Q&A with Todd Haley 10/20

Posted Oct 20, 2011

OPENING REMARKS: “We continued our preparation for the Oakland Raiders, had a good padded day out there, full-padded day and feel like we have made a bunch of progress this week. I know the guys are chomping at the bit to get to Sunday, but we’ve got some more work to do. And like I said yesterday, it’s going to take our best game to go out there and compete against this team and that’s what we’re trying to do.”

Q: Is it harder or easier to prepare for a quarterback situation like this?

HALEY: “I said it a little bit yesterday. It’s something that occurs quite frequently. It happened going into Indy. We’ve got a lot of information on both guys, whichever one it is or potentially the young guy there. We’ve just got to prepare and have an idea of what to expect regardless of who plays, and also understand that this is one of the best running teams in the league, the best that we’ve seen to date. That’s first and foremost. What we have to do defensively is slow the run game down.”

Q: You’ve been getting better against the run each week. Is your defense good enough to shut down those guys?

HALEY: “Well, we’ll see. I think we have been getting better. We’ve played some teams that could run the ball a little bit, and this one definitely can, so we’ll see. We will be tested, but we’ve been making progress across the board up front and defensively in general and this will be a great test.”

Q: How do you get the offensive line ready for maybe the most physical defensive line you will face this year?

HALEY: “We’ve got to have – as we always say – we’ll put certain people in position to give looks to those guys. After practice, we’ll put them against certain players just to create some semblance of what they’re going to see in different ways. You’ve got to practice and get ready to go. We do have some familiarity with them, which is good. Again, we need to go out there in all three phases and play our best game.”

Q: How is this group different than some of the other teams you’ve faced?

HALEY: “I think you’ve said it. Inside, they’ve got one of the better… Richard Seymour may be the best at his position in the league. He’s a great player, very disruptive player potentially. We went into this week with an understanding that one of the key things that we would have to get done is handling him, no different than going into Detroit or Indianapolis and seeing a [Dwight] Freeney or Detroit and seeing a [Ndamukong] Suh. Again, but you’re talking about a couple really good players up front that can be very disruptive, and it’ll fall really to everybody and us as coaches as far as how we plan to handle some of those things.”

Q: How is Jon Asamoah doing in his first year as a starter? How do you feel he is coming along and what are some things that he needs to work on?

HALEY: “I think he – along with everybody else the last three games – has been playing a lot better. He specifically, I thought these last two games he played really sound, solid football games. He is a hard worker. He’s getting stronger. Again, he’s another young player that missed an offseason. All those things, again, everybody had to deal with it, but when you’re talking about a younger team, it has an effect. I’m happy to say though and I feel very encouraged that really he is making very good progress and specifically these last couple weeks.”

Q: Are you any closer to deciding on Jonathan Baldwin for this weekend?

HALEY: “No, like I said, he was ready to go for the Indy game. I’m glad now that he’s had a couple more weeks and at the same time, that decision will come down to game day I believe, not because of him but really there’s a lot of different things to think about, specifically if an additional guy is up, somebody has to go down. And then you start to get into the special teams. How many plays are players contributing on special teams? How many plays will he play? I have to think about Steve Breaston and Dwayne Bowe a little bit because they’ve been playing really well these last couple weeks specifically. I really don’t want to disrupt them a whole lot, but at the same time, if we’ve got a guy that can help us – which I believe he’ll be able to help us – we’ve got to make sure we do what’s best for the team and gives us the best chance to win. It won’t be necessarily something he has done or not done. He’s doing a good job. He’s had a good couple days and I’m excited and encouraged about his development.”

Q: You said he was ready in Indianapolis. Do you mean health-wise, mental-wise?

HALEY: “Health-wise.”

Q: What about mental-wise?

HALEY: “Mental-wise, fine. Like I said, when I say someone is ready to go, they’re ready to go. But at the same time, as the head coach, you have to make the right decision for the team. For Indy, that was the right decision because we won the game. There’s a lot more that goes into it than just Jonathan Baldwin. Mainly, that’s some different roles that people have to play that we have to have guys prepared and at the same time, it’s special teams. It’s not like you just say for instance, Jeremy Horne’s playing 23 snaps a game on special teams and being productive and you just pull somebody like that off the roster or off the gameday [roster], you’ve got to have somebody that can take those 23 plays effectively.”

Q: Can he play special teams and do it like Jeremy Horne does?

HALEY: “Yeah, he’s practicing it and working at it, but again, you’re talking about somebody who hasn’t had a lot of developmental time on special teams here for a lot of different reasons, number one he was injured and he couldn’t participate in any special teams while everybody else was stacking practices under their belt. It will go down to game day.”

Q: What factors have led to WR Steve Breaston’s increased production over the last three games?

HALEY: “I think as much as anything I think it’s comfort level. Though a lot of things were familiar to Steve coming in, you still have to create a comfort level with him and a quarterback and there are enough things different offensively now that that’s an adjustment position-wise – where we were playing him, practicing him, the things we were asking him to do. There’s an adjustment period there for anybody, especially skill-position guys and I just think he’s getting more and more comfortable playing our offense, playing with his teammates and I think you’re seeing some of that now show up. He’s shown he’s a pretty good player in the league, that’s why I was and we were so excited to get him here. I think you’re seeing some of that now as he continues to get more and more comfortable and Matt continues to get more and more comfortable.”

Q: This is an old rivalry between these two teams and it probably meant more to the late Al Davis than it did to anyone else on that team. Can you talk about what they might be going through right now and whether that’s fuel for their tank this week?

HALEY: “I agree with you in that this is a tremendous, tremendous rivalry. It’s one of the best rivalries in the league and this is a great league that’s been around a long time but this is one that everybody knows about and pays attention to. I can’t speak for the Oakland Raiders. I know that we as the Kansas City Chiefs, this is a division rival that we have to go on the road in a great, hostile environment to play in, one of the best you’ll probably hear and more importantly see, and we’ve got to worry about us and going out there and being ready to go and to play our best game against a division opponent.”

Q: He clearly added a lot to the relationship between the two teams?

HALEY: “Oh, yeah. Absolutely – just from the history standpoint and what a big role that he played in it along with Mr. [Lamar] Hunt. It’s one of the things that make the NFL the greatest game in the world, in my opinion. There are so many neat things in history and Mr. Davis obviously was, is and will be forever a huge part of this league.”

Q: You talked about preparing for Oakland DL Richard Seymour the same way you prepared for Ndamukong Suh and Dwight Freeney. Looking back on it, how do you think you did against those two guys?

HALEY: “Well I think Freeney, obviously different positions that we’re talking about, but defensive players that you have to have a plan for and I think Freeney, we did a very good job. I think we turned him free really one time and the other one we didn’t really feel should have ended up being a sack or a disruption in that way but I feel pretty good about the plan we had and how we executed it against Dwith [Freeney]. Suh, it’s a little harder answer to give because of the result of the game. As far as what role he played in the game, I think we had a pretty good handle on what we were doing. He had a sack at the end of the half there where we scrambled around. Other than that I thought we did a pretty good job of keeping him from being the guy. Now there were a number of other guys that disrupted the game.”

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