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Q&A with Todd Haley 8/29

Posted Aug 29, 2011

OPENING REMARKS: “Good day today, a little more on our in-season schedule, and that’s done intentionally here for our players just to kind of start to get in the groove. So, we moved everything up, had our meetings in the early morning, practice started in that 10:30, 10:40 range. They’ll have a little meeting this afternoon. We’ve got a kickoff event out there at the Power & Light. They’ve got another meeting and then a little [offensive] and [defensive] meetings this afternoon. That’s the reason for that. I thought it was a good, lively day. I thought we were able to create a number of situations out there throughout practice. I felt positive about the way things went. We’ve got tomorrow, and Wednesday will basically just be a walk-through and getting on a plane and we’ll be getting on a plane to go play the world champs.”

Q: What do you see in terms of potential with Brandon Flowers?

HALEY: “I’m excited about Brandon. I’ve been excited. He’s a guy that was here when we got here, took a little adjustment period, but has been nothing but on board with the way we’re doing things. He’s a tough, competitive guy that has been one of the consistent players for us throughout this two-year period. Now, this is an opportunity for him. I know he’s excited about this year to take another step. He’s working hard, had a little setback there for a couple days, unable to play in the game, but he’s back out there this week. I know he’s excited, I know our coaches are excited, I know our players are excited. He’s a core player on this team and I’m looking and excited to see him play his best year yet.”

Q: Do you think he can be one of those elite corners in this league?

HALEY: “I don’t think it necessarily matters what I think. I think that Brandon believes that he can be a great corner, and he’s done nothing to show me that he’s not going to continue to improve. Again, as the defense improves around him, he’s got a chance to really make a big step this year. I’m excited to just see him continue to develop.”

Q: You talked about being on more of an in-season schedule. Was that always the plan or have you stepped on the gas a little?

HALEY: “No, like I said, we’ve had kind of a method, an idea of how we wanted to do things and I feel like we’ve stayed with that. Part of that was to move into an in-season type preparation here going into game number four. So again, with the asterisk next to it all, that we would adjust when necessary. But again, I feel like we’re doing things kind of the way that we thought that we would do them. Now, we’ve just got to continue to get better. We got a lot of out today. We need to get a lot out of tomorrow. And then we’ll be playing again, and then it’ll be happening even faster.”

Q: You’ve got to make two more cuts tomorrow, is that right?

HALEY: “Yeah, we’ve got to get to 80, right?”

Q: You talked about Flowers. What are your thoughts on Brandon Carr from the time you walked in the door until right now?

HALEY: “I didn’t know quite as much about Brandon Carr coming in the door, but I’ve come to know him, obviously. They’re a pretty tight-knit duo, which I like. You can tell that they look out for each other. They hang together. Out on the field, you see them talking a lot. Though maybe Brandon Flowers gets a little more of the fanfare, I think Brandon Carr has really done nothing but get better. I think there was probably some speculation early on by some of us that maybe he was more a Cover 2-type corner, but as he’s understood the system and we’ve continued to teach and develop, I think you’re seeing that Brandon Carr is a big, strong, fast corner that is a good presence out there. Like I said, as the entire defense continues to improve, I think you’ll see both those guys hopefully take a little jump and continue to make big plays for us.”

Q: It seemed that by the end of the year last year Carr was a much better player than at the start of the year. Would you agree?

HALEY: “Yeah, I absolutely agree. He’s the model of when you talk to these players about kind of what we want – be the same guy every day but just keep getting a little better. And that’s what he did. Again, when you’re talking a complete turnover like we had here a couple years ago, we’ve really started to settle in. This is their third time through hearing things, and last year as the year moved on, you could tell the players were getting more and more comfortable. He’s one of those guys. Again, he’s another guy I don’t think you want to put a ceiling on because he continues to improve and get better. I’m excited about both those guys. I like their friendship. They’re a nice pairing of corners.”

Q: Do you consider yourself lucky to go to a team with two corners like that? That’s a tough position to build.

HALEY: “Yeah, it’s something that, again, through this timeframe, this two-and-a-half years or whatever we’re moving into here – depending upon how you look at the offseason – it’s an area that we’ve become more and more confident, comfortable in. Not that we’re not always trying to create competition and bring guys in that can add to that mix and help push those guys – that’s going on all the time – but as far as those two go, I would agree. I think that we’ve become more and more comfortable and confident, and they’re doing a pretty good job of getting better and holding it down out there.”

Q: What does Jamaal Charles have to do to improve upon last year and how far can he go this season?

HALEY: “I think that last year was a big-time year for him. He kind of picked up where he had left off in year one here with all of us. He finished the second half of that first year so strong, and it didn’t start that way. As he got more comfortable with the coaching and just the expectations and how we were doing things, you definitely saw him make huge jumps. When he got the opportunities and the touches, he took full advantage of it. That continued into last year, and arguably last year he did some unique, special, special things as far as running backs go. He was part of the leading rushing group in the league, which we were all excited and proud of. But, now it’s a new year and I think the thing that I’m most excited about Jamaal is that I don’t see any change in him as far as his demeanor, his preparation, his seriousness, his seriousness toward the team and being a great teammate. That’s exciting stuff. I don’t know that you can say he has to rush for more yards than he had last year for it to be a better year. If he does, that’s awesome for all of us. He’s just working hard to try to get better and that’s another big thing about him. I think there’s room to get better. That’s exciting when you see a guy do some of the things he did last year and then you’re saying he can potentially be better, which I believe he can. I really believe he can. There are some areas that he’s working hard on that can really help him be even better and more dynamic for us.”

Q: Thursday, other than win the game and stay healthy, what do you want to see out of this football team?

HALEY: “I want to see us get better because I think you potentially could win and not necessarily have gotten better. Just like here in the preseason, you could lose and have gotten better in some areas, much like what we saw last year. That’s number one for us is going on the road in what I believe is one of the great in-season atmospheres. But preseason now, it’s a little different, and to me, when I saw it on the schedule, I’m excited as I can be because that’s an in-season-type atmosphere that’s created there. I think that’s great for all of our guys, especially where it falls on the schedule. We need to get better in a lot of different areas, and that’s what I’m going to be looking for number one. And yes, I want to stay healthy. I want to win the game, but we’ve got to continue to get better because, again, every day counts. The competitions are still going on, so I think it’ll be a big day for some guys that are in those competitions. There’s a lot at stake for everybody. I’m excited about the opportunity.”

Q: After a couple more days, do you have any more thoughts on how much the regulars will play?

HALEY: “What is it? Monday? Not yet. Again, there’s just so many moving parts right now, but I think we’ve got to get that here pretty quick because we say it’s a short week, and it’s amazing how fast it goes. It really is.”

Q: More than they normally would in a fourth game do you think?

HALEY: “I don’t know that I can say and be straight up with you, but we’ll get work for those. We’ll kind of stay with the plan that each guy is on his own individual plan. We’ll see the guys that we feel like need it, will get it and the guys we feel pretty good about, we’ll try to be smart with, I would think.”

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