Often we have heard the expression addition by subtraction. This means a team has improved itself by the elimination of a non-productive player, a cancer to team chemistry or a clubhouse lawyer. This cleansing process often comes about when there is a change in the coaching structure or front office of the franchise. Such is the case with the Kansas City Chiefs.
Recently, we were informed that Brian Waters, a stalwart right guard for the Chiefs, had left his Texas home to come to K.C. There he hoped to have a pow-wow with head coach Todd Haley and GM Scott Pioli.Terrible timing, bad instincts and poor form. Pioli and Haley are in the process of putting together a coaching staff, a scouting staff, their free agent wish list and their draft big board. Waters was quickly rebuffed by Haley saying he didn’t intend to meet with him — besides he could go 2-14 with guys off the street!! The uninvited Waters demanding a meeting with Pioli and Haley would be like one of the bankers from Citibank demanding an audience with President Obama.
Mr. Waters further flamed the fires by going to see the Grand Marshall of Dissension — Jason Whitlock. By airing the dirty laundry of their meeting, Mr. Waters was going behind the back of his employers, and playing for support and sympathy from the fans. Unfortunately, such actions only seem to weaken the fiber of the relationship between the coach and players.
This brings us back to the addition by subtraction. The Eagles have been a better and more harmonious team since they released Terrell Owens than the Cowboys have been since signing T.O. The Dolphins became a better team after they eliminated malcontent Jason Taylor and all the distractions that came with him last year. The Falcons were finally able to rebuild once Michael Vick was halfway across the country behind bars. The Tennessee Titans became a team the minute they benched Vince Young. The list goes on and on.
I am not suggesting that Brian Waters is in the same class of troubled stars (nor Jason Taylor, for that matter). What I am suggesting is that this staff will not tolerate self-serving, coddled veterans who could distract form team chemistry and mislead impressionable rookies and young players.
Pioli and Haley have the unenviable task of changing the team mantra — particularly after past two player’s coaches coddled the players. I suggest that the loyal Chiefs fans support their efforts wholeheartedly. I, for one, am sick of Larry Johnson and his off-the-field adventures. Waters, by his recent actions, may have joined L.J. on the express train out of town. If Tony Gonzalez isn’t careful, he could join them, too.
The sum of the team and its culture is more important than any one star. That’s why B-Dub, L.J. and Tony G. might soon have new teams if they don’t soon have new attitudes. Remember, the colors — Red and Gold — are more important than the cast of characters.