What We Learned From Thursday's Media Availability

Andy Reid and Alex Smith spoke to the media on Thursday

CHIEFS HEAD COACH ANDY REID

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OPENING STATEMENT: **"Everybody's going to practice today, including Steven Nelson he'll be out there. He's in that window of time where he can do that. We look forward to playing Denver. We know they're a good football team. Our guys will have a good week of preparation and we'll get ready to play them here at Arrowhead, which I know will be a great atmosphere especially with it being Military Appreciation Day."

Q: What does having this ten days off do you for?

REID:"It's good. You're later in the year so you can use it to your advantage to rest and get guys back and healthy."

Q: After some time to digest it, how much of Thursday was execution and how much of that was some scheme stuff?

REID:"We all have a piece of it. That's how we feel about it and we've had some time to look at it and we'll see how things go against Denver."

Q: With a guy like Nelson who has missed so much time, what does he have to show you to tell you that he will be ready?

REID:"He's got to go through practice and see the breaks and endurance and all of those things that it takes to get through a practice. I think he's in pretty good shape, he did our 10-10-10 the other day and handled that okay and that was fairly high speed. We'll just kind of play it by ear as we go."

Q: Do you think there's much chance that Larry (Laurent Duvernay-Tardif) or (Mitch) Morse will play Monday night?

REID:"There's a chance. Again, we just have to see how they do out here. They went through the 10-10-10 also, so we'll just see how they hold up."

Q: Talk to us about Jamaal Charles.

REID:"He's a good player. Great kid, great player. I'm glad he's back and playing. I said this the other day, I'm pulling for him except when we play him, but I'm pulling for him. He's that kind of person. He'll go down as one of the all-time greats, not only with the Chiefs, but also the NFL."

Q: On the field is there another gear for Marcus Peters this year? Do you expect more or is he playing at the level you expect?

REID:"He's doing some good things. We can all work on stuff. He can do the same thing. We all have things that we can get better at. He doesn't get quite as many opportunities as the other guys get, but he's working hard."

Q: With (Eric) Berry being out for the year, is his role even more important? With a defense that is so predicated on taking the ball away is he the main guy for that?

REID:"He only plays one side of the field and one guy really. The safeties are the roamers. It's just two different positions. You can't say that, but the safeties are stepping in and working hard at getting better and making plays and doing all of those things. I think they've had some good downs for us."

Q: How do you account for the lack of the QB hits in the last couple of weeks?

REID:"We've got to do a better job. We have to get to the quarterback. No matter how many people are asked to get there you need to get there. That's the objective, when they're throwing the ball you have to get there. That's an area where we can do better."

Q: What stands out about this Broncos defense?

REID:"Their core guys are kind of the same guys. That secondary and the linebackers are pretty good players, they fly around. They've got a good front, they have (Domata) Peko in the middle, he's a legitimate nose guard and therefore they've been good against the run. They're also good against the pass. They're able to pressure passers so they're very sound, good energy, all that bit. Great challenge. That's what this is all about. It will be a great challenge for us."

Q: Does their offense change in any way depending on who's playing quarterback?

REID:"I'm sure each guy has his strengths and they probably try to exploit whatever that guy's strengths are."

Q: Your preparation is the same?

REID:"Yeah, basically."

QB ALEX SMITH

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Q: **Of all the running backs you've played with, what makes Kareem special?

SMITH:"Tough to compare guys, hard to get into that. It's hard to put into words, he is a really special player. I think the thing that jumps out at me is how many things he is doing well. How many different things, not just running the football. Not just the style of running, but big plays, when he gets into open space, the ability to break tackles. I think the plays in the pass game. You look at last week, a big block he stepped up on a touchdown to Tyreek. That's a lot on a young back. For him to do all those things right now and handle all that stuff says a lot about him, his future is really bright."

Q:What is the number one trait you look for in a Z receiver?

SMITH:"In a Z? Same thing, a lot of guys do things different ways and have different strengths. Certainly, you have to be able to do a little bit of everything. We do a lot with our Z all over the place. It has always been that case. I think you have to be able to handle that, and be able to handle it mentally and all those things. I don't know, though. I've played with a lot of different guys, they do things different ways and you have to have that ability to develop and know what yours is."

Q:What do you appreciate most about Tyreek?

SMITH:"Two things. I think one, he is the last guy I am reminding about things. He is maybe the guy we do the most with. I think, as far as verbiage and moving around and moving parts, you never have to remind him. I think the other thing is how hard he has worked. Obviously, he is naturally extremely gifted. But how hard he has worked to transition into being a receiver full time. I think he just stays at his craft. He practices hard every day. He is tough, he is out there. A lot of peers, not here, but at that position, that you don't get that every day, you don't get that effort level every day, and Tyreek brings it."

Q:As a group, the receivers are so young, does that help them develop better together?

SMITH:"We have a lot of youth. I think everybody kind of banded, all those young guys. It becomes infectious, becomes competitive with each other. Everybody wanting a piece, everybody wanting to pitch in, everybody wanting to make plays. Certainly, the receivers kind of have that going as well within their own group. Those guys aren't scared of anything, not daunted. They get in the game and ready to roll and they play fast, which is rare as a young group certainly to have this many guys doing it."

Q:How do you think you and the fans will react when Jamaal Charles comes back in a Broncos uniform?

SMITH:"I am getting ready for that defense, I have enough on my plate. Obviously, it will be great to see Jamaal. He was an amazing teammate, he gave everything he had. It will be good to see him. But, obviously for me, I am thinking about the defense, they are pretty good. I am getting ready for them. We will see how the fans react."

Q:How well did you know Vance Joseph in San Francisco?

SMITH:"Well, I spent a lot of time there with him. I spent a lot of time with him, picking his brain. He is a guy that played quarterback in his past, then moved into the secondary on the defensive side. So he is a guy as a young player to talk to about things, defenses, and things like that. Happy for him to get his opportunity seeing how well he has done moving up the ranks. It will be interesting going against him. I hope we get the best of him on Monday. But he is a guy I think a lot of."

Q:What is a hallmark of the teams he coaches?

SMITH:"Well, he was just a position coach when I was with him, but he was a guy that always had a lot of energy. Every day, a ton of energy, a ton of knowledge, loved ball. And I am sure those things haven't changed."

Q:Has it been difficult on your schedule and routine playing so many prime time games?

SMITH:"I think guys were ready for it. It was something we obviously knew ahead of time. So in camp I think the coaches did a good job of saying, 'Hey, we are going to have crazy schedules, we are going to have things all over the place. Night games, non-Sunday games.' I think just from the start, just having it in your brain. We don't care where it is, we don't care what the schedule is, and we are flexible. We will adjust. So we are not going to use that as an excuse. I think just from the get go, from the time camp started, really just having that mind set and carrying it into the season."

Q:What do you see from the Denver defense?

SMITH:"Really good. Really good across the board. It is hard to say whether on the front end or the back end where it starts. They have Pro Bowlers all over the place. They have been really good against the run, no question. They have guys that can get after in the pass game off the edge. And secondary, they have guys that have been playing at that high level for a long time. Really, three starting level corners. Bunch of guys that have gone on to Pro Bowls and played. Linebackers are athletic. They are well coached. They know what they are doing, they play fast. It is not a surprise they are tops in the league at a lot of stuff. It has been like that for the last few years, I feel like. It is no different getting ready to play these guys. They are good."

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