Q&A with Todd Haley 11/15

Posted Nov 15, 2010


OPENING REMARKS: “It was a disappointing loss yesterday. We haven’t had a loss like that this season. We have had some close, tight losses. We have not had a game like that which got out of hand pretty quick and stayed out of hand for the most part. We showed a slight chance at the end of the half making a play there, which I thought was well executed by Eric (Berry) and our field goal block team. It is something we worked hard on and thought there would be an opportunity there in Denver. Unfortunately it didn’t play a bigger role in the game for us the way that it went but our guys showed some resilience. They showed that today here in the building as much as they are down about having a game go like that, I think we have a lot of guys that want to get it changed. The way it is going to get changed is us just getting back to fundamental football and doing some of the things that we were doing really well coming out of training camp that were helping us stay in games. We are not going to be a pretty, fancy team. We have to do certain things on a consistent basis offensively, defensively and on special teams to compete in our games each and every week to be in a position to try and win. We are going to be back to fundamentals here and that is going to start Wednesday.


“I also want to touch on the postgame situation. It sounds like it has become a big deal and I do want to apologize for me not shaking Josh’s hand after the game. I do believe in doing what is right and that was not right, I probably let the emotions of the situation get me too much. I apologize to the fans, to Denver and to Josh.”

Q: What is your philosophy on the field when it comes to blowout wins? Do you believe in putting in subs, running the ball only, etc.?

HALEY: “I think that you are entitled to handle it however you want to handle it. I would say that is a little hypothetical for me right now and it depends on the situation your team is in and what you are trying to get done. I know from our end, being on the opposite end of that yesterday, we were circulating guys into the game and then we had a bunch of guys that didn’t want to come out, that wanted to go down with the ship so to speak. That is a good sign from a lot of our players, I would say that is majority if not all that didn’t have any desire to take a leave in that game. The critical thing is that our guys kept playing hard, they kept fighting and they kept trying to make something happen across the board. That is a good sign for our transitioning team.”

Q: What are your thoughts on keeping QB Matt Cassel and WR Dwayne Bowe in the game late yesterday?

HALEY: “Receiver wise we just didn’t have any receivers. Matt was in that group of guys that said, ‘I’m part of this and I want to end part of it. I’m part of why we are in this situation and I want to end part of it.’ I will always have great respect for the players that feel that way and feel strongly about it.”

Q: There is a lot of speculation around the league about why you were so upset with Josh McDaniels. Can you talk about that?

HALEY: “I don’t think that is necessary to get into. I think it is very necessary that I let everybody know that I would do that over again at the end and it wasn’t the right thing to do.”

Q: Have you communicated with Josh?

HALEY: “No, I felt like communicating it to the majority and anyone that was watching it, to let them know how I felt and I think that is what is important.”

Q: What was your relationship like with Josh before yesterday?

HALEY: “I haven’t known Josh or ever worked with him or anything like that. I just know of him.”

Q: On the hit on TE Tony Moeaki, can you take us through what you saw happened there and what your thoughts were?

BUKATY: “I don’t want to rehash the game. We were trying to make a play and they were trying to make a play and that is part of football. That kind of stuff goes on but what I want to keep focused on is for our transitioning team, for our guys, this has got to be about us and how we respond, how we get back to doing the things that we were clearly doing a little better in the first half of the season. Knowing that there were going to be some bumps in the road for a team like us that doesn’t have a great margin for error and are playing some teams along the way that may have more skill at times. We have got to do the fundamental things that allow you to be in and win football games. When we do those things we have chances to win and that is what we need to make sure we are focused on in this building.”

Q: Is it as simple as blocking or tackling?

HALEY: “I think on a baseline it is blocking and tackling. For us it is playing the technique the way we are coaching it on all sides. It is then playing with a high effort, to the whistle because that is all encompassing. Say defensively, with tackling we teach to wrap up, form tackle and take our man to the ground and we don’t teach the block tackle and do some of those things that will cause you to miss tackles. We teach everyone to hustle to the whistle offensively. We teach specific techniques and how we want to do things whether that is up front or at the tight end position, quarterback position or receiver position. To me, this team has to do all those things at a high level that we can control. If we do all those pre-snap things to a high level and then play with technique and effort we should have a chance to compete down in and down out.”

Q: When you have success early is it easy for players to understand what got them that success?

