DT XAVIER WILLIAMS
Q:Was it important to you to get back to play for the Chiefs?
WILLIAMS:"The opportunity was great. Anytime you have a chance to get back home obviously you want to take it. I really liked what I saw with the team, the defense, everything. It just all kind of worked out."
Q:Were you much of a Chiefs fan when you were here?
WILLIAMS:"I was a huge Chiefs fan. My mom and everybody still has all of their gear from way back in the day. The whole family is going crazy. They are really excited."
Q:Who were some of your favorite Chiefs players when you were growing up?
WILLIAMS:"Huge Derrick Thomas fan, of course. Tony Gonzalez, Priest Holmes and Dante Hall, you know the 'X Factor'. He was an exciting guy to watch."
Q:Did you get to go to many games?
WILLIAMS:"I went to a few here and there. I always remember a couple of guys I played football with on my little league teams worked security at the stadium. They took us to a couple games and it was always fun."
Q:How do you feel you'll fit in on the defense here?
WILLIAMS:"I watched the way they play and I feel comfortable about it. I think I really fit the scheme. I think I can help out if my name is called. Just need to get to work and prove it."
Q:You have a reputation as a run stopper. How do you kind of go about doing that? Is that an accurate representation of what you think you bring to the table?
WILLIAMS:"Yeah, I think it is. Since I've gotten into the league I've been a nose guard and if you're a nose guard that's your main job. Stop the run. I think I can help out in pass rush stuff like that. I think I'm a versatile player, but objective number one if you're going to be on the D-line always has to be to stop the run. So I take pride in that. Making sure there's nobody that can run on me. I'm trying to dominate centers, guards, whatever trying to help out the linebackers."
Q:Did you two-gap?
WILLIAMS:"No I was a penetrator."
Q:How much two-gapping have you done?
WILLIAMS:"I did it back in college. We ran multiple defenses when I was in college between penetrating and two-gapping, but I haven't done it since."
Q:Do you expect that to be much of an adjustment and did they tell you that you'd be doing that?
WILLIAMS:"From what I understand it's an attack defense, so I don't know anything about two-gapping but if they need me to I think it's something I'm very capable of doing. So I'm not too worried about it."
Q:What have you done to work on your pass rush?
WILLIAMS:"During this offseason I went down to Texas. I was working with a pass rush coach. I really have been working a lot on flexibility, my core work stuff like that. Things that would help me tone in on smaller nuances of pass rush and balance. I really have been attacking that hard this offseason. That's about it."
Q:I've seen as low as 309 and as high as 325. What is your playing weight?
WILLIAMS:"Those are actually all kind of correct. When I got in the league I was 325 and last season I played at 295. I'm very comfortable if a coach asks me to lose weight throughout my career I'm comfortable playing light. I've kind of just been all over the board these last few years."
Q:Do you anticipate going higher here?
WILLIAMS:"Yeah, I'll probably end up playing about 305, 310 this season."
Q:Do you play better run defense when you're at a higher weight?
WILLIAMS:"I played it pretty well last year. I was 295. I'm a firm believer that I don't really think in a defense like this where you're attacking I don't think you really have to be very big. I don't think it's a defense like that. If you're quick enough and can get to O-lineman before they build the momentum up it kind of negates all of that. I'm comfortable playing lighter, playing heavier. I don't think it matters as much."
Q:When did it become real for you that you might be able to become a Chiefs player? How soon did you start telling your family?
WILLIAMS:"I told them yesterday. I'm a very superstitious guy. I don't want to jinx anything. I even talked to my agent about it and I was like, 'You know I think the last thing I want to do is get my mom pumped up that I'll be coming home and then something crazy happens like I end up in New York or something like oh yeah I'm sorry about that'."
Q:What was her reaction when you told her that it was happening?
WILLIAMS:"She freaked out. Everybody was freaking out. My phone's been blowing up since yesterday. Everybody with congratulations. Old school mates, all my family members, just everyone."
Q:Any idea where you might want to live?
WILLIAMS:"I have no idea. This city has changed so much since I really lived down here from college to when I was out in Phoenix. So I really have to get back and check the city out and try to figure out where everybody's staying these days."
Q:What did they sell you on with this defense?
WILLIAMS:"I talked to Coach Britt Reid and Coach Sutton and we were going through the philosophy and schemes of the defense and I think it really matched and was similar to what I was doing in Phoenix. I had success with that so I wanted to try to stick as close to that as possible. Great opportunity. This defense is something I think I can produce in. It just worked out. That's what I really liked."
