In between their two training camp practices in Kansas City, Todd Haley met with the media. Here are the highlights:
On Tyler Thigpen playing in a conventional offense:
“I think he’s made progress but I think he needs to get better in that area. I don’t think there’s any doubt that when you watch him play in the game against Houston he can make some plays with his feet. He was definitely a spark for the offense, but he needs to continue to work at that aspect of his game – being a drop-back passer. Some of the accuracy isn’t where it needs to be when he’s in that mode. It’s something he’s working on and I think he’s doing that.”
Early impressions of the two new linemen (Ike Ndukwe, Andy Alleman):
“Positive. Thought that for coming in the first day and getting as many snaps as they did, I saw some positive things at least during the live action. I feel that they should only get better as they go on. I think they brought this rain. That was definitely a Miami rain, big rain drops.”
Will we see more of Ashley Lelie?
“I think that he’ll have another week under his belt of understanding the offensive system. He’ll be in a rotation like everybody else and we’ll try to maximize that as best we can. If I could say let us have 120 plays on offense in this game I would, but that’s not the way it goes. There were guys on defense that didn’t get to play last week because it was a short game for the defense. There are things you can’t control, so you’ve got to try and maximize and have a plan for these guys so they can be evaluated.”
On the receivers:
“I think they’re getting better; I think that the receiver group is improving which is important. I said early on I was pretty frustrated with that position but I think there is definite progress made across the board which keeps practice going. Now, hopefully, we take it to the game and make plays in the game. But I would say they’re making strides.”
Do you have enough guys in here or are you still on the lookout for other people?
“We will be on the lookout for a long time in all areas, and I think that’s the way you get the best team and the best group of guys and gives you the best chance. We’ll be on the lookout all the time here for these next couple of weeks for sure.”
What do you need to see from Amani Toomer Saturday?
“Amani hasn’t had a lot of reps in the games; he’s had a lot more reps in practice. It’s kind of a double-edged sword for some of these guys in that you know what you’re getting from some guys and there are some other guys you don’t know quite what you’re getting. It’s a balancing act of who do we need to see most in the game. We got Amani in last week and he made a big catch on third down. I would definitely like to see more from Amani. Today, he actually looked he had a little bounce in his step and was running around pretty good. I think that was good. That’s one of the hardest things in the pre-season: a game ends and you realize that so-and-so had four reps. It’s something you talk about, you work on, you try to control and you just can’t control it. It’s a constant battle to get all those guys in so we can see what we need to see. Then you have an Amani Toomer that you’ve seen a lot of pretty good football, similar to Bobby Engram that I talked about yesterday, you need to see if these guys have something left – that they’re not retired and haven’t announced it yet, to use a Bill Parcells phrase.”
Are you seeing more excitement from Matt Cassel?
“Matt’s a very confident guy. It’s hard to get him down too much, even when he doesn’t have a great day he’s probably over-confident. Today, I agree with you. He was sharp today; the ball was coming out quick. We had an early blitz drill and it is a critical, critical drill for us. For the quarterback the ball has to come out quick and today, to me, it looked like it was zipping around, and going to the right spot, and we weren’t holding it. That’s positive and I want energy from that group every day. When the other guys are sluggish the quarterbacks can’t be. They’ve got to be the guys who kind of rally the troops and get them going. I thought they all did a good job of that today.”
Gez, no one is biting on the Haley humor! First the Miami rain comment and then the Parcells retirement line. The guys in the press conferences need to lighten up. Haley is bringing the Herm-level comedy without any of the reaction.