Q: Have you talked to your players at all about playoff scenarios?
HALEY: “No, that word is officially banned (in the building). We are focused strictly on the Tennessee Titans and trying to get to 2-1. We have done a very good job of making progress throughout the year and we know that we are not there yet to where we want to get to as a team. We made progress and I think one of the keys to us making progress has been our ability to stay focused on the task at hand. That has been a pretty strongly emphasized point that we are focused on this game, trying to get to 2-1 in the fourth quarter of the season. We got a little ban.”
Q: Do you ever let your guard down on stuff like that as a coach accidently?
HALEY: “If I must pat myself on the back, I am proud of the job that I do of staying in the present tense. I just think it is important, whatever you are doing, whatever job. It does you no good to worry about things that you can’t control and take care of your job. That is really the mantra for our team, do your job first and then generally if you do your job well you should have a chance for good things to happen.”
Q: How do you keep that message fresh to the player?
HALEY: “Fines, bans (laughing.) I don’t know. I think you just try to keep on keeping on without being too boring, which I have been accused of being.”
Q: Will you be racing to your TV to watch the Chargers game after you finish on Sunday?
HALEY: “I don’t know. No, I can’t say that is for sure. I have five kids and things take priority on certain days. When that game ends, that is really something that isn’t talked about. I love living in Central time because the games get played earlier and when you kickoff at noon, the game is over and Sunday afternoons are really a nice treat when I was in Dallas, here obviously and Chicago. It is a nice treat to get a little time at home to relax with the family, especially this time of year.”
Q: Is it a coincidence that 3-1 in the fourth quarter would also guarantee an AFC West championship?
HALEY: “No, I think that is why it is what it is. Generally if you can win three out of four each quarter, which we have done twice, our goal is to do it all four quarters. We let that second quarter slip and we had a great opportunity to get to three there. We don’t have any fudge room because of that. The only thing different in the fourth quarter than all the rest is that there is no room to make up for anything at any other time. The time is now and we have to get to 2-1 so we can have a chance to reach our goal.”
Q: Do you talk to the guys about doing exactly what they’ve done to get to this point, not doing too much right now?
HALEY: “Yeah, I think that’s every day though. And like I said, what we talk about all the time is do your job first, don’t try to do somebody else’s job; concentrate on doing your job as well as you possibly can with great technique, great effort, all those things that go with it and then hopefully then you have enough skill and talent for that to be real good. The really good players do their job and at times are able to go a little outside the box but generally if you think that way, you’ve got to just do your job as well as you possibly can every single day, every single down and then you have a chance to be okay.”
Q: When it comes to the holidays, do you think that professional sports should play? Do you like when other teams play on holidays so you can see them?
HALEY: “That’s not for me to say. I grew up seeing it, doing it, being a part of it, it’s what’s great about this country. I think it’s for everybody to handle how they want to but I would say that football on Thanksgiving and even football on Christmas and things like that are kind of something that you’ve come to know a little bit and there are great memories. It’s a great part of being involved in this league and really this country.”
Q: Is the Titans passing game a whole different animal with WR Kenny Britt in the lineup versus those handful of games where he was out due to injury?
HALEY: “He’s a difference maker, there’s no doubt but I think the entire group, they do a very good job of stretching the field and running fast. I think it helps their run game because as a defender you don’t know – that’s what I’ve always preached as a receiver coach, to come off the ball the same whether it’s run or pass so that you don’t give that defender the edge to figure it out quicker and they do an excellent job of that, they come off the ball fast, it’s hard to decipher run or pass with them.”
Q: In the San Diego game, it didn’t seem like there was group tackling where you had six or seven defensive guys right around the ball. That was there in St. Louis. Is that accurate, that you gang tackled better in St. Louis?
HALEY: “There’s no doubt, we played better in all phases in St. Louis than we did in San Diego. San Diego was one of for sure our two worst games out of the entire season. I think we’re proud of a lot of things we’ve done throughout the year other than those two games, even a couple games we’ve lost we’ve done a lot of positives. We’re trying to do that all the time. Definitely in St. Louis we did a good job of it. Against this team and against Chris Johnson it’s a little double-edged in that you have to chase and get to the football but you have to be disciplined in how you do it because you will see some phenomenal runs out of the guy that don’t end where they start. Like I said, I had a big tape put together that our entire team saw so that we could try to give good looks, the show team could give good looks and we had a receiver playing running back to try to recreate the speed along with our other backs and really that’s part of the challenge when you play great, great players. Chris Johnson is obviously one of those great, great players in the league.”
Q: When national critics look at the Chiefs and say they haven’t played anyone, does that get under your skin a little bit?
HALEY: “I haven’t heard it. That’s another thing I’ll pat myself on the back for is I’ve stayed away from listening to a lot of outside stuff and that’s part of staying in the present tense. It doesn’t really matter to me. Our goal is just to try to get to 3-1 in this quarter and it’s hard to win in the NFL period and we’ve proved that so we’re just trying to get better every day and our goal this week is to try to figure out a way to beat a very good team, a very tough, physical team with one of the best players in the league, or two (of the best), WR Randy Moss, count him. There are a bunch of really good players on that team so we’ve got our work cut out for us and we’re going to definitely need everybody to be together, stick together and play together.
“Thank you. Again, Merry Christmas and happy holidays everybody.”