Still Growing Up … Tuesday Cup O’Chiefs

For the better part of the last month or so, the media horde has been trying to get Todd Haley to say the 2010 Chiefs are a good football team.

Sunday in Oakland we found out why he would not use those words.

A good football team does not lose its personality as the Chiefs did in falling in overtime to the Raiders. A good team doesn’t suddenly start having results on the field that are different than what they’ve done successfully in previous games.

As much progress as the Chiefs have made this year, the personality of this team remains putty in their hands. It hasn’t been hardened to create an attitude and performance level that seldom changes. On Sunday in Oakland, the Chiefs got on that roller coaster that Haley hates to see.

That’s why they lost and that’s why it’s too early to call them a good team.

“We are trying to become better and become a good team,” Haley said. “There was evidence (Sunday) that when you are in those situations that we were in, you’ve got to take advantage even with all the variables as they were. We didn’t do that.”

I’ll refrain from running through all the things the Chiefs didn’t do in trying to win their sixth game, and the things they did do that helped keep them from victory. But there’s no question that they contributed as much to their losing effort as Oakland did.

For the Raiders to make the number of mistakes they made on Sunday and still come out of the game with a victory is an interesting step in their development. It should be a learning experience so that they understand they can’t do that very often and still win the game. But if head coach Tom Cable hasn’t altered the Raiders psyche, they may take that kind of performance and figure they can do it every week and still win.

Whatever direction the Raiders take, they showed on Sunday that they are a better team. It appears that the San Diego Chargers are over their normal opening season funk and are starting to put the pieces together. Even with all the injuries and defections that the Chargers have suffered through in the last year, they are still the best team in the division. The biggest reason is the guy taking the snaps, QB Philip Rivers. He’s the best quarterback in the division and gives the Bolts something that the Chiefs, Raiders and Broncos do not have – a quarterback that can carry the team.

The Chiefs must take what happened to them in Oakland and put it in their growing up file. They had another chance to get better on Sunday and while there may have been individual growth and improvement, as a team they did not make progress. They did not build on the lessons of earlier games when it came to putting an opponent away when they had the opportunity.

Todd Haley knows that better than anybody. In the aftermath of the game, he had no doubts about his team’s desire and effort to win, just their lack of execution in key areas.

“As painful as this is, and that one hurts when you have a couple chances (to win), we have a lot of room to get better,” Haley said. “That’s what we are going to do. If we do that, good things are going to keep happening and we are going to be a good team sooner rather than later.

“We have a good group of guys that are down and out right now. They all feel awful, but you could feel that guys really care about each other and that will give us a legitimate shot to have a good team.”

Then and only then will Haley call his team a good one.


  • NFL – fined Packers S Nick Collins $50,000 for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Sunday night against the Cowboys.
  • BENGALS – signed DL Clinton McDonald from the practice squad; released S Rico Murray.
  • BILLS – placed WR Roscoe Parrish on the injured-reserve list (left wrist) ending his season; signed RB Quinton Ganther; released RB Andre Anderson.
  • COWBOYS – fired head coach Wade Phillips; named offensive coordinator Jason Garrett as head coach.
  • GIANTS – placed OL Adam Koets on the injured-reserve list (knee) ending his season; activated OL Kevin Boothe from the reserve/PUP list.
  • JAGUARS – signed CB Terrence Wheatley, formerly of the Patriots.
  • PANTHERS – placed LB Thomas Davis on the injured-reserve list (knee) ending his season; placed MLB Dan Connor on the injured-reserve list (hip) ending his season.
  • REDSKINS – placed S Chris Horton on the injured-reserve list (right ankle) ending his season.

27 Responses to “Still Growing Up … Tuesday Cup O’Chiefs”

  • November 9, 2010  - Butler says:

    Penalties Penalties it was like a Cancer once it got started on our side of the game we could not stop the FIASCO in my humble opinion thats what cost us the game got to get back on the TRACK.

    Go CHIEFS Go we can do IT

  • November 9, 2010  - Walter says:

    Bob, thanks for your coverage of the Chiefs and football. Great work.
    Coaches and players alike. For the last two weeks the Chiefs have played stupid football. They got lucky and won against Buffalo and lost to the Raiders. This team is not good enough to play stupid football and win.

  • November 9, 2010  - Tracy says:

    The Raiders play an overly aggressive, damn-the-torpedoes-full-speed-ahead type of football. On Sunday the Chiefs fell into that trap and their better tendencies and training were trumped by responding to the Raiders. Maybe after this they will respond by relying on the discipline that has been evident in their other games.

