Kansas City Chiefs head coach met with the media at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. Here are the highlights:
After RB Larry Johnson left and RB Jamaal Charles took over, what changed about your running game that made it so much more efficient?
“I think number one, there was a lot of change going on with the team in general. We were involved in a process of kind of getting to know how we were going to do it and the players getting to know he we wanted it done. That takes time but once Jamaal got in there, he had himself ready to go because he had some opportunities early in training camp and in the preseason, and even when the season started and he wasn’t quite there yet. But when he got the big opportunity he was ready to go and took it and ran with it, pardon the pun. Each week, he raised the bar. That’s another thing that’s got everybody excited, when you see a guy do the things that he did and continue to raise the expectations, for instance, there was talk during the season with some of our local guys that was ‘how many touches a game can this guy get?’ We started out saying 15 to 19 and he ended up surpassing that and ended with his best game of the year in the last game. Again, I just think the guy prepared well and seized the opportunity when it came and everybody’s excited about the future with Jamaal running the football.”
Are you guys looking at a way to get Charles some help so he’s not taking all the carries?
“Yeah, one way or another we need to give him some help. He’s 200 pounds soaking wet and that’s something he’s working on and he knows this is a critical off-season, but I just think in this day and age, you have to give somebody some help or the time will be short.”
What playbook is Offensive Coordinator Charlie Weis going to be working out of, his own or the one that you established this past year?
“It’ll be our playbook. The great thing about where we’re at right now is the familiarity. As I’ve said a bunch of times, Charlie and I shared about a six-by-six foot office back in New York (Jets) and we learned under the same mentors and the same offensive philosophy. So, over the years, as you go different directions, that gets diluted and the system has things added, which is natural with any system, but what we’ve been working real hard at is getting back to the basis of the system even as we knew it back then and really trying to clean up and get back to the purist form of our system that we believe in. The continuity there is just tremendous. It’s refreshing. We sit in there and you’ve got a lot bright guys, I’m not putting myself in that group, but those guys that are bright, it’s fun and we’re having fun with it. That’s the best way to term it, our playbook and again for a bunch of coaches, that’s what they know. Though they may know other systems, that [system] is what they know and believe in most and that’s what’s kind of exciting.”
Do you think this has the potential to be one of the top draft classes in recent years?
“To me that’s all hypothetical. No matter what I say we won’t know until a couple years down the road. There are a lot of guys here that look hungry and a lot of them are working out and rising up to the competition, so that’s good. It’s always an exciting time of the year.”
With your background in personnel from being around your father, how does that play into the selection process for you and your staff heading into the draft?
“Coach (Bill) Parcells has always told me that to be an effective coach in the NFL, you have to know personnel. I don’t think there is any doubt about that. I’m very fortunate to have been raised by the man I was raised by who I think was pretty good at finding guys that could play football. I enjoy this time of year a bunch and I’m happy that this time of year (this season), we’re not really in full scramble mode probably trying to fill six or seven spots on the staff so I really didn’t get to enjoy or get into this process as much as I would have liked to (last year). I’m in a much more settled position where I can really put my head into finding players, which is fun for me.”