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Cairo Santos Meets the Media

Posted Sep 1, 2014

Rookie kicker Cairo Santos met with the media following today's practice.

Q: How’s it feel to make this roster?

SANTOS: “It feels great, that’s what we’ve been working for since I came here in May. I just had that dream and kept working every day. I’m just completely honored to make this team and be a part of the Chiefs. So, I’m just excited to get this going now.”

Q: Was there a point in camp when you just said, “I got this”?

SANTOS: “No, never. We just kind of always looked at the next game and next week. Next practice you just want to make all your kicks. I knew the coaches would make the right decision for whatever they think is best for the team. I’m just glad to be a part of it.”

Q: Were you sweating it out on cut day? How’d you find out you made the team?

SANTOS: “Well, I didn’t get a call in the morning so I knew that wasn’t something bad. But I was just confused about what was going to happen. Then after the deadline I got a call saying that I made the team and that was just the best call that I’ve ever gotten.”

Q: Did you go somewhere to clear your mind? What’d you do that day?

SANTOS: “I went to church, actually. Thanked the Lord for the opportunity and for what He’s blessed me with and just kind of got it off my mind.”

Q: Did that help you kind of say, “Regardless, no matter what, I’ll be fine”? Did that help ease your mind a bit or were you still worried?

SANTOS: “I was very relaxed, watching some football and talking to some family throughout the process. Then after I found out that I finally made it, again, talking to family. That always eases my mind and puts me in a good mood. I couldn’t wait to get here and start my first practice with this team, the final team. Now it’s just all excitement.”

Q: You hit that 44 yarder in Carolina that kind of answered Ryan’s (Succop) 54 yarder. Was there a moment that you really felt like, ‘I got this’?

SANTOS: “There was never a moment I felt, ok I have to win this job. Until that phone call Saturday I didn’t really think that it was really my job. I’m just really honored and blessed to get this opportunity and to keep working to win some games.”

Q: Kicking is a precarious job, as a rookie how do you deal with the pressure and the expectations. There’s going to be some failures.

SANTOS: “Right, and it’s part of the job. Going to my first NFL first preseason game, I felt that I was less nervous than I was when I played in college. I thought to myself, why? I feel like it’s because I’ve done it so many times and I’m working with professional guys, a great holder, a great snapper and great coaching staff. And it just gives you that confidence that you belong here. It’s just all about your kicks and every rep I just think about how Dustin is going to put the ball down and I have to kick the ball like I normally do. So there’s no added pressure that I think about.”

Q: What’d you learn from Ryan Succop?

SANTOS: “Well, not only is he a great dude and I felt like I became close friends with him. Having that great friendship here, it kind of made the process easier, I didn’t think about, ‘are these guys going to like me or not?’ He’s a good professional and a great kicker, so he taught me routines for game day, how to read the wind here in Arrowhead and other places we play. So it was a great experience to have him here and I’m going to miss him, having that kind of friend and kicker to look up too.”

Q: In your journey here from Brazil to Florida to New Orleans to Kansas City, at what point did you actually start to think about being an NFL kicker?

SANTOS: “Ever since I started kicking a ball. I knew I was going to be a kicker in my high school. I went out and bought a Madden game for my Xbox and that’s how I learned the rules. Seeing all of those kickers, I said ‘That’s awesome. I want to one day get there.’ I just kept working to get a scholarship. I remember guys like Mike Nugent and Mason Crosby used to play on that game. I played against them in the preseason, so that was cool. It’s pretty much what you work for; you want to achieve that dream. It’s a very grateful day.”

Q: You started kicking when you got to Florida?

SANTOS: “Yeah, that’s when I started to learn about football. Obviously you want to watch the best, you want to watch the NFL and watch what those guys do. I’ve always wanted to do that. I wanted to be as good as those guys.”

Q: What kind of words of advice did Ryan Succop give you?

SANTOS: “One, he told me I’m a good kid and keep doing that. That will take you a long way in this business or whatever I do. He let me know the way I was kicking in minicamp, training camp and preseason, he (told me) the ways that veterans kick. He said I was kicking like a veteran, making my kicks consistently. He said ‘you belong in here, if it’s on this team or another team. Just know that you’re a great kicker.’ To learn that and hear that from a guy like him meant a lot. I’m just thankful that he was really nice to me and was very helpful in this process.”

Q: Did you get a chance to talk to him before he left?

SANTOS: “I did, I talked to him later that day. We pretty much said the same thing, we felt like we got pretty close to each other. It was never unhealthy competition or relationship. We just wished each other the best. I knew he was going to get picked up and still have a long career. He just wished the best for me.”

Q: Is this big news in Sao Paulo?

SANTOS: “Yeah, everyone is freaking out.”

Q: Do you have any family here?

SANTOS: “No. All of my family is in Brazil. When I step on the field, I’ll be the first Brazilian to ever play in the NFL. That’s something people love down there. Football is growing a lot in Brazil. It’s great to represent my country and be a part of it.”

Q:  Do you have to start looking for tickets when the team goes to Miami?

SANTOS: “I like to think one game at a time. But I do want to bring my family up to the U.S. and watch a game. That would be a cool experience to bring them there and play in Miami.”

P DUSTIN COLQUITT

Q: What are your impressions of Cairo Santos? After preseason, you got a pretty good look at this guy, what is he bringing?

