Kansas City Chiefs' Andy Reid 'impressed' with Eric Fisher, Alex Smith in first preseason game

Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

The KC Chiefs head coach spoke to the media on the day after the Saints beat the Chiefs in the first preseason game. Here's what Andy Reid had to say.

On Eric Fisher: "I was impressed"

"I thought he did a good job," Reid said of his rookie right tackle. "There were a couple things in the run game that he's gotta learn to feel, that when you're into the third step that the guy is going to try to counter back across your face but other than that I thought he did a good  job. His assignments were accurate. His protection was good.

"That first game, he kept his emotions in tact where he could function well. Great hip explosion. I was impressed with what he did in the first half."

The Chiefs first team ran almost exclusively to Fisher's side. I wonder if that was by design so that Fisher could get some extra work in the run game. Just interesting that Reid mentioned that as an area to work on and they ran at him consistently.

"He doesn't say much," Reid continued. "He goes out and does this thing. He's not one to boast and he doesn't have the big ups  and downs. If he gets beat, he just goes back in there. He didn't get beat in this game but in practices he doesn't throw a tantrum. So you kind of appreciate his approach to it."

Fisher did hurt his thumb in the game but x-rays were negative. Reid expects him to practice when the Chiefs return to St. Joe on Sunday morning. "That's the way it looks right now," Reid said.

"Dontari Poe's a big man"

He lost 15 pounds this offseason and he's still a very large man.

"You know as well as I do that you've gotta be strong up the middle in the 3-4 front and it starts with that nose guard," Reid said. "He looks like he's developed, you saw it on the one pressure on Drew [Brees]. He had a nice move on the center there. That was a beautiful short chop, swim move that he put on the nose. He went in one direction and came back in the other direction."

I am about to walk out the door to go to Mrs. Arrowhead Pride's mom's house or else I would be queueing up NFL Preseason Live to look at that play again. Tamba Hali was also there with pressure on the play.

Is this a breakout year for Poe?

Alex Smith's one incompletion

Alex Smith had one incompletion on Friday night and it was intentionally thrown away. Not necessarily a bad play, Reid said.

"Sometimes a throwaway gets a coach as excited as a completion. Not every play is going to be the right play against the right coverage or may be the defense just does a good job with the coverage. There's a time and place to throw the ball away."

O-line: First team good, second team not so good

That's simplifying it a little too much but that's basically what Reid said.  This is it: "I didn't think we did as well with the second group as the first group."

"The first group handled everything the right way," Reid continued. "There are a couple things we have to get straightened out which are numbers counts and looking at the defense in the run game but other than that I thought the guys did well and the communication was good. Like I mentioned yesterday, there weren't a lot of balls on the ground."

On the second team line, he said: "We didn't pass protect very well, more probably at the tackle position than inside."

Chase Daniel looked like he struggled at times but he was also getting a lot of pressure. Reid seems to be putting part of the blame on the second team line. It's just the first game -- plenty of team to get it right. The important part is that the first team looked sharp.

One more: "[Geoff] Schwartz had some good downs at tackle. We're moving him all around."

Usatsi_7374288_medium
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Rookie spotlight: C Eric Kush

Alert: Reid mentioned Kush without being asked specifically about him.

"I like the way the center played," Reid said of his backup center Eric Kush, a sixth round pick. "I thought he did a good job for being a rookie. I thought he handled himself well and kept things under control. There were no balls on the ground and he had a few of those early in camp but he worked through it."

No botched snaps is big for Kush and Daniel. They have had multiple botched snaps during camp so I was concerned about that.

"He's a pretty intense kid so when those juices get flowing I wasn't quite sure what to expect so I thought he handled it well," Reid said.  Interesting quote.

"Tight competition" at inside linebacker
Andy Reid said you could tell Akeem Jordan was the veteran and that Nico Johnson was the rookie. But Reid did say that the battle at inside linebacker is a "tight competition".

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