The day after the Chiefs defeated the Raiders 16-10, Todd Haley met with the media in Kansas City. Here are the highlights:
On Jamaal Charles’ performance:
“When I talked to you yesterday [post-game] I didn’t actually know that he had gone over a 100 [yards], but again I think it’s all part of the process and Jamaal is one of those guys who has done everything asked of him and has continued to improve. Now he has been put in a spot where he’s a bigger part of what we’re doing. Though not perfect, I think you’re seeing strides in Jamaal. Playing in a much heavier role requires a great deal of toughness and a lot of factors that aren’t for everybody. He fought through some things yesterday and made some really good runs for us that helped us win the game.”
How about the confidence you showed to him late in the game when you couldn’t afford to have a turnover? Was that something you were a bit reluctant to do?
“That’s something he’s got to work on and that we work on with him all the time. But he’s expected to protect it and I wasn’t specifically thinking about that. I was thinking about getting a first down. I knew on that second of the last possessions, with two time-outs and four minutes and 30 seconds left, we had to get three first downs to win the game as long as we didn’t go out of bounds. We were on our way to two when we got the holding call.
“I thought Jamaal made a couple of nice runs and I thought Kolby [Smith] had a nice run on the end where unfortunately we had the holding which hurt us. No, it wasn’t something I was thinking about. He had a bunch of carries under his belt and was protecting the football. None of those balls that ended up on the ground were specifically Jamaal’s fault.”
Is that TD run he made the kind of run a lot of guys can’t make in this league?
“I think there were a lot of factors in that run. I thought we did a great job on the front side of the run. There were some very good blocks and I thought Jamaal made a terrific cut which not everybody can make. I think that was the key to that ending up being a score. Then Chris Chambers on the back-side had a great cut-off block which we have been really looking for. We’ve had a bunch of runs this year if the receiver could have got to his block it would have been a touchdown run – touchdown blocks I call them. Chris got it on that particular play. But the cut that Jamaal made was a big-time cut.”
Why is Bobby Wade down for two straight weeks?
“Strictly roster stuff. Bobby’s a pro and continues to work real hard and I have no doubt Bobby is going to be back up here pretty quick if not this week it’ll happen soon. I think he’ll be ready. Bobby is part of our plans. Again, that’s a roster deal. That’s one of those things that as the week goes on that are the hard decisions. He’s been the last guy every week and it’s one of those things of who plays what, who can cover what spots, all those things. Bobby had done an adequate job punt returning and that probably hurt us a little bit not having them.”
You said your emotions come out on the sideline. Why?
“I just think that’s good as long as nobody’s taking it the wrong way or nobody is stewing over it for days on end. I think it’s healthy because there is a lot of pressure on all these guys and you’ve got to let some of that out. We let it out plenty and sometime it gets caught and sometimes it doesn’t.”
Do you understand why some people would view you and this new regime as carrying an arrogance that hasn’t been earned? Would that be a fair statement?
“It sounds hypothetical. I think I’ve tried to be open and forthright that I don’t have all the answers. I feel like I’ve tried to apologize when I’ve said something wrong or inappropriate. I’ve always tried to do that with my players and everybody. This is a hard job. It’s a big job and I’m finding my way through it. I would hope that nobody thinks that I’m arrogant in going about the job. I’m fighting for my life, to be honest, and that’s the way I feel each and every day.
“I’m trying to get this thing going and trying to be me. I’ve never been characterized as being arrogant, at least to my face that I know about. I try not to appear arrogant in any way because I don’t feel arrogant.”
Was there any worry on your part going into this game that considering how you were pushing these guys if they didn’t get a win some of the guys might turn?
“I think there is always that worry but I think you’re trying to keep things going in the right direction and wins help. I know today they came in early, lifted and ran and were upbeat and excited and that’s what a win will do and it helps affirm to everybody that these good practices are starting to pay off.”