OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR ERIC BIENIEMY
Q: What is it that you saw in Darrel Williams that you really liked?
BIENIEMY: “Darrel is a competitive football player. He’s one of those guys that you look for at our position. He happens to be a good football player that plays the running back position. He can run the ball between the tackles pretty tough, he can catch the ball well out of the backfield and also, too, is not afraid to stick his nose in there and pick up a blitz. You like those guys who have that skill set because they bring a lot to the table. On top of that, he can contribute on special teams.”
Q: What was it about the matchup versus the Chargers that was favorable for Kareem Hunt in the run game last year?
BIENIEMY: “I’ll say this. I thought our offensive line did a hell of a job coming off the ball. They created a lot of space. Every week and every team present a different challenge. Obviously, that was last year. He had his success. I’m sure they will be gearing up for him this season. We have to make sure we are dotting our I’s and crossing our T’s and making sure that we are geared up to go out there and do the things that we need to do in order to be effective.”
Q: What jumped out to you about Los Angeles’ defense?
BIENIEMY: “I will say this, 54 (Melvin Ingram) and 99 (Joey Bosa) stands out a lot. I’m not taking anything away from the other guys on that team, but those two guys are pretty good. They are very good.”
Q: How excited are you to see Kareem Hunt in pass protection against guys like Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa?
BIENIEMY: “One of the good things for Kareem (Hunt) is that he shouldn’t have to block 54 (Melvin Ingram) and 99 (Joey Bosa). We don’t want that matchup. That’s not taking anything away from Kareem (Hunt) but we want the big guys, the professional offensive blockers, to block those guys as much as they can. But, obviously, we are excited. We are looking forward to these guys getting out here and putting all the little things together that we have discussed. We just want to make sure that we embrace the challenge and we go out there and make the most of our opportunity.”
Q: What are some signs that you have seen that makes you think Patrick Mahomes is ready for this?
BIENIEMY: “It is just like every other year. Each year brings a new type of excitement and energy. Pat (Mahomes) is just enthused. He just has this inner energy about him. He has this presence. He is excited. He has a new walk in his step, little pep. He is just excited and happy just to play. We have told him, ‘Hey, just settle down. Don’t peak too soon. Just make sure we are doing all the little things necessary to get us to game day.”
DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR BOB SUTTON
Q: On Philip Rivers:
SUTTON: “You are not going to trick Philip Rivers or a Philip Rivers-type of player. This is a guy that really prides himself in studying and understanding defenses and understanding the players on the defenses. To me, the simple way that I say it, is you are trying to make it as hard on him as you can and not just give him the answers to the test before it. You try to hold things and do all that stuff. You have to really perform. You really have to play with a guy like Rivers. There is no way out of it. He is already however many thousands of reps that he has been under center or in the gun. There’s not that much left in football that you can do. You just try to rock along and play as hard as we can against him and don’t blink because he will make some plays, now. This guy can make some football plays. I have said this about this guy a lot, he is the ultimate competitor. He has great energy on the field. He doesn’t back down. He doesn’t care who is playing for his team, who is hurt, doesn’t change him one bit. He thinks he is scoring every freaking play.”
Q: But you guys have had so much success against him and his worst games last year were against you guys?
SUTTON: “Well, we feel fortunate. I will just say it like it is. This guy, he is one of the guys I really enjoy watching and playing against to a degree. He is not easy. You appreciate how he plays the game, I will say that as a coach. You appreciate what he does, how aggressive he is on the field. The things he does, he does some really good things out there that you know only happen because of how he prepared. That is how I look at it.”
Q: What have you done over the years since you guys have had success?
SUTTON: “We have been lucky. I think what it comes down to when you play a guy like this, I don’t want to over simplify it, but you have to execute. You have to execute at a high rate for an entire game. A couple years ago, that first half here, he was on fire out here, now. I didn’t know if we were ever going to slow him down. I think that is one of the things you have to do, you can’t blink. You can pull out any video you have of this guy and he is going to make some plays that really are hard to make. As a defensive coach, that was really covered well, but he got it in there. Why he went there, I don’t understand how he did that. He can throw it from down here, over there, looking over there and throwing here. The guy is a really good football player. So, we know it is a huge challenge and we are going to have to play really, really well.”
Q: How different is that offense when Keenan Allen is playing?
SUTTON: “We played him a couple years ago here when Keenan (Allen) got hurt. You miss a player like that. He has become their top receiver from targets, everybody knows that. He has done a great job jumping in. He moves around a lot more. He plays the X receiver, the slot receiver and he has some of the same characteristics Philip (Rivers) has. He is really intense. He is a high-level competitor. Really good at his craft. Understands how to run routes. Knows the defender and what he likes to do. He is big, he is huge for them.”
Q: Where is Orlando Scandrick at for you guys going into the regular season?
SUTTON: “I think he has done a good job. He has only been here a couple weeks, which makes him a veteran now here. He is another guy who has played a lot of football. He has played a lot of different systems. He understands defensive football. For me with him, what I told him was really getting up to date on our terminology and then he is one of those guys that has been in about every kind of coverage you could ever play in football and then you have to learn what the different adjustments are and that varies team to team. He is not going to have a problem figuring out the coverages, it is how fast can he drill down and become technique sound from the way we play and understand all the small adjustments each team does different.”
ASSISTANT HEAD COACH/SPECIAL TEAMS COORDINATOR DAVE TOUB
Q: With the preseason games out of the way, how do you feel about the new rules?
TOUB: “Quietly, it’s been good. You haven’t really heard about it too much. It’s been more about the helmet rule. The kickoff stuff looks like what we were going to get. It looks like it’s going to be more of an exciting play and a safe play as well.”
