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Q&A with Todd Haley 11/14

Posted Nov 14, 2011

OPENING REMARKS: “I had a chance to watch the tape, disappointing result, disappointing performance. It includes everybody starting with me the head coach. Everybody is disappointed, everybody is frustrated and upset with letting an opportunity go by to get a win at home and we didn’t play well enough yesterday to get that done in a number of different areas. We have an understanding of our team and what we have to do and how we have to do it to win and things that we can’t do and yesterday we did too many of those things that keep you from winning games and it’s a team loss and like I said I include everybody, the team, coaches, players alike. We need to be better and we are 0-1 in this quarter of the season and we’ve got a big game this Monday night against New England, another AFC opponent that we have to go out and play a lot better and I feel like if we are able to do that we’ll feel a lot differently Tuesday next week. Right now it’s pretty down but I believe in our guys and I believe that we have the resolve, resiliency to improve and make corrections in the areas that are hurting us the last two games and I believe in our guys and our coaches that we will get that done and like I said feel a lot different.

“I will cover the Matt [Cassel] thing. Matt has a fairly significant injury to his throwing hand. It appears that he will.... It’s being evaluated as we speak, but it appears he will probably have to have surgery of some kind to get it corrected. On the length of it, I don’t know. There’s some optimism but with each person that varies and obviously being a quarter back and it being the hand that he throws with, that’s a difficult injury so as things evolve I’ll do my best to let you know.”

Q: So it’s possible he is done for the season?

HALEY: “That’s a possibility but I wouldn’t say it’s an absolute.”

Q: There are no immediate plans to put him on [injured reserve]?

HALEY: “No not right now. Like I said, it’s been a fluid situation and part of the reason why I was late, just trying to get the full evaluation and feel comfortable with the direction we’re going. At this point right now we’re not there yet.”

Q: Are you going to bring a guy in?

HALEY: “Again, this is right where we are and we’ll have to make a determination in all those areas, the more information we find out, and right now we don’t have enough for me to tell you that or not, but I do feel good, we feel good about the guys we have on the roster in Tyler [Palko] and Ricky [Stanzi] and it’s going to be like anything else that we’ve dealt with, you’ve got to have guys that are developing and being ready to go and in this case that will fall to Tyler.”

Q: What are your thoughts on Tyler Palko as far as being ready to play in a NFL game for you?

HALEY: “Like I said, we feel good about Tyler or he wouldn’t be here, he wouldn’t be our number two. I have a belief in Tyler. There’s not, in his case, a lot of regular season action to go on, but I feel like he has done a great job while he’s been here of developing and getting better. He’s got a great understanding of how our offense works and what his role within it is. I think that showed yesterday just in the little opportunity that he got. He did a good job of stepping in and understanding what had to be done and executed, I’m optimistic.”

Q: Was there much discussion in the offseason about bringing a veteran guy in to compete with Palko?

HALEY: “What are you asking? I don’t understand.”

Q: Was there much discussion in the offseason about bringing a veteran guy in with more experience to compete with Tyler to be the backup quarterback?

HALEY: “I don’t know, I think you might have even asked that back when it was the offseason and when it was going on. Every decision we make is with the best interest of our team in mind and it doesn’t matter what position it is. Each position is equally important, obviously the quarterback is a big one, but we decided back then of how we were going to go into the season, go into the offseason even and obviously that’s what we were comfortable with.”

Q: Is there any open competition or is it Tyler’s job?

HALEY: “I think that Tyler is the next in line. He’s done a terrific job like I said of keeping himself ready and that’s what the number two quarterback has to do because you don’t know, at a moment’s notice you could be in there playing like any other position but obviously at the quarterback position it’s one of great interest and it’s the guy that handles the snap of offensive plays. Tyler has done a good job and I think our coaches have done a real good job and it’s unfortunate it’s under these circumstances but I have a great deal of belief in Tyler personally.”

Q: If the offensive line plays like it has the last couple of weeks, will Tyler be able to have success?

HALEY: “I would say that I would have a hard time answering that question. Like I’ve said, offense is an 11-man operation and it’s easy to draw conclusions about areas of the team and areas of the offense when there is a sack but it falls on everybody’s shoulders. Everybody has to be doing what they’re supposed to do on each play that is called and here the last two weeks, nobody has done a good enough job of doing that and like I said at the start that includes us as coaches. Our guys… I have belief in our team and the fact that we can be a good team and we can play like a good team against good opponents, but it’s very critical that we do certain things and don’t do other things. I don’t think any of those are out of the realm of possibility and we just need to make sure we understand what those things are and that’s what we’ve done all morning and that we are clear going forward. That’s what I believe will happen and we’ll go out and get a better result.”

Q: What have you seen in Palko that gives you the confidence in him?

HALEY: “I think Tyler has a high, high football IQ. He grew up in football, his father is a high school coach in western [Pennsylvania] and he is a very competitive person and that translates into his quarterback ability. That competitiveness is a very good trait to have. I believe that he is athletic and has the ability to use his feet to make plays which I think we witnessed yesterday, is a great positive. I’m not comparing him and Tim Tebow in any way, but he is athletic and he can increase your margin of error at times when you have an extremely athletic quarterback. In general what we’ve seen since Tyler has been here in Kansa City is that he’s got natural leadership ability. Whether it’s the show team or preseason, you recognize leadership ability and Tyler has it so I think all those things are reasons why we are optimistic. We’re optimistic that if anything happened to Matt [Cassel] that we have the right guy in place to step in and get things done.”

