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Andy Reid's Wednesday Presser Transcript

Posted Dec 18, 2013

The team's head coach talks Jamaal, the Indianapolis Colts and fan appreciation

OPENING STATEMENT: “Okay, as far as injuries go, Branden Albert will practice today. We’re going to have him take some scout team reps. He’s feeling better, but we’re going to ease him back in and just see how he does with his knee there. Anthony Fasano worked with the scout team last week. He’s going to come back and work in with the ones. He’s feeling pretty good actually, so we’ll see how he does. Eric Fisher will be back in. He’s sore with the subluxed shoulder that he had, but he’s feeling better, as the days have gone on here, since the game. Justin Houston worked with the scout team last week. He’s going to take some reps and see what he can do with the defense. We’ll just gauge on how he feels. JMJ (James-Michael Johnson), I mentioned, had a sore AC joint, and he’ll be back in and see what he can do.

Then, Dex(ter McCluster), we’re just going to take it period by period. He did the walkthrough today; his ankle was a little bit sore but, he’s going to work through and see what he can do. The infection is under control and actually doing very well, so we’ll gauge on what he can do.

We had to make a couple of moves, (Demetrius) Harris sprained his ankle, high ankle sprain, fairly significant, so we put him (on injured reserve). John (Dorsey) brought in a couple of people here at wide receiver and at tight end for the practice squad. Dominique Jones, we put on NFI (non-football illness) and we brought in (Richard) Gordon, who had been with Pittsburgh last and had been drafted by the Raiders. He had a defensive background in college and then moved over to the tight end position; that’s where we’re at on the injury front and the move front. I really can’t comment on any of the details on NFI or any of that, just by rules.

It’s Fan Appreciation Day this Sunday and I mentioned before how much we appreciate the fans and their support. Again, we have an opportunity here to play the Colts and they’re a playoff team. They’re in. We know how good they are. They’re obviously very worthy of being in that position. They’re well-coached, they’ve got good football players and they’ve got a great front office. We know that we’ve got to put in a good week of preparation this week and get ourselves ready to play a good football team. We do need that 12th man, the support of the fans and again, we do appreciate everything they’ve done for us to date. We look forward to bringing the Colts in here for this home game, which potentially is our final home game.”

Q: How does Alex Smith make people around him better?

REID: “A lot of it just starts with the work ethic and the time, effort and preparation that they put in, in Alex (Smith’s) case, that he puts in. He is here, I mentioned this before the season started, we have rules and regulations in the offseason of how many hours you can stay in the building and I had to kick him out of the building, so we didn’t get put on secret double probation, before we ever got started. He’s just continued that as we’ve gone here. He goes out there with his preparation and makes everybody else prepare a little bit more. The defensive guys, they see it, they know that. Again, if you have the right people on a team, they’re going to follow that lead and have their own preparation that they go through, along with it. There won’t be any shortcuts, definitely, when your quarterback spends the time like that. We do have the right kind of guys on this team; we’ve got good leadership on this team. That’s where it starts, with the preparation. How he practices is another big part. He’s not joking around. When it’s time to go, it’s time to go. Each rep means something. He wants to make sure he’s right on each rep and that all those guys around him are right. We do a lot of different things with personnel and with formations and motions and shifts and all of that. You have to have the capacity, you have to have enough gigabytes to handle all of that and at the same time, you’ve also got to be able to execute it in a short period of time out there and he’s able to do that and get people lined up where they need to be. He’s a great communicator that way. Then inevitably, it comes down to your play, also; that’s another part of it. To be a leader and to be able to demand from people and yourself, you have to also be productive and he’s been able to do that.”

Q: Is Jamaal Charles continuing to surprise you?

REID: “He was the AFC offensive player of the week and he does. He’s obviously very valuable to this team. I appreciate, probably the most, how he comes to work every day and the attitude he brings. He wants to get better every day. He demands a lot out of himself. Again, he’s a preparation guy. He goes through a certain routine every day that would probably drive half of us crazy to get done, but he does it religiously every day and gets himself ready. When he’s out there at practice, he practices his tail off. When he carries the ball, he’s going to carry it all the way to the end zone and comes back. That’s just how he does, his business. He does everything well. He catches the football well, he blocks well and he runs well.”

Q: How is he so tough?

REID: “He’s soft spoken. He’s a good-looking guy and all of that, he’s charismatic, the whole routine. He’s got all of that, but he’s got this competitive toughness to him that is relentless. I’ve said this before, that is a very tough position to play in the National Football League, I mean, very tough. You take a heck of a beating. On Mondays, it’s tough to get out of bed. He handles all of that and he makes sure he takes care of his body. He trains, he eats right, he does all of those things.”

Q: Was this something you knew about before you got here or was it something you learned here?

