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Time to work: Haley starts his first minicamp as Chiefs' head coach

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Kansas City Chiefs must be willing to do things the Todd Haley way, not the way that led to a 2-14 record last season and Herm Edwards being fired.

Taking advantage of an NFL rule that lets first-year head coaches have an extra three-day practice session, Haley welcomed more than 60 players to the first day of a voluntary camp.

"This is open competition, and the players have been made clear of that," Haley said. "For a lot of guys, it's got to be a great opportunity. When you're told it's a clean slate and you have a chance to be a part of this team and be a starter or a role player or whatever you are, I think that's a great opportunity for a lot of guys. You can see it in guys' eyes."

While Haley didn't use the old cliche, "my way or the highway," that was doubtlessly the message received by Chiefs players who have won six games the past two years. Their coach and general manager were both shown the door.

"It's just trying to do things the right way," Haley said. "There's a lot of different, new ways to do it. But this is just the way I believe is the most efficient and works to our advantage."

Haley, who was the Arizona Cardinals' offensive coordinator for their Super Bowl run last season, agreed there are bad practice habits to be broken in Kansas City.

"If you get enough of those guys who are doing it the way we want it done and have those characteristics that we talked about, that are smart and tough and enjoy football, then I think you have a chance," he said.

However, Haley declined to comment on any shortcomings the previous staff might have had.

"I have no idea how it was. And I don't really care to know," he said. "I just can worry about what I can do. This is my first chance, maybe only chance, so I'm going to make the most of it."

Media didn't have access to the practice field or the players. The locker room will be open for a short time Sunday, the last day of the camp.

But Haley indicated he was pleased with the attitude and the participation by players in the voluntary camp.

"I think we've all probably got an equal amount to learn," he said. "This is really my first time with my staff together on the field. So until you're out there and you're actually doing it, you think you covered everything. But you always realize a handful of things, pretty quickly, that you didn't."

Haley said the players showed up ready.

"After you've been in the weight room for three weeks together, it was nice to get them out there and put the helmets on and run around a little bit and run and catch," Haley said. "We're trying to find the right guys for the Kansas City Chiefs."

The Chiefs' mandatory minicamp will be in June.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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