Head Coach John Harbaugh
Opening statement: "OK, great to see you guys – appreciate everybody being here. Obviously, we're working hard on Kansas City. [We] have been at it for two days putting the game plan together. You see what has made them successful over the last seven weeks is the fact that they're playing good, complementary football. They don't turn the ball over. They get turnovers. They've been able to run the ball. [They are] playing solid run defense and playing good situational football. It's impressive what they've done, and we're looking forward to the challenge of playing them on Sunday and trying to find a way to get a win."
You worked with Chiefs head coach Andy Reid for a long time. When you see his bunch on film, do you see any spot on similarities to what you're trying to do here or any real market differences? (Joe Platania) "I haven't looked at it like that, in all honesty. I haven't thought about it that way. I see a lot of familiar stuff, certainly, with what they do. But times change, and they're always evolving their offense. They're running more spread stuff. They're running a lot of the read-option stuff. That has been new to the whole league in the last couple years, and Andy is running that. [Spread game analysis/special projects coach] Brad Childress is the organizer of that for their offense. We know their coaches. We know their philosophies, and it's obviously on tape. They're doing a great job with it, and they've been very successful."
John, you signed QB Ryan Mallett yesterday. What do you see as his role, at least for this year? (Jamison Hensley) "Well, we'll see. We're in a situation right now where [the] quarterback situation is up in the air, obviously, with the injury to Matt [Schaub] and Joe [Flacco] before that. Matt is going to take some reps today in practice and see how he feels, how he responds to that. Of course, Jimmy [Clausen] will probably get most of the reps in practice today, and then Ryan will be working the 'look' team and getting accustomed to what we do. He was in meetings pretty much all day yesterday with [quarterbacks coach] Marty [Mornhinweg] and then studying on his own trying to learn our offense and learn this game plan to be ready in case he's needed. I think that's where we're at for the rest of the year. Obviously, he's a guy that has had a certain amount of success in the NFL, has a lot of talent. He has had his ups and downs. We've talked about those things with him, and he's a guy … Guys go through things in life and in careers, and we'll see if he can get it going in the right direction. He's certainly capable of doing it. I love his demeanor, love his attitude – what I've seen of it so far – and am looking forward to working with him."
Is this sort of like a trial period for QB Ryan Mallett for the rest of the year? (Jerry Coleman) "I don't know. I haven't thought of it, as defined that way." (Reporter: "Based on his history though, the red flags that were there – they were coming out of the Draft – he has been let go by two teams. The thought process going into this whole thing …") "You mean from a behavior standpoint?" (Reporter: "Yes, sir.") "I think everybody is on that kind of trial in life, just like you are, I am – everybody is. When you get a couple strikes against you, it certainly brings it into sharp focus. But he deserves … He has an opportunity here. I don't know if he deserves – I don't think anybody deserves – but a better word would be he has an opportunity to make the best of it. He's determined to do that, and what he makes of it, really, in the end, is up to him."
John, in putting together a game plan now with so many new pieces and wanting to look at different guys, do you go back to the drawing board now, or is it plug in these guys? Are you trying to curtail [the game plan] to, "This is might be what he does well, so let's see how he does?" Is the process more interesting, maybe, in some regard? (Pete Gilbert) "It's a combination of a lot of different things. We definitely do not start from scratch. We've been at this for a long time, and we have a lot of players playing out there that have been out there from the beginning and have been a part of what we're doing. We build on that. You build on where you're at. Yes, there are new pieces you have to plug in and get up to speed. In a lot of ways, that's part of it. There are different guys in different places. If we had everybody healthy, you kind of keep moving forward, but we have to find the best game plan for this week – like you said – with what guys can do well and what we can execute, what we can operate and what attacks their defense and what gives them trouble. You, as the best you can, you put all that stuff together – put a good game plan together – and one that give you a chance to win the football game. Now, you prepare guys in practice to go out and execute the game plan, because in the end, that's what gets it done."
