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Haley Rewards Work … Wednesday Cup O’Chiefs

So big, bad, nasty Todd Haley really is a softie?

Wasn’t it just a few days ago we read a lengthy piece in the local fish wrap headlined on the paper’s website with “Chiefs coach Haley not the type to take it easy on his team.”

Of course that story ran without any mention of Haley taking his team bowling last Friday afternoon, rather than practice. And Haley made the story look even more misplaced on Tuesday when he cancelled the rest of the Chiefs OTA sessions and sent his players home for what will now be a six-week vacation.

So the Chiefs are so good right now that their hard-edged coach is rewarding them by slicing what amounts to four practices in a week?

“We’ve got a long way to go but from where we started to where we’re at right now I think the guys really worked hard every day and we had such a good attendance with so many guys here, that it was worth throwing them a bone,” said Haley.

“Was there going to be a case of diminishing returns because again these guys started early, have been working really hard? I just thought it was worth the sacrifice.”

The Chiefs accomplished a lot in this off-season as a group. Everything isn’t perfect, everything isn’t in place. There are many, many things to work on. More than likely, they could have put those four practices to good use.

But obviously Haley believes his team has gotten the message he was delivering.

His belief will be tested six weeks from now when they return and the team heads to training camp. Will they retain their knowledge? Will they grow their understanding of what the coach and his staff want? Will they show up in the shape they left the building in on Tuesday?

“What we can’t do is go back to square one in any way, shape or form,” Haley said. “If we do it really just becomes a waste of time, which we don’t want it to be.

“I don’t want to go into training camp to get into shape. I want to go into training camp in shape. I think that gives us the best chance to succeed since that’s one less thing to be worrying about. We’ll have more focus on the football aspect o f it; we’ll have less injuries and all the things that go along with being a well conditioned team.”

Certainly the growth of his defense attracted Haley’s attention. With an entirely new scheme, new coordinator and all but one new coach, that side of the ball figured to take more time to come together. That hasn’t proven to be the case.

“I think we’ve made great progress,” said Haley. “Until the pads are on and we’re really playing we won’t know for sure. But as far as understanding what they need to do, I think we’re night and day. Technique-wise, fundamentals, alignments, all the things that go with making a big change like we did, I think we’re a lot further ahead.

“We put in a bunch of our pressures, really all of them, and I think that those are the tough things for guys, getting lined up correctly, understanding what gap they have to take care of and I think overall I feel encouraged by what I’ve seen.”

There were things that did not get done. The passing game lags behind and there was not enough work on situational football.

“We didn’t get to a lot of that in these OTAs,” said Haley. “So in training camp we’ll have to see a lot more practiced devoted to situations, all kinds of situations, anything you can think of to get this team to a point where it’s a smart football team and understands how to win.

“That will be the next progression along with getting into the full pads and having some physical practices.”

That’s really what came down with Haley’s decision to end the OTAs early; football in underwear has achieved all that is possible to this point. He and his staff need to see these 85 players play football, real football.

So as he said, Haley and his staff threw the players a bone. But I thought Haley was supposed to be a guy who beat his players over the head with a bone, or something harder? That’s the picture that’s been painted by many in the media. And it certainly wasn’t a portrayal that Haley was going to fight because it played into what he was trying to get done with this team in this off-season.

And that was very simply this: change the attitudes of players who were coming off two seasons where they won six of 32 games.

That meant he had to be loud and proud and profane and he had to get into the grill of quite a few players. Changes had to be made. Attention had to be gained. Most guys got the point. Those that did not (Will Franklin) are elsewhere or (Brian Waters) still pouting.

Was the tough guy stuff an act? Just who is the real Todd Haley?

Good coaches can have a lot of different faces. What does not change for them are the football principles they believe in. So if players follow the plan, do what their told and complete the assigned tasks, that supposedly mean and grumpy coach will have a smile on his face and days off in his back pocket.

COACHES NEED VACATION TOO

Haley and his staff won’t get as much time off as the players, but close. The head coach believes there has to be time for the coaches to re-charge.

