What We Learned From Wednesday's Media Availability

Andy Reid, Alex Smith and Harrison Butker spoke to the media Wednesday

CHIEFS HEAD COACH ANDY REID

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Opening Statement: **"As far as injuries go, guys that won't practice today are Dee Ford and Albert Wilson. Dee aggravated his back and he's just having tests done, we'll see where that goes – no results yet. Albert Wilson has a hamstring strain so he won't practice today. Look forward to the challenge of playing the Cowboys. We know they're a good football team. They've put a couple of really good games together here, back-to-back and they play fast on both sides of the ball, they have good special teams. We'll start the process today of getting ready to play them and have an opportunity to play down there in their stadium."

Q: What's reasonable to expect from Tamba (Hali)?

REID: "Nothing. There's nothing been done there."

Q: But he's practicing?

REID: "Not this minute. I can't tell you that, no."

Q: So he's not practicing?

REID: "I'm not sure exactly what's going on, to be honest with you. When I walked out here he was not practicing, no."

Q: With the history of the Chiefs/Texans – going down to Dallas, how special is that?

REID: "That's where the Chiefs started, so that's a great thing. Obviously the Hunt family, they live there. I think they're on the same street as Jerry Jones. So I'm sure there's a little rivalry there between ownership, but I think it's a neat deal. It's part of NFL history and a good part, good for both cities."

Q: Tanoh* *(Kpassagnon) hadn't had a chance to play much – what did you think he did with those 10 snaps?

REID:"I thought he got in there and did okay. He showed for himself well. Great experience for him."

Q: Do you think he earned a chance to play some more snaps?

REID: "We'll see. It all depends on the game plan and how that goes, we're kind of in the early part of that, but I would tell you that he didn't hurt his chances. He did a nice job."

Q: What did you see from Mitch Morse's first game back?

REID: "I thought he actually did pretty well. That defensive line is a pretty good defensive line. With (Domata) Peko in the base, which we were going against quite a bit, he's a load there, he's an experienced player and a good football player. It was a nice challenge for him. But I thought he held up well. Most of all he came out healthy, sore, but healthy just from having not played."

Q: No. 90 (Demarcus Lawrence) from the Cowboys, what makes him a special player?

REID: "He was a great player in college at Boise and he's carried that into the National Football League. Their defensive coordinator, there aren't a lot of guys I respect more than Rod (Marinelli) and he's got them just cutting loose and rolling and playing to the strength, which is getting up the field and going after the quarterback, reacting to the run, but speed up the field. And he does that very well. He's got great instincts."

Q: What changes with or without Ezekiel Elliott?

REID: "I think they're deep at that spot. They still got a guy we're familiar with there from the Raiders hanging in the backfield there. If there's one spot that they've got a little depth at I'll tell you that's it. I don't think they change anything schematically, they do what they do. They'll let those guys get in if that's the case and I don't even know what the case is, but we'll be ready for all of it. Whatever way it goes."

Q: Regardless of who is in their backfield, are there some general concepts and schemes you can expect?

REID: "That's kind of what I was saying. I'd tell you that there are certain things they're going to do, doesn't matter who the back is. Concepts, schemes, whatever you want to term it, that you kind of focus in on and work on. I don't think that'll change with the back."

Q: A lot of health questions about linebacker Jaylon Smith coming out of college, what do you see from him?

REID: "That's an amazing thing. That injury that he had, normally is career ending. It would have been career ending before he really had a chance to start. I'm glad. I think he's good for the National Football League, most of all. He's a good football player. This year he's working his way back into playing, that's what he's been doing and him being out there is something. Good football player."

Q:With Harrison Butker getting the award this week, what did you see in him?

REID: "I'm going to defer that to (Brett) Veach, but I can answer it because Veach kept talking about him. Him and (Dave) Toub love the kid. And what they saw, big kid that has a strong leg and they felt like he had good accuracy and would fit in well and he's done all that. Probably a little more than what they bragged on him to me about. I would tell you that really he's done a nice job. And in primetime games too we've kind of thrown him right in the fire there early. But he's done a nice job, he keeps a pretty leveled head. You guys will get a chance to talk to him here, pretty level headed guy."

Q: Whatever your next step is with Tamba (Hali), what will that decision come down to?

REID:"Brett Veach is dealing with all that so I don't know exactly the situation and what's going on right now. So that's between Brett, Tamba and his representatives."

Q: But is it about how he feels? Just in general?

REID: "We've been talking about it, Brett (Veach) has for the last little bit so when do you do that or whatever and I guess they're still talking about it. I don't want to slight you guys, because it is a short week and I'm honestly focused on the Cowboys probably more than that right there. I haven't spent a lot of time in that area."

QB ALEX SMITH

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Q: **What do you think of Dak Prescott?

SMITH:"Yeah, I keep track of him for sure. We have mutual college coaches, so definitely followed him all through college and the last few years. How could you not be impressed with what he has done up to this point? To step into that role, you're not expected, you have big shoes to fill with Romo going out. There's two things. To come in and make the plays that he has done as a young guy, it is hard. And I think to be as consistent and do the little things, I think that is the thing you see as well. You see both. He has the big play ability. But also just being so solid and doing the little things. Play in and play out giving this team a chance. I have been really impressed and obviously a fan of his, just not this week."

Q:Has Travis (Kelce) become one of those guys that you can just throw it anywhere and he will go get it for you?

