HEAD ATHLETIC TRAINER RICK BURKHOLDER
ON CHIEFS LB JUSTIN HOUSTON:"As we told you before, Justin [Houston] saw Dr. [James] Andrews during the Bye Week. He saw Dr. Andrews on Monday, October 3, right after the game against Pittsburgh. He's been cleared to progress with football type activity. Now, he can't practice until – the earliest would be next week. So, we're giving him simulated football activity in his rehab, which is all part of the progression. We'll make a decision as this week comes to a close, when we would take him off that PUP list and put him into practice. There's a lot that goes into that with myself, Coach [Andy] Reid and John [Dorsey], so that's where we are at. He's been cleared to do football type activity right now."
HEAD COACH ANDY REID
OPENING STATEMENT:"Guys, that will not go today are Tamba [Hali] and then, Sio Moore. Sio Moore has the flu. We got him out of here. We didn't want to infect anyone else. Again, we look forward to the challenge of playing the Raiders. They're playing very good football right now, and we understand that they're well coached, they've got good players and we're going to get ourselves ready to play against a good football team."
Q:Is that the best case scenario for Justin Houston?
REID:"Listen, they determine all of that. I hang out in there and listen. I'm not a doctor."
Q:How long would it typically take for someone who is cleared for football activity to get ready to play?
REID:"He's in pretty good shape. He's running around and doing a lot of things. Other than that, we'll just have to see. It's going to be a day-by-day thing. Everybody's different. I haven't put a whole lot on that right now, I'm trying to get ready for this game. When he has an opportunity to get out and practice, I'll be able to see it firsthand."
Q:Why do you have to take your time and make good decisions when bringing a guy like Justin Houston back from this type of injury?
REID:"Like I said, everybody is different. You've seen how we've handled Jamaal [Charles] and [Phillip] Gaines. Gaines is different than Jamaal, but yet, they happened at around the same time. You're going to do everything possible to not put the player in a position where he's not ready to play. So, that's a challenge. I'm saying that and it's a violent sport that we're playing, but you want to make sure he can get out of his own way and do the things that he needs to do, obviously. That, you have to see firsthand.
We can talk about it and do all that, but until they can get out there and move around in practice, you have no idea really."
Q:When is he eligible to be activated on the roster?
REID:"You know, I thought Rick [Burkholder] just told you that, but I'll get you that. It's coming up here pretty quick – next week I think – I believe so."
Q:When you say football type workouts is that just some of the drills we see, different movements that he's done before?
REID:"Well, he can't do any of that now. That's not what we're doing. He's rehabbing and doing that, but he can't practice right now. We got to get him out, and see him at practice, move around and see what he can and can't do. I presume he will be able to do most things, but we have to see how he looks."
Q:Is it tough holding a guy back knowing he wants to play?
REID:"Yeah, does he want to play right now? Yeah, it's killing him not to play. That's the kind of guy he is. You have to do what's right. You take everything else out of it, and then, you roll."
Q:All these guys are competitive, but is it hard to have this conversation with Jamaal Charles, Justin Houston and guys like that?
REID:"Just shoot them straight. That's the thing I've found. Tell them the truth, and ask them to do the same with you, and hopefully, you have a good relationship with them. I've been lucky with that over the years. I'm not going to put them out there if I don't think they're ready to go, or if the docs don't think they're ready to go. There are competitive guys that want to be out there, and sometimes, you have to tell them, 'hey, listen – pump the breaks for about a minute. Let's make sure we can really go.'"
Q:This will be the second time that Marcus Peters will be going home to play. What sense do you get for him to play in Oakland?
REID:"I think it' probably two separate things. He grew up a Raiders fan – the whole deal. So, I think it's exciting, but on the other hand, he's a Chief and he has to prepare himself for the game. That's how he does – he'll be good. Last year, he probably learned a couple things. He was fired up last year, but you learn a few things there."
Q:What's the plan with Sio Moore once he gets back to practice?
REID: "Yeah, he came out here Monday, and we kind of rolled him in there. We moved him around a little bit. He was in with the ones' a little bit, not a bunch, but moved him around with things that he knew. We'll just see – probably too soon to tell as far as what he knows and what he doesn't know."
