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What We Learned From Wednesday's Media Availability

Head Coach Andy Reid, Head Athletic Trainer Rick Burkholder, QB Alex Smith, DE Kendall Reyes and C Mitch Morse spoke with the media on Wednesday.


OPENING STATEMENT:"Just an update on the guys that went on IR yesterday. So, Allen Bailey in the game tore his right peck muscle, which is the tendon attached to the arm – that detached during the game, so he'll be operated on Monday, coming up. He's in doing treatment and rehab now, and then, he'll get operated on Monday. Justin March-Lillard has a broken hand – that's his left hand, third long bone in his hand. He was operated on Monday by Dr. Bruce Toby at The University of Kansas Hospital. Both those guys will be in treatment and rehab until we figure out when they can return. I know Coach [Andy Reid] mentioned Phillip Gaines was getting some testing. We did MRI stuff. We consulted with Dr. Barnthouse and Dr. Andrews, who did his surgery. He's day-to-day right now. Today, he won't practice, but there's a chance that he'll practice tomorrow."



OPENING STATEMENT:"Justin Houston will work today. We'll just see how much he can get done. We look forward to playing, number one, the New Orleans Saints and getting ourselves ready for that. Our guys started with a walk through this morning. We'll have a good week of practice this week and get us ready to play against a good football team – very explosive football team."

Q:Did Justin March-Lillard get hurt in the game or afterward? REID:"Yeah, he did get hurt in the game. Yeah."

Q:What's the plan for Justin Houston as far as what he's going to do? REID:"Listen, I think we just need to see what he can do out here, and then, keep a rein on it. Joked with him today because he probably didn't sleep much last night – he's so excited. He's been bouncing around the last couple weeks here, so I think he's very excited to get out here. At the same time, we have to pump the breaks just a little bit and make sure he doesn't over do it."

Q:So, scout team stuff?

REID:"We'll see. Let's go through the individuals and see how he does there, and then see how that works."

Q:Who are some of the great corners that you've coached throughout your career? REID:"I don't know. I mean I had a few at Philadelphia, a few at Green Bay. What's the next part of that question?"

Q:How does Marcus Peters compare to them?REID:"He's doing a nice job. He's a good football player – great instincts, good feel for the game. The one thing you really appreciate is that he loves to play, and he studies it."

Q:Marcus Peters good to go for today? REID:"Yeah."

Q:Did Justin March-Lillard tell you about the hand injury? Was it something that he played through on Sunday? REID:"Yeah, I told him if he didn't have that [broken hand], he probably would have intercepted that ball."

Q:After you have gone through the game tape, do you still feel like execution was the difference to the offense? REID:"Yeah, that's what I felt. I thought we had a nice game plan. The thing that jumps out to you, we didn't have penalties, we didn't have turnovers. I thought we tackled well and blocked well. So, I would say, primarily, that was it."

Q:With Justin March-Lillard out, who's the next man up next to Derrick Johnson?REID:"So, we kind of have a group of guys – Sam Barrington – the guys that have been working there. Sio [Moore] has played a little inside. Then, [Ramik] Wilson has done it for us. He'd be, probably, the one that knows the most right now. We just have to see."

Q:Sam Barrington in that mix at all?REID:"Yeah, that's who I was saying. The first one I said was [Sam] Barrington. Ramik [Wilson] has been here and probably knows a little more. What we're going to do is kind of let them go at it and see. Give them a shot and see how they do. "

Q:Did you mention Sio Moore?REID:"Yeah."

Q:How difficult was the decision with trading Knile Davis?REID:"Yeah, so Knile [Davis] is one of my favorite guys. I've appreciated everything that he did here. Came to work every day, busted his tail.  I know he's going to help Green Bay. They're in a tough situation right now at running back. It gives him an opportunity at the prime of his career, right now, to play. [John] Dorsey and I, both, thought that was important – give him an opportunity there to go play. He was kind of stuck in the depth chart, here a little bit."

