Todd Haley on the Jets


Kansas City Chiefs Head Coach Todd Haley, 12.7.11 – Courtesy NY Jets PR Department

On if he feels they are finding consistency on defense…

Defense is the name of the game and early on, obviously, we were kind of an up and down team. We started out pretty rough but kind of got hold and started playing better football, defensively included, and then went through a tough stretch again. But I think during that stretch we’ve kind of found ourselves in exactly, as coaches, as the season goes on and you have injuries and things like that, you have to make adjustments. And sometimes those adjustments are drastic and it takes some time to kind of get everybody comfortable and on the same page. But at the same time, that’s coaching. But I think that’s what is going on. We’ve all, as coaches and players, gotten comfortable with how we need to play across the board. I think it’s showing up, and again, we need to play good defense, especially down the stretch. That’s always critical to a team’s success.

On the type of leader that Thomas Jones has been…

Thomas has been tremendous. He really has. He’s a true professional and he’s been nothing but an unselfish leader that helps so much in the progress of Jamaal (Charles) last year and continued progress even with Jamaal going through a very difficult season for himself personally. Thomas has been a big part of helping him kind of through that and now helping Dexter (McCluster) and Jackie Battle. So, when he is kind of in the spotlight he brings everything that he has and when he’s not in the spotlight he’s bringing everything he has. So, he’s somebody that I’m really happy that is a part of our team and has been a big part of helping us kind of grow as a team.

On what his experience with the Jets meant to him…

The Jets will always hold a dear, close spot in my heart because I started out on the scouting side, in the pro personnel. That’s where I started and kind of went through, survived some changes there and moved over to coaching when Coach Parcells came. But, going back, Mr. Hess just showed me so much about how an owner, a great owner operates. And I learned so much just from afar. And then Mr. Johnson coming, a different style, but I was glad I got to experience some time with him also. There are a lot of people still there that I spent a lot of time with in the trenches and think a lot of, and when we’re not playing them, I always root for the Jets a little bit.

On what he sees from the Jets offense…

I think they’re a multi-dimensional attack team. They can hurt you running it and throwing it. They give you a multitude of looks formationally that you have to be really sharp and prepared for. You have to understand where people are within the formation. Sometimes, it’s not traditional, but from a traditional standpoint, they run it and they have their bread-and-butter runs that they run well that you’ve got to stop. And then they’ve got a bunch of weapons running routes including the tight end, (Dustin) Keller. (He) looks really, really like he’s turning into what they envisioned when they brought him aboard. You’ve got Santonio (Holmes), I know a bunch about, obviously, from our Super Bowl experience. So, I know, obviously, the speed and talent and overall ability that comes with him. And Plaxico (Burress), another guy that (we) did a lot of work on when he was coming out. I think we actually had him earmarked to draft and the Steelers snuck in in front of us that year. And then we ended up, I think Chad Pennington was our next pick, but Plaxico ended up back where he had a chance to start. I think a lot of him and (Jeremy) Kerley is becoming a third-down favorite. I think they’re a multi-dimensional team, between the formations and looks and checks, they try to get to the right play most of the time.

On whether he ever thinks about how Burress was almost a Jet…

Like I said, I was a receivers coach when he was coming out. So, I went to work him out and did a lot of work on him, and we had lost Keyshawn (Johnson), we had traded him to Tampa, and we were looking for a guy that could kind of fill those shoes. And he obviously had the size and ability and has kind of proven on his own, made a name for himself on his own, obviously. But when you do a lot of work on guys like that, and I love Chad Pennington, there’s no doubt about it. Everything happens for a reason. But I know, as a receivers coach, sitting there in the draft room, I was disappointed when the Steelers took him.


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