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Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Haley breaks down the Chiefs

By Bill Williamson
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

DANA POINT, Calif. -- New Kansas City Chiefs coach Todd Haley addressed the media at the annual NFL owners' meetings Tuesday.

He touched on several subjects. Here is a sampling:

On 2008 top pick Glenn Dorsey, who struggled as a rookie

"I'm excited to about seeing him running around and lift because he's a guy I thought a heck of a lot of coming out of college. Last year he wasn't real productive but I think he's got a lot of great versatility, especially where we are transitioning potentially to this 3-4. I think there are some roles in there for him where he could have more of an attacking role."

On his early impressions of new Kansas City quarterback Matt Cassel

"I've been telling everyone I hope he can play because he's got all of the intangible things you get excited about as a coach. I just came off two years of working with one of the best guys I've ever been around in Kurt Warner. In best guys, I mean guys that are in to football, like to talk about football. It's not about much else for Kurt Warner. This Matt Cassel feels and acts a lot the same way. He is football 24/7 to the point where I've had to pull back the reins on him a couple of times and say, 'Listen, Matt. These next couple of months are about getting in shape and getting your body ready for the season. There's time enough for football.' He's all football. He's calling me every day for numbers to call some of the other guys on the team. We picked up Bobby Engram and Bobby Engram is texting me wanting Cassel's number. At the same time, a text is coming in from Cassel: 'Can I get Engram's number?' So he's doing all of those things that get you excited as a coach. You don't have to worry about what Matt Cassel is doing most of the time. He'll be worrying about football."

On the team's personnel needs on the defensive side of the ball

"That's why I say we're going to be in a transitional period here (to the 3-4). We may never go fully that way. You just don't know. We have to see what we have. That's part of the reason for having the camp before the draft."

On running back Larry Johnson who said he wanted to be traded. (Yet, Kansas City owner Clark Hunt said this week that he heard Johnson wants to come back to Kansas City. Haley said he doesn't know if Johnson will show up to the team's offseason program that starts Monday.)

"I honestly don't know. This is a voluntary thing. I've made it pretty clear that it's a pretty important part of our development as a team."

On whether he will call the offensive plays:

"I haven't decided yet. It's no different than how I'm looking at everything else: What gives us the best chance to win? There were years with Bill Parcells in Dallas where we might have been going into the third preseason game without knowing who was going to call the plays. So I don't think this is abnormal or wrong or right."

Meanwhile, Hunt said the team wants to keep tight end Tony Gonzalez and Gonzalez is excited about the chances in Kansas City. So don't expect a trade of the star at this point.