John, with QB Ryan Mallett, is there any chance he gets on the field this season? (Jamison Hensley) "Sure. He's here; he's on the team. Yes, there's absolutely a chance."
Coach, when you look at QB Alex Smith, he's a quarterback with a lot of high-percentage throws. Is this one of those games where you feel that you need to be more aggressive defensively in trying to generate turnovers? (Turron Davenport)"You'd have to define what that would mean. We're always trying to be as aggressive as we can possibly be to generate turnovers, stops, sacks, anything we can do to play good defense."
With all the talk of G/T Kelechi Osemele playing left tackle, you mentioned on Sunday that it was "get the five best players on the field." That includes G/C Ryan Jensen. He has been here for a long time, and this is his first real opportunity. What have you seen from him in his starts so far? (Jon Meoli) "I think Ryan has played well, but not as well as he can play. He has had some good games for us and some good outings. He had some really good plays in the game, and he had some plays he'd want to have back, certainly. I'm looking for improvement – looking for improvement from everybody – and to see what we can do out there on Sunday with that offensive line. But I like those guys. I like Ryan. I thought 'K.O.' [Kelechi Osemele] played well, and yet, there are going to be so many things he can do better as he gets feel for the position. John Urschel is young [and] starting his second or third game in there for the season. [There are] a lot of things he can do better and a lot of things he did well. [We] have to keep building on those things."
Have you spoken to the team – this may be a guess on my part – about the fact that the Chiefs have been able to … They started so poorly – I think 1-5 – and turned it around. [Have you used that] as an example that you guys can do the same thing? I mean, it's the NFL – everybody has a chance – and they've taken advantage of it. (Jerry Coleman) "We speak about the opponent and who they are and what they do and how we're going to attack them and try to win. Certainly, their season – how it has gone – for the season is part of the conversation, and we told them that they've done it with complementary football. That's what they've done well, and that's to their credit."
What kind of a conversation do you have with RB Javorius "Buck" Allen? He has had so much success in his rookie year and then had his first fumble. It was a bad time, bad spot. He seemed really down after the game about that. What do you say to him? (Pete Gilbert) "I say, 'Let's go.' Like I told him at halftime, I said, 'High and tight. Brush it off, and don't put the ball in the ground again. Hold on to the football. Run hard. Make some plays.' I don't think you … He doesn't need an arm around him. He doesn't need a pep talk. He knows that's not what he's supposed to do. He has been really good with ball security. Now, what he has to do is he has to stack another. He stacked a half. Now he has to stack another play, quarter, half and game, where he protects the football. That's the most important thing for a running back. If you don't protect the football, you can't be on the field. 'Buck' has had a history of protecting the football, so we're confident that he'll do that in the future."
**John, I think by the week's end, there will be 53 different starting quarterbacks this year around the league that have gotten a chance. Has this year – and all the rash of injuries at that position – changed the perspective, you think, of backup quarterbacks and the importance of having quality depth along the lines of you guys brining in a couple, like QB Jimmy Clausen and QB Ryan Mallett? *(Jeff Zrebiec) *"As far as having more than one backup?" *(Reporter: "Yes. [Does it] change the perspective of the importance – league-wide, not just here – of having quality depth at that spot.") *"To answer that, I would have to suppose the proposition [is] that it hasn't been important, and I probably don't think of it that way. I don't make the assumption that it hasn't been important around the league. I think it's important, to your point. You have to have good backups at every position, and quarterback being the most important position. That better be the most important place. It's not easy finding good backups. Good players are very valuable at every position, and quarterback, certainly, more than any."
Where have you seen WR Kamar Aiken make strides, especially since WR Steve Smith Sr. has been out and he has assumed that top-target role? (Ryan Mink)"I think he's making plays. That's the main thing with Kamar; he just comes up, and he makes plays. He is about as good and tough a competitor as you're ever going to see. He's running good routes, he learns from his mistakes and he doesn't get flustered. You know his personality. He just doesn't get frazzled. He's a real tenacious personality and very persistent human being, and I think that's a big part of his success."
