Haley’s Defensive View … Thursday Cup O’Chiefs

“You don’t have to put yourself in a box.”

Those words belong to Chiefs head coach Todd Haley and that is the attitude his team will take into preparing its defense for the 2009 season.

While those outside the team may be hung up on whether it will play a 4-3 or a 3-4 defense, Haley is more concerned with using the talents on his roster to field a stout and dominating defense that will give the Chiefs a chance to win.

“You have to utilize the players that you have,” Haley said, later mentioning by name LB Derrick Johnson (right). “If you have some creativity and imagination with these guys you can find some things these guys do pretty well.”

There’s no question the Chiefs are moving toward a base defense that will be dominated by the 3-4 scheme. But that’s unlikely to happen in the first year under defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast. Along with assistant coaches Tim Krumrie, Gary Gibbs, Ronnie Bradford and Pat Perles, they will be mixing and matching all sorts of defensive concepts, based on the roster and what opponents may be doing on offense.

Has too much been made about whether it’s a 4-3 or 3-4 defense?

“Yes, I think there’s been too much made of it,” said Haley. “In today’s game, with more and more teams spreading out on offense, half the time you are in the nickel package any way. There are so many variations and things that are going on to be labeled one thing.”

According to Haley, eventually the Chiefs will be a team that runs the 3-4 defense.

“I just think that’s good business,” said Haley.

“We have a general manager in Scott Pioli that’s done a better job than anybody finding players to play that type of defense. It’s a defense that I’m familiar with from a couple of my stops. I just think it is good business when your No. 1 talent evaluator knows how to find those bodies.”

Whether it’s because of the success of New England and Pittsburgh or the cyclical nature of football, more and more teams are experimenting with the 3-4 as a base scheme for the defense. As an offensive play caller the past two years in Arizona, Haley found the 3-4 more difficult to prepare for in game planning.

“If it’s a balanced 3-4, it presents more problems for both the run and the pass,” he said. “There’s more the defense can do and that makes it tougher to figure out what they are going to do and how to counter their plan.

“There are always unknowns because you’ve got those two guys standing up on the edges (the outside linebackers). Are they coming on a pass rush? Are they blitzing to stop the run? Will they drop into coverage? You don’t know who is coming and who is not coming.

“The 3-4 gives you a little more flexibility and versatility.”

In 2008, the Chiefs will play some 3-4, some 4-3 and many other fronts, something Pendergast did last year during the Arizona Cardinals run to the Super Bowl. The team has shown in practices a variety of sub-defenses and blitzes. They will not be playing one type of defense for the season, or even in a game.

Last year the Chiefs defense struggled in essentially every facet of the game. They finished 31st in the league in total yards allowed, setting a new Chiefs record by giving up 6,291 yards or an average of 393.2 yards per game. They had trouble stopping the run, giving up an average of 158.9 yards rushing per game. They also couldn’t get to the quarterback, establishing an NFL record for the fewest sacks in a season with 10 in 16 games.

But the statistic that cut the deepest was the most important one for any defense: points allowed. The ’08 Chiefs set a club record for most points allowed in a season with 440. The defense gave up 46 touchdowns, ranking third in most offensive scores allowed last year.

“We’ve got to keep people out of the end zone,” Haley said. “That’s simple football.”


Why would the Chiefs be interested in a 31-year old veteran NFL safety who has been injury prone for the last five years?

When Pioli/Haley sign a player they don’t provide a lot of information on why. But we can roundup the usual suspects and explain their actions in apparently agreeing to terms with former Bears safety Mike Brown (left).

First, it comes down to competition, a word the GM and coach have used frequently when talking about making the Chiefs better. They’ve said many times they want to increase the competition at all positions.

That they signed Brown would appear to indicate they are looking for somebody to push the starters at safety, Jarrad Page and Bernard Pollard. It would also appear that they don’t believe Jon McGraw and DaJuan Morgan are capable of pushing Page and Pollard. Without a big training camp and pre-season, Morgan figures to be another one of those ’08 draft choices who will be sent packing. McGraw’s contributions on special teams cannot be ignored and that gives him an edge in any battle for a roster spot.

