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John Dorsey's Post-Draft Press Conference

Posted May 10, 2014

The team's GM evaluates each of the Chiefs six 2014 draft picks

OPENING STATEMENT: “Good evening, everybody. It’s been a long three days; I’m not going to lie to you. But you know what, I think we helped the Kansas City Chiefs. We got a little bit better today. First off, I want to thank these two gentlemen here. The one to my left (Director of Pro Personnel Chris Ballard) and the one to my right (Director of College Scouting Marvin Allen) for all of their hard work, their diligence and just making the Kansas City Chiefs a better personnel staff. It’s always important to understand one thing and that’s to surround yourself with exceptional people and these two gentlemen right here are very exceptional at what they do. I can’t thank them enough for all of their tireless work and help in identifying some of the finer players I think we got in this year’s draft. I want to thank the college scouts and the coaches for all that they have done, because this is a collective effort with all of us here in this organization. With that, we’ll take your questions.”

Q: Because it’s so long, is there a part of you that’s happy that this is over? Or does it depend on how it went?

DORSEY: “You know what, for me personally, and these other guys can probably answer this as well, I know for me, my biorhythms and my internal clock, you’re just programmed to do certain things at certain parts of the year and this just so happens to be, to me, a very critical part of building this organization in a way that we see it to be built in the future. So, it’s just a part of the yearly schedule.”

Q: What about the four guys you drafted today?

DORSEY: “Sometimes – and you guys always laugh at me – but you let the board fall and it falls in unique ways, if you have a degree of patience and I think today we were very lucky. Each one of these guys fell in their respective rounds and each time they fell and each time we selected them, the more we got excited. With De’Anthony Thomas, what he gives us, he gives us a hybrid type of player. He’s one of those guys who is a niche player. He can play running back, he can play slot receiver, he can return kicks, he can return punts. We are going to be able to utilize his traits and his skills and with a coach like Andy Reid, you’re going to take advantage of that. We’re excited to get him. Again, when you go into the 163rd pick with Aaron Murray, you let the board talk to you. We had a chance to get a really quality quarterback at that position, so we said, you know what, we’re going to go and get that player, because he was the best player on the board at that time. Then as it fell, we went with two offensive linemen, because we thought we needed to add some more depth to the offensive line and at each time as they fell in the 6th round, they were the highest-rated player. So, the board spoke and I think it did a nice job.”

Q: Where is Aaron Murray in his rehab? When can he practice?

DORSEY: “I would think that he’s right now probably 90 percent there. I would project him, you know, you don’t want to rush somebody like that, but I would say let’s see where he is in training camp and see how much progress he makes, when he gets here. That’s kind of what you’re going to look at. Everybody is going to make an assessment with him.”

Q: Will he participate in the OTAs?

DORSEY: “Maybe not rookie minicamp, but maybe training camp.”

Q: What did you like about him?

DORSEY: “He’s a winner. I mean bottom line, he’s a winner. He’s been a winner at every stage that he’s played, between high school and college. (He’s) ultra‐competitive and smart. What I like about him is when there are big drives to be made late in the game, this guy made those drives. He didn’t always win them, but he made those big drives at the end, when it really counted. If you want to put some statistics in there, he’s got multiple records in the SEC, which is as good a conference as there is in today’s football. He performed at a very high level.”

Q: What about his ability to make all the necessary throws?

DORSEY: “I do. I think he can make all of the throws.”

Q: Is the selection of Aaron Murray because of the state of extension talks with Alex Smith?

DORSEY: “No, what it is is an indication of he was there, you had a shot to get him, why not take a shot and try to get this guy and better your team and add quality depth to your roster. That’s what that gives you.”

Q: Do you get tired of seeing Aaron Murray or can you look at a freshman play and compare it to a senior play?

ALLEN: “I think for us on the road, sometimes you see a guy, especially in the SEC, you take notice of the younger players and you can’t help it when the guy is making plays. A guy like Aaron Murray, who has been a starter for so long, you’re like, ‘He’s getting better and better.’ As John (Dorsey) alluded to earlier, the guy makes plays at key stages of key games and he’s done that his whole career. We do take note of that kind of stuff.”

BALLARD: “You like to have guys with history. Every guy we have taken, for example Phillip Gaines, I remember Phillip Gaines from three years ago, being at a Rice practice and David Bailiff the head coach telling me, ‘Hey I have a corner, who is one day going to be a really good player here.’ So it’s good, it’s good. That’s our job, to track players' history and to watch them grow and become players in the NFL.”