REID: “I would tell you, you hear things, but you don’t really know, until you get in the building and then the demands that you’re putting on him might be different than somebody else. You just don’t know. I had heard he was tough, but when I got in here, I saw it firsthand.”

Q: As a veteran, how much did Jamaal Charles have to learn in this offense with the amount of plays you have?

REID: “To do the things we’re asking him to do, we’re moving him all over the place in the pass game. Then, we move him a little bit in the run game. Some of the things, the pitch trap you saw that he had on the third-down—we’re asking him to move out in different spots and that takes preparation. He’s got a great teacher in EB, Eric Bieniemy. He’s a phenomenal teacher and he’s all in with him. He spends so much time with Eric. Eric played in this offense and kind of understands how this whole thing works. He’s coached in it, he coached with Brad (Childress) at Minnesota and so he knows how to take it and break it down for him in different categories that you can put it in and make it a little bit simpler. About at my age, you have to work with it and he’s willing to do that. He’s a sharp kid. Like I said, he’s quiet, but he’s sharp, sharp.”

Q: The Colts have a similar turnaround story to the Chiefs. What did Andrew Luck bring to the franchise?

REID: “I didn’t study him a bunch, just out of curiosity, because I knew that we weren’t going to be in that position to take him. But, I would tell you that I sure liked what I saw from the tape I did look at, while he was in college. I’ve been very impressed with him in the National Football League and what he’s done there. It’s tough to follow a legend, very tough, and he followed one. I think he’s handled himself absolutely the right way. I think he respects the heck out of Peyton (Manning), but then he knows, he’s got to put his personality on it. He doesn’t brag about it or step out of line with that part of it and that’s easier said than done. I think you saw that when they went head to head with each other and he had the ultimate respect there. I think he’s got a good feel for things, not only a good football player but a good feel for the profession.”

Q: Did it seem like bye week did a lot of good for Jamaal Charles?

REID: “Yeah. Jamaal (Charles) is a family guy. He has kids and I know he enjoys spending time with them and getting away. So, what might seem like downtime, when you’re juggling kids, can be almost more demanding than the job. So, I think he enjoyed that time with them, but I think he enjoyed coming back too.”

Q: Is the offense more consistent, because of the level of familiarity now?

REID: “I think you’re right on that. The more you play together, the more familiar you become with each other, within the system, the routes and what you’re being asked to do in the blocking schemes, protections, all of those things. Everybody just gets a little better feel for it. The main thing is they didn’t hang their heads when things weren’t necessarily going right. You’d see spurts where we’d finish the game strong and we’d kind of start slow and finish strong. The guys didn’t get frustrated. They showed you that at that time and they’ve kind of maintained it with the big picture thing. They’ve hung with it. Is every game going to be a big scoring game? No. That’s not how it works in this league. The foundation that they established way back was an important one.”

Q: How did you come into the game after the bye feeling, as far as what you wanted to do?

REID: “There were certain things. The coaches broke down all the plays and tendencies and went through all of that and tried to find out what we were the best at, over the first nine weeks and maybe exploit that run a little bit more. At the same time, try to get better at things that you need to balance out the other things. We went through that process and things clicked a little bit more, after the bye. I thought we used our time well, during the bye, from a coaching staff standpoint. Most of all, I think the coaches were able to communicate that to the players. These guys are professionals; they’re the best in the world at what they do. It’s important to try to get them in the right position and try to exploit their talents. Maybe we’ve done a little bit better at that over the last two weeks.”

Q: Does your approach to this game change at all knowing you are in the playoffs and may be facing Indianapolis?

REID: “It doesn’t, no. I think you prepare yourself the same way. We respect the heck out of the Colts, they’re a playoff team and are very worthy of that. Now, you go get yourself ready to play four quarters of good football. If you play them again, you get yourself ready again. We’re far along into the season, where you have enough plays. You have enough plays that you can mix and match with. You’re not going to run out of plays. That’s just where we’re at. They’re not going to run out of plays; we’re not going to run out of plays. That’s just how it is. Even if we played them back-to-back the following week, that’s where we are in the season.”

Q: Are you going to hold anything back?

REID: “No.”

Q: What are you seeing in the Colts defensively and what makes Robert Mathis such an effective pass rusher?

REID: “I mean, he’s playing like the defensive MVP of the National Football League, right now. You think of him as a pass rusher, but he’s also very good against the run. We talked about moving Jamaal (Charles) around; they do that same thing with him. He’s all over the place; he plays both sides and he plays inside. They do all different kinds of games and stunts with him. He’s a humble guy, on top of all that. He keeps everything in perspective. He handles it the right way. He gives you an honest down, every snap. You have to know where he’s at. You have to locate him, anytime he’s on the field, you better be aware of where he’s hanging out at and take care of him; that’s the ultimate respect. We give him the ultimate respect by doing that.”

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