up the play book?

NAGY:"Not necessarily. They are all doing a great job right now."

Q:Can you talk about Duvernay-Tardif and his story and how he does with football and his other job?

NAGY:"It's pretty neat. There's not a lot of guys that can do that. For him to have two really important things in his life and be good at both of them is pretty neat."

Q:Are you surprised at how quickly Tyreek and Alex have found chemistry?

NAGY:"It started last year right away with Tyreek just coming in and knowing what he is doing. I think the biggest part for the quarterbacks is understanding how fast he really is. Once you get that tempo down, especially on a lot of the go balls and the deep routes, knowing there is some air time there and you can put that ball up and he is going to go get it. It has been impressive and Alex has done a great job with it."

Q:What were some of the reasons you weren't as good at short yardage last year?

NAGY:"Well, I don't know for us right now. It could have been part of the moment and the specific schemes that we saw that day for whatever reason. There are so many parts that go into each and every play that all eleven guys have to be on the same page each and every time. We spent some time here in the offseason focusing on some of the things we were weaker at and we are really looking forward to getting better this year at that stuff."

Q:Is that going to be more of an emphasis than it has been?

NAGY:"In my opinion, I think it always is every year. You have short yardage plays each and every game that come down to making or breaking those games, so that is a situational-type football and we have to be great at that."

Q:Can you describe in general how the receiving corps is looking and life after Jeremy Maclin and now here with Tyreek?

NAGY:"They are doing great. They understand Jeremy was a great receiver and still is a great receiver. He did an excellent job teaching these guys this offense. Now, they are taking what they learned from him and trying to help each other out. We have a young group of guys. And what they have done is rely on each other to help each other out. Like I said earlier, there are so many parts to this offense, especially at this positon, that can be tricky. But they have handled it with great success so far and they are trying to keep improving each and every day."

Q:Do you ever look at Maclin's numbers and try to find where you can match those numbers?

NAGY:"No, not at all."

Q:How much does this weather effect camp?

NAGY:"The weather is awesome. It has been really good. Today, we happened to notice, the sun was tucked in, the clouds were out and there was a little bit of a breeze. These guys are just fortunate to be out here, we are all fortunate to be out here."




Q: Speaking of the defense for now, what is the limit for you guys this year?

JOHNSON: "The good thing about football is there is always room for improvement. Coach Sutton is always putting up on the screen what we need to get better at and our run defense was not good. When I was out there it was not that good either. It is something that the front seven have to hone in on and sometimes it is a guy here or a guy there or just one person sometimes so it makes the whole defense look a certain way. We are working our butts off, so I promise you we will be better in the run game this year."

Q: Do you think you have the players to make that happen?

JOHNSON: "Yes I think we do. I mean we had a couple of injuries last year, but there are no excuses, which put us behind the eight ball a little bit. We have to put the pressure on ourselves. Knowing that Andy is going to do his job with the offense and score a little bit which is great. That is a great feeling knowing that you have an offensive-minded coach who wants to score every time they get the ball. We just have to do our job a few more times getting off the field. We can win more consistently later in the year."

Q: Do you think this defense has that something special when it comes to the red zone?

JOHNSON: "We do. We always say it is not the end until the end. Coach Sutton takes a lot of pride in playing good red zone defense. They can run down the field like it is peaches and cream but when they get to that 20-yard line we can hold down. That is a win for us when the offense kicks three. No offense wants to kick three unless it is to win the game."

Q: How are you progressing in your rehab versus this time last year?

JOHNSON: "Mentally, I am better. Physically, I am not. Not that I am limping out there, but I was 11 months removed then. I am like seven months removed now, so it is a little different. I am good. I can make all of the plays, but I am a perfectionist. I look at the film sometimes and I say 'Man I am running on my heels' or I am taking an extra step just to get over here in my left leg. Just clean up little stuff."

Q: What does your teammate Roy Miller bring to the team?

