Training Camp Q&A: Todd Haley 8/3

In between today’s two Chiefs training camp practices, Todd Haley met with the media.  Here are the highlights:

On rookie OT Colin Brown:

“He’s learning on the run.  It’s a big job.  We’ve asked Colin to do a lot with his body.  He’s dropped a bunch of weight to give himself a chance to compete, so he’s probably feeling a little bit light and not as strong as he’s used to feeling.  That’s why we’re lifting weights all through training camp.  These first few days for these rookies are a real test and we’ll know more as we go further.”

Is Damion McIntosh a difference maker?

“Yeah, good to get him back.  He’s been working hard on his body, worked hard over at the (workout area) and now has a chance to put the pads on.  Again, I haven’t watched the tape to watch Damion specifically but he’s a big-bodied man that can potentially make a difference.”

On Mike Vrabel still looking for tips from coaches after practice even as a veteran:

“I think there’s a reason why players are what they are.  We talked about this in the off-season.  These guys that we brought in, whether it was through trade or free agency, have all got a couple of common characteristics: they’ve been able to have a long-lasting career in the league and there’s a reason why.  They prepare the way they have to prepare, they practice the way they have to practice.  They work on the fundamentals.  They don’t think they have all the answers.  They continue to strive to get better every day and I believe that whether it’s Zach Thomas, Mike Goff, Brian Waters or Mike Vrabel, they’re trying to get better every day and that’s what has made them what they are to this point in their careers.”

Why did you only have two tight ends?

“I’m not going to comment on that.  Who’s on the field is all I care about and that is the absolute truth because I’m a selfish coach and if you’re not on the field practicing you can’t help me do my job.  We need guys out there and this young (Tom) Crabtree is out there fighting his butt off every day trying to learn.  Sean Ryan made a big play over on the sideline that I thought was a tremendous catch in traffic.  If we can have a couple of tight ends make a couple of plays like that it’ll help us win.”

On Devard Darling:

“Devard’s a big, strong, fast player who has never quite reached his potential.  As you watched him come out of college you thought he would be capable of many things.  For what reason it hasn’t happened and I’m not so sure because I’ve only been around him a short time.  But he definitely has the skill set.  He looks the part; now he needs to start playing the part all the time — not unlike what I was talking about yesterday where guys need to be the same guy every day.  That’s what I’m trying to eliminate as much as I possibly can across the board and not just receivers.  I don’t want a yo-yo team and I don’t want yo-yo players.  I really just want to be the same every day and if we get fractionally better each day or each week then we’ll be okay.  But when you’re a superstar one day and the next you can’t walk or chew gum that’s when you get frustrated.”

Vrabel seeking out Tim Krumrie after practice and doing the little things like that even after being in the league so long is one of the reasons I was so upset he missed all of the voluntary workouts in the offseason.  I have no doubt now that he is here that he will be a huge help to all of the young linemen and linebackers, but it would have been that much more beneficial if he could have helped those same guys during all of the workouts, not just training camp.  Between Vrabel and Zach Thomas, there’s no way anyone on that defense is going to go anything but full speed, all season long when they are on the field.

Earlier today I talked about Bobby Engram having a big impact this season and Darling is a guy that has the physical ability to do the same thing.  The thing with Darling is he has never been able to put it all together.  And if he doesn’t do it over the next few weeks, he will find himself looking for a new team.  I have to imagine at least one of the holdover WRs (Darling, Webb or Bradley) is going to get the boot during training camp.

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