Q&A: Todd Haley 12/14

Kansas City head coach Todd Haley met with the media to talk about the Chiefs 16-10 loss to the Bills.  Here are the highlights:

Opening Statement:

“Had a chance to review the tape as a staff and with the players.  Some of the issues or some of the things contributing to the loss are pretty obvious.  Turning the ball over like we did and end up in the minus turnover-wise and even though we took the ball away three times generally leads to a loss.

“Thought our defense did a very good job overall, did a great job of creating turnovers, did a great job versus the passing game holding them to 73 yards.  In the run game, we’ve got to be better.  That’s two weeks in a row where we’ve given up too many yards and most of those coming on three or four plays.  We’ve got to do a better job of executing the defense – missed tackles being the other culprit in reviewing the tape.  But I thought the secondary did a real good job in most phases of the game and the defense gave us a chance to win and kept us in the game throughout.

“Offensively, we’ve got to capitalize on those turnovers.  When we get the ball in those areas we’ve got to turn it into points.  We weren’t able to do that.  I thought we did a very good job in the run game.  Jamaal Charles continues to be a real bright spot for us.  I think there are a lot of good things going on with him in the pass game and the run game, even in the turnover situation when he made the tackle and forced the fumble.  The pass game I thought we made some outstanding plays but turned the ball over four times in the pass game – two tipped balls, a poor decision by the quarterback to start the third quarter and then the last play of the game in a desperation mode.  We cannot turn the football over.

“Special teams was an area going into that game that we felt like we had to win and I don’t think we did that. When they net punt 53 yards and we net 29 on punts that’s almost a 100 yards of hidden yardage that adds up to points. We’ve got to do a better job than that against good special teams units which they are. That was one of the keys to the game in the end.

“With everything said and done we had a chance to get ahead in that game late and we just didn’t make a couple of plays that would have been necessary.  We’re 0-1 in the fourth quarter of the season.”

On deciding to pass more than run:

“I think going into that last possession I think we were fairly balanced.  We wanted to start the game with some high percentage passes which we did.  When you have a two-minute [situation] at the end of the half [which] we were in I think that’s going to un-balance it a little bit.  Then, at the end of the game it makes it a little more unbalanced than it was.  When you have two, two-minute situations in the game where you’re without time-outs or limited time-outs and you end up throwing the ball it maybe appears a little more pass heavy than we were.

“But I feel very good about how that game went as far as decisions that were made.  We had five penalties and most of them were really, really critical – some that brought runs back, some that brought passes back.  We had 17 minus plays counting sacks and penalties offensively.  When you have 17 minus plays, you’re in the hole too much of the time.

“I thought we did a really good job of climbing out of some of those holes – some tremendous second and ultimately some third down conversions that got us out of minus situations.  That’s what good teams do.”

Were you upset with Matt at the end of the first half?

“No, I was upset with how we executed our two-minute.  I thought Matt did some real good things in that game.  I think, again, it’s easy to pile on the quarterback with four interceptions right now but in reviewing that tape much like I thought after the game I think there’s one decision we’d like to have back.

“In our two-minute operation I thought we had a chance with a time-out left.  We got an early completion out of bounds and then a big play to Mark Bradley and we were in a position to at least have a chance to kick a field goal.  We ultimately got sacked and that put us behind the eight ball having to use the time-out.”

On Dwayne Bowe:

“Dwayne is back this week.  We haven’t had any contact by league rules – you’re not allowed to have any contact with a suspended player.  We’ll have to do our best to see where he’s at and get him up to speed.  Any time you’re missing one of your better players – which we were for the last four weeks – I’m personally excited about having Dwayne back.  I think Dwayne was making tremendous strides when the suspension occurred and I think he’s made strides in all areas to a point where he cares about what we’re trying to do.  Just in looking at him it looks like he’s done a pretty good job of keeping himself in condition.  We’ve got to get him up to speed in any of the new stuff we’re doing.  Like I said, I’m personally excited about having him back in the mix. We need all the hands we can get.”

On Dustin Colquitt:

“Dustin is probably his toughest critic and has a lot of pride in what he does and the job that he does.  I know he wants to be better and other parts of the special teams have to be better to help him.  No problems as far as I know other than to be better and executing in all areas.”

You were averaging 6 yards a carry on the ground and Charles carried it 27 touches and probably is the max of what you’d like him to do.  How do you balance Charles getting rest and the Bills being 32nd against the rush?  Were you equipped personnel-wise to take advantage of that?

“I think we were.  We had over 300 yards.  If we could eliminate a couple of those penalties that were really costly and hurt us ‘chunk-wise’ we probably had one of our better offensive days.  That being said when you have 17 minus plays and you’re in second-and-longs or first-and-longs you gotta do certain things to get back into manageable third downs.  Taking all those things into account, I love what we did in the run game.”

Your comments at the beginning of the post-game press conference yesterday where you thanked the fans.  Was that something you wanted to do or something someone wanted you do?

“Anything that I say in here is me speaking.   I sincerely felt the fans did a great job for us. The fans are a group that I’ve talked about from my first day on the job and how excited I was to be a part of this fan base.  I know we’ve got to give them more to cheer about.  But if ever I get a chance to thank the fans, which I got to believe I did at some point after the Steelers game whether the press conference or the next day, I do it.  Anything I say is how I feel.”

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