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Tribal Warfare
09-05-2009, 10:02 PM
Haley determined to change Chiefs’ losing ways (http://www.kansascity.com/sports/chiefs/story/1426960.html)
By KENT BABB
The Kansas City Star

ST. LOUIS | Todd Haley walked in with his chin raised and his eyes locked. The scene deep inside the Edward Jones Dome was familiar. Haley’s expression was not.

The field level of a football stadium is a depressing place for the losing team, and it’s an environment the Chiefs have come to know well. Since October 2007, the Chiefs have played 33 preseason and regular-season games. They have lost 29.

Haley has been around for only four of those losses — the Chiefs were winless this preseason — and the first-year head coach has worn a strong face through a bout of turmoil that the Chiefs are desperate to end. Whether it’s his attitude or just that he’s new to this gloomy party, Haley’s outlook hasn’t yet been spoiled by his team’s clumsiness.

Late Thursday night, with yet another loss behind the Chiefs, Haley spent time behind a closed door, alongside chairman Clark Hunt and general manager Scott Pioli. Haley emerged and headed toward a lectern. He didn’t look beaten-down or hopeless. Instead, Haley wore the unusual expression of optimism.

“We’re going to have to learn how to win,” he said, and that was that.

He has said it before, but Haley learned through training camp and four preseason games how far the Chiefs could be from being a contending NFL team. Most of the players, coaches and executives who laid the foundation for this mess are gone — cut, fired, reassigned or bulldozed somewhere out of sight.

Now, the Chiefs’ problems are Haley’s to deal with. He’s trying to change what has become a losing culture. He seems eager enough that this week he stepped up early threats with stunning actions, firing Chan Gailey as offensive coordinator and cutting a slew of offensive linemen and veteran names.

Whether Haley is a reactionary who’s not above the occasional panic move, or a coach who just will not tolerate the disappointment that has permeated a franchise, he at least represents something different in Kansas City. And although Haley might not admit it, he’s now seeing the challenge he faces in turning around what has been one of the NFL’s worst teams for nearly two years.

It won’t get easier. Haley said he has time and — believe it or not — patience. He has vowed that he won’t be slowed by a losing environment, won’t be afraid of deviating from the normal course, and won’t hesitate to make more unorthodox moves. Instead, he’ll just keep trying locked doors until he finds one that opens.

“I ain’t going away,” Haley said this week. “This is me, and you’re going to get me every day. You’re not going to wear me out. That’s been tried before.

“If you’re trying to wear me out, you’re probably not gonna. Unless you kill me.”

• • •

That might be extreme, but Haley does conjure some fierce reactions. He has been involved in his share of heated arguments, and the coach has said that he brought some of those on himself.

There have been times that, yes, the opinionated Haley said something during a staff meeting or in a confrontation with a player, the blood boiled on both ends, and …

“ ‘Shut up. You’re speaking out of line,’ ” he remembers being told by his colleagues. “I had lots of those.”

Haley’s relationship with Keyshawn Johnson, the former star wide receiver, didn’t always travel on calm waters while Haley was Johnson’s position coach with the New York Jets and Dallas Cowboys. Johnson is outspoken, and Haley doesn’t back down. Sometimes an explosion can’t be avoided.

But from that, Haley and Johnson somehow established mutual respect. Haley said Thursday night that Johnson is among the best he’s coached, and Johnson said Haley possesses a great number of skills that make him perfect for a job as intimidating as turning the Chiefs into a winner.

One of them, Johnson said, is patience.

“It doesn’t seem that way,” Johnson said.

Johnson said Haley’s approach, nonconformist as it sometimes is, seems to attract success. Johnson, who’s now an NFL analyst for ESPN, listed Haley’s previous stops — the Jets, Chicago, Dallas and Arizona — as teams that improved while Haley was on the staff. He saw how those turnarounds were made, Johnson said, and he paid attention.

Still, Johnson said, Haley’s patience could be tested this season like never before.

“You have to understand what they’re trying to get done there. It’s a long process that’s going to take a couple of years,” Johnson said. “This year, speaking with Todd and knowing Todd, he doesn’t want to look at it as a lost year — as a rebuilding, lost year. For all intents and purposes, it is.

“I know the talent pool they have; it’s not very good right now. This team will probably win four games. But that will say a lot going forward. You have to take baby steps before you can take giant steps.”

Johnson said Haley learned something else from those previous jobs: that regardless of what a coach thinks he knows about his team, sometimes he has to make jarring changes at uncomfortable times. Stubborn as Haley occasionally appears, his decision to remove Gailey as coordinator and cut a group of linemen will be seen either as desperation moves or the latest extreme step toward jerking a drifting team back toward the road, sentimentality and conventional beliefs be damned.

“It’s not going to be an instant fix,” Johnson said. “If I’m in that locker room, I probably would have to understand that.”

• • •

Haley spent Thursday morning in St. Louis, and he spent part of his time on the phone with his father. Dick Haley is a well-known former NFL scout with a calming voice.

