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What We Learned From Wednesday's Media Availability

Andy Reid, Alex Smith, Kareem Hunt and Tyreek Hill spoke to the media on Wednesday



Opening Statement: **"As far as injuries go, Eric Fisher and (Travis) Kelce are sick, so they will not be at practice. Tamba (Hali) won't practice today and Kevin Pierre-Louis has a shoulder and he won't practice today. Look forward to playing the Dolphins. Again, we know they're a good football team and so we're going to prepare ourselves for that. Look forward to playing again at home, at Arrowhead. Should be a great crowd. Great football. We welcome the Dolphins in to that."

Q: What are some areas you still see some work with Tyreek Hill?

REID: "I would tell you just consistent route running. He's going to continue to work on that. It's something he's worked really hard at and has gotten very good at, but he can take it up even another notch there. It's a matter of getting through that first year. Seeing all the different defenses, the secondary, looks that you're going to get and have an opportunity to work those routes against those coverages."

Q: Is it fair to say he was more raw than most receivers in the draft as he was perceived throughout the draft?

REID: "Well, yeah because they split duty with him. He did a little bit of receiver, a little bit of running back. So he had to learn some things there. I know Jeremy Maclin was very good for him. Greg (Lewis) has been very good for him. Greg and he both had that same type of game, that speed game, not the biggest guys, but both of them made a living off of that. Greg's been a good asset for him."

Q: How is he still able to get that distance between him and everyone else?

REID: "Some of it is learning how to run routes. He's learned how to release and one thing people think they can do is bump and run him. You've got to be real careful of that. If you miss then he's gone and he's gotten a lot better at that. You want to come up and press him, there's that consequence."

Q: Are you surprised Alex (Smith) didn't make the Pro Bowl?

REID: "Alex made it as a first alternate. Listen, I'm a big fan of his so I would tell you sure, I thought he should have been in. But that's neither here nor there. He's not. That doesn't matter what I say. But he sure has had a great year."

Q: Can you talk about Reggie Ragland and the development he's had this season?

REID: "Reggie's done a nice job. He's getting better every week, more familiar with the defense. He brings a great attitude. When he hits you, he's going to thump you a little bit. He brings a little pack with his punch."

Q: How has the process been with Matt Nagy calling plays?

REID: "I think he's done a nice job. It's allowed me to kind of roam and do some things there. It's worked well."

Q: Does that give you more attention on defense?

REID: "You can just see. You get to see more of the game. But I've done it both ways and there are pluses and minuses to both. But I have a lot of trust in Matt, so that helps."

Q: How much did you guys talk leading up to that?

REID:"He's been with me a long time. He kind of knows how we go about business or how I go about business. At the same time, I want him to add his flare to it and there's nothing wrong with that. Again, we want to run the offense and he believes in the offense, and I have trust there that he's going to do a good job with it."

Q: As a head coach, is it more exciting for you to wrap something up and have a week to rest some guys or prepare for postseason?

REID: "I think there's got to be an urgency from everybody, I believe. So that's what I felt coming in, when the players came in here yesterday, so I feel it today. But there has to be an urgency all the way around – you aren't guaranteed of anything. So every game becomes the most important game. If it wasn't before it surely is now. We put ourselves in this position, so we have to make sure we stay focused and that's how I look at it. I can't speak for anybody, but I mean I've felt that the last couple of days."

Q: Do you feel like you'll rest some guys?

REID: "I haven't gotten that far. I have done that before. But I'm kind of narrowed in on this thing and I don't want to go any further than that. Just want to stay with this (Miami)."

Q: What stands out with the Dolphins defense, particularly Ndamukong Suh?

REID: "First of all they are very good on third down, very good third down defense. Ndamukong Suh is a very powerful man and he is also smart. The whole defense wants to play on the other side of the line of scrimmage. So we take that into account. They've got good players. Good coaches and good players. We've got to have a good week of practice here, make sure we get everything down."



Q**: Are you upset not being on the Pro Bowl roster?

SMITH:"No, I wasn't even aware coming out. There are a lot of good players. I am pumped for the guys on this team that did make it and I am humbled to be a first alternate. There are some good QBs there. To be honest, hopefully we're not even playing in it. It is kind of a funny thing but I am focused on my end."

