Following Chiefs practice today — the first without Chan Gailey — Todd Haley met with the media. Here are the highlights:
“As you all know by now, I’ve assumed the role of the offensive coordinator with the Kansas City Chiefs. It was a very difficult decision for me. I think the world of (offensive coordinator) Chan (Gailey) as a coach. I have the greatest amount of respect for him as a coach, and as a person there is no better. But ultimately the fate of this team and the accountability falls to me. After going through three pre-season games and a lot of OTA’s and a lot of practices in training camp it just became more apparent to me that I had to be more involved. Ultimately, the finger is going to point back at me and I have to do what’s best for this team now and into the future. This is a long-term deal for me. This is about doing everything as an organization to give ourselves the best chance to win.”
How much of an adjustment is this going to be for you time-wise?
“Very good question, and that is something I’ve put a lot of thought into. The advantage I have now is I know what my duties are. This being the first time (as a head coach) for me, I’ve got some time under my belt of realizing what I have to do and what I’m going to be responsible for week-in and week-out. At least I’m able to map out in my mind whether I can handle it or not handle it. Obviously, if we’re going in this direction I feel this is best for the team.”
Will this involve some other guys maybe taking on some additional duties?
“That’s how I operate. I think I’ve said this before, but anyone who hasn’t heard, when I’m coaching and have been involved in decisions I’ve tried to have very little ego involved. I try to find the best answer and whether that’s coming from quality control or an assistant head coach, the quarterback, the running back, offensive linemen. If there’s some evidence to back up what somebody is saying, I’m all ears and I always have been. I feel like that has helped me as I’ve worked my way around the NFL.”
Is this something you thought about when you first took the job – that you wanted to call the plays?
“No, what I said the first day I was hired was I’m here to coach the Kansas City Chiefs. I’m here to coach the offense, the defense, the special teams, my coaching staff and everybody I’m responsible for. That’s the way I believe it has to be done. Right now, I feel like the offense needs a little more attention. Did I think that then? No. I don’t think that was ever in my head. But that’s still my number one job: to coach the Kansas City Chiefs.”
On the offensive changes:
“There’s not going to be wholesale changes. We’ve worked too hard.”
How tough a decision is that for a first year coach?
“I was involved in some of that when I first got here. I don’t have a lot of experience with and it’s not fun and, again, I can only say what I think of Chan as a person and as a coach. I’ve always looked up to him before I even knew him, so tough is probably an understatement. This is something that I wanted to work.”
Will your conversation tonight be to get your quarterback ready to play for opening day and get your number two QB locked up?
“We have to have our ducks in a row. There’s no doubt. They’re going to kick it off in 12 days or 13 days and they aren’t canceling it. We have to have everything lined up how we need to operate and be ready for anything.”
What can you say to the fans? Is there still a black cloud lingering over this team?
“Change is painful. There is no doubt about. As I said on my first day in this building, I told the fans that we’re going to have to earn the fans back. I have no illusions of anything else. We’re going to have to earn it by what we do on the field and that’s the NFL. It’s a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately league and we need to do start doing something.”
I asked Jarrad Page why wasn’t he dressed on Saturday and he said did you ask coach. Is there any update on Jarrad Page?
“He’s out on the field today, so that’s a good thing. If you’re on the field you have a chance to make this team and help us win.”
Is he in the doghouse at all?
“I don’t have a doghouse. I’ve got five kids.”
Is Devard Darling done for the year?
“81 was not on the field, so I will choose not to talk about while I still legally can.”