Q&A with TODD HALEY - 8/31

Posted Aug 31, 2009

TODD HALEY: “As you all know by now, I’ve assumed the role of the offensive coordinator with the Kansas City Chiefs. It was a very difficult decision for me. I think the world of (offensive coordinator) Chan (Gailey) as a coach. I have the greatest amount of respect for him as a coach, and as a person there is no better. But ultimately the fate of this team and the accountability falls to me.

“After going through three pre-season games and a lot of OTA’s and a lot of practices in training camp it just became more apparent to me that I had to be more involved. Ultimately, the finger is going to point back at me and I have to do what’s best for this team now and into the future. This is a long-term deal for me. This is about doing everything as an organization to give ourselves the best chance to win.”

Q: When did you feel this wasn’t a good fit between you and Chan?

HALEY: “Again, once you get into the real game situations and things start to pick up you start to see more than you didn’t see. Timing-wise it was better now than to go into the regular season. We have one pre-season game left that we’re going to go out to do everything we can to win. This was the time.”

Q: How soon after the game the other night did you think about this? You seemed unhappy with the offensive play calling.

HALEY: “I wouldn’t look too closely into anything. I was very disappointed with the game in general. I haven’t watched the press conference but I don’t think I felt too happy about anything at that point. There is no clear cut time, it’s just a matter of doing what we feel is the right thing.”

Q: You said the night after the game that change is painful. Is this part of the growing pains of instituting a new program?

HALEY: “I didn’t have any idea when I made that statement because I’ve been saying that all along, and really as a point to the players. This is more evidence that’s it’s not fun, it’s not nice. We’re going to do everything here at the Kansas City Chiefs that we can to win championships. That’s the ultimate goal and, right now, we’re trying to lay the foundation for where we want to get to.”

Q: How much of an adjustment is this going to be for you time-wise?

HALEY: “Very good question, and that is something I’ve put a lot of thought into. The advantage I have now is I know what my duties are. This being the first time (as a head coach) for me, I’ve got some time under my belt of realizing what I have to do and what I’m going to be responsible for week-in and week-out. At least I’m able to map out in my mind whether I can handle it or not handle it. Obviously, if we’re going in this direction I feel this is best for the team.”

Q: Will this involve some other guys maybe taking on some additional duties?

HALEY: “That’s how I operate. I think I’ve said this before, but anyone who hasn’t heard, when I’m coaching and have been involved in decisions I’ve tried to have very little ego involved. I try to find the best answer and whether that’s coming from quality control or an assistant head coach, the quarterback, the running back, offensive linemen. If there’s some evidence to back up what somebody is saying, I’m all ears and I always have been. I feel like that has helped me as I’ve worked my way around the NFL.”

Q: Is this something you thought about when you first took the job - that you wanted to call the plays?

HALEY: “No, what I said the first day I was hired was I’m here to coach the Kansas City Chiefs. I’m here to coach the offense, the defense, the special teams, my coaching staff and everybody I’m responsible for. That’s the way I believe it has to be done. Right now, I feel like the offense needs a little more attention. Did I think that then? No. I don’t think that was ever in my head. But that’s still my number one job: to coach the Kansas City Chiefs.”

Q: It would seem by what you said that ultimately when you got three games under your belt that this was a question of play calling. You didn’t like the approach he took?

HALEY: “Again, I don’t want to get into philosophical thoughts. I think it’s obvious Chan has proved himself in the league as a position coach and coordinator. He’s been a head coach. I don’t think that would be fair to pin down. It’s just at this time I felt strong enough it was something that had to be done for the best of the team.”

Q: Will Chan continue to work for the Chiefs?

HALEY: “Yeah, we’re discussing it and that’s still being talked about, but in some capacity.”

Q: With 13 days to go before the season starts, how much of the offense changes or stays the same?

HALEY: “Maybe I’ll leave that to Baltimore Ravens to figure out.”

Q: Different terminology for the players?

HALEY: “There’s not going to be wholesale changes. We’ve worked too hard.”

Q: What kind of role would Chan have after today?