Q: Do you have to make changes in your game plan to accommodate Palko?

HALEY: “No, like I said Tyler has a high, high football IQ. He understands, he’s a great resource within games and practice and he’s into football. He’s a great preparation guy, gym rat so to speak that you will see in here most of the time. Ability wise he’s left handed, I don’t foresee that we’ll have to make major alterations to how we play. Of course we’ll play to everybody’s strengths as best we can and that won’t change with the quarterback either.”

Q: How did Matt hurt his hand?

HALEY: “I’m not sure, I think it was, and I don’t know that he’s sure. Yesterday was quite a blur for him but in watching the tape I don’t know if you can factually say whether it’s from hitting somebody or hitting the ground. The feeling was it was the ground but again off of what I’ve seen and the discussions I’ve had it’s hard to know exactly.”

Q: What was it with your defense against the run?

HALEY: “It was a combination of things. They added in a form of the option, a mid-line option that they hadn’t shown which we had to adjust to. I think as the game went on we did a better job of adjusting, it just wasn’t soon enough or good enough. We knew that was going to be a great challenge and it’s a challenging set of circumstances and we didn’t do well enough on any fronts and it costs us. Field position became an issue because of it, even if it didn’t lead to a ton of points, field position, time of possession all those things ended up playing against us. We just weren’t good enough in any area, offense, defensively or special teams and we had opportunities in each area to be better and we did enough things to hurt us but I have to give Denver credit also. They did a heck of a job of operating it and that’s a lot of moving pieces and your counting on a turnover or one miss catch on pitch and that’s sometimes the pitfalls of running the option, any form of it there is a ball handling issue. The quarterback, receivers and backs all did a terrific job of not giving us any opportunity there and we obviously didn’t make any for ourselves.”

Q: Why do you think the Chiefs give up more rushing yards to division teams compared to everybody else?

HALEY: “I don’t know that it’s directly correlated to Denver or any one team or not. I know we’ve done a good job of stopping the run against certain teams in our division at times and then done a poor job. I think ultimately for our team it comes down to doing things the way we need to do them from a technique standpoint and knowing you’re going to be in one-on-one matchups that you don’t always win and we didn’t do a good enough job in any area yesterday. Like I said after the game, how many passes they attempted or didn’t attempt is a non-factor. They threw it well enough because they were able to complete one of those for 65 yards and a touchdown which was another thing that hurt us.”

Q: What is something you can hang your hat on as the identity of this team?

HALEY: “One that we won’t hang our hat on, but we have to right now is we’ve been inconsistent and that’s all areas. There’s no one area that I can say that’s been void of inconsistent and hasn’t been real good at times and hasn’t been poor at times because each and every area has had its share of liability at times and that’s what we’re working so hard on trying not to do because to us it’s not about what it looks like, it’s about winning games on Sundays and these last two games we haven’t done enough to win games. Whether it’s scoring enough points or making them score less, kicking the ball, returning it, whatever it is we haven’t been good enough in these last two games. We’ve been good enough at times and I’ll stand by what I said earlier in the year. I think good is enough right now but the problem is we’ve played good not enough of the time and we’ve been inconsistent. The good thing is, we are one game into this third quarter of the season, we are 0-1, we’re one game out of our division but none of that will matter if we don’t play better and do less of the things that get us beat and I think it’s critical that our guys understand that, I believe they do and I’ll hang my hat on the fact that when we play together as a team and do the things. Play the way this team needs to play. I think we’re capable of beating anybody that we have to play. What has to happen is we have to do it.”

Q: Do you have an update on Glenn Dorsey?

HALEY: “Not a whole bunch. I don’t think it’s a severe injury though. I think it will be day-to-day but I’m optimistic about Glenn.”

Q: He’ll be back to play against New England?

HALEY: “Yes, he’ll be back to help us.”

Q: Can Jared Gaither play on the other side or is he strictly a left tackle?

HALEY: “He’s either side. That’s something we liked about Jared when we brought him aboard is he’s played both sides, both tackle positions and that versatility is a positive.”

Q: One more thing on the quarterback situation. Is Ricky Stanzi anywhere close to being in the discussion?

HALEY: “I don’t think at this time, and that’s not an indictment on Ricky. I think Ricky is doing a terrific job, he’s getting better, he’s making progress. But I think Tyler is clearly the next in line.”

Q: If Ricky needs to play for you down the line, can you see in practice what you’ve got there?

HALEY: “Yes, I think we’re all very encouraged with Ricky, we really are. He’s the type of guy you want playing quarterback. I won’t go into detail, detail because we’ve talked about him a bunch, but we’re all encouraged with Ricky Stanzi and the progress he’s made. Again, I think we would have done different things from a roster standpoint if we didn’t feel that way.”

Q: In the first quarter and second quarter you made some changes in your base defense personnel-wise with Justin Houston back in and Reshard Langford at safety. Was that based on that game and will those continue through Monday night?

HALEY: “We had a number of guys, like I said, that were struggling physically, and no one position really was immune from it. When you’re struggling to stop the run and stop what we understood we were going to see, you have to adjust and make changes as you see fit and I think that’s some of what you saw also. Again, it’s not an indictment on any one person, it’s just they were moving the ball at too much a clip and we were trying to get settled into a position, into a front, coverage, defense that we felt was most effective. Like I said, we did make adjustments. I thought we made progress from the first half to the second half, but the name of the game is winning the game and we allowed too much defensively, we didn’t score enough offensively or special teams, so it wasn’t good enough.”

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