OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR ERIC BIENIEMY
Q: What are your expectations for Pat (Mahomes) in the first preseason game?
BIENIEMY: "The expectations are to go out there and perform. We want to see what we can do, get in and out of the huddle and have good tempo. We want to get out there and play some urgent football, be sharp and sound and make sure we can handle the little things that the other team may present to us."
Q: How much of that is on Pat (Mahomes)?
BIENIEMY: "I don't think it's just on Pat. It's collectively on all of us. It's our job to make sure we're putting together a great game plan for him, but all players have to be held accountable. They have to go out and execute with great attention to details and have some fun. This is what we do. Yes it is a game, but we get to do what we love."
Q: How has camp been so far?
BIENIEMY: "Camp has been good. I believe we are learning a lot together as a staff. We are learning a lot collectively as a group. The only thing I want to see is that we continue to compete. Every day is not going to be a perfect day. At the end of the day, I want to see if we understand what it takes to grind."
Q: How has camp been going for Pat (Mahomes)?
BIENIEMY: "It's been going well. I will say he had a few hiccups today, but that's part of the process. When you are young, you need those hiccups because they become valuable lessons in life. Would we like for him to be perfect? Yes, we would like for him to have the highest passing quarterback rating ever. He just needs to be poised under pressure. He is doing a good job of getting the calls out. At the end of the day when something goes wrong, he doesn't need to worry about it and move on to the next play."
Q: Is he learning from these interceptions and not seeing the same things?
BIENIEMY: "Yes, and not at all. He even said he could've ran it. I said, 'Listen they all count out the same. Six points is six points. If you can run it, go get it.'"
Q: How much of those interceptions is what he is doing and how much is the defense improving?
BIENIEMY: "That's a part of it, too. Those guys on the other side of the ball get paid to play too. Our defense is doing a heck of a job. Offensively, we have to be mindful. We have to take care of the football. We don't want turnovers, but we understand things are going to happen. Let's learn from it and keep it moving and building as we go forward."
Q: How do you describe the communication from you to Pat once you call the play and watching him command the huddle?
BIENIEMY: "It's been a good process. Obviously as a coach I've had a few hiccups too. I'm not perfect. I will say that. I always point that out to my guys in understanding that we are all human. At the end of the day, if we are all putting in the same time and energy, we want to make sure we are doing it the right way. If I screw up, my job is to have Pat fix it. When Pat messes up, it's my job to help Pat fix it. We are working in cahoots together. The translation has been very good. He does a good job commanding the huddle."
QUARTERBACK PATRICK MAHOMES
Q:I'll ask you to recall one play toward the end of practice, I think you audibled and then you got the ball to (Anthony) Sherman for a touchdown. Can you walk us through that process and just how much are you wanting to do that more in scrimmage settings?
MAHOMES:"Yeah, I mean, within this offense there are plays that are designed against certain coverages, so I don't know if they're necessarily me audibling them or Coach (Andy) Reid pretty much calling them and me having to make the decision. I just made the decision based on the rules that Coach Reid has told me and threw it to (Anthony Sherman) and the O-line blocked great and we got a touchdown out of the play."
Q:Is that a setup where Coach Reid is giving you the options?
MAHOMES:"Yeah, exactly. He gives me the options on the play, we have rules based off coverage, based off different factors. I saw it, was able to recognize the rules and got us into the right play, then you just give it to the playmakers and they make the plays for you."
Q:I want to ask you about another play earlier in practice where it looked like you could have run it in, and the play ended in a pick. What did you see there and why didn't you run it in?
MAHOMES:"Yeah, that was on me, I easily could've ran it in. We were in a live period and I didn't want to hear the defense talking trash to me, if I run it in, because they can't tackle me. So I threw the ball, you play your game, play the game the way it's supposed to be played. Don't try and force something in because they can't tackle you, it's something I just have to learn from. Hopefully in a game I just run it in pretty easy."
Q:Do you feel like you would have done that if it were a game?
MAHOMES:"That's the first thing I said when I came to the sideline, is I would have just ran it in. They said, 'Well then do it. Don't train bad habits.' For me, I've just got to keep working on just running it in knowing they can't tackle me, but at the same time, that's the play that needed to be made on that one."
