Todd Haley on today's mini-camp from the mothership...
- Also an interview with QB Matt Cassel on today's mini-camp (H/T DThomasReigns) and
- An Arrowhead Update with Josh Looney
The transcript is available after the jump...
TODD HALEY: “I thought we had a very good day of work considering two practices yesterday. It was the first time we’ve gone through that. That usually makes it tough today. And, we had a bit of wind. But I thought it was a pretty active practice.
“We’re still in the evaluation stage right now as a staff, obviously. As I’ve said in the past, we’re looking at these players to see that they know what to do first of all. Do they know what to do? And, are they doing it the way we’re coaching it? And, basically, how well are they doing it realizing that their overall ability and talent is the final separator.
“But I thought it was a pretty active day and I felt pretty good about it. And with that, any questions.”
Q: What is Matt Cassel doing to get your attention?
HALEY: “I think it’s everything. Matt’s been here since Day 1. He’s the leader for every workout group. Now, there are some other guys leading also, but it’s clear it’s hard to out-work this guy. When he’s done working out he’s upstairs bugging us. He’s making drawings, coming up with ideas, wanting to talk football, all the time on top of working out real hard. He’s lost some weight, has his body in shape. Now, once you get into football things it’s translating over. You’re seeing the complete package.
“I think he’s got some unique leadership qualities. I think his teammates like him and have respect for him. I think he’s doing a pretty good job on the field, too. Now, he had a little blip today when he threw one to the other color jersey and the guy went the other way. But I think that’s going to happen and we’re still in the learning stages. Overall, I’m happy with his progress.”
Q: As his coach would it make you feel better to see him with a long-term contract to know for sure he’s going to be here for the next number of years?
HALEY: “Again, that’s not my business at all. He’s a quarterback of the Kansas City Chiefs. He’s doing everything that I’m asking him, that our coaches are asking him to do. I don’t have one single complaint how he’s carrying himself.”
Q: You mention leadership. Is that more important with a quarterback?
HALEY: “I don’t know if we as a staff think it’s more important but at that position it’s obviously critical that the guy has those characteristic, number one being that he loves football . Football is clearly first for this guy.
“We want our quarterback to be one of the hardest workers on the team. I think he’s clearly shown me that. I think all those things translate into leadership.”
Q: Is this the kind of guy you can trust to make plays up on the field?
HALEY: “Again, it’s more you have a smart guy who loves football who’s thinking about football all the time. It’s always been where I’ve been, going back to when I was a receivers coach, I’d say, hey, if you do the film work and you come in on Sunday and Monday and come up with ideas, draw them out for me, give them to me, and I’ll do my best to see if I can’t work something into the game plan. I’ve always believed in that way; I was taught that way early on as a way to make players accountable for what they’re doing, especially at the quarterback position, even if it’s just drawing out plays and even drawing the details. I think that’s a process of learning and understanding what everybody is doing at all times. I think that’s what that position has to be able to do.
“I make him draw all the plays that are going in each day so that he’s detailed oriented all the time.”
Q: Who are your starting linebackers?
HALEY: “I said yesterday that truly every position is competition. I know that sounds like rhetoric but that’s where we’re at. Even though guys are running with the first team that may be because they’ve been here every day of the off-season and we feel they deserve the chance to get up there and run with the ones. It’s all open right now. I think we have a long way to go. Now, we’ve got some young guys and some guys that nobody knows a lot about that have impressed to this point. So, there’s no way I can say so-and-so is a starter clearly and another guy who is showing some progress and getting better, who by the time we get in the middle of the pre-season that I don’t say this guy gives us the best chance to win. It is truly a competition. I still believe we’re at that stage, I really do, because you don’t know what’s going to happen.”
Q: Do you have a timetable for when you want to make the decision on whom your starting QB is?
HALEY: “I think it’s overrated. I’ve been places where we’ve made that decision the last pre-season game, we made that decision three games into the season, and we’ve made it early. I think there are a lot of different ways to skin a cat. I don’t know which one is necessarily right but I’ll do my best and our staff will do its best to make that decision officially when the time comes.”
Q: Do you feel like you’re further along than you imagined given the good number of guys who have been here all along?
HALEY: “Yeah, the fact that this group has lost 300 plus pounds in the span of time since we’ve been here. Anybody who’s been at that first camp who’s not out here now it’s very obvious to me to see the difference. I think it’s hard to get in that same kind of shape if not everybody was here, and I think it’s hard to build that same kind of continuity that we’ve been able to build. You guys aren’t here, but when we’re in the off-season and they’re running everything’s competition. They’re racing through bags. They’re racing through hoops. Everything is man against man, team against team, not offense-defense but we pick teams like we’re on a schoolyard lot and play games like that. That’s all part of the process to me and the fact that we’ve had 80 plus guys, I don’t think it hurts.”
Q: Can you compare and contrast the challenges you have here with what you went through in Arizona?
HALEY: “I’m in a totally different position. It’s such a bigger picture what I’m responsible for keeping my eyes on. I think I said early on that it has to give you hope; it has to give you hope. In Arizona, a place that struggled a long time and in a two year span we were able to make a pretty good run. To me, that’s what I take out of it. This is a whole new deal; we’re writing a whole new story.”