Q: Does a week like this put the quarter system to the test a little bit when guys might think it’s a critical game that could give us a pretty good lead in the division. Do you have to kind of reel that in and keep focused?
HALEY: “It only adds to the understanding of what they’re trying to get done. As I’ve said a number of times, when you do start to have some good things happen, each game gets a little bigger. This is obviously our biggest game of the year, there’s no doubt about it and there was no doubt about it last week either but this is the biggest game of the year to us. Those other factors all just play into that. That’s alright, our guys know we’re playing a really, really good team, a team that is doing a lot of things that can hurt you in all areas of their team. They’re disruptive on defense, they can hurt you in a number of different ways offensively and they have the ability to make big plays. They have a couple game-changing kickers and we’ve got to go there and have our best game of the year.”
Q: When you have success, does it become easier to sell the idea of one game, one play at a time, so forth, or do you have to be ever-vigilant because success can get in the way of success?
HALEY: “The biggest obstacle to success is success. I don’t know Bob. Our focus has not changed. Mine, our staff and our players’ has got to be consistent and focus on the task at hand and just trying to do the things that make you better and give you a chance to be a good football team and that’s what we’re focused on. This is just another opportunity for us to take another step and I feel like if we go out and play our best game to-date, that’ll be good for the Chiefs.”
Q: What concerns you the most about their offense?
HALEY: “Similar to Houston and similar to Buffalo in that they can hurt you long-range, they’ve got receivers that can score from anywhere on the field running with the football and without it and they’ve got running backs that can score from anywhere on the field and a couple quarterbacks that can get the ball to those guys. That’s what scares you – they’re a very good running team but they do all the other things also. To me, what makes you concerned is when there are players on the field that can score from anywhere. That’s where you’ve got to play 11-man defense, you’ve got to communicate, everybody’s got to play to the whistle and keep doing those things that we’ve been doing to make improvements.”
Q: Is the big difference with them their willingness to rely on the run?
HALEY: “The great Raider teams that I knew could do both always and I think that’s probably their plan. They’re not one-dimensional right now, so that’s another reason to be concerned. It’s not just receivers, it’s not just running backs, there’s a tight end, a lot of different things they can do and they’ve got some big guys up front that are athletic and look like they’re playing well together. Across the board for us this will be our biggest test to-date and like I said, it’s an opportunity for our team to continue making progress.”
Q: You mention playing to the whistle. The Raiders have a long history of playing beyond the whistle. From watching tape does that still hold or have they cleaned that up?
HALEY: “They look like they’re playing good football to me, Bob. Right now they’re at the back end of the penalty stuff but that’s kind of we’ve been going through, they’re going through, all teams that are trying to become good teams and trying to show everybody that you’re a smart team and a disciplined team and all those things – that’s a full-time job and it doesn’t happen overnight. We’re in the same category as them as far as that goes. You’re trying to show the entire league that you’re a different team and that’s a process.”
Q: You switched up the look a little bit. Is that anything superstitious heading out to Oakland?
HALEY: “No, the hair is the superstition. The beard was just for my Halloween costume.”