As I see it, there are three possible ways to interpret Todd Haley’s risky decision-making.
- Bold moves by a bold man
- Lack of faith in his team’s ability
- Stupid, needless risks
I’ve liked Haley’s gambles for the most part, even when they haven’t worked. I like a coach that’ll try an onside kick or go for it on fourth down. Still, yesterday was a bit much. I wanted the Chiefs to attack; I wanted them to go for the jugular. But an onside kick to start the game? I don’t know what kind of message that sends. And the fourth down call was questionable at best. I can almost always get behind 4 down ball, but it was pretty apparent the field goal was the way to go there. Watching Cassel try to force the ball into the one receiver he looked at was painful. Not a fun moment. He’s got a bad case of the stares. He looks at the primary route like I look at a plate full of fish planks. Greedily, licking his lips. The other receivers just aren’t on his radar a lot of the time.
More Haley scrutiny (blasphemy!) after the jump:
I wonder what the players think about Haley’s gambles. Maybe they like it, think its fun. Or maybe they wonder why their coach feels like he has to resort to those tactics. Maybe they wonder why he openly talks about a lack of depth and says the team is going to have to win ugly. Hopefully his tone is different behind closed doors. These players have earned some dap from their coach, even if he does fancy himself a Parcells-style disciplinarian.
I still choose to believe Haley’s in-game choices are bold moves froma bold man. I’m just saying that after Sunday I could see why people would think otherwise. Haley is a divisive figure. And really, the book on him is far from written. None of us really know exactly who he is yet. I don’t even think he knows. This guy is very much a work in progress. I think he has upside, if you can say that about a coach. But he has definitely done some things that have made me cringe. Even at his absolute worst, however, I’d take Haley over Herm.
The biggest disappointment to me wasn’t the loss. We were going to lose eventually, and the fact that we hung with the Colts on the road really speaks to the strides this team has made. The biggest disappointment to me was my man D-Bowe. The defense I’ve had for Bowe all along is that he makes the highlight-reel touchdown catch. Cassel floated him a real beauty there. Its a damn shame he couldn’t haul it in. What am I supposed to say now? I like Bowe; I can’t help it. Then Weis goes right back to him (which I thought was a great call, btw) and he drops it again. So unfortunate.
As disapppointed as I am with Bowe, the Charles fumble and the loss, I can’t help but feel pretty good about this defense. That unit proves itself anew every week. Hali and Flowers are two of the best defensive players in the league right now. They should both be pro bowlers no question. Our entire pass defense is really impressive. Foiling Peyton Manning is no small feat. These guys are fun to watch.
The Chiefs can hang with good teams. We’re still on top of the AFC West and after next week our schedule becomes significantly easier. Playoffs, baby. Let’s keep our eyes on that prize. It is still very attainable.