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T-post Tom
08-08-2010, 02:30 PM
Not sure, but it's pretty positive:

Chiefs camp report: Haley's approach taking hold
By Clark Judge

You heard me -- the Kansas City Chiefs -- a club that lost 35 of its last 41 games, produced no more than four victories in any of its last three seasons and ranked in the bottom third of most offensive and defensive departments last year.

Sooner or later they have to get better, and I say it's sooner. In fact, I say it's now, and some of that has to do with the players they have, some has to do with the coaches and most has to do with what happened last season.

And what happened is that the Chiefs bottomed out.

Nope, it wasn't their worst season ever. Hey, they doubled their victories from the previous year. But they did it the hard way, with a new coaching staff and new regime struggling to push the operation in a different direction.

It was a renovation not unlike what was going on at Arrowhead Stadium, less costly but more demanding, only the teardown here didn't involve cement and steel; it had everything to do with attitudes, practice habits and expectations.

"We had to lay the foundation," coach Todd Haley said.

That's one way of putting it. Another is: They had to kick some serious butt. Haley fired his offensive coordinator on the eve of the season, released his star running back mid-way through the year and, basically, put players on notice that if they didn't change he'd make the changes for them.

"We knew it was going to be a big job and a tough job," said Haley, "and it lived up to those expectations."

Sacrifices were made, and I think back to the third game of the season when Haley ran the ball most of the second half in a blow-out loss in Philadelphia. In the third quarter he called 14 runs and two passes, infuriating Chiefs' die-hards who wanted quick strikes. But Haley knew what was going on, and what was going on was this: The game was all but over. So why not attack the rest of the schedule instead?

That may need some explaining. It all goes back to what Haley said about laying "a foundation." He knew his only chance to be competitive last season was to develop a rushing attack that, at least in Philadelphia, didn't exist. So he would hammer it until he was successful, and by December he had what he wanted - with Kansas City rushing for 114 or more yards in five of its last six starts, including a season-high 317 in the finale against Denver.

So the Chiefs finished 4-12. They found a springboard to the next season and maybe an element to future success.

"It was a change," said Haley. "Like it or not, the result wasn't going to be a lot different. We might have won one more [games]; we might have lost one more. But it was going to be what it was, and we just had to make progress through it.

"We were going to get that foundation laid so that this offseason we could start to build. Last year was a breakdown year. We had to break down all the thought processes, the attitudes, the way people thought things should go. That was the breakdown year."

And now?

"Things are changing," he said.

The evidence was there at practice late last week when, after two hours of working out in mid-day heat, Haley excused a group of veterans and told them to take their pads off. They did, but then hung around to run afterwards.

After another workout, this one on a 100-degree afternoon, Haley climbed the hill that leads from the playing fields to an indoor facility and found defensive backs Brandon Carr, Eric Berry and Brandon Flowers working on their releases.

"You can just see the change that's taking place," he said.
Changing habits is one thing; changing players is another. And the Chiefs have done that, too. A year ago they were limited on offense by, frankly, ordinary personnel. Now they've upgraded with the additions of free-agents Thomas Jones, Ryan Lilja and Jerheme Urban and rookie Dexter McCluster, a difference maker who can play virtually anywhere.

"When you're looking at a guy like McCluster," said Haley, "your mind is racing with possibilities."

Jones is the key addition, not only because he was the third most productive back in the NFL last season but because he's a polished veteran who can have an impact on young players. When you talk to teammates about him the word "leadership" always, always, always is mentioned immediately -- with quarterback Matt Cassel going a step farther, saying that Jones' work ethic "is matched by no person I've ever seen."

The question, of course, is how he fits in with budding star Jamaal Charles, who gets the bulk of the carries? I wish I knew. I don't. All I know is that a year ago Haley figured the Chiefs had to run to win, and now he has the backs to do it.

In Charles, he has someone who ran for 968 yards in his last eight games, averaged 5.9 a carry for the season and erupted for 259 yards in his last start. But he operated alone for most of last year. Now you team him with Jones, who had 14 TDs last year, and McCluster, and, suddenly, you have weapons to comprise the balanced attack that was missing in 2009.

"You look around at our skill guys," said quarterback Matt Cassel, "and we have some people to do some things."

Cassel should be the beneficiary of the roster improvement. A year ago, he tried to lead an offense that, frankly, was short of qualified players nearly everywhere. The offensive line wasn't very good. Charles emerged only after Larry Johnson burned out. Wide receiver Dwayne Bowe was a disappointment. I think you get the idea. Cassel quickly learned he wasn't in New England anymore.

"You have to take the peaks with the valleys," he said. "There was definitely adversity, and I knew there would be coming into this situation. The hardest part was that everybody was looking at you. You get a contract, and they're saying, 'Come on in and help our team win now.'

"Well, that was my goal. Unfortunately, we didn't play a lot of great football last year. That's what it came down to. This year I'm a lot more comfortable, I've been here a year, I know my expectation level and I think we're ready to go."

So do I, and not just because the roster is different. The coaches are, too, with Haley firing himself as offensive coordinator and adding Charlie Weis, then picking up Romeo Crennel as his defensive coordinator. All have been together before, and all have been successful before. It's hard to believe they won't be again.

"Our hope," said general manager Scott Pioli, "is that we're going to be a better football team than we were last year."

