Postgame Q&A: Todd Haley

Following the Chiefs  Week 1 loss to the Baltimore Ravens 38-24, Kansas City head coach Todd Haley met with the media.  Here are the highlights:

Did you anticipate you would be making big play after big play today to match what they were doing?

“I made it very clear to the team that for us to win the game it was not going to be a pretty game.  There was no chance of that.  For us to win the game or have a chance to win the game it was going to be downright ugly.  And, really, that’s the kind of type of game we played until the play of offense that they had where they hit the big play for the touchdown on the post.”

Is it an awareness problem knowing where you’re at on the field?

“It’s a little bit of everything: awareness, techniques that we teach them in what they should do when they catch the ball.  I didn’t see that being used all the time.”

Did you anticipate so many big contributions from guys that maybe weren’t part of your core: Johnson, Bradley, Croyle, McGraw?

“Our whole group had to be opportunistic.  As the head coach I couldn’t leave a lot in the bag against this team.  I’ve got a lot of experience playing against these guys as an assistant coach and coordinator.  You need to take your shots somewhere or another, whether it’s rushing a punt or….  We had a couple we didn’t get to pull out of the bag that we audibled out of.  Yeah, this had to be one of these games where guys make plays when they have the opportunity.”

On the blitz on the tie-breaking Ravens TD pass:

“I have to give them all the credit.  It appeared to me from where I was they blocked it up.  It didn’t appear we got anybody free.  It was one-on-one with the corner and receiver and the quarterback made a great throw and the receiver made a play.  We’ve got to make a better play on defense.”

Other than the long interception return from Johnson, what are your thoughts on the way the defense played today?

“Again, I’ve got to give credit to Baltimore.  They came out and they were a throwing machine today.  They probably threw a lot more than we anticipated but we’ve got to stop the pass too.  I thought defensively we made plays and kept ourselves in the game.  You’ve got to get it stopped and we weren’t able to at the end.”

Did you anticipate using Thigpen more than you did?

“I told him to be ready – there were situations where I had a play for him.  But I only got to put him in there once but it’s just the way the game went.  There were a lot of different variables in the plan for him that I don’t necessarily want to get into . The game really dictated it.”

Do you believe your defense got worn out?  Were they on the field too long?

“Yeah, I think that was evident. I’m not making excuses for them . That’s why we run and that’s why we condition because to have a chance we’ve got to be a well-conditioned team and to play as long as it takes to win.  I do not want that to sound like an excuse but again that’s the double-edged sword: you lose a possession with the block.  You really essentially lost a possession with the long interception return ‘cause what did we run, two or three plays and then we scored?  So, that hurts you and gets (the defense) back out on the field quick.  Then, time of possession was very lopsided.  I don’t know what it was but it had to be very lopsided.  I would say that we probably got worn out.”

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