Initial Comments ...
"I think going back to the first part of the game, what I remember most is that we are not converting third downs. We are moving the ball; we are getting stalled out. We have to do a better job of that. We are making first downs, and getting into third down situations and not converting. We have to do a better job of converting (third downs). Conversely, on the other side, we are letting drives continue with third down conversions. That had to be the difference with our first unit over the first 15 minutes or so. That is big. That is something we have to be better at; we haven't hit our stride yet with it and we have to be better going forward.
"I thought our other guys didn't play to the standard they need to play to when we took the (starters) out. AJ (QB AJ McCarron) did some good things in his first drive before halftime, and continued to move the ball, but again — we got stalled out on third down. We have to do a better job, and defensively, we didn't play well in the second half.
"We had two sudden change situations tonight; I think they scored touchdowns on both with the short punt and later, the interception. It was a good teaching tool for the defense."
You mention the third down conversions, you would like to see some touchdowns?
"It's great for our two kickers. But I don't mind if they kick PATs."
Speaking of the kickers, they were perfect tonight. It doesn't seem like a lot of difference between them?
"Both of them responded tonight with their kickoffs and obviously, with their execution on field goals."
It seems like the kicking competition is going to go down to the wire?
"It's going to keep going."
What is your biggest concern about this team midway through the preseason?
"We haven't played a regular-season game yet. You can't gauge, and I am not going to tell you what it is anyway."
How much can you take from preseason games?
"We take the corrections. That is the biggest thing. The scheme sometimes doesn't match up because we are not spending time on the Kansas City Chiefs that way, so sometimes things aren't quite the way you want. You just want to make sure what is called, in all three phases, is executed. In that part, you don't want to have a breakdown mentally or physically."
You wouldn't look at a couple long drives by Kansas City with the first team (defense) in there as a red flag?
"I wish we could script it again because I want to get their wind. That is the only way you can get your wind is to stay out there and play like they have had to play. That is good for those guys to have to play through that. If I ever had a concern, it's that they go in there and stop them too early, and think they should come out. Then we are not ready for the regular season. I can't simulate playing real football against a team and a long drive like that. The pushing and shoving, and all the things that happen up front - the wear and tear on your legs; the physical part of that. There is no way mimic that."
The first team offense hasn't scored a touchdown, is that a concern?
"They have been out there, and they are pushing and shoving, and that is good. We haven't had a three-and-out, we keep going, we make first downs, we make plays — we just have to continue to make them. We have to convert those third downs, and keep the drives going."
Do you have an update on Shawn Williams?
Can you comment on the other receivers?
"I can't do much from the top of my head."
Has Trey Hopkins done enough to win the starting job at right guard?
"I haven't watched the tape to see where we are. I hope Trey had a good night tonight; I hope things looked good for him. We seemed to be able to throw the football on time, protect the quarterback, and that is what we have to do. I know that one stunt beat us, and that is something to learn from. Other than that, I thought we had clean pockets, and that is what we have to have."
What do you want to accomplish in the next two preseason games?
"What we try to accomplish is get guys out there playing. The biggest thing is, we are working on conditioning. We are working on guys vying for spots; that is what the preseason is about, and the opportunity to do that. That is the best part for us as coaches. We want the execution to be 100 percent, and that is what we are striving for, no matter who is out there. That is the standard they have to be held to, and when you are a young guy, you never know when your number is going to get called. So you have to be ready to go. That is how they are trying to win jobs."
Andy, obviously things didn't go the way you hoped it would unfold. They seemed to have played a little bit better from when they played the 49ers. They got handled up front and they seemed to want to make restitutions for it. They played pretty hard ...
"Yeah they did play hard. I think for us it's that we were moving the ball well. We just couldn't convert when we were down in the red zone. We got that first down to get us down there where we couldn't make a play to score a touchdown. Obviously we are going to look at it, see what we can do to get better down there. I thought that especially for that first trip, we moved the ball well. We just have to make a play when we are down there."
