Q&A: Todd Haley on Mandatory Mini-Camp Day 2

Following the second day of the Chiefs mandatory mini-camp, coach Todd Haley met with the media.  Here are the highlights:

What Matt Cassel is doing to get his attention:

“I think it’s everything.  Matt’s been here since Day 1.  He’s the leader for every workout group.  Now, there are some other guys leading also, but it’s clear it’s hard to out-work this guy.  When he’s done working out he’s upstairs bugging us.  He’s making drawings, coming up with ideas, wanting to talk football, all the time on top of working out real hard.  He’s lost some weight, has his body in shape.  Now, once you get into football things it’s translating over.  You’re seeing the complete package.  I think he’s got some unique leadership qualities.  I think his teammates like him and have respect for him.  I think he’s doing a pretty good job on the field, too.  Now, he had a little blip today when he threw one to the other color jersey and the guy went the other way.  But I think that’s going to happen and we’re still in the learning stages.  Overall, I’m happy with his progress.”

On who his starters are:

“I said yesterday that truly every position is competition.  I know that sounds like rhetoric but that’s where we’re at.  Even though guys are running with the first team that may be because they’ve been here every day of the off-season and we feel they deserve the chance to get up there and run with the ones.  It’s all open right now.  I think we have a long way to go.  Now, we’ve got some young guys and some guys that nobody knows a lot about that have impressed to this point.  So, there’s no way I can say so-and-so is a starter clearly and another guy who is showing some progress and getting better, who by the time we get in the middle of the pre-season that I don’t say this guy gives us the best chance to win.  It is truly a competition.  I still believe we’re at that stage, I really do, because you don’t know what’s going to happen.”

If there’s a timetable to name a starting quarterback:

“I think it’s overrated. I’ve been places where we’ve made that decision the last pre-season game, we made that decision three games into the season, and we’ve made it early. I think there are a lot of different ways to skin a cat. I don’t know which one is necessarily right but I’ll do my best and our staff will do its best to make that decision officially when the time comes.”

On how this situation compares to his time in Arizona:

“I’m in a totally different position. It’s such a bigger picture what I’m responsible for keeping my eyes on. I think I said early on that it has to give you hope; it has to give you hope. In Arizona, a place that struggled a long time and in a two year span we were able to make a pretty good run. To me, that’s what I take out of it. This is a whole new deal; we’re writing a whole new story.”

Good to see we aren’t still watching the Brian Waters Show.  I’m hoping the next big media obsession isn’t a quarterback controversy because I would say there is a 3% chance that Tyler Thigpen is starting for the Kansas City Chiefs on opening day in Baltimore.  Matt Cassel was brought in here to be the starting quarterback and while I appreciate Haley leaving every position open for competition, in reality we all know who the starting QB is.

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