Q&A with Todd Haley - 9/15

Posted Sep 15, 2010


OPENING STATEMENT: “The schedule thing continues to be something that you have to be prepared for obviously. It is a little different than last week handling the extra day, this week now coming off a very late game in a game on the road in which we lose an hour of time. I think the schedule becomes an important factor and the state the Chiefs are in on Sunday. In this mode of thinking outside of the box in a little different schedule for us here on a Wednesday but I thought it was a very productive day. We got a good bit of running in this morning and a lift, then more of a mental day this afternoon. Tomorrow we will get back onto a more tradition schedule and get ready for the Cleveland Browns.”


Q: How do you avoid the lull after such a late game and a short week?

HALEY: “Not something that I have put a lot of thought into, I just think that the guys that were in the mode understand that each week is a new week for us and we must continue to improve every day. This happens to be our second game and that first game is now behind us and we are getting prepared for the Cleveland Browns and we understand that each one of these days is very critical to our success as we go forward and really just the state of the Kansas City Chiefs. I think the guys understand that mode that we are in and we are focused on the Cleveland Browns and we are playing against a team that really handed it to us the last time we played. They ran for 350 yards plus and were able to return two kicks for touchdowns. They have a number of very talented players, the running back being one, the returner and receiver. They have a very stout defense that will give you a number of different looks. They are probably a little closer to us in the fact that they are a game plan team so you will see things that you haven’t seen before. They prepare for your weaknesses on all sides of the ball and that always makes for a very difficult challenge on top of having to go to a very difficult place in Cleveland that I only know as a Steelers associate. That is a stadium that I have yet to coach in, in any way shape or form even though it is a new stadium, but the city itself as well.”

Q: Do you expect DE Tyson Jackson to play on Sunday?

HALEY: “I don’t know. We have put the injury report out and a little further in the week we will get to what the exact status is.”

Q: What does DE Glenn Dorsey need to do in order to continue to improve?

HALEY: “I think that you are exactly right. DE Glenn Dorsey is in that group of players that we must as a coaching staff, they must as players and he must continue to improve for us to try to continue moving towards being a good team. What I have seen from Glenn, most specifically since the start of this off-season, again, there are a lot of guys in that group where last season was a year of difficult change. That is for all of us that were in it but he has come into this head first and came into the off-season in much better shape than he had last year at the same time. At every stage he has been clearly ahead of where he was and now I think he had a very good training camp for us and that first game I think Glenn Dorsey played the best that I have seen him play since I have been here. That is what I am going off of is what I see and to me all signs point in the positive direction for Glenn and the key is to keep building on that performance. He was definitely a part of us playing a bunch of snaps of real good defense.”

Q: What do you think he is capable of in this defensive scheme?

HALEY: “I think that Glenn has shown us over the last year and a game that he has some versatility. We feel like not only can he play defensive end, he is a big part of the majority of our sub groups because he does have some explosive rush ability. I think also, at different times we feel like we can move him around on the defensive line if needed. I think he is a versatile player that has a bunch of upside. I think that Glenn is just like a bunch of other guys on this team that are second, third, fourth and even fifth year players that have done nothing but improve and that is how it has to be. I am not going to put any type of bar on what Glenn is capable of and I think that he will determine that. He is working hard to do that I think.”

Q: How do you prepare for a team that may feature their second string QB instead of their first?

HALEY: “I think that you have two very talented quarterbacks that I have had some experience with. Being in Arizona in games out there vs. Seattle that QB Seneca (Wallace) had to play. I think he is a very versatile guy and he has played other positions. What I think makes him dangerous is that he is a drop back quarterback. That is the way I have seen him used when he is playing quarterback but he is a dangerous player because he does have some mobility. QB Jake Delhomme has obviously proven himself over the years as a very good quarterback in the league. He is a tough, gritty competitor and he will fight to win. You have two very dangerous quarterbacks in my opinion with another guy, number 16 (Joshua Cribbs), that they will line up back there one way or another. We have our hands full. Like I said, this team handed it to us last year late in the year and when you get balls ran on you and some of those other things that went on in that game, we have to work overtime to try and be ready.”

Q: Was last year’s game something you can study on film for the upcoming game?

