Q: With the one player who has not signed his tender aside, are you surprised that you’ve had perfect attendance thus far for every OTA?
HALEY: “No. I’m happy that we have a lot of guys that want to get better and be part of something special. Last year I thought all the guys were here most of the time so I wouldn’t say surprised, those are your words. I’m happy that everybody’s here and working and wants to be part of this.”
Q: Last year, some think that the guys who weren’t here for OTAs missed because they knew they had starting jobs. Does this reflect that there is more competition across the field or is it just different attitudes?
HALEY: “I won’t answer that because I don’t know the answer. Again, I’m happy that we have a large group of men here that want to get better and are lifting every morning in there, coming out and working hard and running after practice and doing the things necessary to get themselves ready for a difficult training camp and a difficult season.”
Q: Doesn’t that affect the team’s mindset because you have a couple of guys who normally in OTAs choose to do this stuff on their own and only show up for the mandatory things. Now, it’s voluntary stuff and they’re all here?
HALEY: “We’ve already kind of talked on those two guys, but again, all I can do is my job – when they’re here I can coach them – when they’re not, I can’t. Again, we’ve got a bunch of guys that are really working hard and that’s a good sign, that’s a good sign. It’s not a bad sign.”
Q: Is LB
HALEY: “This time of year the depth chart stuff is really not something I get caught up in in front of all of you and we’re not caught up in it as a coaching staff – we’re moving guys around for a lot of different reasons and Derrick is one of the guys here really working to be the best he can be. That’s a good thing because if he can play the big-time football for us that will be good for the Kansas City Chiefs.”
Q: As the offense changes a little bit more and is under the guidance of Charlie Weis, what do you want to see out of the tight end position?
HALEY: “I think the tight end position is a critical position for the offense because when you have tight ends that are versatile, that can be strong in the run game and equally strong in the pass game – those complete tight ends so-to-speak, it puts the defense in a little bit of a bind because that tight end is somebody you have to deal with in the run game as a blocker and that affects somewhat defensively and then you have to deal with them in the pass game and that’s where some of the matchup issues come into play because if you have a tight end that you can move around a little, that’s good. If you can split them out, that’s good, but if at the same time they can be in-line and be a strong blocker for you, that’s a problem for the defense. Tight end position in our offense is a key position. It’s one that we have a lot of discussions on pre-draft, in the off-season because it’s a little more complicated position than others because the guy can do a lot of things – you could end up wanting him to be in the backfield some and now you’re looking at him as a fullback, you can run him split out, you look at him as a receiver, you have him in-line and that’s where he can do a little bit of both. It’s a critical position of our offense and it’s one that I feel like we’re making progress with, at least through this stage of the season.”
HALEY: “The first thing is we want them all out there. Once they’re all out there then we can do a little better job of evaluating and figure out what each has. We obviously know a lot more about Cottam than we do about Tony but we need them all out there and they’re all working towards that. Again, I feel good about where we are with the group at this stage and the next step is coming here in training camp.”
Q: What did you know about TE
HALEY: “Not a whole lot, Bob, to be honest.”
Q: Physically he seems kind of like a tweener?
HALEY: “He looks like he’s maybe got something to him. It looks like he can run a little bit. He made a real nice catch today. I think overall he’s picking up the offense fairly well it appears. Again, that’s another position not a lot different than the line, until the pads are on, it’s hard to make a real clear judgment or be for sure what you’re talking about.”
Q: Is it a typical spring practice for a rookie, he makes a good catch and then he turns the ball over in the Red Zone a couple plays later? Is this just how they’re trying to find their way?
HALEY: “Yeah, and today was the first day, I told you all, the rookies were on their own. They’ve been coming in real early, lifting before the regular groups, really just to give them a chance to get integrated into the weight room – they would have had no chance if we just threw them into the group because they need to be taught and learn how it works down there so those two weeks were up and now they were in with all the guys, so that was a little bit of an adjustment for them. I think I talked about it the other day, the whole idea with the OTAs is to go through the training camp installation as best we can and when we get to the mini-camp, we go through it again, so that’ll give them their second time through, and then when we get to training camp we’ll go through it again. They’re getting a lot thrown at them right now and it starts to add up and yeah, you’re seeing some of those things from the rookies maybe kind of catching up today.”