HALEY: “I would say in the operations-personnel side of it. Again, nothing has been decided.”

Q: Will you be coaching the quarterbacks?

HALEY: “I will be coaching the quarterbacks with some help.”

Q: What can you tell us about where you stand today with the quarterback position and the injury to Matt Cassel?

HALEY: “I’m only going to talk about the guys on the field. I’m not changing that. We have to get better across the board, not just quarterbacks but every position on this team has room for improvement. That’s what we’re striving for every day. Today, I thought, for a shell practice on a short week I thought we were fairly efficient. That’s progress for this team. But across the board we’ve got to improve. I know that’s a blanket statement but I think it’s the truth.”

Q: Who’s your quarterback this Thursday night?

HALEY: “This is coming up on me quick but we haven’t talked about it yet. We’ll talk about it tonight.”

Q: Tyler got almost 85% of the work with the ones.

HALEY: “He got a lot of play time, but again, we’re going to play the guys that we think need the most work. So, I wouldn’t assume because of that he’s not going to play or Brodie is going to play.”

Q: Do you give Brodie the flip side with more practice tomorrow?

HALEY: “Again, our personnel talk will happen tonight.”

Q: With the quarterback situation in a bit of flux right now did that have any bearing on the decision to take over the control of the offense?

HALEY: “No, I would say again I wouldn’t generalize or put it on any one thing. That’s the truth.”

Q: How tough a decision is that for a first year coach?

HALEY: “I was involved in some of that when I first got here. I don’t have a lot of experience with and it’s not fun and, again, I can only say what I think of Chan as a person and as a coach. I’ve always looked up to him before I even knew him, so tough is probably an understatement. This is something that I wanted to work.”

Q: Would you say if Matt’s unable to play Thursday night that you would like to see the guy who’s going to be your starting quarterback play a considerable amount of time? Or would you be more cautious?

HALEY: “With our team right now we don’t have a lot of sacred cows. I think when you have a year like last year, and to this point what we’ve done, there are no sacred cows, so to speak. We need to get these guys ready to play.”

Q: Will your conversation tonight be to get your quarterback ready to play for opening day and get your number two QB locked up?

HALEY: “We have to have our ducks in a row. There’s no doubt. They’re going to kick it off in 12 days or 13 days and they aren’t cancelling it. We have to have everything lined up how we need to operate and be ready for anything.”

Q: Can someone win the quarterback job on Thursday night?

HALEY: “I would say again the majority of this team is still in flux. That’s probably a good thing right now.”

Q: When you decided to take on the job of offensive coordinator did you talk to some of your mentors for advice? This seems like a pretty big risk for a new head coach?

HALEY: “I’ve made it clear in here that I have a number of great people that I lean on in a lot of different areas and for a lot of different advice. I would say this one was something I felt very strongly about and a decision that I made with some extended talks with Scott (Pioli) and Clark Hunt.”

Q: Did it go against any of your mentors’ advice?

HALEY: “This comes down to one thing: trying to do what I think is best for the Kansas City Chiefs as far as what I do.”

Q: What can you say to the fans? Is there still a black cloud lingering over this team?

HALEY: “Change is painful. There is no doubt about. As I said on my first day in this building, I told the fans that we’re going to have to earn the fans back. I have no illusions of anything else. We’re going to have to earn it by what we do on the field and that’s the NFL. It’s a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately league and we need to do start doing something.”

Q: I asked Jarrad Page why wasn’t he dressed on Saturday and he said did you ask coach. Is there any update on Jarrad Page?

HALEY: “He’s out on the field today, so that’s a good thing. If you’re on the field you have a chance to make this team and help us win.”

Q: Is he in the doghouse at all?

HALEY: “I don’t have a doghouse. I’ve got five kids.”

Q: If the season started tomorrow would Tyler Thigpen be your starting quarterback?

HALEY: “I can’t answer that, I really can’t, because we’re evaluating guys that weren’t on the field and that would just be a guess.”

Q: Is Devard Darling done for the year?

HALEY: “81 was not on the field, so I will choose not to talk about while I still legally can.”