Q: With Phillip Gaines, how comfortable were you through your research that the player had done what they asked him to do, or any anecdote or story you can share about what led you to believe in him?

BALLARD: “Absolutely. Kids make mistakes. Kids are in college, they make mistakes. We were all 18, 19, 20 years old at some time and they make mistakes. I’m very close with the head coach; I’m very close with defensive coordinator and I’m very close with another coach on that staff and they all vouch for this kid and they speak very highly of his character and what he stands for. I’ve been doing this a long time, especially in that area, and absolutely have tremendous faith in the kid and who he is as a person.”

Q: You’re signing some undrafted guys right now and you can sign some veterans, before you get to camp, but the bulk of your roster is set now; how do you feel about this roster?

DORSEY: “I think right now we’ve improved the Kansas City Chiefs. We’ve created that competitive depth that we continually talk about, but we will always continue to look for players as we go along. That’s what we do; it’s our job to try to, if in fact we feel that there is a player that can help this organization, we’re going to go and acquire him.”

Q: But relative to where you ended last season, you feel this roster is significantly improved?

DORSEY: “We’ll see. Right now, we feel pretty good about where we are at this stage. I think any time that you have the chance to add the quality of players that we added through this draft class, I feel pretty good here now.”

Q: You added De’Anthony Thomas, but you didn’t add a guy this week that is an outside presence for you. Is that a disappointment?

DORSEY: “It’s not over yet. There are still some things going on and you’ve still got training camp and there are still opportunities to acquire those types of players that you’re looking at, if in fact you want to go in that direction.”

Q: So that’s not necessarily a disappointment that you couldn’t get that done?

DORSEY: “No. I think the players that we got here, I’m very happy with; that’s kind of what I’m proud of.”

Q: Your Canadian tackle from the sixth round, is he closer to being a doctor than an NFL player?

DORSEY: “He’s pretty good, now. He is a very interesting fella. He is a gentleman that when it’s all said and done will be between 325 and 330. I think that the potential that he has ahead of him is really good. Now, he’s going to have to learn, but what he demonstrated at the East‐West Game and he actually played at a very high level, he did very well. When you have a player like that, an example is, he’s got so much more room to grow, but the combination of his size and athleticism makes him and exceptionally intriguing prospect.”

Q: Even for his size, he’s really and athlete isn’t he?

DORSEY: “He’s very athletic and it’s very rare that you can acquire a player in the sixth round with his athletic traits, so therefore you take a shot on a guy like that. We had brought him in here as one of our 30 visits and he impressed everybody with his person and his depth of football. He’s a really neat kid.”

Q: Because of the system he played at Georgia, how much of a head start does Aaron Murray have learning this team’s version of the West Coast Offense?

DORSEY: “He’s played in a pro‐style offense, which always helps. He’ll have no problem with terminology; he’ll have no problem recognizing defenses. I think he will just jump right in with the rest of them and with as quick at studying and as learning as he is, I would think he has no problem picking stuff up.”

Q: You already have another young developmental quarterback that you picked up last offseason. What’s the message to those guys now?

DORSEY: “Competition; it brings out the best in every athlete.”

Q: You drafted De’Anthony Thomas, but you also signed Joe McKnight and you signed Weston Dressler and they were going to compete for a slot receiver position and maybe in kickoff return; how’s this going to play out in your mind?

DORSEY: “That’s the beauty of football. Let them compete. Who is the best guy? Let them compete; that’s kind of why you do this.”

Q: Thomas does a lot of stuff. What stands out the most to you?

DORSEY: “Speed. He can run. If you really go watch the college film and the college games, when he gets at his high point in terms of his running and acceleration, you watch him run and then the defenses are trying to close in on him, but they can never get really close, because he’s so exceptionally fast. He’s got dynamic speed.”

Q: With some of the guys that have come out of that Oregon system it hasn’t really translated. What makes him different do you think?

DORSEY: “Because you have a coach like Andy Reid, who is really good with these types of players, in the kind of offense that Andy runs, he’s going to create situational matchups for this type of player and that’s kind of how you take advantage of his unique athletic traits and then you let the coach scheme him in to certain packages that take advantage of defenses. And that’s what’s going to happen.”

BALLARD: “Just to interject real quick, not just Coach Reid, Coach Toub. Let’s not underestimate what he’s been able to do in his career with unique talents at returner. He did it in Chicago, I was with him. I watched him take four guys and all were very good players and then he came in here and what he did with Dexter McCluster and our kickoff returners. So we’ve got some unique staff here to take advantage of his unique skillset.”

Q: Starting off, will Laurent Duvernay‐Tardif be a tackle or is there any guard in him?

