Opening Comments ...
* *"In looking forward to the Chiefs, this team is very talented, with considerable skill guys, and then obviously the defensive players up front. Jamaal Charles is one of the best runners in the NFL. We know we've got to do a great job containing him. Alex Smith has done a good job since being in Kansas City. This is a team that got off to a good start last year, 7-3 at one point, and lost four of the last six.
"As I told our guys, this is a put-together football team. The tight end (Travis) Kelce is as good a target and receiver of the football as there is in the league and a guy we know a lot about. They bring a guy like (Jeremy) Maclin over from Philadelphia, who had a very strong game on Monday night.
"Their defense is led by (Justin) Houston and (Tamba) HaIi and Derrick Johnson. They'll get Sean Smith back, they've got Eric Berry back playing, and their No. 1 pick (Marcus) Peters from Washington. They've got guys on both sides of the football that are very good players. Both offense and defense, we've got to play great football - better than what we've been playing."
What challenge does a guy like Kelce, who is a big part of their passing, do to a defense?
"He's got great... very good speed. He's got rare speed for a guy that big, and his ability to run after the catch. He's had quite a few of those catch-and-runs that are impressive to watch. You've got to do a great job of tackling, because he's going to run through the tackle. He's not just going to catch the football and go down when he's touched or go down on a half-tackle or an arm tackle, whatever. He's going to run through those arm tackles. He isn't going to run out of bounds, either; he's going to keep coming, so we've got to do a good job."
You haven't had huge numbers by tight ends against you this year, but how do you feel you guys have done?
"Well, you're defending the offense, and he (Kelce) is a big component in this offense."
You and Andy Reid are pretty good friends, what's an Andy Reid football team usually like?
"Well, they're going to come out and really show you a lot of different things right away and try to get the looks that they feel like you'll be in and attack those looks. When you look at their openers and their starting plays and their script going into the game, they give you a lot of different looks and things and then try to focus where they can attack weakness."
The way the league has gone, there's only a handful of running backs who change a game or wreck a game plan. Is Jamaal Charles still one of those guys?
"Oh, I believe so. He gets the ball in so many ways. He gets the ball as a runner; he gets the ball as a receiver, and they're going to try to work to get the ball in his hands in a lot of different ways. He's a matchup that's not a good open-field matchup for most linebackers."
Is their quarterback a guy who stays in the pocket?
"No, Alex Smith is a tremendous athlete. He can run. He's got great speed for a quarterback. The challenge is keeping him in the pocket."
By the numbers, it's the best start of Andy Dalton's career through three games. Are you seeing anything different with him early on?
"I think he's done a good job. He has to keep being Andy and play within the offense.
What makes him so much more comfortable though, laughing after a turnover and being loose on the last drive. Why is that different this year?
"I don't think anyone was joking around after a turnover, so I can't answer that question. I don't see jokes out there. The ball is valuable to us."
Marvin Jones seems to be in groove now that he's been in the end zone. Do you sense that now that he's back?
"He's very confident, and that's good. He was very confident Sunday in the game, and it was great for him to have that kind of football game. The last two weeks, he's had big plays, and those are two big plays by Marvin because it equalizes a lot of things."
You talk a lot about winning contested catches with Marvin Jones. How hard is it to find a guy who has that knack? Is it a rare thing?
"It's a rare thing, but it has to be a strong component for most productive receivers in the NFL. They're strong at the catch, and that can win the contested catch. That's a huge part of being productive at wideout. It's not going to be perfect. You're going to get jostled around, and you're going to get touched. You have to be a strong man at the point."
Gio Bernard, the way he performed in the blitz pickup doing blue collar work, how impressive was that to you?
"It was. The things we have to do in blitz pickup, Gio and Jeremy both, are important. It's going to be part of the deal this week. It's the nature of what we do and who we play in this division. We're playing a team similarly built to an AFC North team."
Obviously during preseason you had a competition at corner. and Darqueze Dennard is still in the back of the room. How tempting is it to try and find time for him, because you know what he can do?
"Well, I wouldn't quite put him in the 'back of the room' (laughs), but he's not starting right now. He had one or two reps on defense in the Oakland game, but his time will come. We need all these guys. His production in other areas is great, we have to keep it up. He's had a good couple weeks of practice since coming back from injury he suffered in training camp, and that's what you have to do. You have to go and be ready. That's the hardest part of the NFL, staying ready and working on your craft all the time. And when your number called, being ready to go and respond."
How close is he to those guys who are currently in front of him?
"He'll play just as well as what we're playing, and I feel good about that. He's smart, and he's trained to play a bunch of different sports there, which is good."
We've seen you in the Fifth Third commercials for cancer. This weekend is obviously the breast cancer awareness game. Just curious on your thoughts and the game's importance as it continues to grow each year?
"It is important. It's hit home hard inside this stadium. I emailed my compadre over there (Bengals.com writer Geoff Hobson) earlier this morning when I read his story. I thought it was incredible what he captured. The thing we did with John (the cancer patient on the commercial and the players, it meant a lot to the players, and the time spent during that day was awesome. I think it shapes their lives a little bit, too. Some of them, the reason why they volunteered to be a part of it, is that they had been affected by cancer. We've all been affected by cancer at some point, and this game brings it to light."
With Eric Berry coming in from the Kansas City Chiefs and his battle with Hodgkin's lymphoma, its kind of an ironic twist. What's your take on Eric Berry?
"He was such a fine football player, and he's back out there playing now, and it looks like he hasn't missed a beat. That's just awesome. Finding out when he did, having to sit out and to undergo treatment, and for him to come back and be playing NFL football again is incredible."