View Full Version : Chiefs Teicher: Haley on the Chiefs' future: 'We’ll keep getting better'

Tribal Warfare
01-12-2011, 07:10 AM
Haley on the Chiefs' future: 'We’ll keep getting better' (http://www.kansascity.com/2011/01/11/2577142/haley-on-the-chiefs-future-well.html)
The Kansas City Star

The 2010 Chiefs season can be a difficult thing to define. The Chiefs through 15 games had every reason to feel good about themselves by winning 10 games and clinching their first AFC West championship since 2003.

Their last two games, including the playoff meeting with Baltimore, proved they still have many things to do before the Chiefs reach their ultimate desired destination.

Coach Todd Haley indicated the way the season finished, with back-to-back 20-plus-point losses at Arrowhead Stadium, didn’t shake his confidence in what the Chiefs are trying to build.

“It’s a cumulative grade,’’ Haley said. “We’re in that evaluation process. There’s a lot of work to be done. It’s very critical that we get it right. As I’ve said multiple times, you can’t fill all the holes. You’ve got to continue to do the things we’ve done up to this point: bring in competition in as many spots as possible because competition is the key in my opinion. Good competition is the key to players pushing themselves to the maximum and to developing our team.

“If we just keep doing that, we’ll keep getting better.’’

The Chiefs made unquestioned progress this season. By winning 10 games, they matched their total from the previous three seasons combined. They had many young players develop to the point the Chiefs will be able to count on them for several years.

But the nagging fact is that the Chiefs struggled against the better teams on their schedule. In the final month alone, the Chiefs lost to San Diego, Oakland and Baltimore by a combined score of 92-17.

Haley spent much of last off-season touting the way the Chiefs finished the 2009 season, with a blowout win over Denver, would help them make progress in 2010.

Perhaps he was right. The Chiefs opened this season 3-0 and led the AFC West from start to finish.

But Haley dismissed the thought that this season’s last two games, as bad as the Chiefs were, would drag them down in an opposite manner heading into next season.

“It’s a totally different situation,’’ he said. “When you win four games, you’re building and developing in a little different way. This year, progress was much more clear or easier to see.

“The ship is moving, and it’s moving at a good clip. Now you just have to continue doing the things you know have to be done.’’

The Chiefs also had difficulty competiting in AFC West games. They were just 2-4, third best in the division behind Oakland and San Diego.

The Chiefs finished four games behind the Raiders in divisional games but two games better overall only because Oakland went 0-6 in games outside the AFC West.

“You have to win games in your division,’’ Haley said. “We showed you can get into the postseason without doing it but that’s not the way we’d like it to occur because your safest way or your most efficient way to get into the postseason is to beat your division opponents.

“We’ve got to learn and understand how critical those games are to your placement, your seeding, your overall chances of being a successful team in the postseason. We need to get better. We’re not there yet.

“It’s clear the Oakland Raiders were a better team than they were the year before. San Diego is a good team. They’ve been there and they were coming fast at the end. They put themselves in a situation they couldn’t overcome but they’re a good team and I don’t see that changing a whole lot.

“Denver is in a little bit of transition now but obviously a dangerous, dangerous team. They had a tough year but I see (the Broncos) doing nothing but going up.’’

The Chiefs played four games during the regular season in which they were outrushed by their opponent. All four came against AFC West competition. Baltimore then pulled the feat in the playoff game.

But Haley indicated the Chiefs wouldn’t build with the sole purpose of trying to match up better with the Raiders or Chargers or any of the other more physical teams on their schedule.

“I’m a big believer that you just have to continue the growth,’’ he said. “You have to continue to bring in good football players and if you do that ... you’ll win games. If you get too caught up in trying to match up specifically for teams, you have a chance to run into a wall and that can be very dangerous.’’