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Chiefs Quarterback Elvis Grbac Press Conference

Phone ConferenceChiefs Quarterback Elvis Grbac speaks to the press.



            **Q:  How are you feeling?**  

G: I'm feeling pretty good. The last couple days, I've been throwing the ball a little bit. Really hasn't been too much pain in it. So far, it looks pretty good.

Q: Do you expect to play on Monday?

G: I hope so. Like I said, the last couple days I've increased my throwing and there hasn't been any pain in it. I'm going to see what I can do for the rest of the week, but I would think that I can play.

Q: Which finger was it?

G: It was my right index finger, the last joint in the finger which is really the last finger that comes off the football. I hit another person's hand, a defensive lineman's hand in the Buffalo game, in the last two minutes of the game, and did some damage to it and just kept me out.

Q: Did you watch the film of how Drew Bledsoe hurt his thumb?

G: I did. I did see it. I saw it and I don't the extent of what he did. I guess some of the people around here are saying that it is pretty similar.

Q: How satisfying has this season been for you in that you've come into your own as a quarterback?

G: There's certain things that you've got to take positive out of this season, and obviously there's some negative things that have happened to us. Offensively, we've done some really good things, like the passing game. Our running game isn't what it used to be. As a quarterback, I've had the opportunity to play well with some of these guys and Tony (Gonzalez) has been putting up some great numbers and so has Sylvester (Morris) as well as Derrick Alexander. We've done some great things in the passing game. Really at some point in the season early on, we were winning games that way it finally caught up to us. In certain situations we couldn't really establish the run and had to rely on the pass so much. The last couple weeks we just haven't put up the points like we had early on in the season. There's a number of factors that lead to that. But there are some positive things and like I said we've done some things offensively that have been good and can be good for a long time. The bottom line is really, that we haven't really won any games that we were should have and we just haven't put a string together like we thought we could.

Q: Ty Law said that you were the reason he wasn't red shirted at Michigan. He played well against you during preseason practices.

G: Great, that's great. I know Ty, and I'm not going to take that seriously. Ty's a great player. He is probably one of the top corners in the league and we're going to have to be aware of him in any situation. He's a Michigan guy and Michigan guys stick together, so it is really funny to hear him say that.

Q: What do you think of the Patriots secondary and Tebucky Jones?

G: They've switched up a couple guys here and there. Defensively, they're solid. I think that really stems from the head coach and what he tries to instill in these guys. They play hard, it doesn't matter what their record is or what the situation is, they play hard. They play sound defense and what they do they go into every game with a certain type of defense that they want to scheme against a certain offense and they play it well. They understand what they have to do. They are all coordinated well. They play well as a defense, that's a good mark because I think that as the years go on, they are going to be a better defense.

Q: Talk about the difference between coming back this week and the last time to returned from injury.

G: It is interesting because some of the reporters here asked about that and it is two different scenarios compared to what it was two years ago. It was interesting when I got into the huddle yesterday, there were a lot of smiles on some guys faces in the huddle especially the offensive line. I think in the last two years we've gone through some things and we've jelled as an offense. We've got some young guys that have been playing and we have some veterans that have stepped up and had great years. It is an offense that can be very, very good as the years go on. The thing is that we jelled altogether this year and that is what we did this last. Hopefully we can get out of this funk a little bit. But the thing was, it was interesting, like I said, that a bunch of the guys had smiles on their faces and were happy to see me.

Q: There had to be some periods of doubt.

G: Sure, sure. Anytime in 1997 or 1998 that I got hurt and then really didn't have an opportunity to get back into the game and play well. The last time I was in New England, I came off an injury and played absolutely horrible. So, last year was a great opportunity for me to get a second chance and establish my feet a little bit and get back into the rhythm of playing as a quarterback and getting better. This year, I've just tried to continue to try to do that. Last week was a little bit of a setback for me, but I'll be ready to go for the next four weeks.

Q: You've already surpassed your career high for touchdown passes with four games to go.

G: I believe so yeah. That was one of my goals this year, just try to get better as a football player, as a quarterback and try lead this team to the playoffs. To do those things, the way I wanted to do them was to throw more touchdowns and more completions and more yards because we have the talent at those positions, we have a great tight end and wide receiver. Offensively, in the passing game we had to step up a little bit. We've done that, but the thing is that we've stumbled the last couple games and we have to get back on track.

Q: Can you talk about Tony Gonzalez?

