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Q&A with Todd Haley 8/8

Posted Aug 8, 2011

OPENING REMARKS: “Alright, back out there this morning. I thought Saturday went reasonably well for us. It was great to see the fans out there but again, for us, maybe a little different than the last couple of years just from where-we-are-as-a-team standpoint. I do think that the operation overall, there were some good positive things out there on Saturday, especially that last drill where really in a more unscripted-type deal where coaches were actually using coach-to-quarterback and coach-to-linebacker communications systems which was the first time through for it. Overall, I thought it was a good day. Everybody got a little day off, a chance to recover a little bit and this morning they were up and at it early here at 7 a.m. and had a good workout and then a brief walkthrough. So, just moving ahead and trying to get a little better every day.”

Q: Did you move TE Tony Moeaki off of the PUP list?

HALEY: “Yeah, he’s going to be now with the rest of the guys. I don’t think it will necessarily be full-bore, dive head first into the water. We’ll have to acclimate him much like we have everybody else.”

Q: Are you going to go with pads this afternoon?

HALEY: “Shoulder pads to start then adjust as we see fit.”

Q: And Moeaki will be a part of that?

HALEY: “Yeah.”

Q: Don Banks of Sports Illustratedsaid Moeki was on the PUP because of a scope on his knee in March. Is that right?

HALEY: “I’m not going to talk about specifics of any injuries or anything like that. The good thing is that he’s out there today. This has been a little different deal for us and as we try to get everybody up to a similar level of participation. Now you have a guy that we have to try to acclimate into and get him caught up as quickly as we possibly can without rushing it too fast.”

Q: Has the line play been the hardest to evaluate with limited time in pads?

HALEY: “That group, really the only way you can evaluate both sides of the ball up front is when they are in pads. I mean that goes for everybody. But I would agree, for lineman it’s more critical. I said in here, as we’ve moved forward here and tried to make progress and actually got into pads finally and that individual period has maybe taken on a little more value to us, not to ever underplay that every period is critical, but some of the little three-spot drills that we’ve been doing in there; the baseline, foundation, technique drills between offensive and defensive lineman. That’s been a real important period. I think it’s been very good though. I think it’s given the guys maybe a little more time than they would have in other years to really work on that baseline foundation which they absolutely need to have to play the defense and really to be effective blockers in the run game.”

Q: Are you starting to get to the practice tempo that you would like?

HALEY: “I think we’re getting better. That’s something that you’re right, I think that we never want to be doing a lot of standing around. That being said, Saturday dragged on. I actually eliminated a period because I’d mixed in more breaks along the way. That part’s a little frustrating but at the same time, when it’s hot and knowing that our guys aren’t really at where we want them to be and where they will be: we have to do some of those things. That’s part of this, take it just step-by-step, day-by-day routine that we’re in and try to get it right. Overall tempo I thought has been pretty good when we’re in periods. As I reviewed the tape from Saturday, I felt good about the way everybody was finishing out there. It didn’t appear there was a whole bunch of anybody shutting it down or taking plays off. I think we’re going at a pretty good clip when we’re going.”

Q: Any chance that Moeaki can get snaps in on Friday night?

HALEY: “Again, I’m really going day by day; even, maybe broken up a little more than that. I think that’s going to work well for us. I think it will keep us from getting ahead of ourselves and maybe doing something that we might regret down the road. Just one step at time, one practice at a time, one preseason game at a time, knowing the focus is on September 11 and trying to have everybody as close to ready to go as possible at that point.”

Q: What are you seeing from the other tight ends with Moeaki out?

HALEY: “It’s similar to the offensive and defensive lines – they haven’t been in pads a whole bunch but it will be great to get Tony back, it was great to get (Leonard) Pope back, he was one of those guys that missed really the first week so he’s starting to move around a little better. It’s a great opportunity really is what it comes down to for a bunch of younger guys that maybe haven’t played a whole bunch or in another year might not get the same opportunities and then it’s just a matter of them taking advantage of it. The tight end group as a group; I’m encouraged about with how they’re acting, how they’re going about their business. But we have a long way to go across the board.”

Q: We always ask you about catching up. At what point now that it’s game week do you have to move forward? Or how long is the catch-up process going to last?

HALEY: “Well it’s definitely going to last longer than the first preseason game and I would say significantly longer to really get our team where it needs to be. Like I said though, and like you just said, there is going to be a game that we’ll have to be ready to go out and play and we’re going to play to win. We’ve got a couple of different things going on right now.”

