- Bill Williamson, ESPN Oakland Raiders reporter
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The importance of the quarterback in the NFL cannot be understated. It all starts there.
That is particularly true when an offensive-minded coach is starting a new program. That’s why Andy Reid is headed to the seven-week break between the offseason program and training camp in Kansas City feeling so good about his team.
I got a chance catch up with Reid in a telephone interview Friday. I asked him if he thought his program was further along at this point than he might have anticipated.
“I’d say yes and that’s because the quarterbacks can handle everything,” Reid said. “It starts with Alex [Smith]. He has the mental capacity to handle everything we’re doing and that helps everybody … I really like the approach of the entire team. They have had a phenomenal approach.”
He said the volume of work the team has gotten through so far is one of the team’s best accomplishments to date.
Reid addressed some other topics as well:
On the rookies: He said he thinks first-round pick, tackle Eric Fisher, third-round picks tight end Travis Kelce and running back Knile Davis, fourth-round pick, linebacker Nico Johnson and fifth-round pick, defensive back Sanders Commings can all make impacts as rookies.
“I think we have some guys who have a chance to play and have some production,” Reid said.
On left tackle Branden Albert, who recently returned to the team after a short contract squabble: “Branden has done a nice job. He came into camp in shape and that helped. He’s handled it well. He’s a good kid. There’s been no problem.”
On second-year defensive tackle Dontari Poe: “He’s easy to excited about. He’s a big kid. He’s a real big kid. He is very athletic. He’s very intelligent. He wants to be the best. He has a strong work ethic. I think he is going to be a heck of a player. The sky is the limit for him.”
The importance of the quarterback in the NFL cannot be understated. It all starts there.That is particularly true when an offensive-minded coach is starting a new program.