Conference Call with Chiefs QB Alex Smith
CONFERENCE CALL WITH CHIEFS QB ALEX SMITH
How much has the read option helped you in your career?
“It’s something when I first came in the league, I think nobody thought it could happen in the NFL on a consistent basis. You couldn’t get your quarterback hit. And it’s funny now that it’s just kind of across the league pretty widespread. There’s a ton of teams doing it, that dabble in it here and there situationally. So, funny how that’s changed.”
What have you seen from Texans QB Deshaun Watson?
“I certainly followed him a bunch in his college career, and obviously that kind of speaks for itself. The little bit I’ve seen, just kind of highlights and things, I mean, just from afar, to be a rookie and playing in that kind of situation – I remember my rookie year and how tough it was. So, to be able to handle all the little things that go into playing as a rookie, certainly hats off to him that he’s been able to do that and playing at such a high level for a young kid.”
What’s it like having RB Kareem Hunt in your backfield?
“We had a big hole when we lost Spence (Spencer Ware) in the preseason and obviously Kareem is a young guy, kind of similar thing. Stepping in, there’s a lot that goes on there and a lot for a rookie to shoulder that goes into that, and it’s not just physical tools but also mentally being able to prepare and handle all this stuff that comes with playing that much. Similar situation as Deshaun (Watson). He’s got to handle all that, keep his composure and then go out there and make plays as well.”
Does RB Kareem Hunt’s running style remind you of Jamaal Charles’ style?
“No, not me. I think they’re very different. Kareem’s such a mix of power and speed. He’s low to the ground, he’s tough to bring down, he’s so thick but able to make big plays, too, when he gets opportunities.”
What do you see from Texans DE J.J. Watt on film in his fifth game back from injury?
“Just disruptive. Extremely disruptive. I know the numbers might not be there stat-wise as far as sacks and things like that, but the plays still show up on film. He’s tough to block, almost impossible at times. Like I said, just extremely disruptive up there. He’s a guy that can wreck a game if given the opportunity.”
Will you hesitate to leave the pocket when you see Texans OLB/DE Jadeveon Clowney and Texans DE J.J. Watt or will you just play your style?
“No, hopefully you’re not trying to pay too much attention to those guys. You’re focused down field and playing. There’s going to be a lot of those things, I think. They just happen. All of a sudden your instincts kick in and you break out of there and if given the opportunity, yeah, you try to make a play with your legs. I think you just have to be smart. These guys are good up front, they fly around, they have speed as well, so I don’t think it’s something you’re trying to force but certainly you’re just trying to play ball. Like I said, these guys are good and do have a ton of speed up front.”
What are your thoughts on Texans OLB Whitney Mercilus?
“I think he’s playing at a really high level and is kind of, for whatever reason, kind of flies under the radar with (Jadeveon) Clowney and (J.J.) Watt there. But certainly is playing (like) a premier pass-rusher in this league. Plays at a really high level. So, to have three guys on the same D-line that all play at that high a level is really unique and obviously makes things tough up front. One of those guys is going to be one-on-one. So, inside they’re such a tough matchup and then they’re good on the back end. They’re so veteran back there. They know, too, a lot of times that their D-line is good and they’re able to stay aggressive back there and make a lot of plays.”
What is it like playing with TE Travis Kelce?
“He’s unique. He’s got a lot of tools and we do a lot of different things with him and he’s able to handle it. Same thing, kind of speaks to his skillset and also preparation. But yeah, he’s capable of a lot. So, certainly for us, it’s fun. He adds a lot of personality as well to the team and to the locker room. So, (he’s) fun to be around. He’s certainly a playmaker for us.”
What do you see from your team and attribute your success to?
“I think there’s no panic. Every game’s different and we’ve been down in a couple and I just don’t think there’s any panic. Guys just settling in and doing their job and we’ve been in a bunch of big games before and been in a lot of different situations and you rely on those experiences as you move forward and go on about your business.”
What do you expect from this game against the Texans in terms of competitiveness?
“I mean, this is one of the top football teams in the NFL. I think they’ve shown that for the past several years. Extremely physical type of football and I expect no different. They’re playing really, really well right now, obviously coming off a big win last week. So, big, big challenge for us. This is a defense that can be just dominant at times. This will be a big challenge for us. Got to be smart and pick your spots but like I said, these guys present a lot of problems on every level.”
What did you think of rookie K Harrison Butker after he kicked the game winner last night?
“Just congrats, happy for him. To be in your first NFL game in a position like that on Monday Night Football and to come through says a lot about him. Certainly happy for him.”