What We Learned From Wednesday's Media Availability

Andy Reid and Alex Smith spoke to the media on Wednesday

CHIEFS HEAD COACH ANDY REID

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OPENING STATEMENT: **"Today the fellas who won't practice are (Ukeme) Eligwe, he's got an Achilles inflammation. Dee Ford with the back, and Eric Murray has a high ankle sprain that he got in the game. We look forward to the opportunity of playing the Jets. Again, we'll start our practice out here today and we're working on getting better."

Q: How do you monitor the team sticking together?

REID: "It's important. We have a good locker room and guys get along well. It doesn't mean they aren't emotional and want to win, everyone wants to win. That's part of this game. It's an emotional game. We have a very close locker room."

Q: What do you attribute the success to the run defense to?

REID: "Listen, there's a lot of things that go into it. But I'd tell you the defensive front, those linebackers and defensive linemen, collectively are doing a nice job with getting good support off of our safeties, tackling well. They've done a nice job with that."

Q: Is it difficult to improve on the run game in practice without pads?

REID: "You can go fast without pads. You're allowed to put the little shells on and most of this is with hands anyways. Hands and helmet become a part of that. You don't want to get hit in the nose or something. So you're able to wear a helmet. Other than you're using your hands and there's no reason that you can't continue to get better. Either way."

Q: Every year is different, but if something new comes to you as a head coach, what kind of a challenge is that?

REID:"Every year is different. I think you're right there – I know you're right. So they all present their own unique challenges. The thing about this is we can all get better. If we all stick to that, we're going to be ok. That's where full trust in your locker room and your coaching staff, I think it is important that you have that. I don't think you have to change 8,000 different things to do that. We've got a good system and we've got a good locker room and I think that's important."

Q: Is that what happened a couple years ago when you started slow in the beginning of the season?

REID: "Every season has its highs and lows. That's normal. So very few teams go undefeated. So you work through them and whether you win or lose, you're searching to try to be better. So that's what we do. We don't change that if we're in a situation like this. You keep hammering home the fundamentals. As a player you keep working on those and the techniques. It's important as coaches that we give our players something that they can work with. So we all have a piece of this and we can all get better. That's kind of where I go, win or lose, that's really where I go. "

Q: Do you think some of Alex (Smith's) recent struggles are mental or how the team has played on the field?

REID: "I think it's not just Alex. I think people do that, and I told you that I've got to get better at doing my part. Each position has got to do better. This is a team game and so everybody has a piece of the pie. You're bringing it to Alex (Smith). I'm bringing it to all of us doing a better job. Alex is part of the team so he's included in that. But it's surely not just one person."

Q: Do you feel as a team people are pressing?

REID: "No I don't think they're pressing. I think there's an urgency. We want to do better than what we're doing. Nobody, I think you know this, you're in this business, nobody wants to lose. That's not why they're in this business. So everybody's trying to do their best to win the game. I see that. We've just got to do a little better. Again that's my responsibility so it starts there and everybody has a piece of it."

Q: Is he not seeing open receivers as much as in the past and is that because he's hurried?

REID: "Like I said, I'm not going to tell you it's one thing – it's not one thing. Sometimes people see something and that might not be the primary receiver and so it might not even be in that part of the progression and read. There's a lot of things that go into it. The thing I can do is stand before you and tell you that this isn't an Alex Smith thing, it's all of us. I know our players understand that and coaches. So we're all going to do better and raise our game up."

Q: How do they know this is not an Alex (Smith) thing – have you gone over that?

REID: "We all watch tape. Coaches coach, that's what we do. And we're around each other a lot so we all know all of our strengths, coaches and players, we all have strengths as human beings. We all know our strengths and our weaknesses. So I think we all understand that we can all do better. So that's what we're working on."

QB ALEX SMITH

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Q: **During times like this, do you change your routine at all?

SMITH:"Not necessarily routine, as far as the daily routine and things like that. I think the attention to detail gets turned up. And I think that's kind of what, coming away from this last week, was the glaring thing for all of us. Especially on offense. I think every position group, every guy. I think the attention to detail, getting all those things answered. You can't get it all repped on the field. But those all showed up, those all got magnified I felt like. And everybody had a hand in it. And that is what the difference from us. The difference from not executing and then having successful plays out there is so small. I felt like it was a lot of little things."

