KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City Chiefs players chatted with the media Tuesday. Following are some of their comments.
LB ANTHONY HITCHENS
Q: How do you fit into this scheme and do you feel comfortable?
HITCHENS: “It’s very similar to what I had been playing in my first four years in Dallas. A lot of over, a little bit of under, 4-3 defense. Very similar situation, just different terminology and different names and different coverages. But for the most part it’s a 4-3 under/over that I’m very comfortable with.”
Q: You have another guy out there from Dallas in Damien Wilson. What is it like and how are you guys developing chemistry out there?
HITCHENS: “I mentored him a little bit in Dallas for my three years with him there. (Brett) Veach and them asked me about him and I told them all good things. He’s here and he’s doing a good job. Coaches love him. He’s one of those guys that runs to the ball. He just doesn’t stop. I’m excited to be able to play with him again and he’s going to be able to help our team out a lot.”
Q: What do you like about Matt House’s coaching style for you guys?
HITCHENS: “I like the energy he brings every day. He never lets up. He’s definitely an alpha and we need more guys like that. He has a lot of energy and he’s also a veteran. He’s been in the league, been a DC, so he knows a lot about football. It’s going to be good.”
Q: How do you see this defense working for you and Reggie Ragland lining up next to one another?
HITCHENS: “It’s simple. It’s good for a lot of players, good for a lot of coaches. You know exactly who’s right and who’s wrong. There is no ‘Well he could’ve done this or that’. It’s like okay, if you have the A gap then you have the A gap. It’s simplified so when we go to watch film and we go to get better I don’t need the coach behind me watching film with me. I know I had the A gap and I didn’t have the A gap on that play. So, it’s very simple in that way and we can correct our self on the field and we can correct our self by watching film on our own. It’s not too complicated. I just think that right there will make us improve so much more as a defense to not have to go back and watch film as a group. You can just do it on your own on your own time and then just ask questions when you get in the next day.”
CB KENDALL FULLER
Q: How tough is this new defense to learn?
FULLER: “It’s not too difficult. At the end of the day it’s football. You do a lot of the same things. (There are) definitely different techniques and different things that coach might ask you to do, but you just work on it every day, try not to make the same mistake twice and day after day, keep on getting better, keep on getting a better feel for it. As a group, we’re getting better.”
Q: Did you ever meet with Steve Spagnuolo during the draft process?
FULLER: “I don’t think so. He told me a story that he met with my brother, but I didn’t.”
Q: What are you initial impressions of him?
FULLER: “I love him. Just that fire, he wants to compete. He wants to see everybody get better, see everybody do well. On the field of course, but also off the field he wants to see guys mature, see them do good off the field and for sure he asks a lot of us on the field and pushes us and motivates us every single day. Good energy.”
Q: How is your hand?
FULLER: “It feels good. I kind of made a joke with myself yesterday. I was able to put my pads on and stuff by myself, so that was the first time I’d done that in a while. I think that was a good test for me. So otherwise, I haven’t felt it. It’s been feeling good.”
Q: Do you think you’ll be 100% by training camp?
OL LAURENT DUVERNAY-TARDIF
Q: Are you feeling pretty good, ready to get going?
DUVERNAY-TARDIF: “Oh yeah. It’s good to be back out there with the guys and work out, work on my stuff. So far it’s been pretty good to get back in the swing of things and get back into the rhythm of good cadence and technique and working out with the guys.”
Q: Looking back on the injury last year, how hard was it to get healthy but not being able to play there at the end?
DUVERNAY-TARDIF: “It was tough. It was tough. When I had surgery, they told me anywhere between eight to 12 weeks and I knew it was going to be tight. I gave everything, pushing the limit every day in order to try to come back. I was short a little bit, I got activated the Seattle week I think, and it took me a little too long to get back in shape. Of course you want to play, you want to contribute to the team, but it’s just good to be back now, and be in good shape now. With the whole offseason to rehab myself, I feel pretty good now.”
Q: Could you have gone 100 percent in the AFC title game or not?
DUVERNAY-TARDIF: “I mean I could have been functional, for sure. One hundred percent I think would have been a stretch.”
Q: They say doctors are often the worst patients. Was that process difficult for you?
DUVERNAY-TARDIF: “No, it was my first experience being on the opposite side of the patient -physician relationship and even though it’s kind of hard, I think you learn a lot. I think I’m going to be a better physician because of that, you learn how to cope with the psychological challenge of being injured and I think I’m going to grow as a human and a future physician.”