Time to Play: Chiefs Chew Or False 2

Time to drop a quarter on the Chiefs. The first quarter of the season is in the record books, as Coach Todd Haley likes to point out. So, let’s cut ourselves a big ol’ quarter piece of pie and play, Chiefs: Chew or False. You remember how to play, pick a topic and then chew on it.

1. Todd Haley is doing a better job this year than Scott Pioli. Yes.

I’m not going to apologize; I’m a Todd Haley fan. No, he’s not the smoothest rock in the quarry but, I consistently see a number of things that he does that I like, while Scott Pioli impresses me less and less as time goes by. Haley never throws his players under the bus. They’ve got to love playing for him for that reason alone. Pioli’s 2011 draft is looking less impressive by the day and I lay that at his feet since the last word does belong to the GM. However, it’s not so much this draft that has my undies in a bunch, it’s his lack of positive moves to help fix the bottom of this roster, meaning he’s done next to nothing to improve the team’s depth. Please see Patrick Allen’s post offering a Conspiracy Theory which calls out Scott Pioli.

More on Todd Haley. I like Haley’s background, who his father is, and the fact that he never played the game is a plus for me. He’s like the first teacher to go into space. His transition with the Chiefs impressed me too. I’ve never gone to a new job where I didn’t face at least a year of territorialism. His battling to get the players back into shape and the progress you could see in his second year. In some ways I have felt a little bad for him that the success he had in his second year has set him up for some unrealistic expectations this year. Especially in a year in which the Chiefs were given one of the most difficult schedules in the league including perhaps the most difficult stretch in the history of schedules.

Through it all I have supported Haley more than Pioli because it looks to me like Haley is at least attempting to do his job while Pioli is not.

2. Everything is peachy keen now with Matt Cassel. No!

Should the Chiefs lean on Matt Cassel more now and hope that he can come through and lead the team to more victories? Absolutely. If you want to know more about how that could work out well for the Chiefs, read Lyle Graversen’s poignant post called, The Chiefs Must Unleash Matt Cassel. However, this one victory and the way Cassel picked it up in the second half, does not a season make. I can only attribute this performance to inspiration. There are many kinds of inspiration and this one falls under the category of do or die… or… pimp slap me again in public and I’m going to cry. The butt chewing Cassel got from Coach Haley after spiking the ball between the hash marks was well deserved. It may have motivated him to play better the rest of the game but, if that’s what it takes for Cassel to max his potential, I’m not interested. What is clear is that, at the age of 29,  and after years of serving as a starting QB on the grandest stage on the planet, Matt Cassel still doesn’t know that you can’t spike the ball between the tackles. So, I’m not interested. To top it off, later in the game,  long after he had received his tongue lashing from Haley, he neglected to throw the ball away in the flat and was sacked by Jared Allen and he had plenty of time to throw the ball 5 yards down field past the line of scrimmage. I’m not interested.  Call him what you will… Cassel in the sand… or whatever. I’m done with him. If you say his name slowly enough it reminds me more of how the kid in “Meet the Parents” says the word, “Assss-hooole.”  ”Cass–sooole.”  Insert tongue in “cheek.”

3. We should feel encouraged now that we ended the first quarter of the season on a positive note. Yes. Well.. no, uh, maybe. Probably not.

If the Chiefs had won their first game and lost their last three, would you feel encouraged right now? So, the fact that we’re 1-3 is the bottom line. Did the defense look better the past two weeks. Yep. Did the offense look better this week. Yes. Once again, if the offense, or defense, looked good in the first two weeks but, bad in the past two weeks would you feel the same way. Todd Haley wants us to look at the season in quarters. So, let’s do that. 1-3 is still 1-3 any way you look at it. Backward, forward or upside down. Until the Chiefs string together a series of victories and we see some consistency from key players like Matt Cassel, I won’t be any more thrilled than I am right now… which I’m not.

4. The Chiefs would have a better record right now if they were playing at full strength. No.

That’s a tough one. You’d think that the having Eric Berry, Jamaal Charles and Tony Moeaki in the line-up would give us the punch we need to at least win one more game more than we have right now. The only game that this may be true for is the Chargers game. Yes, that game was close and went down to the end but, to win that game the Chiefs needed Matt Cassel to step up, and he didn’t, and the presence of those three, likely, would not have helped. And, it wouldn’t have changed the Succop hiccups.

The defense may have been a little better with Berry there but, if you recall, the defense did a good job in that game. What we needed was more completed passes at crunch time. Maybe Moeaki could have given us that but, in the end Cassel still throws that pass in the flat to give the game away. If you recall, Bowe and Breaston were on the field together most of the game but, Cassel didn’t start hitting Breaston until Bowe left the field. So, I think the Chiefs should start running one-receiver sets. Yep, they should only have one receiver on the field at a time. I’ve made my position clear that I believe it’s time for Matt Cassel’s to go so, I don’t think Moeaki’s presence fixes that.

