Still Searching For A Team … Tuesday Cup O’Chiefs

Certainly, Todd Haley learned a lesson in the last few days, actually there were probably quite a few teaching moments for the rookie head coach.

His running back is tweeting, his center has a knee injury that makes his 2009 future very much in doubt, the offense, defense and special teams are coming off a combined failure in performance, his credentials are being questioned and his team is 1-6.

T.G.I.B.W. – Thank God it’s the bye week.

With a weekend off coming up, there’s no opponent to prepare for, no game plan to implement. The Chiefs can study and prepare for their most serious foe of this season – themselves.

One of the lessons Haley learned, if he didn’t already know, was that just because a team practices well on Friday, doesn’t mean it’s going to play well on Sunday.

Especially in the case of the fragile ’09 Chiefs, a group that simply can’t be called a team seven games into the season.

A group of players that has come together and created the internal chemistry needed to win games in the NFL has its best Friday practice of the season, and shows that on Sunday. Maybe they don’t win the game, but they certainly play better than what was seen at Arrowhead Stadium against the Chiefs.

What happened?

“I don’t know if I have a theory,” Haley said on Monday, after brushing aside questions concerning Larry Johnson’s Tweeter rampage from Sunday evening. “I don’t think there was a player on the team after we got off the field Friday that didn’t think we were going to have anything but a great chance to win the game.

“I think when the game didn’t start out positively or quickly went south it kind of caught some guys off guard and really threw some people off. That’s the closest I can come to a theory. We didn’t execute in all phases and you’re not going to have a chance to win if you don’t.”

That’s evidence enough that the ’09 Chiefs remain a group of ever changing 53 players. They are not a team.

Would Haley agree?

“Without a doubt,” he said. “That’s a sign that this is a process. I knew coming into this there were a lot of broke players and broke parts of the team that had to get fixed one way or the other. That’s why this job was open. That’s why I had this great phenomenal opportunity that I relish every day when I turn onto Coal Mine Road and can see Arrowhead up over the trees, or drive in on Sunday and see all the people out there getting excited for a game.

“But I knew coming in there was a lot broke and a big part of my job is to fix it and it’s what I intend to do.”

So now it’s the bye week and what is Haley going to fix? It might be easier to ask what isn’t he going to fix.

“We’ve got a load of things to work on obviously,” said Haley. “We’re going to do some self-scouting of ourselves – specifically offensively some of the minus plays and how we prevent those from occurring, when they’re happening, is it a scheme that we’re putting players in a poor position to succeed, is it certain players?

“Defensively, we’ve got figure out a way to prevent the big play because this is a recurring theme. It’s something that has to change. That’s the plan as far as studying and we’ll practice against each other in areas that we want to work on.”

It will certainly be the time to work on the collective psyche of this team. Observers and pundits think it’s time for Haley to take his foot off the gas pedal, to lighten up and to stop the revolving door on the roster. It ain’t going to happen. Right now, that would be the worst thing Haley could do, because it would establish with the players that sense of panic.

Besides, Haley says he seems improvement with his team, even with that ugly 1-6 record.

“I’m very encouraged with the effort that was given on the field yesterday in all areas,” said Haley. “I don’t think effort was an issue. I think that’s evidenced by a couple of goal-line stands. If you watched the tape when there was an interception and you see 300-pound linemen diving to try to knock a guy out of bounds on the one-yard line, I think those are encouraging signs that we’ve got some guys who care and are working to get better.

“I’m not trying to sound like an idiot. We’re 1-6. You are what you are but at the same time I think there has been progress made, that there is more and more guys that are starting to get it and understand. It will only help us as we go forward.”