I was going to ask the same about WR Jeremy Butler, the strides you may have seen the last month or so. (Cliff Brown)"Yes, Jeremy is getting better. He's another guy that came from a ... He came from a small school, and I think speed of the game and those kind of things are starting to really make sense to him now, because he has played in games; and he has been able to make plays. That's the thing about Jeremy. You knew he was going to be able to make plays, because he's really gifted with his hands. He's a strong-bodied guy, and he's a fluid guy. The idea of playing fast and blocking, he's really learning those things on the run right now, and we'll see how he progresses over the next few weeks."
John, I know when you talk about the amount of injuries this team has had, you say you take injuries individually, but when you look at [injuries] collectively, is there a thought that goes, like how much is luck involved sometimes in staying healthy? (Jamison Hensley)"That's a great question, and it's one that I ask multiple times a day. I think you do have to look at the injuries, and we're going to have to do a study; and we do this every year. I'm going to do it even more in depth this year in terms of what we do, how we do it and all those things. I've got a lot of ideas. The injuries have not been training injuries, for the most part. ACLs [anterior cruciate ligaments] – when Joe [Flacco] gets his knee [injured], when a guy gets tossed into him – that's not because Joe wasn't trained properly or wasn't in shape or wasn't training or something like that, or wasn't balanced in his training. I think if you look at all of our injuries, I don't know how many of those injuries you can really fairly attribute to that. So, to point the finger at that, which I'm looking for the reason, and I'm going to find out … [Is it] we're not doing this, we're doing that, we should be adding this? Those are all things we're going to look at, because if there's something out there that we need to add, we're going to do it. And we will evolve, revamp what we're doing in training camp. There are some things that we can do that we're all learning about that we'll plug in, but we don't just want to throw stuff in to throw stuff in. this is not just for fun. It's not like the MAC [Maryland Athletic Club] over there, where hey, 'You can try this if you want! You can try that!' We want to have stuff that we know works for football players, and we'll do that. But, if you look at the injuries themselves, they aren't really those types of injuries. "
John, does TE Crockett Gillmore have a chance to play this weekend? (Jeff Zrebiec)"No. It's not working out. His back flared up again. He also has the shoulder. It's not looking good for Crockett [Gillmore] right now." *(Reporter: "Potential IR, or no?") *"Potentially, yes. We'll see. Unless all of the sudden ... Hey, maybe he'll come back tomorrow, and I'll hear, 'Crockett is feeling great, and he'll be out here Sunday.' I'm just being more honest that I usually am, probably, with an injury. *(laughter) *Maybe I'm just as frustrated as everybody, I guess, right now." *(Senior VP of public and community relation Kevin Byrne: "More forthcoming.") *"I'm sure coach [Andy] Reid is appreciative of that, too."
There was a long stretch, I think in the third quarter, where you spent probably five minutes on the bench just talking to the cornerbacks; they were trying to hash things out. That's your most veteran group, and you putting game plans [together] to get all those guys on the field on Sunday and try play to all their strengths. Is it kind of disappointing to have to do the full-scale shuffle that you talked about on Monday, given how experienced [they are] and how much faith you put in that group this year? (Jon Meoli)"I don't know that I would categorize it like that, and I think it's more of a tweak, moving in a direction that we've been moving in the last few weeks. There's no question that ... I talked about it on Monday. I said 'Webby' [Lardarius Webb] can play corner. Nobody is saying that 'Webby' can't play corner, and he will continue to play corner. We'll have him in certain spots covering certain guys. That's how matchups work in different personnel groups, but I also like the idea of him playing back on top of things a little more, because I just think his skill set is so natural back there. The problem is, people want to perceive it, and they want to paint it in more of a negative light. 'Well, it means this.' All it means is you're putting guys in position to make plays and get their hands on the ball back there. As far as the situation – as far as the way guys play and all – yes, that's disappointing. We're better than that. We're way better than that. We have been better than that. We expected to be better than that. We had that right, coaches and players together. We trust every one of those guys. I told them, every one of those guys is good enough to play. Every one of those guys is good enough to win. So, there's no way we're sitting here saying, 'This guy can't do it. That guy can't do it.' We're not in that mode. We're not in the mode that most teams are in at this point in time in their season, where we're going to say, 'You better or we're going to find out.' We found out. We know what kind of players we have. We know what kind of men we have. We're trying to be the best we can be as a stepping-off point going into the future. So, we try a person there, we move a guy there, we get a young guy a chance. All these guys can play. Let's get as good as we can be for the next three weeks. Let's win as many of these games as we can, which means all of them, because we can win every one of them, and let's approach it that way. We're not down on anybody. We're not disappointed with anybody. You can't watch this season ... You can be disappointed with the results, but you can't be disappointed with any individual effort or say that somebody can't do something. I'm not about to go down that road, because I just don't believe it."