As a 31-year old with his resume of injuries, it is unlikely Brown got big money to sign with the Chiefs. The only other team visit he made was to Cleveland; there was not a rush of bodies knocking down his door. More than likely it did not cost the Chiefs much of anything to sign Brown and bring him to camp.

If he stays healthy, he’s the type of player that could help the team. If he has his old injury problems of recent years, he’ll be just a blip on the Kansas City radar screen and forgotten quickly.


Ed Thomas (right) was the type of person that changed the lives of young people. When he was going to grade school in Parkersburg, Iowa, former Chiefs-now Broncos center Casey Wiegmann drew a picture and wrote a story about how when he grew up he wanted to work on a pig farm and drive a Corvette.

Thomas had that piece of paper tacked up on his office wall many years later.

Wiegmann ended up getting the Corvette, but he could buy many pig farms these days from the money he’s earned from playing pro football, a game and passion instilled in him by Thomas, his high school coach.

The same man who coached three others players that came out of the corn and soybean fields of Iowa and made it in the NFL: Wiegmann, Brad Meester in Jacksonville, Jared DeVries of Detroit and Aaron Kampman of Green Bay. The odds of four NFL players coming from a small school like Aplington-Parkersburg are astronomical.

That Thomas died Wednesday morning in the school’s temporary weight room at the hands of a young man with a gun is inconceivable. The school had temporary quarters because the high school and most of the town of Parkersburg was destroyed during a tornado last year.

The 58-year old Thomas died shortly after arriving at a hospital emergency room in Waterloo, Iowa. He was airlifted there after he was found shot in the head. The county sheriff has a suspect in custody, apparently a former Aplington-Parkersburg student and player Mark Becker who had been having recent emotional problems.

Witnesses said the man shot Thomas at point blank range with a hand gun. There were some 20 students using the weights in the room at the time, a summer Wednesday morning with a session that started at 7:30. That was one of the features that made Thomas and his teams so good: their work ethic. Lifting weights and conditioning were a 12-month a year process under him.

It’s that type of work ethic that allowed four Iowa farm boys to make it in the NFL.

“I think one of the big things he’s done for everybody, it’s not so much the Xs and Os that he taught us about football but it’s the stuff that he taught us that pertains to real life, it’s about being men, that has meant so much,” Meester told Jaguars.com. “He taught us so many things.  He taught us things like hard work, just taking pride in what we do and the value of family.

“He treated each and every one of us like we were his kids.  He truly did care for each and every one of us and that’s one of the greatest things about him that will always be remembered.  I know that each of us who have been through that program and been with him will take so much from that and everything that he’s taught us about being a man we take into our everyday life.  We’re able to take that into life with our families, with our job and we thank him for that.”

Thomas just finished his 37th season of coaching, with a career record of 292-84, including 156-31 as head coach. He won state titles in 1993 and 2001 and led the school to 19 state playoff appearances. His victory total is ninth all-time for Iowa high school coaches.


BRONCOS – claimed WR C.J. Jones on waivers (Chiefs).

GIANTS – signed third-round draft choice WR Ramses Barden and fifth-round QB Rhett Bomar; released TE George Wrightster and OL Mike Fladell.

PANTHERS – franchise player DE Julius Peppers signed his tender offer; signed seventh-round draft choice S Captain Munnerlyn.


Born on June 25, 1939 in Mukogee, Oklahoma was RB Curtis McClinton. Selected in the 14th-round of the 1961 AFL Draft out of Kansas, he spent eight seasons with the Texans-Chiefs, appearing in 107 games. McClinton was the AFL’s Rookie of the Year in 1962. He finished his career with 762 carries for 3,124 yards and 18 TDs and caught 154 passes for 1,945 passes for 14 TDs.

Born on June 25, 1941 in Yakima, Washington was DT Curt Farrier. Selected in the 10th-round of the 1963 AFL Draft out of Montana State, he played in 27 games over three seasons with the Chiefs (1963-65).

Born on June 25, 1977 in Daytona Beach was CB William Bartee. Selected in the second-round of the 2000 NFL Draft out of Oklahoma, he played six seasons with the Chiefs, appearing in 87 games, with 31 starts.

