Kansas City Chiefs head coach Todd Haley held his first press conference of training camp up at the campus of Missouri Western State University in St. Joe (or St. Joe's as Haley seems to pronounce it).
Haley touched on a number of topics as we move into training camp. Among the highlights:
- Most of the players appear to be in shape at first glance.
- Confirms TE Tony Moeaki is on the PUP list and confirms it's nothing serious.
- Can't yet confirm the WR Steve Breaston signing.
- Talks about G Jon Asamoah now that G Brian Waters is gone.
Here are more highlights with quotes from Haley. Thanks to 810 WHB for replaying the audio (as I'm not in St. Joe today).
So far so good with most of the Chiefs players staying in shape. "Overall I'm encouraged with the way everyone looks."
With 60-plus players out there, not everyone is going to be in great shape. We have yet to identify who those players are though.
Todd Haley's just like us. "I'm excited to get on the field this afternoon and get to a little football."
Today's schedule. "Big lift in the morning, or some sort of physical strength conditioning period, Then in the afternoon, we'll have helmets on and when the league allows us we'll have helmets, and then shells on, but very limited group work, offense, defense with no contact to speak of. It'll look a little more like a walk-through."
The big change this year is of course no more traditional two-a-days. That second practice now turns into a glorified walk-through.
Starting slow, ending fast. "We missed a lot and we can't cram it all into a couple of days but we're going to try to be patient and gather steam as we go."
It'll be tough not to push everyone too hard trying to play catch-up on the offseason. Remember, everyone else is just like the Chiefs as far as no offseason work is concerned.
Talking about Brian Waters. "Anytime a player like Brian, who has given so much to the Chiefs organization and the NFL in general, those are always big things and I know I generally don't talk about guys that aren't on the team any longer but in this case, I think, an exception of some sorts [can be made]. What I'll say is, teams are always evolving and as I've said many times, we're trying to figure out the right 53 24 hours a day and what gives us the best chance to succeed. Not just now but in the future, and something that was unplanned, after some discussions between Scott and Brian personally, it came to a mutual agreement that it was the best thing for all parties, and specifically for the Chiefs right now. That's taking nothing away from what Brian has done for this team and me as a head coach."
Sounds like it was a tough decision for all involved.
Haley sounds confident in Jon Asamoah. "We're all excited about this young player. His mindset, his dedication, passion for the game. The opportunities he was given last year, he didn't do anything to make us think he couldn't progress and have a chance to really help us."
It's now Asamoah's time. He's the favorite to emerge as Waters' replacement though Haley said to check the practice field to see who's lining up where.
Still no official comment on Steve Breaston. "I can't, under league rules, until...there's a lot of things going on right now. It's a very fluid situation across the board which has been very interesting so to speak but at this moment, I can't talk about certain things. As soon as that time arrives, I'll be happy to talk about anybody and everybody that may or may not be on the roster."
Who can step up to be a leader with Waters and Vrabel gone? "I'm confident in this core group of guys we got. Not that it'll be easy -- we can hope for certain guys, where we want to see them take certain steps in certain areas -- that team dynamic of who steps up and who stays in the background, I will say I'm confident in our group that we have a lot of guys who are capable of taking charge a little more than they have in the past. Now it just has to happen."
One of the biggest questions entering the season. RB Thomas Jones is one of the leaders everyone talks about but the loss of Waters and Vrabel has to hurt.
Haley inadvertently confirms Moeaki on the PUP list and confirms our report that it's nothing serious. "Like what I'm talking about, there's nothing major with any of the players you might see on that list. In this situation, having not seen them for an extended period of time, the one thing you don't want to do is aggressively over do it. It's a little more on the side of prudence with Tony but, again, as I can we'll talk about them. I'm in trouble now."
He'll be good to go soon.