Q:Did they sell you on the youth of this team?
WILLIAMS:"They mentioned it. If you look at the entire team it's a young team, bright future. That's definitely a selling point. I'm excited about it. I hope I can be with it for years to come. Got a young quarterback, young receivers, everybody."
Q:When you were coming out of college and you didn't get drafted do you remember whether the Chiefs showed much interest in signing you at that point?
WILLIAMS:"Honestly I don't remember. The Cardinals were kind of after me pretty hard and I had kind of already made my mind up. I had already made my mind up I was like, if I'm not getting drafted I had talked to them quite a bit. The D-line coach, he had talked to me quite a bit and they pursued me the hardest is what it came down to. That's really about all I remember about it."
Q:As far as working into the rotation this year was really when you got more playing time. What was it about this season that kicked in for you?
WILLIAMS:"I think the technique, everything it all became clear to me. It just kind of all made sense. That second year you're still learning how to be a pro. By the third year I put it all together. I think my attention to detail and everything was way better, the technique, the film study, everything became a lot clearer for me.
P DUSTIN COLQUITT
Q: Was it important to finish your career with the Chiefs?
COLQUITT: "Yeah, absolutely, I talked to my dad extensively about it just since the season ended in early January and he just talked about legacy, and staying in Kansas City. That's who I go to for a lot of my planning, football business stuff, and he was just adamant about staying there and finishing the task. He's always been about finishing contracts and make sure they sign up for a winner and be that and embrace community. Just all the things that Kansas City preaches anyway, he wanted me to finish it out here. I don't think in three years I'm done. I still feel young, I still feel like I have a presence in the locker room. With those guys I know I have a lot to bring to the table, with Harrison (Butker) I'm excited for a lot more time with him. Really he just kind of came in and filled in when Cairo (Santos) went down and so we really didn't have a lot of prep. Kind of gun and go, almost like a March Madness thing. So I'm looking forward to an off-season with him, really working with him. He has a lot of upside, I'm excited about everything that they're doing in Kansas City. Looks like we've got a lot of young talent and I'm just glad that I'm still in the mix at my capacity."
Q: What does finishing the task mean for you?
COLQUITT: "I think winning a championship. That's what we talked about in 2005, when me and Derrick (Johnson) came in here we all got cards which I still have, has a picture of the Lombardi trophy saying 'the main thing is the main thing' and I've kept that card and I have all intentions when they drafted me in the third-round, staying here till that happens. If it happens too early in my career, like next year, I'm still going to say, just because that happened I kept the card and I still want to play here for six or seven more seasons. But the point is, that still has always been in my mindset every time I've been an unrestricted free agent or if they just said, 'Look we're extending you, don't go anywhere'. That's always been in my mind, we got that card and I took notes extensively as a rookie and I want to finish this. I'm keeping that for a reason."
Q: Your dad and brother have a ring – do those guys hold it over your head at all?
COLQUITT: "Always. Definitely not in a good natured way. It's just not. That's definitely another one of the reasons why I wanted to be back and have a chance to do it here in Kansas City. God's will has been so great and the fact that I've been able to play here as long as I have here, aside from a couple of cool milestones that kind of came up just personally in my career. But really it's always about just the team and that trophy and that card that (Dick) Vermeil gave us and Carl Peterson, so I'm excited about that but they do hold it over my head and so we've got to complete that as a team. We have everything in this room, as Coach Reid and (Brett) Veach say, they're just trying to build on that and make us more competitive. So that's the biggest thing they've brought to the table is they're continuing to pump talent in, the best guys out there available and just try to win a championship. And they say that behind closed doors, that's what their goals are. I mean that's their main goal. They get up every day and they're sitting around an oval table and saying 'how do we win a championship here'. That's what the Hunt family wants and that's what this city needs. That's their goal and I'm excited about individual stuff, winning a championship, but really it's been enthusiasm and their idea of we're not far off here. We have something that's right out in front of us and we've got to go grab it and be aggressive with it."
Q: There's been some changes – you seem really fired up though about what's coming up ahead.