John, with RB Raheem Mostert being waived, do you look at WR/RS Kaelin Clay as a possibility to do both? (Jeff Zrebiec)"Yes." *(Reporter: "Or is there somebody ... Would you like to get a look [at somebody else]?") *"That's a possibly, too. Both those guys [Terrence Magee and Kaelin Clay] work back there. You see it in practice. So, those are both possibilities, and the way the roster goes, we could bring ... Raheem is going to be back here practicing, unless something happens unexpected. He could be out there Sunday, as well. So, you kind of just work your roster now – up 53, back to the practice squad. You kind of move the roster around, and sometimes you lose a guy. We lost Kaleb [Johnson] doing the same thing. We had a roster situation. We wanted to get [Chris Matthews] up to play gunner. We did it; that's the roster spot we used in terms of shuffling the roster, and we lost a guy to Cleveland, who was a good young player off the practice squad. That the way it works this time of year. There's a lot of shuffling going on around the league."
Coach, CB Marcus Peters, I'm sure, was a guy that you were interested in as a corner. When you watch him, what jumps out to you on film? And coming into the Draft, there were a lot of perceived issues that he supposedly had. How do you attack that type of perception when you're evaluating prospect? (Turron Davenport)"Well, there's time to talk about the draft at some point in time. I don't want to get into all that, but we ended up liking him [Marcus Peters]. We went through all that stuff. I had many conversations with him, even right up to the [Draft], almost to the Draft day. We felt like he was a good person, and he was very motivated, and that he would be a good player and a good teammate. As far as the football part of it, he's moving well. He's a good change-of-direction guy at the top of the break, and he has really good ball skills. Those are the things that are paying off for him right now. There's a lot that he has to learn, I'm sure, as far as the nuances of playing the position, but he has done a very good job."
John, it's probably not the right word, but was there a kind of curiosity to see how G/T Kelechi Osemele would play left tackle over the years, or having played right tackle and knowing him as well as you do, did you sort of know? (Jeff Zrebiec)"Did I always have that in the back of my mind – that he [Kelechi Osemele] would go left tackle – is that kind of what you're saying?" *(Reporter: "Yes, that he could be an option there.") *"Yes, no question. You always felt like [he could play left tackle]. He played left tackle in college, so you felt like he could be a left tackle. But we were in a situation where we felt like we had left tackles, also, that were left tackles, and they weren't really going to any other position. I guess, maybe, it's a credit to 'K.O' that he could play other positions. He played right tackle. He could probably play any position on the line, except center, maybe. He could play center. I don't know, but you wouldn't probably think of him there. So, there was never a doubt, I don't think, that he could be a good left tackle. I don't think he ever doubted that, either. Now we'll find out how good, and I think he's exited for the opportunity."
John, I believe Monday you said that QB Matt Schaub was on track to start. Today, you said he was going to do some work. Is that still the plan, though, going back to what you said on Monday, for him to play? (Jerry Coleman)"Yes, like I said earlier here in the press conference, he will go out and take reps today in practice, and Jimmy [Clausen] will have most of the reps in practice. We'll see how that goes for him. He's going to be out here, and we'll see how it goes."