46 Responses to “Haley’s Defensive View … Thursday Cup O’Chiefs”

  • June 25, 2009  - Johnfromfairfax says:

    Thanks Bob. This is the premier Chiefs site. It would appear we will approach defense from an entirely different perspective this year. I’ll welcome the change from a bend but don’t break or bleed down the field until they strike the fatal blow defense to an attacking, aggressive style of play that attempts to dictate the action to force the mistakes any time. I suspect that’s how we’ll play both sides of the ball. Bring on camp so we can start to see what we will have.

  • June 25, 2009  - Rip 'em a new one says:

    Am I mistaken or is what Haley is describing in this so-called hybrid 3-4/4-3 defense simply a re-birth of the old Cowboys ‘flex’ defense from the 70s? I do agree that you have to go with the talent on the roster and build the team around their capabilities.

    Sort of the ‘work the team around the guy’ as opposed to the other way around?

  • June 25, 2009  - findthedr says:

    1. having multiple defensive fronts and alignments will not only confuse the enemy but also our own players. That is why I think the chiefs will have a far better defense when they settle into the 3-4 then when they try to run a hybrid. Players may be busy thinking instead of reacting, and you dont want to make the game too complex for them.

    2. looks like you found a way to speak on the ‘unspeakable tragedy.’

    3. Agree that Morgan needs to ‘grow up’ in a hurry.

  • June 25, 2009  - Scott says:


    On your point #1…it will depend on our coaching. Do we have the right guys (coaches) in place to get the job done? I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt, until I see otherwise. Because let’s face it…when it comes to our D, we have no place to go but up.

  • June 25, 2009  - anonymous says:

    Pendergast needs to be careful of not trying to install to many different packages and or schemes, to the point that guys don’t have a chance to perfect their particular assignments. There’s a fine line between being a versatile Defense and getting too cute with it. Some say Pendergast was guilty of that in Az.

    I hope that Pendergast gets their base D and a couple of sub packages down pat (which I still think will be a 4-3 under) during Training Camp, then build on that during the season.

  • June 25, 2009  - Scott says:

    Not to plug another Chiefs website here…but there is a hilarious story about Elvis Grbac at ArrowHead Pride today. If you need a good laugh.

  • June 25, 2009  - anonymous says:

    Great minds think alike…..

  • June 25, 2009  - Rin Tin Tin says:

    “Haley’s Defensive View”…good banner Bob G – sums up ‘check’ in a nutshell.

    “You have to utilize the players that you have” – translation – ‘check’ wishes he’d never uttered his “any 22″ stoma filler; but if the shoe fits…

    Part n’ parcel thereof: Mike Brown: competition or, scraping the bottom of the barrel? A matter of perspective: Rin’s be another nod toward the “any 22″ plan…the ‘catch’ being said is a plan gone horribly wrong.

    Curtis McClinton: the finest FB in Chiefs/Texans history – period. Wendell Hayes would be in the discussion but Curtis was the best.

    Football when it meant something…the 1960s/good old days!


  • June 25, 2009  - Josh says:

    McClinton was amazing. T-Rich was almost as good, but, I have to agree with Rin, McClinton was the man!

  • June 25, 2009  - Rin Tin Tin says:

    Yes, and Robert nee Bobby “The Tank” Holmes – for a brief season or 2 1/2, was also memorable – no more so however than the late Mack Lee Hill, whom Holmes was characterized as reminiscent of.

    Rin’s opine, Richardson only merits consideration because he made a Pro Bowl whereas a Hayes didn’t for example, but as a complete player- production being the thing, Wendell “King” Hayes too was the far better player than Richardson; probably Bobby Holmes was better than TR as well.

    Mark Bailey? – Arnold Morgado? Now were talking Tony territory…


  • June 25, 2009  - Rin Tin Tin says:

    Actually, come to think of it I’ll have a Heinek- which is to say, TR was a glorified Bill Jones…


  • June 25, 2009  - Josh says:

    Bill Jones? haha Ouch!

  • June 25, 2009  - Leroy Smith says:

    I’m the Michael Jordan of motivating Michael Jordan!