Week 1 you settled for a field goal on that first drive. This week you settled for it again. It's just making one big play to get you over the hump ...
"Yeah I think at that point, once you are down there, you just have to make that play. We haven't done that so far."
Did they do anything different? I know they play a lot of fair defense anyways. The running game, gap speed, their backside lineman. That seemed to beat you a little bit ...
"Yeah I think it's one of those things, going into this game that was a big point of emphasis. We were sticking to it and couldn't stop the defense they played. I think we wanted to work on it a little bit from what we were doing last week. For us, we have to find a way to make the guy miss or open these holes big enough for our guys to make big runs."
Now you have a long week. You don't play until Sunday so it's like a regular season schedule for you next week. Will there be more game planning for the Redskins potentially?
"I'm sure there will be. I think that's one thing we'll do. Because we play on Sunday, we will be able to treat it just like a normal week."
Any red flags that the first offense hasn't scored a touchdown in the first two games? Is there a red flag there?
"Yeah we just have to make the play when we are down there and we didn't do that tonight."
The throw to A.J. Green, what was happening there? It looked like you had the matchup you wanted ...
The third-and-two. The last play for you ...
"Yeah they defended it well. We thought we were going to have a one-on-one chance. The corner played in between. We didn't get the exact look how we wanted it."
You are trying to improve every series. Do points matter? Do touchdowns matter?
"Sure, we want to score a touchdown every time we have the ball. For us, we didn't do that. I thought we moved the ball really well. I think we've done that in these first two games but when we get down there we have to score touchdowns."
The sack came off of the stunt?
"Yeah I turned around and there was a guy free. It's one of those things that maybe if it's more of a game plan week, you're ready for something like that. They had a good stunt call."
What Marvin Lewis' message to you guys after the game?
"We have to come back to work, we've got to fix it and we've got to do better — it wasn't good enough tonight."
There are a lot of numbers at your position. How do you not let that affect you day-to-day or during a game?
"At the end of the day, it's about making the most of your opportunity, and if you let that stuff sink in, it's going to affect your play and it's all going to snowball from there. You can't control any of that stuff. You can't control the numbers. All you can control is how you come to work every day, how you prepare and how you go out and execute. Just keep the focus on that."
Can you talk about the long reception you had at toward the end of the first half?
"Yeah, they were just in man-to-man coverage, and you've just got to be able to separate sometimes. The line protected, AJ (McCarron) threw a good ball, and we were able to get down the field and get some points before the half."
You also had a catch over the middle that seemed to really show your toughness ...
"Yeah, I think so. If you drop it, you're still going to get (the impact of) the same hit, so you might as well catch it."
You took a kick return eight yards deep in the end zone and then returned it nearly 40 yards. Is that a kick you would attempt to return during the regular season, or were you just determined to make a big play there?
"I don't know. Sometimes it's a feel thing. Some days, you would sit that down (and take a knee); some days you bring it out. It just felt like it was an opportunity for us as a kickoff return unit to get a return, because we didn't have any chances last game and that was the only chance tonight. Those plays are — the way the kickers can kick the ball — few and far between now, so you've got to take advantage of it. The 10 guys up front gave me a seam, and I tried to take advantage of it."
You got to the quarterback again tonight. How would you assess your performance?
"It's a privilege to pass rush, and we've got to stop them on first and second down to get noticed on third down. The thing about it is, we've got to work on our run(defense. We'll get better at it. When it's time to pin your ears back, you've got to go."
The Bengals traded for you. How much did that make you feel wanted and help you get going tonight?
"It felt like being drafted all over again. When they gave me the call, it kind of shocked me. I tell everybody, 'Always go hard, no matter what game and no matter who's winning, because you never know who's watching.' I'm blessed to be part of the Bengals organization. Mr. (Mike) Brown and Mr. (Marvin) Lewis brought me in. They brought me in to rush, so I'm just trying to fulfill my duty."