QB Jimmy Clausen
On how comfortable he feels in the offense with each day: "Each day you're going to get more comfortable. After coming out today, watching the tape two days ago – and coming out and practicing with the guys and getting more familiar with different things that they do, how they run routes – you get more comfortable every day."
On whether anything surprised him when watching film: "There are some things that I can fix that are easy fixes by going out here on the practice field. The biggest thing for me was some footwork stuff. [The footwork] got a little choppy on some things and rushed some throws. By cleaning those little details up, I probably would've had five to eight more completions. Doing the little details of routes – whether it's my drops or checking a different play and not overthinking different plays – you're going to be more comfortable and execute better."
On whether there is constant competition especially with a new quarterback on the team: "Yes, definitely. Competition brings the best out of everybody. All I'm trying to do out here is work as hard as I can and get better each day. That's the only thing I can control. Like coach [John Harbaugh] says every single day, 'Control the things that you can control.' All I can control is myself, and that's [by] going out, practicing well [and] if given an opportunity to play on Sunday, playing well."
On whether he has previously crossed paths with QB Ryan Mallett: "Yes. Ryan and I came out of high school together [at the same time] and [are a part of the] same agency – same as Matt [Schaub] as well. I've known him since high school."
On the high number of starting quarterbacks this season around the league and whether that puts the "one play away" mentality into perspective: "Definitely. Not only at the quarterback position, but [at] every position you're only one play away from getting in and becoming the starter. I think that's the mentality you have to take. Coming in as a rookie, it took quite a bit to finally realize that – [after] starting in high school, starting in college – to be a backup, you have to prepare as a starter, because one play happens, a guy goes down – whatever happens – you're going in there and there can't be a downfall. Everything has to keep flowing, whether it's your cadence, whether it's calling plays in the huddle, getting the ball out, taking care of the ball. That comes with preparation and practice."
On whether 53 starting quarterbacks in the NFL this season seems like a high number: "It kind of varies from year to year, I think. I think last year there were a lot of quarterbacks – backups – that played, or a lot of quarterbacks got hurt, so other guys got opportunities to go out there and play. I think it depends on the year and if quarterbacks are staying healthy or not."
On whether it's tough not think about being the Ravens' backup quarterback next season: "Everything is working up towards next year, whether it's these next three games or next three weeks leading up to next year. But you can't really control what's going to happen next year. Like I said, all you can control is what's happening today, and that's going out to practice, practicing your tail off and getting better as a player."
On what the mood in the locker room is like at this point in the year compared to other teams he has been on: "I think the biggest thing is there are no guys giving up, throwing in the towel. Guys are out here working. If you guys saw practice today, everyone is working – working to get better today – and working to prepare for Sunday and win on Sunday. Some other teams … Sometimes guys throw in the towel or guys go on IR. This team has had a ton of injuries this year and been unfortunate, but guys are working every single day to get better and prepare for Sundays."
ILB C.J. Mosley
On what the Chiefs are doing well right now: "They're finding ways of – pretty much the way coach [John] Harbaugh said – to complement each other [with], the offense extending plays, making big plays and getting downfield. And when the defense is on the field, they're keeping the offense down on their side of the end, so when they punt, offense is in good field position. Altogether, they're finding ways to win games."
On TE Travis Kelce: "He's a playmaker. He's good at running seam routes. He has decent speed. He's definitely one of their go-to guys on third down, so we have to make sure that we try to keep him contained, because he's definitely going to find ways to get in the end zone, especially in the red area. The NFL is all about making plays, and he finds a way to do that."
On whether the team is envious of the way the Chiefs were able to turn around their season after a poor start: "Everybody has their unique situations on each team. We definitely wish ours went the same way, too, but you can't really be mad at them or envy them. They're finding ways to win, and we didn't. That's pretty much how it went. We know we have a tough game against them, and we know they're going to come in rolling, because they're hot right now. We have to do what we do on defense and offense and special teams."