  • June 25, 2009  - Anonymous says:

    Just wondering if Morgan is cut. What that well do to ” Dogs ” 53% spin. lets see with the final cuts “Dogs” spin rate . No any 22 wont do > that’s the reason for the change at Chiefs drive .

  • June 25, 2009  - Rin Tin Tin says:

    You remember ‘Wild’ Bill Jones? The blocker, the receiver extraordinaire down near the pylons nee endzone- he was a brief flame flickered ‘pon the rocky shores 15 minutes fame gone by the wayside.

    Guy who scored a TD once every 5.8 times touched the football; ‘that’ he only touched the prolate spheroid 35 times 2 1/2 seasons a tribute to his not being nor understanding Marty’s – “there’s a gleam men”…


  • June 25, 2009  - Anonymous says:

    What is it Dog says Green Eyes yes that’s it . Yes`

  • June 25, 2009  - That they signed Brown would appear to indicate they are looking for somebody to push the starters… says:

    [...] Chiefs News Chiefs Update | Chiefs Football at BobGretz.com [...]

  • June 25, 2009  - Rin Tin Tin says:

    Every W in ’09 goes in the Herm’s Chiefs column… every L result ‘check’s “any 22″ self stoma stuff.

    heh heh heh


  • June 25, 2009  - Rin Tin Tin says:

    The taste of shoe – aka – “in over his haley”


  • June 25, 2009  - anonymous says:


    That is a hilarious read on Grbac!

    I remember when that happened, my buddies and I were all cracking up, that he was given that distinction.

    That explains a lot!!!

  • June 25, 2009  - rin tin tin says:

    i like gay porn heh heh heh

  • June 25, 2009  - jimbo says:

    Scott Pioli is trying to find the right talent, at the right price to help make this team better. Henceforth, Todd Haley & Co. are trying to put the pieces together for the best fit. ie.. proper player, proper placement, proper offensive & defensive scheme… Meanwhile utilizing what appears to be a limited pool of talent, to exploit & reveal each players potential, both through rigid competition & conditioning.
    Remember “Smart Players” was a criteria for the Right 53.
    If the boys in red & gold can keep up with all this “new-ness” we may all be in for a surprising & rewarding season this year.
    I think the seeds for success have been planted at 1 Arrowhead Drive. Clark Hunt has hired the Caretakers of that garden. It won’t be easy, with all the tilling, weeding, nurturing, watering & fertilizing that needs to be done. It’s really just a measure of time… Meanwhile, we as fans will sit idly & anxiously by to see what quality of goods comes out of that garden & Boy, are we hungry!!
    There probably will not be any Blue Ribbons awarded for the Caretakers this year. I’m sensing though, they will keep the seeds of their best individual goods produced this year & plant them along with some new seeds for next year.
    Because… I really believe those Caretakers want to win some Blue Ribbons.
    Their Success will be measured & weighed come January.

  • June 25, 2009  - alex k says:

    Herm won 2 of his last 25 games, you cant defend that, even herm has said this.

    Bob, do you have an idea on which safety Brown would possibly be pushing for time? I know it could be either, I just wonder if this could also indicate that the chiefs felt they needed more rush OLB and Pollard gets moved(I prefer to keep him at safety)…but the fans seem to think Page is the better safety off just a few INT’s….

    Maybe Brown can help them figure out taking bad angles never works.

  • June 25, 2009  - Rin Tin Tin says:

    Cue yet another ‘fake’ Rin post above, sandwiched between anonymous & jimbo:

    “Green eyes…fake Rin’s got (HUGE) green eyes.”

    And when you have them, you know you ‘really’ have them…

    heh heh heh


  • June 25, 2009  - anonymous says:


    The more I think about that Grbac story, the funnier it becomes.

    If there is any justice in this world, he will have read that story some where too….


  • June 25, 2009  - tm1946 says:

    I am a big Pioli/Haley supporter, that said, it has been true forever, you have to play within the abilities of your players. Remember HS, if you had a guy who could chuck it, you passed more. If he graduated and the next QB had happy feet, you ran more. The NFL is far advanced but you cannot play a 3-4 if your majority of the roster is not capable of that. Dorsey, Hali, Mcbride and other herm draftee need to play somewhere in KC. While herm’s picks do not seem headed for the HOF, the Chiefs need some players to fill roster. It is disappointing so far.