5. With any “luck” we should spend time hoping that we get the first pick in the draft. No.

Not any more. The Vikings have stolen the first pick in the draft from us now. Besides… trading out of the first pick in the draft is maybe one of the toughest things to do in GM-ville. Not being able to maneuver with your first round pick would place us right back where we were two years ago when we selected Tyson Jackson and we can see how that’s worked out. Also, having to pay the amount you have to pay the first pick is still outrageous even though the league has adopted a new rookie wage scale.

Would I mind us getting a Joe Montana or a Tom Brady with that pick? No, not at all but, OMG, just think about, where in the draft, those two players were chosen… neither in the top 10. IOW.. the top pick in the draft doesn’t guarantee anything. Just ask the 2005 San Fran frickin’ 49er’s… or the 07 Faiders.

I don’t understand fans cheering for their team to lose and that it’s somehow supposed to feel good or be positive. I spent a number of years as an athlete and pursuing a degree in coaching and I know that winning breeds winning. That’s a physiological experience and an attitude of habit that is ingrained in your very being. Oh, I get it. I understand wanting another QB. A franchise QB. I just don’t think you should make every other player on the team a sacrificial lamb in the meantime.

6. Jon Baldwin will play more games in the second quarter of the season than the first quarter. Nope.

I heard that Jon Baldwin is replacing Angus T. Jones on Two and a Half Men… of course he’ll be the half a man. Don’t be upset with him… it’s a great opportunity… and he’s really good at that… playing half a man.

7. The Chiefs need to address their offensive coordinator situation and make a change. Yes.

The play calling in the Minnesota game was better but, whether it happens immediately or after the season, I would be in favor of the Chiefs making a change. I don’t think Bill Muir is the man for the job. Compared to Charlie Weis… it’s like comparing uptown cuisine to McDonald’s nuggets… or comparing a honeymoon with Kim Kardashian to a night with Condoleezza “Da Pleasah” Rice (although if you’re a Chiefs fan AND a terrorist, this comparison is lost on you)… or comparing an elementary school drama to a Broadway production. Bill Muir doesn’t have the experience doing this and no matter how much Todd Haley wants to be his puppet master it’s not going to work.

I was once the director for two private schools. It wasn’t until I learned to give away some responsibility and power that I was actually able to achieve some success. Five years ago I had the best boss I’ve ever had. The year before his retirement he gave a short speech and said one of the secrets to his success was, and I quote, “I only hire chiefs.” He didn’t need to hire good people and then motivate them, he hired strong personalities who were already self-motivated… chiefs.

Haley had that with Weis but, now he needs to learn to not only relinquish control but, demand that the OC he hires will take control. Anything less won’t work and it will eventually turn into one long litany of condescending events after another.

Todd Haley was that “strong personality” in Arizona for coach Ken Whisenhunt. And Whisenhunt not only allowed him to be that… he needed him to be that kind of personality. Why can’t Haley see this? I hope he learns before he gets removed.

8. After the Minnesota game Ryan Succop is absolved of all past transgressions. Not really.

You remember the story of Chicken Little? One day the sky is falling with him and the next it’s still falling but, then one day it stops falling and everyone thinks all is well. The next day, the sky is falling again. I’m all for the approach the Chiefs have taken with giving players a chance to develop; however, I get the idea we keep certain players around, like our kicker, for purely egotistical reasons. Scott Pioli doesn’t want to admit he made a mistake with a 7th round draft choice. Oh please. There are so many kickers out there to be had. Come on. I’m so tired of chunks of the sky hitting me in the head. Believe me, more chunks are coming too.

9. My nomination for Chiefs Player of the Year thus far is… drum roll, please… Tamba Hali. Yes.

No conversation needed. If you disagree with me on this one, I’m sorry, I won’t even read your post. Hali is like the eye of a storm. No matter what’s going on around him, he is consistently solid, if not great.

10. ESPN did the right thing by pulling the Hank Williams Jr. song “All My Rowdy Friends” from the Monday Night Football Theme. Absolutely.

On a sad and serious note… however abhorrent one of our U.S. Presidents is to you, you simply cannot under any circumstances compare them to Adolph Hitler. Hitler was responsible for murdering nearly 6 million Jews, and more than 60 million people died in WWII. When Hank Williams, Jr. said he thought Speaker of the House John Boehner playing golf with President Obama “would be like Hitler playing golf with Netanyahu… in the shape this country is in,” he was thoroughly out of line.

Williams turned around and apologized on Tuesday. However, he then spent more time explaining and justifying his position than he did saying sorry. That’s not a position of contrition. Apology not accepted.  It is my hope that ESPN will not use any of his songs again. If they do, personally, I’ll boycott MNF.

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