Todd Haley Postgame Comments

Posted Aug 26, 2011

On celebrating the spirit of Joplin: “Part of what this night was about was the city of Joplin….as I said during the week, there are people living a serious nightmare. We’ve had a bunch of people here in Kansas City and people on our team, in our organization…really our entire area has gathered and worked hard to try to make a devastating situation somewhat better….that’s got to continue for a long time it appears. I just want all of them to know that we continue to think about them…not take it for granted anything that’s going on up here when there’s something like that going on down there.”

Opening Statement (on the game): We kind of got that game going in the wrong direction defensively…couldn’t get settled in the first two drives. The offense added a 3-and-out there on the first possession which never helps matters following a 14-play drive to start the game. After that I thought defensively the guys hunkered down. We made a big turnover there…got a chance to get seven on the board, and then another big stop which turned the tide as far as that goes. Defensively there were a number of guys that again showed up, once we got settled down. The start was really just a killer. Offensively I thought we made some plays and were able to move the ball through the air a bit. The run games got to show some signs of life here…we weren’t able to run it enough the first half, for one reason or another. When you run it seven, eight, nine times in the first half that’s going to give you problems generally. Penalties were killer; we had a touchdown taken off the board and penalties throughout the night. I don’t think the number even reflects it. I’ve got to believe we were in the teens, 12 or 13 penalties with a number of them declined. With special teams I thought there were some good signs. The punter continued to do a good job. We had a protection breakdown at the end there with the field goal and penalties at the end of the game; that kind of stuff doesn’t make you feel real good as the head coach because those generally come right back on me. We’ve got to do a better job of being a disciplined team; that’s got to be number one, we’ve got to be disciplined. We’re not at a stage where we can make mistakes and feel we can overcome them against really anybody. I know we had a difficult week of practice but we worked hard and made progress, both on the field and in the weight room. We’re going to be on a short week where time is of the essence. I believe in our guys, I believe in this group that we have. Some things are going to have to improve here pretty quickly in some of those areas I just talked about…If we do that I believe we’ll have the chance to be competitive team.”

On choosing to go for a field goal over a touchdown late in the game: “Three minutes plus, two time outs, I would kick the field goal, especially in the regular season. I considered it more in the preseason, you can take a few more chances so to speak. I was a little disappointed with the sequence of plays once we got down there. We had a dropped ball for what looked like a touchdown but I think I kick a field goal with two timeouts, our defense was playing well and a field goal wins.”

Was that a change in coaching philosophy? “It was the time in the game. My aggressiveness changes as the game progresses and there are different portions in a game where I think from a mindset and in pregame planning during the week that you decide you can afford to be aggressive or that you need to be prudent. There with three minutes a field goal makes it 13-14; you’re planning on pinning them…calling a couple of timeouts…and having a shot field to win the game.”

On subbing QB Tyler Palko for Matt Cassel for one play: “Two days ago that was part of the plan in this evaluation process. We need to be very critical that we understand who and what everybody is. Tyler had not been in there with any of our core players - that was an ahead of time deal that we decided we were going to give him a series with the core guys to get a good evaluation. I thought Tyler did a good job. It had nothing to do with Matt; of course he wants to play all the time and we got to get him ready too. I don’t want you to think we are taking that aspect lightly because he’s got to be ready to plat once the season starts.”

On QB Matt Cassel calling two consecutive timeouts in the second quarter: “That was disappointing but you cannot call two timeouts in a row, and we did. That’s something where we have to make sure that everyone is aware of the rule and makes sure something like that doesn’t happen…much like the end of the game…you make those types of mistakes…”

On QB Matt Cassel’s performance as a whole: “I thought there were signs of progress. Early on, protection wise there were some things where I thought they were going to be blocked up plays. In pressure he got out of a couple of sacks and made a play; that’s something we’ve been emphasizing…that was a good sign. He got to push the ball down field….Jereme Urban showed up for us; that was a good thing. Matt overall, I thought made progress. He made progress throughout the week…through the week I was excited to see us offensively but we did enough things to shoot ourselves in the foot to keep us from getting any momentum.”

Are you going to have to break your plan with one game to go? “We’ll have three practices and be on a plane and get a chance to go into what I think is one of the best preseason atmospheres…so that will be a big task for the offense. I believe in the guys. We’ll get a good week in and go out to Green Bay and get things going. You can never say you have to do this or that or the other but I would like to start to see some success offensively.”

On playing non-starters late in a losing game: “It went about according to plan and that was hard too. When you’re struggling the knee jerk reaction is to leave them in there, let them get better, but again I’m convicted in what we’re doing. Tonight was not the result that we want but fortunately we have another game week here coming up. Then we have to decide the roster and some of those decisions…and it will be the real deal, it’s moving fast.”

On G/C Rodney Hudson playing multiple positions: “He’s been doing that. We’ve seen him at both guard and center. Tonight it went on again, some of it due to circumstance. That’s something we really like about him...I think he was one of the culprits there where it would have been nice to get into the end zone, so we’ve got to make sure everybody understands we’ve got to be a more disciplined team and he’s one of them but we’re excited about his versatility.”

On T Jared Gaither: “I was excited that he kept coming to me. I told him to report to me after each stage of his progress. I want to know where he is. He was throwing some guys around…we’ll have to watch the tape but I was excited. He came twice and said he was good and wanted to continue to get some action.”

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