KCChiefs.com : Head Coach Todd Haley Press Conference
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
Last edited by Coach; 02-07-2009 at 12:14 AM.
Q: You’re not bothered by Larry’s comments?
PIOLI: “I’m not bothered by them. My focus has been on trying to get the head coach in here and trying to figure out what we’re going to do. That’s been the primary focus. One thing I’ve learned in this business, is you’ve got to be focused and learn how to prioritize things. The priority has been trying to find the head coach and figure that out. There is always time to deal with those situations.”
Q: Todd, would you want to coach a guy who doesn’t want to be here?
HALEY: “Again, my first priority is trying to get a competent staff together, which I’m excited about doing. Second priority is working with Scott to catch up to where I need to be, and then evaluate the team. Find the types of players that we need to win games. That’s a very simple process, it’s not rocket science; it’s finding guys that are smart and tough and can play football. That’s priority number two, as I said. As soon as the coaching staff has been filled, I think that will be a key deal for us.”
PIOLI: “To follow up on that, I think it’s important, something that Todd and I have discussed here too, we understand that certain things are said at different times. It’s going to be important for Todd, myself and the Hunt Family to have conversations that we have in private with the players to explain where we stand so they understand where we’re coming from as well.”
Q: Clark, you’ve given Tony and Larry a lot of money over the last few years. Are you disappointed in what they’re saying?
CLARK HUNT: “Well I believe deep down that Tony Gonzalez wants to continue to be a Chief. Those guys are both under contract with the organization and Todd and Scott are just going to have to evaluate their future with the team at the appropriate time. That process will be going on with the entire roster and from time-to-time I think it’s very natural that you have players say things in the media. It’s been going on for a long time and it happens everywhere in the National Football League. I don’t think it will change the decision-making process that Todd and Scott go through.
Q: Did the Chiefs comply with the Rooney rule?
Q: With Herm (Edwards) or with one or more other minority candidates?
HUNT: “With one or more other candidates.”
Q: When Scott was hired you said he was head and shoulders above other candidates. Do you feel that way about Todd?
HUNT: “Yeah, I absolutely do. As Scott and I went through the process and identified the traits we were looking for Todd’s name kept popping up. And, it was frankly somewhat inconvenient that they kept winning in the playoffs and we weren’t able to interview him. He was somebody we were interested in very early on and glad to be able to interview him.”
Q: Were you looking for a young GM and young coach, someone on the way up?
HUNT: “I don’t think I specifically had a mindset as to what age of a person we were going to hire. I think we certainly ended up with two young talented football people who have an opportunity to lead this organization for a long time. One of the questions we asked Todd in the interview process was how he felt about our young roster. He said the young roster was not a problem but the young owner and young general manager might be. I think the three of us will be able to build a very strong partnership which at the end of the day is most important thing.”
Q: So this wasn’t necessarily the plan then?
HUNT: “No, not at all.”
Q: You’ve had an emotional presence on the sideline as a coordinator and how will that change with your new role?
HALEY: “I am an emotional guy and it’s part of how I coach and part of how I motivate and I’d like to think I’ve had some success doing it. Now, as you move into the coaching realm I’ve had a couple of pretty emotional bosses or head coaches but you’ve got to keep things in check. It’s something I’ll turn to if I need to but I’ll do my best from losing control.”
Q: Do you have an offense in mind or are you going to hire a coordinator and have him do it?
HALEY: “I definitely have an offense in mind but one of the things I like about myself as a coach is and, it’s something I was taught, it’s do what your players do best and which gives you the best chance to succeed. I think we’ve done a really good job of that in Arizona over the last two years. It’s one I’ve done in Dallas or what I’ve done with the Chicago Bears and while I was with the New York Jets. There definitely is a basis to the offense in terminology that I’m comfortable with and will stay with regardless of who comes in here. The model of doing what your players do best is definitely what I’ll stay with.”
Q: Would you be comfortable running a spread offense that the Chiefs ran last year?
HALEY: “Again, we just got done playing. I’ve not really evaluated anything of the Kansas City Chiefs. I don’t know if I’ve watched a full game even on TV. I’ve seen little clips so it’s impossible for me to answer that question.”
Q: How important is it for you to meet your team?
HALEY: “That’s very important to me and I want to get to know these guys. Again, I’ve talked to you about priorities and right now staff is first, evaluation is second, and then third is as quickly as I can I’ll try to get individually with these players.”
Q: Do you have a preference for a veteran quarterback or a draft pick or young guy?
HALEY: “I’m for whoever gives us the best chance to win. It’s hard to win in this league and we went through a little bit of that in Arizona and I don’t think anybody would change the results other than the last two minutes holding on in that game. We have a young quarterback there that’s developing and at the time our head coach and our staff thought that Kurt Warner gave us the best chance to win which he clearly did. It proved to be a pretty good decision.
