It appears those of us who thought the Chiefs preseason was meaningless owe those of you who knew better an apology. I was concerned, but I’ll admit I did not see this coming at all. It seemed impossible that we’d look as bad in the regular season as we did in the preseason. Unfortunately for us, Todd Haley has made the impossible possible.
There is always plenty of blame to go around after any lopsided loss, but from where I’m sitting this is a direct extension of Haley’s ridiculous training camp and preseason. And to his credit, he seems to get that. Our coach certainly has his flaws, but one thing I’ve always liked about him is he doesn’t grasp for excuses. Can you imagine what a Herm Edwards press conference would’ve been like after a loss like that? He would’ve blamed the lockout, mentioned how young we were, referenced injuries, and then closed with his sarcastic “Yeah, blame me, its all my fault.” Haley said to blame him, and he actually meant it. I appreciate that candor.
The problem is that he really is to blame. He’s taken this team from division champion to, what, worst team in the NFL? How did that happen? How can a team with this much talent look SO MUCH worse than literally everyone else?
The hardest part about Sunday, for me, was the insufferable Bills fans. I was surrounded by them. You’d think Bills fans, of all people, would feel a certain kinship with us. I’ve always tactitly rooted for them, or at least felt bad for them. I assumed they felt that way about us, too. But we’ve lost to the Bills thrice since I moved to Brooklyn, and their fans have been total pricks every time.
When the Chiefs are losing badly, I like to bust out the tomahawk chop. I feel like its a good way to show everyone Chiefs fans are good-natured, and don’t take ourselves too seriously. It also takes the sting out when you’re down 30, and it’s good for a laugh. The local Bills fans, unfortunately, aren’t smart enough to understand this. They think I’m being aggressive. And their response to that, unbelievably, is to sarcastically chop back at me the worse the score gets. It’s really something. Twenty fans of a perennially awful team angrily mocking a man who was only trying to clown around and admit defeat. These are guys who wear ironic mustaches and still think its the funniest thing in the world. It’s like they’re just a little behind the rest of the country. No self-awareness, seemingly. They’ve somehow forgotten their team’s name is synonymous with failure, and has been for 20 years.
But I digress. Chan Gailey, at least, I’m happy for. It’s got to feel good to know you’re a better coach than the guy who fired you. Kudos, Chan.
My pathetic game notes after le jump:
- So……Leonard Pope, huh? Don’t get me wrong, I love the chance to use my “He’s infallible!” joke every time he makes a catch. But should we really be throwing to this guy more than anyone else? Is the plan to just pretend he’s Moeaki? When our beloved 2nd-year tight end went down, I was upset, naturally. But I still thought we had enough good skill position players to make the offense work. To me, it isn’t about having one good tight end, two good receivers, one good fullback, etc. It’s about having a collection of good players. I figured with Charles, McCluster, Breaston, Bowe,
Jones, McClain, and eventually Baldwin, we could put a group on the field that could move the ball, regardless of what positions they played. Unfortunately, it appears Todd Haley (or maybe Bill Muir?) is pretty attached to the position. Pope got as many snaps as a legitimate starting tight end would. I like the guy, but that is a mistake. A little creativity would go a long way here.
- I thought this at the time he was picked, and I think it now: Dexter McCluster was a luxury pick for a team that couldn’t afford it. Scott Pioli bought his wife a diamond necklace while the heat bill was going unpaid. Now we have to watch an old man try to shoehorn a trick player into an offense that can’t even do the little things right. A high second-rounder going into his second year would be pretty useful on the offensive line right now. Or in the front seven. Or at receiver. Or……quarterback?
- I’m not bailing on Cassel yet. I know a lot of people are, and I can’t blame you. In his time with the Chiefs, there has been more bad than good. Your fandom is not in question if you think Cassel is a bad quarterback. My boy Big Wing loves the Chiefs, but he was up in Cassel’s grill all game. Can’t throw over the middle, says Big Wing. He was saying that last year too. At this point, he doesn’t look wrong. I don’t know, I guess I just don’t want to start over at QB. Maybe I’m lazy. Or impatient. But you draft a QB and he’s good in what, 3 years? And thats if he was a good pick. Admitting Cassel is bad means preparing for more “rebuilding.” I’m not ready to do that. Can’t be. I really want to believe this guy can do the job.
- It appears Haley is willing to give Justin Houston and Cameron Sheffield significant PT right off the bat. That, at least, is a positive. Imagine if Mike Vrabel was still on this team. Watching these kids sit behind him would’ve been unbearable. We should send Ohio State a fruit basket.
- Am I the only one who thinks Thom Jones should’ve gotten more carries? C’mon, Chiefs, he’s the leader! And the starter! In all seriousness, here’s hoping what we saw from Jones is par for the course this season. Two carries. I can live with that. And of course, being such a fantastic teammate and human, he won’t be complaining about lack of carries at any point, right?
- Tin Man looks awesome. Almost as good as last year, when he came back from injury and put the rest of the league on notice.
- I can’t believe I just spent an entire game watching Jon McGraw on the same field as the poor man’s Jon McGraw. Scott Pioli, take a bow! I thought it was strange that Piscatelli even made the team. Little did I know just how bad he’d be, or just how much he’d play. This Berry injury is terrifying.
- In his first year here, when questioned about his failure to pursue top free agents, Scott Pioli talked frequently about how much he improved the “back end of the roster.” Turns out that was utter bullshit. Here we are two years later and the back of our roster is still full of guys that wouldn’t make any other team. People reference our lack of depth like it isn’t the Chiefs’ fault. Am I the only one who sees the $30 million of cap space sitting there?
- Clark Hunt made several million dollars off this game. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the man is a hero.
We’re going to be a really bad team for weeks.; maybe all season if things get so bad the players quit on Haley (wherefore art thou, Vrabel!). Problems this severe don’t go away because of a week of game planning. I expect us to get trounced on this two-game road trip, costing Haley his innane goal to go 3-1 “in each quarter,” and digging us a hole that will be hard to escape.
It was Pioli’s decision (we hope) to put together another league basement payroll, and it was Haley’s decision to short bus the team through training camp and the preseason. These are the fruits of that bounty.