Todd Haley’s postgame comments were noticeably frustrated — and predictably so — after the Chiefs preseason loss last night to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 25-0. Being shutout was an issue. Losing at home presents another issue. But the poor all-around showing was the most frustrating, especially on something like poor tackling, which is what Haley came back to again and again during the press conference after the game.
“The first preseason game didn’t go exactly the way we wanted it to go,” said Haley. “Every time we come out here, especially in our own stadium, we’d like to come out on the winning end. That didn’t occur tonight, and I think it didn’t occur for a number of different reasons. Number one, turning the ball over early will get you beat most times in the NFL.”
Haley came back to those words and main ideas and placed a positive spin on the whole night by calling it a “good lesson learned” for the players, alluding to the new guys.
“Good lesson learned there for a bunch of these guys. Not being able to protect your quarterback will get you beat most times. Not tackling will get you beat most times in the NFL. I thought those were the most layering deficiencies tonight. A lot of missed tackles. I’m not sure what the number was, but from the sideline there was a lot.”
Haley also mentioned that poor tackling went back to last season, and that it was a point of emphasis with the defense heading into this year for Romeo Crennel and his staff.
“I don’t know that the offseason program has anything to do with tackling. We haven’t tackled a lot, but we’ve coached it, we’ve taught it in individual drills and have had a bunch of work in that area. It’s unacceptable. That’s one of the points of emphasis for our defensive team going into this year is that we felt that we had to be a better tackling team. Missed tackles hurt us in key spots last year, and for us to improve that has to change.”
Obviously, that will change when players like Tamba Hali, Glenn Dorsey, Kelly Gregg, Eric Berry and Brandon Flowers start playing those minutes rather than the back-ups. But it’s still a frustrating situation when you’re shutout at home.