Todd Haley’s Keys To Winning

Speaking last week, Todd Haley was very clear in what he felt his team must do to win each weekend of the 2010 season. Here’s what he said:

“I know that we’re going to be a team that has to protect the football; this is not going to change. We’re going to have to protect the football at all costs, we will not be able to turn the ball over and win games right now. We are going to have to stop the run on defense. We’re going to have to win on special teams and that’s going to mean scoring points, more often or not, or putting our team in a position to score points. We’re going to have to cover on special teams and not allow big plays and on defense we’re probably going to have to create some turnovers – at least one or two a game. That’s what we have to do and that’s what we’re working hard to do every game.”

Pretty simple stuff; it’s basic football. But it’s tough to pull off on a weekly basis. So for each game we will look at Haley’s keys and see what the Chiefs were able to accomplish.


Makes sense, but Matt Cassel had a pair of interceptions and the Chiefs were still able to win the game. OUTCOME: FAILURE.


The Chiefs defense got that done, holding the Browns to 73 yards on 26 carries, a paltry 2.8-yard per carry average. They had three stops behind the line of scrimmage and gave up just one run for more than eight yards. OUTCOME: SUCCESS.


This got done big time with their ability to take Browns returner Joshua Cribbs out of the game, holding him to two returns for 24 yards. Cleveland had only one return of more than 10 yards. On the reverse side, the Chiefs were unable to get anything going in their return game and were not able to effect much in the way of good field position. OUTCOME: SUCCESS.


A pair of big pass plays – one for 65 yards and a touchdown and another for 44 yards – both hurt the Chiefs. Maybe it’s the product of rookie safeties. Maybe there’s a lack of understanding in the scheme. It could be that the lack of a consistent pass rush. Whatever the reason, it’s got to stop. OUTCOME: FAILURE.


They got that done with the pick six from Brandon Flowers and the fumble caused by Mike Vrabel that set up the Chiefs first field goal. OUTCOME: SUCCESS.

They hit the mark on three of the five keys. Going forward, I would expect their ability to beat average or below average teams, they have to hit three. To beat good teams, they are going to have to hit four or five.

11 Responses to “Todd Haley’s Keys To Winning”

  • September 22, 2010  - johnfromfairfax says:

    Welcome back Bob. After watching the 49ers against the Saints it looks like the Chiefs better bring their A game this week. It should be another good test of how far the team has progressed and how far we have to go.

  • September 22, 2010  - KC_Guy says:

    Welcome back Bob! Nice column to go back to Haley’s key factors for the game. This plus Josh Looney’s five (or six) areas of attention make a nice approach for preview and evaluation.

  • September 22, 2010  - Butler says:

    Key to the Game Stop Frank Gore!!!!!!
    No penalties/no turnovers !!!!!!!
    Keep Up the Great D-Fence !!!!!

    Go CHIEFS Go

  • September 22, 2010  - Edward says:

    I watched that Browns games yesterday and we’re apply pressure the big plays are coming because Berry is being too aggresive against the run and is not applying help on passing downs over the top. He bit on play-action again this past week and that left Cribbs open down the field for a big play. He’ll get better in that are hopefully sooner than later because after the bye week we got Manning who is the master of the play-action fake.

  • September 22, 2010  - aPauled says:

    Speaking of the rookie Safeties, I still haven’t seen anything on why Jon McGraw was inactive for the Browns game. Maybe he had dinner at the same restaurant as Bob?

  • September 22, 2010  - Jimbo says:

    The Todd Haley keys to winning are a little underwhelming. Stopping this or preventing that is not the way to the playoffs. Winning football games is not necessarily just to survive 60 minutes. Granted the Chiefs are’nt very good (yet) in all facets of the game. Most particularly our lackluster offense.

    It seems to me that our offense is focusing on preventing mistakes instead of having fun. Low risk plays usually will get you low risk results. Our offense is not very entertaining nor very good. Maybe Charlie Weis has dialed back the offense because we have not found ourselves behind on the scoreboard enough to open up the playbook. Or maybe we have a QB who is hesitant, inaccurate & not quite ready for primetime. Or maybe we are just focusing on winning games albeit ugly & boring.

    It’s kind of like buying a new vehicle without all the bells & whistles. It looks nice, drives nice & gets you where you are going, however it is not as much fun & visually exciting wihout all the fancy gadgets to brag about or play with. In the meantime, I will look forward to each & every Sunday as I have for the past 40 plus years & watch us WIN some more ball games. With or without the power seats.
    Go Chiefs.

  • September 22, 2010  - Clarence says:

    Welcome back Bob! I’ve been an avid Chief’s fan for over 40 years and an avid reader of your column since you began with the Chief’s. I’ve agreed totally with most of your articles and I do with this one as well. However, one thing that puzzles me is that you, Len Dawson(one of my favorite QB’s and commentators), and many of the local media keep harping on receiver separation. I have watched all of the Chief’s games several times and several others at least once and noticed that our receivers get as much seperation as most team’s receivers do, with far better results. I’m not a Cassel hater but it’s clear to me that QB/receiver success is almost always dependent on recognition and response, timing, and accuracy, without always telegraphing the pass by the QB. Thus far, Cassel has failed at these things. If I had been as inept in my profession, a few, or many, people would have died, including me. I just hope that Cassel improves this year.

    Keep up the great work Bob and stay well. You’re the best. Sorry for the long comment, but I haven’t commented in a long time. :-)

  • September 22, 2010  - dan in joplin says:

    Jimbo, good post. I believe Haley has been saying “right now” these are the things we need to do to win. Meaning that later, when we become a better team, we’ll be able to over come some things i.e. turn overs, etc. That’s what I got out of his press congerences.

  • September 22, 2010  - el cid says:

    I think you are correct, dan in joplin. I wonder what is your opinion of at what point in time (as in date – part of season, year, etc.) “when we become a better team”. I sort of think, to overcome things you need a complete, balanced team and not sure the Chiefs are anywhere near there yet.

  • September 22, 2010  - Rick says:

    Were we ever balanced under Marty? Did we win alot of games under Marty? I will take a dominant D over a dominant O anytime. If we can be top 20 on O that will be good enough imho.

  • September 23, 2010  - dan in joplin says:

    el cid, who knows!!! But we are getting a “little bit better each day”! In all seriousness, I believe that is exactly what they are trying to build, a balanced team in all three phases! We have to keep in mind that while we have been “enduring” this chiefs organization for however many years, this “regime” is only counting since last year!!! I will give them credit, at least they are really trying to win w/ what they have!!!
    Rick, I would definately take that defense, but a not so conservative approach on offense! I believe that’s where Haley is going w/this, when the defense matures more, the offense will get more aggressive! Back in the Marty years, he should have been more aggressive on offense, because he had the D to overcome turnovers, short field position and some of the other problems that happen w/ aggressive offense.

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