Q: Did you get some good stuff for the offensive line?

SMITH:"I try to. I try to take care of those guys and mix it up every year, do some different stuff. It is hard to shop for that many guys, lot of tastes and different things. Hopefully they will enjoy it."

Q: How did you decide on the coolers?

SMITH:"Lot of brain storming. Last year they got suits, this year they got Yeti coolers."

Q: Did you learn from someone to take care of the offensive line or is it just something you do?

SMITH:"A lot of different guys, they kind of do their own thing. They are always kind of the underappreciated group on offense. Those guys work really hard and take a lot of pride in what they do. They are a tight knit group. Just small token here this time of year, just try to let them know how much I appreciate them."

Q: What happens if you don't take care of them?

SMITH:"Hopefully they are still blocking, hopefully it doesn't matter. I don't know if those guys expect anything or what, but like I said, it is something small for them this time of year. They do put in a lot of work. A lot of sacrifice to keep me clean, let them know how much I appreciate that."

Q: What has been different with you pushing the ball down the field this year?

SMITH:"Probably a lot of things. I do feel like for one, we have a lot of guys who can make plays down the field. I think Coach is putting us in good situations. And then, it is something we worked really hard. It is something I worked hard at, all of us putting in the time together. I think really going back to OTAs, especially this last year and then all of camp. This camp more than any other I felt like we got a lot of that work in. I don't know if it was necessarily something that was conscious. It was just something that kept coming up and coming up and carried on into the regular season. Like I said, we have a lot of guys that can make plays down the field and really trusting them and giving them a chance."

Q: Even if Tyreek isn't the first option, do you see him one-on-one and immediately want to go to him?

SMITH:"I told him all week on that. It is obviously designed for elsewhere but, yeah I told him all week to be ready for that. Depending on the look, it definitely could be coming his way. I think that is something we are growing on, too. Everybody kind of seeing the same thing together. Him understanding that we were playing on the flip right here and it might be coming. Then being able to hit it. Everybody continuing to grow as an offense. Everybody on the same page, seeing the same thing, reacting to it the same way."

Q: Does this Dolphins team seem unpredictable?

SMITH:"There has been a big spectrum. At times they have played some really good football and there are times you turn on the tape and every facet of the game they are playing at a really high level. And you can understand the expectations they had for themselves at the beginning of the season because of that. I felt like they dealt with a lot. Certainly playing at a really high level. "

Q: They are really good on third down defense, where have you guys gotten better at converting?

SMITH:"I think trying to stay out of the third and real longs. Those are hard versus any defense, let alone a good one. Minimizing negative plays and keeping it ahead of schedule so to speak there and executing when you need to on third down."

Q: How is it during the week with Nagy and the play calling?

SMITH:"I think keeping the communication open all week as you talked about. 'What if they play us like this?' and 'Are you thinking this?' And I think it is an open communication with everybody including Nagy and Coach Reid. A lot of that allows you to play that game as it leads up to game day and you can play a lot of that out. There is a lot of unknown. You don't totally know sometimes. So I think you try to play a lot of that out and through the week and try to keep that communication open. I think that pays off on game day."

Q: Do you think you are still in a good position going into the playoffs?

SMITH:"Yeah, we have put ourselves in a good position and a good situation right now and we have to go take care of business. Big opportunity in front of us this week. From day one, all the goals you set out, the first one is make the playoffs and win the division. That is what it starts with. We are in a situation to do that and we need to go take care of business."



Q: **How's it feel to be going to the Pro Bowl?

HUNT:"It's a great feeling. Great opportunity for me to get to meet some guys and experience something like this."

Q:Where were you at when you got the news?

HUNT:"I was actually shopping with some kids last night and I got the news from Coach."

Q:What does that mean to you to be included in that group of players?

HUNT:"It means a lot. The top guys get to go to something like this and this means a lot to me."

Q:When did it become something that you thought maybe would be feasible for you to be able to do?

HUNT:"I just go out there and play football every game and really don't look at the big picture. Just go out there and try to control what I can control and make plays and good things happen when you do that."

