Q&A: Todd Haley 12/11

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

What kinds of things have you seen in Matt Cassel that lead you to believe this is the guy you want to work with and take you guys into the future?

“Matt’s experience-wise as a quarterback: not great.  Every game is adding to that experience.  He has his experience from last year and now he has his experience from this year in a pretty difficult situation as far as making some major changes early.

“I think Matt has shown the competitiveness necessary.  He shows the arm, he shows the accuracy, he understands what we’re trying to get done.  He protects the football very well for the most part.  Now, we’ve had two hiccup games here and we have to go back to how we did it early in the year which is protect the football at all costs.  That is a prerequisite to playing the quarterback position.

“Those are some of the things you can build on and as he improves in some of the experience areas – which are only going to improve with experience – you have a base to build on.”

As the guy who draws up the plays and puts together the game plan are you able to spend as much time as you would like during the week with Matt Cassel doing film review or talking to him?

“I don’t think you ever can feel like you spend enough time in that role.  No different than the last couple of years I was the coordinator [in Arizona].  It always felt like you wished you had more time and it came down to texting and calling on the phone after hours.  That’s the same stuff that’s going on now.  I think as a coach you always wish you had more time.  But we fill the day and that’s a priority for me when we get down to the nitty-gritty of the week.”

The Chiefs escaped the possibility of a black-out for the first time in 20 years. How do you feel about that?

“That’s something I don’t think I can get caught up in worrying about.  I’m happy from the standpoint of the fans because that’s a big thing.  But my focus is trying to get this team ready to beat the Bills.  Knowing when we get this thing going right where we’re consistently competing and winning games that won’t be something we have to worry about too much.  Winning solves most of those problems.

“My first day on the job one of the things that most excited me was the fan base and having come here as a visiting team and knowing just how hard it is to play here.  It’s a really difficult place to play and win.  So, whenever you have that advantage that’s a big thing as a coach and as a team.  I don’t think you can necessarily measure it.  When teams like Kansas City win a bunch of home games in a row for a long time like they did that gets pretty intimidating for the visiting team.”

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