Todd Haley said late Thursday that, hours earlier, he was already considering the meaning of another preseason loss. He went to his dad for guidance.

“He’s seen a lot of good football teams that hadn’t won a preseason game,” Todd Haley said. “He knows a lot more than I do.”

Haley is trying to stay optimistic, even as the weeks pass and the games start carrying more meaning. No one had delusions that Haley’s job would be easy, and now he’ll be tested with more decisions and pressure than he’s faced in his 15 years in the NFL.

Haley’s father knows that the league is an unforgiving place, and he also knows how difficult his son’s job will be.

“It may not be perfect,” Dick Haley said last month. “It doesn’t work out perfect for everybody.”

Todd Haley doesn’t seem to be looking for perfect. But progress and a victory or two would be nice for a team starved for both. Haley has been praised and criticized for the decision to oust Gailey, a respected coach, with fewer than two weeks before the regular season begins. Praised because Haley was decisive and unwilling to force an unnatural fit. Criticized because of the timing and because Haley then took on Gailey’s responsibilities — as if the first-year head coach didn’t have enough to worry about.

“When I was an assistant or a coordinator,” he said, “I probably ran my mouth too much in games. I’ve always tried to pay attention. I’ve been one of the guys on offense who’s always talking to defensive players, always paying attention when the other team has the ball and some of those things.

“I’m not somebody, even as an offensive coordinator, who would go and sit on the bench and stick my head in the call sheet and try to figure out what’s going on. I need a couple of pointers — what are they doing; when are they doing it — but I’ve always been up on the sideline kind of paying attention to defense and special teams, and hopefully that’ll help me.”

The Chiefs are counting on it.

• • •

A half-hour after the Chiefs’ latest loss, Haley issued another surprise. He had a group of unreliable quarterbacks, an offensive line he’d overhaul starting this weekend, and yet another loss — preseason or not — added to his name and the Chiefs’ long and depressing register. He had every reason to explode or at least deliver a long, rambling answer that sounded nice but meant nothing — a favorite option of Haley’s predecessors.

Instead, Kansas City’s coach made a joke, wondering aloud if Baltimore might delay the regular season if the Chiefs just asked.

If convention has been tried but hasn’t worked, the only thing that might work is something unconventional. Haley is taking a walk down that avenue, and whether it works or not, at least it’s fresh.

“You’re not going to win games when we do the things that we did,” Haley said, referring to the St. Louis game, but the same words apply for the Chiefs’ last two years. “We just have to get better at the things that we’re not doing.

“We’ve got to be ready.”

rambleonthruthefog
09-05-2009, 10:24 PM
i couldn't be more excited about Todd Haley as our coach.

on another note:
i hated Keyshawn while he was in the league. diva wideout and all.
i think hes an excellant NFL annalist. more inciteful than most, and maybe better spoken.

CaliforniaChief
09-05-2009, 10:27 PM
My man crush on Haley is growing by the article.

DBOSHO
09-05-2009, 10:27 PM
id turn gay for haley..

Mr. Krab
09-05-2009, 10:32 PM
We will see, but toughness alone doesn't make you a winning coach.

DaneMcCloud
09-05-2009, 10:56 PM
We will see, but toughness alone doesn't make you a winning coach.

I agree.

But I think that we'd all agree that this team needed a coach that would instill toughness, regimen and discipline.

Whether or not it pays off for Haley is yet to be seen.

KCChiefsFan88
09-05-2009, 11:13 PM
Hasn't Blabb written this article 7 times already this offseason?

JuicesFlowing
09-05-2009, 11:15 PM
Hasn't Blabb written this article 7 times already this offseason?

I just read the title and laughed. I think in the past I've read articles that Herm and Vermeil were determined also ... I could be wrong though.

googlegoogle
09-06-2009, 12:00 AM
Haley's Dad runs this team.

Haley Jr is his puppet.

We are in good hands.

Raised On Riots
09-06-2009, 12:10 AM
This guy's being asked to make chicken salad with twigs, stones, and piss bucket to cook it all in.

salame
09-06-2009, 12:45 AM
This guy's being asked to make chicken salad with twigs, stones, and piss bucket to cook it all in.

well maybe he'll just make a shit sandwich?

Just Passin' By
09-06-2009, 12:51 AM
This guy's being asked to make chicken salad with twigs, stones, and piss bucket to cook it all in.

well maybe he'll just make a shit sandwich?

Wouldn't that still be better than last year?

salame
09-06-2009, 12:56 AM
5 wins

Raised On Riots
09-06-2009, 01:08 AM
Wouldn't that still be better than last year?

5 wins

ROFL

Bottle of Jack at the ready.

'Hamas' Jenkins
09-06-2009, 01:14 AM
If he doesn't win within the first 24 games, he's going to lose the locker room completely. I think he's a quality coach, but this approach needs results quickly in order to avoid a complete mutiny.

salame
09-06-2009, 01:16 AM
If he doesn't win within the first 24 games, he's going to lose the locker room completely. I think he's a quality coach, but this approach needs results quickly in order to avoid a complete mutiny.

this made me lol

Raised On Riots
09-06-2009, 01:26 AM
If he doesn't win within the first 24 games, he's going to lose the locker room completely. I think he's a quality coach, but this approach needs results quickly in order to avoid a complete mutiny.