“Coaches to be effective coaches have to have energy every day whether it’s talking to the team out on the field, coaching them on the practice field or game planning among themselves getting ready for each day of practice,” said Haley. “So there needs to be a recharge time and some great coaches believe strongly in that. That’s the way I was brought up.

“I believe last year I used every bit of energy and enthusiasm I had to get done the job we got done. You’ve got to re-charge and you’ve got to be able to bring it each and every day. There’s not light at the end of the tunnel once it starts.”

Haley’s been running through the tunnel since last July, what with the Arizona Cardinals season that extended into the playoffs, starting with the wildcard weekend and ending with the Super Bowl.

“I need a little break,” Haley said. “So I’m looking forward to a little time with my family for sure.”

So Haley and his wife will take their five children off to a family cottage on a lake in New York and then some time on an East Coast beach.

Before they know it, Dad will be in Wisconsin, and the season will be on.

WOULD THE CHIEFS HAVE ANY INTEREST IN PLAXICO BURRESS?

Would Haley like to come back from vacation and find a new receiver on his roster: troubled free agent Plaxico Burruss?

The coach would not commit himself on that subject.

“There are a lot of people involved in that decision and I won’t talk about anybody specifically,” Haley said. ‘It’s a process and a lot of people are in on that decision.”

With his legal difficulties pushed back into next year, Burress looks like he’s going to be able to play in the 2009 season. It’s going to be hard for NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to suspend him before he’s convicted in court or pleads guilty. Teams like Tampa Bay, Chicago and the New York Jets have reportedly expressed interest in signing Burress.

“It’s something that everybody in the organization has to be comfortable with,” Haley said, “and not just myself, not just Scott, everybody has to be comfortable and then you try to make the best educated decision.”

SIGNINGS & MOVEMENT AROUND THE LEAGUE

BENGALS — signed sixth-round draft choice CB Morgan Trent.

FALCONS – signed third-round draft choice CB Christopher Owens and fifth-round OT Garrett Reynolds; released OT Renardo Foster and K/P Robbie Dehaze.

PACKERS – signed sixth-round draft choices CB Brandon Underwood and DE Jarius Wynn and seventh-round choice LB Brad Jones.

SAY HAPPY BIRTHDAY …

Born on June 17, 1940 in Shelby, North Carolina was LB Bobby Bell (left). He was selected in the seventh-round of the 1963 AFL Draft out of Minnesota. Bell actually signed with the Texans, but never played in Dallas, moving north with the team. He ended up playing 12 seasons and in 168 games for the Chiefs. Bell had 26 career interceptions, including six that he returned for touchdowns. He also recovered two fumbles for touchdowns and returned on onside kick 55 yards for a TD. Bell was the first Chiefs player elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He was enshrined in 1983.

Born on June 17, 1970 in San Pedro, California was LB Arnold Ale. He joined the Chiefs for the 1994 season and appeared in two games, working on special teams.

Born on June 17, 1976 in Erie, Pennsylvania was DE Eric Hicks. He joined the Chiefs as a rookie free agent in 1998 out of the University of Maryland. Hicks played nine seasons with the Chiefs, appearing in 127 games with 104 starts. He had 44 career sacks, including a career high 14 during the 2000 season.


31 Responses to “Haley Rewards Work … Wednesday Cup O’Chiefs”

  • June 17, 2009  - Rin Tin Tin says:

    I was just noticing the lovely trees in the background of the picture of Buddy Bell…YUM!


  • June 17, 2009  - gorillafan says:

    “Most guys got the point. Those that did not (Will Franklin) are elsewhere or (Brian Waters) still pouting”

    glad to see Bob thinks Brian Waters is being a cry baby!!


  • June 17, 2009  - findthedr says:

    not much chiefs stuff to talk about between now and the end of july. Thanks for trying anyway Mr. Gretz.


  • June 17, 2009  - Rip 'em a new one says:

    One has to wonder how many of these roster players will either get or stay in shape over the next 6 weeks before camp opens, especially the ‘Wonderlic 15 and under’ crowd? Could Haley’s message be any more clear?