  • November 9, 2010  - Edward says:

    I’m not going to continue to dwell on that game. Its over so time to move on. I will say Chargers aren’t the best team in the division just because they beat an inconsistent Texans teams who have yet to prove they’re a good team. I mean you talking about a team in Texans who haven’t made a playoff since their existence and seems to always play below the talent on their roster. So I’m not going to praise Chargers for winning a game they suppose to. Either way Chiefs did take step back but still Chiefs are better than the Raiders. It took us having to play just as foolish as them for them guys to beat us and even then we had multiple chances to win. Chiefs will sweep this quarter of the season and finish off the last quater with more than enough wins to become divsion champs. Let’s not overreact to them losing to a division rival and also give Raiders credit that kid Jacoby made some spectacular catches.

  • November 9, 2010  - el cid says:

    The Chiefs have a good record, far better than I expected. That said, teams do not get many chances at the easy schedule the Chiefs had in 2010, you have to take advantage of it. No salary cap,the Chiefs needed to take advantage of it to solve some of the missing pieces, Pioli chose to ignor that. I am, personnally, so tired of Haley’s “the process, win ugly, transition”, how long will we listen to this line of bs and “don’t blame me the team is crappy”. Every losing team in the NFL can say that. He has had time to change the roster and mental attitude and hired the “best” assistants, so when will we have success. I know the record but you cannot believe this team is going anywhere but to 2011. Run the ball, bend don’t break defense that lays down in the 4th qtr, and tinker with special teams. It is not a complete team, at some point in time Haley will have to get past “transition” and stand up for many failures of this current roster.

    This is not all negative, there is a future but next year we play the NFC North, teams that have players and will spank this version of the Chiefs over and over. Do not forget the AFC West is not going to sit on its collective butts waiting for the Pioli/Haley Chiefs to catch up (the raiders for all their problems, figured out a way to win while we get “transition”).

  • November 9, 2010  - aPauled says:

    “Whatever direction the Raiders take, they showed on Sunday that they are a better team.”

    I disagree. The Raiders needed a couple of amazing plays from a Rookie WR/Returner and a bone-head day from the Chiefs Special Teams to win this game. The Chiefs get back to playing steady, smart football…we could win this division including Jan 2 against the Raiders in Arrowhead.

  • November 9, 2010  - Tim says:

    Very good article, Bob. Its spot on…

  • November 9, 2010  - Michael says:

    As usual, with a win the ployannas come out and declare the Chiefs are an unbeatable team on the way to the super bowl; not one hole on the team. And just as usual, with a loss the nattering naybobs of negativism (including some, who just can’t seem to get over past hurts) burst forth and tell us the sky is falling and everything is wrong.

    And all along, the truth lies somewhere in between. To me, the Chiefs are what I thought they were (or hoped they would be) this year. They are a good, young, ascending team, respectable and not an easy out. After the last few years, it’s great to see. Do I agree with all the moves Pioli and Haley have made? No, hardly, but they are obviously good football people with good plans of their own. They’ve brought this team together and forged a winning attitude. I like this team, like it’s direction and leadership.

  • November 9, 2010  - el cid says:

    aPauled, the raiders are making a move, gaining confidence. We, on the other hand, appear to be just hanging on to what we have. Do not see a lot of improvement over the start of the season. Raiders are better than when the season started and, it appears, SD is getting better. That is a problem and my main complaint, we get a dose of the process or transition as if this year doesn’t matter all that much. What do you think, are the Chiefs a better team today than when the season started?

    By the by, sunday the raiders were the better team, they won the game.

  • November 9, 2010  - RW says:

    Interesting to note that the Chiefs and Raiders have each discovered there’s no substitute for speed. Oakland is ahead of KC on that issue, for now. One of the glaring weaknesses of the Chiefs is their inability to take the top off the opposing defenses with a burner WR, a weakness that has to be resolved soon (2011 draft?).

    As good as Dexter has been, he’s situational with other assignments to attend. On another issue, if I had a dollar for everytime I implored the team to ‘THROW THE BALL INTO THE ENDZONE!’ this past Sunday, I’d be good to go with cold beer in the fridge for the rest of the 2010 season.

  • November 9, 2010  - aPauled says:

    Granted the Chiefs played very well in the home opener against SD aided by the emotion of a stadium make-over and weather. But I still think that they have improved since then.

    The Defense has grown. Branden Flowers is becoming a top flight corner…sans Sunday. Glenn Dorsey and Tyson Jackson are both growing. DJ is becoming a pretty good LB. Eric Berry is adjusting to the NFL. Kendrick Lewis…pretty good Safety for a Rookie…just needs to get healthy.

    On the Offense. Matt Cassel is growing. Not there yet…probably won’t ever carry a team like Rivers…but he’s improving. The O-Line…light years ahead of last year and still improving this year, i.e. Barry Richardson and Jon Asamoah. Moeaki is a player and improving.

