KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Several Kansas City Chiefs players visited with the media during minicamp Wednesday. Following are some of their remarks.
WR DEMARCUS ROBINSON
Q: Do you remember when you and Patrick Mahomes established a connection?
ROBINSON: “I don’t remember the exact first moment. We’ve had a lot of them. We’re just connecting very well through the offseason.”
Q: You’ve moved up in the depth chart. What do you feel like your role is in the wide receiver group?
ROBINSON: “Just being a leader, making plays. Teaching the younger guys, filling their spots, doing what the coaches ask.”
Q: When it comes to your chemistry with Patrick Mahomes, what have you done in the offseason to work on that?
ROBINSON: “A lot of deep ball throws. Just working on hand-eye coordination. Him telling me what to do just from some sight adjustments and stuff like that.”
Q: Do you think you’ve surprised other teams with your speed?
ROBINSON: “I don’t really know what the other teams think of me. I wasn’t really a target a lot, but I think I showed some things I can do here and there.”
Q: What are you telling Mecole Hardman on how to handle Patrick Mahomes’ deep balls?
ROBINSON: “Just run through everything. It’s a different level of speed in the NFL than it was in college. We have the best quarterback in the NFL. He can get the ball downfield even when you’re 60 yards downfield, so run through everything if you have a deep route and run full speed through all your routes.”
CB CHARVARIUS WARD
Q: You got playing time last year and you’ve been here for a while now, how has that changed your approach to the offseason and has that changed your confidence level at all?
WARD: “My approach has stayed the same. I approach every game and every season, even when I was in high school and college, I want to be the best player I can be. I always go out there to be the best I can be no matter if I’m starting or if I’m coming off the bench. I just want to be the best.”
Q: You played quite a bit late in the year last year. Looking back at that tape, is there anything you want to work on heading into this year?
WARD: “I want to work on my conditioning. Last year in the Seahawks game – my first game out there – I was pretty tired. I told coach to take me out of the game to help that, I barely could breathe. Mainly my conditioning and my technique, getting better at those two things.”
Q: What’d you do to work on getting a little more in shape for this season?
WARD: “I trained, I trained all offseason. I didn’t really take a break after the conference championship loss. I didn’t take a break, I was working all offseason, two or three times a day.”
Q: You’re now a little more established on this team after getting more playing time last year. What does this opportunity going forward mean for you?
WARD: “It’s a dream come true. The Chiefs gave me an opportunity, the Cowboys also gave me an opportunity, but the Chiefs believed in me, they traded for me. So Coach Andy Reid and General Manager Brett Veach, they see a lot in me so they gave me an opportunity. I respect them for that and I thank them for that, and I’m going to prove them right.”
RB CARLOS HYDE
Q: How much of a grasp do you feel like you have on the playbook?
HYDE: “It’s coming together now. I feel like I’m able to practice fast. This minicamp has been good for me. I’ve been playing fast. I have a good feel on the offense, but it’s definitely complex for a running back. It’s a lot on our plate which is good. You get to run the ball, catch the ball, do it all.”
Q: As a running back what is it like playing for guys like Eric Bieniemy and Deland McCullough?
HYDE: “For a running back like me who likes to catch the ball, I pretty much like to do it all, it’s like a dream come true. It’s not just a one-dimensional running back here. You do it all. You line up with the receivers and you actually run real routes, you’re not just a decoy. You go back in the backfield and run the ball, block, you do it all. You get to really showcase your ability.”
Q: As a newcomer being around quarterbacks previous to Patrick Mahomes, what have you noticed about him on and off the field?
HYDE: “Honestly I didn’t get to play with anybody like Patrick. He definitely has a different approach to the game. He’s definitely a special guy. Just his leadership and the way he carries himself, the way he’s respected throughout the locker room. He’s a guy that when the play breaks down you just continue to play because he’s going to be able to find you. You can be 80 yards down the field and he will find you. Playing with guys like that is special and I’m definitely excited to be playing with him.”
Q: What made Kansas City attractive to you?
HYDE: “I’ve just seen previous running backs and the success that they’ve had in Kansas City with Coach Reid. I felt like this was a good place for a running back to get on the right track. Working with Coach EB (Eric Bieniemy), working with Coach Reid, Coach D (Deland McCullough) those guys definitely will help me get on the right track.”
OL AUSTIN REITER
Q: Looking back on the time you got last year how did you play and how would grade yourself?
REITER: “I don’t know what letter grade I would give myself, but I think in some situations I think I did well. There’s obviously things I can always work on. That’s what keeps a pro at this level, is not being comfortable and always finding stuff to work on. I think, like I’ve told myself before when I got into this league, I know I’m a capable player and I know I can play at this level.”
Q: What has it been like getting to play with Andrew Wylie and Laurent Duvernay-Tardif on the inside and building that chemistry?
REITER: “It’s great. It’s definitely good to get reps with Larry (Laurent Duvernay-Tardif) now. He’s a physical player, great strong hands when he gets his hands on guys which is awesome in pass protection and helps me out. I think I saw his comments yesterday where we’re learning to keep our feet out of each other’s way. That’s kind of a battle when you start playing with new guards and centers. I’m extremely satisfied with what we’ve done in these last seven or eight weeks.”
Q: What is the offensive line meeting room like with all of the different personalities?
REITER: “I think we all want to have fun, but I think the best part of our room is everyone really wants to work hard. We go out there and I know Coach (Andy) Heck does a tremendous job with us but he never faults us on our effort. We always have things to work on, but I think the greatest attribute in our room is the effort all around. Everybody wants to get better and everybody wants to be the best.”
Q: How is your chemistry with Patrick Mahomes evolving?
REITER: “I think over the weeks as we’ve practiced, especially in the protections aspect, he and I are basically saying the same thing which is awesome. It’s been more consistent. When he says this, I’ve already said that and I’m like ‘Okay we’re seeing things the same way now’. That lets us play faster, looser and we can execute things. It takes more off of him which is going to let him play faster.