Q&A with Todd Haley - 8/17

Posted Aug 17, 2010


OPENING REMARKS: “One-a-day today, the players have spent the morning meeting and lifting. We had our afternoon practice after our team-building project which I said yesterday I thought went real well. I felt it was just good timing to get the guys together in an atmosphere other than the Chiefs complex, a hotel on the road or training camp. One of the big things with doing something like that was to see how they would respond yesterday afternoon. It was a little slow start but I thought as the day went things got better and better, tempo, intensity and really I thought the tail end of practice as we got into some competitive situations were really a couple of our better drills that we’ve had out here. As far as the whole day went, we got a little bit better. Now we’ve got to get back out there this afternoon and get at it.”


Q: How long do you expect QB Brodie (Croyle) to be out?

HALEY: “I’ll talk about the players that are on the field. We’re bringing somebody in because we knew that situation with going into camp with three doesn’t leave a lot of margin for error so we are bringing a guy in but I wouldn’t read too much into that one way or the other because any practice that we go through with two quarterbacks has the chance to have diminishing returns.”

Q: Was G Ryan Lilja injured yesterday or was he just getting some time off?

HALEY: “I’m just going to talk about the guys who were practicing. I appreciate the question. We’re trying to keep them out there as best we can for all different reasons.”

Q: Will your camps always have the full-pads, full-contact feel as they do now or that representative of the team you have?

HALEY: “That’s a good question, Bob. It’s all I know. It’s the way that I have been around both growing up around my father and those teams and then as I got indoctrinated in the NFL as a scout and as a coach, it’s the way I know that works. That would be a very difficult question to answer at this point in time. I don’t want to say something and then we get down the road and a different set of circumstances. That’s the way I know and that’s the way I know works. I know it’s the way you get your team ready to be a physical football and that’s what we are, a tough-minded, physical football team that plays smart most of the time. That’s the goal.”

Q: There are two teams that aren’t doing any two-a-days, some teams aren’t doing pads much, because of your background, do you wonder how they can accomplish anything?

HALEY: “I’m also very cognizant of the fact that there are different to do it. This is just the experiences I’ve has and the limited success I’ve had because again, I haven’t reached the top of that mountain, almost – a couple minutes away, but it’s the way that I believe in. How anyone else does it is their own way of doing it, that’s just the way it is. To this point I feel good about what we’re doing. You mentioned the schedule; the schedule is a good point because the way I grew up and early on we were a two-a-day for the first 20 days and that was just the way it was going to be. But having been in a couple real hot places and as the league’s changed a little bit from a size standpoint I think there’s probably a pretty good adjustment made there by some pretty smart guys. I like the schedule a lot.”

Q: Why was QB Bill Stull the right quarterback, whether he’s here for a few days or here for a few weeks, what does he bring?

HALEY: “That’s a good question also. Like I said, the length of time is not a factor right now because any practice we have that we just have two quarterbacks out there obviously I feel that will have diminishing returns on the guys that are having to do that and we’d have to severely adjust practice. Whether this is month-long, one-week, two-days or one-day, we had to get an arm in here. Part of that is finding somebody that knows how we do things and a little bit about the terminology and he was a guy that through that rookie camp we were pretty encouraged about and actually recommended him, went out of our way to try and help the guy. He was a logical choice for us at this time.”

Q: Assuming he’s still around Saturday, do you anticipate trying to get him into the game Saturday?

HALEY: “Not getting into the specifics of the other end of it, anything’s possible, one way or the other. I wouldn’t rule out other guys being there.”

Q: Can he win a job or is he just a camp arm?

HALEY: “Oh, no. Like I said he was a guy we were pretty encouraged about in that rookie camp. We signed some of those guys at that time but because of numbers you’re not able to do everything you wanted to do. That’s all part of this process that we’re going through. I’ll remain clear on that, anytime there is a player, whether there are circumstances involved – he’s getting released somewhere else, a situation like this, we’re going to do whatever we can and that means acquiring players whenever they’re available and that won’t stop. I would never classify this as that being the situation. I think this was a guy we were encouraged about and liked some things he did in a brief amount of time, and there was a reason we brought him to the rookie camp also.”

Q: With C Rudy (Niswanger) at guard yesterday, is that a sign that you lack depth at that position or is that a sign that you’re trying to get him to be a versatile guy where he can play both ways or a combination of both?

HALEY: “I think it was a need thing yesterday. This is that time of year when guys start to feel not so good and sometimes you have to do some things that you may not have thought were options. That being said, I thought Rudy, I was just talking to him over there (at the indoor complex), I was impressed with some of the things he did. He’s a smart, tough football player so, you know, for all these guys, what I’m preaching all the time is the more you can do, the more you can do the better; regardless. It’s always good for everybody involved. Rudy was asked to do something. He stepped in and did a good job. That was a positive group of plays as far as I was concerned for us regardless of how anything plays out.”

Q: With that being said do you look at the offensive line as just looking for the five best guys regardless of position or do you have to factor in whether or not they’re a guard, tackle, or center?

