OTA Quotes: Kansas City Chiefs Assistant Coaches Take Center Stage

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May 15, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback

Alex Smith

(11) talks with quarterbacks coach Matt Nagy during organized team activities at the University of Kansas Hospital Training Complex. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports


Q: What about the progress of Eric Fisher?

HECK: “I think that’s a natural progression for an o-lineman, especially a young, lean guy like him coming into this thing to just put on a few extra pounds. I think he feels good at his weight and he’s been working hard in that weight room, so I think it’s going to be a positive for him.”

Q: Are you trying to improve technique or physicality for the offensive line?

HECK: “Well, as a young offensive line, when you talk about everybody across the board, we’re going to see improvement in every single one of these guys. In the weight room, in their strength and development, in the classroom, as professionals, how they work the playbook and fundamentals. That goes for everybody.”

Q: What did Rishaw Johnson show you in the game against San Diego last year?

HECK: “Rishaw (Johnson) along with a bunch of other guys, are competing to show us what they can do. We’ve got a great group of guys here working their tails off this spring to begin this competition. Rishaw was here last year and we saw him grow, just like everybody else did.


Q: What are you trying to teach Philip Gaines?

THOMAS: “We’re trying to give him a foundation to build on and put some confidence in him. He’s a good athlete, we drafted him in the third round, we’ve watched a lot of tape on him and we think he should come in here and help us this year.”

Q: What is happening with the communication with the defensive backs now that Kendrick Lewis is no longer part of the team?

THOMAS: “I think we’re fortunate enough to have two veterans who are probably going to take that position to try to (communicate) in Husain (Abdullah) and Eric Berry. I think it’s in capable hands and they’ve prepared very well. I’m looking forward to the season and training camp and I think we’ll get the job done.”

Q: How much growth should we expect to see out of the defensive backs this year as opposed to last year?

THOMAS: “Tremendous. We broke ourselves down and the things that we really suffered on. We were good on third downs, but we gave away too many big plays, explosive plays when you think about it.
With what we’re doing now, we can stop some of that.”


Q: What is different now that you’ve had a year in this offense?

NAGY: “Last year, it was focused on the details, this year it’s more on detailing the details. We’re really honing in on the details of the game. For instance in a specific play, Alex (Smith) last year might be trying to learn the concept of the play, whereas now this year he’s really focusing in on not the concept of the play so much as maybe his footwork or whether he’s going to take a single hitch versus a double hitch on a five-step play versus a seven-step play. It’s really detailing the details more than it is just learning the concept of the play.”

Q: Does Alex Smith run and use his feet?

NAGY: “He actually does, he does. We went back and looked at numbers last year and one of the offseason projects I had is scrambles. We were, I think, first or second in the league in quarterback scrambles with 53 for the year and of those 53, what I was trying to find out was how many was he taking extra hits. Not so much a hit, because he’s going to get hit a lot, but the extra hit that he doesn’t need and he only took one out of 53 times, so he protects himself.”

Q: How many of those are designed or how many come from what was given to him by the defense?

NAGY: “If it was up to Alex (Smith), we might design a few more, but Coach (Reid) keeps that limited. We try to protect him as much as we can. You’ll see some where it’s designed and we call it for him, but a lot of the times, he’s an athlete, and he’ll make plays with his feet. He’s faster than people think and he has that sixth sense of awareness. He has a really good awareness understanding the pocket, where guys are collapsing the pocket and he escapes and then he can outrun some linebackers.”