Q&A with Todd Haley - 9/10

Posted Sep 10, 2010


OPENING REMARKS: “Good afternoon, early evening. As you guys know we’re going to go up to Arrowhead and we’re going to try to do that at all costs, get up there, hopefully a little bit under the lights, just as part of our efforts to get acclimated to our stadium, some of the timing of the game. We’re going to do that again tomorrow. With just the difference in start times for our team, I think it’s great enough that it may just help us in some way, shape or form to get on that Monday schedule.


“That being said, I’m very excited about the Monday night game. I know the guys are. I know all of Kansas City is and I’m just expecting a great turnout from our great fan base and an enthusiastic turnout, which can only help the Kansas City Chiefs in our efforts here to get the season started in the right way. Monday Night Football has always been a special, special thing to anybody that’s enjoyed football over there life and it’s no different for me. I can remember as a youngster growing up and looking forward to Monday all week, every week, no matter who was playing. To hear Howard Cosell and Frank (Gifford) and all the guys over the years that have made Monday Night Football a special event and have helped the NFL become what it is today. This is always exciting when you see a game on your schedule. It does bring with it some obstacles as far as planning and schedules and getting ready for the next week specifically, but I’ll take those any time for the excitement of Monday. There is definitely a different atmosphere about it and I’m just excited for all our guys to experience it who haven’t and hopefully at some point here when start to play bigger games, this will be one of those building blocks.”

Q: Will you go into the game with a plan worked up with offensive coordinator Charlie Weis on RBs Thomas Jones and Jamaal Charles and how they’ll be used or will you just kind of go by the seat of your pants?

HALEY: “I wouldn’t say by the seat of the pants would be the term I would use. I think there’s a great deal of feel involved in some of these situations, specifically with running backs – it probably comes up there more than any other position, at least of late, with different guys playing. I think it’s a combination of number one, we have a clear-cut plan already with all our runners of what they’re earmarked, I don’t know if that’s the word or not, but we’ve earmarked plays that we feel real comfortable with them in the game and again there is a bunch of crossover there because I think all these guys can run the runs that we have in the plan, but clearly there are some that we do denote that if a particular guy is in the game, whichever one it is, that would be the thought process or the little package so-to-speak. That’s part of it. The weeklong preparation and obviously for this game it goes back a lot further than that because we’re pretty much sticking to our bread-and-butter runs that we’re going to run and try to get real good at and comfortable running. The other part is again I think the (assistant head coach) Mo (Maurice) Carthon factor – he’s got a very good feel of how guys are operating, responding, performing and again it’s not just runs, it’s protections, it’s formations, alignments, motions, routes, any of those things. There are a lot of different factors that go into how a guy’s performing and executing a game plan and some of it is more obvious than others but Mo has a great feel for that and also a great feel for where they are on the worn-out chart. He knows if they’ve just done two or three things that have taken a toll, whether it’s be hit, hit somebody else, run far, run a far route a long way downfield, whatever it is it’s Mo that I rely on. From there it’s just a matter of communication. The play caller is generally going to be a play ahead and as I said before you’re actually ahead of the play that’s actually being run so it may be one of those ‘hey get Thomas in there for this next play or get RB Jackie Battle in for this next play and some play of that goes on.’”

Q: Where have you seen improvement in QB Matt Cassel’s play, more so his footwork, accuracy, reads, that kind of thing. Where have you seen the most improvement?

HALEY: “I don’t know that I could point out one particular area, Kent. I think it goes back into last year that as we started to make progress as a team and more specifically as an offense in the latter half of last year, I think you started to see some of the work that he was doing pay off and again if we’re not talking about comfort level and some of those things, if you’re talking specifically about execution-type thing like footwork, reads, mechanics, I don’t know that I could point to just one. I think starting in the second half of last year I think decision-making has improved – the quickness of the decision-making. One of the things I’m real impressed with about Matt all the time is that when he comes off the field, what he says he saw generally ends up what it is. I think that’s a real good quality to have. You have to understand even subtle things within a game we’ll say well, why did you do this? He’ll say because this linebacker did this and that receiver stumbled or that receiver was short, the safety did this and it’s pretty spot on, what he sees and that covers the whole field. That’s a real good trait, something that QB Kurt (Warner) was phenomenal at – you’d feel like he wasn’t even looking in the direction that he was talking about, but he knew. A quarterback has to have great vision and that tells me that Matt sees what’s happening play-in and play-out. That’s always been real good. Decision-making off of what he sees, the footwork and the depth of the drops is something that we’re continually working on which is really a direct result of footwork. It’s across the board but again I think it goes back to that second half of last year and coming into the off-season with a purpose and knowing what he’s working on, what he wants to work on is a big part of that. I think it’s across the board and that’s why I’m excited to get going as far as Matt Cassel’s concerned.”

Q: What one thing could Matt learn from San Diego QB Philip Rivers and the way he plays the game?

HALEY: “I don’t know. I don’t know Philip, I haven’t done extensive study on him other than getting ready to play against him when that has occurred and when he was coming out in the draft. I think he’s started a lot of games, he didn’t start out all peaches and cream, which obviously last year Matt can relate to for a lot of different reasons and you see a guy that continues to improve year-in and year-out. I don’t think that we’ve seen the ceiling on Philip Rivers, by any means. If I were talking about Philip with Matt I think those are the types of things I think he could learn from him.”

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