SIGNINGS, INJURIES & MOVEMENT AROUND THE LEAGUE

  • BRONCOS – signed P Mitch Berger; released P Brett Kern.
  • COWBOYS – agreed to a six-year contract extension with OLB DeMarcus Ware that has almost $40 million in guaranteed dollars.
  • DOLPHINS – placed CB Will Allen on the injured-reserve list (knee); signed LB William Kershaw.
  • 49ERS – named Alex Smith starting quarterback for this Sunday’s game against the Colts, replacing Shaun Hill.
  • JETS – placed RB Leon Washington on the injured-reserve list (broken right leg); WR Braylon Edwards has been charged with misdemeanor assault in Cleveland in an incident that happened earlier this month.
  • RAMS – CB Bradley Fletcher and LS Chris Massey will miss the rest of the season because of knee injuries.
  • TEXANS – WR Andre Johnson suffered a lung contusion against the 49ers on Sunday.

FROM THE PAGES OF CHIEFS HISTORY

On October 27, 1963, the Chiefs lost 28-7 to the Oilers at Jeppesen Stadium in Houston. The Chiefs scored first on a 22-yard TD pass from QB Len Dawson to WR Chris Burford. But after that, the Oilers dominated the action, as Houston QB George Blanda threw three scoring passes. Dawson threw four interceptions while hitting just 15 of 31 passes for 140 yards. One of those picks was taken back 90 yards for a touchdown by CB Mark Johnston. LB E.J. Holub had an interception. RB Bert Coan led the Chiefs ground game with 81 yards on 11 carries.

On October 27, 1968, the Chiefs beat the San Diego Chargers 27-20 in front of 50, 344 fans at Municipal Stadium. The Chiefs were down 20-17 in the fourth quarter, but staged a comeback to gain the victory and extended the team’s winning streak to six games. It was RB Mike Garrett’s 13-yard TD run and a 37-yard FG by K Jan Stenerud that pushed the Chiefs over the top on the scoreboard. Earlier, RB Robert Holmes scored on a six-yard run and WR Frank Pitts caught a 55-yard TD pass from QB Len Dawson. Stenerud also had a 29-yard FG. The Chiefs defense had four interceptions, two by S Johnny Robinson and the others from S Jim Kearney and LB Jim Lynch.

On October 27, 1974, the Chiefs beat the Chargers 24-14 at San Diego Stadium. Rookie RB Woody Green had his breakthrough game against the Chargers, running for 146 yards and two touchdowns, and catching four passes for 98 yards. “He’s going to make big plays and break ball games for us,” said Hank Stram. “He’s a steady, reliable, consistent performer, and that’s rare in a rookie.” WR Elmo Wright scored on a 12-yard end-around run, and Green had a two-yard scoring run and a 69-yard touchdown catch from QB Len Dawson. The Chiefs defense gave up 404 yards, but also forced f our turnovers in getting the victory.

On October 27, 1985, the Chiefs lost 30-10 to the Denver Broncos at Arrowhead Stadium. The Broncos defense shutdown the Chiefs offense, allowing 257 yards and only one touchdown, a one-yard score by RB Ethan Horton. The Chiefs only other points was a 33-yard FG by Nick Lowery. Denver QB John Elway led his group to three TDs and was sacked twice, by DE Mike Bell and SS Lloyd Burruss. Elway was 13 of 20 for 116 yards and was eventually replaced by backup Gary Kubiak. RB Gerald Willhite had two TD runs. Chiefs QB Bill Kenney hit 14 of 28 passes for 195 yards.


35 Responses to “Still Searching For A Team … Tuesday Cup O’Chiefs”

  • October 27, 2009  - Lee says:

    Lots of similarities to the 2001 team that started 1-6 as well. New coordinators. New systems. New QB.


  • October 27, 2009  - Steve says:

    I see the round mound of reporting is saying to keep Larry on the team and run him into the ground. Don’t know if I agree, Larry seems to be too devisive to keep, but it got me thinking. Wasn’t Jason in trouble for doing the same thing while on the road covering the Chiefs some years back? If I remember correctly it was in New England.
    Wouldn’t a better option be to treat him like Tampa did another big mouth, suspend without pay, and keep his career on hold for the remainder of the year, then in the off season, part company.


