Haley is optimistic about the future

INDIANAPOLIS –Todd Haley was known in his rookie season as an NFL head coach for telling it like it was.

He never sugar coated his team’s situation. The Chiefs, who finished 4-12 last season, were lousy and Haley admitted it.

However, Saturday at the NFL combine, Haley expressed hope for the future.

“I feel like things are going in the right direction,” Haley said.

Haley wouldn’t say so, just to cheer lead. That’s not his style.

Haley pointed to several reasons for his new-found optimism. He is excited about new coaching additions that include coordinators Charlie Weis (offense) and Romeo Crennel (defense) and Emmitt Thomas (secondary). He isalso excited about the strong play of running b ack Jamaal Charles in the second half of the season. He likes the way the Chiefs ended the season with a big upset win at Denver, knocking the Broncos out of playoff contention and he likes the fact that the coaching staff and the players know each other well after a year together.

“I had more players come to me after the last game and say they wish we could play so-and-so again,” Haley said. “Everyone feels more comfortable.”

Here are some other highlights of Haley’s media session Saturday:

He said he the team needs to get more help for Charles because he doesn’t want to wear him down. Haley said Charles is “200 pounds soaking wet.”

Halley was complimentary of quarterback Matt Cassel and said he expects improvement from the Chiefs’ quarterback.

Haley also said the Chiefs need to get better at receiver. It sounds like it will be a priority this offseason. Haley said the fact that Kansas City led the NFL in drops last year can’t be tolerated.

Haley praised 2008 top picks Glenn Dorsey and Branden Albert and said both youngsters are entering big season with the team. He also lauded 207 top pick Dwayne Bowe for recognizing he needs to bounce back from a poor 2009 season.