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What We Learned From Wednesday's Media Availability

Head Coach Andy Reid, QB Nick Foles and DB Ron Parker spoke to the media on Wednesday.


OPENING STATEMENT:"As far as injuries go, Jamaal [Charles], Tamba [Hali], and Justin [Houston] didn't practice, but they worked. Josh Mauga didn't practice because of a groin strain -- he's making progress. Dezman Moses had a little bit of a glute strain or spasm. He practiced for a while today and then had to come out. We're gradually bringing Phillip Gaines back in. We took him out yesterday, he came back today and we gave him a little more work. As far as the injuries go, that's it. We had a good practice today. We did the 'long-drive' drill and backed the ball up a bit for a different situation. We also worked the 'two-minute' drill. We worked a few different situations before the game on Saturday. Tomorrow, the players have off, then we're back on Friday for a 'mock game' and we play on Saturday."  Q:Tyreek Hill left practice on a cart. Was he hurt?

REID:"He had a cramp was all, he'll be okay."

Q:Jeremy Maclin had a problem there in the middle of practice. What happened there?

REID:"It was just a collision. He's alright."

Q:Do you know how you'll divide playing time for the quarterbacks on Saturday?

REID:"We basically have three groups in full. We'll go first quarter with the 'ones', second quarter with the 'twos' and we'll mix up the third, fourth, and fifth quarterbacks in the second half. We'll mix up the lines as we see needed."

Q:After Alex, how do you plan to split the quarterback snaps?

REID:"We'll let Nick [Foles] take the 'twos' initially and see what he's comfortable with. We know Tyler [Bray] can take over if he's needed at that point."

Q:Then [Aaron] Murray and [Kevin] Hogan?

REID:"Yes. But don't hold me accountable. I'm going to try to get everyone on the roster into the game."

Q:What do you consider the main priority when evaluating players?

REID:"We don't really 'game plan' for our first preseason opponent. We try to go back and look at plays that aren't necessarily complex plays. That way we can give the younger guys a chance to go out and play at a high level without having to overthink things while they're on the field. That gives us a better evaluation of them as players."

Q: How much of the playbook does Nick know at this point?

REID:"I would say about half of it where he is comfortable. He just recently stepped in. We have about 403 pass plays so I don't expect him to have every one of those down. That's from OTAs on. We've been going at this since April and he's only been here about a week, so it's understandable."

Q:What have you seen from Foles this last week that made him jump up on the depth chart?

REID: "I just want to get him more reps with this group. We have full confidence with Tyler Bray, but he already has experience with this group. We want to get Nick some of those reps as well."

Q: How has Bray respond to the challenge?

REID:"He did pretty good today. To be honest, I don't think he's thinking about all of that stuff. I don't think any of them do. They all come in with the attitude, 'hey let me in' and they compete like crazy when they have the opportunity. They're all competitors. When they have an opportunity, they chew it up."

Q:Do you have enough time and snaps in preseason practice to get Foles ready to be your number two quarterback?

REID: "Yeah I think so. We'll see how it goes and take it day-by-day."

Q:There were two different occasions today where players lost their tempers. Is that to be expected at this point in the season?

REID:"It's hot out. And it's normally the big guys that do it, but they don't do it for long because they get tired. But things are going to happen out here. You just need to have the discipline to not let it happen too often. If it's an occurrence of one guy continuingly doing it, one of two things are going to happen: he's not going to be here, or he's not going to have an opportunity to play if he is here. You can't put that in a game and take yards away from yourself."

Q:So you don't encourage it or punish the guys by taking them out?

REID: "A lot of coaches will pull them out, but I want them back in there while they're nice and tired. If you want to fight, get your tail back in there and keep on going. There's no easy out by doing that. If you're going to waste my time and your energy, get back out there."

Q: How much enthusiasm does Steven Nelson play with?

REID:"He's an energy giver. He's learning all of the fundamentals and techniques of that inside position. He's battling like crazy."

Q:What are some of the positives you've seen from him over the last year?

