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What We Learned From Thursday's Media Availability

Dave Toub, Matt Nagy and Bob Sutton spoke to the media on Thursday


Q:Can you talk about how Harrison Butker has grown since you've got him?

TOUB:"He's very mature. He came in mature. I think his experience at Carolina really helped him, with Graham (Gano) and the coaching staff out there. He came in and he already had it figured it out when we got him. He doesn't let things phase him. If something goes wrong he just comes back and makes the next kick and I think that's why his future looks really bright."

Q:What did you like most about him when you acquired him?

TOUB:"Every year we rank the kickers, no matter if we're looking for a guy or not, kickers, punters, snappers and then position guys too, he was our number one kicker coming out. When Cairo (Santos) got hurt we just went back to our list and he was available and we kind of got lucky that he was still on the practice squad and we were able to pick him up."

Q:On a week like this where you're probably going to be sitting a lot of guys, as far as special teams goes, how does that go into you filling your squad?

TOUB:"It's not like it's a preseason game where you have a whole bunch of guys to go to. The guys that are playing special teams before are going to be playing special teams still. You're not going to put your starters in there to play, so they all have to play. We're just going to ask a lot more of them as far as reps go. You're going to see some guys will get 80 reps possibly in this game, that's a strong possibility. It's good for them. The young players need to get playing time, they need to build their resume and show us what they can do for next year as well."

Q: I'm assuming you probably won't have Tyreek Hill back on punt returns.

TOUB:"There's a chance he'll be back there. There's a chance. I don't want to give Brock (Olivo) anything there."


Q: How do you go about building the roster for this game?

NAGY:"We leave that up to Coach. Coach has a plan. He has his ideas, his thoughts and so we just kind of go through it, all three sides offense, defense, special teams and we have an idea and we play off of that. Ultimately Coach has been doing this a long time. He's been in these situations before. So we just kind of rely on what he says."

Q: What are you most excited about seeing with Patrick (Mahomes)?

NAGY:"You finally get a chance with live action, it's not training camp, it's not preseason, this is the real deal. You're going against a really good defense that's known to be one of the better defenses to play this game in a long time. So he understands that and it's a great challenge and I know he's looking forward to it. The part that's interesting to me will be to see his growth from his first day of rookie camp, being able to get in the huddle and call a play vs. getting out there now with 60-70,000 people, loud, running the huddle and being able to do everything there before the play and obviously trying to make plays during the play."

Q: Where has he grown most since he came in from rookie camp, training camp and the preseason?

NAGY:"Probably his confidence has just gotten a lot better being out here on the scout team. You can see his presence of being in the huddle, being around the guys, taking a snap from under center, understanding timing of when the ball has to be out. The stuff that you saw on tape in college where there was a lot of scrambling around, the timing wasn't there, you don't see that with him anymore. So now he gets a chance to come out here and work on the timing, we call it card throws where in scout team it's easy, you can anticipate and try to throw the ball early because there's no issue if there's a pick in scout team. Now when you throw card throws and you throw easy anticipatory throws it matters. So you want to make those good throws, but also you want to have completions with it."

Q: What are your expectations for him? What's going to make that a successful game other than winning the game?

NAGY:"We've all talked about it, let's go there and do everything we can to get that win number one, we understand that. Let's understand getting the ball out on time with your feet, your timing. Protect the football, the guy in front of him right now, number 11, is one of the best in the league at doing that and you win football games when you protect the football. So turnovers, staying away from turnovers, ball security in the pocket, not trying to make too much happen. He's a dynamic playmaker, he's proven that his whole college career. Now you're playing with the big boys and you have to understand that you have to play within the system, but still let your talent show. So there's a balance there. How's he going to transition into that balance?"

Q: What will Alex's role be during the game?

NAGY:"He'll be a coach just like us. This isn't his first time. You go back to when Chase (Daniel) was doing this a few years ago, it's the same way. So when we're in that room, regardless of who the quarterback is starting for the game, we're all coaches in there, we all bounce stuff off of each other and it's the same thing on the sideline. Patrick and Tyler (Bray) have done a great job in between series with Alex talking through things and now it's just role reversal."

Q: How did his first day of practice go being the guy?

NAGY:"He was natural. He has that about him. That hasn't changed. He's always had that. He knows now that for this week this is his team and he's the leader out there. So the guys on offense look for that and it's a great opportunity for everybody to see what he can do, for him himself to see what he can do, for us as coaches, but it's just one game. He just needs to go out there and be himself, not put too much pressure on himself which he won't and everything else will take care of itself."

Q: When you're putting together a game plan and scripting this game, how much consideration goes into streaks and milestones and things that are kind of important to some of these guys?

NAGY:"Really none, but we understand it. So if somebody has a streak, I know right now with (Mitchell) Schwartz he has a streak that's going on and that's something that Coach Reid deals with. That has nothing to do with what our offensive staff deals with. So Coach will make the right decision on that, but really when it comes down to it none of this is based off of a personal accomplishment. As cool of an accomplishment as that is for Mitchell, none of this game plan is based around that."


Q:What have you seen from Paxton Lynch in the limited amount?

SUTTON: "I think he had around like 60 total throws for him, counting his preseason games. He's strong armed, a big man and he's got great arm talent. Very mobile for a big man. Because of his length he can gobble up the yards when he gets out there, kind of like how (Colin) Kaepernick used to do it. They just are rolling off there. So he's got that talent going for him. I think he's going to be a really good quarterback. He's like all, I think, young players at any position, but particularly that one, I guess you need a lot of reps. You need a chance to get in there and play. But there's not too much that in that limited exposure you'd say he can't do. He's thrown some touch passes over the top, he's got a great arm for any of the quick gain in there, I mean the ball is in there, it's right now, which if you're a receiver you love that. You know you aren't waiting on the football, so I think the arrows going to be up on this guy."

Q: Andy (Reid) talked about rotating people in, on defense how is that going to work?

SUTTON: "Well that's going to come from higher headquarters. We're waiting just like you are to find out what that is going to be, but I'm sure there's going to be more guys playing this game then the past. But really coach hasn't given us a definitive 'hey, this guy is not playing or these guys are playing more' so we're just rolling guys through a little more than we normally do in a week. But we're approaching it the same as a regular game, the plan is the same, all the things we're doing are the same, so hopefully somewhere at the end of the week we'll get a better idea of that."

Q: Any group of individuals you're eager to see in this type of situation?

SUTTON: "No, not really. I mean once you get going in the game it's the team on the field and we're going to coach them and our expectations are always the same for guys when they go in. Anybody that hasn't played a lot that ends up playing this game, hopefully they've done a great job not just this week, but all the preceding weeks getting ready. As I've explained before, one of the real challenges in the NFL is that your second group doesn't get hardly any, if any, reps, so you have to do that all with mental and learning on the screen, learning and standing on the sideline and hopefully these guys have done a good job with that. I'm pretty confident that they have."

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