G: Tony has really just come into his own. I think last year with making it to the Pro Bowl was just a great boost for his confidence. The thing that I've noticed and I've been here for all the years with him, he came in as a such a young guy, and such a talented guy, but confidence was lacking, but what he's done is really matured as a professional. A lot of the credit really goes to him. He's really taken it upon himself to be in shape, catch balls before practice, after practice, do the things that he needs to be the best tight end and he's done that. And he is just trying to continues to be just better. With his talent and the way he's playing, it is amazing that he is just striving to a better tight end. He's a young guy, he's in his early-20s. So, imagine what he's going to be like in the next five or six years. This guy could be one of the best tight ends to ever play the game. I think in his mind, I think that is what he wants to accomplish and there's not too many guys in this league that have that goal. But the thing is that he has the goal and he has the talent to do it and I think he can do it.

Q: Did your time in San Francisco retard your growth as a quarterback?

G: No, I'll never – when I was out in San Francisco, to be around a Super Bowl team and to be around guys like Jerry Rice and Steve Young and when I got in there it was still Tom Rathman was still there and John Taylor. I mean what other place would you want to be as a young guy to learn? And to learn the correct way of playing the game as a professional. I don't think it retarded me in any way in my progression as a quarterback, but what it did was it gave me an opportunity to just sit back and really learn and study from these guys. Not just what they did on the field, but what it took off the field and what they did in the weight room, constantly throughout the year and how they studied to be the best at their positions. As a quarterback, what other place would you want to be at that time, and I really took full advantage of it.

Q: Is this a redemption type of game for you?

G: Yeah, I think so. Any time you get into the spotlight of a Monday night game, or Sunday night or Thursday night, you know your peers are watching you. Not just your peers, but other people in other organizations, they're seeing what kind of team you have and what kind of players you have. It is an opportunity to go out there and play as a team and really play well as a team. Really show everybody what kind of team you have. It is like any time you get an opportunity on a Monday night game, everybody wants to play well. For some reason, that's why I think Monday is always a magical night, there's always magic happening. I think that is why I think guys step it up a little bit on Monday night, because as I said, guys will be watching them play.

Q: You and Rich Gannon had a good relationship.

G: I think so. I think a lot of people in the media were dig up something that wasn't really there. When I got here, Rich was very supportive of him. I, in turn, did the same when I had the opportunity to play. So, we had respect for each other, the thing is we're two good individual people and we're not going to sit there and try to back stab each other. You know, go to the head coach and say, 'I should be playing, he shouldn't be playing.' We didn't do that. We wanted an opportunity to play and play well and help this team win. When one guy got the opportunity, the other guy would help that guy. When I had an opportunity to come back here, I took advantage of it, and Rich wanted an opportunity to be a started in this league and he had an opportunity to go to Oakland. He is playing well. I've done some decent things here, but maybe not as well as Rich, but it was never a bad relationship with each other. We respected each other very immensely.

Q: Did you do something different this past off-season with your workouts?

G: Yeah, when I got into the league I was 6-foot-5-inches, 232 pounds. In 1997 and 1998 I was getting banged around a lot and a lot of times when I was taking shots in the shoulders, my bones were breaking left and right. I had to do something to get out of that funk a little bit. I put on a little weight and got stronger in the off-season. Mostly in my upper body more than anything else. Really, it is due to the off-season workout program that we have here. I got smarter as a quarterback I think too. I got stronger and smarter at the same time. When I got in trouble when I would get hurt is when I tried to make a play downfield. My advantage is really just sitting in the pocket, being able to read coverages and look and see where linebackers are dropping. I took that advantage and then just got stronger in my upper body and I think it has helped pretty immensely.

Q: What do you remember about last season's game against the Patriots?

G: Yeah, obviously they came in here and played extremely well and we did some good things too. I think it was a two-minute drill at the end and it was vintage Drew (Bledsoe) just goes down the field and puts his team in a position to win the game and I don't know sometimes the ball just bounces our way a little bit, they hit the upright and we win the game. They had great opportunities to win that game and so did we. Like I said, it is just one of those things, in the NFL, you never know what is going to happen on Sunday. The ball just bounced our way.

Q: Last week San Diego kicked a 52-yard field goal to win it.

G: That's right. The thing too, we had so many opportunities early on in the game to kind of put it away and had I think we had like five minutes go to in the game and we had the ball. We could have gotten maybe two first downs and that would have been the ball game. They go right down, they complete one pass and they hit a 50-yarder. Like I said, in the NFL it can happen to anybody.

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