Todd Haley Postgame Comments 8/12

Posted Aug 12, 2011

Opening Statement: “We’ve got one under our belt. It didn’t go exactly the way we wanted it to go. Every time we come out here, especially in our own stadium, we’d like to come out on the winning end. That didn’t occur tonight for a number of different reasons. The number one was turning the ball over early, which will get you beat most times in the NFL – a good lesson learned there for a bunch of these guys. Not being able to protect your quarterback will get you beat most times, not tackling will get you beat most times in the NFL. I thought those were the most glaring deficiencies out there tonight. There were a lot missed tackles; I don’t know what the number was, but just looking from the sideline, it was a lot. Turning the ball over is a problem. So we have a lot of work to do. We knew we had a lot of work to do coming into this game. They’re going to get a little time off tomorrow to recover…a bunch of those guys played a bunch of snaps…and then we’ll be back at it Sunday in St. Joe, back at it early in the morning and practicing at 3:00.”

Did you see this coming today? “I don’t think you ever see that coming. You don’t want to do that, especially on your home turf. That being said, that’s the first one, not the last one. What’s important is that our guys recognize they have a lot of work ahead of them and a short time to do it. Our goal is to be ready to go on September 11th here in Arrowhead and we have a lot of things to work on and a short time to do it.”

On playing the reserves more than the starters: “I’ve said all along that we’re going to need some of these young guys, a handful of them potentially, to contribute this year for us in order to continue to make progress, in my opinion. It may not be the case, but some of those guys that were out there are going to play against the high-level competition potentially. What I’m looking for though is to continue to be a disciplined football team throughout to see high effort and part of discipline is playing with good technique. We did some things as far as discipline was concerned; we didn’t have a lot of dumb penalties, we played fairly smart, it looked like the effort was real good throughout the game, even the guys that played a lot of snaps. But the tackling and some of those things are unacceptable and they have to improve. I’ve got a feeling that a couple of those guys could be guys that need to help us as we go forward. We need to be better and we need to work on some of those fundamental things.”

On the lack of off-season training contributing to the poor tackling: “I don’t know that the off-season program has anything to do with tackling. We’ve haven’t tackled a lot but we’ve coached it and we’ve taught it in individual drills and had a bunch of work in that area, but it is still unacceptable. That’s one of our points of emphasis for our defensive team going into this year. We felt that we had to be a better tackling team. The missed tackles hurt us in key spots last year and for us to improve, that has to change.”

On deciding who would not see the field tonight: “There were a lot of different factors. Some physical conditioning, ability, some guys had some nicks and things where we just didn’t feel like putting them into a game situation. Some we were trying to find out a bit more about, especially in the deeper, more stacked positions where we had more guys to look at. There were a lot of different variables but we had a plan for each and every guy and, as far as I could tell, we followed it. We just have to be better as a football team from start to finish.”

On the quarterbacks: “I saw that they can run for their lives. Both of them have some scrambling ability. That’s an area where we have been deficient as far as off of scrambles making plays, as far as what I think the standard is. We didn’t do it again today, which was disappointing. But those need to give them some time and I didn’t feel like they were holding the ball. It was pretty much a jail break almost every time we dropped back. But the quarterback’s job is to make it work. They’re tough, they looked like they competed the entire time, they didn’t give up, those are good things.”

On the effect poor tackling will have later one: “I think something you have to be careful of as coaches and players is you can’t accept certain things and a poor tackling team is not something we want on our resume ever. Right now it’s on there for this year and a little bit of last year. What’s important is that these guys and our staff recognize some of those areas that were blaring and that we get to work. Time’s limited and we’ve got a bunch to do.”

On T Jared Gaither competing for a starting position: “He and WR Keary Colbert are guys we’re excited about having in here. We’ve danced around with Keary Colbert a number of times here in the last few years and he’s a guy that’s an interesting story that was out of football but coaching; a guy that I really liked coming out, smart inside potential receiver which we don’t have a ton of on campus. He looks like he has a chance to come in and compete. Gaither is great competition. I’ve seen him play both spots; I think he’s capable. We’ve got to get him into football shape and try to get him into a position where he can compete. I think from what I’ve seen on tape he’s got a chance to compete at either side potentially.”

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