Sunday’s 37-10 loss at New York was the final straw for Hunt, the team’s chairman, and Pioli, its general manager. Both men indicated Haley was largely to blame for the Chiefs’ five blowouts by 27 or more points this season.
“Timing in this situation is always difficult,” Hunt said. “There never seems to be a right time. We just felt the inconsistent play the team had experienced really throughout the season, including (Sunday’s) game, made today the right day to do it.”
Most players said they’d spend time reflecting on Haley’s tenure as head coach before returning to work Wednesday morning focused on preparations for the undefeated Packers.
Tuesday is the players’ scheduled day off.
“I think the biggest thing about Todd is his passion,” RB Jackie Battle said. “He’s on another level when it comes to his passion for football. He has a fire to him and I’ll always remember that he gave me a chance. That’s something that I was waiting for the entire time I’ve been here.”
The decision to relieve Haley from his duties as head coach came less than 24 hours after the Chiefs 37-10 loss to the Jets in New York. Kansas City’s performance was the latest example of inconsistencies that have plagued the team since a 41-7 home loss to Buffalo began the 2011 season.
The Chiefs have lost five games by at least 27 points and seen a four-game winning streak sandwiched by two losing streaks of three games or more.
As for Haley, he didn’t deserve to get fired for his team’s performance. But he probably deserved to go just for his inability to get along. On the field, the Chiefs were OK. They won the AFC West last season before getting dusted by the Baltimore Ravens in the playoffs and are 5-8 this season. Not great, but when you go through the laundry list of players who were knocked out early in the season (Eric Berry, Jamaal Charles and Tony Moeaki) and later in the season (Matt Cassel), the Chiefs were lucky to be even that competitive.
Sports talk radio and Internet chat boards have buzzed for months about the possible dismissal of Chiefs coach Todd Haley, but when the ax fell Monday, his players insisted the move came as a surprise.
“It was a little bit of a shocker,” running back Jackie Battle said. “Todd is a very passionate coach and wants to win. It caught me off guard a little bit. We went to the playoffs last year and won the AFC West, but I guess the team’s moving on.”
“I wouldn’t characterize it as what’s missing or what’s lacking. Romeo is going to do things the way that Romeo knows how to do them. He’s been a head coach in the National Football League. He has a way of doing things that some things I’m sure are similar, some things are probably different. We’ll find that out. Again, I’ve not worked with Romeo when he has been a head coach. I don’t know. I guess we’ll find out and see what’s similar and what’s different. But I know this: I know that Romeo is very similar to Todd. Todd is extremely passionate about football. He’s passionate about this football team. He’s passionate about these players. He was very focused on winning. I think Romeo has a lot of those very qualities.”
And while opinions varied — some thought the dismissal was overdue, others thought the coach got a raw deal — one thing was clear. If they weren’t already mad about the team’s 5-8 record, that 37-10 loss to the Jets on Sunday was the final straw.
“I think it was a no-brainer,” said Tom English, a 27-year-old resident of Overland Park. “Even with all the injuries, they clearly underperformed with the talent they had. And when you get beat as badly as they got beat (Sunday), something had to be done.”
Injuries have plagued the Chiefs early and often this season. Pro Bowl safety Eric Berry suffered a knee injury that put him out for the year in Week 1. Running back Jamaal Charles — the second-leading rusher in the league in 2010 — suffered a season-ending knee injury the following week. Quarterback Matt Cassel had surgery on his hand on Nov. 14 and was placed on injured reserve, ending his season. And even quarterback Kyle Orton, whom the Chiefs acquired off waivers from the Broncos, was injured on his first play with Kansas City.
There have been few Decembers during Kirk Ferentz’s 13-year tenure at Iowa where there hasn’t been talk of him being a candidate for an NFL coaching opening.Many of us that have followed the program during that time have become numb to the speculation.
I mean, Ferentz has turned away opportunities to move up a level. Still, rumors have persisted that he’ll leave.
Hey, he should be flattered. It’s not something that negatively affects recruiting much, if any. The banter, for the most part, reflects positively on the Hawkeyes skipper. He’s a wanted man.
It reached a head Monday morning when Haley was fired after posting a 19-27 record in Kansas City. His four-year contract expires after next season. The Chiefs clearly didn’t feel that they could move on with Haley after they were blown out 37-10 by the New York Jets on Sunday. It was the Chiefs’ fifth loss of 27 points or more this season. They are 5-8 and have the toughest remaining schedule in the NFL, starting with a home game Sunday against 13-0 Green Bay.
Patrick Allen is VP of Content for the FanSided Network. He also serves the managing editor of the network's very first site, Arrowhead Addict. Originally from Ohio, Patrick is a Chiefs fan first and a Browns fan second (I know!). He also pulls for the Buckeyes, Indians and Cavs. Guinness is thinking of naming him the most miserable sports fan of all time. @rpatrickallen