(On assessment of how the unit played last year) "I think we played hard, I thought we executed. But as you talk to our unit, we met again this morning and it wasn't good enough. If we don't win the football game, then it's not good enough and that's the mentality in the room. Last year was last year. They've got some different players and obviously some new additions. Obviously, we got some new players and some guys playing in different spots than they did a year ago. So, it's going to be a heck of a challenge for us defensively."
(On whether he has seen an offense with as much speed and weaponry as this Chiefs one has) "Maybe back when we were in Tampa or New Orleans, when they were really rolling. They had a lot of talent, but they're fast in every position. If one guy takes a play off, it's probably going to be an explosive play. So, we've got to do everything we can to keep the ball in front of us and hopefully make them earn everything that they can get."
(On any concerns with Quincy Williams) "With him, I thought Doug came up with some really good stuff for us to get him prepared mentally. He may not be where he needs to be with tackling and block protection and stuff like that because he hasn't had the opportunity to do that. But, mentally, we've definitely worked him more than we have other guys in the past. I think [linebackers] Coach [Mark] Collins did a great job of working him in the mornings, working him at night and that kind of stuff during training camp where we didn't have any hours we had to worry about. So, we really worked him there and [Strength and Conditioning Coordinator] Mylo [Tom Myslinski] has done a nice job of conditioning him. You see him do a lot of extra condition now, still. You know, I think he's ready to go. I'm sure there's going to be some rookie mistakes along the way, we've talked about that. But at the same time, we feel comfortable or else we wouldn't play him."
(On his viable options on defending Kelce) "With Kelce, obviously he's got a great catch radius. I think if you put a smaller body on him, you're probably going to have some issues because he is such a big, physical guy. The things we've got to do; we've got to put a bigger body on him. Who that might be? I'm not sure yet. But we've still got three days before the first game. But we've got to get somebody on our end that is a bigger body. Throughout the years, they try maybe a nickel on him and he bodies them up. If you put a guy who can't run, he'll run by him. He's a tough matchup for us and everybody in the league, really. So, we're going to do the best we can with different bodies flying at him and we've got to mix it up."
(On if he holds his breath when it's not Jalen Ramsey covering Chiefs WR Tyreek Hill) "No. I trust our guys, I really do. Obviously, Jalen travels through a lot of different wide receivers and there's going to be times when maybe he doesn't. I've got confidence in our nickel and A.J. and whoever else that goes at him. We're very fortunate. We've got some good corners and they've got some good skills, so it's going to be a heck of a matchup."
(On using last year's game versus Kansas City as motivation) "Yeah, at the time last year when we played them it was a heck of a battle between two teams. They had a good record and we had a good record at the time. You know, we look at the tape. Obviously, we've known for a long time that we're going to play them again in the opener, so we've put a lot of extra time into them just because they're so talented. [Kansas City Chiefs] [Head] Coach [Andy] Reid could be hands down the best guy that's going to really scheme you. So, we've got to do everything we can, once again, to try and keep the ball in front of us and make them earn everything."
(On whether at some point he says 'Last year is last year') "Yeah, every year is different for every team. It's different how we game plan; maybe things that we play. They've added new weapons – they got a new weapon just last week. So, last year was last year, but at the same time, I think our guys are biting at the bit to get out there and get playing again."
(On what makes Andy Reid so good at scheming) "He's been around for a long time, obviously. They play some systems that are very similar to ours. I think we're a little bit different than Seattle, the San Diego, well I guess it's not San Diego anymore, but the Chargers and San Francisco. But you see him really challenging the scheme and once again, we're going to play them for a second year in a row, so he's going to be looking at last year's tape; what we did, how they can attack what we did. His track record of scheming you early in the game – he's done an exceptional job. So, we've got to be under control, understand what we're seeing and trust our base fundamentals."
(On the challenges and risks of having Myles Jack split all the way out on Kelce) "Well, whoever you put on him, there's going to be a risk because he's such a good football player. Last year we went in with the idea that we've got to put a lot of different bodies on him and different sizes of bodies and see who is having a real good day in man-to-man coverage, if that's what we're going to end up calling. I think every defense has got a strength and every defense has got a weakness. We're fortunate that we've got some real good players so we can try them out on different guys throughout the game."
(On whether he could've really used LB Telvin Smith Sr. in this matchup) "Oh you know, I like who we've got. I hope everything is going well with T and all that good stuff, but you know, we've moved on. Obviously, Telvin was a heck of a football player, but we feel confident with the players that we have."
(On the level that Ramsey gets when facing a guy like Tyreek Hill) "He's locked in. I think that when he gets challenged, that's when he's his best. I think it's the same thing with the good wideouts in the league, when they get to go against Jalen or all the other elite corners in the league. You know they get excited because everybody in this league better be a competitor. So Jalen is locked in and I think he's looking forward to it. I really look forward to watching him play on Sunday."
(On whether Ramsey's maturity has changed) "Oh yeah, think each year he has matured. His prep has always been good. He has always studied wideouts and he's got a heck of a notebook on the wideouts in the league and stuff like that. But you see him in his prep getting better and better. And just his leadership in the room. I mean, he's got up and talked to the defense and to the defensive backs a couple times this year. He really hasn't done that in the past, so we really appreciate how he's matured and how he's trying to take that leadership role within our defense."
(On whether they poke Ramsey at all before the game) "No, you don't have to poke him when he's traveling. He's excited and ready to go."
(On facing a quarterback like Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes) "Well, I think he does an excellent job at extending plays and throwing the ball down the field to numerous wideouts. But the last thing you want to do is go in there and slow your rush down. All of a sudden you get out of the game, and they sit and say if we just would've went harder and we didn't have to worry about the scrambling. You know, we've got a plan, but we still want those guys to go in there and get after it; and just have an idea that we try to keep him in the pocket as much as we can."
(On whether he feels good about preparations for Kansas City) "Yeah, last week that's all we did. We had some things within the staff. The guys that were going to play in the Atlanta game worked on the Atlanta game and the guys that were going to play in the Kansas City game worked on Kansas City. We've had some good prep, but not only that, the first couple opponents you're always working on in the spring too. I think that's very common around the league. So we've had plenty of prep. The day off from the hurricane is not going to be an excuse for how we play or don't play well."
(On Taven Bryan's head going into the regular season amidst the criticism) "Well, obviously refs have talked to him a lot and I think he was a little frustrated, but you've seen some flashes in the last game where he was getting off and being disruptive. That's the biggest thing, he's just got to turn it loose and if a mistake happens, a mistake happens. I don't think there's a person out there that has ever played a perfect football game and Lord knows I've never called a perfect football game. So, we've just got to let him turn it loose and be the disruptive player he can be."