Following the Chiefs 27-24 overtime victory over the Steelers in Kansas City, Todd Haley met with the media. Here are the highlights:
On the game:
“Obviously, a big win for this team. We’re a young team and I really feel like we’ve been making progress. I felt like going into this game this would be a great opportunity to measure where we were as a team. That team we played today is as well a coached team in the league as there is. They’re the model for what we’re striving to get to and that’s something that’s been going on for a long time since I’ve been a young kid in Pittsburgh.
“It was by no means perfect, but you get a guy like [LB] Andy Studebaker, who I said all off-season there was nobody that was better, and then to see it translate into some of the things that kid did out there today. I’m happy that some of that is starting to show because you need some positive reinforcement for as hard as these guys work. We push him hard and my philosophy is I’m not going to accept average or below. This job is not for the faint of heart and not a lot of games have been won around here. It’s nice to get a little reward against a team like that. I thought the guys really showed heart and guts.”
Your emotion on the sideline seemed very positive. It seemed like the team fed off of that:
“I’ll take that as a compliment. I am a rookie head coach and am passionate about what I do. I live and die every day on how it goes with this team – not just game day but Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday…. It’s all I care about other than God and my family. When you care about someone there is going to be some emotion. It’s easy to be positive when good things are happening. I’m going to be me every day.”
On the offense:
“Up and down day. We started slow again with three three-and-outs. Again, we’re inches short. We’ve got to start faster but I’ve got to hand it to [Cassel], the kid’s a fighter. He was really down when he turned the ball over but he bounced back and made some great plays. The touchdown throw to Jamaal was a phenomenal play because he got hit in the mouth as he was letting it go. I’d go to battle with him every day of the week. We’ve got to continue to be keep getting better.”
On Jamaal Charles:
“That run in overtime when he got hit, well, that was a hit now and he bounced off and came back. He’s making progress. He made a huge play for us to open the game. But we negated it by not getting much going early on and ended up being behind. But it wasn’t due to him. He’s another guy who’s worked hard, bought in, and wants to be part of something really good.”
How much fun is it going to be tonight to live a victory over the Steelers?
“I wish Studebaker would have scored on the interception. That would have been full retribution [for last year’s Super Bowl]. I was thinking I’d finally be able to put that interception return away. My mom and dad are in town today. I know it means something to my dad [Dick Haley].”