  • June 25, 2009  - alex k says:

    I remember Grbac for going after Steve young, saying young never wanted to come out of games, and said a few other negative things….

    I lost all respect for him at that point.

  • June 25, 2009  - Rin Tin Tin says:

    tm1946 said

    “It is disappointing so far”

    - epitaph ‘search’ & ‘check’ as delivered by Jr., at the farewell press conference theirs December 31, 2009…out with th old – in with the new!

    heh heh heh


  • June 25, 2009  - ED says:

    Chiefs defense will be better than most people think. I think the Linebacker core is better and the Secondary will be one of the best in the league. The defensive line is going to struggle a little, but I this defense is going to shock alot of people.

  • June 25, 2009  - Kevin B says:

    I think that Haley’s flexibility with what he does is a good thing. You need someone who can think outside the box instead of being mindlessly conventional when things are clearly not working.

    That being said I hope we balance this with not being flaky and always trying something new. Kinda like we did with quarterback last year until Thiggy stepped up. I figure we will at least win more games going all out and trying at least to win.

  • June 25, 2009  - findthedr says:

    Alex K,

    I think Mike Brown will be competing at SS, because of his ability to stop the run and his decrease in speed (doesnt have as good a range for the FS spot).

    i think Hali, Dorsey, and McBride will transition just fine to 3-4. Hali had chronic knee problems and the loss in weight will help him tremendously. He also struggled against the run, so getting him off the line will help.

    I agree that the team needs to play to their strengths, and it is so refreshing after years of Herm’s r2p2 bullcrap.

    In anycase, last yrs defense set the record for fewest sacks, and set a chiefs record for most yards given up….so its not like the team is switching players (such as Hali, Dorsey, and McBride) who necessarily excelled in the previous defense.

    The old saying is “it is foolishness to continue doing the same thing and expect diffrent results.” Our defense was piss poor awful, and it has been for a decade. Change was needed.

  • June 25, 2009  - Mark says:

    What a pleasure to hear from a Head Coach who actually gets it, after the cluelessness of the last 3 years. Haley realizes you don’t play an unaggressive, unimaginative locked in Tampa 2, regardless of your players abilities. Haley isn’t even a defensive “expert”, like the prior Clueless idiot tried to pass himself off as, yet he knows enough to play players to their strengths. I agree with ED, this D will improve alot(it can’t get much worse) with just the simple philosphy of using players correctly. For instance, Pollard isn’t a great deep defender, so don’t keep asking him to cover deep, like Herm continuously did, just because Safeties in a Tampa 2 are supposed to have deep responsibility.

  • June 25, 2009  - Rin Tin Tin says:

    Chiefs 2009 epitaph – “waiter…’check’ please” – as in season it is fini afore it a commencé…


  • June 26, 2009  - SG says:

    “…production being the thing…”

    Back up the truck a minute (and don’t hit the dead dog called ‘Herm’s the man who was coach in the single worst season in this team’s history’). Which production are we referring to — rushing yards? By that thought – do we say Trent Green was a better QB than Lenny Dawson because he threw for many more passing yards in a season – other thingse being constant? Wendell Hayes may or may not have been better than T-Rich – I’m just wanting to get more clarity on how you solidify this since I watched T-Rich but haven’t seen a lot of Hayes.

  • June 26, 2009  - SG says:

    “Every W in “˜09 goes in the Herm’s Chiefs column… every L result “˜check’s “any 22″³ self stoma stuff.”

    Just as proof that you want to move Herm to the memory column quickly…even if the Chiefs win 16 games and we were to give Herm credit for them…that leaves him with a record of 22-26 over the past two seasons – a “awe-inspiring” winning percentage of .4583.

    Check-mate sir. You may request a rematch at a later time.

  • June 26, 2009  - Rin Tin Tin says:

    “SG says

    - man, I wish that we had a real Head Coach in KC instead of this former golfer who has taken squat here; I wonder if Bill Parcells would have been a good golf coach? Probably…huh.”

