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Q-A with Chiefs Head Coach Herm Edwards


Kansas City Chiefs Coach Herman Edwards

Q: I know your team like the Saints have suffered through a lot of injuries. How are you heallthwise going into this week?

A: We'll see where it's at, but we've lost some guys. That's part of football. You know that. But we're a young team. We're trying to rebuild. The worst part about losing starters, especially when they're young, that's the time when we need them to play, because that's how they gain experience. Some of those guys aren't in the lineup right now. Hopefully it's not serious for a lot of them.

Q: It looks like the last three weeks, you have been on the verge of beating some really good football teams. Do you feel some progress?

A: Yes, we've seen a lot of progress the last three weeks. That's the good part. The bad part is that we have to finish the game in the closing parts of it, but I think that's a little bit due to lack of experience, because we're not very experienced at all as a football team. We're very, very young. The consistency is the thing I like the last three weeks. We've been very pretty consistent. We've given ourselves an opportunity to be in these games, now we have to try to finish them off.

Q: How has Glenn Dorsey done in his rookie season?

A: He's done well. He's started every game, every week and that's what you like about the guy. He's a sponge. He tries to learn. Every week he gets better. With rookies, it's the first time they've played this opponent and unless it's in the division, it's the first time they've ever seen this team unless it's on television. It's going to be another learning experience for him going against the Saints.

Q: What's the biggest adjustment for a defensive tackle going into his first year in the NFL?

A: When you have his status when he was in college, some of the guys he played against in college football, they go on to be doctors and lawyers and businessmen in the community. The guys that he plays against in this league, they're football players. That's all that they do. They live it. They have a lot of experience. I think he's learning that now. He's getting better and I think that's the good thing about it.

Q: How are Dwayne Bowe and Rudy Niswanger doing?

A: They've played well. It's Dwayne's second year now. Rudy it's his first year for him to start. Both of those kids are doing well and you guys know that's a heck of a football program. A lot of players come out of there. We're fortunate to have three of them.

Q: Should we look for Larry Johnson to resume his former role or will it be a gradual process?

A: It's supposed to be gradual, but he'll still play. He's missed a month now. We have him slated to play some and that's what we anticipate.

Q: Is he in reasonably good condition for a guy who has been sidelined so long?

A: Yes. He's in good condition. The other three weeks when he was not activated, he practiced. The week he was suspended, he cannot be on campus, but he was working out. He doesn't have any gameday experience at this point, because he hasn't played in a month.

Q: Can you talk about the progress of Tyler Thigpen since he's been in your lineup over the past month?

A: The Atlanta game was his first start and you can imagine a guy from Coastal Carolina, this is his second year, but in my mind he's a rookie, he didn't do much last year, he got his opportunity. You saw some flashes against Atlanta, but we turned the ball over three or four times in the game and the game got away from us early before the half and in the third quarter. We put him back down and he didn't play again. It was Damon's (Huard) turn and Damon started playing again. Due to the injury to Damon, he had to come back and play and it was his first time out against Brett Favre in New York and he played well, played well enough for us to win and didn't turn the ball over. He repeated that the following week against Tampa at home. We went on the road and he did it again this week. He's a guy that's progressed every week. He's gaining confidence in himself and it's a tribute to him and the coaching staff that we feel he can do well. You talk about the guy who's only started four games. He still has a long way to go. He's done fairly well so far.

Q: How does Reggie Bush's possible presence complicate things when you gameplan on defense?

A: Obviously the matchup problem he presents. They use him in that role. Obviously coach (Payton) does a great job in doing that. That's a headache for you . He can get on some guys and he can get some mismatches against safeties and linebackers, he gets in space. He's tremendous. He's a heck of a football player. You love watching him play when you watch him on tape. You just hate playing against the guy. He's a handful.

Q: You've had a lot of success throughout your career. What is the most difficult part of how this season has gone?

A: I just think the losing is tough. You don't like losing, but I think when you're rebuilding, you understand that could happen. It's the process of what you're going through when you're developing a young football team. That's the hardest part. Obviously it comes in the fact that you're motivating a bunch of young guys. You're talking about 19 rookies on your roster and 35 other guys who are second or third year guys. That's a young team, so you have to keep them upbeat. Other than that, they continue to grow and play. That's the hardest thing. You've played in three football games where you have an opportunity to win and you haven't done it yet, so you feel bad for the players, because they're working at it, they're getting close, but you have to take wins. Nobody gives them to you.

Q: When you look at the Saints on film, what's your biggest concern?

A: They're scary. They're very scary on offense. They do a great job. Defensively they run to the ball. They have some speed, the linebacker corps does a good job and they're athletic. The secondary, I know they've been a little nicked too, but they do a good job. Their offense is the thing that sets them apart. They're the number one offense in the NFL. They have a lot of weapons. Their receivers are very good running after the catch. That's what you notice on tape. They throw a lot of short passes. They can go vertically on you. The quarterback's having a phenomenal year. He's an outstanding quarterback.

Q: What stands out about Drew Brees and makes him so successful?

A: He's very accurate. He keeps his poise in the pocket. His line's done a great job for him. The line coach/offensive coordinator Doug Marrone actually started with me in New York. He's an excellent football coach. They have a good staff. They have a good plan on how they do things. He's very accurate. He's a leader. When he has the ball in his hands, he knows how to move the football team. He's very good when you take away his first read. Sometimes he comes back to the third read and that's what makes him one of the better quarterbacks in the National Football League.

Q: Are you not surprised by Jonathan Vilma's performance in New Orleans?

A: No, when you know the kid and know what he's made of, he's an excellent football player, excellent leadership skills. That's what we brought him in there for to lead and he did a great job as a rookie stepping right in there and he played very good for us. I'm glad for Jonathan. I think he's a consummate pro. He works at it. He's a team guy. He does what's best for the football team. You're glad to see guys, he had an injury, he bounced back from it and he's playing well.

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