Q:You had a couple other interceptions today. Do you feel like your correcting the mistakes you make?
MAHOMES:"Yeah, one play, the play was messed up, I called the play bad in the huddle. So, I called the wrong play, they didn't run the right routes because I called the wrong play and then I made the play worse. So, for me it's being able to get in and out of the huddle, call the right plays, and then not making a bad play worse. Something that I've got to keep getting better at. The other interception was on an offsides, so I was just trying to throw the ball and not take a sack on an offsides. We were able to move the chains and get a touchdown on that drive."
Q:Did your arm get hit on that play?
MAHOMES:"They wouldn't touch my arm. We're good with the guys and the defense. It was an offsides, they were rushing, they had a free rusher, so I tried to just get the ball out of my hands, let my receiver try to make a play, I tried to throw it to Kareem (Hunt) on a little seam route, they intercepted it but we had a free play so we were able to move the chains and keep rolling."
Q:With those interceptions, how much is what you're doing on your side and how much is it the defense improving?
MAHOMES:"Definitely. We're doing a lot of stuff on defense that's really good. A lot of different coverages, a lot of different mixing in of blitzes and when to drop people out, so the defense is doing a lot of good stuff, but at the same time I have to eliminate those mistakes. It's something that I said before camp even started, it's a learning process. Hopefully I make those mistakes now and don't make them in the game, so I'm going to keep trying to learn from those and keep trying to get better every single day."
Q:One of the things Coach Reid has complimented you for is having a short memory. When do you think you developed that?
MAHOMES:"I think probably college. Going into college, playing in the spread offense, we were in a lot of high scoring games. If something didn't go your way, you know you have a chance to kind of get back out there and make a play. I always try to have a quick memory. If I throw an interception, I try to bounce back. After the first interception (in practice) we bounced back and I threw a touchdown to Tyreek (Hill). It is just something you try to know and hope that your defense is going to make plays for you as well. You try not to put them in those situations where they are backed up and they are in the redzone. But at the same time, they will make plays for you and then you have to go out there and turn over a new leaf and make a play."
Q: How has the dynamic been working with Coach Bieniemy?
MAHOMES:"I think it has been awesome. He is someone who is very detailed. He is someone who is good with the protections, good with pretty much every nuance of the offense, of the little details, which is something I need to work on every single day. Having him and being able to ask him questions is something I've really tried to utilize as this camp is going on."
Q: How does the process work for you learning from the interceptions?
MAHOMES:"It is everywhere. It is right when you get to the sideline of course. You come to the sideline and you talk to the coach about what they saw, about what you saw and try to get on the same page so you don't make the same mistake. And then you get to the meeting rooms and you see it on film and then you look and see where the better options were on the play. We actually meet with the receivers, quarterbacks and running backs all together and watch it all over again. And so from there I can explain what I was thinking to them, they can explain what they were thinking and that is how you get on the same page as a group."
Q: Are the coaches all telling you different things and each coaching you on different stuff?
MAHOMES:"Not necessarily. We just try to get on the same page, that is the biggest thing. You want to make sure when Coach Reid calls the play and (Eric Bieniemy) says it in to me, you know exactly what he is thinking, I know exactly what he thinks the defense is going to do and if the defense does something different, I know what he would expect me to do. You just try to get on the same page with everything that goes in this offense."
Q: How much is your role to encourage guys and be that motivator on that team?
MAHOMES:"Yeah, I think that comes with being on the offense as a group and having relationships with those guys. You have the pads, we went live today and we amped it up. It is getting hotter out here. We have kind of been blessed with the cool weather. Just having those guys going every single time, I think just as a group we encourage each other and pick each other up. I feel like as practice went on, we are getting better at the end of practice."
Q: Is this the hardest you have ever been coached?
MAHOMES:"They are throwing a lot at me. It is something that I am learning every single day. I have to make sure I am in my playbook every single day and really just doing whatever I can to be prepared for every single practice. They definitely are coaching me really, really hard, but I know at the same time they are just trying to get the best out of me. It has been a great experience so far."