    Alas, there will be a few who won’t get it but if it’s only a few that show up overweight or out of shape then Haley’s edict has gotten through. Still, I’m putting the over/under number at 10 and would bet on the under.


  • June 17, 2009  - tm1946 says:

    Sure wish the Chiefs had been added to the list of team that signed draft picks, maybe sooner than later?


  • June 17, 2009  - anonymous says:

    It’s gonna be a long 6 weeks boys. I hope the only news that involves the Chiefs during this dead zone period is contract signings. No arrest, no injuries (remember Percy Snow), no nothing but contracts.


  • June 17, 2009  - Mark says:

    OT- Does anyone have the numerical i.p address for this website. It’s often blocked from work as sports related, but the numerical IP is a workaround for these type of situations


  • June 17, 2009  - colby says:

    The Chiefs have six weeks to get these rookies signed. Bob said that the rookies will stick around for the next week or so to do some extra work. Maybe some get signed during that point. When they get signed doesn’t concern me in the slightest so long as they get signed before training camp. Tyson Jackson is really the only guy to worry about because of his status as a top pick. From Alex Magee on down, they’ll get their deals done at some point in the next six weeks, but it really doesn’t matter when they do, so long as they do.


  • June 17, 2009  - colby says:

    As far as Plax is concerned, the Chiefs should stay away. The Chiefs more than likely aren’t going to compete for a championship this year. Plax needs to go to a team ready to win now. Minnesota, Chicago, Baltimore etc. Because he’ll probably spend the 2010 season in jail. I do feel that the Chiefs will make a move or two before camp. Whether it’s a trade (still have my fingers crossed for Boldin) or a free agent still out there(Levi Jones?) I think that the building isn’t quite done yet. Whoever the players were who couldn’t do the 50 yard drills are the ones who could be cut before camp opens to make room for a veteran.

    Some free agents that could be had cheap that could possibly improve our team. (Not all, just players that I personally like.)

    WR Marty Booker
    WR Justin McCareins
    WR Amani Toomer
    WR Keary Colbert
    C/G Matt Lehr
    OT Levi Jones
    OLB Marques Harris
    OLB Marcus Washington
    ILB Morlon Greenwood
    S Mike Brown

    As far as we know, the Chiefs have worked out Colbert and Brown at certain times this offseason. Not that I think safety is a big concern, but any of these guys mentioned above would have an above average chance of making the final 53 and a few of them could even start. I’m sure the Chiefs know who is out there, and we’ll just have to wait and see if they make a move. But there are still decent veterans looking for work who could come in here and potentially make this team better. Best of all, they aren’t future jailbirds like Plax.


  • June 17, 2009  - alex k says:

    If they all decide that Plax is a 1 year risk worth taking, Id have to go along with that, it would improve the offense, and make the chiefs offense a lot tougher to defend, larry pounding the ball and bowe/plax/engram catching passes from Matt Cassel.


  • June 17, 2009  - SG says:

    Colby, I don’t see us getting Plax either.

    What are our real chances of landing Jones (and what’s his price tag look like)?


  • June 17, 2009  - Rin Tin Tin says:

    ((Cue another Elton John paraphrase, 1st post top this blog)) “Fake Rin, fake Rin’s got green eyes.”

    :-)

    Now then, on to His takes for today, this:

    *
    1st things first: Happy Birthday to the greatest OLB the game has ever know: Bobby Bell – #1.

    Lawrence Taylor, Jack Ham, Derrick Thomas (snicker) & all the rest? Hit your knees.

    *
    Burress? Why not just sign Andre Rison who is better (his words) and probably cheaper (he’ll work for bail, according to anonymous sources.)

    Or, KC can go for another member the chain gang -

    Randy Moss – Terrell Owens – old pro Chad Johnson and a newbie, Brandon Marshall … one or more of their releases off the line of scrimmage portends being a little slower this year…

    *
    Last things last (as in space to fill and team to put asunder:)

    “So big, bad, nasty Todd Haley really is a softie?”