COLQUITT: "I am. When you get an opportunity to stay in the same place like I have in the last 13 seasons and kind of push that back and you have that stability there. But really it's just another challenge like hey, we gave you a three-year deal. We expect you to do everything that we want you to do in three years. I think rebuilding is an appropriate term because there's a lot of different and new pieces. And that sense of rebuilding is it's a rebuild but not from a talent standpoint. I think we have all that in the room, there's a lot of creative minds and coaches that really dealt with a lot of stuff over the last couple of years and we're just right on that edge. We got to find that right mix, which is what you're seeing. We're trying to find that right mix so we're not just one game in the playoffs. We got so close last year and honestly everybody was super disappointed. That's why they've been working so hard this offseason to really make that push and say, 'Look we're not satisfied with past results. We still have that Lombardi trophy in our sights'."
Q: Derrick Johnson, Tamba Hali, Alex Smith are all gone – you're now the old-timer for better or for worse. Is that a good thing or is that a bad thing?
COLQUITT: "I mean I think for me, I'm very appreciative for the opportunity to stay around here, what looks like to be another three-plus years. With Derrick Johnson and Tamba (Hali), what great teammates, what great guys. I mean, one way I am jealous of them is they're Chiefs Hall of Famers, their time has just started. So they're going to be inducted into that thing in several years, five years I believe is how they do it. So I'm jealous from that aspect but I still feel like I have a lot of work to be done. I'm excited for that opportunity. Playing with those guys was just unbelievable. Getting to do a bunch of stuff in college, starting my senior year with Derrick (Johnson), some of the All-American things and then to actually be on this team and drafted the same year. Seeing him raise his family, that's been an honor. Seeing everything that Tamba (Hali) has been able to do. Those guys had great careers here and looking forward to being there that day when they're inducted into the Chiefs Ring of Honor; I'm just hoping I still have a helmet on, watching that."
Q: This time of year, how is your preparation physically any different now then it was earlier in your career?
COLQUITT: "It's definitely different. I do a lot more like sports psychology stuff. I have a guy that I talk about stuff with that comes in because I've got to be in a healthy place with (James) Winchester and Harrison (Butker) out there. I've got to make sure that I clean up anything that happens before me and it's got to be perfect on my end, so Harrison (Butker) feels comfortable with everything that he's doing. He's being told to attack the ball. So this time of year, I'm working out, just doing a lot of core stuff and holds. The cool thing, as I've gotten older, I've actually kicked a little bit more because my younger kids are starting to kick the football. See what dad does. So I'm a lot more active in that aspect. So it's been nice. It's different as my kids have gotten older, because I've been more active and more kicking and in teach mode. I feel like the thought process when I actually hit the field for OTA's is I've already done a lot of my work that I haven't done in the past because I'm working with my boys now too, so I think that's definitely going to help my game out."
Q: Did you reach out to Tamba (Hali) or DJ (Derrick Johnson)?
COLQUITT: "Yeah. We always keep up with each other. We've got kids the same age, we pump the bible study out at a lot of the guys house over the last seven years in particular. It goes without saying I mean it's funny when you reach out to guys after you've spent that long and that much time. Just almost the highest of mountain top highs and the lowest of lows when you get put out and you've experienced all this with these guys and the routines and stuff that are going to be a little bit different there. You reach out and they go, really they're quick to say, thanks it's been awesome. But really, it's funny how they're like, keep on doing your thing. So I think it puts it in context that everybody is so thankful for the opportunity. How many people get to experience the player's side of things and be able to play as long as both of those guys did. What they meant to the community alone, and then what they were able to do, where they are from or where they were born. With Tamba (Hali), just the lives that they changed off the football field. I played nine or ten minutes a year, so really I'm watching from the best seat in the house watching these guys do what they do best and what people appreciate them most for. I'm going to miss the men the most, just how we grew up together in Kansas City. Those guys love Kansas City and they still love Kansas City. It's not like they're like, 'Oh I can't believe they'd do that to me'. It's not like that. They're so appreciative of the Hunt family and the city, for embracing them as long as they did. So, it's cool just reaching out to those guys and hearing from that perspective and seeing how cool they were. That's why they're going in in five years. It's not just because of the football accolades, that will get you in. But the love of Kansas City. It was fun to play with them and they realized it's a new era and they're doing new things. It's always about business and production and so moving forward I'm excited for what (Brett) Veach and Andy (Reid) are doing. It was fun to see before I even signed, I was like dang look what these guys are doing. I mean massive talent, they're bringing in new faces and they're trying to build a championship team which is what we've preached every year since 2005 and they're taking that to heart and doing that work behind the scenes that a team has to do. Sometimes that happens to familiar faces, I was like wow these guys are rolling, these guys are crazy. Being an older person, you know what I mean. It's what you have to do. When I saw it I was like I may or may not be in their plans, I think production wise I am. I'm excited about being here, and I don't think those guys have hard feelings because they've had such a great experience here over the past 12 or 13 seasons."