SMITH:"Yeah, and I think he has been that for a little bit now. Also, so much with tight ends, you end up being a match up guy. Obviously, they are unique. They get matched up on linebackers and safeties. That's actually probably what they do in the majority of their pass game. But Kelce, he obviously gets a lot of respect and a lot of times he is on corners. Typically, that isn't a great match up a lot of times. He just has that kind of ability. And not just physical. I think mentally he has come a long way, he has such a good feel and has so many tools in his belt, so to speak, that he can use and go to and he is good at all of them."

Q:(Kelce) had a quote the other day about being accountable to Alex?

SMITH: "We put a lot on his plate and move him around and do a lot of different things. I think that position goes unnoticed that you have to learn a lot of things. He is involved in the run game, he is involved in the pass game, he is involved in protection a lot of times, too. There is no other position where you are involved in all three of those, really. Like I said, we talk a lot. There is a lot of communication with all the guys outside but, certainly, there in the tight end room and with Travis (Kelce) we talk a lot about the looks. All the subtle things that you can do to try and get open."

Q:Why did you dress up as the Joker and how long did it take?

SMITH:"Not my decision. We let the kids decided. This time it was a four-year-old, and he wanted to be Batman and everybody else pegs off of him and I got told I am being the Joker and I just went with it. It was fun, after a big win and I have young kids. It is a fun time with Halloween and to go have fun with it like that, they got a kick out of it."

Q:How long did it take to have the hair go green?

SMITH:"Not as long as you would think. Took a little bit, not sure what it was. I just sat there and my wife got me ready. Twenty minutes at least, probably."

Q:Was that a wig?

SMITH:"No, real hair. Got a good reaction out of my kids, freaked them out a little bit. That was nice."

Q:Did you feel like you guys got out to a big lead then slowed down the offense or was the offense called differently?

SMITH:"That is a great question, and I don't think there is one answer for that. Every week you have to try it differently, and certainly that probably goes to the bigger picture with Coach Reid and general game plan each week. And then the point of the game. First quarter, no, you have to go. There's a ton of game plan, you never know what can happen. I think you have to try and keep rolling. As you get into the second half and the fourth quarter, with the flow of the game and what is going on, you make some of those decisions. As frustrating as it can be to, sometimes as people say, get conservative or something, it is the right play sometimes. Those are not my decisions. I just go. And I enjoy that. I just roll. Those are up in the pay scale with coach and reasonability. But that is the chess match that goes on every week."

Q:Would a dynamic offense and scoring more be more important in a game like this?

SMITH:"Yeah, it kind of goes back to last question, evaluating every week that matchup. That matchup of all three phases goes into the bigger picture, so as an offense we are just focused that we need to go up and beat that defense. Like I said, coach does a great job with that. But we are trying to score as many points as possible always. Every time we touch the ball, we want to go move the ball and end up with points. So I don't think that changes regardless of the matchup whether we are playing the top defense or the 32nd ranked. All those matchups are different. You just go as a player. You expect to perform and go out there and execute every time you get a chance."

Q:Anything that stands out about the defense for Dallas?

SMITH:"Every week is a brand new challenge. These guys are totally different in their scheme, different in their personnel. Some weeks there are similarities because you know they will try and copycat this, maybe they will try to do what this team did. You always have to have a plan for this and have that in the back of your head. But, usually, every week is a unique deal. This week is no different. You kind of just have to flip it. You bleed all the stuff and move on and have to get ready for the new challenge this week."

Q:Does the pace you are one stat wise and setting career highs stick out to you?

SMITH:"I think for me at the half way point, you just have to keep going if you expect to want to do any of that stuff or eclipse any of that stuff. You have to just keep plugging away. It is too early to be feeling good or comfortable with anything like that. You just roll. We have a bunch of big games, they only get bigger. We put ourselves in a good situation. That is what you want. That's what you have been working hard for. You like to just keep going. A bigger opportunity and a bigger game and just to keep playing with them."

Q:What stands out about Demcarus Lawrence?

SMITH:"Yeah, similar to the division, right? Every team in the division has a guy, some two, that can go. These guys are really good up front led by Lawrence. Big challenge. They are all good and can all get after the passer. Certainly, he leads the way."

K HARRISON BUTKER

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Q: **Special Teams Player of the Week, how did you find out and how does it feel?

BUTKER:"I found out this morning, Coach Reid told the whole team. It was a surprise to me. I wasn't thinking about it after the game, but I'm really happy I got it. It's nice getting recognized. The whole operation really, the o-line blocking, James (Winchester) snapping and then (Dustin) Colquitt holding the ball. For all of us to get recognized is a big deal and we're all happy."

Q:You're already close to the Chiefs record for consecutive field goals. Is that meaningful to you at all?

BUTKER:"No. At the end of the season I'll look back and see how I did, but right now I don't think there's any use in looking at the records and the stats stuff like that. Just keep doing what I'm doing."

Q: Last time you were here you talked about your background and how you didn't have that much accuracy, what's different now or have you done something different in the last year that has led to this?

BUTKER:"No. I think it's just experience. It's developing. I got a lot better in the offseason. Just really focusing on kicking, coming out of college and entering the NFL. Dustin's been doing a great job holding the ball, I'm learning all types of stuff. He's just fabulous getting the ball down every time and James is doing a great job snapping as well. Probably just my mental state and that comes with maturity and experience and it does help having so many attempts in a game and then having multiple kicks every single game. That definitely helps building up your confidence. It's kind of like the next game I'm going into I can look back on what I've done and these past games and that gives me confidence knowing the next game I'm going to play I know I can do this."

Q:How does it feel that the coaches seem to have the confidence to throw you out on the field in any situation?

BUTKER:"It feels good. When you know the coaches have confidence in you that helps you a lot. Just having those positive vibes and everybody's supporting and encouraging you that definitely helps as a kicker."

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