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Q&A with Todd Haley 11/19

Posted Nov 19, 2010

OPENING REMARKS: “We got our final practice in. We hit some critical areas for our team, short yardage, goal line, Red Zone and then reviewed a bunch of the first and second-down areas of the game plan. The game’s coming fast now, I’m really excited that we are at home and we’re going to get a chance to you know, after a couple week break, to come back out and let it loose for us which will be a big thing for us and I know our guys are excited about getting out there in front of our fans again. This is a dangerous Arizona Cardinals team that multiple people, including myself, know pretty well from this staff and from this team. They have a number of players that can disrupt us and we’ve got to be on our A-game. We’re playing our second game of the third quarter of the season trying to get to 1-1 and that’s our goal and we need to do everything possible we can to get that done.”

 

Q: Some of your guys have called this a must-win game. Is it too early to call it that?

HALEY: “Every game, why we break the season up, we do that for a reason because to reach our goal each and every quarter you’ve got to reach three and right now we’re behind the 8-ball. Anytime you’re in that situation you know we’ve got to win the games in this quarter to reach this goal and that’s our focus. Each and every game for us is a must-win, so-to-speak, but more importantly, we’ve got to come out and get back to doing things the way that we have been doing them throughout this season and that means the fundamentals of football – running the football, stopping the run, protecting the football, doing a better job of creating some turnovers and just overall taking advantage of opportunities, especially at home to give ourselves a chance to win.”

Q: Do you like to hear that from your guys?

HALEY: “You know I don’t really have an opinion on it. Like I said, what I know our guys’ focus is that this is the biggest game of the year for us to date and that’s absolute, there’s no way around it, there has not been a bigger game for the Kansas City Chiefs than this week against the Arizona Cardinals. This is the biggest game of the year and that’s the way we’re preparing and we need to go out and play our best game.”

Q: Are you going to be on the sideline as you normally are for this game?

HALEY: “Absolutely.”

Q: How do you defeat an eighth man in the box?

HALEY: “Well I think that as I said there are ways to, you’re not going to be able to block all eight or nine, the defense is capable of always having an extra hat in there. There are ways to run away from that extra man and you get into some of the subtleties of counts or box counts and just that’s where communication becomes so critical for an offense understanding where the count starts, who is the person that we’re going to leave unblocked and generally you’d like that to be the furthest away from where the play is desired to go. That communication is critical, that’s going to become more critical for our offense and defensively we’ve got some critical communication things this week also. When you play some players like we’re going to see in WR Larry Fitzgerald of how you’re going to handle him each and every down and I think that will be one of the critical factors of this game for us other than the basic fundamental of stopping the run but that we understand when there’s an extra man on number 11 and when and where he is aligned. We had that situation occur and that’s been a big focus for us defensively this week. So communication overall will be critical for our team.”

Q: Offensively, does that fall to C Casey Wiegmann or is that QB Matt Cassel?

HALEY: “It starts with our quarterback, but obviously those two needs to be thinking along the same lines. When you’re at home it’s a little easier but that still doesn’t keep the defense from moving people around and disguising looks and things like that and like I’ve said a number of times, the teams that have the most success as a group offensively, defensively and special teams are those that can adjust on the fly because so many things change in this game from one fraction of a second to the next.”

Q: Is S Adrian Wilson one of those guys that you have to make sure you know that you account for?

HALEY: “Yeah, defensively, 24 is somebody we’ve got to be aware of where he is. He is a big, strong, fast player, basically an extra backer that can run like a safety. They find as many different ways as they can to get him into the box in general. When that’s happening, you’ve got to be real sharp with your count; you’ve got to be real good in your passing game, he’ll probably be in coverage some on tight ends who have to win and we have to create advantageous matchups for the Chiefs.”

Q: Arizona Head Coach Ken Whisenhunt said you guys used to have some great one-on-one basketball matchups. Did you used to win those contests?

HALEY: “That was a long time ago but they were battles, I’ll say, they were battles. Those are memories that you hold on to forever. Al Groh, our head coach at the time, created a schedule that was different than any I’d been a part of or Kenny had been a part of and somehow we found out we had around 45 minutes to an hour at lunch every day which is a rarity and we took full advantage of it and that was our Camelback (Mountain) in the New York days.”

Q: You said that you guys would sometimes go to the court in the same car but would end up leaving separate?

HALEY: “Yeah, I’m sure that occurred occasionally on both sides. We were pretty competitive but that didn’t change no matter what we were doing. We played and we ended up getting a coaches game together in Arizona also, shirts and skins which wasn’t pretty, but that one had to be called to a halt when too many injuries occurred with that group. That was more of a four-on-four, three-on-three but there are pretty competitive guys in this business and it’s a good way to get in shape and let some of your frustrations out, so to speak.”

Q: Would you call yourself a point guard, a shooting guard, a post player?

HALEY: “A hockey player playing basketball. If there were penalty minutes in basketball I’d lead that too like I did my hockey team.”

Q: Who’s the better golfer?

HALEY: “No question about that, Kenny works at it much harder than I do. I’ve got five kids to worry about, his are a little more grown and he dedicates a bunch of time to it, which I don’t, but anybody that can go to Augusta and I don’t want to be wrong on this, but I believe he shot 71. He made a two on number 11. He grew up in Augusta, it wasn’t his first time out there but he’s the better player. Although I beat him one day in that Tahoe thing (American Century Celebrity Golf Championship), I beat him pretty soundly in the first day of the Tahoe event.”

Q: Did you get a regular basketball game organized out here?

HALEY: “No, getting too old. We finally realized what we are which is aging and middle aged and we don’t have the healthiest staff right now so we have to work on that.”

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