Is Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes frustrating to chase after?
"Oh man — c'mon (laughs)! I hit the him once and said, 'Why won't you just fall?!' (laughs) But he's a very elusive quarterback. He's the 10th pick (in this year's draft). That's the reason he went (10th), because he was moving and stuff like that. That's one thing about it — we tried to get after him."
You're working on your conditioning. How did you feel out there tonight?
"I felt great. Last week, I was a little winded, but this week, I didn't feel it at all and kept going. When they needed me out there, I was able to go. It's getting better, and as I continue to go out there and play, it's obviously going to continue to get better. So I'm good. I like where I'm at right now."
Obviously with the big difference, did you put in extra conditioning training this week?
"Oh yeah. It was hotter this week, too, which definitely helped out with the conditioning part. But we'd like to go out there and play at a higher level and execute better. Next week, we get a shot to go out and do that."
How is the running back core jelling with Joe Mixon added to the mix?
"It's great. Obviously, we didn't rush the ball the way we wanted to rush the ball today, but obviously, like I said, we get another crack at it next week. But Joe's coming along fine. For us, it's not about finding the ball, it's about pass (protection) game stuff and just making sure that we're protecting Andy (Dalton). And he's done a great job of that. We're just going to continue to help him along in that way."
Guys get hurt. That's a part of the game, and that happened to safety Shawn Williams tonight. How confident are you in the guys to step up in the secondary?
"I'm definitely confident in the guys we have here; I think the coaches would say the same thing. For me personally, whenever I get back out there — hopefully it's (sometime) this week — it's about getting my legs back under me and kind of picking up where I left off, where I started the first few days and meshing well with whoever's out there, feeding off each other and making sure we're on the same page so we don't start off slow as a unit."
After Shawn got hurt, did you go to check on him?
"Yeah. I just told him that obviously it's not what anybody wants. Obviously it's not what he wants. He works hard in the off season, and for that to happen, he's got to be crushed. It's not what we wanted as a defense, as a team or as people who are just friends of his. But I just told him to try to find some positive out of it because there's always light at the other side of the tunnel, and it's nothing he can't come back from and bounce back, whenever he comes back.
"Obviously, he's down — I would be, too. I was down when I got injured. But I feel like once he finds out the extent of his injury, he'll get very gritty with himself once he has an idea of what he has to face what he comes back."
With your own injury, does it make you second guess wanting to play in the preseason at all?
"I just want to be at top form when the season comes. It starts this week. I don't know what they've got planned for me, but I am a firm believer. At least for me right now, I believe that mentally I'm still kind of sharp. But as a defensive back, I feel like I need a certain number of reps and game tempo just to get into rhythm. Everything else is for Coach Lewis to determine. I'm just trying to work myself back into form, and whatever they ask of me, I'm going to do."
Kansas City scored 30 points, but you are still fine tuning things as a defense. What are your thoughts on the game tonight?
"We have a lot of corrections to make on this tape. We had a lot of young guys get some early snaps. We've got to see a lot of things — we've got a lot we can learn from and help the young guys. We've gotten to get better as a team as well. In this third game, we're going to get a lot of snaps. We need to be in sync so that when the season comes, we can hit it rolling rather than having to get started. I feel like this next game is going to be a real test for us."
When you see tape from a game like this, how much does it help you fine tune those mistakes?
"It helps a lot, because you have an opportunity to fix them now. We faced an offense we won't really face in the regular season, but still, there are some fundamental technique things we can get and correct for young guys as well as veterans and tune up on it."
What was your opinion of Chris Smith's play tonight? I got to the QB several times ...
"I know , right? He's been getting after that quarterback. Obviously, he's a great natural pass rusher and that's what we're looking for — guys who can close the game and get after the quarterback. So it's going to be a fun preseason, and as you saw, he got some early snaps and was still able to get back there. So it's going to get interesting. We've got some young talent that can help us. Like I've been saying this whole time, we have a lot of young talent."
