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What We Learned From Tuesday's Media Availability

Matt Nagy, Tanoh Kpassagnon and C.J. Spiller met with the media on Tuesday

Chiefs Offensive Coordinator Matt Nagy

Q:How did you think Patrick (Mahomes) did on Friday?

NAGY:"He played well. It is interesting going into that first game to see how the guys are going to do. We have talked about the tempo in and out of the huddle. The small things that not everybody can see."

Q:For his development, are game snaps better for his development than practice snaps?

NAGY:"Yeah, because that is the real speed. When you are out here, some of this stuff is scripted and has kind of a way of knowing what is going to come in practice. But in a game, down and distance situationally, there's a little bit more pressure involved. But, he handled it well and is going to keep learning every day."

Q: So what are your expectations for him now in Cincinnati?

NAGY:"Well, really just to continue doing the same things. He did well getting in and out of the huddle. He made some adjustment checks with the clock. He did well seeing that. So every day, there will be something from each game, each preseason game, there will be something. The biggest thing, there was a play that we had a kill on it, and he decided to just go ahead and run the play, and that was a good decision with the play clock."

Q:What is your evaluation of C.J. Spiller?

NAGY:"He is having a great camp. C.J. has come in here, and he is new to this offense, he has done everything we have asked him to do. He has that speed on the outside where we can flex him out and do some different things with him. And, so far, we are happy with what he has done."

Q:Kareem Hunt is getting a lot of reps in camp, but didn't seem to get that many touches in the game, was there something to that?

NAGY:"No, not necessarily. I think that is kind of the nature of the beast for that kind of game. He is a physical back that can do a lot of things, so hopefully this coming week, he gets a few more touches."

Q:What was the conversation like that went into moving Mahomes up on the depth chart? Was it between you and Andy? Who was a part of the conversation?

NAGY:"Coach makes the decisions in regards to that. That's something that we discussed in regards to having it planned and being able to see these guys have the opportunity to play with different groups. I think that is important, and Coach obviously believes that, and that's why he did it. Overall, that is something that Coach wanted to do and we went with it."

Q:How early on did those conversations start?

NAGY:"We have talked about it in regards to just understanding that this is the scenario we are in right now, it is just going into this. To have the ability to have Tyler (Bray) start off with the twos, and then at some point and time, give Patrick a chance and that's what we did."

Q:As a former quarterback, what do you look for in receivers?

NAGY:"Route running. Understanding route running and knowing different leverages and being smart with that. The speed part is a benefit. If you have a guy that's fast that can catch the ball. But anybody that is a route runner, we look for that."

Q:You got the promotion this offseason, but Childress is still here. Have your responsibilities changed at all?

NAGY:"Very similar. Same team-type deal. Coach Childress is a great coach and I have learned a lot from him and just having him in the building to have him right there with me has been awesome."

*Q: *What do you learn from watching Andy do install?

NAGY:"Well, he has been doing it for so long that each and every day, even myself as a coach, you learn something new in every installation. For some of these rookies, this is the first, second, third times they are hearing it from OTAs till now. But for me, it is the 100th time. And in the 100th time of install, I will always just pick something new that he springs in there. So, that's what make him such a special coach."

Q:Even something technical?

NAGY:"A detail. It might be a new detail that he gives in the play, whether it is with the wide receiver, the tight end, or the footwork with the quarterback. There is always something."

Q:What is the value of having an offensive lineman like Zach (Fulton) that can play all five positions?

NAGY:"It is valuable. To be able to have a guy that can move around and be versatile. Injuries are a part of this game, so if you can have some guys that can play dual positions, it's a benefit."

Q:Can every guy do that?

NAGY:"Not necessarily. But, the ones that can are going to make it."

Q:How do you approach the first game of the preseason versus the second game? Are there any differences?

NAGY:"Not necessarily. I think for us, the thing that we try to do as coaches is give these guys the opportunity to play fast. Not try to give them too much to where they are thinking and play slow. Let's just give them some things that they know so that we can see what they do on the field."

Q:Do you let some guys play longer or shorter times?

NAGY:"Some of those guys will have that, it is up to coach."

Q:It feels like Mahomes has a connection with Marcus Kemp, have you noticed that too?

NAGY:"Kemp is doing well. I think the connection is a little coincidental. But Kemp is having a good camp. These wide receivers right now are playing. We are 12 installs deep right now. So, there are lots of plays in those installs. And, right now, we are going back to install one and install two, so there is some carry over. These guys are doing a great job and Kemp is doing well with it."

