As some of you may recall, the comment section from my post last week descended into me being hated on with an unflattering name or two and generally being taken to task for drawing attention to what I felt were some misguided, but nevertheless fervently held assumptions about the regime currently holding court down at our beloved One Arrowhead Drive. I also said that if Todd Haley did not get his locker room unified, that the loss to Buffalo could easily snowball into a bad season and very well cost Todd Haley his job. I was roundly ridiculed for making such an outrageous claim.
Alas, it appears that The Fickle Finger of Fate has determined that I was possibly prophetic, nay even Nostradamus-like, with that forecast as we are now less than a week into the frenzied fervency of the Bench Cassel, Can Haley, Blame Pioli, Hunt’s A Tightwad, and Suck for Luck campaigns.
Now, to the surprise (chagrin?) of many I am sure, I present:
THE RECLAMATION OF TODD HALEY
I mean come on, after all the trouble I caused the poor guy last week, it’s the least I can do. Right?
Enough sizzle, substance to follow.
Today, I endeavor to avoid Chiefs Mythology and as much as possible, stick to a few Truths, as I see them, and some salient Opinions to go with.
TRUTH: Clark Hunt owns the (dubious?) distinction of being the most frugal owner in the league. As far as I can tell, that is not Todd Haley’s fault, but (OPINION forthcoming) it may have something to do with the quality of talent with which Haley has been given to work.
TRUTH: Since arriving in Kansas City, outside of Eric Berry and Tony Moeaki, Scott Pioli has yet to feed significant young talent into Todd Haley’s roster. In fact, if one goes back and examines the results of his most recent drafts with the Patriots, one must conclude that he has not delivered significant young talent to any professional football organization in quite some time. Again, (OPINION forthcoming) the absence of qualified, need-focused, promising young roster talent is not something that should properly be pinned on a Head Coach such as Todd Haley.
TRUTH: Injuries to key players are typically not the fault of the Head Coach, they just happen. Todd Haley has clearly been snake-bit by key injuries early in the season and that puts him at a disadvantage.
TRUTH: In the first two games of this season, Chiefs players have not been executing worth a damn.
OPINION: The offensive play calling, at least in the game against the Lions, was not bad. The execution however (see preceding TRUTH) was horrible.
TRUTH: Matt Cassel, as was pretty much the case last season, is off to a poor start this season. How well Matt Cassel executes is almost entirely on Matt Cassel and not very much on his Head Coach.
OPINION: If last season was any indication, Matt Cassel is capable of playing at a much higher level. It is not absurd to think that he can get back on track and continue his progress as a quarterback.
OPINION: Successful coaches tend to be associated with really good quarterbacks. Ask yourself, did Shanahan make Elway or did Elway make Shanahan? Would Dungy have a ring if not for Manning? Similarly, Haley had Warner in Arizona. Does Haley have anything resembling his Warner in KC?
TRUTH: Matt Cassel has played abysmally the first two weeks of the season.
OPINION: When a QB plays as bad as Matt Cassel has, it’s on the QB, not the coach. A QB must execute and he must lead his offense.
TRUTH: Matt Cassel was Pioli’s first present to Todd Haley. (OPINION forthcoming) Todd Haley may well deserve a new toy at this stage of the game.
OPINION: Our offensive line play against the Lions was really not that bad. We saw early success in establishing the run and Cassel appeared to have decent protection for the most part. It was only until we got down by 3 scores that we started taking more chances with throwing the ball and the more desperate things got, the more the Lions blitzed.
TRUTH: Our defense has surrendered 89 points in two games. (OPINION QUESTION forthcoming) Why is Haley, rather than Crennel, being the one held accountable for that?
POPULAR OPINION: Haley’s approach to the preseason is at fault for the regular season starting off with back-to-back meltdowns.
MY OPINION: Saying Haley‘s approach to the preseason is the cause for this weak start is no more than an assumption. I have yet to see anyone show clear evidence of a direct cause and effect between the two.
As I predicted might be the case last week, Haley is now in sudden jeopardy of losing his job. That’s just the way the NFL works. The fumbles, the mistakes, the poor execution we have been witnessing all suggest a systemic lack of focus. Systemic problems I believe fall within the Head Coach’s area of responsibility and it remains upon Haley to correct these.
Still, if Todd Haley had, say, Aaron Rodgers or Matt Ryan chucking the ball around for him, we probably wouldn’t be having this conversation, now would we?
That’s my Double Take.
What’s your take, Addicts?