Q:Why didn't it work out for Knile Davis here?REID:"Some of the stuff we're doing, probably isn't some of his best stuff. I think he's phenomenal. Every time he played he'd get 100 yards it seemed like. We dealt a lot of downhill stuff at that time. I think that's probably where he's the best. I think he's very good at that. We're just doing different stuff now. Now, that doesn't mean he can't do that."

Q:Has Drew Brees' game evolved or changed over the years? REID:"He's doing the same things. I don't have enough good things to say about him. He's a phenomenal player. Works at the profession – he's relentless that way. Obviously, keeps himself in great shape to be able to do it at this age. Maybe, he doesn't run as fast, but he sure has the skill of throwing the football there."

Q: How far did Chris Conley have to come and where do you see him on the chart of his progress?

REID: "I think he's improved for sure and come a long way since he's gotten here. I thought it really helped him, staying up here with Jeremy [Maclin] and Albert [Wilson]. They all work together. They're here every day working. They were running routes and doing stuff like that and that's probably where he needed the work and you can see it now."

Q: You knew when you got him that he was smart and a guy that had the future in front of him, but also that he was pretty raw, did you have that sense?

REID: "Yeah, well they did a lot of good things at Georgia, but it was different stuff from maybe what we did. So we figured it was just a matter of getting the reps and learning and facing all the bump and run that you get at this level. Knowing how to work your routes versus bump and run."

Q: One guy you added yesterday that we haven't seen yet is Terrance Mitchell, the new corner. What did you see from him that you liked?

REID: "So Terrance [Mitchell] has been on the practice squad, it looks like he's an active player, pretty smart at the corner spot, seems like he has some natural instincts to him and quicks. He reacts pretty well to the ball."

Q: So what do you do with six corners?

REID: "Really you can't have enough of those guys. We had a spot, so we put him there."

Q: You've been around some pretty good pass rushers throughout your career, if you had to pick one trait that's the most important thing for those guys what would it be?

REID: "Get off is important. I think it's a combination of things. I think using your hands and your feet is important. That you can present the offensive lineman with a small target to hit. Power and speed is really important too."

Q: When most guys like Dee [Ford] and some of the younger guys on this team are game planning for an opponent, how do they balance what they do well and what they see in an opponent, where his struggles might be?

REID: "That's always a challenge. Normally when a college kid comes in he has one move and he's done it and 90 percent of the lineman he's going to play against aren't the quality that he's going to play against here. Once you get to this level you have to be able to throw different pitches at the offensive linemen. Then you have to work those fast and usually live. Dee's been doing that over time here so now he has a combination of things that he can do and then when you study an offensive linemen they all have strengths and weaknesses. You can sit there and go okay I have this move that works against this weakness and you try to shoot it at the guy and see how it works."

Q: Do you feel like Alex Smith has improved on his accuracy down the field? He had a couple of nice down-the-field throws during Oakland, is that something you've noticed in practice?

REID: "I think since he's been here he's had a few more opportunities to do that. I've always felt like he's been pretty good at it. I thought it was just a matter of him practicing and having chances to do it. I would tell you he's probably gotten better at that since he's been here, but only because he's had more opportunities."

Q: How does a team that plays once a week, how do you develop momentum?

REID: "I think the obvious answer is you win, that helps everything out. I think in this business you try the best you can and it ends up being a cliché because if you can kind of focus in on what's taking place that day and work at it, and break it down to that play, and control what you can control, and get rid of the rest of the garbage and that allows you to play better and then in theory if you play better and have good coaches and good players you end up winning games, that's how things work. That's what's real. You guys get paid to paint your picture, from a coach's standpoint, that's what's real."

Q: In regards to Justin Houston, you guys have had him doing football stuff off to the side, is it reasonable to think that he could play against New Orleans?

REID: "I'd pry bet against that one, yeah, that's not what I'm looking at."

Q: Alex [Smith] has just 15 yards rushing on the season, that's very out of character for him. Has that just been situational or has that been a conscious decision to limit his contact?