Q: Which area or group of the team has pleasantly surprised you so far?
HALEY: “There are a lot of areas that I’m encouraged about but I think our secondary, to this point, and one of our best players hasn’t been out there and he’s a player I’m really excited about, CB
Q: Is there a particular player in the secondary or anywhere else that has stood out to you?
HALEY: “Again, there are a bunch of guys that I am really excited about. This is about our team as a group but CB
Q: Carr kind of had a tough game against Denver the final week of the season. Is it a good thing for his development that you guys won that game or does it not even matter?
HALEY: “I won’t speculate on why because he was working hard last year. I think when you look at a player like CB Brandon Carr coming from a smaller school, it is a major adjustment from where he came from to being in the NFL and he was thrown out there and now he is playing. The weight room adjustment is totally different and there are all these factors that are night and day from where he was just a couple years ago. As you see these young guys come from smaller schools, the third year is the big year. That is when you see a significant jump and that is what I tell all of these guys. The third year is a critical year for everybody but for some of these small school guys sometimes you see a little bit bigger jump because it is all starting to sink in, they know the way everything kind of goes and they have been able to benefit from being in a big time weight room and being in a weight program. That is no disrespect to any of the schools out there; it is just the way it is. You are starting to see some of those benefits he has had for two years now show up. Coaches have come in and worked real hard with him and he is making a step.”
Q: Can you talk about New York/New Jersey being given the Super Bowl and the cold weather?
HALEY: “Just get me there. I will coach it wherever they want to play it. Just get me there.”
Q: Are you looking for leadership this early on or is that something that will show more down the road?
HALEY: “I think you are seeing some leadership grow from within. That is more about some of these guys that have two or three years under their belt. They are gaining confidence and getting better. They really feel they are no longer rookies and have experience, a lot of different experiences. I think we are starting to see some guys grow maturity wise and a lot of times with those types of guys, when you have natural leadership, it really starts to show up.”
Q: Who would you say is the leader on the team?
HALEY: “We have a bunch of leaders and what I am encouraged about, I know I have told you all a lot, but when I sit down while each group lifts, I have made this comment to some of our other coaches, you can see that there is more leadership on each side of the ball. That is a really good thing because I have been a part of good teams that have we felt like there were no leaders or a couple guys that can take charge. I am encouraged in the leadership area for both sides of the ball with this football team.”
Q: Do you think this is a faster team on both sides of the ball?
HALEY: “I just see guys flying around a little bit more. We have some of these young guys who can clearly run and they are showing up at different times. We have some already fast guys on the team that understand where they are going a little bit better. If someone doesn’t know what they are doing, it slows them down, that is just the way it is. I feel like we have started to make progress in that area and that was definitely something we knew we had to do was become a faster team.”
Q: How much of a priority this year was that and how much of an issue was that last year?
HALEY: “I don’t know if speed is the answer but you need to have team speed. That is an area that we targeted that we want to become faster. I don’t think it is a prerequisite to being a great player that is for sure. Most of the great players aren’t your 4.3 (40-yard dash) guys, they are just great players. We try to find good football players that can come in here and help us win.”
Q: Is the injury to QB
HALEY: “No, it should not be anything serious.”
Q: It seems like you are doing a lot more mental reps this year with special teams coach Steve Hoffman?
HALEY: “Yeah, that is a good observation. Last year we didn’t do near many and you are not under a time crunch here so I don’t want this to feel in any way like training camp. This is still off-season. It is about lifting and getting into condition and getting in some football. We definitely have added a couple minutes each day to get through some mental reps with the guys so we are a little ahead of schedule before we start training camp.”