Q:Can you explain how you've seemed a little more dynamic the last couple of weeks? Did you get some energy back? Did you get stronger with more carries? Is it just our perception?

HUNT:"It's big games and I'm a guy who likes to compete and win and like to show up when the game's on the line."

Q:At any point in the season did you feel like you were getting heavy-legged or tired?

HUNT:"No, not really. I was just going out there, doing what I can do and when my number was called to get the ball I tried to make the most of it."

Q:Andy said it was kind of a mixed bag. There were things he thought you could do better and things he thought the offensive line could've done better in that bad stretch. What were the things he talked to you about as far as some of the things you could've improved on?

HUNT:"It's a couple things. I coach myself hard and I definitely feel like there was some things I could've done better in that stretch. Maybe being a little more patient and maybe even run a little bit harder."

Q:How does the December Kareem Hunt compare to the September version?

HUNT:"I feel like I learned a lot about the game. Being able to recognize defenses and see what teams are doing and stuff like that. So more experience."

Q:How is an honor like this something you share with your teammates, particularly the guys upfront who help you out the most?

HUNT:"I thank those guys. If it wasn't for them I wouldn't be into something like this. Great feeling. I had to thank those guys and I look forward to doing something for them."

Q:What are you going to do for them?

HUNT:"Maybe get them something nice."

Q:Do you have anything in mind?

HUNT:"I got a couple things but I can't really say."

Q:Do you feel like you have to top what Alex (Smith) got them?

HUNT:"No. You know I'm still a rookie, in my rookie contract."



Q: **Coach says that teams better be cautious if they try and bump and run. When you line up and you think there's maybe a bump and run, do you lick your chops?

HILL:"I do kind of. There's always that feeling when you know you're about to get the ball. So yes, I do lick my chops a little bit."

Q:You've made a lot of improvement as a receiver since you've been here. Is there something in mind that you're focused on improving even more going forward?

HILL:"I would say my dedication to route running. I feel like I tend to sometimes try to depend on my speed too much and rely on my speed to beat corners when instead it's all about technique and fundamentals. That's what I'm going to work on this whole offseason. Coach Reid, G Lew (Greg Lewis) and those guys do a great job of telling me and teaching me the small things on how to reach the next level on how to be a great receiver. So I'm going to continue to work, continue to learn from the other receivers in the room and keep improving."

Q:What are you proudest of in your improvement since you got here?

HILL:"I'm just proud to be here for real. It's a blessing. Each and every day I get to fulfill my dream, but also be a role model to other people. So I'm the most proud of that. I love the game, I'm very passionate about the game, but I also get to help shape other folks lives."

Q:Are there other guys around the league that you have watched or that you plan on watching in the offseason to learn some of those details and nuances of route running? Who do you watch?

HILL:"I would say Antonio Brown, but I'm more of a Stefon Diggs guy. So I kind of look at him, how he gets in and out of his cuts is tremendous. I kind of look at him and Antonio."

Q:How much has Alex helped you reach your potential up until this point and your chemistry with him, how much has that been part of your development?

HILL:"Alex has helped me a lot off the field, and on the field he's been a tremendous leader obviously. He's going to do that. He's our quarterback, he's our leader so that's his job."

Q:On the touchdown the other night was that going to be your route when you broke the huddle?

HILL:"It's my route regardless. It was designed play for someone else and Alex noticed that it was a bump and run and he made a great throw, offensive line protected well and I was able to get down the field and score."

Q:So you were going to run that route anyway but the ball was supposed to go to someone else?

HILL:"Yes sir."

Q:Should Alex have been one of the three quarterbacks named to the Pro Bowl team?

HILL:"Is this even a question right now? Yes. I do feel like Alex did get snubbed. He's a Pro Bowl quarterback. Obviously, he's a Hall of Fame quarterback as a (member of the) Chiefs. The stats are there so I do feel like he did get snubbed. He's a great player."

Q:Do you feel like you got snubbed as a wide receiver?

HILL:"Oh yes definitely. I was definitely upset. I made the Pro Bowl that's good, but I feel like I made the transition to make it to the Pro Bowl as a receiver. That was one of my goals at the beginning of the year."

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