Overreacting On Barry … Tuesday Cup O’Chiefs

There would be only one thing worse than Barry Richardson’s sideline tantrum on Sunday after he was lifted from the Chiefs-Broncos game.

That would be for the Chiefs organization to overreact to Richardson’s mistake and turn this minor situation into a continuing story line.

The closing chapter on what went down should be a trip to the principal’s office for Richardson, where he would be told that future behavior of the sort he displayed in the third quarter on Sunday would not be tolerated. Then on Wednesday, he would apologize to his teammates, and after practice he would stand up in the locker room and tell the media horde that he lost his cool and that should never happen, and will not in the future.

The Chiefs Nation has pushed back over the last 36 hours with demands that Richardson be released, suspended, benched, fined heavily and various combinations of those penalties.

It all came down on Sunday, early in the third quarter, as the Chiefs were driving the ball. On a 3rd-and-goal play at the Broncos two-yard line, Richardson jumped early and was flagged for a false start. It was his second such penalty of the game.

As the offense huddled up for the next play, coaches sent Ryan O’Callaghan into the game and had Richardson come out. As he reached the sideline, he took off his helmet and that’s when the tantrum started. It appeared that offensive line coach Bill Muir said something to him and it was obvious that Richardson didn’t like what he heard, because he snapped back.

He continued his tirade as he moved down the bench area, pushing away and then punching in the chest special teams coach Steve Hoffman and pushing away teammate Jon Asamoah who tried to calm him down. The entire explosion was caught by TV cameras and is now part of franchise history.

Head coach Todd Haley did not get in the line of fire and after the game was supportive of Richardson, despite his actions.

“I think what you’re seeing out of our guys and what’s exciting to me as the head coach is we have a lot of guys that really care,” Haley said. “We had a penalty in the red zone, and I think Coach Muir and our offensive staff just wanted to calm him down and let him regroup.

“He’s a prideful guy that didn’t want to be out and he was upset with himself and that’s a good thing. These guys care and that is such a refreshing, positive thing out of this group that makes it fun to go to work every day. I’m excited to see guys care that passionately.”

If disciplinary action is taken against Richardson, it will be handled within the team and without public comment. “That will fall under family business,” Haley said on Monday. “We’ll do the right thing there, but its family business.”

Some pundits and commentators have deduced that Richardson’s explosion is a crack in the façade of the Chiefs locker room and allowing it to go unpunished will lead to more outrageous behavior, the kind that can lead to penalties on the field.

That’s all so silly.

For the better part of the last three seasons, Richardson was part of the Chiefs locker room and seemingly never bothered a soul. Quiet doesn’t even begin to cover his demeanor. At 6-6, 315 pounds it’s hard to say a man disappeared into the team, but that’s exactly what Richardson did.

He worked hard, struggled to find a place for himself in the changing environment of the Chiefs from the people who selected him in the sixth round of the 2008 NFL Draft (Carl Peterson/Bill Kuharich/Herm Edwards) to Pioli/Haley. But Richardson had made progress, in some ways extraordinary progress, over the last four months. He was not playing at a Pro Bowl level, but Richardson stepped into the starting lineup in mid-August because of another player’s injury and hasn’t left.

As far as anyone knows outside the Pioli/Haley circle of trust, Richardson has not been a bother at any point. He’s been a pretty low-maintenance player of average skills. In fact, in all three of his seasons, there have been personnel people and coaches who wondered if Richardson was capable of playing with emotion. Those concerns went all the way back to the time he was being evaluated coming out of Clemson.

In Barry Richardson we are not talking about a troublemaker. We are not talking about a guy who is among the team leaders, someone whose behavior can influence other younger players.

We are talking about a guy that momentarily lost his cool and acted like an ass. I said acted like one; he is not one. There is no reason to treat him like a criminal and hang him from the gallows in the town square.


