Training Camp Q&A: Todd Haley 8/2

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After the Chiefs second day of training camp practices, Todd Haley met with the media.  Here are the highlights:

On Mike Goff and Brian Waters being back at practice:

“I thought they looked very good.  I was excited to see them.  They’re both potential difference makers for us, I believe.”

Was fatigue a factor today?

“Yeah, the one-a-days are going to be longer.  That was all part of the thought process, two-a-days then we come back to a longer one-a-day.  It’s a little bit more of a conditioning deal.  That’s why at the end you saw us running those two drills.  That’s the name of the game.  As you get tired you must be able to focus and concentrate and do your job.  It’s something we can’t stress enough as coaches and we educate the players on how important that is that you’re not making mistakes when you’re tired.  When you’re tired it’s usually late in games or late in drives after a long drive either way.  That’s when stuff like that generally occurs and ends up costing you points or wins.”

On Dwayne Bowe’s problems with drops:

“To play receiver in the NFL I think you must catch most of the footballs.  If you don’t catch most of them – and there’s always going to be some balls that end up on the ground for one reason or the other – to be an NFL receiver you must be able to catch the football.  That’s the top prerequisite for wide receiver.  It’s not just Dwayne, it’s any wide receiver who is out there.  They must concentrate and catch the football whether they’re going to take a hit, or whether they’re on the sideline and they have to get their feet in, or it’s an easy ball over the middle that they’ve got to concentrate, or it’s a deep ball, that’s the job description.”

The importance of getting pressure on the quarterback:

“Getting to the quarterback is obviously critical to success on defense.  You must be able to create pressure and havoc in the backfield one way or the other whether you’re getting sacks or not.  We’ve added some players that should help us, whether it’s a Mike Vrabel or some young guys that should be developing a little bit to become better pass rushers.  We’re coaching them hard on technique to improve.  Scheme-wise if we can’t get to him with a four man rush then we’re going to have to do some things to create some pressure schematically.  We’ll continue to work and see if we’re making progress.  They got some pressure today on the offense, I know that.

On the body control work he was doing with the team’s receivers:

“We’ve had guys on the ground and a receiver is no good to anyone if he’s on the ground.  Whether it’s the right shoes, improper technique, whatever it is, a wide receiver cannot be on the ground and help you win in any way, shape or form.  If they’re slipping and falling out there we’ve got to do something about it and that’s why you saw a little attention to that.”

His thoughts on Derrick Thomas:

“Derrick Thomas is one of the all-time greats.  As I was starting my scouting career with the Jets we had to play the Chiefs a couple of times.  I was actually at the Hula Bowl, the college all-star game, when Derrick was out there.  Saw him around the whole week.  I was in college at that time but I obviously paid attention to those guys.  The great story about Derrick Thomas to me is I was out there with my father who was actually scouting the game.  But I went to the practices and the game and Derrick Thomas had a passport issue and they told him he was not going to be able to play.  So, the night before the game he didn’t prepare as if he was going to play and I think he went out and had a good time.  At 6 AM they came in and said, ‘you’re playing,’ and I think it was seven sacks later.  That’s all you needed to see.  One or the greats of all time rushing the passer, playing defense.”

Lets get Damion McIntosh back out there and see what the O-line can do when it’s at full strength.  It’s huge to get Goff and Waters (if his head is on straight) back out there playing with (and teaching) Branden Albert.  There are going to be injuries throughout training camp and season, but it would be nice to get all the healthy players on the field together whenever possible.  And if McIntosh, Dorsey and the like are sitting out because of conditioning, it’s time to realize you made your point and move on.

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