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Transcript: 12-12-2022 Press Conference


Opening Statement

"There's so many things going on right now. I've known Mike Leach for a long period of time, and I heard he's had some personal health issues. Kind of puts everything in perspective a little bit. Definitely praying for him and his family with that. Our game yesterday, we haven't had a chance to digest some of the things that happened yesterday in the game. The guys played hard, fought, did everything that they thought they could do to help us win. We came up a little bit short though. As I said yesterday, offensively we were more productive yesterday. Our quarterbacks both played good football. Thought our (offensive) line gave us a chance with some of the blocking. Dameon Pierce, always runs hard. Some of the receivers that stepped up, Chris Moore was outstanding. Outstanding with his special teams play. Outstanding of course as a receiver. Amari Rodgers also getting into the mix. I like what those guys were able to do. We did some good things. We would like to have finished though. That's what we didn't do, had an opportunity late. Defensively, same thing. When Steven Nelson went down, Tremon Smith had an opportunity to play, and he was productive. Des (Desmond) King always plays hard. As I'm talking about a lot of the good things we did throughout the team with all three phases, against a good Dallas football team, but hopefully we can build on it, and eventually get over the hump and finish."

Is there any concern that some of the injured players won't be able to return this season?

"We have a lot of football left to go. Four games still left to go. You can get a lot of good work done in time. I know we have a great medical staff, and hopefully we can get some of the guys back. Some were close (to coming back) last week, Jonathan Greenard, Grayland Arnold. We still kept out a few. Nico Collins didn't play. Brandin Cooks didn't play. Derek Stingley didn't play, so hopefully we can get some of the guys back. I don't know much more right now about the injured players' status right now, but I will find out a little bit later."

Do you have any update on RB Dameon Pierce's ankle injury?

"No. He has an ankle injury that kept him out. He didn't finish the game. That's always concerning when a player didn't finish the game. It will take an awful lot for him not to play, but if it's an injury, of course it can. Hopefully it's short-term. We'll see."

How effective do you think the two-quarterback system was yesterday?

"I thought it was effective yesterday. Two different flavors, and that's always tough for a defense to prepare with what we were doing with them. As far as what we're going to do this week going forward, we start evaluating, see what we need to do against another good division leading Kansas City football team. We'll see how that goes, but both quarterbacks were productive yesterday. Davis Mills, second time in that starting role. I thought he played well, made some good throws. I know you're looking you'll see an interception, but that last one, we can't really put that all on him. Just trying to make a play. We'll need that type of play to have a chance against Kansas City."

With QB Jeff Driskel maximizing his elevations, are you comfortable carrying three quarterbacks on the active roster?

"We're going to do what we have to do to get the best players on the active roster. We feel like we need to have a chance to beat them. We know that he's out of elevations, but we can't let that stop us from getting our best 48 players ready to go this week."

What did you see from DL Taylor Stallworth?

"I thought Taylor (Stallworth) did some good things also. He had two days, really one day of practice. It was finals week. We crammed as far as getting as much of the playbook in. Again, I thought he did a good job picking up stuff mentally and the way he played also."

What did you see after reviewing WR Chris Moore's goal line play? Is that something you're going to send to the NFL office?

"We talk about all of the plays. I think he was down. We don't look behind much. When plays are close, we have eyes up in the sky looking. We make a decision, and we kind of go with it from there."

Why not send it to the NFL office?

"Because we thought we had a look, and that's why we didn't challenge. Simple as that. Another fourth-down-play, we saw it, we decided not to. We think Chris (Moore) was down, and we'll go with that."

Are you impressed with your team's several takeaways in the last few games?

"We have to continue that. I just think nowadays, offenses are so good. Need to be able to steal a couple of possessions. It's about takeaways. In an ideal world, takeaways - we had one inside the 5 (yard line). One inside the 25 (yard line). Just put the offense in a favorable position to score, and the one with the special teams too, it's a must. We say it's a good football game for us if we can get three takeaways. We were able to get that yesterday if you count fourth down stop gives us a chance, but it takes those types of things especially against good offenses. We played a great offense yesterday. Of course, we're playing another one this week. It seems like that will be the storyline as we finish up the season."

How did you manage having one more game to elevate QB Jeff Driskel, and why this game?