    “Every W in “˜09 goes in the Herm’s Chiefs column… every L result “˜check’s “any 22″³ self stoma stuff.”

    - good, we’ve consensus…

    “Just as proof that you want to move Herm to the memory column quickly”

    - ‘THE’ only Head Coach in franchise history who has led the team to the post season/playoffs in year one – he also did the same in NY.

    I wonder how many post season games (heh) ‘check’ will (a heh heh heh) have us in this (ah, ah, ah- hahahahahahahah) this season?

    “even if the Chiefs win 16 games and we were to give Herm credit for them…that leaves him with a record of 22-26 over the past two seasons – a “awe-inspiring” winning percentage of .4583.”

    - even if ‘check’ had “every 22″ instead of just “any 22″ he would still be a – Z-E-R-O – and ‘in over his haley’.

    “Check-mate sir.”

    - that would be ‘search’ his faithful if not very especially adept sidekick – as you who try follow Rin around His footsteps… alas, those shoes are too big for you to fill…

    Game, set, match – Rin! In fact, you were ne’er e’en in the game…


  • June 26, 2009  - Rin Tin Tin says:

    “SG says

    I’m back to have my cauliflower ears boxed some more Rin” – and Rin obliges, again.

    “Which production are we referring to “” rushing yards?”

    - that’d be what we call ‘football’ stretch-er, SG. Try listening to Andy Griffith – he’ll fill in the details for you, Rin is busy hurting his sides right now…

    “By that thought”

    - no, ‘gratis’ courtesy the auspices Rin & Ange.

    ‘do we say Trent Green was a better QB than Lenny Dawson because he threw for many more passing yards in a season”

    - some folks do… they are the same folk imagine a Bonds be greater than Ruth; they’re a silly lot.

    “- other thingse being constant?”

    - nothing is e’er truly ‘constant’- but a quick perusal of the facts gives clear evidence Hayes was ‘King’ while TR(ied)…but failed to match.

    “Wendell Hayes may or may not have been better than T-Rich”

    - well if you’re not certain…allow Rin, again; Wendell was “King”; the latter guy was no-thing.

    “I’m just wanting to get more clarity on how you solidify this since I watched T-Rich but haven’t seen a lot of Hayes.”

    - shy Mr.Peabody placing you inside the ‘Wayback Machine’ Sherman, you’ll have to take Rin’s word; per the usual He is ne’er statually or factually wrong.


  • June 26, 2009  - SG says:

    “- even if “˜check’ had “every 22″³ instead of just “any 22″³ he would still be a – Z-E-R-O – and “˜in over his haley’.”

    Nice use of wit.

    “but a quick perusal of the facts gives clear evidence Hayes was “˜King’ while TR(ied)…but failed to match.”

    Help ole SG out – what facts?

  • June 26, 2009  - SG says:

    Rin Tin Tin says:
    “SG says

    - man, I wish that we had a real Head Coach in KC instead of this former golfer who has taken squat here; I wonder if Bill Parcells would have been a good golf coach? Probably…huh.”

    Lots of poetic license there…lol. Some entertaining counter-comments…

  • June 26, 2009  - Rin Tin Tin says:

    SG said

    “Lots of poetic license there…lol.”

    - no luck involved – talent does as it can…mine genius Rin does as He must.

    “Some entertaining counter-comments.”

    - man…Rin gets tired of being the best all the time; no challenges.


  • June 26, 2009  - The Truth Is Out says:

    Rin Tin Tin is Jason Whitlock.

  • June 26, 2009  - Rin's a Toy Poodle says:

    - man…Rin gets tired of being the best all the time; no challenges.

    The Best at checking to see if Herm is Still a Man…
    heh heh heh

  • June 26, 2009  - Rin's a Toy Poodle says:

    I wish Todd Haley was a 16 handicap golfer instead of a 16 loss football coach.

  • June 27, 2009  - alex k says:

    if rin is jason whitlock, then he will recieve even less respect from most of us than he already did.

    Stir the pot for the sake of stirring the pot.

    Whitlock likes anything that 95 percent hate, and hates what 95 percent like.

  • June 27, 2009  - alex k says:

    Me I just hate myself.

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