Following the Chiefs practice today in Kansas City, Todd Haley met with the media. Here are the highlights:
On Matt Cassel:
“Again, he was out there which was good. That’s better than not being out there and he was able to get through some. That’s going to be the situation that we’re going to evaluate as the week goes on and don’t know that we’ll have an answer right up to until we play.”
On the offense:
“We’re asking them to do a lot here. We’re putting the pressure on them to catch up, so to speak, but overall the guys going back (and up to) the last week of the pre-season have responded. They’re into it; they’re studying; they’re preparing, they’re doing the things that will give them a chance to know what’s going on. I’m glad we got a couple more days of practice. There’s no doubt about that. But I think they’ve shown a good response.”
On the new players on the offensive line trying to get into the groove:
“That’s going to be a fact of life at one position or another where guys are going to be coming in. That’s the way we’re going to operate. We had Ryan (O’Callaghan) in there for a second practice really but it’s going to be a case of the guys helping assimilate those (new) guys into what we’re doing and the way we’re doing it. Again, when you get a guy who comes from New England or Miami that’s generally an advantage because I think there are a lot of similarities how we do things.”
Do you feel better because you’ve got your hands on the offense and you’re out there doing what you wanted to do as opposed to being a step away?
“I don’t know if better is the term. I’m comfortable doing that; I’ve done it the last few years. It’s something I understand and obviously enjoy. But I don’t know if better is the term. I felt that the offense needed support right now and that’s what I’m doing. Again, I’m still the head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs and I cannot forget that whether it’s in practice, meetings or whatever I’m doing.”
How much have you changed your offense?
“None, exactly what we ran in the third pre-season game is what you’ll see.”
Tamba Hali was impressive to (Baltimore) coach Harbaugh from what he’s seen on film. Where is he in your thoughts?
“I think Tamba has been a bright spot without a doubt. He was a guy five months ago that a lot of people were kind of wondering what would happen to Tamba and how he would respond. But once (Kansas City Star reporter) Adam (Teicher) got it out there officially how we were going to play defense there was going to be some adjustment period for him. I think he’s done a very good job to this point of adjusting to this new role. Again, it’s a work in progress. We can’t put him in the Hall of Fame yet but I think he’s made progress in a tough situation.”
What is Baltimore’s strength in your view?
“The whole team is a strength. I think they are obviously one of the great defenses over the last decade. Year-in and year-out even though they’ve had to plug different players into different roles each year they’ve come in and played defense. It’s easy to talk about defense when you talk about Baltimore but I think what’s changed with Baltimore is now the offense is an offense that gives you something to deal with. They’ve got a very good quarterback; they’ve got three tremendous runners; they’ve got one of the top tight ends in the league and they’ve got three receivers that are very good receivers. They probably would be ones on most teams. They have a very physical offensive line. It’s easy to talk about the defense but the offense is now here without a doubt. Special teams, they’re one of the better special teams groups in the league. It’s obvious with coach Harbaugh it is his area of expertise and it shows with this team. I think (Baltimore’s) a three-headed monster as far as I’m concerned.”