Trust me, the Kansas City Chiefs will.

http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/story/13726836/chiefs-camp-report-haleys-approach-taking-hold

DaneMcCloud
08-08-2010, 02:56 PM
"Our hope," said general manager Scott Pioli, "is that we're going to be a better football team than we were last year."



Duh

The Bad Guy
08-08-2010, 02:58 PM
I must admit, my optimism meter is raising by the day.

kysirsoze
08-08-2010, 03:34 PM
I must admit, my optimism meter is raising by the day.

Yeah, me too. There's that old "fool me once" saying. I wonder what it says about "fool me 20 times"? :shrug:

milkman
08-08-2010, 03:37 PM
Yeah, me too. There's that old "fool me once" saying. I wonder what it says about "fool me 20 times"? :shrug:

Ooh....Ooh.....Ooh.....


Can I answer that?

kcfanXIII
08-08-2010, 03:41 PM
its hard not to be optimistic this time of year. especially when your team just picked up a guy like jones. kc should love him, with the way we fall in love with guys that bust their butts, and do things the right way. plus, the improvement in the middle of the line and a possibly great draft class, there's no reason not to be just a little excited for the season. unless someone pissed in your cheerios this morning or something...

kcfanXIII
08-08-2010, 03:42 PM
Yeah, me too. There's that old "fool me once" saying. I wonder what it says about "fool me 20 times"? :shrug:

fool me once, stupid you, fool me twice, stupid me. fool me 20 times, stupid chiefs fan...

OnTheWarpath58
08-08-2010, 03:46 PM
Sacrifices were made, and I think back to the third game of the season when Haley ran the ball most of the second half in a blow-out loss in Philadelphia. In the third quarter he called 14 runs and two passes, infuriating Chiefs' die-hards who wanted quick strikes. But Haley knew what was going on, and what was going on was this: The game was all but over. So why not attack the rest of the schedule instead?

That may need some explaining. It all goes back to what Haley said about laying "a foundation." He knew his only chance to be competitive last season was to develop a rushing attack that, at least in Philadelphia, didn't exist. So he would hammer it until he was successful, and by December he had what he wanted - with Kansas City rushing for 114 or more yards in five of its last six starts, including a season-high 317 in the finale against Denver.

Hold on just a second.

Running the ball in the 2nd half of the Philly game didn't help "lay a foundation."

LJ going on a homophobic rant, which got JC the playing time he deserved, as well as Goff getting injured is what laid the foundation for the running game.

Had LJ not ran himself off the team with his comments, and Goff not gotten hurt, allowing a better player to step in, we'd still be guessing about our running game.

Stick with what Haley's actually been responsible for - changing the culture/attitude. No need to sugarcoat the piece more by making inaccurate claims.

Even the biggest homer on the board must think that quote is off base.

milkman
08-08-2010, 03:47 PM
its hard not to be optimistic this time of year. especially when your team just picked up a guy like jones. kc should love him, with the way we fall in love with guys that bust their butts, and do things the right way. plus, the improvement in the middle of the line and a possibly great draft class, there's no reason not to be just a little excited for the season. unless someone pissed in your cheerios this morning or something...

Uh....I'm sorry, but we signed Lilja and Weigman, neither of whom does anything to excite me, and only improve the line margially at best, IMO.

And in the case of Weigman, I highly doubt he beats out Niswanger, which means that the only argument that can be made for improvement is Lilja over Goff, though one could argue he's not necessarily an improvement over Wade Smith who played decently when he got the chance.

Add the fact that we did nothing to improve the middle of the front 7 on defense, tell me again why I should be just a little excited?

T-post Tom
08-08-2010, 03:51 PM
Uh....I'm sorry, but we signed Lilja and Weigman, neither of whom does anything to excite me, and only improve the line margially at best, IMO.

And in the case of Weigman, I highly doubt he beats out Niswanger, which means that the only argument that can be made for improvement is Lilja over Goff, though one could argue he's not necessarily an improvement over Wade Smith who played decently when he got the chance.

Add the fact that we did nothing to improve the middle of the front 7 on defense, tell me again why I should be just a little excited?

You don't have to be anything you don't want to be. We love you just the way you are.

OnTheWarpath58
08-08-2010, 03:51 PM
its hard not to be optimistic this time of year. especially when your team just picked up a guy like jones. kc should love him, with the way we fall in love with guys that bust their butts, and do things the right way. plus, the improvement in the middle of the line and a possibly great draft class, there's no reason not to be just a little excited for the season. unless someone pissed in your cheerios this morning or something...

TJ will be a great addition, provided he doesn't steal too many carries from Jamaal. JC should be getting 2/3 of the carries, no questions asked.

I don't see the improvement in the middle of the line you referenced, but I think the potential is there in the future with Asomoah. IF Daryl Harris can step up and be the play some of us think he can, and take over for Waters, we'll be in better shape. Still a big if, however. Center and RT are still a problem - now and in the future.

Myself and others have said it since Haley/Pioli were hired:

2009: 4-12

2010: 8-8

2011: Playoff win

And I'm sticking to that expectation. Anything less, especially with this year's schedule, is a huge disappointment and unacceptable, IMO.

milkman
08-08-2010, 03:56 PM
You don't have to be anything you don't want to be. We love you just the way you are.

I know.

I'm just a lovable curmudgeon.

rtmike
08-08-2010, 05:08 PM
Win or lose, good or bad. I'm just happy to get to see my beloved team in Seattle this year. Already bought the tickets. Great seats too. :D