Q: If you could describe this brand of Chiefs offensive football, what would you say?
MAHOMES:"We want to be someone who attacks you and plays fast. We want to get to the line of scrimmage fast. We want to be sure we are on attack at all times. We don't want the defense trying to pressure us, we want to go at them."
Q: With you deciding not to run and throw the ball at the goal line in practice, is there any discussion about how you protect your body during this time of the year?
MAHOMES:"There hasn't been any discussion so far about that. We are in training camp, they aren't tackling me so I haven't really had the chance, having to slide or do anything like that. With that one, they pretty much told me to run the ball in there. 'We know they aren't tackling you, but at the same time you want to train habits and you want to run it in and score the touchdown.'"
Q: What expectations do you have for yourself in the first preseason game?
MAHOMES:"I want to get out there and be efficient. I want to get out there and score touchdowns or field goals. You want to not turn the ball over, you want to go out there and just really execute the offense, get in and out of the huddle and move the chains."
OFFENSIVE LINEMAN CAM ERVING
Q: Coach Andy Reid has praised your versatility on the line. Considering yourself a versatile offensive lineman, how much have you learned from what Zach Fulton was able to accomplish last year in that same role?
ERVING: "I learned a lot from Zach as far as how he just played each position seamlessly. That comes with time, of course. I definitely learned a lot from Zach as far as his approach to the game and how he narrowed things down and didn't try and think about too much."
Q: Do you feel like you need to continue to work at all the spots on the line to help you win the starting left guard spot?
ERVING: "That's one of the things that makes me valuable – being able to be versatile. For a while, I took it as a curse but it's been a blessing. Just being able to learn all the ins-and-outs of each position and over time being able to just focus in on one thing a little bit more and go here or there if I'm needed. It's definitely been great to be versatile. It took a while to learn how to be versatile. I mean, I could go in and step in and do something, but now it's just becoming a little easier – just being able to go in and execute the offense."
Q: Seeing the kind of deal that Fulton got from his versatility, does that provide a little motivation to you?
ERVING: "Man, I want to be great and I've wanted to be great since I was drafted. Being around Zach made me want it a little more. His journey was a little different, but I'm hungry to go get whatever. I'm just thinking about going out and stacking good days on top of good days. What comes in the end or what comes later will come."
Q: You worked a lot with Patrick Mahomes this offseason at the center position. What are your observations of Pat and what do you think you guys need to improve on?
ERVING: "I think Pat is doing a great job as far as just learning what he has to learn, putting the offense in good positions, and making the right calls. The thing I think he's done the best is encouraging guys, even when he's down – or even when he doesn't have a great sequence of plays, he makes sure that he's pushing other guys to get out here and make it happen. We've got to make it happen. I feel like that's one of the things that's going to separate Pat from a lot of people. It's all a learning process – I can attest to that. It's definitely great to go out here and see a guy with such a special arm just come out and learn a little more every day."
CORNERBACK DAVID AMERSON
Q: What's it like guarding Tyreek Hill?
AMERSON: "He's definitely one of the elites in this league. I feel like it's good for you. If you can run with a guy like that then you can run with anybody in the league. It defiantly gets me better."
Q: In baseball, they'll swing a weighted bat. Is it a little bit like that because when you get in a game, you're probably not facing too many better receivers?
AMERSON: "Exactly, like I said you're not going to face that many guys that can run that fast, as Tyreek. Like you said it's definitely going to make it easier in the game for sure."
Q: How do you evaluate your camp so far?
AMERSON:"It's getting better every day. Just finding different things to work on every day and trying to stay active, trying to make plays and trying to be productive."
Q: With a new team, has this been an adjustment for you?
AMERSON: "A little bit yes. I think every team is different, every coaching staffs different, every practice is different. It's been an adjustment but it's been good for me. I think I've adjusted well and I'm enjoying myself.
Q: How is it different?
AMERSON: "I definitely think Coach Reid is old school and the practices are a lot tougher. I definitely see how it prepares you for the game and how it's been a winning program throughout the years."