Tamba Hali says he doesn't want to talk about specific players. Of course, if you ask him about the right ones, then he seems ready to talk freely.
The Chiefs outside linebacker had an interesting Q&A from training camp on Thursday with some direct quotes about Dwayne Bowe, references to feeling old and hopes and a refusal to speak about other specifics.
Hali is now the storied veteran on a team with an incredibly young talent base. Given his position and productivity, Hali holds a gravity in the locker room that very few others will yield, so when he speaks it's a good time to listen.
While he refused to address questions about Justin Houston in particular, Hali did offer several points worth noting. Here's some odds and ends from a recent interview with Hali at Chiefs training camp on Thursday.
On how Dontari Poe is coming along:
"Poe is playing well. He's a big guy, he clogs the middle well. I can't really speak a lot about other players, but from what I've seen on film, it looks like he is going to be a very good player in this league."
On how the entire defensive unit looks:
"Our defense right now is looking good, we come out here and we are contagious, one person makes a play then another guy wants to make a play. As a whole we are very confident in what we are doing."
On whether the Chiefs can have a top-five defense in 2012:
"I can't put numbers on us. We start out and then we've got to stop the run. Then we have to get after the passer, one play at a time and one game at a time. We have our goals; we can't look at anything else other than that. After the season, we'll look at the numbers."
On the goals for the team this season:
"The goals are the win the AFC West; that is our primary goal. Once we get into the dance, then we'll have another goal from there, but right now it's a game at a time and we want to be 1-0 at the end of every week. The guys are not worried about the next game; we are worried about one game at a time to win the AFC West. As you guys know we have a real tough division this year with a lot of top quarterbacks and good pass rushers in our league and in our conference. It's going to be tough this year, but we've got to work through it."
On the overall talent on the roster:
I don't want to talk about our talent, but we have our players, we have who we need here. Everybody is here ready to go. We need (WR Dwayne) Bowe to come get ready so we can win this AFC West. We need every guy that's in here, so right now we are focused on the guys that are here."
On whether he'll have more help with pass rushing in 2012:
"Yes, I think with all of the guys that we have acquired we will be able to generate more pass rushing on the teams we are going to play this year. Not just from my standpoint, but from all over the defense from the outside linebackers to the safeties, I think we are all getting ready for the pass rush and that's a good thing."