Offensive Coordinator Todd Haley
Who is your starting QB this Sunday?**
We are preparing Landry Jones. We are getting him a lot of reps. I think it's a great opportunity for him from a practice standpoint. We are just going through the week expecting that until we are told anything different.
The best photos of QB Landry Jones from the 2015.
Were you surprised with Landry's performance?**
I was not surprised. He played a ton of football this preseason. He has been here. He's been in the same system with the same language, terminology and coaches around him, a lot of the same players. We saw a lot of growth this year, specifically in Landry as we got through that preseason. And he has continued to work. It didn't matter whether he thought he was the No. 2 and moved back to the No. 3 when Mike Vick came in. He never cracked, which was another good sign. He continued to work. When it was his time to go in, you saw nothing but excitement from him in his eyes. He went in and executed, and he did a very good job.
Could Tyler Murphy be the backup in an emergency situation?
We are getting him reps. Again, we don't know what the scenario is going to be. That's where a guy like him is very valuable. He had quarterback experience in college. He also got snaps with us in the preseason and in training camp. Those are valuable guys. The more you can do. He has proved positive in that.
If Landry starts could Ben Roethlisberger be the backup?
Again, any of those roster decisions are going to come down to Coach Tomlin. Obviously you saw Ben get some reps. He is continuing to progress. As I said, we are full speed ahead with Landry until told otherwise.
Re: Reluctance to play Landry since the team signed Vick:
I wouldn't speculate on any of that. a lot of those things are timing things that go on. Like I said, we've seen nothing but growth from Landry, specifically this summer and preseason. There is a lot of discussion around the league about spread quarterbacks, and I think one of the things you are seeing with Landry is that he's been in the same place with the same coaches, and doing the same things. It takes time to grow into an NFL-capable quarterback. When he got his opportunity, he stepped in and did a good job. Now, we have to go on the road to a hostile place that I know first-hand can be pretty loud, against some of the top outside rushers in the game. It will be a great test.
What can you do to potentially get Murphy ready?
Extra meeting time. He sits in on some meetings that he normally wouldn't when he is preparing to be a receiver during the week. He spends more time with Coach Fichtner. He is getting reps on the field where he is taking snaps and making huddle calls. He is a smart guy. Again, he's a valuable guy because of that. Though he's been doing nothing but practicing receiver here over the last month-plus, he has transitioned right back to quarterback, which involves a lot.
What makes Martavis Bryant so tough to defend?
He is big and he's fast. He's really fast. He gets to speed fast. Those are not always characteristics you see that go together. A lot of times, you get big receivers like him and they are more built to speed, long speed, so to speak. This is a guy after a couple of steps he's at full speed. His full speed is as fast as anyone. And he can catch. It's a deadly combination.
Re: The light finally coming on for him last year and this year:**
Having coached receivers for a long time in the league, it's a tough position a lot of times to get up to speed. The coverages are much more complex. From a conditioning standpoint and practice, we don't have the numbers colleges do where guys just can specifically work on their job. As a young receiver in the NFL, you are taking a million card offense reps and special teams reps. That wears and beats guys down that aren't used to it. You are seeing it with Sammie Coates. He is kind of getting over the hump and making progress. Again, I think throughout that though you saw the "wow" plays from Martavis. That's what kept everybody encouraged.
Are there negatives to having a full week to prepare for a game from a QB standpoint?
More time to think about it. Again, if Landry ends up being the guy, I think you would always take reps over no reps, and preparation over no preparation. Otherwise, you are rolling the dice. But I don't think Landry thinks like that. He and I would have a conversation before every game. You have to be ready. You would see him during the week preparing like he was going to be the guy, because when you are the No. 2, you can obviously get in there quick. He was ready for it. Those are all good signs.
Re: Using the Wildcat and if that can be used this week:
It's something we will work on weekly. It's something that other team's defenses have to prepare for. We have guys that are real comfortable doing it that are in the key spots, DeAngelo Williams and Le'Veon Bell. We feel comfortable with it at any time.
Re: Alejandro Villanueva:
He came in, again, another guy ready for his opportunity. He was in there for 2.5 quarters in critical moments. That being said, this will be a different deal going into Arrowhead Stadium, where it's noisy. They have Tamba Hali, Justin Houston and Allen Bailey, really some of the best pass rushers in the game. We will get a real feel for where he is this week.
Re: Best advice to give an inexperienced QB in Arrowhead Stadium:
Don't turn it over. That's really the key for us. It has been and will be. It is what is giving us a chance these last 3.5 weeks, protecting the football. It has to be No. 1. Regardless of the venue that has to stay at the forefront of his mind.
Re: Playing the Chiefs:
This is my third time coaching against the Chiefs. I enjoyed my time there. I am really proud of a lot of things we accomplished. It didn't end the way I imagined it would. But again, I am very proud of a lot of the accomplishments. I am grateful for the opportunity. It will be nice to get back to a place where you coached a lot of games and won a bunch of them.
What's the bigger thing, going from the No. 3 to No. 2 or No. 2 to presumed starter?
They are all the same, because you end up playing. That's what the bottom line is. He was preparing as the No. 2, and he ended up getting in the game and playing for a half-plus. To me, it's all whether you are seeing live action or not, because standing on the sideline with a clipboard and going through it in your mind is totally different than actually doing it. That will always be the test for a quarterback.
Are you encouraged by what you've seen from Ben?
He's an injured player, so I am not going to talk about him. You guys were here so you saw him.
**Defensive Coordinator Keith Butler
Is the healthy Mike Mitchell you're getting representational of what you thought you were getting?** I hope so. It was a combination of both him getting well and getting more comfortable with the defense and what we're doing, stunting a little bit more. He's putting a lot of effort into trying to learn what we're doing and why we're doing it.He had surgery after the season. During the season, did you have an understanding of how bad it was?
