Head Coach Ben McAdoo
November 15, 2017
Opening Statement: Alright, Chiefs week. Excited to play a 1 o’clock home game versus one of the best teams in football. We have our work cut out for us. They’re talented, healthy and coming off of a bye.
Offensively – they’re well built. They’re versatile. Have a lot of fire power. Alex Smith is playing at the highest level at this point. They feature two college running backs at wide receiver in (Tyreek) Hill and (De’Anthony) Thomas. They present a challenge. (Travis) Kelce is a matchup challenge as well. He’s a big basketball player playing tight end. Kareem Hunt is a physical, hungry runner and all five offensive linemen played tackle in college.
Defensively – they’re built around an attacking style. They like to get after the quarterback and create turnovers. (Justin) Houston and (Dee) Ford have combined for 58 and a half sacks in four years and their interior defensive line is talented as well with Bennie Logan, the former Eagle, leading the way. (Chris) Jones is an impressive athlete inside with the ability to wreck a game. (Marcus) Peters is a talented corner and all three safeties see a ton of action. They play a lot of defensive backs.
Special teams – they’re tied for the league lead with kickoff returns for touchdowns since 2013 with nine. (Tyreek) Hill is a special player with returning punts as we all know and (Kevin) Pierre-Louis and Eric Murray lead a strong group of coverage specialists. Let’s open it up.
Q: Where is your team at mentally?
A: Mentally. We had a great meeting this morning. Gave them some time after the west coast trip to get their legs back. Had a good practice today and we’re moving on.
Q: How much did you sense guys were disappointed with their effort on Sunday?
A: We had a long, hard, honest meeting this morning. I think that’s a better question for the players.
Q: What was your message to them in the meeting?
A: Message to them in the meeting – we had some open conversations. Some hard talks. Some plain talks. Some simple talk. Played some film. Were brutally honest with each other. We’ll see how the players respond. They had a nice day at practice today, but we also talked about the great opportunity in front of us. I’ll read a little bit. I know you like when I pull my notes out, right? So, I’ll read a little bit here to you if I can find it. We talked about being disappointed but being determined. These guys, this group of men – they’re special in a lot of ways. They’ve been fighting through adversity their whole lives. The players and coaches to be sitting in that room is unique and we talked about running to adversity. That’s where we are in the season. We’re halfway through. We have one win. Let’s run right to it. We’re blessed to have the opportunities that we have. Seven more weeks. I think it’s a great opportunity. It’s probably the greatest opportunity in my life these next seven weeks. A lot of doubt out there. Whether it’s in the building or not, but there’s doubt definitely on the outside. So, we have a chance to flip the script these last seven weeks.
Q: Why do you say it’s such a great opportunity for you personally?
A: Because I think it’s a great opportunity that you have one win and you’re midpoint in the season and doubt starts to creep in. You have a chance to flush the doubt, flip the script and get some wins.
Q: When you show the plays in the team meeting and it appears that players haven’t given their best effort, do you point that out specifically and do you call guys out?
A: We had a hard, tough, brutally honest meeting this morning.
Q: Why did you have the meeting now and not earlier in the season?
A: Because we just corrected the last game.
Q: I would assume…
A: Every game film gets corrected.
Q: Do you ask the players to explain themselves?
A: I’m not going to discuss our personal conversations.
Q: You mentioned the other day that you will evaluate who’s giving the greatest effort and who gets to play. Do you anticipate changes this week?
A: There’s a possibility there will be some changes.
Q: Are those changes performance-based or is that to send a message?
A: I want us to play better. Our desire to finish has to improve and we need to see that.
Q: When you left the meeting, what led you to believe that players heard your message and to some degree embraced it?
A: Again, until we get to Sunday, we won’t know.
Q: Have you learned anything about yourself in dealing with the adversity?
A: Yeah. I mean, listen, I’m comfortable in my own skin. I’m built for this. A calm doesn’t suit me. A storm does.
Q: Why do you say that?
A: Tougher it gets, the better I’m going to get. The better I expect this team to get down the stretch.
Q: You haven’t allowed any self-doubt to creep in?
Q: Is it unsettling that you won’t know until Sunday if guys received your message?
A: No. It’s pro football. We get one this week. We get a quick turnaround after that. One this week.
Q: Was it a different feeling going into Sunday last year knowing you could trust the defense more?
A: We’ve had success and we’ve had strong defensive performances this year. I’m confident in the men that coach the defense and that play in the defense that they’re going to respond and get it right.
Q: Do you think the defensive players are responding to the coaches?
Q: This could be a hostile environment even though you’re at home. Do you have to warn the players?
A: Yeah, we haven’t had a chance to talk about that at this point, but we know going into the game that we need to give the fans something to cheer about.
Q: Do you have any sense that the statement from ownership on Monday had any effect on the players?
A: No. I didn’t ask any questions about that. I’m not looking for any feedback on it. We’re preparing for the next ball game.
Q: You signed a couple veterans yesterday. How do you balance playing younger players and veterans to try to put a product on the field each week?
A: Yeah. I mean, at this point in the season, you take the best available players out there who can come in and contribute. There’s a balance there between youth and experience, especially when they have a chance to get up on game day. Sometimes, it’s better to go with a little bit of experience who have some pro snaps under their belt.
Q: You said that their offensive linemen played tackle in college. What is that significance?
A: They’re athletic and they can pass protect. They have good feet. They’re smart players.