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Q&A with Todd Haley 8/10

Posted Aug 10, 2011

OPENING REMARKS: “Had a little walkthrough this morning or assignment period is what we’re calling it. It was a good, productive period. Again, it’s a little different landscape for us in a lot of ways but it’s been a very productive time; some of these assignment periods from a mental standpoint. Tonight, we’ll get back out under the lights. I’m looking forward to, hopefully, having a bunch of people out there, which adds to the energy and should help us as we move into Friday night. It’s just another chance for us to evaluate this group we have and how they’re doing things, do they know what to do, are they doing it the way we’re coaching them to do it and how well they’re doing it. That’s basically the bottom line evaluation for us right now. Tonight’s an opportunity to see that and then obviously, Friday night against Tampa at Arrowhead, which will be a big step up I would imagine. Really it will be the same evaluation period for us as an organization, so just moving along, trying to get better.”

Q: What percentage of your guys do you think are physically ready to play a football game after the weird offseason?

HALEY: “I don’t know the answer to that. I think that’s why for the most part we’ve been doing things the way we’ve been doing them, which is one day at a time and really just trying to do the best job we can as a staff of evaluating our guys in a number of different ways and we always evaluate the physical readiness so to speak of guys. You know, we haven’t sat down and actually gone through that because I think if we did it too early, we’ve still got another good practice tonight and we want to kind of see where everybody is. Hopefully tonight, the plan is, to add another step to kind of, how you’ve seen us, been doing that, getting a little longer each day in pads. That doesn’t mean that once we get there, we’ll stay there. There may be a pull-back period but right now, I’d like to get through tonight and go through that process again of just seeing how we think guys are responding.”

Q: Have you ruled out those 18 or so free-agent guys for Friday night?

HALEY: “No, I haven’t really ruled anybody out at this point; we haven’t. We haven’t had that meeting, the coaches, where we really just break it down and talk it through and try to make the best decision, so a bunch of those guys from that group have been pretty impressive here once they got their feet under them and look like they’re ahead of other people. It’s a fluid situation.”

Q: Do you think you’ll determine playing time Friday night more on an individual basis than by units?

HALEY: “I would say that’s fair for the most part. Maybe not quite so much as in the past, but I can’t guarantee that. There are always certain situations, obviously, where you want certain guys with certain guys, especially from say a protection standpoint when you’re talking about quarterbacks or things like that. We want to get through tonight and have another opportunity to look at all these guys in a pretty competitive situation tonight, hopefully and then try to make some of those decisions a little later.”

  Q: What type of game do you expect? Do you think the quality will be down a little bit?

HALEY: “I wouldn’t say that. That’s hypothetical for me to answer again. I’m worried about us. I’m worried about our team and our progress, again from the mentality of our number one goal, as it always is, is to be ready for the opening of the season. These preseason games are part of that process; from an evaluation standpoint, to getting the players ready, to the speed of the game, all of those things. We’re really just worried about the Kansas City Chiefs right now. We’ll stay in that mode here for awhile, I think of just, our guys knowing what to do, how to do it and then just making decisions on who does the best of giving us a chance to succeed.”

Q: What’s the difference between getting a guy ready for a regular game and getting him ready for an exhibition game?

HALEY: “I think that’s a fair question, but it’s again, part of this is the first preseason game, you have a certain amount of preparation under your belt that then as coaches and through experience, I think, you kind of gauge how much a guy can handle, feeling good about it. Then the next game, that’s going to change a little bit. There’s all sorts of injuries and things like that that can change that, but by the time you get to that September 11, we’ve had, I think it will have been 47 days of preparation, so I would hope that as a group and as a staff, we would have at least a better feel of where each and every guy is and even where we are as a team. Even then, once that action starts, it’s going to change.”

Q: Will you learn more about your team Friday night than maybe you have in the last two weeks?

HALEY: “I think that all just depends on how much you see certain guys and what situations are they in. You could have a corner that sits out there and plays a coverage; because obviously we don’t have everything in that we will have in at some point, and they might not throw the ball over there. So, that evaluation might not be as good, or you might not have as much information out of this game as you would’ve hoped. That’s why we say, you’re being evaluated every day, in everything you do. I think if you don’t do that in any situation, last year, this year, 10 years ago, you know, you could have some problems. This is a moving sport with a lot of different variables. Again, it all depends on the situation.”

Q: How has not having a team scrimmage affected your evaluation?

HALEY: “I think that part; the decision not to have a team scrimmage was strictly a judgment call through a lot of conversation with a lot of experienced coaches and a lot of us who have been through a lot of time together. Then ultimately, someone has to make a decision, and that’s me when it comes to that stuff. We didn’t feel it was the right time. Again, we’ve, yesterday’s practice, I thought had the feel of a training camp practice. We did that intentionally; tried to be out there a little longer. We make decisions each day; do we want to walkthrough in the sun or do we want to walkthrough inside, because I think the quick answer is go inside and recover and stay out of the heat, but there’s also the aspect of, we have to get these guys out there and acclimated to being out in the heat, because it’s going to be hot early on I would imagine in a few games. It’s a constant, fluid situation, but that’s every year. That’s what we as coaches have to do. I think if you’re ever robotic about it and just said, ‘this is how we have to do it,’ that you’re probably going to miss something, now and then, potentially. We’re doing it the way we do it, we’re worried about Kansas City, and we have a plan. I feel really good about the plan to try to be ready for the opening of this season.”

  Q: How’s that affected the evaluation of the young guys?

HALEY: “It’s probably 20 plays in a scrimmage where there isn’t always tackling. Going back to the scrimmages in the 15 or 16 years I’ve been a part of one of those; it’s probably about 20 plays, and some of it live, some of it not. I think we can overcome that.”

Q: Is tonight’s practice going to be the best to evaluate who’s ready for Friday’s game?

HALEY: “Yeah I would say it’s a little more important than say, last Wednesday because we’re much closer to the action.”

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