HALEY: “You have to factor in and the more of those versatile guys the better. Like G Brian Waters. You can’t put a value on a player like Brian. We all, though we think we know his best position, he can play every position. If you got stuck in a game and he had to go out to tackle, he could do it. The more of those guys you can have the better and if they happen to be real good players that’s a bigger plus. The offensive line, you know, you need to be covered. You need to have every scenario taken care of. (Offensive line) Coach (Bill) Muir is the best line coach I know since I’ve been around and he does a real good job at getting those guys into the positions and trained at the positions that they need to be to enable to help us when needed. Let’s face it, when you get to the games I’ll be the one up there asking him every week on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night can we go into the game with seven – ‘Bill, can we do that?’ He knows that question is coming because there’s going to be other spots where I’m going to want another linebacker that’s a terror on special teams or there’s always going to be something you want somewhere else, so he knows he’s going to get that question so he and (assistant offensive line) coach (Pat) Perles are working on it every day.”

Q: With that being said do you think that at this point Rudy would be the first guy off the bench at right guard if G (Ryan) Lilja were to go down?

HALEY: “Like I said, that would be way too early to tell. I was encouraged with that set of plays yesterday from Rudy, a guy that for one reason or another, we had kind of an outlook on what he was, but he made us think outside the box yesterday so that was good.”

Q: Should we read anything into G (Jon) Asamoah not getting moved up when he was right behind Lilja?

HALEY: “No, I wouldn’t read into anything. Like I said, I told the guys yesterday when practice ended; they need to understand that how they felt yesterday right at that point in time, they were absolutely never going to feel better. As bad as they felt, it wasn’t much chance that they would feel better and the guys that had been around a little bit understand that. But these young guys, they don’t know what they’re in for; they really don’t. It is a marathon so guys just keep trying to let everybody understand that we need you now not next week, not a month from now, we need you now and that goes for pretty much everybody.”

Q: A couple switches in the depth chart, you said not to read too much into anything. It was both your inside linebackers, backups going to starters for the Tampa Bay game. Is that just giving those guys a chance?

HALEY: “Did that already come out? I wouldn’t read into any depth chart stuff right now. Now there are some if I went through every spot that I might lean towards but you know this is a work in progress and it is a difficult process. This part of it because you know you have a certain amount of preseason games, you know how many practices you have, you’re starting to formulate who some of the guys are that are separating themselves, you have to get those guys ready without beating them up too much, unnecessarily. At the same time developing the guys that right now you think are not first line players but that I think as you keep your eyes wide open as a coach you don’t want to say too early that Joe Smith, he’s a three, maybe he makes the practice squad, until you know that for sure. If you make that decision too early you really could hurt yourself. Any of those guys that are sitting back at the back end right now have a chance and that doesn’t even have to be at their position. If they go out in these games and somebody just shows up on special teams – I’ve told the whole team, you’ll be on the team and you’ll be on the 45. We’ve got to just keep an open mind every single day and at some point here you get to the point where you feel pretty good about some of those decisions and there will still be some that you hang on and you don’t know. That’s just the way it is. We’re in the process of developing players right now; developing players. Finding out who knows what to do, the ones that will listen to the way they’re being told to do it, and then it comes down to if they do it well enough. That’s first line, second line, third line; we’re developing players trying to get them to be as good as they possibly can be as early they can possibly be.”

Q: Is former QB (Matt) Gutierrez still out there and if he is, why not him?

HALEY: “Again, this is one of my favorite guys, but he’s not on our team and not on our field so I’d prefer not to talk about him.”

Q: What did you like about Stull more than Gutierrez?

HALEY: “I’m not going to compare somebody that’s not on our team and somebody that is. I told you the positives and some of the things I was encouraged about in this situation; Stall coming in here and helping us out.”

Q: Assuming that you like him better, why didn’t you keep him out of the rookie camp and make a switch then?

HALEY: “We have a roster limit, there’s so many decisions being made.”

Q: You mentioned not beating guys up unnecessarily but it is necessary to beat them up to be the physical kind of team you’re looking for.

HALEY: “I agree 100 percent but that being said, there are some players that I have a much greater knowledge base of and what type of player they already are or have been over the course of time, then you have to make good decisions. So for me, I told them all, I told them all specifically that the veteran guys, established guys, you’ve got to show that you’ve still got it; that’s first and foremost. That’s kind of that first week and a half of training camp process that we were going through. Then I said you show you’ve still got it, everybody’s a different case. For me, when I’m watching LB Mike Vrabel run around and move and feel like he’s actually progressed from where he was last year for us and what he does. For me to throw him out there and just knock his head against the wall doesn’t make a lot of sense to me personally. I think there’s a fine line; you’ve got to get them ready for the tempo of the game. We’re gaining more guys, this veteran mix that I’ve been talking about; you have more of that knowledge of to make some of those decisions. That’s the good thing about that.”

Q: From a stand point of preseason game one, two, three and four, do you have a general philosophy? For instance if the ones had been just super the other day, does that affect how much they play in the second game and the fact that maybe it didn’t go so great does that play into how you structure the game?

HALEY: “You said it didn’t go so great. I thought I made it pretty clear that I was encouraged with a lot of different things I saw on both sides of the ball. We are in the process so to speak. There are a lot of factors that go into how much guys play. How nicked up are they, what is the nick, is it a shoulder, is it a knee, is it a thigh, they’ve all got something now. There isn’t one that doesn’t have something that’s hurting him a little more than it was a couple of weeks ago.”

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