    - yes, and also reportedly a coach of some renown (Golf Digest.)

    His handicap? He’s a Foot Wedge in a Vardon grip world…FORE!

    :-)


  • June 17, 2009  - Rin Tin Tin says:

    And to you Brian Waters…SALUTE! Keep makin’ ‘search’ & ‘check’ backpedal!

    :-)


  • June 17, 2009  - Rin Tin Tin says:

    “Green” eyes, indeed…looking at the foliage of a tall maple as we speak…come to papa!


  • June 17, 2009  - Rin Tin Tin says:

    ((Cue yet ANOTHER Elton John paraphrase fake ^ Rin blog, above))

    “Green eyes, fake Rin’s got (H U G E) green eyes”

    heh heh heh

    :-)


  • June 17, 2009  - colby says:

    A few weeks back, I heard the price tag for Levi Jones if he was healthy was around 1 year, 3-3.5 mil. The Chiefs could easily afford that. If McIntosh or someone else turns out to be better then it’s not the end of the world. I just hope that the line doesn’t make Cassel’s job tougher than it’s going to be already. And this is coming from a fan who is relatively comfortable with their line right now.


  • June 17, 2009  - Herm Edwards says:

    I just want everyone to know that I hate Rin, and do not want him approving of anything I do. He is a literal tree hugger, and I do not approve of such things.


  • June 17, 2009  - ED says:

    Good to see Haley reward his players for there hardwork. The one thing I like about Haley more than anything as a head coach is he’s making his players earn there keep. From earning the arrow on the helments to even earning time off. That type of mentality will keep guys playing at a high level because know one ever becomes complacent.

    As for us bring in Plaxico. Wouldn’t mine having Plax. Its not like he was a cancer in the locker room. So i wouldn’t mine adding him he would be a big help to our offense and a good one yr replacement for Tony


  • June 17, 2009  - Anon says:

    This team is too far behind the rest of the league to leave off practice. The biggest problem Edwards’ teams faced was that they entered the season unprepared – they were always behind trying to catch up. Clearly, with a team trying to find some offensive rhythm and installing a new defensive scheme, there are things they could have accomplished with the extra time. You don’t leave for later what you can accomplish today.


  • June 17, 2009  - Blake says:

    So the Chiefs will still have to cut 5 players off of the roster to get down to 80 right, and maybe more if we sign any free agents. I wonder who those 5 guys will be. You cant really judge the oline and dline, so I would be guessing that it is these 5 guys:

    WR Rodney Wright
    one DE either Gales or Greenwood
    one TE probably Crabtree
    one LB probably Dacus or Smith
    one CB either Fryer or Bates

    Who do you guys think will be the 5 roster cuts.


  • June 17, 2009  - colby says:

    I was just thinking about this the other day Blake. Great post! Your list makes sense, but with one problem: with the exception of Dacus, they are all guys Haley and Pioli have brought in. Herm’s guys are the ones who may be in more trouble.

    You could be 100% correct, but I’ll play along as well. My five:

    OG Tavares Washington
    TE Jed Collins
    DE Wallace Gilberry
    DT TJ Jackson
    and one of the long snappers, take your pick. Go to camp with one, if he sucks in the preseason, sign another one. There’s always a veteran long snapper floating around somewhere.

    My list is big body dominated, so it probably won’t be that accurate, but it’s a fun game to play.


  • June 17, 2009  - Rip 'em a new one says:

    Colby, re:

    WR Marty Booker
    WR Justin McCareins
    WR Amani Toomer
    WR Keary Colbert
    C/G Matt Lehr
    OT Levi Jones
    OLB Marques Harris
    OLB Marcus Washington
    ILB Morlon Greenwood
    S Mike Brown

    Nice list and research on your part. I do agree, there is a guy or two to strongly consider from that grouping, especially, well, especially most of them that one could make a case.