Q:For you, what is attention to detail?

SMITH:"There are so many things. Obviously, quarterback play starts with your eyes and your feet. Those have to be in the right place and I have to be on time. You have to go out there and play, certainly. You just have to go play. There are certain amount of plays that goes as rehearsed. And then there's a huge chunk that don't. Then you have to use your instincts and fundamentals to go out there and make place."

Q:What do you remember about coming out of the 1-5 start a couple years ago?

SMITH:"The same thing. Just playing your way out of it. Getting that first one and getting it going. That is the toughest deal, get that ball rolling and get the momentum again. Same thing, you have to scratch and claw and fight. The margin of error in this league is so small. And like I said, in the game last week, all those things got magnified over the course of the game. All those little things. What if a handful of them we corrected? It's a different game. Got another really good defense we are going to play against so we have to go out there and find a way."

Q:Does it get harder to trust the system during a stretch like this?

SMITH:"No, we are so versatile and multiple. I think it is no lack of plays or X's and O's or scheme. Certainly, what we were doing earlier in the year and the success we had doing the exact same things, I think you rely on that. Like I said, it is funny. And it is 11 guys all have to do the right thing for plays to work. One guy here or one guy there, and it all gets fouled up and it looks like what I looked like last week. The focus is on execution. We have a game plan and we have to go out there and make it work."

Q:What do you know about Revis?

SMITH:"Obviously, really good player. Not only a combination of physical skills, but just a guy that just has great awareness of what is going on and what you were trying to do and how he counteracted that leverage, route recognition and those things."

Q:Was that more his thing than the physical traits?

SMITH:"It was both. He was a guy that had ridiculous technique and ball skills, but also had such a great brain and head on his shoulders. He knew what offenses were doing and how to combat it."

Q:Did Revis ever pick off you?

SMITH:"I don't know if he has."

Q:Do you feel in any way fundamentally different?

SMITH:"Certainly, the play is different but there is no feeling when I am going into it or when I am out there. Certainly, you are frustrated when things aren't going right. When I am out there, you have your piece of it and your view. It isn't until the next day when you watch film that you get to put all the pieces together. 'Oh, this is what happened on that play, this is why I felt like that, this is why I did that.' You don't totally know that game day. Instincts and fundamentals take over sometimes. No, certainly, we recognize when we are in rhythm and playing good and when we aren't. That is very apparent out there for all of us."

Q:What have you learned from you at your best and then the struggles from the last couple weeks?

SMITH:"Same thing. It is small. It is really small. I take a chunk of plays for me that definitely could have been better. It is the little things on all of them. I felt like the margins are that little in this league. That is the difference between playing really well and then not and then losing games."

Q:Do you think the lack of throwing the ball down field has let the defense key in on the things you do close to the line of scrimmage?

SMITH:"I think any time you are presenting, you want to stretch the field any way possible. We want all that stuff. We want to stretch you, we want to run right at you, we want to go vertical, and we want to stretch you horizontally as well. All those things, run pass, it's not to say those things don't get called or are even there. For whatever reason, you're just not getting the opportunity or taking the shot or something happens that don't allow you to take it. All those things add up. When it is going well and those things are flowing, you are getting more opportunities. You are getting more plays. You are getting more of those opportunities called to do those things. And when you're not, certainly when you start the way we started, and you are not converting on third downs and you are not moving the chains, you are getting less opportunities. Less opportunities all those. Run game, shots down field, misdirection, all of those things are few and fewer."

Q:What do you look for in a third tight end and what do you like about Orson Charles?

SMITH:"Certainly, we do play all three of those guys at the same time and have before. And they have played a lot of snaps with all those guys on the field. So they all have to be ready. That is certainly personnel we feel good with run and pass. That has good balance for us. Those guys have to be on both of those. When we are throwing the ball and winning their matchups. And when we are running it, taking care of business there as well. And then as well, he has to be prepared, right? You are a play away from being in there on all that stuff. You have to prepare yourself getting ready for the starter as well as that third tight end role. A combination of all those things."

Q:You've been hit hard a couple times, how is your health?

SMITH:"I feel good. I feel really good. Sometimes those that look the worst aren't always. So this time of year it is just to be expected."

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