Following Chiefs practice today in Kansas City, Todd Haley met with the media. Here are the highlights:
One of the strengths you talk about is the back of the roster. Some of those guys who appear to be working their way up like a Jovan Belcher and an Andy Studebaker. Is that a perfect situation for your team?
“I think when they make plays like those two do it’s a very good thing. I think it’s a sign that, number one, we’re doing a good job at getting the right kind of players in here. Andy was already here but Jovan was a bright spot from the start. Some of the guys we’ve picked up along the way have come in and had pretty strong and productive roles. We are what we are record-wise but I do think some of those guys have played at a winning level, especially evident on Sunday with Andy Studebaker or a Jovan Belcher, Chris Chambers. Those are good signs.”
What does that do to the guys who appear to be the starters?
“I said all the way back in the beginning that competition is what good teams have. The more positions you have good healthy competition at the better. That makes the front line guys better, makes the guys fighting to get in that spot better, and in turn it makes your team better overall. I think that we’ve been able to create some healthy competition in more spots than when we started and that’s good for the Kansas City Chiefs.”
On Jovan Belcher:
“This was a big transition for him, a guy who never played a linebacker position, so to speak. He was up in the line [during college] in more of a hand-to-hand combat position. I think he’s got natural instincts and come in and been a big-time contributor on special teams from the start. He had a pretty significant role for us defensively. For a guy coming from where he was coming from he’s a bright spot for us. He’s a run-and-hit linebacker who can play special teams. That was never more evident than Sunday and specifically that last play defensively in overtime.”
How different are the Chargers from the team you played a few weeks ago?
“They definitely are firing on all cylinders, it appears, not that they didn’t look good when we were getting ready to play them the first time. But like I said, what’s really come along is the run game. I think LaDainian is running back into full swing now. They’re doing a good job upfront and I think the quarterback’s been playing very well all year. But having that run game has definitely given them a little boost offensively and defensively they give you a bunch of problems in a bunch of different ways. They can cause havoc and they’re rolling right now.”
Why is it important for you to break this season into these four quarters? What’s the value of that?
“Whatever you’re doing it’s always been important in my mind to stay in the present tense. I think as much as you can do that and you don’t worry much about what’s already happened because you can’t control that any longer and you don’t worry about what’s ahead of you, I think it forces you to keep your mind on the task at hand which is hard. It’s a long season and if you’re not careful you can get caught up in thinking the season’s over when it’s not or vice versa, in a positive way or a negative way.”
Are you taking any time for Thanksgiving yourself?
“Like I said and as I’ve talked to the players and coaches, we’ve got the greatest jobs as far as I’m concerned. We have a lot to be thankful and I think it’s important whatever you do with that time, whether it’s helping out people who aren’t quite as fortunate as yourself or with your family, it’s important you take those times to be thankful for all that we have.”