Q&A with Todd Haley - 9/28

Posted Sep 28, 2010


OPENING REMARKS: “First practice session of the bye week, which is I’ve said is a very important week for us that we continue to make progress. This is not a lot different to me in my mind than some of the things I’ve talked about through the stages of this season, whether it was the off-season and making progress, then having a little time off before we came back into the preseason. This is an area to me that we’ve made progress through the first three weeks of the season taking result out of it and we’ve made progress – we’ve made strides to continue to become a better team and now this bye week is another important stage for this team. I don’t think it would matter when it was coming, this would be of equal importance to me that we’ve got to continue to make progress in the vein of outside the box thinking. Some time ago this thought came into my head about the best way to utilize this week for all people involved and was actually sitting on the bus riding to that movie this summer in training camp and a lot of different discussions with veteran players through the last year and asking about what parts of bye week they like, what they don’t, blah, blah, blah, I came to the conclusion that veterans didn’t like bye week period. In that time of thought I came up with this thought of getting some of our leaders and veterans, different reasons for different guys, a little more involved in the communication process with the other players. Through one day I’m happy with how things went. I thought it was a real productive day for us. I definitely got a little bit better today. Now it’s important we continue that movement tomorrow.”


Q: So the same guys will be in the same roles the rest of the week?

HALEY: “Yeah, they’ve been designated by me and they have a little different set of encyclopedias this week.”

Q: How much actual coaching are you having them do? Is this just a way to keep them engaged or are they actually trying to do some instruction?

HALEY: “Oh no, no. I’m using them to their fullest. They had their own little run and lift this morning, they had some meeting time and we’re using our resources – this is no different than using all 45 game day in my mind.”

Q: Are they involved in coaches’ meetings and stuff like that away from the practice field?

HALEY: “They’re following a different path this week, I think, is the way I’ll leave it. This was an idea to try to benefit the team as best I saw it fit.”

Q: With the accusations against DT Shaun Smith from the past two weeks, do you think that the officials are going to start looking closer and judging you guys tougher?

HALEY: “Again I know nothing about the accusations. I know the question yesterday was asked; something that I kind of get the gist of but again I think these officials are the best there are. They’re really good at a very difficult job and I go by what they tell me and I think that’s’ a good practice and something that I’ve learned along the way.”

Q: But now that it’s out there, people are talking about it and it’s on a lot of websites, do you think that’s going to raise the attention?

HALEY: “I’m unaware of the talk about it; I really am, other than the question yesterday. I can’t answer that question. Just like I said, that’s all I’ve got on it, I’m going by what the officials tell me.”

Q: How much of that kind of stuff, the grabbing, hitting, etc. takes place during a game at the bottom of the pile?

HALEY: “Again, those aren’t questions that I’m in any position to answer right now because I’m kind of unaware, other than the fact that like I said, there was an accusation, it appears to me, of some sort. I’m worrying about this bye week for the Kansas City Chiefs and our players and our coaches, that we are doing all that we can to continue to make a little progress because we are in a process here that it’s important that we don’t have any backtrack at all.”

Q: What do you think of the performance of the rookie class? TE Tony Moeaki, WR Dexter McCluster and CB Javier Arenas have seemed to come on very quickly and you’ve said that they’re developing, but you want them to develop as quickly as possible and it’s a ‘how do you help me now situation.’ How do you think this class is doing that?

HALEY: “I think this entire rookie class, everybody that made this team, drafted and undrafted, and there are a bunch of them, have come in with a certain attitude that’s been evident from day one with a bunch of the guys and it’s developed with some of the others, maybe some of the others that I wasn’t maybe thinking a whole bunch of early on that made us very aware that they were intent on finding a way into this mix. You’re exactly right. I think that when you have a team that hasn’t been a very good team, that’s trying to make progress, that in this foundation process that we’re in, it’s very important that we get as many guys on, in, contributing sooner rather than later because you don’t have time to wait on anybody. That’s the message that I’ve continued to make sure our players are clear on. We’ve had a bunch of guys, drafted, undrafted free agents in the acquisitions which really are all rookies to this team this year, and that’s no matter what their age, where they came from, how they got here, that are pushing themselves into the mix and making themselves a part of this process and really becoming part of this team, which we’re in the middle of trying to build. I would say that three games into the first quarter of the season with one game left to go in the first quarter, but more importantly a bye week for us to get some real work done on our team and not worry about a lot else, I would say through this period of time, I’m excited about the entire rookie group – that’s free agents, rookies, anybody that’s found their way on or forced their way onto this team.”