  • October 27, 2009  - Chuck P says:

    I still say that if we fix this offensive line in the offseason and the draft that will change alot of other things too. If you can run the ball effectively that keeps your defense off the field and eats up the clock. It also allows the receivers a little more time to get open. A great offensive line just changes everything.


  • October 27, 2009  - Randy says:

    I say if we keep Johnson, demote him to tackling dummy for the defense to tee off on all day at practice. Then, de-activate him on game day.


  • October 27, 2009  - Merwin in NY says:

    It’s going to cost the Chiefs a lot of money to part ways with LJ. I think they should discipline him in some way, like put Kolby Smith in as the starter (if he’s ready) and use Savage and Charles in relief. Although not as good as Priest Holmes was, I liked Kolby catching passes out in the flat and then running with it. Not sure if we have the O line to set up screen plays but they used to work really good for DV.


  • October 27, 2009  - Randy says:

    I think whitlock wants him to stay on the team, because they are “buddies” and he wants to see LJ continue to cash his checks.


  • October 27, 2009  - Mad Chief says:

    “their most serious foe of this season – themselves.”

    That has been the case this whole time. The Chiefs have developed a losing attitude these last few years. New coaches, new players…what’s the magic formula to fix it? I have no idea, really. That’s up to Scott Pioli and Todd Haley to figure out. And I think they are probably as baffled as the rest of us. Some how, some way…a winning attitude is going to have come back to this team. Until it does…the Chiefs will continue down this path of losing. Good luck, Scott and Todd. While I don’t agree with everything you do…I am SERIOUSLY pulling for you guys to bring back some PRIDE to my team.


  • October 27, 2009  - ThunderChief says:

    Being Capt Obvious, which is one of my better talents, there are one of two scenarios playing out with these Chiefs under the leadership of Pioli/Haley:

    #1: P/H are so far in over their heads, they should be wearing Scuba gear. Neither has been in the position they now occupy with the Chiefs and….it’s showing.

    #2: P/H know what they’re doing, have a common vision, have sold Clark Hunt on that same vision as their plan and process continue to slowly unfold.

    SO, which of the above is the more correct of the two? Right now, for me? Flip a coin.


  • October 27, 2009  - Mad Chief says:

    ThunderChief,

    I’ll go with option #2. Although your point in #1 “Neither has been in the position they now occupy with the Chiefs” cannot be overlooked. However, that doesn’t mean they can’t do their jobs. Everybody has to start somewhere. They have made mistakes…and will likely continue to do so. They’re human beings, not some Football Gods dropped from above that can do no wrong. If they had some magic formula to turn dog sh*t into gold…they would probably be in a different line of work.


  • October 27, 2009  - el cid says:

    Everyone is really using their thinking caps. I guess it is the off week coming. Colby had good comments and if anyone, at 1 Arrowhead ever read some of todays, could feel the support. I am really torn but, what the heck, if you guys can watch this chinese fire drill weekend after weekend so can I (for now).


  • October 27, 2009  - Rodeo John says:

    I saw a report that Haley showed up yesterday at Arrowhead wearing a golf cap. All the players got a chuckle out of it except for LJ who wouldn’t look his coach in the face. I say good for him, for 1)Having a little bit of humor/sarcasm about the situation; 2)being human and letting his players see that; 3)quietly, but profoundly shoving it right back into LJ’s face.

    He couldn’t have handled yesterday much better than he did really. Not sure what is going to happen to LJ. I think that they will suspend him for some games. Cause him to lose some money. Bench him on game days so he doesn’t make his incentives, causing him to lose some more money.

    Mostly, I just hope that he isn’t allowed to break Priest’s record. Course that isn’t as big a deal to Pioli and Haley, but I think they (especially Pioli) have their ear to the ground enough to know how the fans feel about it.