HALEY: “Sure, I am sure it is very easy. As I have said, success is the biggest obstacle to success and that is why I try to be really clear in here that we have had some success but we are not a good team yet because good teams show certain traits on a consistent basis and do things a certain way on a consistent basis and we are just not there yet. I want us to be there but I wouldn’t expect us to be there. I have high expectations day in and day out. This is a process for us and anytime you are trying to go from one point to another and you try to do it as fast as you can. It is going to be difficult and there are going to be bumps in the road. The key is that we handle those bumps and that adversity and show the ability and resiliency to bounce back. The way that you bounce back is by keeping your focus on your teammates, keeping the focus on the task at hand, not thinking too much about that past, not thinking too much about the future and then just doing the things that you can do to control your situation. One of those is practice. You have preparation and practice, you have to prepare, you have to understand your opponent, you have to study, you have to put in the time to fully understand your opponent and then you have to go out on the practice field and practice a certain way. At least teams like us have to. There may be some really good teams that can get away with it at some point but we must be focused on fundamentals at all times and that is everyone in the building.”

Q: G/C Jon Asamoah has appeared at both right and left guard. Can you talk about his aptitude for being able to handle both positions and what have you seen from him so far?

HALEY: “I thought that was a real good experience for Jon. The game got to a point where it looked like the result wasn’t going to change and we’ve got guys that are beat up and we’ve got a chance to get Jon some critical, critical snaps and I thought he went in, and by no means perfect, but did a lot of good things and that’s a good thing for us because that shows we’re building depth and we’re making progress up front in that way. Now we just need to get back to the fundamentals of how we’ve got to play and get back to being an efficient running football team first.”

Q: How does the work in practice then, take half on one side, half on the other side, how does he keep it all straight?

HALEY: “I think that’s the versatility of the player. Some guys can handle it, some guys can’t. He’s doing that and he also gets thrown in there for some center stuff. He’s not the only one; we’ve got to have versatility going into games. Yesterday we went in with eight just because we’re beat up a little bit but we’ve gone into a bunch of these games with seven guys. That’s a risky proposition but in an effort to try to get special teams and guys at other positions that we may need a little more, sometimes you’ve got to do that. To be able to do that, you’ve got to have guys like Jon that have some swing versatility that can play both sides – not a lot different than T Ryan O’Callaghan or T Barry Richardson – Barry as much as anybody being able to do both and play some guard if he had to.”

Q: You’re oldest player on the roster probably could’ve used a break at the end of the game but he was one that wasn’t going to want to come out of the game. Do you not want to be the guy that pulls C Casey Wiegmann out of the game and ends his streak of snaps?

HALEY: “I think you only have so many guys on the sideline and so many options. We had those discussions throughout that game, throughout the second half or the fourth quarter, wherever we got to that point where you said, let’s be smart here and get some experience for some guys. But you only have so many options and like I said, obviously certain guys, I treat everybody the way they deserve to be treated and the way they need to be coached and it’s not all the same and Casey’s obviously one of those guys that has earned a great amount of my respect and if Casey wants to play, we’re going to let him play.”

Q: The block tackle is something that has grown in the NFL. Why do you think that guys no longer want to tackle with their arms the fundamentally sound way?

HALEY: “I think it sometimes gives you the opportunity to get a big hit number one, I would say that’s first and foremost why guys do it. Number two, I think sometimes guys think they may be out-matched physically so they think that that’s the way to get somebody down. I don’t like the block tackle, never have because I think it leads to injury and it puts you in a vulnerable position – that’s when you take knees to the back of the head, you take knees to shoulders or quads to shoulders and collarbones and then on top of that, you don’t have any chance to wrap somebody up and drag them down if you don’t initially get them off their feet. So it’s not something we teach, much like cut blocks offensively with the backs; we don’t teach guys to cut, we teach them to take them on face up and that’s for health reasons and for technique reasons.”

Q: What are your expectations on WR Dexter McCluster?

HALEY: “He’s somebody that hasn’t been on the field, so I won’t talk about him but we’ve got a lot of guys that are going through things across the board and I know we’re working hard from the trainer end and from Mike Clark’s end and from a rehab end to get everybody back as quickly as possible and as I’ve told the guys, we need you now, not two weeks from now or three weeks from now because that could be too late. I’ll say that every year, every week, week-in and week-out forever.”

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