Keeping Their Heads In The Game … Thursday Cup O’Chiefs

Anybody in the vicinity of the Truman Sports Complex right around lunch time on Wednesday probably noticed the fancy sports cars and high-dollar SUVs quickly making an exit and heading towards KCI.

After going through a morning practice in full pads, the Chiefs were out the door for the rest of the bye week. They were given what amounted to a four-day pass thanks to the league’s new collective bargaining agreement between players and owners.

It’s Article 24, Section 2 and reads:

“Bye Weeks: During any regular season bye week period occurring during the term of this Agreement, players will be given a minimum of four consecutive days off. Such four-day period must include a Saturday and a Sunday unless the Club is scheduled to play a game on the Thursday following the bye week, in which case players may be required to report to the Club on the Sunday preceding the Thursday game. In such an event, the four-day period shall be Wednesday through Saturday …”

Just because the labor deal guarantees them a four-day vacation, Chiefs players have been asked to keep football on their minds, whether they are hanging out here in Kansas City, enjoying the sun and sand in Cabo or South Beach, or going back to the alma mater for Homecoming.

Their ability to do that will be one of the major keys in whether they can keep the momentum built with the back-to-back victories that have so far saved the Chiefs season.

“We’re not trying to put too many restrictions on them, but at the same time, what’s important for our team is that we not just pick up where we left off, but I want to pick up a little further ahead,” said head coach Todd Haley. “That’s really the name of the game for us is just to keep getting a little better each day and each week. This is no different.”

So with no meetings or practices in the next four days, how does a member of the Chiefs keep his head in the game?

First, he has to accept the fact that these four days are not a vacation. It’s simply a Sunday without a game to play. Players that approach the bye like it’s a vacation are worthless for awhile when they return to work. A few days away from the office so to speak, does not mean business doesn’t get done.

This is professional football and if a player is gifted enough to reach the NFL, then there must be a commitment to his profession that supersedes fun and games during the season. That includes the bye week.

This is especially true for a team that started the season as poorly as the Chiefs did, digging themselves an 0-3 hole that they still haven’t escaped. Don’t compound a poor start to the season with a poor return to the action after the bye week.

Second, he must get his rest. If the bye week trip is to Vegas, then fine, enjoy the nightlife. But he must make sure he gets sleep and time with his feet up and his body resting and not having to burn valuable energy dealing with a hangover.

The third important thing they can do is moderation in their behavior. Whether it’s at the mojito bar on Ocean Drive or eating a third helping of mom’s pork chops at home. Four days is not a time to blow the discipline that they’ve lived under for the better part of the last three months.

The fourth thing they can do is not completely dismiss football from their minds. There’s plenty of time for that in February through May, maybe even as early as January if they do not make the playoffs. They must keep their head in the game. Maybe it’s time for self-reflection on his performance during the first five games and where he must improve his game.

Haley went so far as to suggest his guys sit down on Sunday and watch an NFL game from start to finish.

“These guys don’t get to watch a lot of football and just watch a game develop,” said Haley. “I always think there’s a lot to learn there when you’re watching a game.”

Like any other team at this point of the season, the Chiefs have a lot of bumps and bruises that will benefit from four days away from the practice and playing fields. There’s nothing serious or nagging at this point, but there are plenty of players that can use rest.

It’s quite interesting that Haley used one of the 14 padded practices that the labor agreement gives him during a bye week. Normally, those types of practices would be saved for preparing for an opponent, especially one that’s very good running the ball, like say the Oakland Raiders. No, there’s a game in the future where he will not be able to put his team in pads for preparation.

But Haley obviously felt it was a chance to have a physical practice in pads and then the bye week would provide plenty of time to physically recover.

“A good day for us to get some good technique work for the entire group, but especially some of the guys that haven’t been able to play a lot of our defense, offense or special teams,” Haley said.

There should be one word on the minds of those 53 guys that left the facility and headed off to all corners of the country – Oakland. The Raiders are next on the schedule, and the Chiefs trip to northern California on October 23rd right now sits as pivotal point in the 2011 season.

The bye week is not a time for the Chiefs to check out on football.

12 Responses to “Keeping Their Heads In The Game … Thursday Cup O’Chiefs”

  • October 13, 2011  - bhive01 says:

    And stay off the reefer Houston!