Q:How long do you want to keep punting?
COLQUITT: "Longer than George Brett played baseball here, really. I've just been in too many close quarters with him, claiming the longest longevity, I'm going to try to play longer than he did here. And I don't know the answer to that. I feel good, I feel good every year. I think my numbers were better this year than they ever have been before in situations. Every year you have those games like Buffalo when you have a back-to-back punt four and five where you're like where did that come from. You just got to get back to practice and put that back together and the rest of the season was good. It's always a disappointed now for me, once you make it to a Pro Bowl, the Pro Bowl alternate stuff kills you. That stuff kills you. My body still feels like I can play, seven, eight, nine years. I still feel like Adam Vinatieri, I try to follow what Jeff Feagles did. He started swimming and really taking care of his knees and body and he was able to make a Pro Bowl in year 21. So I feel like if I'm eating good and hanging out with these young guys, I'm going to be feeling younger already. I already act really young over there at the facility anyway, I'm sure you've heard stories. So my thing is I want to play as long as I can help out. I still feel like I'm doing that, I think Coach and (Brett) Veach kind of rewarded me for another three years because they saw that I still have the ability to either get us out of trouble or put the opposing team's offense in a lot of trouble. So my thing is always been from the first step of the contract, I got a three-year contract to do everything I can to make them say we can't let this guy go yet. That's always been my focus and in the back of my pocket, have that card with the main thing on it which is the Lombardi trophy. It won't be complete until that. So you can rest assure that when I wake up every day, when I'm in the facility, that's what I'm thinking about is what is Coach Reid and (Brett) Veach putting together which looks like something great. I think it looks great on paper right now and now it's up to the players to come together and gel. Because when you gel, you saw the Royals do that and they're champions and World Series runs. They didn't have the best players out there, they had an outstanding bull pen and guys that love to play and win and compete with each other, and that's what we're re-creating here."
Q: What is it about Patrick Mahomes that makes you believe?
COLQUITT: "I think now (Patrick) Mahomes, 'The Kid' is going to have some kind of wild, wild, west nickname here if we aren't careful. I think what he brings to the table is he brings a younger generation that is just as big of a student as a Peyton Manning or Tom Brady, Alex Smith. These guys that have had a lot of success winning games for an organization during the regular season and in the postseason it's whoever gets hot and can roll. I think they see that in him. I think they see his competiveness and some of the throws that he can make. I've seen him hit crossbars from 50-yards on a knee. Which I can do that punting, but not throwing. That's just impressive stuff. I think that they see an upside to him and I think that's as much as a punter can say that is only allowed to be on the field on fourth-downs. That this kid has a lot of upside. He's similar to (Ben) Roethlisberger, somebody can rack him up and he doesn't care. He's going to hit a receiver, an attempted receiver, downfield and get a first-down. Saw that in Denver. We saw him do stuff in the preseason that made them like him and now they're building around that. Sometimes in professional sports, you get that feeling and you spend enough time, which is what (Brett) Veach and Andy (Reid) do and all of our coaches for that matter. Millions of times I'll go in there between four-thirty and ten o'clock at night and there's a coach in front of a computer, talks about how to win over there. I've seen it. Whether it's Rod Wilson, our special teams assistant or all the way up to Coach (Reid), they're trying to figure out a way to put this together so we can all have rings and paint downtown red instead of blue. The blue is awesome, but red would be sick, because it would be millions and it would be crazy. We all got to watch after this playoff disappointment with the Titans, they saw Philly and they were like, we've got to do this. So that's what we're doing. Our mission isn't to tear down and get rid of old people, it's to give us the best chance to win."
Q:What did Brett (Veach) and Coach (Reid) tell you along the way in the process?