  • October 27, 2009  - ThunderChief says:

    Mad Chief, good point about cutting the rook GM/HC some slack. All of us need time to grow into a new job regardless of the profession but the accountability for the W-L record honeymoon seems a lot shorter than it’s been in the NFL past so one has to wonder how short the leash is on P/H going forward?

    Also, and this is for the capologists among the posters here, because I really don’t know, and that is, what is the cap hit for the Chiefs if they elect to cut LJ now? How much of LJ’s $$ amount in his contract guaranteed? I’d be interested in knowing those figures if anyone happens to know.


  • October 27, 2009  - Robert says:

    My suggestion is for Clark to call in Marty Schottenheimer as a consultant. Who better to help Todd see the things it takes to rebuild a team, attitude, and hope for the fans?


  • October 27, 2009  - ED says:

    Lets be real about it Bob. Chiefs just don’t have enough talent to win against Chargers, Eagles, or Giants. What Haley has to do during this bye more than anything is find out what this offense can do best. Find an identity. The defense is playing better but their isn’t enough talent on defense at the strong safety and OLB position to continue to keep the team in the game when the offense continues to go 3 and out. Let me clarify the OLB position we don’t have another pass rusher other than Tamba. Vrabel is decent but he’s no pass rusher.

    So #1 thing during the bye find out away to get the offense to put up points. That is what Gailey did last year running the pistol. It was a Gimmick offense but hey it kept us in alot of games it scored points and if we didn’t have such a lousy defense and Herm had better clock management we would’ve won more games.

    So message to Haley find an identity on offense that can at least put 20 to 25 pts. The defense is good enough this yr if the offense can put up some pts, the defense can hold a lead.


  • October 27, 2009  - Jim Lloyd+ says:

    Robert –Marty can’t and won’t come to Kansas City.


  • October 27, 2009  - Kyle says:

    I just want them to suspend / deactivate Johnson for the rest of the year then cut him in the offseason.

    I don’t think he helps win games, I don’t want him to break the Chiefs rushing record, I don’t want to see him get picked up by another team (after he is cut) and possibly have any success this year.

    Just eat the money and send him home.


  • October 27, 2009  - Mad Chief says:

    ThunderChief says:
    “the accountability for the W-L record honeymoon seems a lot shorter than it’s been in the NFL past so one has to wonder how short the leash is on P/H going forward?”

    Absolutely. Thier jobs depend on wins and losses. As does all GM’s and coaches in the NFL. My best guess is that Haley will get two years to produce visable results. Pioli, a little longer. GM’s have the luxury of having the coaches to blame for lack of success.

    LJ’s cap hit? Not sure. I thought I understood that if he was on the opening day roster, he got all his money for the season. Maybe he had some sort of “conduct clause” in his contract, though? Since he’s been in trouble before? Don’t know. I’ve never paid that much attention to contracts and “guaranteed money” and all that. That’s for the man that signs their paychecks to worry about, I figure.

    But on the subject of LJ, at what point is it time to just “cut your losses” and send a player on his merry little way? Personally, I believe that time has come for Johnson. Is he helping the team…or hurting the team? Is he part of the problem? He sure doesn’t seem to be part of the solution. I hope I never see him in a Chiefs uniform again. He doesn’t deserve it. But, that’s just me. I don’t get to make the decision, so who knows what will happen?


  • October 27, 2009  - Mad Chief says:

    Question for all:

    Do you think the league will/should suspend LJ…as some are speculating?

    Personally, I don’t think the leaguge should be in the business of suspending players for something that is SAID…no matter how ignorant it is. If there’s any disciplinary action on this, I think it should come from the Chiefs.


  • October 27, 2009  - Uncuffed says:

    Cut him and his 2.7 yds/carry now! I much prefer to have Priest have the team record.

    As far as the cap, who cares, we have plenty of space and the league is uncapped next year, right? If we keep him into next year, we pay more actual money, so save the most cash and cut him now.

