Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith taped a pre-game interview with NBC’s Josh Elliott in advance of Sunday night’s nationally televised game against the Denver Broncos.
Here are some excerpts.
▪ On safety Eric Berry’s informing the team about the mass detected in his chest which could be lymphoma: “It was shocking. You can never expect to hear something like that from one of your teammates. He’s a really, really special person. From the day I got here, I’ve been so impressed with his maturity and his leadership for a young guy.
“The thing that came out of it, at least that day when he talked to us, was that you came away feeling better because of him, and how positive his attitude was. He was very honest. His first instinct was that he wanted to play, but he’s got a bigger fight on his hands…we’re surrounding him and supporting him, pushing him to go get right and take care of this, and we’ll be here when he gets back.”
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▪ On Smith’s relationship with head coach Andy Reid: “It’s been awesome. Every single play on the practice field, he’s right behind me, so it’s instant feedback. ‘Are we on the same page? Are we thinking the same thing?’ That’s what I want so that when the play call comes in, we are on the same page. I know exactly what he’s thinking, why he’s calling the play, and I can go out there and execute.”
▪ On Peyton Manning’s prolific offensive statistics: “As a quarterback, you look at the level he’s playing at, and how long he’s been doing it, and you can’t help but respect that – I don’t know how you don’t. With that said, there are a lot of ways to score points. Certainly the numbers he puts up, you can’t help but respect that. But at the end of the day, I’m just trying to score more points than him, regardless of how many yards he throws for.”
▪ On valuing his team’s winning percentage over his personal statistics: “The longer you play, the more you learn that. It’s easy when you’re younger to get caught up in some of that fantasy stuff, or your (quarterback) rating. When you get older, week-to-week, it’s about finding a way to get a win.”