Chiefs head coach Andy Reid conducted a teleconference with reporters Saturday, discussed Friday night’s preseason game at New Orleans and looked ahead to next Friday’s game against San Francisco.
Reid said he will stick with the same quarterback rotation against San Francisco: Alex Smith opening with the starting unit, followed by Chase Daniel and the second team in the second quarter, then Tyler Bray in the third quarter and Ricky Stanzi finishing.
But he said Smith and the first team would play more than they did Friday, when they went on on 14-play touchdown drive against the Saints.
There was no change in the team’s injury report and Reid expected offensive tackle Eric Fisher, who suffered an injury to his left thumb, to be on the practice field Sunday. The coach was to meet with team trainers to see whether backup tackle Donald Stephenson, who missed the game after recovering from finger surgery, could return to practice next week.
Reid praised the play of Fisher, the first pick in the draft: “I thought he did a good job. There are a couple of things in the run game he has to learn, but his assignments were accurate, his protections were good. For a first game he kept his emotions intact where he could function well. I was impressed with what he did for a first outing.”
On second-year nose tackle Dontari Poe, who applied some pressure on Saints quarterback Drew Brees, forcing an incompletion on a third-and-three that led to a punt Dexter McCluster returned 55 yards, Reid said: “Poe’s a big man. For a 3-4 front, you have to be strong up the middle. On the one pressure on Drew (Brees), he made a really nice move on the center. … That was a beautiful, short, chop swim move that he put on the nose. He got him one direction, came back the other direction, and if he keeps working on that, it will be a good addition to his game.”
On the competition between inside linebackers Akeem Jordan, the starter, and rookie backup Nico Johnson: “I thought Jordan did a nice job, he had a couple real good snaps … and Nico did, too. He had a little more time (on the field) than Akeem had. Akeem held his own. There is still a tight competition there. We’ll see how it goes in the next few weeks. You can tell Akeem has been in there before; he has a little more experience.”
On the decision-making of quarterback Alex Smith, who completed seven of eight passes and whose only incompletion was a throwaway: “Not every play is going to be the right play against the right coverage — or maybe the defense does a good job with the coverage. (Under) pressure, you can throw it away or scramble and gain a yard. Or you scramble away and throw it away.
“Those decisions are not always an easy thing for a quarterback to do, because they’re so stinking competitive. Alex is one of those guys who manages that part of it right. He doesn’t force anything in there, and he came back and lived to play that next play — and good things happened.”