Q: Has this been more difficult than you had anticipated?

HALEY: “I think that it was such a strange offseason but it did give us a ton of time to really think about all scenarios. To me, it’s been a great challenge I think for all of us as a staff and the players; a great challenge. From a difficultly level, I haven’t thought that way. I’ve thought more about, hey if we can get this right and do it the way that gives us a chance to become a team; it’s a great opportunity. I think some teams will do it better than others. That’s the way I’ve looked at it – it’s a challenge but it’s a great opportunity so just trying to have fun with it and be right again.”

Q: You said that this year, good coaching may be the difference in how teams do. Are coaches key to success in this league now?

HALEY: “I’m a coach so I think coaching’s important. I think that through the years, you’re able to recognize good coaches and good coaching staffs, but again, it comes down to the players. In this situation, you have a lot of different teams at a lot of different levels, even coming into this season pre-lockout; established teams, non-established teams, new staffs and all I’ve felt is we’re somewhere in the middle – we’re a developing team that’s made some strides but again getting back to this is a new year; it’ll have new challenges, opportunities and how we handle all of those in a really different year than any of us have experienced, it’ll give us a chance to have great success or to have a tough year. I’m planning on us being a better team than we were last year. That’s the plan, I have a great staff, a great group of guys, and we work very well together. We have diversity as far as experience, youth; you know there’s a good energy level. I’ve said from the start to our staff, get your rest, over the summer, get your rest because we’re going to all need to do our best coaching job to date. I think if we do that, we’ll have a chance to have these guys ready to go.”

Q: What day do you need to have your game plan ready?

HALEY: “Generally that’s the day before anyway. I can’t see it being moved up any earlier than the day before. We’ll go through our preparation as we continue to get ready for the start of the season knowing that there’s going to be a game slid in here pretty quick that we have to be able to come out of the locker room correctly and understand what end to (go to). We have to go through a lot of training here shortly. That’s why we’ll go home a day early and get out there at Arrowhead and try to walk through some of those basics of getting out of the tunnel and where you stand and all that, on top of being ready to play.”

Q: Did you tap into your resources that you’ve always used in the offseason for advice, especially because this offseason was so different?

HALEY: “Those were all my mentors so-to-speak, or good friends, that I enjoy a conversation with and a lot of times that goes to football but not all the time. There’s definitely some golf and fishing and things like that. I think that in one respect it is unique; it’s different than anybody has had to deal with so you don’t want to get swayed one way or the other. It’s been more our staff just brainstorming together through those couple of months. The more we talked, the more we were able to come up with a plan that I feel pretty convicted about.”

Q: Was it unique enough that Bill Muir went back to some of his experience from the World League this offseason?

HALEY: “From the standpoint of,’ oh, you think this is bad, you should’ve seen it then.’ We really just did a lot of research. I had trainers calling Canadian Football League trainers, coaches calling Canadian coaches, just different leagues and trying to see, maybe like in Canada they don’t have OTAs and they don’t get a lot of time in the offseason, so I thought there was some good information that came out of there. Again, just, went through a lot of conversation and thoughts to come up with a plan and as I said, I feel very convicted about the plan and where we are right now.”

Q: Can the team be better if the record is worse?

HALEY: “I think that’s how you’ll be judged. As an organization, our goal is to build a championship team and not just for one year, but to build a team that we can play year-in and year-out and we have a chance to be in the mix. That’s the overall focus. If you’re going about your business that way I would say there are some years that maybe win-loss wise, it doesn’t go the way you necessarily wanted it to, but you could probably when the year ends feel like you had made a lot of progress in a number of different areas. My focus is on us getting a little better every day, being ready to play September 11 and just seeing how it goes.”

Q: How stressful is it knowing that you have a couple of inexperienced quarterbacks that will probably have to play at least some on Friday night?

HALEY: “I think the first preseason game any year you’re involved in is very stressful for guys that haven’t played a whole bunch. I’m taking it day by day so I don’t know exactly how we’re going to set ourselves up for this game. When we get to that point, I’ll let you know for sure. I think there is a high level of stress for this first game for everybody, especially young guys that maybe haven’t had a chance to play very much or any at all in the NFL. That’s part of the process, and we just have to have them understand the game plan for this particular game and what’s expected of them and then let them go out there and play to the best of their ability so that we as a group can evaluate them and that’s really what it comes down to is trying to be right on these evaluations because at some point we’re going to have to lower the roster number and we’d like to do a real good job in evaluation so we can make sure the right guys are here contributing to what we’re trying to do.”

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