Well, unless you've had it, I don't know if you can have a real understanding of it. I've never had a pulled groin/hernia, so, I don't know. I've had a pulled groin before. Back then, there was no such thing as a hernia. They're starting to find out more and more about it. So, that's a tough deal, trying to play the whole season. He's coming around for us now.**
The best photos of Linebacker Ryan Shazier from the 2015 season thus far.
Re: On Ryan Shazier being a unique player and what he can add to the defense:**
Well, there's going to be more speed on the field. Sean Spence has done a good job for us. Ryan's played two games for us and the games he has played, he played well. The NFL is not about what you did last week, it's about what you do this week. We'll see. We'll see how he does, he might be a little rusty. Usually, if you don't play in the NFL, the game tends to pass you by a little bit until you get used to it, the speed of it. He's going to have to do that again, get readjusted to it.
Re: On Shazier being hurt for the third time since coming to the league:
It's very frustrating for him, I'm sure. It's frustrating to us as coaches. You like to have that kind of talent on the field when you can. He's trying to get on the field as much as he can, but at the same time, you have to make the decision whether he's ready or not. Mike Tomlin's going to make that decision.Re: On Shazier having a reputation as not being durable:
He's not going to choose to do this. Nobody chooses to get hurt, be hurt or miss games. It's just one of those things that he has going on. Hopefully, he'll be okay. We'll see.Re: On the defensive line's ability to defend the run:
Well, the guys who really got us was Baltimore, in the run game. That was more on me, because I was trying to do some things, probably more than I should have as a coach. I was trying to keep them from throwing the ball down the field on us and tried to take advantage of what they thought was a weakness in the defense. Those bad calls, those guys tried to do as much as they could and have done a good job of defending the run. We have to continue to do that. In the league nowadays, everybody wants to throw the ball. We'll see what happens. Maybe, we'll be good at stopping the run this week, maybe we won't. We'll see. It depends on how it goes in the game, how the game flows.Re: On what he will do with the rotation if Stephon Tuitt doesn't play:
We have other guys to play, we'll rotate them in and out. Is it a loss? Yes. Tuitt's a good football player and he was getting better each week. We have some guys behind him that play hard for us and I'm sure Coach Mitchell will have them ready.Is Steve McLendon an option there?
We'll see. He could be one, several guys can be one. Cam can be one, we'll see. Big Dan could be one. We'll see when game day comes and see who's healthy and who's not. Who's going to be up and who's not going to be up.
Re: On if Shazier will play:
I hope he plays. We all hope he plays. We'll wait and see how he is. I don't want to jump out in front of it and say if he can, or can't play. We're going to wait and see how his shoulder is when we get to the end of the week. Only he knows that. His body healing. If he's not ready, then obviously, he can't play. Mike is going to make that decision, along with the doctors.What have you gotten out of the guys in his place?
Sean Spence and Vince Williams have done a great job. They know what they're doing. They've been around here for a while. They know the system, we changed it a little bit, and they've adapted to the change. I feel good with those guys. I'm glad we have them.
Any concerns with putting a cornerback out there in a cast?
Yes. We would all love to have Darrelle Revis, but we don't. Carnell Lake has done a great job, in terms of getting these guys prepared each and every week. We've given up some yards, but the thing that matters the most at the end of the day is if we have more points than they do. That's our concern more than anything else. Can we score more points? Can we get the ball back for our offense? If we can do that, then we'll be okay.
Re: On what cornerbacks will play:
We have to see. Like Mike said in the early part of the week, we have to see at the end of the week. After practice, after they've gone through the drills, and after we've watched the film of practice. That's when we can make an educated decision on who's going to play and who's not going to play.As far as defending Travis Kelce, did you take anything away from having to defend Rob Gronkowski and Antonio Gates?
Yes. We have to play better than we have. This guy is a good football player, a young guy who has a lot of potential. Depending on what their injury situation is, he'll probably get a few touches. We have to be able to try to at least hold him down a little bit.Re: On how he would prepare for a team that could play multiple quarterbacks:
I think you prepare for the best, their best. If you don't get him, so what. I don't know too many people who try to get two game plans ready to go. They usually get one game plan ready to go and if whether one plays, then you have to defend them. We don't try to change anything. For instance, if Mike Vick was playing, or Landry Jones was playing, we try to see what we see on film and make an educated guess on what they're going to do and what we think they're going to do.Re: On Lawrence Timmons saying coaching is the reason for the defense getting turnovers:
I haven't played a down, so I don't know what he's talking about. We talk about it. Coach Tomlin does a good job emphasizing it in his meetings daily. We meet with him on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays and he has a short meeting with them, the whole team. He talks about that all the time. The things you talk about are usually the things you get. He's done a good job of talking about it, as do all of the assistant coaches. They do a good job of talking about trying to get turnovers and how turnovers can be the lifeblood of our defense. Fortunately, I played on Chuck Knox's defense his first year in Seattle. We changed from a 4-3 defense to a 3-4 defense. In all of that change, we went to the AFC Championship. Not because we were a great defense, but because we were the best AFC team in turnover-takeaway ratio. That's a big thing, I think. In terms of stats, if you follow that, look at the win-loss records. It would correlate.Re: On Timmons saying he stays on them all week:
I'm a pain in the butt, that's my job. I'm probably a nitpicker about things. The devil is in the detail and we have to make sure we keep detail in our work. If we can do that and our guys can figure out what we're trying to get done, which they have. They've done a good job, especially the secondary. They've done well at studying our opponent and studying what people are trying to do to us, stuff like that. It's paid off for us.