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Todd Haley Postgame Comments

Posted Oct 24, 2010

Highlights

Opening Statement: “We knew today was going to be a big challenge for our team in light of how the 2nd quarter started last week. When you suffer a difficult loss like that in a game that you think you have a real chance to win and you don’t, how you respond to some of these situations throughout the year as a team you kind of start to define what kind of team you have and I think that judging off today I’m not ready to say it yet but we’re getting closer. We are becoming a team. I might say that we are a team right now and are just trying to be a good team. We’re not there yet. What this team has been built for is adversity. I know myself and our coaching staff talk a lot about learning from situations and handling adversity because very rarely in this life is it going to be easy. That’s the case here. It’s a lot of work; it’s a big job for everyone involved, I’m talking players first. What I’m seeing from these guys is that they can handle some adversity and that’s a real good sign.

 

Coming in to this game against Jacksonville – a big, physical team – there were some things we knew we had to do. We had to start fast. I thought the offense did that. Giving Jacksonville credit, they’ve got a great back (in Maurice Jones-Drew) in there and a quarterback coming into a very difficult situation and playing well (Todd Bouman). This was a guy who was not practicing for multiple weeks and came in and really did some good things and moved them down the field. We had to start fast. We had to stop the run. Our goal was to keep them under a 100 (yards rushing) there. We were able to do that; that’s real good because that’s a good running team, with a very good line that does a great job in the run game. We were able to run the football which was the thing I was most excited about.  Offensively, again, our ability to get different guys in there and contributing and kind of feeding off of each other was real evident today, which is real good for us. We couldn’t allow big plays. One thing I told the guys a bunch, leading up to this week, is that Jacksonville is a big-play team: they live by big plays on all sides of the ball. I think you saw some evidence of that for the first half of the game that this is a team that knows how to make big plays and they made some. However you look at it, we were giving them up or they were making them, it works both ways. We were able to get that under control in the second half. We did a real good job of playing complimentary football in the second half in which we talked about during the week and how that’s the next step for us as a team. We really need to feed off each group: offense, defense and special teams. I think I saw some of that in the second half. I saw us weather some adversity. It just looked to me that the guys put their minds into it and their will into it, that they were not going to let anybody else be a factor in this game and I’m impressed. So that’s real good, we needed to get to 1-1 and we needed to get the last week out of our system but more importantly learn from it and I think I saw some evidence of that throughout the week that translated today. I’m just real proud of the guys. I’m proud of our fans. We’ve won three here now, and I think our fans like that. They sure know how to be fans. That should just become a bigger and bigger advantage for us here in this great stadium we have.”

On being a big, physical team – Do you think you should be able to run the ball every time: “I don’t know. You’d have to ask those guys. What we have to do to be a successful team year in and year out and that’s what we’re trying to be; it starts with that aspect of the game. I’ve been known over the years (even by some of my mentors) as a pass-happy guy, but I’ve always taken great pride in liking to run the football (I think it goes back to my roots of growing up) and I like to run the football and I like the way we’ve been able to run it like we have this year. That’s going to be an important factor in us continuing to improve – being able to run the football week in and week out. I take my hat off to the guys up front, tight ends, receivers, I saw receivers blocking…I wish I was coaching receivers because that would be a big day for me, to come in and watch that tape. That’s what you know guys are excited about. When you see those receivers flying down the field, making blocks and then, in return, getting to make big plays, that’s what it’s all about. And our runners, we have some special guys. We just need to keep working and taking care of ourselves and trying to get better. I think each and every one of their arrows are pointing up. When I talk about you’re either going down or getting better. All those guys running the football – their arrow is pointing up and that’s a good thing for us.”

What’s been the difference with the offense the last two weeks – putting up 73 points in the last two games? “Our focus has not changed and that’s part of becoming a successful team. When you get into a grab-bag group, which goes on sometimes when things aren’t going so well, problems create problems. We’ve kept our mindset the same going back to last year of how we wanted to do things, how we wanted to practice and how we wanted to get better. I think you can lean on that when you have some adversity, so to speak. These guys, on the offensive side of the ball, haven’t doubted themselves. This last year when we were on, we were getting more and more efficient and I think all the guys were really excited to build on that in the off-season and take it in to this year. I think you are seeing some evidence of that and guys are really enjoying what they’re doing.”

