Q&A with Todd Haley - 10/14

Posted Oct 14, 2010


OPENING REMARKS: “We continued today, had a beautiful day out here again. Because we’re playing on grass we’re going to go ahead and stay outside as long as we can this week. Third down, we got a bunch of work done, some first and second down review. We got into another segment of our special teams and overall I think it was a little better than yesterday and that’s what we’re trying to accomplish. We understand very clearly that come this Sunday, we’re playing a very good team. The more that I’ve watched the more clear that is to me, that these guys are a very, very dangerous team. I also believe wholeheartedly what I said yesterday about their record hasn’t quite reflected it as you look over the last couple of years specifically – they’ve been close to making that run that gets you into the upper echelon and just haven’t been able to do it for one reason or another. It has nothing to do now with the skill lever out there on the field in all areas. We’ve got a lot of work to do and we tried to get some of that done today.”


Q: They’ve been really bad again the pass, giving up like 330 yards per game, and you guys are more of a running team. How can you throw the ball against them and take advantage of that?

HALEY: “I said yesterday, and I think it’s important to understand that those statistics sometimes will be misleading because of who they’ve played and if you get a team that’s a little heavier throw team like Indianapolis is this year, so far, they have been, then it’s what comes first, the chicken or the egg? Are they throwing in their games because they couldn’t run, are they throwing because they think they can throw, you don’t know. I don’t have those answers. I think you have to be a little careful getting too overburdened statistically with this team because they’ve been more pass efforts than run efforts to start. I think that kind of starts that ball rolling one way or another. It doesn’t look like there are many weaknesses out there and that’s what has me concerned.”

Q: Is your passing game where it needs to be right now to win a game for you if you had to rely on it to win a game?

HALEY: “Yeah, I think it is. It has to be. I’ve seen enough from our group to believe that it will be there when needed. Now, last week you can make arguments that it wasn’t, but as I said right after the game and still believe and even went back and went through a bunch of plays from that game yesterday or last night, it would be hard for me to pin that down in any one area the reason that we didn’t come out on top in that game and impossible for me to say it was because of any one side of the ball. I think we’ve shown signs of being real good at times – the second half of the Cleveland game, the entire San Francisco game, once we got a couple series in, and there has been other times, due to other circumstance that you could make an argument that we haven’t been good enough. But that’s all part of what we’re doing here is working hard every day to make progress and I think if I were saying that there was no room for improvement, then you’d start to worry about all aspects of the team but the thing I’m really excited about with the Kansas City Chiefs, this group we have, I think in all areas we can get better. I think that’s a real good sign. We’re moving into the second quarter of the season and it’s very important that we restart this thing the way we started the last quarter. That’s what we’re focused on.”

Q: You’ve labeled DE Glenn Dorsey as one of those transitional players. He’s clearly taken a step. What has he done specifically or what have you seen that suggests that’s he’s improved?

HALEY: “He’s been a much more disciplined player, a much more disciplined person I should say – that goes back to the off-season because there were some real concerns two years ago that this year were a concern to how things were going to go, just going off of past history that didn’t occur. He came into the off-season in relatively good shape. That was sign number one and that allowed him to get himself into condition, to get stronger, to get healthy because he really wasn’t healthy all of last year. I think there were some signs late last year in a game or two that he missed that you recognize, all of a sudden you realize, hey, we looked a lot different without him and that wasn’t a good thing but you still didn’t know. He came into the off-season with a focus and a discipline that he’s kept with him all the way through, going into Week 5. That’s good and the discipline aspect is so important for defensive linemen in generally, but especially 3-4 two-gap defensive linemen because if you’re not disciplined or there’s any lack of discipline whatsoever as far as technique, gap control, discipline to fight the urge to go make a play when it will ultimately weaken the 10 other players out there, that’s a hard position to play and you need to be disciplined. That is something that I stressed so much, especially to those guys but every position has its own reason for being disciplined, but that one, in a 3-4 two-gap defense, boy it’s critical and he’s stayed real disciplined on and off the field which has enabled his abilities to keep improving. He’s working hard before practice, after practice, in the meeting rooms. He wants to be good and I think he’s showing signs of that all the time and this will be a real big test for him because now you’re talking about a team last week that really can stretch you and tries to move you sideline-to-sideline; this team takes it to another level and the discipline’s going to be real, real critical now this week. This is a great test for Glenn, it’s a great test for everybody, especially those front seven. I said LB Tamba’s (Hali) name, but that’s a guy, put he and Glenn together – if you haven’t taken notice of those two and what they’ve done and how they’ve played, the effort. Tamba last week, I didn’t talk about it much, but he’s in a two-gap position, didn’t get to practice it in individual and some of those things for obvious reasons but he went into that game and played a lot of that game as a two-gap end and battled it out. Boy, he played one of the better games I’ve seen from anybody.”