REID: "He never gives up on a play and he's got a short memory -- which are two good qualities. He might get beat, but when the ball is in there air he captures that time and strips the play. A lot of guys will slow down on it and peak. They can't recover at that point. You see him at times and think you've got him beat, and then realize he's recovered and stripped the ball out."

Q:Was there anything in particular that held him back last year?

REID: "I think it was the experience. Sometimes it's just a matter of getting the reps and understanding the game."

Q:What's your message to the rookies about stepping on the field on Saturday? 

REID: "So, you definitely want to enjoy that moment. A lot of people don't have that opportunity to do that. Make sure to study the game plan, so you have that down and you can just go play. Then, you have to see. There's that little bit of unknown for us. That's part of the evaluation process. How are you going to handle that situation – when the lights are on and a lot of people are in the stands?"

Q:What are you looking at from Ross Travis on Saturday?

REID: "Yeah, let's just see how he plays – consistency and see how he handles these live situations."

Q:In your job and guys who have done your job, do you look at the guys who have won a Super Bowl differently? 

REID: "Well, I will tell them, 'Congratulations,' I do that to them. There are so many good coaches in this league. They're some good ones that haven't won it and they're some pretty good ones that have won it. So, I surely respect those that have gone all the way and done that."

Q:How much does that drive you to have a Super Bowl Championship accomplishment? 

REID: "Listen, I don't think you can do that and do your job. Then, it becomes a selfish me thing and that's not how I roll. I want the city to have it, I want the players to have it. If we can all pull it together, then, that can happen. It's a true team sport. I'm one part of this team, so if we all do our job, and do it right and catch a break – here or there – then you have an opportunity. That's a beautiful thing."

Q:Do you feel like you are better at handling the ups and downs of coaching compared to your other peers?

REID: "Listen, I love every minute that I have a chance to do this job. There's only 32 of us in the whole world, and that's a pretty amazing number. So, to have this opportunity to do this, man, I'm loving every minute of it. Every day we have a chance to do this – I'm digging it dude."

Q:What's the value of the continuity from the offensive line? 

REID: "Well, just the communication. You've got to make those decisions in a split second. The defense is moving around, and it's having flow in there. You've got to make a decision quickly in a matter of a couple seconds, and that can determine whether the quarterback is on his back, or running back is on his back or a successful play.  The more they play together, the better they are at that."

Q:What advantage does the 3:30 p.m. start time give you to get back to camp and back to work to evaluate what you've done?

REID: "I don't think it matters either way because the players have the day off after every game. I think we're okay either way with it. It'll be interesting. I don't think I've ever played a day game in the preseason to be honest with you, that I can remember."


Q:Are you ready for your first preseason game?

FOLES: "I am. I'm excited to be back on the field and to be with these guys. I'm really excited it's something I've been looking forward to."

Q:But are you ready from a standpoint that you just kind of got here and you're still looking through this playbook and even though it's going to be simple it's still in the learning phase?

FOLES:"That's really the blessing of the preseason. I'm going to go out there and give it everything I have. You get an opportunity before the season starts to get those live bullets coming at you and just getting the feel of the game. We've been going against our defense and seeing our defense and to get a different look that's an opposing team, those reps are priceless. You can't get them any other way. I'm excited to be back out there and in that game situation in the stadium just getting that game feel, I'm really excited because it's been a while."

Q:You've talked before about the process do you have a process now? Do you need a little while learning a new playbook? What in detail is that process when you sit down and learn something?

FOLES:"We have so many different plays. The playbook just keeps growing, and it will keep growing throughout the year that's what you do. You break it down in segments, whether it's the formations, the motions, the shifts, the protection, the concepts, the audibles, whatever it may be you just try to break it down and understand them and then before long once you understand that you can plug it all together. Then when we get in the game planning, we'll have a huge game plan where we're repping those plays all week and we get a feel. Whereas in training camp you're installing your offense, you're putting in a lot of stuff, and once the season goes you figure out, 'Oh we're playing this kind of defense these plays are good.'"

Q:How are you with the verbiage of the offense, I know you've been in the system before, but where do you feel like you're at after just a few days here?