Q: He'll play the outside though for you?
REID: "Yeah, we'll work him in the outside – right now – yeah."
Q: What do you remember about Sio Moore when you coached against him?
REID: "I remember that sack he had – yeah. I remember that. First play of the game, I think it was."
Q: What else do you remember about him?
REID: "He was a good player. He was a good outside rusher – tough kid."
Q: What do you like about his skill set? You think he can handle the edge rushing in 3-4?
REID: "He's played inside now since then. When he was playing the outside, I thought he had some pass rush ability, and he was a tough kid, played hard and all those things."
Q: Can you imagine getting him involved, maybe as a situational rusher, if you need him – does he have that kind of skill?
REID: "Yeah, I think we need to see. We need to get him out here and see – probably too early to tell all that."
Q: With the tape, can you evaluate Alex Smith's performance against Pittsburgh and the first four games?
REID: "Yeah, well I think he's done a good job. We all can do better – I'd tell you that. He's had some good downs and it's kind of where we are at."
Q: How did Jamaal Charles come through the game the other night, physically?
REID: "He was good."
Q: He is going to be in full in practice this week?
Q: Can you imagine a bigger role for him?
REID: "Yeah, we'll see. As long as there are no setbacks, he'll probably do a little bit more."
Q: Ben Roethlisberger made some comments last night that he thinks the Steelers practices are more physical than other teams and that they're in pads more often than other teams; the Seahawks have been fined, the Falcons have lost practice time, if you're following the rules are you behind other teams?
REID: "I don't think so."
Q: You'll take notice though that teams are getting in trouble for breaking practice rules?
REID: "That wasn't the question, we're not behind."
Q: What do you think of other teams getting in trouble for practice rules and a player like Roethlisberger saying his practices are more physical?
REID: "I honestly don't worry about them. I do what we're allowed to do and I think we're okay with it. I wouldn't correlate that to anything that we're doing. That's how I feel."
Q: So before the rules you didn't practice more physically and more in pads?
REID: "We did, yeah."
REID: "That was the rules."
Q: So you could be a better team?
REID: "Those were the rules, we did that."
Q: The Raiders, I've been here for many years and Raider week always brings out that competiveness in everyone, is it still there even though so many new people have come through, is there still a rivalry especially since where they are in the division and seem to be a better team this year?
REID: "Yeah I think all the AFC West teams are competitive. I know there's an old rivalry here that's gone on. I don't know their side of that. I think our guys get fired up to play them and their guys get fired up to play us. I don't know the other side of the question."
Q: Has it been hard sitting on the Pittsburgh loss for an extra week and how'd you take advantage of the extra time?
REID: "You don't like sitting on the loss. That's not an enjoyable thing. You learn from those things and you move on."
Q: Your teams are 15-2 coming out of the bye, how much credit do you take for that?
REID: "Every year is different. It's situational; who you play, where you play, all those things."
Q: How much of your bye then are you spending to get extra time? Which would be an advantage, looking at your opponent or self-evaluation?
REID: "You do both. You go back through and see the things you need to work on, now this is a little early in the season, but still you go back and look at it, you don't have quite as much data, it's a mid- season bye, but you have enough that you can go back and look and then you look at your opponent too."
Q: Given that you do both, the Steelers were really aggressive offensively especially early in the game. The Raiders are a fairly aggressive team offensively, what did you learn about how to handle aggressive offenses?
REID: "We have to play better, we have to coach better and it goes both ways. We're all in this together. We didn't play very well and we didn't coach very well against Pittsburgh and we have to do a better job against this team."
Q: Through four games, what development have you seen from Eric Berry from where he started in week one?
REID: "Just with the amount of time out here he's knocked some of the rust off and has gotten better every week."
QB ALEX SMITH
Q:Is there a little bit more juice flowing since it is Raiders week and the rivalry that Kansas City has with them?
SMITH:"Yeah, of course. It's a big, big week. They're all huge, but certainly this one is unique in that regard -- just the history, the rivalry over the years -- no question."
Q:What about having Jamaal Charles back going into this game?
