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What We Learned From Tuesday's Media Availability

Head Coach Andy Reid, QB Alex Smith and CB Marcus Peters spoke with the media on Tuesday.


OPENING STATEMENT:"As far as injuries go, Justin Houston, [Josh] Mauga, [Trey] Millard, [Dezman] Moses and [Rakeem] Nunez-Roches will not practice today. Jamaal [Charles] is out here. Tamba [Hali] will start practice today. Tyler Bray will be out here, and we'll just gradually bring those latter two back and see how they do and continue on with what Jamaal was doing last week. He'll just pick up where he stopped off last week. Anyways, we're back into a regular schedule here. So, this is more like a Wednesday practice today. Not a ton of game plan other than getting the guys used to a new routine here from what we had at training camp. We're still trying to add plays, and get ourselves better and make sure we have all the situations covered. As far as the practice schedule goes, it's going to be very similar to a Wednesday practice. With that, time's yours."

Q:Have you ever had a starting quarterback competition or a number two quarterback competition?

REID:"Probably not that I can remember. I guess the closest one would probably be Kevin Kolb and Michael Vick. It was Kevin Kolb's job, but he got hurt, then, Michael stepped in. Really haven't had much. We had Donovan [McNabb] for all those years. We don't have one here and that's a good thing."

Q:What kind of comfort does that give you as a head coach?

REID:"Very comfortable. Even with the young guys, I felt good about them. Adding Nick [Foles] into the mix even gives you a little bit of security just from the standpoint that he's played in games and has snaps in games. There's a definite comfort; I think for everybody on that. They still have to play and do well when they have an opportunity – if they have an opportunity."

Q:Is there a distraction for guys in the locker room about an indecision of a quarterback?

REID:"Depends on who that quarterback is, but yeah, it could be. You hear the nightmare stories – I've never been through it. You hear stories about that, but again, I've never experienced it."

Q:Even in Green Bay you didn't go through that?REID:"No."

Q:Would Tamba [Hali] and Jamaal [Charles] need some preseason snaps to get some game speed?REID:"Only if I feel like they're right. I think they're alright, but I'm not going to stick them out there if there's a question on it."

Q:Is game three of the preseason more about evaluation because there are cuts approaching? What's the main priority?REID:"You're going to give the ones the same amount [they had against Los Angeles] into possibly the third quarter. That's kind of the way people do it around the league and that's how we do it here. We're going to keep knocking the rust off and getting ourselves game ready. At the same time, that second half is where we want to get some of the other guys in to try and evaluate them. Does that mean everyone is going to play? No. Not everyone will play, but we'll take a look at the guys we need to take an extra look at if we feel they need extra work or we're trying to evaluate a little bit better."

Q:If Eric Berry got here before the last preseason game, does he need to play or has he played enough football he'd be okay to start game one? REID:"I think it's important to see what kind of shape he is in and then gradually bring him back into the football speed of things. I don't think it's the end of the world if he doesn't play in the last preseason game. The most important thing is to put eyes on him and see what kind of shape he is in so we don't put him at risk out there."

Q:What's the general shape of the spot next to Derrick Johnson at inside linebacker? How do you feel about what you've got there?REID:"We have a couple young guys that are working in there right now with [Josh] Mauga being down. Both of them are doing a pretty good job. They're still learning on the job, so there are some snaps they would like to have back, but there are some pretty good snaps in there too. It's good to have young guys that you feel have a chance to play and contribute."

Q:What's your level of confidence with the offensive line right now and the five we've seen in the preseason games thus far?REID:"I think they're getting better as we go. I feel pretty comfortable about seven or eight guys that I feel could go in there and play. Definitely seven that I feel are starting caliber that I have full confidence could go in there, start, and play for us. Whatever goes there goes, but that's the starting group that you're seeing. I presume that will be the starting group, but we have two weeks to go before we have to do that."

Q:The other two being [Zach] Fulton and [Jah] Reid REID:"Yeah, those are the two that have a lot of snaps under their belts for us."


Q:You're back here and coach was talking about getting a schedule ready so you guys can ease in. Is that a good thing, can you smell the start of the regular season now that you're home here?