    Special Teams…took a step back on Sunday. From a production standpoint…may be regressing here overall…to your point.

    Are we improving as a team? Absolutely. Do we still need some talent…yup…Tucker needs to push Chambers at WR#2 among others.

    Against the Raiders we dominated the first half, got our tails handed to us in Q3…probably a draw in Q4. Couldn’t close them out in Q4 or OT which I get…was Bob’s point. Good teams beat Oakland and Houston in the last 4 minutes of regulation.

    But are the Raiders a better team than the Chiefs? I don’t think so. Scoring TDs on a Kick Return and a pass to a OT…is not a winning formula…esp at home in front of a sellout croud.

  • November 9, 2010  - Rick says:

    The Chiefs are a work in progress, that much is obvious. They are better across the board than they have been these past 3 or so years. Under Haley they will continue to improve, it doesn’t happen over night.

    Sunday, if our kick return for a touchdown had stood or if theirs had been called back things would look different, so would our record.

    We’re in a better place than we’ve been in some time. I don’t think anyone thought going into the season this was a Super Bowl team, but I think it’s possible we could be competing at that level soon.

    I personally am as optimistic as ever.

  • November 9, 2010  - el cid says:

    I try to understand but if the Chiefs score a td on sp. teams that is progress, if the raiders do “not a winning formula”, huh??

    Tucker made one great catch but you may never hear of him again. One catch does not a career make.

    Cassel is no better today than he was win the season startedl. A lot goes into that but he is not doing anything better than his first game this year. OL improving ?, they can run block and seem to keep Cassel from being killed but is the offensive production any better than game 1?

    Defensively, do not see any improvement from first game. It has callapsed in the 4th qtr over and over, no improvement there.

    Yes the team is better than when herm left but what team would not have been? I suggest the team in the same as it was in game 1 of this year. According to Haley, the process or transition would indicate MOVEMENT of some sort and I do not see it. ie Jackson is a decent player at DE but is he one iota better than when the season started? nope, same kid, no difference.

  • November 9, 2010  - Chuck says:

    There are a “number” of things that concern me about this game. The Raiders had about 4 of their stars not even in the game and made a ton of penaltys and still hung on to beat us. Our “inability” to run the ball really concerns me. D.Bowe still manages to drop “crucial passes” that could have probably allowed us to hang on for a victory. Way too many screwups by our team to deserve winning this game. C. Chambers dropped one too. We are still a “LONG WAYS” from being a playoff team in my opinion.

  • November 9, 2010  - Jimbo says:

    Tough loss in Oakland on Sunday. The grumblings & rumblings from the Chiefs faithful are rampant. I think Todd Haley & his crew has done an excellent job with the maturing talent that is currently in house.

    Whats next? We will see on Sunday with the Broncos. They had a bye week & are probably a little bit healthier than we are. They have been chomping at the bit for two weeks wanting to prove to themselves & their fans that the Raider loss was an anomaly. After licking their wounds, the press demanding answers & a coaching staff worried about their next paycheck, we are stepping into a Buzz Saw in Denver.

    We have two division rivals playing in the mile high city with big chips an their shoulders, both teams fighting for pride & most assuredly a win.

    This Sunday has me a whole lot more nervous than the Raider game. I think come Sunday afternoon we will find out if the Chiefs really are Contenders or Pretenders this season. As for me, I can confidently say that according to our english alphabet “C” comes before “P”.
    Go Chiefs.

  • November 9, 2010  - aPauled says:

    “I try to understand but if the Chiefs score a td on sp. teams that is progress, if the raiders do “not a winning formula”, huh??”

    The Chiefs Special Teams regression: fumble a Kick Return, chase the ball around on the OT Kick Return, Hold on a made FG, jump offsides on another FG leading to a punt, hold on a big Punt Return…not to mention the Punt Return TD called back. Clearly uncharacteristic from what this group has done this year.

    The Raiders scored on the Kick Return and setup scores with some rainbows that Ford beat Flowers for. Not gonna win many that way…IMHO.

  • November 9, 2010  - Clarence says:

    Hey Jimbo, are you the same Jimbo that I knew who was part of the Wolf Pack? Incidentally, I agree with most, if not all, of you comments. You sound as though you know your football, unlike many who post on the Chief’s fans websites. As a native Kansas Citian, Chief’s fan for 40+ years, and season ticket holder for many years, I find many comments quite disturbing, including Bob’s.

    I find it strange that most want to blame Bowe for the loss with his drop but ignore Moeaki’s drop and Cassel’s 2-1 ratio of bad passes to good. After looking at the game several times, I’ve decided that it was fate. :-)

    Go Chiefs!!!! I still believe in you.