REID: "No, not at all. We've never told him to run or not to run. It's just how the defenses have presented themselves this year."

Q: This is about when you guys started that streak last year, we've all talked about 16-2 after the bye week, but you guys have been better in the second half of the season for the last few years, is there anything big picture wise that explains that?

REID: "I don't have an answer for that, there probably isn't. I don't know why. I've looked at it. I don't know the answer to that deal and right now we're just trying to win the next one. That's where all the focus is."

Q: What went into the decision to play James O'Shaughnessy over Ross Travis?

REID: "Just an opportunity to get him in there. Probably knows a little bit more right now. I've been very happy with Ross [Travis]. We had four tight ends up. James probably gave you a little bit more on special teams. I like both of them. We're lucky to have both of them. It's not a slight of him, it gave us another opportunity to get Dat [De'Anthony Thomas] up to play."



Q:What have you seen in Chris Conley's development since he arrived?SMITH:"It's been a pretty fluid progression for Chris. Coming from the college level, he's had to learn the pro-style offenses and defenses. He's been a guy that we move around a lot and done a lot of different stuff with and it hasn't slowed him down at all. His improvement and incline has continued to grow since day one with his growth, understanding and ability to get better and add tools to his tool belt. It's going to be one of those things where as we keep going and getting more reps, he's going to get better and better."

Q:Is your system intuitive or is it pretty sophisticated to pick up on?SMITH:"I don't know if it's a system thing. You can call it what you want, but I think it comes down to more of a teaching thing. That's what coaches are and I think our coaches do a great job of that. They teach and develop in a lot of different ways. Whether it be in the classroom or on the field, they give guys time to grow. Some of that is getting reps and making mistakes. It comes down to that more than anything -- the structure that's in place and not so much terminology of it."  

Q:How much easier does reading defenses become when you're running the ball effectively?SMITH:"You just want to keep a defense on their heels -- however that is. The best way to do that is to keep a balanced offense. Any time a defense doesn't know what's coming, when they see multiple personnel groups, different formations and they're having to defend all of that, it goes hand-in-hand and opens up the run game and passing game. Certainly as a QB, a good running game helps you get set a lot and it can help out."

Q:This team likes to run a lot of screen plays inside the five-yard line. What's the effectiveness there?SMITH:"The field shrinks down there. It gets tighter and the defenses play differently. I don't think it's one thing [we do]. It's week-to-week when certain things present themselves. You've got to find a way to stretch the field and try to find ways to expand it when you get down there because it's so cut down. It's one of those things weekly that when you see an opportunity, you try taking it."

Q:Is Drew Brees one of those quarterbacks you're sort of envious of when you look at his numbers?SMITH:"He's a heck of a player who's been doing it a long, long time -- this may be one of the most prolific stretches in the history of the game that he's had over these last few years. I'm getting ready to play that defense though. I'm not playing against Drew or that offense -- I'm focused on the other side of the ball."   

Q:How much did the pre-snap motions affect the outcome of the game against Oakland?SMITH:"I thought coaches did a great job with the game plan. Anytime you have some of that stuff, it can really help you out pre-snap -- especially for me identifying defenses to see what they're doing or trying to do in order to create leverage problems for our guys. Any advantage for our guys really helps. It was a great plan going into the game." 

Q:Did you enjoy the style of play and the looks you got because of all the pre-snap motions and stuff you did?SMITH:"No question. I've said it before, our strength is being multiple and doing a lot. We had different types of looks, different types of runs and passes, how many guys touch the football and Sunday was a great example of us just mixing it up. As a defense and a defensive coordinator over there, they don't know what's coming so they have to think about so many different things. For me to see all those guys on our end getting involved, you love it. Everyone feeds off each other."   

Q:Jack Del Rio described some of the pre-snap adjustments on Sunday as "gimmicky." Is that word a fair description of what was going on out there?SMITH:"To be honest, I have no idea what he's referring to. I just know that we won and that's all I really care about. You'd have to ask him -- I'm not even sure what he was referring to. I felt like we came out and played physical. To be honest, I felt like we even won the battle up front and I don't know what was 'gimmicky' about that." 

