Quarterback Alex Smith
The Oakland Raiders currently hold sole possession of first place in the AFC West, after the Denver Broncos lost to the San Diego Chargers Thursday. This week the Silver and Black will face another division rival in the Kansas City Chiefs, and could move to 5-1 with a win. The Chiefs are a tough team to face, and heading into the matchup they've had a bye week to prepare for Sunday.
With kickoff just two days away, here's what the opponents are saying.
Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid
**Reid shared his thoughts on the progression and development of Raiders quarterback Derek Carr.
"Well, he can make all the throws. I think he's always been able to do that. I think he's got a good offensive coordinator there and a good scheme I think he's very comfortable with."
He talked about the Raiders and if they're a different team than what he faced last season.
"Well, they're playing very good football. I don't know… I'd have to go back and try and analyze that one. But I'll just tell you right now, and that's really all I care about, is they're playing really good football."
Quarterback Alex Smith
Smith discussed what it will be like to face former college and Chiefs teammate cornerback Sean Smith.
"It's always interesting any time you go against corners that you obviously played with for a long time. Sean and I, obviously both going to Utah and then played here together for three years. We have a really good relationship. He and I used to always go back and forth in the locker room. It'll be interesting to go against him. It's very similar to playing with Brandon Flowers here and him going to San Diego. It always makes for an interesting matchup."
The Chiefs quarterback shared that he's seen an improvement in the Raiders since last year.
"I think you said it right there as far as defense goes – flying around, a bunch of turnovers, running to the football. I think the yard thing, yeah, they've given up some yards, but I think some of that's kind of been blown… They've played some good offenses. That's kind of inflated that. They've been in some good battles though. You look at it, they've been in a bunch of close games, so they're certainly battle tested. I think more mature than last year."
He acknowledged the talent and level of intensity that linebacker Bruce Irvin and defensive end Khalil Mack add to the defensive equation.
"They're both really good players. Certainly, as a quarterback, I'm trying not to pay attention to either of those two guys. Anytime you have two edge rushers of their ability, you have to be aware of it as far as all week and fundamentals in the pocket and things like that. When you're playing, your attention is down the field a lot, but you do have to be aware of those guys. You can't be done with them. They deserve that respect."
Smith commended Carr for his skill set and what he's been able to do in the NFL since arriving in 2014.
"Yeah, he's played so well from the jump, from his first opportunity; certainly a guy with a lot of tools. I think the thing that jumps out is just how fast he plays for a young guy and he continues to develop that. Plays fast, throws things early. He anticipates in the little bit that I have watched. I think that's kind of the name of the game at this level. You have to be able to play fast, anticipate things. Certainly, physically, he's got a lot of tools."
Offensive Coordinator Brad Childress
**Childress broke down the different offenses that the Raiders defense has played this season, and how he'll game plan.
"They've played four very different kinds of offenses, it's interesting to me. They played one style in the Atlanta Falcons and then a completely different style in the San Diego Chargers last week. It's kind of interesting as I'm getting through these games and going and watching them develop, and see what gives them problems from a scheme stand point."
He covered a variety of playmakers the Raiders have on defense and how the offense needs to be aware of them.
"I'm familiar with Sean playing the one corner, Reggie is playing their deep safety and was at Cincinnati for years, and then I think it's Amerson, 29, their other guy, and then the young guy they brought in from West Virginia is a big hitter, and so you notice those guys. Of course you've got to talk about Khalil Mack and Bruce Irvin, those guys really set the edge for them, and can create pressure coming off the corners."