  • November 9, 2010  - Dave says:

    This loss could be exactly what we need. Our competition in he west is improving (sd) and we need to learn from this game so that we can play good football down the stretch and make a playoff run. We’ve been a little stagnate the last couple of weeks and this may provide the motivation our young team needs.

  • November 9, 2010  - Rick says:

    We will be o.k. Like Grigsby always said after a tough loss Don’t go kicking your dog!! Still think we will make the playoffs.

  • November 9, 2010  - Rick says:

    Interesting we have two rick’s posting under the same name. How is that?

  • November 9, 2010  - jim says:

    elCid says that “Tucker made one great catch but you may never hear from him again.One catch does not a career make”. OK Mr. Negative, here’s my spin. “Tucker made the first of many great catches he will make as a KC Chief, and he will be a good solid addition to our 53.” To the “one catch —–”. Well, he has had one chance to make “one catch” and he took advantage of it. I’ll assume that he’ll continue to take advantage of it till he proves me wrong.

    Cassell: I don’t necessarily want to HAVE TO HAVE a QB that can carry a team on his shoulders. That says to me that the rest of the team needs the “ONE” guy to be succesful. Look at the Colts. Without Peyton, they’re a .500 team. I want our team to be more balanced than that.

    Guess I just look at things differently and try to find the obvious positive in the growth of this team, from week one to present. I see plenty of growth, unlike some who think we go thru the season just staying the same.

    Sorry to the naysayers, but I’ll keep my glass half full, thank you very much.

  • November 9, 2010  - el cid says:

    Give you Tucker, potential growth, we will see sunday. As for Cassel, stop the run and let the Chiefs pass to win, not much chance. As for the Colts, probably right, except they have Manning so I guess they are not a .500 club. Not big into pretend.

    You see plenty of growth, if you are talking about since herm hired, heck yes. If you are talking about since the season started, probably only Tucker. Haley is the one who keep saying “the process” or “transition”, not me. Already said it to have a process or transition you need movement, hopefully positive. Looks like the same team who started the season. Proud of the record but who is getting better? Got nothing to do with you glass, players have to be better as the season progresses, not much so far. Let’s see what happens against Denver.

  • November 9, 2010  - el cid says:

    PS came across as anti Cassel. There is more to it than Cassel not being able to carry the team on his back. I believe Cassel is adequate but he does not seem to have much upside, just does his job as best he can. More concerned about lack of support for the passing attack and Weis’s constant calling of throwing plays with what we have on the roster.

  • November 9, 2010  - Jimbo says:

    Hey Clarence. Thanks for your kind words. I am not the Jimbo of Wolf Pack Lore. I’ve been a Chiefs fan since 1966 or 67. I grew up in Hickman Mills area (back when they were the suburbs) till my mid teens. We played football in the neighbors back yard (tackle) all the time. Loved the sport, Was a Linebacker in HSchool. Knee injury killed any college hopes. Was a rolling stone for 15 years & back in Mo. for 20 plus years now.
    Always been a Chiefs fan. Always will.
    I could talk negative about the Chiefs all day long. Since it does’nt make me feel any better, I don’t. The team has something special going on right now & I foresee the Chiefs dynasty of the 60′s coming back full circle. We may not be a “Good Team” right now. However, I am confident we soon will be & for years to come. At my age this is an exciting time to be a Chiefs fan.
    Go Chiefs.

  • November 9, 2010  - Edward says:

    Guys come down we’re 5-3 why is el cid acting like we’re 3-5. Before season started you was the main person on here bloging how it will be next year before this team even be in a position like this. You was the main person telling me not to be so optimistic because its going to take another yr and we didn’ t have enough talent on the roster to do much better than last yr. Now we’re winning and you’re still complaining. RElax dude. Be happy we’ve by far exceeded the expectation you and other Chiefs fans who have doubted this team.

    As for Cassel he just needs better weapons. I applauad Weis strategy of trying to throw the ball. Raiders were playing man to man defense with no safety over the top. At some point Tucker, Bowe, Chambers, and Moeaki have to find a way to win one on one battle against the DB and get open. Cassel doing his job delivering the ball and delivering it with accuracy receivers need to do their.

  • November 9, 2010  - Brad says:

    Edward, I agree. Thank you.

  • November 10, 2010  - Todd says:

    Sitting here watching the game again on NFL Replay.. and I know I’m probably just whining, but…

    1 min to go in the 4th quarter.. We’re up 20-17. They are 3-3… and Washington gets called for holding on a busted pass. I watched the replay along with the announcers. There was no holding anywhere to be seen. The announcers even agree with me. If that bone-headed call hadn’t been made, it would have been 4th down. Pretty good chance we would have won it. Ugly, but it would have been a win.

    What am I saying? Blame the Chiefs. Fine. But blame the refs too.

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