The Kansas City Chiefs will open their rookie/first year mini-camp today. The coaches will use these three days to get a feel for their newest players, but it’s just as important for the players to use the time to understand what head coach Todd Haley is looking for as training camp approaches.
KCChiefs.com’s Josh Looney brings us a story from last year’s camp involving WR Quinten Lawrence that the young players coming into Kansas City today will try to avoid repeating.
Lawrence bobbled a football during the team period of practice, which ultimately wound up in the hands of a defender for a pick-six. In short, Haley was hot. The height of his voice left no debate as to his feelings about the play.
But Haley wasn’t upset about what most would have thought – the dropped ball that turned into an interception. It w
as what Lawrence did after the interception that had Haley fuming.
As soon as the football was picked off, Lawrence dropped to the ground and started doing push-ups. This action is a common self-discipline technique utilized at the college level, and it was probably what he and his teammates at McNeese State had been taught to do since he entered the program as a freshman. To Lawrence, immediately dropping to the turf and doing push-ups probably seemed like the right thing to do.
Not in the NFL.
Haley’s not-so-subtle point was that receivers must turn into defenders once an interception occurs. One mistake had been made with the turnover, but there was no reason to multiply that mishap with six points on the board in the aftermath; even if it is just practice.
Even though Haley was known as a fiery assistant, there really was a cloud of uncertainty around just what he was going to be like as a head coach. Obviously we quickly found out and he never really eased back much from day one of the rookie mini-camp right through then final game of the season. And frankly I’d be shocked if anything changed in year two.
Any good agent would have his/her client show up in Kansas City ready to do things the “Haley Way”. It’s no secret how things are going to be under Haley and if you want to play then you will show up, shut up and do what you’re told.
It will be fascinating to see if there is another “Quinten Incident”.