SMITH:"Yeah, it was nice to get him back on the field a couple weeks ago. Certainly, as the week goes on, we'll see how that role grows, and I think the more weapons the better. Certainly, our backfield right now, we have a lot of guys that can make plays. So, getting him back in the mix, he's such a unique player, such a unique skill set."
Q:How much do you admire a guy coming back after two knee injuries?
SMITH:"Yeah, obviously that's difficult not only physically, but mentally getting away that long and all that comes with it – rehab back, it's a long road to get yourself back. Certainly, here's a guy that his physical tools dominated. So, to get him back and like said, a long road, and stay consistent with it, and work through that and have to do it twice – it's tough. Yeah, I love having him back – not just as a player, but certainly the energy he brings to this team and this huddle."
Q:How much of a boost does it have for the offense having Jamaal Charles back?
SMITH:"Like I said, he's one of the most unique players in the league. You do things not many guys can do. So, any time you can add someone of that caliber. Then a guy who's just a leader and a lot of guys look up to him through his work ethic, the way he goes about his business, his approach on game days. So, all the way around, great to have him back."
Q:You had a couple of plays where you ran to the left in the pocket, how do you approach those plays and prepare for that?
SMITH:"I think every offense has some deal with that as far as moving the launch point, moving around, giving defense different looks as far as pass rush and stuff like that. Certainly, for me, you need to just try and take pride and work on all that stuff to be able to do a lot of those things that we won't be hamstrung by being able to go to the right. You know, that you can go left and still make plays. Just working on it. It's one of those things, the more you practice it, the more you do it, the better you get at it."
Q:Is that something you have to practice with your mechanics?
SMITH:"Well, I think obviously, it's a little unnatural. I think it's something that you just work on. As far as fundamentals go, just moving to your left and being able to throw. Not just that, but certainly, you never know, scramble play, running out to your left and being able to make a play."
Q:How would you rate your game against Pittsburgh last Sunday? And then as a whole this season?
SMITH:"It was hard to watch our offense on film. Once we got to play 12 or whatever it was, we were down a bunch and the game was lopsided all of a sudden. At that point, it almost turns into a different game where you're trying to play catch up. Certainly, early on, the interception was crucial. The turnovers put us in a hole that we weren't able to get out of. It was a lopsided game way too fast, and like I said, we weren't able to recover. Looking back, we've got to be able to eliminate the things that lose games for you early."
Q:The Raiders are averaging 28 points a game. How important is it for this team to put together four complete quarters?
SMITH:"You've got to find a way to score more points than they do. That's the bottom line and what we're trying to do on offense. I think we all know we haven't played to our potential for four quarters and we're going to have to. This league is too good and there's too much parity for us to be falling behind early and not stringing four quarters together."
Q:Did you learn anything about this offense in general over the bye week in terms of what you can do to get the offense going?
SMITH:"There's different things -- not only are you looking at general philosophy, but certainly even specifics on certain plays such as tendencies we have, the breaks, counters and things like that."
Q:With the split of the first four games, would you consider this upcoming week a pivotal game?
SMITH:"Yeah absolutely. You could ask me that any week and I would say the same thing. That's just the way the NFL is. These are huge games each week and especially this week as a divisional game. It's not only a chance to get a 'W', but also an opportunity to give a division opponent a loss. These games mean so much and have a lot of implications."
Q:Were you able to enjoy any of the bye week?
SMITH:"Of course. For me, it was all about spending time with my wife and family and I really enjoyed it. Especially this time of the year, when we get time to have with them. Coach is great about giving us that time."
RB JAMAAL CHARLES
Q:How good does it feel to be back at practice and know you'll be in the game?
CHARLES:"It feels good. It's time and it's here. There's no more hiding or peeking -- I'll be out there."
Q:Are you feeling good?
CHARLES:"Yeah, I feel good. I'm happy with who I am, where the team is going and that's what it's all about."
Q:How do you feel about your knee? There's no extra thoughts about how you step on it or anything like that?
CHARLES:"You never know until you go out there and play. I can't be worrying about my knee like that. If I worry about it, my focus isn't going to be on the game. I'm going to out there, play and try to be who I used to be."
Q:The Raiders are ahead in the standings. This has got to be the perfect time for you to come back and be yourself.