    The fact that we’re poring over the remaining free agent list for needed additions tells us a couple of things:

    1) This 2009 Chief’s team is not likely to go from the basement to the upper floor (playoffs) ala Atlanta and Miami from this past season. More like a rise from 2-12 to maybe 5-11 or 6-10.

    2) The drafting of top picks from the past few years has been poor. When we’re still questioning the likes of Dorsey, Hali, Derrick Johnson and even Bowe for various reasons, it suggests to me that there’s still at least a couple of years down the road to even think about a playoff run.

    Haley has MORE than his work cut out for him but the good news is, I think he knows that (along with Pioli), and will play country hardball until the team is ready to compete for post-season berths.


  • June 17, 2009  - Josh says:

    Rip ‘em,

    I totally agree. This team is similar to the train wreck that was the 1988 Chiefs, but probably a couple of players worse…I imagine with a little luck, the Chiefs *COULD* be playoff-ready by the 2010 season.

    Then again, who knows? The Chargers could implode this year, leaving the AFC West WIDE open…and if that’s the case, I like our chances for winning the division.


  • June 17, 2009  - SG says:

    “The Chargers could implode this year, leaving the AFC West WIDE open…and if that’s the case, I like our chances for winning the division.”

    I like your optimism. You’re onto one thing — it will likely take an implosion by the Chargers for another team to take the West. One other thing seems pretty certain…there will not be more than one AFC West team advancing to the post-season.


  • June 17, 2009  - Ratso says:

    Yeah Plexi on the Chiefs … just what we need .. a little cancer in the locker room with a lot of rookies. Man what a role model he’d make. Sounds like the Chiefs are getting ready for some rock’em sock’em football so let’s hope everyone has enough brains to know Haley won’t tolerate guys coming into camp out of shape. I think the conditioning and the positive feedback we’ve been getting on LJ bodes well for the future. I just hope Bob can find something to write about until training camp starts … btw .. thanks Bob you do a great job !!

    Rats


  • June 18, 2009  - Josh says:

    SG,

    “there will not be more than one AFC West team advancing to the post season”…spot on there.

    Yeah, I figure a little optimism never hurts. I mean, hell, they have to be better than last year, right? haha


  • June 18, 2009  - SG says:

    “they have to be better than last year, right?”

    The Missouri School for the Deaf and Blind 8th grade team would be within two wins of their total wins for last season as a base for comparison. Truthfully, the team is at least “slightly better” than last season. Most moves they have made have been very solid. One particular trade decision looks awful – and I hope it doesn’t cost them their jobs – as now the main stars we have to root for on this team – are a newcomer to the roster – and a guy who I wouldn’t exactly suggest to my 3-year-old to follow as a role model. Generally, one hopes to have players to root for in situations where the team stinks. I fear that there may be neither of these for 2009.


  • June 18, 2009  - Josh says:

    “one hopes to have players to root for in situations where the team stinks”

    …I totally agree…but if being a Royals fan has taught me anything, even the non-stars are fun to root for when you see them busting their tails on a team where there’s nothing to be gained…especially guys who realize that this is their “shot”; ones who would be back-ups or not on the active roster with other clubs…I just hope we have some Willie Bloomquist-type players on the team this year…


  • June 18, 2009  - SG says:

    “…but if being a Royals fan has taught me anything, even the non-stars are fun to root for when you see them busting their tails on a team where there’s nothing to be gained…”

    You need not say more – you are the walking example of perseverence…LOL. No doubt there will be one or two guys that will step into some big shoes and replace the established stars.


  • June 18, 2009  - gochiefsxxx says:

    This team is way better than last years just by getting rid of Herm!!!!! Did you read when Bob wrote how many games we lost in the 4th QT, last year the players we out of shape they wont be this year and Haley will play to win instead of not to loose like Herm did. Worse thing Peterson ever did was hire Herm.


  • June 18, 2009  - Rin Tin Tin says:

    ‘check’ famous last words 2009: “Any 22″ = 0-16

    Yup, Herm’s STILL The Man!

    heh heh heh

    :-)




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