Todd Haley Postgame Comments - 49ers

Posted Sep 26, 2010

Chiefs move to 3-0

Opening Statement: “Obviously, this is our third win in this quarter of the season which gives us three. We have a little bye week here which we’ll be able to get some much needed work for our team. Across the board, we’ll have some time to do some things that we really need to get done. We keep getting a little better every week. Today, I really felt like first-down was going to be the critical down for us. Some of the other sexier downs get a little more talk and some of the other areas of the field get a little more talk, but I think if you’re playing a team like San Francisco, whose been one of the top teams in the league on first-down through two games on both sides of the ball, that became a real critical down for us. I don’t know the numbers yet, but I feel across the board, both offensively and defensively, that the guys understood that. They played together, they made plays on first-down, which then made other situations much more manageable, across the board. First down was real critical for us. We had to be physical, which we were. I think it’s clear you can see this team likes to run and hit across the board. They don’t mind getting into it a little bit from a physical standpoint. That’s the way it’s got to be. They understand it, our guys understand it, and they’re willing to go out there and slug it out a little bit, which worked to our benefit today. The final thing was turnovers; we turned it over on downs a few times, an interception. We had one down the left sideline that we can’t allow to happen. It was a heck of a play by the corner. That’s one of those that we’re working hard on not allowing to happen. We’ve just got to do a better job in a couple of different areas and not allow that to happen again. That’s a multiple-person error or turnover, in my opinion, without watching the tape.


I’m proud of the guys. They are working every day to do the things you have to do to continue to get better. That wasn’t, score-wise, what I was originally expecting, but I’ll take it and I know they will. And now we’ve got a little time here to get after it, get better. With the bye week, it will be a great chance for us to make improvements that we clearly need across the board, both coaching and playing.”

What was the difference today (it was such a complete game for offense, defense, special teams)? “First down. First down, in my opinion.”

Can you talk about the pass rush today? You guys had four sacks … It’s been a long time since the Chiefs have been able to get after a quarterback like that: “Sacks are a number that people like to get excited about but you can disrupt the passer, we’ve said that all week. For an extended period of time we’ve been talking about that. There are ways to disrupt the passer without getting him on the ground, and without even hitting him at times. We had a specific plan that we wanted to handle this quarterback, who was playing at a real high level, Alex Smith, who is tough, and is going to be one of the good quarterbacks in this league. We had a plan and it worked out that we were able to get off a couple blocks and get some sacks. I know the guys are excited about that, but the way we’re trying to do things doesn’t revolve around sacks.”

Are you starting to have more confidence in this team than you did a few weeks ago? “I don’t think I’ve changed a whole bunch over the last handful of years, at least when I’ve been in a position to have some say so in what plays are getting called. I just think there are games that you can and games that you can’t and this is one where we had a clear cut plan where we thought we could get some things done. We didn’t get all the things done that we could have; that’s one of the things we’ve got to continue to work on. I haven’t changed from that standpoint. I don’t want to talk about last year. There were plenty of opportunities over the last few years to know that there’s some risk-reward plays that are going to have to be called in games.”

Do you feel like you’re getting to a point where you can be more aggressive (with your play calling)? Is that just a comfort thing or a today thing? “I think it’s a weekly thing. There are going to be some weeks where our coaches are working hard to try to find ways we can operate and get things done. We’re in the process of laying a foundation here. We’ve got an influx of new players, both last year and this year. We’ve got some players that have been here now two years for us. We’re still trying to figure out what everybody’s top end is. I’m just encouraged that it appears to me that we’ve got a number of guys that aren’t going to be willing to accept bars being set on what they can do. But I think that, at the same time, we had 45 guys today, 44 today, Brodie was the only one [that didn’t get in the game], and he was contributing like heck on the sideline … even our extra linemen … (Jon) Asamoah was in there a bunch , I don’t know how many snaps he got … but we had 44 guys contributing today and I’ll bump that up because we had a few of our veteran-type guys that really understand what we’re trying to get done; they were out on the sideline even though they couldn’t have the uniform on. That’s what we’re trying to get.”