CHARLES:"The Raiders are pretty good. They've got a good defense and a good offense. We've just got to do the right things, follow coach's schemes, execute on plays and hold onto the football. We know we can't turn over the ball. They lead the league in turnovers so we have to hold onto it and move the chains."
Q:How did it feel to ease into things against the Steelers?
CHARLES:"It was fun. I've been telling everyone, 'I'm not afraid of getting hit. I've been getting hit my entire life.' I'm not worried about carries either. I just need to get into the game, get into the rhythm of things, and get the feeling of it all back again. I've been gone almost an entire year since I tore the ACL and had surgery."
Q:What's been different about this recovery as opposed to the last ACL?
CHARLES:"It's nothing too different. Every knee is different so this knee was different than my other knee. That was the main difference."
Q:Was it easier to go through some of the recovery because you had gone through it before and knew the process?
CHARLES:"I knew the process but at the same time, the doctor told me, 'Don't treat it like the other knee -- every knee is different.' I couldn't treat it exactly like I did with the other knee. In addition, I tore it in Week Five this last time and Week Two the first time so they were two different scenarios."
Q:Was this round easier from an emotional standpoint?
CHARLES:"Yeah. After all, it's a knee. Things can get better or they can get worse. God won't give me anything I can't handle. I'm a stronger person as well. I'm not worried about my knee, I'm just ready to play football."
Q:You've mentioned your personal goals before: Best Running Back in Chiefs history, Hall of Famer, the list goes on. What motivated you to come back this last year?
CHARLES:"Watching the team last year and seeing the success and fun they had. They were like a family and I was away rehabbing during a lot of that -- I wanted to be a part of it. That was motivating in itself. I want to be a part of it this year too and help the team have success.
Q:How much have you helped the other running backs when you're not playing? I imagine there's communication with them.
CHARLES:"Yeah I do. A lot of it is motivation and encouragement. People need that in every part of life. I'm trying to be a positive leader. I'm one of the older guys in the room so I'm trying to help everyone out and do what we can to be successful. I want them to be great at what we do so I try to build them up as much as possible, give them as much encouragement as I can and let them know what I'm seeing out there. Ultimately, I want them to be the best person they can be."
Q:You've said in the past you like breaking the season into four quarters. With the first quarter behind us, what do you anticipate from this team in the second quarter?
CHARLES:"It's non-stop from here -- kind of like a snowball effect. It's going to keep going. We need to stay on track, stay focused, win the second quarter of the season and not panic. Twelve more games seems like a lot but it's actually very short. It's not like basketball or baseball where you're getting 100 games. We just need to remain calm."
Q:Do you feel like your speed is all the way back?
CHARLES:"Yes. I feel like I'm fast again and the speed never left. One blessing I've been given is the gift of speed. I'm thanking God for allowing me to keep my gift of speed."
Q:Was it almost harder the last few weeks when you could do a little but not everything?
CHARLES:"I knew I wasn't going to play like I would have liked to last week. Knile [Davis] was second string and I was the backup if someone went down. I can't worry about last week, I'm just trying to focus on this week, my assignments and playing a good Raiders defense."
Q:Are you confident you'll play a lot more than you did last Sunday?
CHARLES:"Yeah I'm ready to. I'm ready to let the trainers resolve me [laughing]. I know how to ride now. It's time to take the training wheels off and let me ride."
Q:You seem a lot more upbeat about where you're headed as opposed to after the Pittsburgh game. Was that a factor of how bad you got beat?
CHARLES:"We got beat. Blown out even. But our focus is moving forward to the Raiders. We're trying to come back and get the 'W' then we'll focus on the next game after that. We take it one game at a time and this week it's the Raiders."
Q:So you're at 100%?
CHARLES:"I'm here. You can put 110% if you'd like. I'm on the field and I'm playing." Q:Was your ability to cut the last thing to come back 100%?
CHARLES:"No. I've been cutting since I was about five months in. The biggest thing was building confidence. I'm confident and I'm ready to play. I've still got time to get better. The last time I came back, I wasn't 'better' until week five or week six. I just need to get in and play, and it'll come when it comes."