SMITH: "I think even though we're technically in camp still as far as the calendar goes, to get a simulated game week back home here, back in our facility, sleep in our beds, the schedule's not totally identical, but very similar. Practice will be very similar to what the regular season is like. This is as close as it gets to a full dress rehearsal of the entire week as far as preparation and getting ready to play a game."

Q:Do you guys invent scenarios at all in the preseason, like two-minute offense situations and things like that?

SMITH:"For sure. In practice all the time, you're simulating all kinds of different scenarios every day. In preseason you're trying to get work certainly at the same time. For us you're working on different stuff. We've had a chance here this last week to get a couple two-minute, end of half, and end of game. Treating them like real live sessions and trying to learn from them."

Q:Don't misunderstand the question because I know there's always pressure on you to get the job done with the coaches, but since you've been here, you've been kind of unquestioned as the number one guy. I know that hasn't always been the case in your career. Does that make your job a lot easier knowing that at least you don't have to look over your shoulder?

SMITH:"No, I think it's different. Certainly it does change things. I think all that I have been through over my career as long as I've played, you certainly realize that whether or not they're on your team, if you're not getting it done, they're going to find somebody that is. So whether or not he's on the roster right now you're competing against everybody. You're competing out there every single week for your job. It's almost the other way I think if you have a sense to relax because you think you've got this breathing room. I almost think that's more dangerous than the other way around because that's the way this league works. Every single week you have to go out and produce and you get evaluated every single week for your job. So I think that if I was younger it certainly would've made more of a difference because I don't think you totally understand that concept, but certainly as I've gotten older it doesn't change that sense of urgency."

Q:You quarterbacks are like a fraternity, you look at each other and you judge each other. How much does being the late game guy, the clutch guy, how much emphasis or value do you put on that amongst each other?

SMITH:"I think in the QB room, especially here, the kind of environment we have, situational football is what you're out there for. You're out there for third downs, you're out there for red zone, and you're out there for end of games, those big opportunities. That's where so many games are won and lost in this league. The good quarterbacks are good in those situations. Not always, but over the course of their career that's the difference. I think that's the difference between brush along guys and other guys is playing good in those situations, being good when it matters. Finding a way that when things aren't right you're still hanging around in games to get them back on track in a big moment and getting your team back in it. Certainly for us here, we take a lot of pride in that, in having that competitive nature, finding a way, find a way compete every day."

Q:In that same vain, how much do you want to show people when it comes down to it and you need a drive at the end of the game, Alex Smith can do it, he can do it for the team?

SMITH:"For me I think it's just realizing it's coming. That's it as a quarterback in that situation over the course of the year it's coming and it's going to come multiple times. For me I think it's just you don't know, you don't always even know, obviously I just named those situations but there are plays in games for second down when all of the sudden this is the play that changed the game and you made it or you didn't. I think it's just being consistent every single play, it's how you approach every single play and that mentality and trying to win every single play. Taking a lot of pride in that as a quarterback. Doing the little things, being on it because you just don't know which one's going to make that difference."

Q:Do you feel like throwing the ball out of bounds, taking a loss on that play is kind of an underrated, good decision good play?

SMITH:"There's certain scenarios that for sure you really want to avoid a sack and just can't have it and it can lose a game for you. Obviously if you're down in fringe field goal range, red zone, sacks can just be absolutely critical plays. So the ability to avoid it and be smart certainly helps you win games. I think it's just part of playing the position though and being smart and doing the little things that help your team. It's part of playing the position."

Q:At what point in your career did you feel like you learned that?

SMITH:"You knew it as a young player I think. Playing more and more and playing through all of these different situations you kind of memory bank all of it. All of this stuff just gets banked in there and you just start to accumulate more and more knowledge. All of that stuff helps you on game day. All those little things of managing the game that's where that all comes out to play and the more you play the better you get at it."

Q:Game three: What's the goal for this team?SMITH:"You want to go out, get in a rhythm and score points. Offensively, and simply put, that's the way we are. You want to go out, move the ball, get into a rhythm, and ultimately for us on offense, score points. That's what we're trying to do. On our time out there, we know it will be a little longer this week but we'll try to be efficient when we're out there. We'll take care of our business and have that sense of urgency every single play, every time we get the football. I feel like we've done a great job of that up until this point with that. Collectively, I think our entire offense needs to keep that going every week. We have different challenges every week and this week is a new one."