FOLES:"I feel really good. There's definitely still a ways to go, but I feel more comfortable with just getting in the huddle, saying the plays, knowing where everybody's at, knowing the timing of everything, knowing where the routes are. And that's just going to be a process where it's just natural. To me there's a lot of thinking. When I call it, I go up and I'm just thinking about the plays, which is great in practice you can get away with it, but in a game you don't even think about it. That's the goal and I will get there it's just a daily process."

Q:How difficult is it to visualize plays after you say it, do you see it?

FOLES:"Yea when I call a play I'm not just speaking words. When I call it, I always call it in segments where I'm really visualizing the formation, visualizing the route concepts. It's almost like telling a story of the routes, and then in my head I'm almost going through the read in my huddle. You go out there and a lot of plays are based on seeing what the defense is doing because we have everything else built in within the plays."

Q:In the short time you've been here, what was it you were able to adjust to that you're more confident about now?

FOLES:"I think just the feel for the game. It's been a while. I didn't do the offseason; we were trying to figure things out with the Rams, so I was on my own. So just getting back the feel of things. It's been eight or nine months since I've had those reps, so just getting the feel of reps, getting my footwork where you're in a pocket. That's a different thing than when you're just throwing routes on air. Getting a feel for the game and of course getting to know my teammates. I got here and only knew a few guys. I knew a lot of the coaches from before, but once you develop those relationships you start getting on the same page. You start seeing how this guy runs this route, then you can really take it to the next level."

Q:How much debate amongst the quarterbacks is there on your daily grades? I know Brad Childress kind of said that there's some, you guys are always arguing for more points.

FOLES:"Yeah there's some gray area with us. We're making up rules. It's a great quarterback room. It's fun to be in, and great guys, but we compete. We have a system where we compete with one another. I'm not going to say too much on it because I have to talk to the guys first. I just got here. I don't want to say anything I'm not supposed to, but it's a great competitive environment where we all support each other and make each other better. Which is very unique and it's pretty awesome."

Q:You've been here a week now and have some practice under your belt, how do you think you've been with your accuracy? Do you have the feel that you want to have?

FOLES:"Not yet. My accuracy is not where I want it to be. There's times where I feel really good and there's times where I've been about a foot off, six inches off. But I like being really accurate, so it's not where I want to be but I know why it's not there. I just have to continue with the feet, keeping the feet under me ready to throw. Sometimes I'm dipping my right shoulder, keeping that down. What's great about Coach Reid, he's such a great quarterback coach and teacher, so he'll tell me when I do it and I just listen and try to get the reps after practice. Working on those fundamentals, getting back to those fundamentals, so I can get the accuracy where it needs to be."

Q:Was it rust involved, or you just have to get back in the mix that just how it goes?

FOLES:"I think it's just a little bit of everything. There's definitely a little bit of rust. You want to be hard on yourself, but you also need coaches around you to detail it up. I want to know what I'm doing with my feet, what I'm doing with my shoulder. They're telling me that and that helps me because then I can work on it."

Q:I know you still have to get graded and look at the tape from practice, but today did you feel that you've been more accurate?

FOLES:"Yeah, I want to hit every throw. There were some throws where I felt like I was a lot more accurate. Stepping up, feet in the pocket, really getting them in stride where they can run after the catch. I think every day it's a progression.  It's an improvement every day and that's exciting. I just want to keep improving a little bit every day."

Q:Accuracy for you, is it more of a footwork thing or is it a motion thing, what is it about?

FOLES:"I think for me it's just getting the rhythm back of the game, the rhythm back of the drops. It's a combination of everything, my feet and my shoulders. There's rust so just getting that fluid motion back of the throwing form in a practice environment. I haven't worn pads. So putting pads on and getting all that, it's coming back and before long it will feel really good. Like I said, today it felt the best it has."

Q:What have you heard about playing at Arrowhead Stadium?

FOLES:"I've heard the environment is pretty insane. The crowd's crazy, it's extremely loud. I'm excited for my first experience, and I'm excited I'm on this team playing in Arrowhead and not the opposing team."

Q:Is that a good sign that the guys are ready to face someone else? 