    He’s acted like a child one too many times for me.


  • October 27, 2009  - Rodeo John says:

    The league has come out through unofficial channels saying it is a team matter.


  • October 27, 2009  - Mad Chief says:

    Rodeo John says:
    “The league has come out through unofficial channels saying it is a team matter.”

    Good. The ball is in Pioli’s court now. Time to see if the “we only want players who want to be Chiefs” was just talk, or not.


  • October 27, 2009  - Harold C. says:

    So all year I hear about these great practices or improvement in this or that practice…and then they get in a game and they stink it up as usual. Why is that? Because a great practice means nothing when you are not very good in any phase of the game and you are practicing against yourself. So now we go into the bi-week and they are going to brainstorm and try to figure out how to win with the limited talent and brains that we have or that may be available who knows where. So the question is….can the Chiefs think themselves into a winning team? I’d say no. I’d say it’s wishful thinking at best and we wont see much until more talent becomes available in the coming off-season.


  • October 27, 2009  - arrowhead1978 says:

    I saw this report on CBSsports this morning, Pollard has made 19 tackles in three starts and become a key piece of Houston’s improving defense. If the Texans can use him why couldn’t the chiefs? Mike Brown is no Dawkins…

    Haha, the chiefs defense can hold a lead?? How come they couldn’t against the worst QB in the NFL?? It would have been 2 wins already this season… The chiefs D is the worst of all the new 3-4 defenses in the NFL, and you can’t just say that they dont have the talent for a 3-4, look at GB and Denver, niether team has all the components to run a 3-4 yet they look good and they have players that have never played in a 3-4 also…


  • October 27, 2009  - Harold C. says:

    So you are saying that we have the talent…we are just brainless?


  • October 27, 2009  - Mad Chief says:

    Harold C. says:
    “So the question is….can the Chiefs think themselves into a winning team?”

    No, they can’t “think” themselves into a winning team. But, they can PLAY themselves into a winning team. Or at least, into winning some games. Are the Chiefs lacking talent? Of course. But, EVERY SINGLE PLAYER ON THIS TEAM is capable of playing better than they have.


  • October 27, 2009  - Tim says:

    I agree with ED’s earlier post. This team doesn’t have the talent right now to really go at the kind of schedule we have had this year. We just don’t. The coaches don’t have anything to do with that part of it.

    Haley showed that he is growing in his position & is a classy individual by the way he has handled the LJ situation so far. Personally, I believe after the “investigation”, LJ should be suspended for conduct detrimental to the team just as Herm did. He should be traded or cut after the year is over. He doesn’t fit this offense & his quickness of acceleration is maybe half of what it was. His value is minimal to KC.

    Other teams know we’re better, but they also know we “just don’t have the horses yet”. That was a telling statement by an opponent. That gives me hope that others in the league that become free agents won’t necessarily discount us when considering a change of scenery.


  • October 27, 2009  - Jim Lloyd+ says:

    LJ has proably helped forward movement by setting thing’s up to start change’s in a program that does not waste down’s , trying to see if he is in the mood .
    Now that’s what is very , very high on the list of cutting cost’s –plus–> getting to the WINNING mark .
    They don’t have to win all the rest of the season , but in today’s NFL you can’t play around with this kind of stuff !
    There arn’t any March ~ June game’s where you can make them up .
    It’s hard enough when your QB has a brace , to have the star RB not trying to help make up the driffence , He’s doing the team a favor , for real !


  • October 27, 2009  - gorillafan says:

    Eventhough I am not a huge LJ fan, I have been supporting him. but now I really dont care. I really dont know if they will cut him, prob should, but for now prob wont.

    We all thought the same about Waters when he talked down about haley, we were all saying the same thing, “can his ass”. Due to LJ’s new desire and attitude this year, and how haley has spoke highly of him so far, I think LJ will talk his
    way out of it with Pioli and Haley.