  • NFL – fined Ravens LB Jameel McClain $40,000 for his hit on Steelers TE Heath Miller in the Sunday night game; fined Ravens DT Haloti Ngata $15,0000 for his hit the face of Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger that caused a broken nose.
  • BILLS – played OLB Antonio Coleman on the injured-reserve list (knee) ending his season; claimed OLB Pierre Woods off waivers from the Patriots.
  • BRONCOS – placed TE Dan Gronkowski on the injured-reserve list (ankle) ending his season; placed LB Joe Mays on the injured-reserve list (knee) ending his season.
  • BUCCANEERS – placed C Jeff Faine on the injured-reserve list (triceps) ending his season; placed CB Aqib Talib on the injured-reserve list (hip) ending his season.
  • VIKINGS – signed RB Lorenzo Booker, last with Eagles and UFL.

18 Responses to “Overreacting On Barry … Tuesday Cup O’Chiefs”

  • December 7, 2010  - Milkman says:

    I agree Bob. This is a young ascending player at a position we seem to have a hard time developing. Anyone who would call for his release is being totally unreasonable. If you look at the tape a little closer you’ll see that the coach he pushed didn’t seem to be upset at all after being pushed. You’ll also notice the teamates that tried to calm him down looked like they were unsure how to handle him. That could only be because they’d never seen Barry lose his cool. This had to have been an isolated incident.

  • December 7, 2010  - Craig says:

    Hi Bob, Good article as usual. As a retired military officer I know that maintaining respect and order in the ranks is paramount to the units success. Lack of respect for authority can demoralize a unit. Discipline is always simpler if the culprit realizes he did something wrong and is sorry. However, this can make the discipline even harder for the coach. I believe B Richardson is in this category. This is why Haley gets paid the big bucks. Lets just get it done and over. Hopefully, Haley will figure it out for both the player’s and coache’s benefit. A good test of his leadership ability. Go Chiefs.

  • December 7, 2010  - Chuck says:

    I agree with Haley on this one. Its the first time I’ve ever seen Barry do that in a game. He needs a “good talkin to” and lets move on. He is a very valuable player and we don’t want to lose him. Hopefully he is sorry about the incident.

  • December 7, 2010  - Michael says:

    Bob’s right, questionable passion for the game was the biggest knock on Richardson coming out of Clemson. Clearly, he has prototypical size and physical ability, and he’s one of the smarter players you’ll find. Every pre-draft report said something like: the question for Richardson is the game important enough to him? Does he have the necessary fire and dedication to play at the NFL level? Well, I think we now know the answer to those types of questions about Richardson.

    I’m pretty confident Haley and company will know how best to handle the situation for Barry and the team. But, calling for the guy’s release is ridiculous. These guys are not robots.

  • December 7, 2010  - dan in joplin says:

    I’m just glad he was pissed for being taken out of the game! That is the kind of fire we need, now its up to Haley to “control” it. Give him a talking to and a fine, then meet w/ the whole team including coaches and have him apologize. Then Haley can give the whole “this is a family” speach and families aren’t perfect, sometimes they fight, everyone needs to show each other proper respect.

  • December 7, 2010  - Rick says:



  • December 7, 2010  - el cid says:

    Sorry but some of you are full of it.

    1. The Chiefs could care less about our collective opinions.

    2. HC Haley comes across as a bit of a loose cannon himself…..so…..the players are beginning to buy into the Chiefs “way” and they can loose control also.

    3. The players are supposed to be in control of themselves. Monsters on the field and under control when they step on the sidelines.

    4. Fans who can “understand” Richardson’s feelings are more about what is good for the Chiefs on sunday than what is going on in Richardson’s head.

    I have to trust the Hunt organization this will be handles for the good of the team. UNTIL it proves itself otherwise. After all we are all about secrecy, some other team may learn something, not to paraniod. Move on, SD is up to bat.

  • December 7, 2010  - Dave says:

    el cid…I actually agree with one of your posts. Nice!

  • December 7, 2010  - Butler says:

    AMEN also
    Now its all about Bad News for the Bolts
    Go CHIEFS Go !!!!!

