Training Camp Q&A: Todd Haley 8/5


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

On running situation sessions everyday in practice:

“We’ll do a review at night off of tape, off actual game tape where these situations have come up.  We did a lot of research in the off-season as a coaching staff and there are some we’ve used over the years that are game situations.  Now, they might not come up the first week but might come up week 15, but eventually they find a way to come up and we have to understand where we’re at in the game and what the exact situation is.  You can’t coach that enough.  I really don’t think you can and review it and talk about it enough.  Then, when it occurs guys know what to do.”

The plans for Saturday’s scrimmage:

“It’ll be a controlled scrimmage.  We’ll move the ball the length of the field . We’ll put some special teams in there.  We’ll go ones against the twos, twos against the ones, threes and so forth; we’ll mix it up.  But it’ll be a controlled scrimmage, move the ball down the field so we get into some of those situations.”

On Jackie Battle:

“He did a great job in the off-season.  We asked him to get his weight down.  We thought that he was too big.  He’s fast, he’s in condition now.  I think that Jackie has put himself in a position to succeed and I think that it has shown here in these first few days.  If I had to point to anybody on the team as getting it he’s somebody that I would definitely talk about.  It’s hard to find a guy of his size with his speed.  Again, I think he did everything he could to give himself a chance and now he’s working hard and doing some good things for us.  And he should have some excellent special teams ability when you can get a big body who can run.  I don’t know if you saw yesterday but we had him out at gunner.  He would be a tremendous asset to us if he can do some of that.”

The difference between the 3-4 philosophy and the 4-3:

“We could go into a long dissertation, but to me as an offensive coach and being on the teams I was on, we happened to run the three-four probably seven years out of 12 or 13.  As an offensive coach, you prepare for the three-four.  It always creates a whole set of problems for you offensively – how you identify guys, how you identify the rushers, are they down guys or are they linebackers.  They may be linebackers by position but they may end up being the best rusher on the team, so it creates matchup problems.  Do you put your backs on them, do you turn your tackle out to them – there are a lot of schematic things that create issues.  That’s one of the things that I’ve always liked about it because I think a team preparing for you who has come off playing three or four straight weeks of four-three now they have to prepare for you.  That creates a problem for them.  Now, three-four defenses are popping up everywhere and it goes in a cycle.  But I just thought it’s what our guys know best coaching-wise and what I’m most familiar with and what our personnel department is most familiar with finding that talent.  So, to me it was a no-brainer and the direction we wanted to go right now.”

On the holdover defensive players making the transition to the 3-4:

“I think all the guys are transitioning pretty well.  Obviously, Dorsey just got back out on the field, so we’ve got to watch a little more of him.  But today he appeared active and I saw him real disciplined on a couple of plays.  I think guys are transitioning and getting comfortable and you see guys like Tamba Hali make progress on some things he’s never had to do before.  Even Andy Studebaker, who hasn’t ever done anything like that, is dropping (into coverage) and looks like he’s making progress, Turk McBride, too.  At this point, it’s way too early to pass judgment but I think we’re making progress.”

What did you like about TE Sean Ryan to want to bring him here:

“I was with Sean in Dallas and so I knew a lot about Sean and knew he was a pretty tough guy and a physical-at-the-point (of-attack) blocker.  I knew he would prepare and knew how we want to work around here.  There are a lot of things I liked about Sean.  He needs to continue to improve as everybody does, but he’s a physical, on-the-line tight end, which is getting harder and harder to find in the league.”

The Saturday scrimmage should be a treat to watch, especially with a new linebacker (Vince Redd), wide receiver (Amani Toomer) and quarterback (Matt Gutierrez) to watch.  And of course that is on top of just finally being able to see the Chiefs in less controlled game situations.

I absolutely loved Haley’s take on the switch from 4-3 to 3-4.  If there was ever a question that he would mess up a defense the way Herman Edwards managed to mess up an offense, those have to be out the window now.  In three years you never once hear Edwards talk this confidently about the Chiefs offense, it was always hemming and hawing.  Haley went right for the meat and potatoes.

And how about Sean Ryan and Jackie Battle.  It’s clear at this point it takes a lot to get Haley to really talk about a player beyond very simple terms.  And today he goes well beyond that with Ryan and Battle.  I’ve been waiting for some UDFAs to get that kind of praise, but these two are very easy to root for as well.

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