G/T Kelechi Osemele
On his performance at left tackle against Seattle, having watching film:"It was good, looked good. Obviously, there are some things that could be cleaned up, but I think it looked good."
On his incentive to play left tackle:"It's fun. It's challenging. It gets me working on my game. It's something different every day. It's a unique thing to go out there and work on something that you haven't been playing. So, it's just fun."
On if he hopes to play left tackle next year:"I'd hope so. I like it, played it in college, and I'm comfortable at it. I'm only going to get better and better at it the more reps I get, but right now, I'm just kind of doing what's best for the team. [We] have a lot of injuries right now, so [I'm] just doing my best to fill in any way I can."
On if he has the size to play left tackle:"Yes, I think so."
On being a Pro Bowl-caliber guard, an unknown at left tackle and if he understands the challenges for a team to decide where to play him:"No, not really. I just kind of do my job. I don't really think about what everybody else is talking about. I just kind of focus on the things that I can control and get as good as I can get at as many things as I can get."
On the challenge presented by Kansas City's pass rush:"Tamba Hali is a great player. I've heard about him a lot. I remember seeing him out there my rookie year, working his hands before the game, and I know that's a big strength of his. He's really good at turning the edge. He's got some power to him. [He's a] 10th-year veteran in the league, so I've been watching a lot of film on him and preparing on him, and it's a great opportunity to go out there and sharpen your skills against somebody – iron versus iron. It's going to be good. I'm looking forward to the opportunity. I'm looking forward to the challenge."
On the increased film study as a left tackle:"It's a lot more film study, to be honest with you. Things happen a lot faster on the inside, so you really don't have to watch that much film, but it's a different story outside on the edge, because you're more on an island. So, it's a variety of moves that guys can give you to get to the quarterback. It's a more film study on your own, not just here, but when you're at home, before you go to bed and stuff like that."
On head coach John Harbaugh's comments regarding his ability to play multiple positions on the offensive line, like center:"Honestly, I'm the type of guy that thinks I can pretty much do anything I put my mind to. So, if I put enough hours in it, I could probably play [center], too."
On being a physical left guard and playing with a different mentality at left tackle:"You've got to kind of tone down the aggression a little bit. You can't get your head involved in there. [Left tackle] is more of a finesse position. It's one of those things where it's more of a skill-type thing."
On if he expected to be named left tackle following Super Bowl XLVII with uncertainly regarding LT Bryant McKinnie's status with the team:"No, it's not anything that they [the coaches] ever approached me with. I has kind of always been at that guard position. When I came in initially, I was playing tackle because of some things that were going on, but pretty much, I've just played where I was put and did the best that I could."
On doing more at different positions to show other teams his ability in his contract situation:"If that's what teams see – if they see that I'm versatile enough to play different positions – that's cool, but right now it's more about just doing whatever I can to fill in for all the injuries that we've had. We've had a lot of them, guys are banged up, and I'm just kind of trying to get in there and make sure there isn't a huge drop-off in play and try to help the team win the best way I can, and that's, for right now, playing left tackle."
On if T Eugene Monroe had advice for him:"No, not really. He was pretty confident that I could do it. It wasn't one of those things where he felt [there were] a lot of things he had to say to me. He was just kind of like, 'Get ready.' That's pretty much all he said."
CB Jimmy Smith
On attending high school with DB Danny Sorensen: "It's pretty cool. Danny Sorensen, he was a young kid when I was at Colton – me and Shareece [Wright]. He was our safety. He comes from a long line of talented football players. His brother, actually, is Brad Sorensen, who was my high school quarterback, and he was the backup for San Diego a few weeks ago. It's kind of a cool thing. We have maybe five players from our high school in the NFL right now. No. 1, it's kind of crazy that Shareece is here, but another – like you said – having Danny come play [in Baltimore]. It's going to be a unique situation."
