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Q&A with Todd Haley 9/22

Posted Sep 22, 2011

OPENING REMARKS: “OK, [we] continued our preparation for San Diego, were in pads today, had a good, energetic, hard-working day so far. I think the guys understand kind of what their goal [is] and what they need to do this week in all phases, and it will be a supreme challenge. San Diego, as I said, is a very, very skilled team and we need to be at our best. But, a good today and I felt good about it and I think the guys are working hard to have their best game.”

Q: The Chargers obviously led the league in offense and defense last year. Is this the most complete team you guys will play twice this season?

HALEY: “I’m really only worried about them right now. Right now, they’re the best team we’ve seen this year, so that’s what we’re worried about. They can hurt you in a number of different ways. Like you said, they have a very physical, aggressive defense that the core has been together for an extended period of time. Offensively, they’re multi-dimensional with a quarterback that can hurt you every single play, and a couple runners that can also. And then special teams, they’ve done a terrific job. We need to be at our best, so that’s what we’re trying to do.”

Q: Do you trust Romeo Crennel to figure out the defense on his own or do you involve yourself in that? How does that work to light a spark under the defense?

HALEY: “First off, like I’ve said, this has been a group effort to be where we are right now, and it hasn’t been a very good group effort as a team. I’m not looking at it as the defense gave up this amount of points because when the ball is turned over and a lot of the things that have gone on, I don’t know that you can necessarily put your defense in some of those positions on a series-after-series situation or in series-after-series plays, which happened in the last game especially. As far as how we get ready to go each week, it’s very much like the offense. We do a lot of talking and discussing, especially about how to utilize our ability versus some of the things that they’re doing. I have great faith in [Romeo] and the entire defensive coaching staff. Much like the offense, we do a lot of talking about it and just try to get it right.”

Q: What gives you faith in him that he can identify a problem and fix it quickly? I’m sure you’d agree that’s a pretty important thing to get this fixed.

HALEY: “Absolutely. Like I said, we’re 0-2 in the first quarter of the season. The No. 1 thing that we need to do is get a lot better, and we have a pretty good idea of what we need to do to get a lot better this week. We’ve been working hard at it in all phases – defensively, offensively and special teams. That’s the No. 1 deal, is get better. We know that things will tend to start to fall into place, but it’s not a situation where you press, press, press because that’s really a little bit of what’s happened. It’s individual players and groups [with] a little too much press, just from the standpoint of, ‘Let’s do something. Let’s do [something].’ You’ve got to play great technique, you’ve got to play with great effort and then you’ve got to make the plays when they’re there, and we haven’t done that to this point. I know if we had, especially early in both of those ballgames, the result could have at least started to point in a different direction. We’re pretty focused as a whole, as a team and coaching staff on what needs to be done. That’s what we’ve been working on.”

Q: Is there any difference in preparation this week considering the task ahead on Sunday and how lopsided the losses have been the last two weeks?

HALEY: “No, because again, we just have to do certain things better. We’ve been focused on those things and we have not been able to – and really, I’m talking more about the second game because the first game was a little unique situation, especially defensively just because of the game plan, the way you went in to that game, and then you had a pretty big factor change that had a pretty big impact on how the game went, at least from the defensive side of the ball. We just need to play better football across the board, and that’s fundamental football, that’s using the technique to do your job first, not worry about doing other people’s jobs for them. We know through experience and we know through watching and knowing our guys that we can be a good team. We can be a good team if we do those things. Right now, lopsided scores, none of that really has an effect on us. We’re 0-2. This is the most important game of the year for us, just like last week was and we’re focused that way. We’re working, and we just need to do things better.”

Q: What does this team do well?

HALEY: “I think in all phases we can play good football, whatever that has to be. That’s the way we prepare offensively, defensively and special teams is to do the things necessary to win. That means on offense, run the football efficiently, it means throw the ball efficiently, it means protect the football, control the clock. [On] special teams, it means don’t allow field position changes that put you 20-something yards in the hole right out of the gate, from a big picture standpoint. Defensively, it means stop the run, create some turnovers, don’t allow big plays. That’s the philosophy, that’s the way it will be and it’ll stay as long as we’re here. We just need to do everything a little better and a lot better in some areas, but it’s all correctable. We know our guys can do it. It’s just a matter of taking it into games and into an opponent’s homeland this weekend and executing.”

Q: You’re not getting enough pressure on the quarterback. Would that be an accurate statement?

HALEY: “Yeah, obviously, but there has been some pressure created that could have created plays and as much as anything else, we’ve got to take advantage when those opportunities arise, when a ball comes loose or when a ball is thrown inaccurately or in a direction that we can make a play and things will happen. But, yeah, we need to do everything a little better, and putting pressure on the quarterback is paramount in this league when teams are throwing, especially really good passing teams like we’ve seen the last few weeks and we’ll see this weekend.”

Q: Other than Tamba Hali, have you seen anybody giving you good pressure?

HALEY: “I think it’s going to be a little bit of everybody, but I’ll stand by what I said back in training camp, that we have more pass rush or pressure players on campus than we have [had] to date. Again, in the Detroit game, in the fringe, Javier [Arenas] comes free and we’ve just got to make those plays. That’s no different than holding on to the football or intercepting a ball or stopping somebody and holding them short of the marker when you have them tackled, and we’ve got to get sacks when we have opportunities. If we miss those, those are generally momentum-turners for a game.”

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