Chiefs head coach Andy Reid
On advice he would have given Panthers head coach Ron Rivera on the 1-5 start:"Just what he's doing right now: winning. They've turned it around with a two-game win streak."
On how quarterback Alex Smith is doing health-wise:"We did the walk-through this morning so we just got done with that. He was good there. He's been good all week, and last week, so I think he'll be fine."
On if quarterbacks need more protection, especially Panthers quarterback Cam Newton:"Both of us have mobile quarterbacks. I'm not in a real position where I can say anything without losing money but if you want to say it, you can pay the fine for it. The officials are trying to do the best they can. That's what they're trying to do. These guys, you know, that's how it rolls. There's a human element. How's that?"
On if Smith doesn't get enough credit for being mobile:"I don't know that. I laugh because I don't read anything so I don't know what credit he gets or doesn't get. He's mobile. I don't know what to say if he does or doesn't."
On if he has any stories about Rivera:"Phenomenal football coach. I don't know if that's part of the story but he always knew it was going to work out for him. He wanted to be a head coach from the get-go. He studied. He was lucky to tutor under Jim Johnson, worked his tail off, was a phenomenal coordinator, and I had no doubt when he was hired there that he would do well as a head coach."
On what he sees on film from the Carolina defense, particularly in the secondary:"Their defense is really good, and Kurt Coleman is one of my favorite guys. We took him in when we were in Philadelphia so Sean McDermott knew him. So listen, they are well-coached. I am a big Sean McDermott fan, so I can't be that this weekend but every other weekend. They are getting coached like crazy by a guy who is going to be a future head coach in this league. I think they just play well together. I think on the back end, they have some young guys that just every week they are getting better and better. Then he's got some veterans there at the safety position that are highly intelligent guys. That defense, I think, is a very good defense."
On giving fashion tips to his assistant coaches:"During the season, you have a tendency to put on a little weight, so that black comes in handy. It comes in handy. Although, I'm now red and they did the whole Kool-Aid man thing because I wore red. They never did that when I was in black."
On safety Marcus Peters' play and personality:"That's part of the make-up. I love that he loves to play. This guy comes to practice every day and practices hard. He plays hard. He's all in. He loves the game, and that part I appreciate. Is he high-strung like a redhead? Yeah, he is. But that's alright. He's young and he'll continue to learn how to handle all that stuff, but man does he love to play."
On going against Panthers defensive coordinator McDermott:"I don't know. We have to make sure our own guys are working our game plans and I guess that'll probably be the first thing. He knows what I'm doing, and I have an idea of what he's doing. We'll just see how it all rolls."
On first coaching with McDermott:"Highly, highly detailed. He's very, very smart. He was as smart as a student and smart as a plyer and is smart as a coach. All the ingredients – again, this is when he was young, too – but I thought he had all the ingredients to someday be a head coach in this league. He's good with people and he works his tail off."
On Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis:"I wish that joker was breaking down. Holy Toledo, he can play. He is all over the field. He hasn't slowed down a bit since he's been in this league. He gives you an honest down, every down."
Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith
On his experience in the concussion protocol:"It was a little different in a sense that I passed the protocol after the game. We still treated it as someone going through all the steps after that. I felt good. I didn't have any symptoms moving on. A little bit of playing it safe last week, trying to get another week of rest. But I felt good, I felt good all week. I was able to practice out there, run around, get workouts in and stuff so it felt good which I think was nice because it made getting back this week easier."
On Kansas City starting last season 1-5 and making the playoffs:"I think really get short-sighted. Like them (the Panthers), we had a lot of goals for ourselves and high expectations. Then from one reason to another, you found yourself at 1-5 and really for us, it was kind of getting back to being short-sighted and let's just win this week. We found a way to get a win and all of a sudden got another and never got ahead of ourselves, never started thinking too far down the line. Really just living week-to-week. We weren't even thinking about anything there for a while as far as division, playoffs and all that. We just really went week-to-week and wanted to play good, keep getting better, keep finding a way to win and then found ourselves on a winning streak and then back in it come late in the season."
On being the first team in a long time to make the playoffs after starting 1-5 and if he was surprised:"Yes and no. There's been a lot of football teams, a lot of ball played over the years, so you'd think somebody along the lines – but at the same time, it's such a game of momentum and confidence and so many things, I think have to go right to get going like that. Also, a scenario probably where you didn't get breaks early in the season, which helped define yourself in that situation. So I think a lot of things going into it but certainly momentum is such a big deal in this game and getting on a roll with confidence. So yes and no, sorry if that didn't answer your question at all."