On whether he keeps in contact with DB Danny Sorensen: "You keep in contact how we keep in contact: 'Hey. Hi. How are your kids?' That type of stuff."
On what the final three games of the season mean to him: "Obviously, it's about finishing at this point. Nothing has gone the way we thought it was going to go, so at this point we have three games to really go out and lay everything on the line. It's huge for a lot of young players, because the evaluation process is going to start immediately, and everybody out there – like I said – already is getting evaluated. They're going to look to see who's going to try to quit at this point, and you don't ever want to be that guy. These games are important for the simple fact that we want to win. We have pride, and nobody wants to go out this way."
On how veteran players set the standard for rookies in these final weeks: "They know the standard. They're a Raven. When you become a Raven, you know the standards. They already know there should be no drop-off. They know that these games matter. Younger players are going to get some opportunities. For them, right now, it's a huge chance – opportunity – for them to show what they got coming against teams that are playoff contenders. They're going to go against topnotch players that are competing for a whole lot right now. It's going to be good for them."
On whether he is impressed with the Chiefs' offense, even after losing RB Jamaal Charles to injury: "Yes. Jamaal Charles was a huge difference-maker for their offense, but the guys they've put in, they're pretty good. I don't know if you've seen them already, but they're really good, and they've gotten the job done as of late."
On what to expect from rookie CB Tray Walker in the remaining games: "I don't know. We're about to see. He's a big dude. He can play press. He can run. He's very, very fluid to be his size. He's going to get out there and get his feet wet. It's a real NFL, live game, so I'm excited to see what he does."
On whether he can pinpoint the reason for difficulties this season: "Secretly, I can, though. Secretly. Turnovers." (Reporter: "Your guys' inability to get turnovers?") "Both – giving them away and not taking them away. That has been the story that has not helped us and [has] helped other teams. If I can pinpoint something, I would say defensively, it's turnovers and big plays. And offensively, that's not my territory. I'm not going to say anything." *(Reporter: "What about the secondary, specifically?") *"That's a huge part – interceptions and fumbles and forced fumbles, turnovers in general, being a stingy defense, taking that ball away and giving our offense more opportunities, cutting other offenses opportunities short. That would have gone a long way this season for us."
On whether the Chiefs having 12 turnovers has led to winning seven games in a row: "I'm sure it is. If you watch the team – without getting into too many specifics – it's not like they changed the format. All they did was start finishing games. They have a few more turnovers – way more than we did – so that's what really propelled their season to 7-0, or seven straight like that."
KANSAS CITY CONFERENCE CALL
Head Coach Andy Reid
On head coach John Harbaugh's body of work in Baltimore:"I think he has done a phenomenal job. He's a great football coach, and he can coach any position on the field, which is unique. And he comes from that kind of a family. Those brothers are phenomenal coaches; dad was a Hall of Fame coach. So, that's what he is. He's all in."
On Kansas City's slow start to the season, seven-straight wins and what has allowed the team to generate momentum:"Every week is a battle. I think we know that. We've stayed – knock on wood – relatively healthy, which you have no control over those kind of things. And so, that's what has happened to us."
On what former Raven OL Jah Reid has been able to add to the Chiefs' offensive line:"Jah [Reid] has been a good pickup for us, just from the stand point of we got banged up up front there, and so he was thrown in, kind of, in the action his first week here against the Texans. A couple games after that, he played, and then he had a little hiatus there, where he didn't play; and we've had to bring him back here. So, he has been very valuable to us from that respect. He works hard. He has been well-coached. There are not a lot of line coaches as good as Juan Castillo. So, we were able to get a guy that had been well-coached and wanted an opportunity. He kind of got thrown into the fire right away, but he has done a good job."
On if he has felt sympathy for the Ravens this season, given his relationship with head coach John Harbaugh:"Listen, he [John Harbaugh] is still coaching his tail off, and he has still got young players there that he's developing right now. So, I think he's doing a heck of a job. Sometimes you're dealt a hand where you get injured at key positions, and that has happened. The things that he has done with those guys that he has got there, I think is something special. He's doing a heck of a job."