Q:What do you see in Chris Conley's game that you maybe didn't see last year?SMITH:"It's kind of what I said about accumulating knowledge as a quarterback. It's the same thing at receiver. The more he plays, the more he'll continue to improve. The guy is extremely physically talented. Like I said, you just start banking things that you're learning, whether it's out at practice or in the games. They all contribute to being a good football player. And in his case, a well-rounded receiver. To be able to move him around, to be able to understand how he's being played and all the adjustments we're making, his sense of urgency of seeing things together with me has continued to improve. I think it will continue to improve as well. That's his nature. The guy soaks up everything."


Q: What do you think of D.J. White - got a chance to play Saturday - what do you see that's good?

PETERS: "He's been making plays, so coach put him in there to make more plays with the No. 1's. He's been coming along very well – Coach had him at nickel at first and now he's playing outside, he's just working back and forth. It's good for me – I'm getting the mental reps and going out there and playing confident when it's time to go."

Q: Same question about Eric Murray?

PETERS: "Same thing. They're getting out – getting that playing time. We lost a lot of guys last year – well this year – so we've got to pick it up. With them, they just need to help us."

Q: With those guys, have you seen that dog in them yet?

PETERS: "It's all about coming comfortably – just being comfortable. We've been around each other, at camp and now we get back home and they're getting more comfortable. But yeah I see the dog in them."

Q: Do you view this preseason game any different than any other one? Is it a progression – getting ready for the season – or is there something you're challenging yourself with each time out? How do you use this game?

PETERS: "It's football – go out there with the same mentality that I do as I'm going to practice. Go out there to get better, make some plays and like you say, it's an audition going into the regular season."

Q: For you being back here, is it much different? Do you notice things are a little different now that you're back here – you're getting really close, you can smell the season?

PETERS: "Yeah, I get to sleep with my son – I get to go home and relax, be with my family. Get ready to start getting things going right for the season. Getting acclimated to our schedule going in season – it feels good being back home."

Q: Now that Sean Smith is no longer on the team, do you feel that teams are going to throw to your side less than they did last season?

PETERS: "We're going to see. I can't say anything about it – if they throw my way I've got to do my job. Other than that, everybody else will be making their plays."

Q:How much patience do you feel like that requires?

PETERS: "I don't have patience - I'm going to get agitated real fast and I'm going to go see where I can help to see what I can do for the defense. But I do all those things positively – I don't do anything that's going to take away from me causing negative plays for the defense. I play football and I help my team out – supporting and do all the things I need to do."

Q: With Eric [Berry] not here, do you assume more responsibility in the meeting rooms?

PETERS: "No, it's Eric's [Berry] room. We're missing him right now – we want him back ASAP – but we can't do anything about it, but we for sure miss him. But it's his room – we've got Ron Parker in there right now. I'm a second year guy and I'm just trying to make my place as it comes. As far as me being a leader, I'm going to lead by example."

Q: Is that true with the young cornerbacks too – with [Eric] Murray and [D.J.] White as well?

PETERS: "Yeah, we watch film and they see us perceive – they see how he directs us out on that field. We miss his leadership, but Ron [Parker] has been stepping up awesomely. I do what I can as far as me speaking up vocally – the young guys are asking for help – but then the schemes, I do that for sure. As far as me doing other things - I just play my game."

Q: For the two-preseason games so far – without Tamba [Hali] and Justin [Houston] not in there – how has the coverage of your responsibilities changed?

PETERS: "It's still on us – everything's gotta go through us. If anything is based out throughout the realm we've got to make tackles. If they pass the ball, we've got to knock the ball down and get the ball on the ground or take it away. So it doesn't really matter to us – we've got Dee Ford and [Frank] Zombo stepping up huge for us as those guys are out and it's just the next guy up until those guys get back."

Q: I noticed this past game you want the ball out of the defenders hand – is that a tone you're trying to set for this defense and for the other guys?

PETERS: "That's the tone that Coach [Andy] Reid and Coach [Bob] Sutton just told us how we need to play as a defense – as a defense we need to create turnovers, get the ball, get the ball back, get the ball on the ground – do as we need to get the ball back to the offense."

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