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Three-Phase Thursday with Chiefs Coordinators

Posted Oct 17, 2013

Chiefs coordinators talk prep work for matchup with the Texans

Thursday's morning walkthrough and afternoon practice came and went just like Chiefs head coach Andy Reid prefers, up-tempo, full of purpose and with everything left on the field as the players continue working to improve, each and every rep.

Following the morning walkthrough, Chiefs special teams coordinator Dave Toub, offensive coordinator Doug Pederson and defensive coordinator Bob Sutton addressed the media, talking preparations for a tough Week 7 matchup against the Houston Texans.

Coach Toub stepped in front of the mics first, previewing what the Chiefs will see from Texans punter Shane Lechler.

“A lot of challenges, because he’s very good," coach Toub said. "He bombs the ball and they like to get down there and cover those long kicks. The good thing is the possibility we might get the ball in our hand and if we can hold guys in at the line, we might be able to get Dexter McCluster to the edge. We didn’t do a good job of that last week, getting Dexter to the edge and we need to do a better job of that next week.”

Playing a huge role on special teams for coach Toub is Chiefs S Quintin Demps, who has also helped man the secondary in Kansas City, after spending the last three seasons with the Texans. On Thursday, Demps shed light on the Texans QB situation as they named Case Keenum the starter for Sunday.

"It doesn’t really change (their approach), because they believe in whoever is the back-up," Demps said. "They’re going to run the offense how they run the offense, with the starters; so, nothing is going to change on that end.”

On offense, the Chiefs will face a Texans team that leads the NFL in total defense (252.8 avg.) and pass defense (131.3 avg.) and have allowed the fourth-fewest passing yards through the first six games of a season since 1983. Headlining the Texans "D" is last year's defensive player of the year, J.J. Watt, who has 45 tackles, 11 tackles for loss and 14 quarterback hits this season.

Chiefs offensive coordinator Doug Pederson was asked to describe Watt, following Thursday's walkthrough.

“He’s a special player," Pederson said of Watt. "He gets a lot of respect around the National Football League. I love his effort; he’s a tenacious guy. He has a lot of different weapons and moves in his arsenal. You just have to understand where he’s going to line up and as many eyes and hands you can put on him, you put on him. He’s going to get his and that’s the bottom line. Hopefully, we get a few more and make a few plays.”

Helping the Chiefs make plays, as he has all season long, is Chiefs Pro Bowl RB Jamaal Charles, who has 475 rushing yards with five TDs, along with 33 receptions for 300 yards and two scores. On Thursday, Jamaal was asked if he can keep up with his current pace of the 2013 season.

“I’m not worried about my pace," Charles answered. "I’ve been doing this for years, so I’m not worried about how many times I touch the ball. It doesn’t really matter to me, as long as I come up to practice, I’ll be part of the offense. As long as the ball is in my hands, I’m up for whatever.”

The Chiefs defense will play a large part in trying to get the ball in the hands of their offense, needing to stop the Texans, including their fifth-ranked rushing offense, led by RB Arian Foster, who leads the AFC and ranks second in the NFL with 531 yards rushing.

Chiefs defensive coordinator Bob Sutton spoke Thursday about playing against the Texans zone-blocking running game.

“Well one, the zone schemes that the Texans, Washington and Denver (run) are probably the best examples of that going," coach Sutton said. "They’re all out of the same tree. They put so much pressure on you, because these plays, everybody has to play every play, because they find the crack or hole in the defense as it goes, so every play you are required as a defensive player, to be in the right position, to stay on your feet, to be able to squeeze the play off and go. To us, the best way is you have to protect the blocker, which isn’t anything really new or new in approach, but that’s kind of our basic approach. You have to attack it; you have to attack it, stay on your feet and then your linebackers and your second-level defensive backs have to do a great job of capping off these runs, when they turn up on you.”

Also speaking on Thursday was Chiefs rookie S Sanders Commings, one day after returning to the practice field, following a shoulder injury that he suffered during training camp. Commings reflected on his past few months.

“It was frustrating, but it was definitely a humbling experience," Commings said. "I just had to sit back and take mental reps and learn as much as I could from the vets on this team. It was a learning experience. It’s hard, but we have a great staff; Chiefs strength and conditioning coach Barry Rubin and his staff do a great job of keeping me in shape.”

The Chiefs will return to the practice field Friday, continuing to prepare for the visiting Texans on Sunday.

For a look at the latest Chiefs Injury Report, click here.

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