Fruits of Stability … Weekend Cup O’Chiefs

The just completed NFL Combine was quite different than the previous two for Chiefs head coach Todd Haley.

On this most recent trip to Indianapolis that ended earlier in the week, Haley was juggling just one ball – the evaluation of players available for the 2011 NFL Draft. In his previous visits to Indy, Haley was trying to watch the talent and finish off his coaching staff. That first year, Haley hired nine new coaches. For his second season in 2010, he hired nine more new coaches.

This year, there was only one deletion – Charlie Weis – and one addition – Jim Zorn. The rest of his staff remained the same. It was also that way in Scott Pioli’s personnel department – the same faces were part of this year’s Combine as last year’s.

In a 2011 NFL season that promises so much instability thanks to the labor situation, the Chiefs are the picture of stability.

Haley thinks it should make a major difference once the attention of the league turns back to football.

“Our personnel department is so much more stable now, and our coaching staff,” Haley said. “We’ve got guys that have been in place for three years and everybody knows each other so much better. Not a lot different than us knowing the players and the players knowing us; it’s on that level. They now what we are looking for, they know how we go about the business.

“I would say we are a much more efficient group thanks to the experience together.”

The head coach says that filters down to the locker room.

“The way we are going to play football, the way we are going to coach, players know what to expect, they know what we are going to be doing,” Haley said. “That’s a huge item … less change has made things better.”

The only person in the coaching-personnel equation that’s getting up to speed is Zorn.

“I’ve always looked at Jim from afar and thought he was a West Coast (offense) guy, but that’s really not his roots,” said Haley. “Going back to Chuck Knox when he (Zorn) came into the league as a player, there are some similarities to what we do.

“Terminology-wise, that’s the thing he’s working the hardest on right now is translating. But you’ve got a guy that’s played in multiple terminology systems so to speak, coached in multiple systems so to speak. The transition will not take long for him.”

At this time of the year, the coaches find themselves stepping into the world of personnel as the league prepares for the Draft. Haley’s coaches spend time evaluating college tape on the potential picks. How much their input is factored in to how the Chiefs grade these players depends on how good the individual coach is at evaluation.

Haley believes in the oft-repeated NFL cliché that coaches coach and scouts scout. His family background and his start in the league as a scout give him a unique perspective on the relationship between scouts and coaches.

“There are coaches on our staff that are very good at evaluating players,” Haley said. “I believe that great coaches generally have that as a trait, but sometimes limit it to their own players. Me growing up in the family I grew up, it’s something close to my heart, I’m passionate about it, and feel like I do it at a high level. But I know that Scott and the scouts have a much better idea of what guys strengths are than I do.

“It’s a rare talent, much more rare than people think. You hear it enough times from so many voices that say it with enough gumption that you believe it and yet when you go back and check you find out that they don’t know what they were talking about.

“I think it’s a rare talent to have people who have an eye for picking out talented players. It’s easy to see the obvious in this day and age with the whole Combine on TV. Everybody knows the fast guy, everybody knows the guy that can jump.

“(Bill) Parcells used to tell me all the time, ‘find a guy who can evaluate quarterbacks, hire him and pay him as much money as you have to’.”


  • BRONCOS – released DE Justin Bannan and NT Jamal Williams.
  • BROWNS – re-signed LB D’Qwell Jackson to a 1-year contract; re-signed QB Seneca Wallace to a 3-year contract.
  • CHARGERS – signed S Bob Sanders.
  • DOLPHINS – re-signed OL Richie Incognito.
  • GIANTS – signed RB Darius Reynaud to a contract extension.
  • JAGUARS – signed CB Tyron Brackenridge and CB David Jones.
  • LIONS – released RB Kevin Smith; released OLB Julian Peterson.
  • PACKERS – re-signed LB A.J. Hawk.
  • PANTHERS – signed TE Jeremy Shockey.
  • PATRIOTS – announced retirement of G Stephen Neal.
  • REDSINS – signed S O.J. Atogwe to a 5-year, $26 million contract.
  • SAINTS – re-signed RB Pierre Thomas to a new 4-year, $12 million contract.
  • SEAHAWKS – released TE Chris Baker.
  • STEELERS – signed defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau and offensive coordinator Bruce Arians to 1-year contracts.
  • TEXANS – re-signed DT Shaun Cody to a 2-year, $5.75 million contract; re-signed TE Owen Daniels; re-signed RB Derrick Ward.
  • VIKINGS – signed DE Brian Robison to a 3-year, $14 million with a $6.5 million signing bonus.

11 Responses to “Fruits of Stability … Weekend Cup O’Chiefs”

  • March 4, 2011  - Butler says:

    All I have to say is they all need to,
    Think about the People who make all this
    Happen !!!!!!!!!!!!!! THE FANS !!!!!If attendance GOES DOWN they will all SUFFER !!!

    Ok GUY’s GET-R-DONE Let’s Play FOOTBALL !!!!!!!!

  • March 4, 2011  - el cid says:

    Bob, what’s happening with Chief’s unsigned players? I do not see how the defense will be better without Smith next year, so when is he able to walk away and look for another team. Gilberry got covered but what about the rest? Can the Chiefs sign any other team’s players yet? What is going on?

  • March 4, 2011  - aPauled says:

    The Chiefs tendered Carr, Gilberry and Richardson. No surprises there.

  • March 4, 2011  - Bob Pritchard says:

    I’ve always wondered how the talent evaluators are graded and evaluated by the Chiefs. Do you know how the team grades the scouts?

  • March 5, 2011  - Milkman says:

    This would probably explain the sub-par draft of 2009. It seemed like it took forever for Scott Pioli to make up his mind when Clark Hunt offered him the job. He came in so late, he had no choice but to use Peterson’s scouting staff for his first draft. I doubt they were highly motivated knowing they were more than likely going to lose their jobs.

  • March 5, 2011  - el cid says:

    Milkman, for the millionth time, Mr Pioli “locked out” the Peterson staff from his first draft. (They did not like Brown, Lawrence, or Williams, if that matters) He SAID that at least once. He used his knowledge of what he knew of the draftees and the Chiefs needs. He need DEs so he drafted two, a NFL grade QB so he traded for one, a RB, check off, a WR, check off, TE, check off, OL check off and lastly a K. So not everything worked out but ALL HIS, nothing to do with Peterson or his crew, Pioli said that, period, end of discussion.

  • March 6, 2011  - Milkman says:

    I guess I hit a nerve,el cid. Did not hear Pioli say any of that. So if he did, then my bad. But it still seems that if he’d come in sooner he would have had enough time to bring in more of his own scouts. We won’t know for sure for at least a couple more years, but right now you have to admit that his second draft sure looks a lot better than his first.

  • March 6, 2011  - el cid says:

    Correct on Mr Pioli “different” draft the second time around. But I figure it was because he actually had scouts, coaches, and Haley “discussing/arguing” their view of the team’s needs. Berry vs. Jackson, McC/Arenas vs Cassel/Vrabel, like two different staffs made choices.

    Sorry about the touchiness but Pioli was supposed to be a “genius” from a “genius organization” who made “genius choices” for years and Pioli walked in to KC like a college grad who had no idea of what the draft was for or who was coming out of college. The kids selected, not only, did not match the style of the team but could not even play/help a 2-14 team.

  • March 6, 2011  - ED says:

    Pioli had a bad 2009 draft so what who cares. He did much better in 2010. Hopefully that will continue to carry over in 2011.

  • March 6, 2011  - el cid says:

    Right as usual ED. Just 20 more years of one good and one bad and you get Peterson and a lot of wasted time. Hope 2011 is closer to 2010 also.

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