Q&A: Todd Haley 12/10

After Chiefs practice today in Kansas City, Todd Haley met with the media.  Here are the highlights:

On Brandon Flowers being out:

“It’s a shoulder… We’ll know more tomorrow… He was full yesterday.”

You still couldn’t get outside to practice today?

“Could have today probably, but looking at the weather game day it looks like it’s going to be mid-40s so tomorrow we’ll probably go out since it’s going to be 36 [degrees.]  I thought that would be more like game conditions.  We had [indoor facility doors open] up there and I thought it was another crisp practice.”

Buffalo has won four games this year but three of those wins came when the opponent turned the ball over four or more times.  Do you put more of a focus on turnovers this week?

“I don’t think you can ever say more of a focus.  On Buffalo they have been in a bunch of games against some good opponents for sure.  That’s generally the way the league is.  If you wind up in the minus category it hurts your chances greatly, even just minus one.  You go into the high 70 percentile of not winning the game.  That’s what we stress.  We’ve got to protect the football on offense, get it on defense.  But more than anything, if we don’t turn the ball over we’ve generally been in games and have a chance to compete.  When we do turn it over it’s gone the other way.”

Was that a learning experience for you in Dallas with the spotlight on you because of the position you coached and the one TO played?

“I hate to go back into all that.  As I’ve said, I’m grateful for my experiences in being a receiver coach for a long time and getting to be around and coached some of these guys you’ve got to be on your game all the time.  I’m proud of what we did that year and I know he was a productive player for us when he was playing [in Dallas].  I still feel like we were an extra-point length field goal away from doing some damage in the playoffs. I t’s one of those you have regrets about and lose sleep over.”

Do you count pass drops?

“I count drops [of passes] and always have and have been a pretty critical judge in that area.  I do feel like if a receiver gets his hands on it he should come up with it.  That’s what they get paid for.  We’ve had way too many.  I know we’re at 37 drops by our count and that’s too many and it hurts everybody.

“Whether it’s a first-and-10 play that might be another first-and-10 play and now it’s second-and-10.  If it’s third down now we’re punting the ball.  We’ve got to do a better job of catching the ball.  There is no trick to it.  You’ve got to get on the jugs [gun] before practice and after practice.  You can’t catch enough balls and practice your craft, whoever it is, tight ends, receivers or backs, cause everybody has a hand in it.   We need to do a better job. Those are things this young team can’t overcome.  We’ve shown that.  We can’t overcome dropped balls.  The games that we’ve done a good job of catching the ball we’ve been pretty competitive.  When we haven’t it’s been an additional thing that’s been too hard for us to overcome.”

When you’re playing a team that has struggled this season is there any worry that if you lose this game the players are going to be a little more discouraged?

“No, trying to win every game and do everything we can to win each game and leave no stone unturned and put the work in on all ends.  A win is a win and we need wins.”

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