C: What do you know about
HALEY: “We’ve seen him for a couple of years and he’s a guy that was an active part of San Diego. He had some chances to line up with the first team, definitely a special teams contributor there. I don’t have any personal experience with him, but seeing him up close now, have definitely watched some tape on him. I know everybody was excited about bringing him in here. He will add some competition to the inside linebacker spot. The good thing about Brandon, is both inside positions, ultimately we want them to be pretty close to the same, they’re not right now. So when you have someone with some versatility to play both roles, that’s an added bonus. He’ll increase the competition. He’s a guy that understands the division and what’s going on. He’s a big-good looking guy, we’re excited to have him and kind of assimilate him into the team and see how things go.”
Q: Once you have everyone here, how do you feel about your pass rush?
HALEY: “I thought we showed some steps in a positive direction last year. I would expect that to continue. Both with the guys that are here continuing to improve or have been here and then out of this new infusion of front type players, whether it’s outside linebackers or defensive lineman. We’re encouraged that they’re may be one or two guys that can create some competition first of all for the guys that have been doing it. Then we’ll see where it takes us. There’s definitely more hands on deck at this point so far in my opinion. That could all change, but going by what I’ve seen to date, there’s more competition right now and that’s the name of the game for us.”
Q: Who are the guys that you’re talking about?
HALEY: “The guys that are here. I would expect
Q: What’s Studebaker’s potential?
HALEY: “He’s another one that I won’t set a bar on Andy because each time we’ve said, he’s this, he breaks through that ceiling. You can’t out work the guy. Every time he’s had an opportunity to be out there and actually be playing, he’s made plays. I know he’s excited, we’re excited, we have to get the pads on, but he’s another guy I would expect to see, and needs to, take another big step for us to get where we need to get to.”
Q: Is (Wallace) Gilberry still a third down pass-rush guy?
HALEY: “I’ve just seen Wallace in meetings and walking around. Wallace is a guy that has been there for us, made plays, he has a knack for making plays so we’ll just have to see how it goes. Those guys are anxious to get out there and it’s been a long time for everybody. We’ll let him get out there and get moving around and get acclimated a little bit because that’s going to be a bit of an adjustment for those guys. Everybody else will have almost a week under their belts.”
Q: Do you have enough depth at running back?
HALEY: “We’re really kind of short everywhere right now because of the guys we have sitting on the side. As those guys come back into the fold, you’re going to get
Q: Any thoughts on some of the guys like Tyson Jackson using some alternative work out methods in the offseason?
HALEY: “I think the best thing out of that is that he cares and he’s working. I don’t know personally who he was working with, but I would say, and like you guys have seen Master Joe Kim, we’ve got him in a little more expanded role out here. We’re working out all the time. The thing I care about and am looking at is in a situation where he couldn’t be here working with his teammates, he was working. He was going out of his way to work it sounds like from talking to him. It wasn’t just doing the easy thing and hanging out by the house and working at the 24-hour fitness. He really went out of his way to improve and a lot of those things we talk about as the season winds down with our specific position players about things they can do until we’re all together. That’s the best sign. That’s a position where you have to kind of grow into it generally and he’s made progress from year one to year two and now he has to make progress from two to three.”
Q: Do you know much about MMA?
HALEY: “Yeah, sure I like it. I coach receivers. I’ve brought in every kind of karate expert in I could find to try to have those guys work a little bit with their hands. Anybody that’s in any kind of on-the-line of scrimmage position at anytime, whether you’re a defensive back, receiver, lineman, defensive lineman-that hand-to-hand combat is going on. Any edge you can create. One of the greats of all-time, Tunch Ilkin goes around – Tunch’s Punches. He coaching hand to hand combat. That’s the name of the game.”
Q: Has Tyson Jackson’s progress been what you expected?
HALEY: “I think we’ve been pretty clear about that. When that pick was made it was going to be one that we were going to have to be a little patient with. First and foremost, from the position he’s playing. That left defensive end/right defensive end, they’re not real sexy-playmaker positions. You’re not going to show up in the stat sheet a whole bunch. We appreciate the work he’s been doing, and he’s got better each year. I would expect an even bigger jump this year, that’s what important to me right now.”
Q: Are you concerned that the team might become soft with the new guidelines?
HALEY: “No, I think it’s a good question. I haven’t thought that way. What I’ve stayed really focused on is number one, playing by the rules and working within the rules that have been laid out by a lot of smart people. Once that’s done, it’s different than anybody on my staff has ever had to go through. I said from the start going back to last offseason that we need to do a little outside the box thinking because there’s a solution. Much like what I tell the players, don’t complain don’t explain, find solutions. We have to find that solution. It might be a little different, or I think it’s a little different maybe than what we’ve known in the past. I’m not concerned with our team being soft by any means. We’ve been working pretty hard through the last two years to have a tough minded team. That is the identity of our team first and foremost. The softness I’m not worried about but you have to get them ready to play. There is something to be said for timing and the speed and the hitting and the collisions and those kinds of things. We’re going to do our best to get it right and I’m very confident with what we have to work with staff wise, that we’ll have a chance to do that and if we do there will be opportunities.”
Q: Does Bobby Greewood have a legitimate chance at competing for a position with the team?
HALEY: “Until those guys put the pads on it will be hard for me to evaluate a whole bunch. I will say that there’s something about this Bobby Greewood. We’ve tried to run him off a number of ways; moved positions defense to offense then back to defense, then back to offense. I can’t count how many times within the last couple of years that we’ve had to move him around but as I say to them all early on, the more you can do the better the chance of you staying around. Now, he’s staying around and we had him inside, and we thought the best opportunity was outside. We definitely think there’s an opportunity for him, at least off of what we’ve seen. Once the pads go on and we get into some action, we’ll know a little more. I’m excited for individuals today when the pads are on to see how a couple of those guys respond, him included.”
Q: Are you surprised how much progress he has made since moving to the offensive side?
HALEY: “Yes and no. I think even before that, within practice he was playing both ways for a while, so he was getting reps. When you have some of those under your belt even off of cards or look team, it gives you a chance to get some level of comfort. Hearing the words and the language and those things, that’s the big thing. He’s a smart guy so that’s not a problem. We’ll just see, get the pads on, we’ll be watching close today and each and every day after.”
Q: How much more comfortable are you as the head coach of this team?
HALEY: “I think I probably said it very early on that this particular job, you can’t train for it. Experience is what it’s all about. Each and every day that I go through, my number one goal has been to learn from the experiences and try to be better. That’s the way I’ve operated no matter what I was doing. Be open minded about what you’re doing and try to figure out the best way to function that gives you a chance to succeed. That’s the goal. That’s the focus. For this team, me as the head coach working with a lot of other really good people, to be part of something special and be part of a team that has a chance to play in big games every year.”