DORSEY: “Really, he has an exceptional value, because I would say he could play four positions – left tackle, right tackle, guard. Let’s kind of just work him in to see where he fits best.”

Q: It’s probably too early to say he’d be in the mix at right guard?

DORSEY: “You wait until we get to training camp to see that.”

Q: You’ve drafted guys out of the Ivy League and now McGill Medical School; are you trying to compensate for something?

DORSEY: “No, all I know is 82‐percent of the National Football League is Division I, so therefore, you have the rest of it and can fill in your team. So, hopefully our team is broken down with those percentages there with that 18‐percent.”

Q: Does being book smart help them?

DORSEY: “I think especially when you play the offensive line, you have to have a degree of mental quickness, because the stunts and the packages and the recognitions and the stunts in defensive packages and where to slide and where to pick up, that’s important.”

Q: How many undrafted guys do you anticipate signing?

DORSEY: “Enough.”

Q: 10 or more?

DORSEY: “Somewhere around there.”

Q: You have room for nine?

DORSEY: “Yeah, you could go anywhere around there. You could go nine. You may go over a little bit. It all depends. We have to get finished doing all that.”

Q: The guys you drafted today don’t count, until you sign them, right?

DORSEY: “Yes.”

Q: You don’t have anyone else unsigned? Everyone else has a contact?

DORSEY: “Yes.”

Q: What is the process after the Combine until now?

ALLEN: “From the Combine, it’s been a continual process. We went from the Combine to the Pro Days and we tried free-agent guys. Everyone we had interest in, it was always a continual process. We even sent someone to Canada to work Duvernay out. When we got to this point, everybody was excited. For the staff, this is more or less like the Super Bowl for us. Guys last night were huddling up, talking about how excited they were the last few days. We continue the process, and that was kind of take a breath for a day and let’s move on.”

BALLARD: “Yeah, and I don’t know if we talk enough about it; our area scouts and our pro staff, they are outstanding. They are the eyes and ears of this organization. They aren’t always around. They aren’t always seen. It takes a very humble servant to be able to come in here and do that job. They dug; they went the extra mile on every player, and now if they’re scouting 400‐500 guys each and we are drafting six players, it’s tough. It’s tough, especially when you don’t have one drafted from your area. I can’t speak highly enough of their work and the diligence they put in.”

Q: Last year, the process was familiar, but everybody was kind of new. How much better did it click this year?

ALLEN: “For me, you know all the guys in the room from working with them in different places, but the more comfortable we got and you guys have been in these press conferences, the guy to my left (John Dorsey), he works at such a pace, you have to pick it up and get going. So, we’re always on the move. It’s pretty exciting.”

DORSEY: “It’s easy. It’s called trust. When you have exceptional guys that really love the craft that they’re doing, you allow them take ownership into the process. It’s very meaningful to them. We’re a very close‐knit group. We spend a lot of time together. I think there is a great degree of trust amongst all of us, and at the end, we’re going to do this thing right.”

Q: When you’re going out on the road is there certain qualities you’re looking for?

ALLEN: “When you look at guys, you work within certain criteria. Each team has guys that they want at certain positions. But, I mean, you’re looking at football players. We’re trying to get the best football players for the Chiefs, and we want them in a certain criteria. So, on the road, after a while, it’s just second hand, you look at a guys and you’re like, ‘This is a guy that fits for us,’ or ‘This is a guy that may be better off somewhere else.’”

BALLARD: “It’s funny because, we’re all different, but we all think very much alike. We’re looking for unique traits. That’s what makes special players – unique traits. Every guys we draft, has a unique trait about him. You can see it. Dee Ford – speed. (Phillip) Gaines – length and speed. De’Anthony Thomas – make you miss, and speed. Aaron Murray – instincts, accuracy. They’re all unique. (Zach) Fulton – strength. (Laurent) Duvernay, Duvernay’s got the most unique skillset of all of them. You want unique traits. You have a chance to hit the ceiling on players, if he’s got a unique skillset.”

Q: Is there a baseline or a cut off when evaluating players?

DORSEY: “Well, certain positions have certain traits.”

ALLEN: “If a guy can play football, he can play football, regardless of his size. You can make certain exceptions and you can make certain guys fit, when he has exceptional talent.”

Q: Do you have any reaction to Michael Sam being drafted by the Rams?

DORSEY: “He’s a good football player. I mean, the guy was the SEC Defensive Player of the Year for a reason. That’s why you’re happy for the guy being drafted; he has made his dream. His dream was to play in the National Football League; he’s playing in the National Football League now.


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