HALEY: “Like I said, especially the time of year that was played and the time of year this is, just because it is early in the year and you don’t have a lot to look back at film wise, that is an excellent game to be in the scouting report for us as a team. The coaching staffs haven’t changed enough to affect that and you just don’t have a lot to watch. You are going to see a lot of different things in the preseason from them but these early games are always a test because you just don’t know. Are you going to see the things you saw in preseason? Are you going to see the things you saw at the end of last year? You just don’t know. The Chiefs/Browns game is one that will be seen by everyone in this building multiple times. I would say especially do that, it sticks with me I know that.”

Q: You said before the most important thing QB Matt Cassel did was not turn the ball over. Is that simply because of weather conditions or is that in general?

HALEY: “I think that is one of the keys to being a good quarterback in the league, or a winning quarterback in the league I should say is you are not careless with the football. In answering the question I think that due to the circumstances of the game, on top of the fact that I really felt going into that game turning the ball over was something we could not do and have a chance to win. So not turning the ball over from an offensive standpoint was our number one goal and key to that game. As soon as that game turned into 21-7 or even when it was 14-7 then 21-7, it now all the sudden became imperative in my mind with the weather the way that it was. I think my nature and instinct is to be a little more aggressive but in those conditions and up 14 points and looking at how the game was going and how our defense was playing, I felt that what you could not do was turn the ball over. In my opinion and because I knew what was going on in the game and what we were telling our offensive players was, protecting the football is number one. To me, that was a tremendous performance. Every time either team dropped back to pass, you were taking a much greater risk than what you would normal do. Throwing the ball always has some form of risk, sometimes greater than others but in the condition and the wind the way I saw it standing on the sideline seeing the way the ball was being affected, you were taking a tremendous risk. Obviously for San Diego being in the position that they were in, they had to throw the football. We did not have to throw the football. When we did, for the majority of that football game it was, ‘better not be turnover’ throws and we could not fumble the balls as running backs and that was number one. I thought for everybody that it was a winning performance and I was not at all disappointed with it.”

Q: Generally do you want your punt returner catching the ball at the six-yard line?

HALEY: “Generally I would say no. We set him clearly at the 10 and say if you back up a step, let it go. That particular punter, one thing we were prepared for, we knew he had a very good leg and was a very strong punter and he proved that in the game. We had allowed some flexibility in judgment on that particular kick and I think the correct judgment was made. It was out kicking the coverage on that particular play and I think WR Dexter (McCluster), obviously after the fact, it was the right move which I would not of questioned anyway off of what I saw.”

Q: So you weren’t standing there going, ‘Oh, no no no no, oh, ok go ahead,’?

HALEY: “Not that particular one just because I don’t know how far that ball traveled in the air. We had covered that, we had talked about it the night before the game, we talked about the length of punts and that those plays were going to be long and there were going to be some opportunities there.”

Q: After the first week are you looking at the running back situation as far as dividing up carries between Thomas Jones and Jamaal Chares?

HALEY: “I’m very happy with the things that went on in that game, in that particular game. Would I want to be more productive on the ground? Absolutely in a game of those conditions. From the standpoint of the competition and the things going on there, I think that is going in the right direction – it has been and will continue to. The only thing out of that mix of thought was when the conditions turned as they did, I would’ve liked to have seen WR Dexter (McCluster) get involved in the game carrying the ball a little bit but again, the conditions dictated otherwise. I cannot overplay the conditions combined with the score, I just can’t overplay it. If you look at anything else, you could see things unclear. Every time the ball was handed off I was holding my breath, handing off. Normally you don’t think that way. I know I don’t think that way. It went from being humid to wet, the conditions were ripe for the ball being on the ground.”

Q: What does LB Charlie Anderson bring to your team?

HALEY: “I’m still getting to know the player obviously. He is a guy though that has played in the system, that’s a big positive, or in a similar system I should say. He has played in the league, as I’ve said in here our team, we don’t have a lot of margin for error and depth being one of those, so any kind of change that occurs that way or for that reason as opposed to the other reasons is going to be tough for us. Again I’m getting to know the player but he’s big, he’s fast, he’s played in a similar system and will understand more quickly than other potential guys that have to acclimate to it. Now I do know that he’s been a pretty productive special teams player and I’ll take all those that I can get. You’ve got big, fast guys that have made some plays in the league on special teams. That’s an area I know we have to win every week.”

Q: Is LB Cameron Sheffield simply not recovering from what happened?

HALEY: “Yeah. It’s an injury Bob.”

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