After the Chiefs practice today in Kansas City, Todd Haley met with the media. Here are the highlights:
Do you have any kind of philosophy on injuries?
“A guy has to practice to have a chance to play. That’s my main philosophy: you’ve got to practice to play. That’s what I’m going off of and then at that point you evaluate if they’re helping you more or hurting you more.”
Would you consider rolling him out if he’s not 100%, if Matt Cassel at 90% gives you the best chance to win?
“I don’t think one of those players is 100% so to talk in percentages you’re just playing mind games. None of these guys is 100%. Our job as coaches is to figure out who gives you the best chance to win on any given Sunday. That’s what we do through the whole week.”
Do you have to change your game plan whether it’s Matt Cassel or Brodie Croyle or Tyler Thigpen?
“I don’t think a whole bunch really for any of those guys. It might be a little more gun, a little less gun, or there might be different things you do for different guys. But other than that I think the game is, especially now…it’s Thursday and it’s almost go time.”
Is Larry Johnson ready to roll?
“I hope who ever ends up being the 45 I hope they’re all ready to roll. I hope they’re all ready to roll. This is what the off-season has been about, all that work and lifting and sweating. This is what the OTA’s have been about and what training camp has been about. Now, it’s game one. If you can’t get up for this one you probably have a problem.”
With all the progress that has been made, how comfortable do you feel with all that change going into the regular season?
“Again, how we measure ourselves is how I’ve said a few times: we’re trying to get better every day. Trying to make progress every day without having one step forward and three steps back, that kind of deal. We’re trying to be a steady team that makes daily progress and weekly progress. That’s the way we’ve got to measure ourselves. We’ve got to see how we do on that front because, again, you said it: it’s a lot of change and a lot of pain and suffering for a lot of people and that’s the truth. Out of that you hope that you start to forge the nucleus of a team you can build on and become a good team and then a great team.”
How much does the depth chart fluctuate in a week? Do you juggle it in a week?
“Sure, these guys are moving around daily and it might be somebody getting nicked up or, all of a sudden, somebody has been practicing hard and he gets an opportunity in practice and then we sit in there tonight and say so-and-so stepped in and did a good job. We then say, hey, maybe that’s who we have to play with. I think it’s a daily evaluation of these guys, every day, and it’s not just on the field. It’s meetings in the morning, meetings in the afternoon – all that’s taken into account. Who’s paying attention, who’s doing extra. It’s a full daily evaluation.”
On Derrick Johnson:
“Derrick to me is working hard. He’s working hard from what I’ve seen. He’s having to do some show team, having to do some starting team and special teams. We’re asking him to do a lot and it appears to me that Derrick is working hard.”
Have you got the pre-game speech and all the things that head coaches have to do going into their first game along with all the other duties you’ve got going on?
“I’ve got to be ready. That’s my job. I’ve got to do my preparation when I can and I understand there is a game Sunday, when the meetings will be and when I have to talk to the team. I sort that out in my mind as the week goes on, no different than I did as a coordinator knowing I had to give certain talks at certain times.”