    And as for who is to blame with this 1-6 start…?
    someone made a good point on how maybe clark has not let pioli do and spend money like he needs to. we dont have the real inside info to truely determine ho is to blame.All I know is that we sucked before, and it takes more than one draft and 7 games to make you a good team, (denver excluded, ha)

    as for haley, I really like this dude! I know we dont know how good of a hc he can be, but the way he acts is good enough hope for me right now. I got sick and tired or herm just standing on the sidelines, saying and doing nothing. ATLEAST haley is demanding things from his players, coaches and himself. HE doesnt make excuses for the play calling or lack of offensive performance. He will staight up tell you me made a mistake or he was at fault and he needs to get better too. its a process and hes part of it. I like his personality, and it will pay off in the future.

    give him a chance


  • October 27, 2009  - Mad Chief says:

    From Kent Babb:

    “Larry Johnson has been asked by the team to not participate in team activities until further notice. Not a suspension, but not with the team”


  • October 27, 2009  - Rodeo John says:

    From KCChiefs.com
    Statement on RB Larry Johnson
    Oct 27, 2009, 12:30:36 PM

    The Kansas City Chiefs and the National Football League are continuing to investigate the alleged comments made by Larry Johnson. Until that review is complete, the Chiefs have instructed Larry to refrain from practicing with the Chiefs or participating in other team activities. A decision regarding Larry’s status will be made once the investigation has concluded.


  • October 27, 2009  - John says:

    A lot has been made through various channels that the Chiefs didn’t spend all their salary cap money this season – that they could have brought better talent to the team for this season.

    This could have been because Clark Hunt didn’t want the money to be spent. But I don’t buy this explanation, because there is a minimum amount that must be spent that is expressed as a percentage of the cap number. If you don’t spend it on acquiring players, you still have to spend nearly all of it by spreading it around among the players until you meet the minimum.

    This also could have been because the Chiefs wanted certain free agents, but were unable – for whatever reason – to lure them to Kansas City. It’s certainly possible that some FAs couldn’t have been enticed to join the Chiefs for any amount of money.

    But there is one other possibility. Pioli may have believed there wasn’t enough talent on the team to put together a winning season this year, so he might be holding cap space in reserve so the Chiefs will have the money they’ll need to sign picks taken early in the 2010 draft. It won’t be cheap.

    I wouldn’t expect Pioli to admit this publicly – “Hey, this team just can’t be very good this season, so we’re saving cap space for another top five pick in next year’s draft” probably wouldn’t play well to season ticket holders – but it may very well be part of his thinking.


  • October 27, 2009  - B in SC says:

    Hunt telling Pioli not to spend money is crazy. Pioli wouldn’t have come here if he didn’t get control of putting together the team he wants. You just don’t spend money to say you did. The talent has to be available to spend it on. When Pioli, Haley, and the staff were in place the FA market had dried up except for a few washed out old vets and some lower tier guys. Save it and do it right next off-season.

    LJ will be dealt with. They have banned him from the team (with pay) until a resolution is reached. You can bet they are pursuing all of their options to make him hurt the worst and be of benefit to the club. Kolby Smith coming back really hurts LJ’s stance. They need to make a move with the roster anyway. I suspect he will be suspended for 4 games and then released. Saves the team a little cash and almost effectively ends his career. Second time in two years to be suspended? Nobody will touch him, not even in the NFL.


  • October 27, 2009  - Hank says:

    Question: If the Chiefs don’t spend all of their salary cap funds by the end of the football year does it roll over as “extra cap” dollars next year?


  • October 27, 2009  - gorillafan says:

    HANK,

    no, if you do not spend over the min salary line, the league will fine you, and no roll over


  • October 27, 2009  - Jim Lloyd+ says:

    A lot of LJ’s money was in earned performance , and most has already been paid , per talk on the radio . There’s not that much left ,subject to what happen’s .
    There’s some defence player’s that might be look at on new contract’s .




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