Q: Have you decided who is going to do kick and punt returns?
TOUB: “Yes. Tyreek (Hill) is going to do punt returns and numbers 13 (De’Anthony Thomas) and 39 (Tremon Smith) will do our kick returns. Between those two, we will just keep switching them in and out depending on situations. Tyreek in a special situation could be at kick return as well.”
Q: How did the roster turn out for you when looking at all the young guys?
TOUB: “I like the young guys. I really like the young guys. We did a good job. Brett [Veach] and his guys did a good job bringing players in here that can really go on special teams and I am excited to see them play in a real game. It’s a little bit different than preseason. The intensity goes up a little bit. They are young and going to make mistakes but at the same time they will learn something new with every rep. I am looking forward to seeing them.”
Q: What ultimately led to the decision to keep Tyreek (Hill) in the punt return role?
TOUB: “Tyreek (Hill) is such a threat. Having him lined up in there causes teams to really consider if they want to punt it to him or if they want to punt it out of bounds. That’s the first thought you want the punting team to have. He is going to create field position no matter what happens. He is such a threat. If he catches the ball, he can score at any time. He is too big of a factor to not have him in there. We are going to be smart about it as well. In situations where it’s not right or if he’s tired, we have other options.”
Q: Of the new guys who joined the team last week, do you have some of those guys on your teams?
TOUB: “A veteran that we got, Jordan Lucas, he is a veteran special teams player and is going to play for us. He will be a four-phase guy. The other guy, (Charvarius Ward) I’m not sure yet. He just got here. He’s a rookie. I have to learn more about him still. But the young players Ben Niemann, Dorian O’Daniel and Armani Watts are all going to play for us. That’s where they’re going to get majority of their reps is on special teams.”
Q: You mentioned that if everyone understands the rule now, obviously there are going to be some teams trying to schematically figure out an advantage or two, do you think it’s possible you have figured out something to potentially throw at them in Week 1?
TOUB: “If I did have something, I wouldn’t present it right now. I’m sure we are going to see something we haven’t seen from the Chargers, from Pittsburgh, from all the teams we play. A wrinkle we haven’t seen in the preseason for sure. I’m just not sure how many different things they could do because we are restricted. When we made the new rules, we restricted so much there’s not a lot you can do. We wanted it to be a safer play and tried to take away the deviousness that coaches would come up with. Coaches like me, that’s why they have me on (the committee).”
LINEBACKER REGGIE RAGLAND
Q: How do you guys handle Philip Rivers? What’s the best way to get to him?
RAGLAND: “The best way to get to him is the big guys up front have to get pressure on him. I believe we have some of the best in the business to do that. Philip Rivers is the ultimate pro, he’s been doing this for X amount of years, like Coach (Bob Sutton) said he can throw from any angle on the field. My job is to try to slow him down the best way we can and if we can do that, we got a heck of a chance because he has many weapons around him to do that, Melvin Gordon, Keenan Allen and all those guys. We got to get to him so he can’t get them the ball.”
Q: What are you and Anthony Hitchens communicating about as the game gets closer?
RAGLAND: “We got to get the job done. Do our best to get everybody lined up and doing everything right. I’m very comfortable with (Anthony) Hitchens and he’s very comfortable with me even though we didn’t get the game reps. We’re still practicing beside each other all the time and I know in Chicago it was our first time out there and I felt like we did a great job. We still have some things we got to clean, but for the most part I’m very comfortable playing beside a guy like that.”
Q: What’s the anticipation like going from last year trying to find where you fit in to this year, you’re kind of the guy?
RAGLAND: “I’ve been doing this for so long I get excited more than I get nervous, now. Just because everything as a kid I wanted to do, I got to do it and I’m doing it now. I’ve asked for this, there is no reason for me to get nervous or anything like that. I just got to go out there and play ball and just do what I’ve been doing as a kid.”
Q: Thinking about where you’ve come from, the injury and then the trade, what is it going to mean for you to step on the field Week 1?
RAGLAND: “I’m excited. I know everything happens for a reason. God done brought me this far not to let me go, I’m a firm believer in that. So whatever happens, happens, but for the most part he brought me here today and I’m taking it one day at a time. When Sunday comes, I’m going to be very excited, though, to finally have an Opening Day and play. It’s been a long time coming so I’m excited about it.”
CORNERBACK KENDALL FULLER
Q: What kind of challenge does Keenan Allen present you guys?
FULLER: “He’s a good football player. They move him around the field a lot, they know how to give him the football, he can make yards after the catch, so he can pretty much do it all. When you get a guy that’s versatile like that who can make plays, you definitely got to come prepared.”
Q: What is the brand of the Chiefs defense this year?
FULLER: “We just want to be nasty. Just having 11 guys fly around making plays. Sometimes teams will make plays and what makes up for that is guys flying to the ball. You may be able to get a turnover, force a turnover, things like that. Going out there, being fundamentally sound and then at the end of the day just going out there flying around.”
Q: The Chiefs have been pretty good about taking the ball away. Does Coach Bob Sutton preach that or teach it any differently as far as taking the ball away?
FULLER: “Every day. Every day, every period. A period isn’t complete unless we are flying around getting attempts at the football. No matter what drill it is, what practice it is, every day 24/7 it’s just get the ball.”
Q: What are some goals you’ve set personally as a player for this season?
FULLER: “Me, honestly I just like to have fun. I was talking to EB (Eric Berry) today, I remember my rookie year sometimes coming in and you’re just trying to get through the day. I told him whatever I do now, it’s never just getting through the day. Even if it’s yelling around the practice field, making noises, sounds, whatever it is. Just having fun every day. If I can go out there and have fun, just enjoy it, that would be special.”