From the Truman Sports Complex
Scott Pioli and Todd Haley came out of the draft bunker and spoke to the Kansas City media Thursday afternoon about next weekend’s NFL Draft and this weekend’s veteran mini-camp that begins on Friday.
It should come as no surprise that this duo let no secrets slip out in their comments, specifically when talking about the player who could be their selection at No. 3 in the first round next Saturday. In fact, in nearly 45 minutes of conversation, they did not speak the name of a single player who is available in this draft.
But they did have things to say. Here are the highlights.
Pioli, on what part of the roster the Chiefs hope to improve in the draft: “I wouldn’t say there is a specific focus on one part of the team. There are a lot of places where we need to improve, roster spots one through 53 and a lot of different positions. One of the things that we want to consistently do is upgrade the team and upgrade positions across the board.”
Pioli, on developing a team with the right 53 players, not necessarily the best 53 players: “This is something Todd and I have spent a lot of time on and something that we both believe based on our histories. It’s the right 53 players. The best 53 players does not necessarily mean the most skilled, the most athletic, the most talented. It’s something we tried to address this off-season in terms of the veteran players that we’ve brought in; guys that we know are proven winners, guys that have a certain work ethic. When we get player we want to get the right type of players that fit Todd’s leadership style and our collective belief in work ethic and the overall makeup of the player.”
Pioli, on whether the Chiefs will be drafting on need, or for the best player available: “Some teams do it on need, some do it on best player available. I think it’s a combination of those two things. You have to take into account who is the best player available, and you have to take into account what your needs are. I really believe it is a combination of those two things.”
Haley, on where returning players are going to play in the Chiefs new defensive scheme in this weekend’s mini-camp: “We’ve got them lined up right now, but every discussion we have as a coaching staff is let’s see what this weekend looks like. This weekend is more about teaching, so it’s unfair to think we’ll come out of it that we’ll have any idea about evaluations. We want this camp to be about the players learning a little bit about the terminology, the system and a little bit about us as a coaching staff and how we are going to act out there. “
Pioli, on the relationship with Haley as they go through the evaluation process: “Disagreement is good, disagreement is healthy. It’s how you handle that disagreement, how respectful you are, the relationship when you go through that process. I want Todd to have a difference of opinion on players. He wants me to have a difference of opinion because that forces discussion, healthy discussion. It forces us to watch more tape … this isn’t about Todd being right, this isn’t about me being right, this is about us being right and making the right decisions.”
Pioli, on whether he wants to trade the third pick in the first round: “I don’t know if we want someone to make us an offer.¬† Here’s what I know: when it’s our turn to pick, whenever that is, we are going to know who we are picking off that board. ¬†If there’s an opportunity to make a trade, we will listen.¬† You have to take your time, be patient, not reactive and think things through to make the best decision.”