Head Coach Todd Haley Press Conference
Feb 06, 2009, 6:01:47 PM
TODD HALEY: ďIíve got a few people to thank. Iíve been reminded by a bunch of people to smile occasionally and not be too serious-looking on TV. First of all, I want to thank the Arizona Cardinals organization, the Bidwell Family, Rod Graves, Ken Wisenhunt, for the opportunity the last two years. For my career to grow, I had a great two years. As I told our players the other day, this was the best year of my life to this point. I want to thank them for the opportunity that they gave me.
ďIíd also like to thank my wife, who is a great football wife. Wives in this business put up with a lot and she puts up with an extraordinary amount from me. My kids also, theyíre a great family and they stick by me. I just want to thank them for their support. I want to thank my father who, Scott very nicely spoke about. I happen to agree with him. Iím grateful to have grown up in the atmosphere that I grew up in, with him and my mother. Itís why Iím here today, Iím convinced of that. Iím very grateful and forever indebted to my parents for what theyíve done for me. Iíd also like to thank Clark Hunt and the Hunt family and the rest of the Chiefs family for this opportunity, which Iím very, very excited about getting to work.
ďIím coming off a very difficult loss on Sunday. It seems like a month ago. I think Iím as close to recovery as I can get and Iím ready to move forward here. I want to sincerely thank Scott for putting his trust in me and allowing me to come help him run this football team. With that being said, a couple of other thank youís, without getting too long. I want to thank Coach (Bill) Parcells, one of my mentors, and really all the coaches that Iíve been fortunate enough to learn from and certain ones who have taken me under their wings. Coach Dan Henning, and without hurting anyoneís feelings, thereís too many to name. Iím just really thankful that Iíve had the people in my life to kind of guide me and point me in the right direction to get me to this spot where Iím at right here.
ďIím really excited about the task at hand. Scott and I have some work to do, obviously. Iím excited about being in Kansas City. As an opponent of the Kansas City Chiefs, rolling into this parking lot and knowing what you were going to face in these fans was a major task. Iím really genuinely excited to be on the other side of the field, to have these fans backing us, because they really are, in my opinion, the best place to play a football game is here in Kansas City.
ďItís an opportunity of a lifetime. Iím really excited to get to work here, to start evaluating the team with Scott and looking for ways to win football games.Ē
Q: When did you first find out that you were a candidate for the job?
HALEY: ďI first found out that I was a candidate for this job the day after the Super Bowl. I got a call from our President, Michael Bidwell, that he had given permission (to the Chiefs) to speak with me. When we got off the plane and we had a couple thousand fans out there to greet us, and we were walking to the busses, I had a message from Michael letting me know that.Ē
Q: How much consideration will you give to the assistant coaches already on staff?
HALEY: ďThe first task at hand, absolutely number one, is to get a staff together. There are quite a few coaches left on the staff that Iím really looking forward to sitting down and visiting with, seeing how our thoughts mesh, and how and what we can do. Those will be the first guys that I talk to.
ďIíve got a completely open mind, Iím looking for good, hard-nosed football coaches that like to coach and like to get after the players a little bit. Secondly, Iím kind of encouraged, there are more names out there than Iíve thought. My focus has been on the Arizona Cardinals and trying to win that last game. When all the dust settled here in the last couple days, and I got this opportunity, Iím still kind of encouraged because I think thereís quite a few guys out there, and guys that I have some history with - guys that I know know the way to do it, the way that I want our coaches to coach.Ē
Q: Will you be the offensive coordinator as well?
HALEY: ďThatís going to be a big part of the evaluation. Thatís going to depend on how the staff is made up. Thatís obviously something that Iím comfortable doing. But Iím really here to coach the team. I donít want to get locked into being strictly an offensive coach. I want to coach the football team, thatís all three phases; offense, defense, special teams. I know that sounds like coaching rhetoric, but I think thatís the way you have success.Ē
Q: Was there something special about coming to Kansas City?
HALEY: ďIíve actually put a lot of thought into it, the further Iíve gotten in my career, and just being a head coach isnít that important to me. I thought I had a really great job in Arizona. To me, this is just an ideal situation for Todd Haley. The Hunt Family and the great tradition that goes along with them, is ideal. Itís exactly what Iím looking for. Itís a chance to work with someone I have experience with, in Scott, a guy that Iím going to be side-by-side with in the trenches every weekend. Scott mentioned my childhood, well, Iíve always been kind of an AFC guy, Iím happy to get back in the AFC, as I told Clark. The Chiefs have been one of those teams. When I talk about the fans and I talk about the stadium, you only know it as an opponent coming in and having to deal with it. Weíve played in some big games, some teams Iíve been on, and itís really unbelievable. The thing Iím most excited about is this fan base and this new stadium being completed and what itís going to give the fans.Ē
Q: What do you know about their player situation?
HALEY: ďAgain, this has really been a whirlwind here. The Super Bowl was what, four days ago? Staff first, then weíve got to get to figuring out what we have here. Scottís a little ahead of me on that, so heís going to have to catch me up for sure. That will be priority number two.Ē
Q: What football lessons did you learn at the dinner table from your father?
HALEY: ďWell, thereís too many to mention. Scott and I have had a bunch of discussions here in the last few days. Where we fall on the same page is weíre interested in getting it right. We donít care whose idea it is. We just want to find a solution to the problem. We want to get it right. My father was never a quick answer guy; he wasnít the guy raising his hand the fastest to say he knows the answer. He was just interested in getting it right. If heís taught me one thing, and thereís too many to mention, itís that the key thing is find the right answer.Ē
Q: Thereís a trend right now with young coaches. Why are they desirable and successful?
SCOTT PIOLI: ďItís more about getting the right fit and the right person. I understand patterns and I understand the statistics. The candidates that we visited with had a lot of different histories. Some had been head coaches, some hadnít been. I donít know that I felt any strong pull about having to follow a certain pattern, or what the current pattern is in the league; it was really about finding the right person for the job. Thatís where Todd came in. Regardless of what his experience is, whether or not he had head coaching experience, it was just about heís the right guy.Ē
Q: Why do you think that?
HALEY: ďThe last thing I said to Coach Wisenhunt was Ďwe set the bar too high.í Thereís been some great success for these guys, some really off-the-charts success. I was part of one of those teams. I canít answer as to why guys get hired, but Iím looking forward to the opportunity.Ē
Q: What do you think you bring to this organization?
HALEY: ďIím going to try to bring energy, number one. I love to coach; itís my favorite thing to do. I love to push athletes and try to get the best out of them and develop those relationships. And really when youíre able to make a turn around like we were able to do in Arizona, and do things that nobody thought was possible, thereís nothing more fulfilling. I just hope to bring tremendous energy; I was a big part of that in Arizona along with a great staff, tremendous staff. I take a lot of notes, I watched Kenny (Whisenhunt) for two years straight. I was in New York with Scott and Coach Parcells and watched him turn a team in the right direction. And back in Dallas with him again, then again to do it in Arizona. I just try to take a lot of notes on what you like and what you donít like, try to stay true to yourself and your style and go forward from there.Ē
Q: (RB) Larry Johnson and (TE) Tony Gonzalez have publicly stated that they want out of Kansas City. What will you do about that?
PIOLI: ďAgain, what weíre going to do now that Toddís here is start evaluating the entire roster. Not just Larry and Tony, but the entire roster. Without hearing directly from those players, without talking with them, you know Iíve read a couple things and heard a few things, but there will be an appropriate time for us to sit down and talk with the players directly, both Todd and myself.Ē