He's got a certain je ne sais quoi (source: sportsillustrated.cnn.com)

A Reaction To Whitlock

If you haven’t read Jason Whitlock’s piece on the Chiefs yet, you need to.  It’s a truly fascinating read.  I know many of you hate Whitlock.  I think a lot of the personal attacks are pretty wack, but I’m not here to argue matters of taste.  Whether or not you like Whitlock or ever agree with him, you do yourself a disservice writing him off.

Read the article.  Do it.  Read the points so we can discuss them.  Seriously, I can wait.  I’ll just eat my lentil soup and watch this episode of Transformers I have DVR’ed.  Optimus Prime is back from the dead!

OK, now I know Whitlock says some pretty inflammatory things there and he probably angered a lot of you.  But make no mistake, there is wisdom and truth in his words as well.  Again, I don’t agree with some of it.  But I definitely got more out of this one article than any 50 of the team-approved pieces you read virtually everywhere else.

Let’s examine a few of the things he actually says after the jump:

  • Haley doing a bad Parcells impression- I’m sure some of you bristled at this, but keep in mind Haley studies film of old Parcells press conferences.  That was reported in the Star, in a preseason piece that was supposed to be favorable to Haley.  At the time I found it strange that he would admit to doing that.  And again, it was reported as if it was a good thing.  Weird, wild stuff.
  • Pioli doing a Belichick impression- Is anyone even going to debate this?  I mean, I’m not even saying its a bad thing to imitate Belichick.  It appears to be working.  And Whitlock does say he means it as a compliment.  Keep that in mind.  The guy is saying Pioli, his enemy, is doing a good job.  That can’t be easy for Jason to admit.
  • I don’t often get to hear the audio of these games, but if the announcers at the end of the season were indeed mentioning Haley’s tutelage of Cassel, that is a HUGE red flag.  These announcers say what they’re told to say.  If they were being told to hint that Haley was predominantly responsible for Cassel’s turnaround…..wow.
  • Haley sitting on house money- I wouldn’t have thought this before the season started, but it does appear to have played out that way.  Our schedule was indeed very easy, and Haley was given a group of talented, coachable players and top notch coordinators to work with. Personally, I’m giving him credit for getting these wins regardless of how they came.  But Whitlock paints a compelling picture of the circumstances that combined here.  It’s always foolish to ignore the circumstances.
  • He mentions a lot of the same laughable spin I touched on in my post yesterday, with a bonus nugget about the unsolicited call from the Chiefs media department.  I found that to be a particularly tasty treat.  I mean, why would an organization that never tells the media anything be so desperate to pow-wow all of the sudden?  Very, very interesting.
  • Jamaal Charles- We’ve gone over and over the Charles/Jones split all season, and there have been many different takes.  But is anything Whitlock says here untrue?  The fact is that Haley sat Charles behind LJ last year, and he made Thom Jones the starter this year.  All the way back in the preseason I said I was worried about Thomas Jones starting games.  The general reaction was that it didn’t matter who started, Charles would get more carries.  Here we are, five months and 17 games later, and that didn’t happen.  It was never going to happen.  Haley’s apologists have invented as many excuses as they can think of (“Jones doesn’t fumble!  He’s a leader!”), and the ridiculous team line has been that “Hey, we’ve got a great rushing attack.  Both of these guys are awesome!”  But any objective mind would have to admit that, once again, Jamaal Charles has been subjugated by a coach who doesn’t appear to fully appreciate him.  If Jones gets the ball even 10 times Sunday it will be a horrendous mistake.  He should come in only if Charles is winded or hurt, and maybe not even then.  Jason is seeing what I’m seeing on this one.  And I know recently many of you have been brought over to this side of the issue as well.

Where Whitlock loses me is in his abundance of critical adjectives for Haley.  Insecure, mean-spirited, emotional, irrational, attention-whore, game-day stupidity, not an NFL head coach….that’s a heaping helping of scorn.  Too much, I think.

For me, the jury is still out on Haley.  It’s been a wild ride, and I’ve already gone back and forth many times.  He does things I like.  He’s won as many games this year as the last three Chiefs seasons combined.  He seems like a pretty cool guy (that matters to me).  He’s also made some bad decisions, he’s mismanaged players, and he comes off immature at times.  Jason may have laid it on a bit thick, but he is not out of line questioning a man who has clearly done some very questionable things.

This article made me miss Whitlock.  He sees much, and he gives his readers much to think about.  To dismiss him as an idiot or a malcontent is short-sighted.  This man is clearly highly intelligent.  That’s not to say he’s always right.  None of us are.  And he has an agenda.  All of us do.  But when he’s on, he can illuminate.  That is a rare gift.

I will say though, anyone who wins a Super Bowl is most definitely an NFL coach.  That was some pretty crazy hyperbole.  I’ll allow it!

So what do you think Addicts?  Personal matters aside, didn’t Whitlock make a few worthwhile points here?

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Tags: Jason Whitlock Scott Pioli Todd Haley

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