On his advice to head coach John Harbaugh on a season that does not go well:"He doesn't need any of my advice. *(laughter) *He has done a great job, so I just have a lot of respect for John. I did when he worked with me, and I feel the same way now."
On the influence Chiefs DBs coach Emmitt Thomas and assistant secondary coach Al Harris have had on the development of CB Marcus Peters:"Both of those guys [DBs coach Emmitt Thomas and assistant secondary coach Al Harris] have done a great job. Marcus loves to play the game. He's an emotional guy, coach's kid, and he shows up every Sunday. That's how he goes about it. He shows up every day at practice and works hard. So, he has done a good job, and those guys, he respects. He has got one guy that's a Hall of Famer and one guy that was a perennial Pro Bowler coaching him. So, those are two pretty good guys to learn from, and he soaks it all in."
QB Alex Smith
On the biggest factor in the team's recent success:"It's tough to point to any one thing, I think, in particular. Really, a little bit of it is kind of staying the course. We had some tough games early that we were in, that we were winning, and kind of gave away at the end, I felt like. And really, I think [we're] finally finishing some games, playing four quarters, putting in complete games. That's really kind of been our deal these last seven weeks. In the fourth quarters, [we're] finding a way to win the game and seal it off, whether it be offense, defense or special teams, all of us kind of taking our turn and playing four-quarter football. Our defense, that's a big part of it, as well – just kind of in general, the attention to detail, living week-to-week, day-to-day and not getting ahead of ourselves. We're really focusing on the details each day."
On the Ravens also starting 1-5, yet not being able turn the season around:"Everyone, I think, outside looking in, is surprised by what's going on there [in Baltimore], as far as records go. But you turn on the tape, and obviously [they have] a bunch of injuries but still [have] a lot of guys playing at a high level and playing hard. And it shows on tape, kind of the whole group I think, especially on the defensive side of the ball. They run around, they try to set the tempo on you and [it's] a good group."
On if the amount of injuries to starting quarterbacks is surprising and the significance of a quality backup:"I don't know what the numbers are every year, but I feel like, certainly, there have been years like this before. There are a lot of injuries to starters, and guys have to step up. This definitely isn't the first time I feel like this has happened, and it's just the way it goes sometimes. I don't know if there's a direct answer for any of it; they're all different. There have certainly been years like this before, and certainly, yes, it does put an emphasis on backup quarterbacks and having a guy that you feel good about that can step in and help you win a game."
On the Ravens' secondary:"I see a veteran group, a group that has played a lot of football. They know what they're doing. They play fast. [They are] well-coached, and I think that definitely jumps out. They're rarely out of position, they're rarely confused, they communicate well, and they know what they're doing. They're on the same page, and they fly around."
On the Ravens changing coverages and packages in the secondary week to week:"Yes, the different ... Certainly, you put on all the tape. It's all different. There is some carryover from week to week, but you can tell, yes, depending on who they're playing. There are different game plans for different weeks based on what they're trying to stop or take away. So yes, it certainly has changed from week to week if you turn on the tape."
On Baltimore moving younger players into the secondary and if the Chiefs view that has an opportunity:"It's hard to pay too much attention to any of that. I'm getting ready for the guys that are on tape that have been playing. You can't get ready for what you don't know, and there's no point for me to worry about it at this point. If it happens, it happens, but certainly, I'm getting ready for the guys that are there on tape."
On OL Jah Reid:"He has come in and [played well]. He came in at a tough spot when we signed him right away, and he ended up our opening day starter because of injuries, going against the Texans on the road, and did a great job from there, I think, stepping in and studying hard and cramming and being able to go then. And from there on, every time an opportunity came, he has played really, really well. He's tough and gritty in there. So, that entire group, I feel like, [has] a good thing going on upfront. He's a big part of that, just with his mindset and the attention to detail that he brings to the position."