Q: Who has pleasantly surprised you so far, whether that’s in work ethic or mentally or performance?

HALEY: “All of them. Are you talking about rookies, first-year guys? All of them and I think that’s why I’ve been encouraged. This goes back to the off-season, I’ve been encouraged with all of them from day one and that’s first-year guys on this team, however they got here, wherever they came from. I’ve been encouraged and they’ve all caught my eye, and that’s the truth. Everybody is contributing, everybody, and that’s the way it has to be.”

Q: These rookies are getting a lot of opportunities. Last year most rookies didn’t get a lot of opportunities to play. Is that a change in philosophy on your part or does that have to do with players that came in?

HALEY: “I don’t think my philosophy will ever change, will not change, at least in the foreseeable future. As a coach you respond to each set of variables or situation that you’re given and how you respond will play a big part in your overall success as a team and as an organization.”

Q: Are you pleased with how S Eric Berry has done so far?

HALEY: “I will say again about all of those guys, this is just a microcosm of what’s a marathon season for these young guys that haven’t been part of the NFL until this year. There’s a small test, example or information to go off of and to this point I’m really excited about them all, Eric being one of them. We’ve got a bunch of young guys contributing in a lot of different ways throughout on this team and I think that’s a real good thing for us, the Kansas City Chiefs.”

Q: Do you think the front seven is playing better than you thought they would be playing and really holding up the defense?

HALEY: “Those are your words, not mine. I would not speak out of those words. I think this defense as a whole was going through the process and the foundation of last year will be an important part of any success that we have as we go forward. That is what is important to me about last year. This off-season was kind of the same thing, it will be an important part of any success we are able to have as we go forward. We had a lot of guys, everybody that you see out there has been in working on board, wanting to be part of our transition into a good team and I think that through three games, the front seven, if that is what we are talking about but I would prefer to talk about all 11 because if we don’t have all 11 on defense, our defense isn’t going to be very good and it is just the way that it is and that is very critical to our success. I think the entire group of 11, and again there are moving pieces in there as we change personnel groups but there is one thing constant, there are always 11 out there and they are working the technique and trying to get better at that every day and understand what their particular role on the defense is on each and every play vs. each and every formation. That is what all 11, whoever they are at each time, are trying to get done.”

Q: Are you pleased with the improvements of the front seven?

HALEY: “I would have to be pleased with our 11 who have contributed on defense because we have had success as a team because of those 11. I’ve said it before and I will say it again, I don’t care how anyone gets here whether they are the first pick in the draft, the last pick in the draft, free agent or rookie free agent, I am worried about guys that are showing they want to be a part of this and I have been very clear on the fact that part of the process of being a good team, which we are not at that point by any means but we are working like heck to try to be, is developing your first, second, third, fourth and even fifth year players so they can help you. I think all of those guys can develop through those years and I wouldn’t even set a bar on that necessarily because when you see a guy like DT Ron Edwards that is a true veteran in the league and he has been around a little bit, you see him making progress every day. Or say DT Shaun Smith who is at a little different stage than Ron but you see these guys making progress and getting better. That is part of the development in players and that must go on. To me that comes from good coaching. I don’t think you can do it all with players and you can’t do it all with the best coaches in the world; you need a combination of both. That is just the way I believe and I feel really good about our coaching staff, I have felt really good about it and I feel real good about our players and how they are going about their profession, which is in turn helping our team make progress.”

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