“These coaches work too hard, the people in the building work too hard, and players work too hard. I’m for whoever gives us the best chance to win. Period.”
Q: How far up the pecking order in coaching candidates ladder was Todd before he came available?
PIOLI: “I don’t think it’s fair to compare them to one another. There’s a process we followed and there were many people we talked to.”
Q: Did the run to the playoffs have anything to do with his hiring?
PIOLI: “He was someone I obviously wanted to talk to and we had to wait.”
Q: Have you had a chance to evaluate the roster?
PIOLI: “I’ve had some time to look at the roster and some of the players. But my primary responsibility was to figure out what we were going to do with the head coaching position. And along with that there are a lot of other things that go into this whole evaluation process. There is the head coaching position, the assistant coaches here, get to know the players and the player personnel department. We’ve got a draft coming up where we have the third pick overall, free agency around the corner. There are a lot of irons in the fire right now. It’s an ongoing process.”
Q: You’re a young guy who’s got his first head coaching job. How does it feel?
HALEY: “I know I didn’t get into the coaching side of it to be a head coach initially but the further you go along and, especially being around the coaches that I’ve been around and have learned from, the better I’ve felt about my chances of being a good head coach.”
Q: Clark, what role to do you see for yourself now that you have your management team?
HUNT: “From the football side I’ll work closely with Scott and Todd as they go about building the team. It’ll be more of them keeping me in the loop than me helping them make decisions. We clearly have a lot going on on the business side, primarily related to the New Arrowhead and making sure we keep it on track and it turns out as we planned to bring back its status as one of the greatest stadiums in the National Football League.”
Q: Do you feel like you’re ready to now take a little more active role on the football side of things?
HUNT: “No doubt having been on the job for the last two years I’ve learned quite a bit about the football side of the operation. On the other hand, I feel like we’ve hired two of the finest football minds in the National Football League and collectively they know thirty or forty times more than I know about football. The organization is best served if I fulfill my roles on the business side and let them do what they do best.”
Q: Will you have complete authority on all the assistant coaches or will Scott play a role?
HALEY: “I’m the guy in charge of the assistant coaches that we bring here but most everything I do is going to be run through Scott because we’re in this together, looking out for each other’s best interests and ultimately the Kansas City Chiefs. I’m really excited to have somebody like Scott as I come into a situation like this and be able to work side by side with him. It’s a huge advantage.”
Q: How soon do you get to work?
HALEY: “I’ve got some damage control to do at home. I’ve got a 12-year old and an eight year old among others, but the others aren’t really aware of what’s going on. But my 12 and eight year old we left and it was a pretty riled-up house last night. We’re going to run back there tonight and do some damage control. Probably the first thing next week we’ll be rolling.”
Q: What did you learn from Ken Whisenhunt as a head coach?
HALEY: “I’m indebted to Ken. He put his trust in me and he’s one of those guys that when I talk about the guys I’ve been around and learned from I take a lot from a lot of things he did. We’re not necessarily the same personality but he’s done a tremendous job. I’m for what works and he did the right things at the right times and I’ve learned a lot.”
Q: Did Todd do anything in the interview that aced the job for him?
PIOLI: “We’d get together every year at the Combine and certain places where personnel people get together. We would have conversations on players and philosophy over the years. When we spent time over the last couple of days things were a little more specific. I don’t think in the back of our minds we were saying, ‘I wonder if this is going to happen some day.’”
Q: What did being around your father, a personnel man, mean to your career and where you are today? You talked about knowing what good is. What is good?
HALEY: “Again, I would not be where I am right now without my father or having the father that I did. While he wasn’t around a bunch he knew what good was and I just always believed that was a big asset of mine, that I grew up in personnel, went to bowl games with him, went to college practices with him, watched tape on the wall with him. Once I got into coaching and out of personnel that was something that I still believe is a strong point for me. I loved to be around the scouts and love to talk about the college football players. I haven’t been narrow-minded and it has served me well.”
PIOLI: “To follow up, there’s a difference between average, good and great. We are both very fortunate to have seen good and great players, good and great coaches, and we’ve seen good and great personnel people. We’ve seen the makeup of those individuals.”
Q: What are you going to try to do to bring a healthy balance to this team as far as defense to offense?
HALEY: “I’m looking forward to coaching the football team. I’m no longer offensive coordinator. That’s an adjustment to make. So, it’s no longer necessarily about how the offense played: it’s about how did this football team play. I’m looking forward to coaching the football team.”
It sounds like the right things were said now all we have to do is wait for it to come true. After reading the transcript I feel better about the hiring.
I'll give it a bump, but it's way too long for me to read; I'd end up falling asleep. I'll see if there's a video of it. :)