What was it that made you feel like you could kind of go for it today? “I think every game is different. To win a game, you’ve got to play better than your opponent, and that is really all it is about. All that it’s about is play better than your opponent for the entire 60 minutes, 75 minutes, whatever the length of a game can be, with overtime and everything. Today, we were fortunately able to do that. We came through a real good week of practice and preparation that the guys knew they had an opportunity here to gain some ground.”

You mentioned having a lot of stuff to work on during the Bye Week. What would you say is the one thing this team needs to focus on to keep improving? “We are a team in transition. We’ve been a team that hasn’t won a lot of games in a number of years, a team of great history and tradition, one of the great teams in the league, in my opinion. I’m so excited to be here. But the Kansas City Chiefs have not won very many games or have not accomplished what the purpose of having a team here and playing is. We’re in the process of trying to change that. That’s exactly where we are. We worked real hard to lay a foundation last year, which will be one of the more painful years anybody in that locker room has to endure, coaches included, but that’s just the way that it was. And now we’re continuing that process of laying a foundation through the off-season and pre-season and training camp and now three games into this 2010 season. Really, that’s all we are right now. We’re three games into the first quarter of the season, trying like heck to make that transition from a not-so-good team into a good team and sooner rather than later. We are by no means there, so a bye week for this group of guys will be a great opportunity for us to make great strides.”

Talk about Tamba Hali’s play, not just today, but the fact that he’s had to make a transition into a new position? “Tamba’s one of several players that were here doing things one way that, for whatever reason, that was going to work. Myself and my staff have a belief that you have to do things to be a consistently good team. I think that Tamba, Glenn Dorsey, Jamaal Charles, Derrick Johnson, Brandon Albert, Brian Waters, Brandon Flowers, Brandon Carr, I don’t want to forget anybody, but I could keep going down the list, we’ve got a lot fo guys that fall into that group that are young players in the league that haven’t won a lot of games for whatever reason that now want to win games, want to be part of something special, something good, and I’m just trying to be very consistent with that message to them, and any time I have a chance to talk about it. That’s the plan. I know I’m not going to waiver, I know this quarterback, why I like him so much, is that he’s not going to waiver and he’s not going to crack. That’s the way you8 have success in any business. You better believe in what you believe in and if it has some fundamentals that give it a chance of success…if you just stay with those beliefs and you8’re willing to put the pressure and the push and some of the less fun things into it early on, I think you can get a bunch of employees that act like-mindedly and that’s what we’re doing. The players and coaches are starting to become a team.”

You seem more emotional coming in here, more than usual, kind of fired up, not the way someone would assume you’d be after a really good game. Do you feel the same way you did after the Cleveland game? “Absolutely. I feel exactly the same. I think that one of the pitfalls in this business is thinking that you’ve accomplished something which, across the board from an employment standpoint, pretty much whatever you’re doing that if you get feeling like you’ve accomplished much, generally the trap door’s about ready to open and you’re going to make a long fall into some ugly waters. That’s something I believe, its’ the way I’ve always believed, it’s the way I coach, that’s the way I was raised and taught, and again we are three games into the first quarter of the season and we haven’t done anything. I was on a team that won three games in 2000; we won the first three games, nobody else remembers that team but those of us that were on it. We haven’t done anything yet. We have a long way to go. I’m glad that we’ve got a bye week. So, I would say no to your question of being any different.”

If you guys are maybe 4-0 going into the next one, is there any thought that ‘we want to build on that’ or do you like the approach of erasing it like your 0-0? “You do the same things the same way. Obviously the circumstances and the variables change and I do believe that during that change or adjustment or difference in variables that you’re seeing the people in this business, both players and coaches, that are able to adjust on the fly to the varying situations they’re going to run into, are the ones that are end up being be able to have extended success. That being said, last year, this year, 2008, 2007 , all the way back to when I started coaching, I’ve broken the season up in quarters. It’s the way I used to break my golf score card up, three holes at a time. If you could make 12 in three, then you had a chance to shoot 36 through nine holes, and if you just kept making 12, now one set of three holes you might have 14, then the next one you might have 10. But I knew if I broke it up like that I’d have a chance of not getting too high or too low. That’s just what I’ve done for a long time and believe in and will stay believing that.”

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