  • October 13, 2011  - Chuck says:

    Bob; Are you serious with your comment “pivotal point”??? That comment would lead one to truly believe we are in the “Playoff Hunt”. You cannot be serious??? Without Charles, Berry, and Moecki that ain’t gonna happen!!!!

  • October 13, 2011  - ED J says:

    Chuck are you serious??????? This team lost Charles but Battle is stepping up and Mcluster is still capabale of big plays. Berry is gone but Houston is now being used to rush the passer which will help along with Tamba put pressure on QB which helps secondary. Then Moeaki is gone but we still have Bowe, Breaston, and now Baldwin. So bottom line its enough talent to win 8 to 9 or possibly more games. No one is running away with this the divison with the schedule we all have to face. Secondly we’re only 2 games out of 1st place and game back of the Raiders. We play the Chargers and Raiders in next 2 games. IF we handle business we will be ahead or within a game of 1st place after those games. So do your homework before you go to blasting Bob good article Bob

  • October 13, 2011  - txchief says:

    The Chiefs have played about five decent quarters of football so far this year. How they came out with two victories with such inconsistent play is really quite amazing. This is no time for celebrating what has in actuality been an awful season. I hope that the players enjoy the break and come back focused and ready to play, although I doubt that it will happen. I suppose the six or seven months of vacation that they enjoy in the offseason isn’t enough!

  • October 13, 2011  - leonard says:

    I see the whiners are still with us. The Chiefs have the same chance to win the West as any of the other teams. The Rules that were put in place are absolutely a detriment to all teams. The practice rules in preseaon, and now this crap is by far an idiaction that the players union, or whatever it was, had no interect in winning. Look at the injuries so far this year, and the conditioning is suspect.

  • October 13, 2011  - jim says:

    Chuck, I think 53 players at One Arrowhead Drive would draw serious exception, and since they are the ones in control of their destiny, my money is on them. Take your half empty glass and fill it with whiskey and a little ice……… will temper your attitude some,—–maybe.

  • October 13, 2011  - Steve says:

    Bob, Hope you take advantage of the bye week – at least the next four days. Thanks for the coverage this season to date.

  • October 13, 2011  - el cid says:

    The Chiefs are fortunate to have the record they currently own. There is no reason they cannot build on this. had they been prepared for the beginning of the season, think what they could have been. But that is spilt milk. They can win, it will be ugly and, perhaps, not a lot of fun to watch but they can continue to win.

    As for players stepping up, Arenas and Battle come to mind. I did not say anything complimentary about either. But with injuries the backups stepped up. A combo replaced Berry but as a group did the job. The team may be better than any of us thought with the current starters and better for next year for it all.

  • October 13, 2011  - Chuck says:

    Edj; I would never blast Bob. He knows that. I was doing it in jest and I think Bob gets that. Too bad you didn’t. But seriously Ed j if you really believe with the injuries we have and the schedule we have (have you looked at our schedule???) that we will make the playoffs then all I can say to you is “you gotta stop smoking that funny stuff Ed”. Besides, its bad for your lungs too!!!!!!

  • October 13, 2011  - ED J says:

    Chuck Its obvioys you are not Chiefs fan or hv low football Iq. First of all teams in our division have the same schedule except for couple games. Secondly Chargers schedule is even harder and Raiders schedule slightly easier but they have tendency to play dwn to competiton see Cards game last yr. So we hv jus good chnc as anyone to win division. Who do u think is goin ti beat us out?

  • October 13, 2011  - ED J says:

    Lastly i read my 1st blog and tell me what u disagree with I
    Or think im wrng about?

  • October 14, 2011  - Chuck says:

    EdJ; Hey first of all I have loved the Chiefs ever since Super Bowl#1. You were probably not even in diapers yet way back then. So we beat 2 really bad football teams by a knats hair and you’ve got us winning championships. I had 4 season tickets in the Arrowhead Club (middle tier) for 3 years and decided to give them up when they doubled price on me to $10,800 per year for the 4. Ed, Don’t ever question my loyalty or love of the Chiefs, please. Iam just a “realist” and without Charles (our superstar), Moecki and Berry (another superstar) I just don’t see it happening. Hope you can understand where Iam coming from. Take Care.

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