Q:Are you going to put more of an emphasis on the run game?

NAGY:"It is a possibility. But I think that goes with the tempo of the game. Coach has a good feel for that. I think when we go into it, we will see where we are at. We didn't get as many runs in that first game, but I am not sure if there is anything to it."

Q:The downfield throws that we saw at the start of the game, is that something that will translate to the regular season?

NAGY:"It is a possibility. That is a part of this game and when Coach went ahead and told all four quarterbacks what they had that first play, they were excited. And, ultimately, the whole offense is excited. We gave them an opportunity to go deep if the defense presented it, and that's what they gave us, the guys executed it. To be able to stretch that defensively is a huge benefit, so we just want to keep practicing it and use it to our advantage."

Q:Has that been an issue in the past?

NAGY:"Not necessarily, no."


Q: You have been working with the linebackers in addition to the defensive line. Do you like it?

KPASSAGNON: "Yeah, definitely. Playing in the outside linebacker position is fun and difficult too, but I like being everywhere. You kind of get to know the whole defense."

Q: What did you see on the field for the first time? Did the speed throw you off?

KPASSAGNON: "I feel like camp prepares you pretty well for the speed so the speed was not too crazy. It was just being able to recall the stuff you have learned in a short period of time and then doing it full speed when someone else is coming at you full speed. It is a little different but you catch up pretty fast."

Q: You got 50 some snaps the other night. Do you feel like you are a better player after that?

KPASSAGNON: "Well they are definitely trying to see what I can do. They definitely wanted to put me in different places because I was in the nose sometimes, sometimes at the three or the five. They are definitely trying to see where I can fit best and I liked it. It was fun."

Q: Any veterans you are particularly close to and learn from?

KPASSAGNON: "This team in general a lot of the older guys try to help the younger guys. I have had teammates and friends on other teams that have been going through the same process as I have as a rookie and they have said the older guys weren't that helpful. It was a more competitive nature, but here they really help you out. I have been tumbling with Tamba (Hali). He does a lot of jujitsu. Justin Houston was giving me pointers, like everybody."


Q:One of the coaches talked about how they wanted to utilize you not just in the backfield but also on special teams or maybe in different formations, maybe because you are so versatile?

SPILLER:"I really haven't gotten into that this training camp. One thing I can do is come out here each and every day and put my best foot forward. Whatever they call me to do that's what I've got to be willing to do. Special teams, offense, the unique thing is like you said I'm very versatile so you just can't key on me just running the ball in a game you have to account for when I'm out in the slot or whatever the case may be and obviously in the special teams, whatever I'm doing – kick returns or covering kicks. So it's something new but I've been putting a lot of work into it."

Q: We talked on Friday and you said you still have a lot of juice left in the tank – a lot of the other coaches said you were incredibly fast. For you, what do you feel like you need to do to continue progressing?

SPILLER: "Just each and every day, continue to take care of my body and just come out here and try to put my best foot forward. I know I still have got some stuff left in the tank. I just have to come out and try to showcase my skills. There's still a lot of stuff that I have to get better at to become a better football player, to heighten my football IQ so that's why you go through training camp to try to get better at those things before the season gets started."

Q: Dave Toub has an excellent reputation for being a great special teams coach around the league – what's it like working with him versus other special team's coaches around the league?

SPILLER:"He is a great coach to go out there and play for. He's very passionate about what he does, very passionate about his guys. He takes great pride in having one of the best units out there. But at the end of the day it comes back on the players to go out there and execute so we've got a great group of guys that take pride and this has been a team that's always been in the top-five finisher in special teams. We don't want to slack off now."

Q: Do you feel like impressing him is a way of making sure you get a roster spot?

SPILLER: "You just come out here and you try to impress everybody. You don't worry about that stuff, you just come out here and you try to get better. It's a tough decision for everybody to make – there's only 53 guys that can make a team and we've got 90. So you just try to come out here and put the best foot you can to give yourself a chance to have (an) opportunity to make a team. That's what I'm doing. Taking it one day at a time, not worrying about the outside stuff. I'm like a horse in a stable that has the blinders on. There's a reason why they have those on because they don't want them to see the outside, what's around them. That's kind of my mindset that I approach this training camp with. I put the blinders on and I just try to get better at my craft and not worry about what's taking place on the outside."

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