“The answer is easy if you take it logically”. Paul Simon in 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover
If you listened to just about any Todd Haley presser last season, then you know that Coach Haley loves him some Thomas Jones. Above all other Kansas City Chiefs, he sang the praises of Mr. Jones almost ad nausea. He loved his work ethic, admired his leadership skills, adored his football smarts and gushed about his maturity. Haley was in love and there was no doubt about it.
I would even venture to say that we all agree with everything Haley said about Mr. Jones. He does have a stellar work ethic and leadership skills. But….shouldn‘t this love affair be over, or has Coach Haley talked himself into a corner?
More after the jump…
Just as in any relationship, the beginning was beautiful, sweet and exciting. Mr. Jones looked great in training camp and averaged 4.1 yards per carry the first four weeks of the season when the Chiefs were 3-0. He then averaged 4.5 yards per carry the next four weeks when the Chiefs were 5-2.
Then, as they often do, the relationship started to turn south. 32 year old Thomas Jones averaged 2.65 yards per carry over the next four weeks, but Haley was in denial and could not stop singing Jones’ praises and could not stop starting him. Just like the time your friends and family told you during your last relationship “intervention”, it became abundantly clear to everyone that this relationship was counterproductive. While Jamaal Charles, (who was running behind the same O-line), was carrying the ball at historic NFL heights (Charles averaged 6 billion miles per carry, or something very close to that), Jones went on to average 2.36 yards per carry over the remaining last five games. Haley was still stubbornly in love.
In March of 2010, Thomas Jones signed a very modest two (2) year five (5) million dollar contract. Considering those modest contract numbers along with his minimal statistics, does Todd Haley leave his lover? As the song says: “The answer is easy if you take it logically”. But as we all have seen, logic does not seem to come into play with the Haley and Jones relationship.
We all know that love is blind. But so too is Todd Haley if Thomas Jones starts one game next year, let alone even makes the roster. It is going to be tough for Haley to make the cut, or to go back on his words, and unfortunately I don’t think he will. I have previously penned that Todd Haley can do want he wants to, and that is correct, but in starting Thomas Jones, he does so at his own peril.
The sad fact is that, even though Mr. Jones has all the tools that Haley loves, his play is obviously declining and he is keeping a younger player from developing behind the dynamic Jamaal Charles. In the NFL, there is no reason to hold onto aging and declining veterans, no matter how much you love them, when they young bucks behind them are better.