FOLES: "I think that's a good sign absolutely. We've been competing – these guys have been here longer than I have – I've only been here less than a week. But, there does come a point in every single camp that you go to where they're going to be fights, tempers are going to flare, especially when you have back-to-back with the weather being so hot. I think it's a good thing because you have competition, but as long as you don't take it to the point where someone gets hurt – that's a big thing. So, we have to make sure we're disciplined. We have a lot of competitors out here, a lot of great athletes, so they're ready to go play a game."


Q: You ready for the first preseason game?

PARKER: "Yeah, I'm ready for the first preseason game. I've been waiting – out here going at it against my guys for the last week and a half, two weeks. I'm ready to see another color jersey to hit."

Q: What are the pros and cons of it though? I mean you've got different shifts of people coming in, coaches are evaluating. I mean it's not like starters get a long time out there. Can you kind of talk about what you're going to try to get out of this first one?

PARKER: "I'm going to just try to get back in the rhythm of things. Try to pick up what I left from last year – just want to go out there and be sharp. Be sharp on my skills and technique. Basically this is the time for us to get ourselves right, work on our technique and make sure we're ready for the regular season."

Q: How competitive is Steve Nelson?

PARKER: "Steve is probably one of the most competitive in our DB [defensive backs] room. He doesn't like when anyone catches a pass on him – he just gets frustrated. But sometimes I have to tell him to calm down, just play ball because he's a competitive guy. He's a good ball player."

Q: Would you rather play next to a guy that gets upset and cares and shows that?

PARKER: "I love that energy, I love that fire. I think it shows who you are. Like when it comes down to the [nitty-gritty] – you come in on a man next to you to get the job done. After he fixes his problems you know he's going to do what he needs [to do] to fix the situation."

Q: Does anybody in the secondary get as excited after a pass breakup as that guy [Steve Nelson]?

PARKER: "No, I think when Steve sees a pass-break up he just goes crazy – every time for everybody. He does a good job of just staying in the game and working on his craft and getting better."

Q: What do you like about that cornerback group – so many young guys right now – what are you seeing from them right now that seems encouraging to you?

PARKER: "I like the competition from the young guys. They do a good job of coming out here every day and competing against each other, going out there and making it hard against the offense. So that's all we're asking for young guys to do is to come out here and compete and see where they go from there."

Q: Are you ready to face other receivers other than your teammates?

PARKER: "I'm very interested to start facing other receivers. After a while we get the feel of what [receivers] got going on. It'll be good for us to see other receivers moving across the field, so we can get a good feel for that too."

Q: Seems like you guys are right in the middle of the grind, the tough part of camp, how do you help the younger guys – having experienced this before – get over those bumps and bruises?

PARKER: "We tell the young guys to stay composed. It's hot out here, it's long, and it's a grinding camp. It's one of the toughest parts of the year [right here]. I tell the guys to stay composed, come in here and keep competing and just try to get better every day – take it one day at a time."

Q: How important is this time of the year for building a team and coming together? 

PARKER: "It's important for us to get together [right now] and bond close as a team. So once we get to the regular season everything will be clicking and gelling and we can get rolling."

Q: Do you feel like there's some simplicity in that first preseason game that helps some of the younger guys with communication, defensively?

PARKER: "Yeah I think the first preseason game is going to help the young guys out a lot with communication. They're going to get to see referees, we get the calls and we get live reps. Everything is live, so they get to go out there and show themselves on film and see what they can do."

Q: Is there a difference between the wide receiving core from this spring and training camps compared to last seasons?

PARKER: "This is probably the best wide receiving group that I've seen since I've been here that I've been going up against. All the guys – they've got something special about them – and that's good because we're going to need that if we're going to be offensively explosive."

Q:Every camp has a little bit of skirmish here and there. When you see a couple of your teammates going at it a little bit – is that just attributed to the dog days or is that the fire of everybody getting intense and getting excited about a season?

PARKER: "It's just the closer we get to the regular season, the more fired up guys get. So I think it's just that time of the year right now where we're ending that first phase of training camp and leading onto the regular season. Guys are ready to get that dog out of them."

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