Q:What are some things that make the Saints defense tough?SMITH:"I think they do a lot of moving around, some unorthodox things, a lot of unorthodox coverages and they have a ton of guys that play. So when you're watching film, it's hard to get a beat on anyone. They have a lot of guys that play back end and a lot of guys that play up front. At some point, it's hard to get a beat on who's playing and how they play. They change week to week too so you have to be ready for the unknown and prepare for a few different game plans."  

Q:Do you feel like you've gotten better at throwing the deep ball since you've arrived in Kansas City -- maybe you've had more opportunities since arriving here?SMITH:"It's one of those things you continue to try and work on. It's such a relationship deal -- especially with knowing your guys, giving them opportunities and trusting them. It's something that grows and you're always working on. Each week presents a different challenge depending on the corners and how they play. You don't ever stop growing. We got good looks, we took them and we were able to connect on Sunday."

Q:You've been limited as a rusher this year. What have you seen from defenses trying to take that away?SMITH:"That's a tough question. We joke about it in the quarterback room sometimes. I don't know what's going on there. I don't think our style of play has changed and I don't think mine has. Those opportunities haven't been there in the scrambling areas especially. Our offensive line played lights out this last Sunday and was creating pockets when needed. I was able to stand back there and throw so I didn't have those opportunities. It's one of those things too that comes in bunches. It'll come here in a game where I have the opportunity. It's important to take advantage of that because it's a big tool of mine."

Q:If teams drop eight back, do you feel comfortable cutting loose and taking off?SMITH:"Yeah and I think that's part of it. If teams play soft, we've got to be able to get after them. At the same time, when you see other defenses you've got to hold onto the football. When guys are covered well, it's tough to hang onto the football after so long."

Q:Head Coach Andy Reid is coaching in his 300th game on Sunday. What is it about him that's extended the longevity of his career?SMITH:"It would be hard for me to break down what's gone into that success and that longevity. For one: the passion of the game. It starts there. With anything that has gone that long, there's a passion for it. For the game, the teaching side, the coaching and being around it. It doesn't end and it's not getting satisfied anytime soon. You've also got to be good at it. The chance to start that many games and stick around this long, you've got to be good and have had some success. Those two things are obvious but there's a lot going into it."

Q:What's it like getting Justin Houston back on the field?SMITH:"It'll be good for the entire team to have him back, have his energy, his presence and have him out there. He means so much to this team, so it'll be good."   

DE KENDALL REYES Q: What do you think you can bring to these guys and this team?* REYES:*

"I think I could bring some depth. They have a great defensive line. I'd just like to help out anyway I can."

Q:How does the scheme fit into your game?REYES:"It's a 3-4 set, and I've been in a 3-4 for my whole career. I still have to learn everything, but I feel like I'll be able to adjust well."

Q:The Chiefs rotate guys quite a bit on the defensive line -- was that attractive to you when you went to sign?REYES:"Yeah, for sure. I just wanted to come somewhere where I could play and help the guys out. Like I said, they have a great defensive line. I'd just like to help out anywhere I can."

C MITCH MORSE Q: Did you know that the Chiefs have won eight straight home games. What does that say about any hope for Sunday?* MORSE:*

"I think anytime you can get into Arrowhead, it's tough for them to win. But in the end, we have to come out and compete, and it's nice to win at home -- it definitely is. It's better than the alternative. We know what we have to do to win. Bring the Chiefs Kingdom out there and have a good time on Sunday."

Q:How do you duplicate the momentum you had last year at this time of the season?MORSE:"We stick to what we know. Get our rest, take care of nutrition, come out and compete and have a good time."

Q: It sounds easy -- coming out once a week and playing, but it's not the easiest thing to do -- am I right? MORSE: "Yeah. I think it's a real commitment. You have to really commit to getting that extra sleep, really eating and the game plan -- just taking care of business."

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