ROFL

bevischief
09-06-2009, 01:36 AM
Hasn't Blabb written this article 7 times already this offseason?

That was what I was thinking...

MikeMaslowski
09-06-2009, 04:12 AM
It would have been fitting if he would have been given his fathers name.

Dick Haley Jr. I like the sound of that for a HC.

the Talking Can
09-06-2009, 04:31 AM
i hate that guy

he's such an asshole

he's doing it wrong

MikeMaslowski
09-06-2009, 04:43 AM
i hate that guy

he's such an asshole

he's doing it wrong

Three things said by Talking Cans unsatisfied lovers.

the Talking Can
09-06-2009, 04:46 AM
If he doesn't win within the first 24 games, he's going to lose the locker room completely. I think he's a quality coach, but this approach needs results quickly in order to avoid a complete mutiny.

i'd give him 23 games....max

Von Dumbass
09-06-2009, 05:23 AM
The following quotes are from NFL scouts, coaches and front-office personnel, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

"The guy (Todd Haley) hired to be a head coach in Kansas City is not a head coach in the NFL. That guy's ego is as big as Mount Rushmore. He thinks his face is going to be the fifth on the mountain."

http://www.profootballweekly.com/2009/09/01/teams-overspending-on-name-players

Tiger's Fan
09-06-2009, 05:34 AM
The following quotes are from NFL scouts, coaches and front-office personnel, speaking on the condition of anonymity.



http://www.profootballweekly.com/2009/09/01/teams-overspending-on-name-players

Josh McDaniels has already made a great name for himself, if he was a comedian.

MikeMaslowski
09-06-2009, 05:59 AM
The following quotes are from NFL scouts, coaches and front-office personnel, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

"The guy (Todd Haley) hired to be a head coach in Kansas City is not a head coach in the NFL. That guy's ego is as big as Mount Rushmore. He thinks his face is going to be the fifth on the mountain."


http://www.profootballweekly.com/2009/09/01/teams-overspending-on-name-players

Hmmm... It might work.

Jack
09-06-2009, 09:44 AM
i couldn't be more excited about Todd Haley as our coach.

on another note:
i hated Keyshawn while he was in the league. diva wideout and all.
i think hes an excellant NFL annalist. more inciteful than most, and maybe better spoken.

You didn't mean "insightful" did you?

Reckon "inciteful" is best.

milkman
09-06-2009, 09:56 AM
You didn't mean "insightful" did you?

Reckon "inciteful" is best.

I'm guessing that an annalist is by definition, inciteful.

LaChapelle
09-06-2009, 10:13 AM
The following quotes are from NFL scouts, coaches and front-office personnel, speaking on the condition of anonymity.



http://www.profootballweekly.com/2009/09/01/teams-overspending-on-name-players

Fear, catch it!

tonyetony
09-06-2009, 10:20 AM
The following quotes are from NFL scouts, coaches and front-office personnel, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

I bet Jimmie Johnson, Parcells, etc. etc. etc. had those same things said about them.

CaliforniaChief
09-06-2009, 10:25 AM
The following quotes are from NFL scouts, coaches and front-office personnel, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

I bet Jimmie Johnson, Parcells, etc. etc. etc. had those same things said about them.

Yes, and the following quote is from other anonymous NFL sources...

"Josh McDaniels is a perfect fit in Denver. Jay Cutler is going to reach the next level under this guy, and Brandon Marshall can't wait to line up for him. The fans appreciate him and his brilliant mind so much and are just thankful to God that they don't have to be like the Bears who trot out journeyman amputees like Kyle Orton or go back to their days where QB's threw with the other arm."

DBOSHO
09-06-2009, 10:28 AM
Yes, and the following quote is from other anonymous NFL sources...

"Josh McDaniels is a perfect fit in Denver. Jay Cutler is going to reach the next level under this guy, and Brandon Marshall can't wait to line up for him. The fans appreciate him and his brilliant mind so much and are just thankful to God that they don't have to be like the Bears who trot out journeyman amputees like Kyle Orton or go back to their days where QB's threw with the other arm."

ROFL

rambleonthruthefog
09-06-2009, 10:29 AM
You didn't mean "insightful" did you?

Reckon "inciteful" is best.

its true, i'm not that well spoken

Raised On Riots
09-06-2009, 02:18 PM
Yes, and the following quote is from other anonymous NFL sources...

"Josh McDaniels is a perfect fit in Denver. Jay Cutler is going to reach the next level under this guy, and Brandon Marshall can't wait to line up for him. The fans appreciate him and his brilliant mind so much and are just thankful to God that they don't have to be like the Bears who trot out journeyman amputees like Kyle Orton or go back to their days where QB's threw with the other arm."

But...but...PFW knows it's shit I've been told.