COLQUITT: “Definitely. He has a really strong field goal leg for sure, he’s a very accurate kicker – that’s obviously what Andy (Reid) and John (Dorsey) saw. I’m looking forward to seeing what he can do and how he can help us. He’s a (2012) Lou Groza Award Winner; he had a lot of big kicks down there, so I’m looking forward to working with him.”

Q: How is he on kickoffs?

COLQUITT: “Good, good. He has some 4.2 (second) hangs, some 4.3 hangs in the preseason, so it was fun kind of watching him hang it up there and just watch him work. He’s a little package but a big delivery. It’s pretty impressive to see what that leg can do.”

Q: You saw him for the first time at OTAs; could you see immediately that he might kick in the NFL?

COLQUITT: “Yeah, definitely. When you look at camp, you had a situation where you had two great kickers at camp – every team kind of dreams of that situation. You can see now, a couple of teams don’t have kickers, a couple teams don’t have snappers, we had two good kickers in camp, it was a great battle. He’s impressive. The biggest thing I was worried about was trying to find a jersey and helmet that can fit him. We did that, and I’m looking forward to seeing him kick here.”

Q: Did you talk to Ryan Succop after he got released?

COLQUITT: “Definitely. Ryan’s a great dude; he’s definitely like a brother to me here. Our wives were really close. He’s definitely going to be missed. He set a bunch of records here, but this is Cairo’s gig now, he’s going to do a great job for us too. There are 31 other teams – and five of them that are really looking for a kicker right now. Ryan is going to attach to somebody quickly and be very successful like he was here.”

Q: Did they have to go to Babies R Us to find Santos’ jersey and helmet?

COLQUITT: “Kyle (Crumbaugh) when you’re working in that equipment room, you have to be very versatile and good at two or three things. He’s a master sewer. Kyle did a great job getting that thing hemmed up and he’s going to look tight on game day.”

WR ALBERT WILSON

Q: It’s been a good week, Georgia State won and you made the Chiefs.

WILSON: “Yes, sir.”

Q: What could be better?

WILSON: “Uhm, a Super Bowl could be better.”

Q: What got you here?

WILSON: “Hard work. I feel like I came in day in and day out, trying to perfect my game as an individual and just worrying about what I have to do and my assignments.”

Q: Are you kind of an inspiration for the little guy too?

WILSON: “Yeah, that’s something I thought of coming into camp, my size being a problem. Just having that in the back of my head would push me harder every day.”

Q: Not only the jump from undrafted rookie, but not being a BCS school. You came from a school that is just starting its program, how did you overcome all that? You didn’t come from Alabama or USC.

WILSON: “Just believed in myself and the opportunity I was given to show my talent. It goes back to staying in your playbook, learning and being coachable at the end of the day.”

Q: Was it tough physically or mentally? You were out there almost every day. In fact, you were out there in pads one day and they made you take them off and go to the rehab area for practice. Was that something in your head that says, “I just have to be out there, I’ve got to be a part of everything.”

WILSON: “I love football. That is just something I would like to do every day. So if I’m able to come out here and play football every day, that’s what I would do if it was up to me.”

Q: How tough was it to separate yourself? A bunch of guys out here fighting for a few spots, did you feel that need to go out and make plays to separate yourself from the bunch?

WILSON: “Yeah, I feel like at one point in time everybody was making plays and everybody was having a good camp. It just goes back to when everybody is being as good as they are, the little details that might slip away, it keeps me on track.”

Q: You had a big punt return, the big kick return in the first preseason game, was that kind of a confidence boost?

WILSON: “Yes it was, it was exciting. It got me going and reminded me that this is football at the end of the day. But at the end of the day, the other 10 guys that were on the field with me did an absolutely amazing job. It was reading their blocks (that) got me the return that I had.”

Q: Why 12? (Referring to Wilson’s jersey number)

WILSON: “It’s better than 89.”

Q: Those were the choices?

WILSON: “Yeah and I didn’t want to go with an 80 number, so 12 was my best option.”

Q: You were a quarterback in high school, what number did you wear in high school?

WILSON: “I wore three in high school, no more single digits for me.”

 

S DANIEL SORENSEN

Q: When you first got here, did you have any idea the streak there was here for making the 53-man roster as a college free agent?

SORENSEN: “No idea. I had no idea.”

Q: Now it’s going on 13 years in a row.

SORENSEN: “I didn’t know that.”

Q: So you came here anyways?

SORENSEN: “I came here anyway.”

Q: Has the game slowed down a little bit especially at the safety position?

SORENSEN: “I would say it’s slowed down a bit, but I still haven’t caught up to it yet. It’ll be a learning process as we go through the season.”

Q: At what point in preseason did you realize you had a chance?

SORENSEN: “No, I mean you try to prepare for the worst and assume you still have to work and prove yourself. That was kind of my mindset. I was never thinking that I had made it until someone makes that decision for you.”

Q: Do you continue that mindset today, tomorrow?

SORENSEN: “Absolutely. You have to. If you’re a 10-year vet, that’s kind of how you have to play and have that kind of attitude.”

Q: Have you assessed how much the coaches have put a necessity on the safeties of being able to come up and make tackles in the running game? It’s not in all schemes but appears to be important in the position you play.

SORENSEN: “Yeah, it’s important everywhere though. I mean, I guess it’s just the nature of the position. That’s how I would say.”

Q: You have a knack for that don’t you? What do you tribute that to? Your time or coaches at BYU?

SORENSEN: “Yeah. It comes from playing this position my whole life and learning the ins and outs of it and really trying to learn from guys like Eric Berry and some of the guys that I have been able to look up to and things like that.”

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