JOHNSON: "Oh, well, he is a Longhorn so I am biased about Longhorns. One left us and now we have another one coming in. He came in with Jamaal (Charles) actually, but I know him. He is a guy from the central Texas area. Strong guy. He popped his Achilles last year. I was helping him out with his recovery last year. The things I was doing in recovery while I was telling him and Facetiming him so it is kind of ironic that he is on the team now. He is a big strong guy. He is more of a nose sort of guy, but a strong guy that can help us. We will try to get him acclimated to the defense and hopefully it will be a good addition to the team.




Q: Did you enjoy getting the full contact in today and does that help you to be more aggressive on the offensive line?

DUVERNAY-TARDIF:"Absolutely. I think we need that. I think those days of light periods are pretty helpful as an O-Line to finish. It's not always about making your block, but you have to go through the whistle and set the tone. I think that's what we're doing and that's what we're trying to do right now during those periods."

Q: You got a little bit of work down there on the goal line today. How important is that to get the red zone offense going this year?

DUVERNAY-TARDIF:"I think running the ball at the one-yard line is critical and we want to be one of those teams that are able to do that consistently. That's why we are working on that today. I think it was a great period. I think first-team offense went three-and-one so we have to keep going."

Q: What's the biggest change in your mind when you have to go from hospital work to football work in this couple of week period?

DUVERNAY-TARDIF:"You have to change your mindset pretty quickly. I was doing anesthesia this summer, so working in the OR, getting up early, and working with patients that are vulnerable. It was a tremendous experience, but like you said you have to flip the switch and when you come here and you step on the field you have to be ready to make some blocks and be physical out there."

Q: Is it hard to stay motivated to keep doing that type of work when obviously this job has already paid you way more than you're ever going to make in that job?

DUVERNAY-TARDIF:"It's not about money. I think it's about passion. I love what I do off the field. I think for me medicine is my way to stay grounded when I go back. As a medical student in the winter you start at the bottom of the food chain, it keeps you grounded. For me it just helps me to stay focused on what I do."

Q: When you sign a contract like that do you feel the extra pressure to perform at a higher level than you feel like you've done or even the level you were at before?

DUVERNAY-TARDIF:"I think for me it's about consistency. When you get paid a lot as an O-Lineman you're not getting paid to make even better blocks, I think you're getting paid to be more consistent. That's what I need to work on and that's where my focus is this year." 

Q:Is there any concern with you with the health issues that have been around for a while at this point as a physician?

DUVERNAY-TARDIF:"I think everybody is a little bit concerned. There's a lot of questions out there, but I think at the same time the league is taking measures. We've seen over the past couple of years that the league has put a lot of money into research. We have a new helmet this year that is supposed to be way better than the previous one. I keep an eye on that because it's a passion for me, sports medicine specifically. I see a change. Change in protocol, change in equipment but also a change in culture which I think is huge because there is only so much you can do in terms of prevention. At the end of the day, it's about being educated about the symptoms and pulling yourself out of the play and everybody around you respecting the symptoms. Having a headache is just as important as when you have a knee injury and when you respect that and there's that change of culture that's where things are going to move on."




Q: What do you know about what is going on here?

MILLER: "You know what, watching this team the last couple of years it has been a highly competitive team. A team when you watch on film they have a lot of confidence. I am excited to be here. I am excited to be a part of that."

Q: Where were you when you got the call?

MILLER: "I had just gotten settled from coming back from Buffalo. I got the call the same day asking me to come out I think on Sunday. Everything happened so fast and I did not know that this was an opportunity. It has been a whirlwind for me, but I am excited for the new opportunity."

Q: How long did it take for you to reach out to Derrick Johnson?

MILLER: "It is one of those things where you take trips and you don't know what is going to happen. I guess I didn't want to jinx myself or anything like that, so I just waited until after the workout and physicals and then I reached out."

Q: You have not made the playoffs in your career. Was that a priority for you when choosing a team?

MILLER: "There are a lot of things players achieve in their careers. I think that at the end of all of it you just want to win. To be a part of something that has a high chance to win it all, it definitely was a priority of mine. I had to reconsider a lot of teams that visited. I am excited again."

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