Did you think putting up a lot of points would be possible? “When you execute and capitalize… the other big factor is that we haven’t been creating a bunch of turnovers. To get three today and not turn it over again…you’re going to be in a lot of football games if you can do that, but it is so hard to do. We’ve kept the focus on that and trying to be a smart team. Today has to be our highest output in a long time. I knew I was going to jinx it by talking about penalties, so that’s my fault, I’ll take the blame for that. That’s all I can attribute it to.”

On the pass-interference penalty in the third quarter that allowed Jacksonville to get within 1…What kind of character did you see from your team in the 2nd half? “That’s where I’m really excited. We had a good halftime as a team and we brought it in real tight and decided that we were going to play together, good complimentary football in the second half and we just make sure we were the reason that we won that game. That’s what the guys did. That’s what I’m really proud about. We just have to build on that now and get ready to go next week. I’m very happy that we’ll be back here at Arrowhead where fans can come out and get after it again.”

On the defensive pass-interference penalty taking the ball to the 1-yard line: “These officials are the best in the world at what they do. It’s a very difficult job. It’s very easy to sit on the outside and look at some of this and you don’t have people running at you and players and coaches screaming and fans screaming at you. We just try to go out there and coach it the way we’re supposed to within the rules and take pride in the fact that going back to the early part of last year, we’ve been one of the better teams at being a smart, disciplined team. Those are things that I take great pride in – that’s guys being on time and holding guys accountable, and all the little things you can let slide and that’s the way you practice also. Fortunately, all those guys have a great deal to take pride in today. I take responsibility for the penalties. We just have to be better if we’re going to win big games.”

On the health of his team: “If you ask any one of these players, I won’t talk about injuries. At this point in the year they have to understand that how they felt last week is the best they’re going to feel. All these guys are working hard. After a difficult loss last week, on the most quiet plane I’ve been on since 1998 when I was with the Jets and we lost to the Broncos after being a quarter from going to the Super Bowl, that’s the quietest I’ve seen the plane. Guys were sleeping or sitting there, staring, deep in thought. That was a real good sign to me – that this team was making progress. I thought the guys came out and fought through practice. We had the fewest guys out of practice in a long time and that’s a good sign. Now it’s going to start back over again because that was a physical game.”

On going for a touchdown rather than a field goal early in the 4th quarter: “I’m not going to disclose thought processes in the game, I just don’t think that would be good from a competitive standpoint. Everything I will say is well thought out and has a purpose. Some may be short-term purposes and some may be long-term purposes. I’ll assure you that they are all well thought out. Some work and some don’t. Some look better than others. Ultimately I’m happy with all the decisions we made in the game, how could I not be? And, I’ll leave it at that.”

On WR Dwayne Bowe: “I’ve seen a lot of difference in Dwayne, but it’s been going on a lot longer than the last couple of weeks. I’ve been pretty clear about that. I get to see these guys on a daily basis. I take a great deal of pride in being pretty honest and telling it like it is. I’ve been pretty clear on Dwayne: he has the mindset to be a real good player in the league and that’s been going on for much longer than a couple of weeks. I’m proud of what he’s been doing, but that goes way back to the offseason. It was good that he was able to help us win today whereas last week, when you lose like that, you make some plays that you think are going to be part of winning…sometimes that’s harder too. I thought Dwayne did a really good job of that, being a good teammate and that’s a good sign for Dwayne.”

On Breast Cancer Awareness Month and the league’s efforts to raise awareness: “There are so many people affected by cancer: my father had cancer, I lost a grandmother to cancer, my wife’s father [had cancer]. Breast cancer [is] especially [important] because you’re talking about strong women. You see survivors and it’s really inspiring. I’m pretty impressed [with these women]. I may appear too soft right now, but I’ve got four girls and have a strong mom and a very strong wife.”

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