On if there was a specific moment when he felt Kansas City's season turn around last year:"No, I think, like I said, it was just getting back short-sighted. Certainly, I think we had confidence week-to-week and really just kind of living week-to-week. Then all of a sudden you get a few wins, you get going and you start feeling better and you do get on a roll. But that initial part I think is just back to basics, not getting ahead of yourself, not thinking too far down the line. Let's have a good Wednesday, a good Thursday. Let's have a good week. All of a sudden, I think it reinforces that mentality to start stacking some wins and really just reinforces to stay short-sighted to the details of every day."
On the mentality of the Kansas City Chiefs:"I think because of what happened to us last year and then this year, we've kind of carried that mentality. You don't have time to stop and reflect on records or anything. I think for us, it's just to continue to get better and find a way to win. Let's get better this week, find a way to win and continue down this journey. For right here, right now, that's what it's all about. Certainly, when you're playing an NFC team like this, you're not familiar with each other, and that's certainly a challenge. The whole week of prep and trying to get ready for an opponent that you don't see a lot of, you don't watch a lot of mutual film of. It's definitely a tough challenge, especially getting ready for this defense."
On why Carolina could get on a winning streak:"On the defensive side of the ball, they're talented. They play really good. They have a great scheme and a lot of talented guys doing it. I think that jumps out from film. They have a great group up front that really gets after it. They do a lot of different things. You have a veteran group that shows you a lot. Those guys are smart. They disguise well. Those safeties and corners disguise well. Those guys have played a lot of football too, especially those two safeties. I think they're good. They know what they're doing. Play fast. In the last couple of weeks, they've been able to really dictate terms of the offense, so to speak. They've been able to set the tone and really make life tough for opposing offenses."
On linebacker Thomas Davis' age (33) and how well he is playing:"You know I'm only 32, so I won't take too much offense. He's playing great. He's physical. I think the physicality at that age is something that I cannot identify with. He is just so physical still, playing fast in the run game and the pass game. I mean those two guys (Davis and Luke Kuechly) never really come off the field. They are good in both of those situations, run and pass, and I think that's really rare today, finding guys that can do that."
His impressions of quarterback Cam Newton at the Pro Bowl:"The little time I spent with him, he always has a smile on his face, loves competing, loves playing. I think the first thing you think when you see him is physically, not many guys walking around playing quarterback look like that. You know, here's a guy that has a lot of tools and uses all of them and it's fun to watch. I think him being a big factor that has changed the NFL in kind of what is a quarterback and how do they play and the norms, and he has broken that mold and helping to change that."
On why he thinks people are unaware of his running abilities:"I don't know. I think that's a better question for other teams. I don't know. Certainly this year there hasn't been as many opportunities for whatever reason. That's certainly something I have in the tool belt and when those opportunities arrive, you try to take advantage of them. It's just one of those things that comes and goes, too. Some weeks are better than others and some with more opportunities than others."
On if his recent head injury will make him think twice about running the ball:"You can't play the game tentatively. If you are, you shouldn't be out there. Certainly I think there's things to learn from. Two weeks ago for me, in those situations, you're trying to get down and protect yourself but really pushing the envelope there and sliding late and putting myself in a really vulnerable situation. You're not grounded at all. It's just a really defenseless position. I think trying to learn from that and avoid the late slide certainly and just be smart about it. Over the years, I've played a lot of football, and you continue to try to understand the different situations of the game, when you can take risks and when not to and be smart with it."
On if he thinks Newton has been getting fair treatment by the referees:"I haven't seen all of them. You know obviously I've seen enough and paid a little attention to it. Clearly some of the ones I have seen in the pocket, you know, you see the flag get thrown quite a bit in those situations. He certainly has merit in that argument that I have seen that were blows to the head, helmet-to-helmet. It's hard to say, I don't know that's similar across the league or if he's certainly at a disadvantage being so big. He's such a good runner that all of a sudden he's not getting the calls. I probably haven't studied enough on that. In terms of the hits I've seen in the pocket, he very well could have had a flag thrown."
On if, as a fellow quarterback, he was happy to hear Newton speak out about hits not being called:"You know what thing I think everyone wants – this league is about accountability all the time. Obviously players get held accountable for things that happen on game day. I think guys just want to see that across the board. They want referees included. Those guys out there, there needs to be some accountability on that. I think everyone wants to be treated the same. If some quarterbacks are getting afforded certain protection, that needs to be across the board, regardless of how big you are, how mobile you are. It needs get called consistently. Obviously nobody is perfect, I'm not saying that. There is going to be some human error, but certainly you want to see it get called consistently."
View photos of Carolina's week of practice leading up to their game against Kansas City.