Q: You talked about fight the urge to make a big play. Can you go and make a big play by fighting that urge?

HALEY: “Or you allow somebody else to make the play. It is just when you are playing gap control, when you are two-gapping, there are times when color flashes that if you’re not disciplined and you go and try to jump and make that play and don’t, you’ve opened a crack in the wall that will not be able to be repaired. So discipline is so, so critical by each and every one of those guys.”

Q: This is a guy who’s made a lot of the big plays in his career; most of those came in college…

HALEY: “I think that’s why last year you don’t see instantaneous results with any of these guys that may have played some 3-4 or played some two-gap even and a four-man guy but if that’s not the way you’re living, it’s not going to happen overnight because those instincts are there and they’ve been developed over years and you’ve got to almost retrain your habits. As I’ve been taught, 24 days to break a habit, I think that’s what they say. If you’re right handed and lost your arm, you’d reach for 24 days. That’s what I believe.”

Q: Houston is a dangerous team with the skill set that different players have at the skill positions but how do they compare to what you faced last week in Indianapolis and does that make for similar preparations?

HALEY: “There’s some similarities but what this team has is, Indy obviously has some marquee skill players but Indy, the core has been together for so long that they are the consummate team, both sides of the ball really – they know what to do, they’re doing it, it’s a team concept and not that the Houston Texans are not a team concept, they’re playing hard together as a team, but they have some individuals and marquee skill guys that really create a different set of problems because there are multiple weapons that can hurt you on both sides of the ball and when that starts to happen, when you start to run into those situations, you can’t double them all, double team them all, you just can’t do it. Somebody’s going to be in one-on-one matchups against a real good player the majority of this day on both sides of the ball and that’s when you’ve got to make sure everybody understands what they have to do when it’s their turn. It’s going to be a very, very great challenge.”

Q: Is it possible your defense gets more geared up to face higher powered offenses?

HALEY: “We will see. I know the guys are focused on the right thing which is getting better every day. I finally got to see Tom Moore last week who taught me that a long time ago. I let him know that I have become a real believer and he was happy to hear that but he instantly said that was what it is about, getting better every day. You have to get a little better every day, that is what we are focused on and that is my job to keep us continually focused on that.”

Q: It seems like your players have been more versatile this season. Are they that way because you are asking them to be or because they can do it?

HALEY: “Chicken or egg really. I think it is a little bit of both. I think as you game plan each and every week, as a coaching staff you do what I said before. You are looking at the other team, you are studying their tendencies, you are looking at their strengths, you are looking at their weapons and you are looking at the things they do. That is part of getting to know your team real well which you can only do through time. We know some players here better than we know others and it is just going to be over time that you figure out guys and what they are capable of. Some of them we have a little more information on than others but I think it is a combination as much as anything. You have to try to make your plan according to your strength.”

Q: As a former offensive coordinator what does it do to preparation when you have guys that are versatile and play multiple spots?

HALEY: “It makes for less reps of more things as opposed to doing more reps of less things. It creates problems and I definitely think it was to our advantage last week with an element of surprise but at the same time that staff and that team figured out what we were doing and then it came down to our guys being able to do what we were asking them to do well and at a high enough level to keep playing solid throughout the game.”

Q: Why has S Bernard Pollard fit in so well down there when he couldn’t fit in here?

HALEY: “I could not answer that question, Adam. The guys yesterday asked me over the phone about Bernard and I just said that it was one of those really tough decisions. Mainly because I thought a lot of Bernard the from the minute I got in here and I felt like we established a relationship pretty quickly because he was one of those guys who was always in here, he was passionate, he is into football and he is into work. I love those things about players so we had a lot of personality traits in some aspects. Like I said, all of those decisions are hard but some are harder than others and Bernard fell into that second category of a lot harder than others and not an easy decision. What I am most happy about is that Bernard has been able to get on with the Texans and it really looks like he is playing at a high level both last year and this year. I think that is a really good thing because Bernard is a good guy and you like to see good things happen.”

Q: How much do you take into affect injuries from the opposing team?

HALEY: “Yeah, you pay attention to the injury report but I think you learn through time and make mental notes because as you come back around multiple times against certain coaches, everyone has a different philosophy about it. Everybody is playing within the rules, it is just that guys have different practice philosophies and some teams are good enough to rest a lot of players. Like last week going into Indy they had some guys that were listed as rested. They had a bunch of guys that were out of practice yet the majority of them played. I’m sure they played with various aches, pains and hurts. Good teams have that luxury sometimes to be able to rest multiple players. We are obviously not at that juncture but our guys understand it and I think they take pride in going out there every day and us having a lot more practicing than aren’t. That means a lot of guys are practicing even when it wouldn’t be their favorite thing to do. That is one of the good things that is happening. It went on last year and this year. I think that is a sign of a team trying to become a good team.”

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