Following the conclusion of the Kansas City Chiefs first OTAs, Todd Haley met with the media. Here are the highlights:
On what he saw that was encouraging:
“I think that the tempo of our practice picked up considerably. Even today, it was fairly hot, but I thought the tempo of practice was good. We ran each day after the OTA, a pretty hard run that got better and better as the week went on. Again I think it is about letting them know what we expect and them understanding it. There is more scheme put in on each side and guys seem to have figured it out a little better as the week went on.”
Thoughts on the passing game:
“It is going to take some time, there is no doubt. That is what’s good about this time of year and the fact that we have these OTAs. They are getting to know each other and the receivers, tight ends, backs or whoever is running the route is understanding the coverage. The defense is putting stuff in too, so they are throwing a bunch of different looks at them which makes it difficult. It’s not like running routes on air. When they run routes on air they look pretty good but if you throw the defense in there then it changes things quite a bit. I am trying to have patience with it, understanding that it is early. It is really the first football work we have done and the passing game is an intricate deal. It takes time.”
On Larry Johnson:
“I think Larry is working hard. He has made some runs in the last few practices that I thought were pretty special and showed signs of somebody who can run the football. I was very encouraged and a couple of those flashed at me and the coaches to where you say, ‘that was pretty good.’ If Larry continues to work, stay on point and do the things asked of him, I think he will definitely have a chance to help us.”
If there is a learning curve for him, with this being his first job as a head coach:
“Yeah, without a doubt. I don’t have all the answers. This is my first go round. I am very aware of that and that is why I am happy with the staff. I have a handful of guys that have done this before (being a head coach) at some level. I lean on a bunch of people all the time, in the building and out of the building to try and make sure I get it right, knowing that it is not going to be perfect, but trying to learn from our mistakes and get it right one way or another. Make it work is the bottom line. That is my job, to make it work on offense, defense and special teams one way or another.”
If Mike Vrabel is committed to what the team is trying to do:
“I would say that Mike is excited to get here and I’m excited to see him in action and see where he is at. We have been giving him the information and he has been working, calling and checking in. We will see when he gets here where we stand just like any of the guys who haven’t been here.”
You can read the whole transcript here.
As someone that wrote Larry Johnson off months ago, I’m happy to see Haley lavish that kind of praise one him. Clearly you don’t expect him to come out and say anything negative, but he also just could have gone ended his answer with “Larry is working hard”. It’s also clear that Mike Vrabel’s absence is not due to any sort of bitterness, unlike Brian Waters. Haley mentioned that Vrabel definitely would be at the team’s mandatory mini-camp.