  • December 7, 2010  - Marc says:

    Amen Bob!

  • December 7, 2010  - Jimbo says:

    I’m not sure it was a good idea to pull your right tackle out of the next play due to a self inflicted false start. We are 3rd and goal to go with our best right tackle on the field of battle.

    Was this to punish him? It would seem so. I can’t imagine the next play that was called was better suited for O’Cal. Barry was pissed and in my opinion, rightly so. Pushing the ST coach, not cool, not cool at all.

    Whoever pulled Barry out of the next play, that was a bad call. Todd Haley wanting to handle it internally as a family matter, that was a good call. Mr. Gretz, good call as well.
    Go Chiefs.

  • December 7, 2010  - jim says:

    Richardson’s frustrated explosion is the real world equivelent of an employee slamming down a book on his/her desk, a mechanic angarily throwing a tool back in his tool chest in frustration. Let’s keep this in a perspective to football, relating it to YOUR real world. Should a fan who buys a ticket, then given to cursing a player in the run way, be held to the same standards as a guy doing that at a ballet? Time, event, proximity, and situation. Guys, it’s all about perspective, the arena in which it occurs, and just common sence. The action was out of the ordinary, but given the circumstances, we need to be real in our thought process.

    Criticize Haley and his methodology all you want, but the guy is, in some ways, a genius in how he has handled this “Right Group of 53″.

    Richardson’s issue should be totally handled in house, and we as fans have NO need to know how it goes down. And frankly el cid, I couldn’t care less what is goin on in Richardson’s head as long as he is a productive menber of our Chiefs wins on Sundays. After all, isn’t that what most on here bitch about the most – WINS! So, let’s not be too terribly hypocritical in our assessment of Richardsons’ psychological evaluation for a brief few minutes in the heat of a closely played, emotional, and physical NFL game.

    Every now and then a good race horse has a bad day at the track. You don’t take him out back and shoot him for one brief minute of behavior. You work with him, admire his spunk, and try to channel it into more productive behavior. Just sayin——–

    It’s not that big of a deal – trust me on this, it just simply isn’t that big of a deal. It needs to be delt with, but let’s not “trade” him, bench him, fine him, etc.to escess. Let’s not OVER-REACT OURSELVES on this. Get it handled it in house and move on to a win Sunday at the Bolts. Bigger fish to fry right now than getting your shorts knotted up about one insignificant burst of behavior.

  • December 7, 2010  - Flyboy26 says:

    Excellent, excellent, excellent article and opinion Bob. As usual, the media is making “much ado about nothing” in their effort to find something to write about. What bothers me as much as anything is why the cameraman focused on that incident. Typical stuff in the screwed up world we live in.

  • December 7, 2010  - Tracy says:

    Right now BR’s outburst on Sunday is probably, like Josh McDaniel’s coaching career, in most everybody’s rear view mirror. Nobody with any sense really wants to be seen throwing a tantrum but for BR it happened in full view of the 70,000 people in the stands, countless millions watching on television and it was probably a highlight on Sports Center. A quiet guy like that is most likely mortified. It will probably blow over, except perhaps in the minds of some demented members of Raiders Nation. At the very least, Scott Pioli and Todd Haley know the best way to handle it.

  • December 7, 2010  - Flyboy26 says:

    Jim & Jimbo, You both are right-on!

  • December 7, 2010  - Tim says:

    Spot on, Bob!

  • December 7, 2010  - bhive01 says:

    I sure wasn’t calling for his head/job. It’s good to see some emotion from him, but pushing a coach like that just isn’t right. I expected a fine and an apology. No loss of game time.

    Someone mentioned him buying Hoffman a nice dinner. If it’s BBQ, that’s a mighty fine proposition even for B Rich.

  • December 7, 2010  - alijon says:

    The reason Richardson was selected in the sixth round rather than the first 2 rounds was scouts’ concern about his passion for the game and his alertness in the game. Evidently his passion has been fixed by Haley, his alertness is a work in progress! Fixing that would make him a true draft steal.

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