Q: Do you practice up there just for familiarity’s sake?
HALEY: “As long as they’ll let me get away with it – our grounds guys, they want the field to look good. Everybody’s for doing what we think we need to do. Again, I just like being up there. I don’t know whether it has a positive effect for sure but I heard one time that if you study for the test where you’re going to take the test that your results go up.”
Q: You’ve gotten some breaks, or maybe just the big plays went your way. What happens in those games where you guys don’t make the big plays? What happens if you’re scratching and clawing but the big plays just aren’t there?
HALEY: “I think one of my favorite lines I’ve heard going way back, just being young, luck is when preparation meets opportunity. That’s something that we preach and push and I believe it, that you can create some opportunity through preparation, hard work and effort. That’s what we have to do. That’s the landscape for us right now. I would say that’s going to be part of our M.O. and when it’s not there, somebody, someone, some group is going to have to figure out a way to pick up the slack one way or another. I’m not looking at those first two games like that, like what you’re talking about. I’m looking at it as the name of the game is play better than your opponent when the day’s over and that’s what we’re trying to do.”
Q: Even though they’re 0-2, you’re 2-0 and you’re playing at home, do you still have the underdog mentality heading into this game?
HALEY: “You said still, that’s what you’re saying. I don’t know that I have had an underdog feeling or not an underdog feeling. I know we are keeping this very focused and have been on just getting a little better each day, knowing that we’re going to into real talented or real skilled groups of players. We’re going to have to be at our best, week-in and week-out.”
Q: Even though you guys are undefeated, do you guys have the same mentality as you did at the beginning of the season, that you have something to prove?
HALEY: “Absolutely. We’re two games through the first quarter of the season and part of becoming a good team is winning week-in and week-out. Two weeks is not the measuring stick we’re going by. We’ve got our third game, we’ve got a very good opponent in all areas of the team that I’m pretty familiar with over the last couple years. That’s the way it’s going to be for us each week – there’s going to be a group that either we’re going to play or that’s coming in here that looks like a major obstacle, task, however you want to look at it. All we can do is just keep trying to get better because we are in that process.”
Q: After the Cleveland game you said that going into it you knew you had to keep an eye out on a couple numbers of players. Do you think when teams are getting ready to play the Chiefs they say we have to look out for 25 and that your guys’ philosophy of splitting the carries maybe helps them out because they don’t have to look out for him as much?
HALEY: “I have no idea. That’d be something you’d have to ask other teams.”
Q: Do you want your players to remember the losing? Even when you’re winning, do you want them to remember what it was like last year to compel them to not be like that or think like that?
HALEY: “No. I want these guys to be focused on understanding the task at hand, that we are trying to become a good team and the only way you’re going to become a good team is to continue to make progress, to continue to develop guys so that when injuries happen, which they are, they have, they will, that you have guys that can step in and keep things going and that’s really what I want every one of us to be focused on in this building and that is to just continue to make progress and prepare the way we know you have to prepare to have a chance to do the things you have to do to win games.”
Q: When you’re approaching a game and you have a couple guys who are banged up and are maybe questionable or doubtful but you have a bye week the next week, are you typically more cautious with that player or more aggressive that they have an extra week to take off?
HALEY: “Like I’ve said a couple times, I have great faith in our doctors, our trainers. I think that they know a lot more about it than I do. That being said, I’ve said it a bunch of times, we need everybody now, not later. If it’s something that’s not going to be something that’s detrimental or our doctors feel like this is not going to get worse or this is not going to turn into something that could be a problem – I’m looking for tough guys that want to come out and be part of this. To this point, and going all the way back, since I’ve been here, that’s been one of the things I’m real excited about, I’ve made that clear in here, we have a bunch of guys that they want to be part of this group and they want to be good teammates and I think you see that on a daily, weekly basis, week-in and week-out. Every week is just as important as the week before and the week after. Like I said, this game is our biggest game to date as a team.”
Q: The attitude that you’re trying to develop, this game is the only game that matters, the past, the future, game day, that play is the only thing that matters. That’s not the way humans are wired. How tough is that to rewire?
HALEY: “It’s a full-time job. It’s a full-time job. That is quarters of the season, stay in the present tense, those are all important things to everybody. Though you want to reflect on things that have happened in the past, I think that’s an important part of life, speaking philosophically or just as a human being. Staying in the present tense and this game, any other game, time is very critical because one way or the other it’ll get you. If you’re thinking about something that’s occurred and you can’t do anything about it or if you’re thinking about something that hasn’t happened yet; you’re focus is not on the task at hand. That’s going all the way back to last year, this is something that I believe firmly in and is part of becoming a good team, so I’m just trying to do things that make you do that.”