"We just thought that's what we need to do that week. Yeah he had one more elevation, but we're going to do whatever we need to do to get the guys to the game that we feel like we need to win. It's kind of as simple as that. For us, it's not later. What gives us the best chance this week, yesterday, for Dallas? What do we need to get these guys? We practice throughout the week with some of the quarterback things that we wanted to do. I'm talking about the plan at the quarterback position that we had all along. We had an idea of what we wanted to do, and then we can always get the guys to the game that we need to some kind of way."

What are some things that you want to replicate that you did well against Dallas?

"There's quite a bit. I thought offensive, just look at the offensive plan that we had. We missed the fourth down. Had a fourth down stop, possibly get more points then. We missed inside the five so that could've been over a 30-point game offensively. I'm going to say most of the things we did yesterday. I thought passing game-wise, when Chris Moore has over 100 yards receiving. I thought Dameon (Pierce) played well. For the most part, we got some of what we wanted to do with the running game going. There's a lot we would like to duplicate from what we did yesterday. We'll need to."

How was that fourth down play supposed to work?

"It's supposed to cross the goal line. Any option, a quarterback option, quarterback keeps it, or he pitches it to Rex (Burkhead) and one of them scores. Most of the plays when I say execution, there's a breakdown. We had a breakdown. I don't think I've come in here ever and start pointing at exactly who it was. We didn't execute well. We had a breakdown on how we really wanted to block that. The initial formation wasn't correct. We had some things like that didn't lead us to scoring on really the last couple plays."

What's the balance of having two quarterbacks out there and not being too predictable?

"I would like to answer your questions, but me answering that question is going to tell you exactly what we're going to with our plan. I don't really know how to answer that question. We have a plan. All of the things you said, we understand that. Putting on my defensive coordinator's hat a little bit, we understand that part of it too, but there are some things that you can do. Now you kind of see what we could possibly be doing. Not saying we're going to use it. You mentioned the two-quarterback system, that's what we did yesterday. No more than that. We'll see exactly what we do, if it gives us the best chance. We're just transitioning over to the Chiefs right now. We'll see how that gameplan goes."

How much more did you see from QB Davis Mills on Sunday?

"I think that's a good point. When I say Davis Mills played well, yeah there were a couple of tight window throws, balls being thrown on time, scrambling around it the pocket. All of the things that we want to see from our quarterback that was required of the quarterback position yesterday is what Davis did. I'm going to also add that Jeff (Driskel) threw the ball. It's one thing when you say you know what we're going to do when Jeff's out there. Well, Jeff threw a couple of passes too. It's not just one thing. There's a lot of different ways we can go with this game plan, and we're excited to get deeper into it."

What did you make of WR Amari Rodger's contributions?

"As I said last week, we all sometimes need a second chance, a change in area code, however you want to look at it. I know since he came into the building, he's been a pro about everything. He's picked everything up quickly. He's smart. He's bright. He's got ability. For the first couple of weeks, he was inactive. Now his number was called, and I thought he stepped up to the plate and looked comfortable in the role that we had him in yesterday. Hopefully we can continue to grow that, and we get Brandin (Cooks) back, and we get Nico (Collins) back too. Putting him into the mix with the rest of the receivers, I'm going to say Phillip Dorsett too, that seem to continue to step up."

Why did DL Taylor Stallworth get playing time so soon after being signed?

"Well, everything is about need. What I want, need. I want more production, all of that. Kurt (Hinish) has been hurt, so that kind of opens up an avenue a little bit. But we saw a player that we like. We're not going to bring anybody in unless he's checked off a few boxes that we're looking for. So happened with where we are position-wise that we need a guy to play, to be active. Again, I like what he did the first time out. As I mentioned, I know who's been coaching him. One of the best defensive line coaches (Joe Cullen) in football had been coaching him. But it was still good for him to get into the mix and look like he's been around here for a while."

Does it give you confidence when you didn't give up a sack to a talented defensive front?

"Yeah, I think so, and you just mentioned the group that we played yesterday. They didn't get a sack, right? They've sacked just about everybody. They are leading the league. To be able to hold them down like that, I've talked about some of the games where we didn't block as well as we needed to on the offensive line, but I thought they gave us a chance yesterday in a hostile environment. Things like that have to give you confidence going forward. Even on some of the plays that we call, some of the things that we want to be able to do, yes."

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