A lot of guys have been talking about how their bodies are sore from training camp. Is that the case with you?
"Yeah, 2 weeks in, that's when it finally catches up to you and start feeling (bumps and bruises). One of the things today was we came in and weren't exactly (energetic) as we should have been — we didn't have enough juice. We didn't have enough juice like we normally would."
CHIEFS POSTGAME QUOTES
AUG. 19, 2017
KANSAS CITY AT CINCINNATI
Initial comments ...
"Kareem Hunt tweaked his ankle in the first quarter. He's fine. Marcus Peters has a shoulder contusion but he's fine. I thought all three phases did a nice job in this game. We tried to run a little more than we did last week. Marvin (Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis) has a really good team, and I knew this would be a good test for us. Our offensive line is showing some continuity, which is a positive. The three quarterbacks did a nice job. It was good to get those guys some work. Our first team defense was outstanding. They challenged the Bengals and had some nice breakups. It was a good test for us. We still have a ton of room to improve, but we'll go back to the drawing board and work on that this week."
What was the key to getting the run game on track?
"I told the guys we were going to run the ball a little more, and they took it as a challenge. They handled it and did well. The continuity is a big thing."
RB Kareem Hunt seemed to see a lot of playing time ...
"I wanted to see him, and I wanted him to see the speed of the game against a good defense."
What do you think tonight's game will do for Kareem Hunt's confidence?
"He did a nice job and played physical. He has an idea of the physical demands and the shape you need to be in to carry the ball like that. He did a good job at pass protection and route running."
Were you happy with the way RB Charcandrick West played?
"Yeah, Charcandrick is one of my favorite guys. He comes to work every day with a smile on his face and loves to play. It was good to see him get out there and work. He played last year through a high ankle sprain, and that kind of slowed him down a bit."
What can you do to improve red-zone and short yardage runs?
"That's a tough area. We gave it a couple of cracks and we had a holding call down there. We have to take care of business there."
Do you think you're seeing QB Alex Smith at his best?
"He's playing good football. He's in there and helping the young guys. They love challenging each other. They throw the ball against the goal post and compete there. Everything is a competition — they love it and thrive on it, but they support each other and that's fun to watch."
It seems like TE Demetrius Harris has really focused on his hands ...
"He has focused on that. He spent a lot of time in that area. He's really gone above and beyond on that."
Do you think your No. 2 QB is on the current roster, or will you keep looking?
"All three guys played well. You could go into a game with those guys and feel comfortable. We never close our eyes to anything, our eyes are always open, but these guys showed they can play and move the ball."
How do you think QB Patrick Mahomes played tonight?
"He did a nice job. He's a guy who moves around. You get tired when you're running around like that, and you need to keep yourself in top shape. I thought he played well."
It's just the preseason, but you have to be happy with how you guys are performing so far ...
"Yeah, I think 'happy' — I think you said it right. We treated it for what it is. We had a chance to have a dress rehearsal against a really good team. We hadn't game-planned for them. We just kind of wanted to come out put up some of our good stuff and see if we could execute it. I thought coach put a good, concise little plan together for us that we could go out and execute. It was nice to see it. No one skipped a beat, right? Everyone was kind of feeding off each other, going out there making plays, even to the end."
On the touchdown to Demetrius Harris, that was good coverage ...
"It was a heck of a catch. There's a lot of communication that goes on down there. He's a guy that just continues to just plug away and gets better, better and better — run game and pass game. With (Travis) Kelce out, it nice to see him get for that week in camp a lot of work. He works really hard, and he's a guy I know I have a lot of trust in when he's in there, because he's capable of playing at a really high level."
On the one to Travis Kelce coming down the middle ...
"We had an ideal look for the play and just needed to pick up the protection, and the guys up front did that. Kelce saw it right, made the right adjustment, and, really, my job was easy. The crucial thing on that is the protection. They were bringing pressure, and we able to pick it up and make a play."
