In between the Chiefs two practices in Kansas City, Todd Haley met with the media. Here are the highlights:
Still no arrowheads on the helmets?
When are we going to see that?
“When guys start making the team.”
So officially nobody has made the team yet?
“Not in my book.”
You have said you can’t beat yourself with offensive mistakes, fumbles in particular. How much are you emphasizing that you’ve just got to control the ball?
“We do a lot of emphasizing in that area. That’s why we have the gauntlet out here and you see us go through stiff-arm drills, all the different things that help us protect the football. In game two of our fumbles happened with guys having the ball in the wrong hand. That’s a little thing that becomes a big thing. We’re coaching it all the time; when we see it we’ve got to talk about it and if we miss it on the field we’ve got to correct it on tape. That’s a great example. Two fumbles in that game would not have happened in my opinion if the all carriers were carrying the ball in the correct arm.”
On Jamaal Charles:
“The thing I’ll say about Jamaal, after a very critical turnover which we cannot have, I put him right back in the game the very next play and handed the ball to him to see where he was at mentally. I would say from that point on Jamaal did some good things: he caught a kickoff, he took it up in there like he was trying to run it, he put his head down on the big third down he caught and took it up the sideline. So, there were some positives, but we can’t be a yo yo team and we can’t have yo yo guys. You’re going to hear me say it over and over but that’s the best analogy I can see. We need to be the same all the time.”
How many players would you say have already made the team?
“I would say there would be maybe half the guys who are going to find their way onto the team. But you don’t know what’s going to happen. For me to make a statement like that and then maybe the Chicago Bears or somebody releases somebody that ten of our coaches start doing back flips over or Scott says this guy makes us better, that’s why you can’t make those kind of promises. We’ve said from the start here: we will do anything and everything we can to make the team better. If that means adding somebody on the day before the season starts, or today, tomorrow or in a week, we’ll do it. We’re not disrespecting anybody, we’re just keeping our word that we will do everything we can to improve the team. If there is somebody out there who makes us better at any position we’re doing it.”
On the level of competition:
“I think for the most part I have been happy with it. Now, I wish we had more talent at spots to create more competition and that’s where over the next couple of weeks we might be able to improve that aspect of it. I would say, generally happy, but there are some spots that I wish there were better competition.”
On Friday night’s game:
“I was encouraged in some areas and discouraged in others. In the end, we had a chance to win the game. I think that was important despite the fact that we probably committed too many mental errors, which I won’t get into specifics about. Too many mental errors usually cost you a chance at winning, along with losing the turnover battle. Now, I thought we created some pressure on their quarterbacks, thought we did a good job against a pretty good running team that will be a good running team. I thought that offensively we did a nice job on third down where the week before we weren’t so good. I thought that helped us. Time of possession I think we were plus 10 minutes on (the Vikings) which is always a pretty good sign. I think there were enough things in that game to be encouraged about, to feel like we’re making progress.”
On the offensive line:
“I think the offensive line in general I was a little let down about. If there is a game you’re going to get up for it’s against that group. That’s a good defense and specifically a really good defensive front seven. I just expected our guys to get up a little more and take the challenge. Now, a couple of their guys didn’t end up playing but they’re still a pretty good defense without those guys. So, just in general I was let down and didn’t think we won the physical side of that match-up early.”
On Corey Mays:
“I think that Corey is again been a pleasant surprise from the standpoint that I didn’t know a lot about the player. He is a player who hasn’t had a lot of playing time other than on special teams. First and foremost, and knowing we were going to have more linebackers on the field, we were looking for special teamers. Then he comes in and you see he can play some linebacker. I think he’s been a bright spot for sure. He’s got to continue to get better every day and he can’t be a yo yo. He was real good in the first game. In the second game he was not as sharp as he was in the first one. That’s part of the deal: you’ve got to be the same guy every day.”
On Derrick Johnson:
“Derrick needs to get it going a little bit I would say. He probably played better in the first game than the second game clearly. Derrick is a guy with a lot of ability that needs to show that ability every day and be the type of guy we’re looking for – the same guy every day who’s doing it how he’s supposed to be doing it and how he’s coached to do it. He’s definitely got the ability. He’s got to work at being the same guy as his ability lets him to be.”
Plans for the week:
“This will be a run-through on how the regular season will be traditionally. They’ll get their real gameplan books, whereas the first two games were a little bit more scaled down. It might have been hand drawn plays as opposed to a computer drawn play in a hard cover book. It’ll be a like an in-season game as far as how we present everything. I don’t think it’ll be a lot more than what we’ve done for the last game.”