Quotes From OTAs: Derrick Johnson and Alex Smith

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Dec 15, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith (11) reacts after the Chiefs rushed for a touchdown against the Oakland Raiders in the fourth quarter at O.co Coliseum. The Chiefs defeated the Raiders 56-31. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Today was the first day of phase three of organized team activities. These are not mandatory but it is common for most player to be there. Kansas City had 85 of 90 players show up for this first round of practices.

After practice Alex Smith and Derrick Johnson were made available to the media for questions. Here’s what they were asked and how they responded.

Q: How is dealing with the heat out here?

SMITH: “Yeah, love the heat. It’s great work. It’s new to me being on the West Coast for a long time, but I love it. Great conditions to practice in. I think it makes the environment tough.”

Q: How much more advanced are you now then a year ago?

SMITH: “It’s tough to even compare and put into words. You’re learning to crawl last year at this time and for the guys that are back and here, obviously it’s a night and day difference. The unique thing is that there are new faces though and you have to get them caught up and get them in the mix. That’s everybody in the NFL, that’s the name of the game. There is turnover from year to year and getting everybody caught up because it takes 11 guys to execute.”

Q: What about having such a new offensive line?

SMITH: “I mean, turnover is turnover and I think anywhere you have new faces, that’s what it is. It’s different this time of year, because we’re just in helmets, so for those guys it’s a time to work assignment and technique. The physical part of the game, obviously they just don’t get to practice that right now, that’s the way it is. A different aspect of it for us on the edge at the skill positions, we can make a little more happen out here.”

Q: How much do you miss Justin Houston and Brandon Flowers out here?

SMITH: “I’m worried about playing quarterback. To be totally honest, I’ve got enough on my plate and I think that’s the same for everybody here.”

Q: Does it affect you from a team morale standpoint?

SMITH: “Like I said, I think you guys are giving a lot of thought for me as a player. I’m worried about playing quarterback. I’m worried about coming out here and executing and competing and really getting better and I think that’s everybody’s mindset out here. You have to take advantage of these days. Our offseasons have steadily been cut down over the years and the OTAs with that, so it makes them that much more meaningful each and every one and every rep. For us, I think the mindset is that, just focusing on the reps. All of that other stuff, it’s not even in our [minds].”

Q: Did you run any no huddle last OTAs?

SMITH: “I don’t think so. I don’t think we did.”

Q: Coach Reid seemed to push the pace out there today.”

SMITH: “Yeah, I mean I think it’s something we’ve had in the package for a long time. I don’t know if he was doing it from an execution or a conditioning aspect, that’s a better question for coach. It’s good work for us out here in the heat. I think conditions like this are awesome to practice in.”

Q: Is Junior Hemingway a guy you want to work more with this season?

SMITH: “I think Junior (Hemingway) has done an awesome job in the sense that every time he gets an opportunity out here on the practice field, he makes plays. It’s tough, last year he had to bide his time and I think the same thing in the games. When he got his opportunities to make some plays, I think he made them. He’s that type of guy. I know from me as a quarterback, he’s a guy I really trust because he knows what he’s doing. He cares about his teammates going out there, so from me I definitely like what I see.”

Q: What about A.J. Jenkins?

SMITH: “He’s got so many tools, starting with his speed. I think coach does a great job moving him around and mixing him up and I think it’s just scratching the surface with him. It’s just a matter of him taking all of that in and us doing it out on the field.”

Q: Does Jamaal Charles look any different out there today?

SMITH: “No, he’s very consistent. He’s a pro. You don’t play at the level he does not doing the little things and he does the little things day-in and day-out. He competes every day, so he’s fun to have in the huddle, and obviously a very unique talent.”

Q: Can he handle that workload?

SMITH: “I don’t see why not. Like I said, the guy can do everything. He never comes off the field.”

Q: Coach Reid says he’s optimistic about you getting the extension done before the season. Do you share that sentiment?

SMITH: “Absolutely, I do. But like I said, it’s playing quarterback. That [other] stuff gets figured out.”