There was a pretty small spot to put that ball. Are you conscious of the risk you were taking?
"You take it all the time. He was matched up on the middle backer going down the field, and I think those are the kind of risks you really take. There are not many linebackers in the league you're not going to make that throw against."
Can you be more efficient than what you guys were tonight?
"We wanted to go out there and take another step, right? We wanted to use our rules. We knew this was a good defense. We just wanted to go out there and execute. No matter the situation we found ourselves in, just take it for what it is. I thought the fact the protection again was outstanding tonight against a really good front, it really all started with that. The run game got started early, which was really, really nice for us, and it opened up some things down the field. I thought we executed pretty well tonight. We'll have to take a look at the film."
A couple guys after last week said they thought the offensive line was going to be challenged this week, not just because they were going up against a good front, but because they know they needed to be better up front. Did you sense a difference in those guys up front this week?
"The little bit you do watch this year — yesterday and today sitting around waiting — you know you're playing a good front. Like I said, I don't think the mindset changed all camp. Those guys just have a blue collar mentality, come to work each day, and do what's asked of them. I think it was nice just to get the ball rolling a bit in the run game. It's so nice when you have both of those things going with the pass and keep the defense on their heels."
How does it feel coming home to Cincinnati to face the Bengals?
"It feels good. I had many friends and family in the stands. Some of my former mentors and teachers from Princeton showed up too. Also, a number of guys that I used to play with there. It was cool.
"I always enjoy coming home. I make it back as much as I can in the offseason, and I do my best to keep up with Princeton throughout the football season. I wish them success this upcoming season."
Cincinnati is just a few hours from where you grew up, did tonight seem somewhat like a homecoming for you?
"I was like a homecoming a little bit. I did see a lot of my family here. I was a great night to come out and play the way I did. Honestly, I give the props to the offensive line. They played well and stayed on their blocks all night."
Did you expect to get a good number of touches on the football tonight?
"I knew from our game plan that I would have some opportunities tonight. I felt like I took advantage of each call that came my way. I am so thankful for our guys up front. They opened up some nice holes, and my job is simply to run hard through them."
At this point in the preseason, how comfortable do you feel with the offense?
"Honestly, I'm getting very comfortable with every aspect of our offense. I feel that I understand our playbook, and that allows me to play fast. My reads of the defense are getting quicker too. Overall, I'm happy with my progression and understanding of our offensive scheme. I love getting to run the ball."
When you came out of the game it appeared that you had a limp, are you OK?
"Yeah. At that point in the game, I had gotten a number of touches. It was the coach's decision, not an injury situation."
You didn't get too many snaps in the first preseason game. We're you satisfied getting more opportunities tonight?
"I felt good getting out there tonight and getting plays at game-speed. When we enter Week 1 of the regular season, I don't want the speed of play to a surprise to me."
Does the knee injury you sustained last season linger in the back of your mind?
"After going through what I went through last season and now having the opportunity to play again, it's a blessing. This is just football, and I excited to get to play again. I am playing at one 100 percent now, last season I was maybe 75. I just didn't have the endurance that I've regained this offseason."
Any general thoughts on tonight's game?
"Tonight was a series of tests that we can grow from. We saw a number pieces come together. It was good to see some of our young guys make plays."
The quarterback position is one that people are talking about in Kansas City. Do you have any thoughts on the play?
"Our quarterback play is as good as it gets. We have a veteran in Alex (Smith), and we like the play of Patrick (Mahomes) too. It doesn't matter who's in the game because they both can deliver the football.
It was a big night for Mahomes. Did he have any play in particular that stood out to you?
"He made a couple plays where he threw from his back foot and still put the ball where it was supposed to go. Those types of plays are ones that you cannot teach. He does a lot of things very well."
Is Mahomes having a training camp that you would consider as successful as the play he displayed on the field tonight?
"He's on-point, and the reason our offense is clicking as well as it is. He is a competitor and we're having fun right now."