OTA Quotes: Alex Smith and Eric Berry

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Jan 23, 2014; Honolulu, HI, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback

Alex Smith

(11) throws a pass at practice for the 2014 Pro Bowl at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Kansas City resumed practices yesterday over at Arrowhead which means we’ve got more player quotes. This batch is very defensive minded and offers a lot of insight as to where players are mentally with the schemes and a lot of talk about Husain Abdullah. It is definitely worth the read.


Q: Now that it’s the second week of OTAs, are you building on stuff?

SMITH: “Yeah, I think so. I do. I think the coaches are doing a great job of continuing the pace of installation. We’ve got a ton of stuff going in and I think it’s really challenging all of us. I think (we were) throwing a lot at the defense and we were able to execute on a few today and a few we’d like that back and that’s the nature of kind of every day. It’s a race every day. We get ten of these OTAs and that’s not very many, so we’re just trying to make the most of them.”

Q: How much of Coach Reid’s offense did we see last year?

SMITH: “That’s a better question for coach. I think we got it all as the season went on and we continued to get more and more. I don’t think necessarily even that it was holding back as much as just finding out our strengths and who we are. I think coach does such a great job. None of this stuff is cookie cutter, I mean even though he goes way back in the west coast book, but I think he does such a great job of finding out what we’re good at and putting the guys in that kind of situation. I think as the season went on, that’s more of a matter of he and Doug (Pederson) and the coaches finding that stuff out, as opposed to they were just holding stuff in their back pocket, so to speak. I just think we were all kind of figuring out what we’re good at and what we’re good at together.”

Q: When they were putting stuff in, did they ever show you the Bill Walsh tapes?

SMITH: “We look at a lot of tapes. Most of it is either Eagles or Green Bay, if we’re going to go back, not so much Bill Walsh. But yeah, we get a lot of history of the west coast.”

Q: What about Mike Holmgren?

SMITH: “We see all kinds of stuff. Absolutely.”

Q: Do you think you picked up where you left off from an accuracy and timing standpoint?

SMITH: “I do. Not just myself, but I feel like as on offense, we’ve done a good job of really hitting the ground running and I think that, and going back to the last question, that has to do with us running that same stuff and all of that stuff is in and we’ve just kind of kept building on it where we left off as an offense. I think there were a lot of things we were good at, we were pretty multiple and we were tough to defend, so I think just kind of continuing that growth.”

Q: What did you do to stay sharp in the offseason?

SMITH: “As you get older, it becomes more year round. When I was younger, you could take some time off, and maybe you needed to mentally. Now you enjoy it and it just becomes so natural, there really is no time off. You’re working out year round getting stronger, working on your arm and working on your feet. It never ends. I don’t feel like as you get older that you can really take the time off that you used to. Yeah, I just worked. I don’t think I did anything special. I just continued to work. Work at those things I need to improve on.”

Q: What have you seen in Husain Abdullah?

SMITH: “He’s a good player. I think everybody is physically talented at this level, especially those guys in the backend and in the safety because they’re in so many different roles. They play free safety, they play linebacker basically and they play corner. They get put in so many different situations, I think the guys that can understand what we’re trying to do to them, I think he does a great job of that. He’s smart. He sniffs out what we’re doing and he’s able to get a beat on it. You can’t be late; otherwise he’s going to make the play. That’s really what I see and I think mentally he does such a good job of recognizing and diagnosing what we’re doing.”

Q: He got two picks in the playoff game.

SMITH: “Yeah and I think those are exactly that. Talking about in a very small amount of time, he diagnosed the play and countered it. You can’t think. It’s just a reaction. It’s putting time in the film room and watching the film and watching all of that stuff and being able to come out and react.”

Q: Can you tell a difference between where the defense is at now compared to where they were last year?

SMITH: “Yes. Volume-wise, they’re more in. I think the difference is they’re a little more comfortable seeing them though and the stuff that they do. But yeah, I think volume-wise on both sides of the ball just have so much more in.”

Q: What about Aaron Murray?

SMITH: “He’s doing a good job so far. I mean, it’s so early for him right now. It’s just coming in and you’re just trying to soak up the offense and the defense as well. You’re just trying to soak up the game. I think right now it’s just to continue to learn and to take it all in. It’s never going to be pretty early as a rookie quarterback. You’re just trying take it all in, so that when camp does come around, and the reps become meaningful, you’re more prepared. Right now it’s really tough for him to go out there, as it is for any rookie QB, it’s tough to go out there and ask a lot just because the wheels are turning and there’s a lot going on.”

Q: If something for your contract were to get done, would you prefer it to be before training camp?

SMITH: “I haven’t given that thought. I guess it doesn’t matter to me at all.”