COLQUITT:"They were open enough to tell me on the way out, when you have that exit meeting, it is always tough to talk. I've heard guys say that before, it is. You just feel like there is one or two plays that come down to playoff wins. But with that said, it is hard to have those meetings. They just said, 'We want you back.' For me, especially being drafted here and probably what they call homegrown talent, it was exciting for me to hear. It's not that I want the same routine, it's that I have that belief that it will happen soon. I have always had that. It is right there, we are so close. I know we have been far away but we have been really good these last few years. Sometimes, it just needs that one little tweak and you've got it. So I think that is what we are working for and searching for. It is going to be awesome this offseason. We have old and new guys alike. Everyone is going to come in and work out and gel and get everything we need to do. Both Veach and Andy, in the meeting with Andy and Veach called, basically said we want you back. It was settling to hear. I don't handle any of that stuff, my agent does. He just says, 'Start driving, you have to be in Kansas City by tomorrow.' So that is an exciting, but a stressful time because I have five kids, they are home schooled, so I don't have to pull them out or anything like that. But still, for someone to say, 'You can help us win, we want you back,' that is exciting."
QB CHAD HENNE
Q:What interested you about the Chiefs?
HENNE:"Well, I think my past with working with young quarterbacks was one part. Helping develop Blake Bortles, guys like Blaine Gabbert, and also just working with Coach Reid. He has had a lot of success throughout the years. It seems like every quarterback that he gets a hold of seems to be pretty successful. It really just opened my eyes and really wanted to get the chance to work with him."
Q:Have you met Patrick Mahomes yet?
HENNE:"I met him briefly when he was making visits in Jacksonville, but it was pretty much just to say hello. I texted him as soon as I signed and just said, 'Glad to be with the Chiefs and looking forward to working with you.'"
Q:Do you know much about his game?
HENNE:"I heard a lot that he has a really strong arm. He can make pretty much any throw. Great kid. That's about it. Until I get into the meeting room and get to know his personality and how he is, I look forward to doing that as well."
Q:How do you feel like you were able to help Blaine Gabbert and Blake Bortles?
HENNE:"I think just setting a routine throughout the week, especially during the season. Kind of showing them the ins and outs of how I prepared and how I learned to prepare. Kind of just being a secondary coach in other words. They can talk to me, it's easy to talk to me, obviously, as a teammate rather than always going to a coach and I can relay that back to the coaches as well. Just kind of the routine, seeing what I see on the field, protections, if they need help with that and just kind of go over the game plan with them and spend a lot of time with them. Make sure they are prepared for each and every Sunday."
Q:Did Andy Reid talk to you about that being part of your role with the Chiefs?
HENNE:"Yeah, absolutely. I think obviously they will have stuff set in stone but anything they need that they can't be there with us, I am more than happy to help and make sure Patrick (Mahomes) is ready to go and the most prepared quarterback in the league."
Q:Is it difficult to stay sharp when you haven't played in the regular season in a while?
HENNE:"One thing I think the speed of the game is one of the things you lose just in terms of that. Just trying to stay sharp with game planning, video study, everything like that. I take practice like it is a game, obviously I have to. Try to make all the throws that Patrick would take during practice and do that after the practice so I am ready to go just in case my number needs to be called. I think staying sharp in practice and having a good preseason is ramping you up to get going on the season. Obviously, like I said, the timing with the receivers, especially the starters, and the speed of the game is the one thing you kind of lose."
Q:What gives you hope that you can come in and play well in this system?
HENNE:"I think the biggest thing is the maturity factor. As you get older, you get smarter. I feel more wisdom. I am a smarter player than I was in previous years. Body-wise, physically, I feel better than ever. I feel better than I did when I was 22. My diet is good, I feel stronger than I was, my arm is still live. So I feel like I am ready to go if my number is called in that way. Obviously, as a system part in Coach Reid's system, I think what I am used to is the west coast system, especially the last four years. Obviously, everyone has different words and terminology, but I feel like, in that system, I have the rhythms down and the throws down and really can exploit that system really well."
Q:Are you close with anyone on the Chiefs now?
HENNE:"Not at the moment. I played with Mike Kafka who is the quarterbacks coach in Jacksonville. I was there in Jacksonville with Andy Heck. I know I am naming coaches, but as players-wise, not really. So I can get in the locker room and meet people."
Q:Do you think there is anything Blake Bortles went through that you can share with Patrick?
HENNE:"Obviously, spotlight is always on the quarterback. You get too much credit or you get too little credit. At the same time, everything is on you. One thing that is good about Blake (Bortles), and we kind of kept it in our room that was easy going, he just let everything go over his head and brush it off his shoulders. He didn't really pay attention to it. He just really cared about what his teammates thought. I think with Patrick being a first time starter, that is the biggest thing, revolve yourself around a good status of friends and family, but also just remember you are there to please yourself first of all. But second and most important are your teammates and coaches. Don't worry about the external factors and really just go about your game pleasing the people around you."