Ultimate Rebuilding Pain … Thursday Cup O’Chiefs

The pain of rebuilding pulses through the Chiefs facility at the Truman Sports Complex

The Chiefs are 1-7 and while there are miniscule signs of improvement on offense and defense, the whole picture doesn’t show much in the way of moving forward. It’s like they have taken seven punches to the gut, like Andy Alleman did during the game against Jacksonville (right).

Todd Haley rattled off a bunch of statistical areas where the Chiefs rank quite well among the league’s 32 teams. But he allowed after he was done that “stats are for losers.” There’s no doubt the ’09 Chiefs are losers right now, tied for the worst record in the NFL.

Then there are all those others numbers, losers of 27 of their last 30 and 37 of their last 44.

So many fans and pundits wanted change at Arrowhead and rebuilding. It’s doubtful they remembered just how painful it can be. After eight games, the current Chiefs rebuilding job is the ugliest in franchise history.

Six times the Chiefs have gone to a complete tear down of their football team, under Paul Wiggin (1975), Marv Levy (1978), John Mackovic (1983), Marty Schottenheimer (1989), Dick Vermeil (2001) and Haley in 2009. Only the current Chiefs went 1-7. The other years the team won two, three, even four games in 1975 and 1983.

None of those previous five teams scored as few points as the ’09 Chiefs, or allowed as many points as the current edition. The Chiefs are minus-79 in point differential, or basically 10 points per game.

Among those six teams, the ’09 Chiefs are averaging the fewest offensive yards at mid-season, while allowing the most yards. Takeaways and sacks are fewer than the other five rebuilding clubs.

The only facet of the game where this year’s team is better than the others came in the kicking game. Here’s a comparison of the six teams over their first eight games:















Points Scored







Points Allowed







Points Differential +/-







Offensive Yards







Rushing Yards







Passing Yards














Sacks Allowed







Offensive TDs







Yards Allowed







Rush Yards Allowed







Pass Yards Allowed





















Offensive TDs allowed







Gross Punting Avg.







Net Punting Avg.







Punt Return Avg.







Kick Return Avg.







Punt Coverage Avg.







Kick Coverage Avg.







Of those previous five first-year rebuilds, only one team finished the season with a winning record: Schottenheimer’s ’89 Chiefs were 8-7-1. Only that team followed up with a winning record in the second season, as the ’90 Chiefs went 11-5.

The two coaches who won the fewest games that first season got dumped after 35 games (Wiggin) and 73 games (Levy). If Haley can’t find a lot more victories than defeats in the second half of the ’09 season, the clock will start ticking very fast on his future.


  • AFC – named Colts TE Dallas Clark offensive player of the week, Steelers SS Tyrone Carter defensive player of the week and Patriots K Steve Gostkowski special teams player of the week.
  • NFC – named Cardinals QB Kurt Warner offensive player of the week, Saints DT Anthony Hargrove defensive player of the week and Buccaneers returner Clifton Smith special teams player of the week.
  • BEARS – Out of Thursday night’s game against the 49ers are RB Garrett Wolfe, S Kevin Paynes and LB Pia Tinoisamoa.
  • BILLS – announced that Trent Edwards would return as the starting quarterback; activated WR James Hardy from the PUP list; released RB Xavier Omon.
  • BRONCOS – replaced Ben Hamilton at one of the starting guard spots with Russ Hochstein.
  • BROWNS – named Brady Quinn the starting QB; signed LB Josh Stamer.
  • BUCCANEERS – placed S Will Allen and LB Rod Wilson; signed LB Matt McCoy; promoted CB Derrick Roberson from the practice squad.
  • EAGLES – CB Joselio Hanson was suspended for four games by the NFL for violating the league’s policy regarding performance enhancement drugs. Hanson tested positive for a diuretic; placed CB Ellis Hobbs on the injured-reserve list; signed CB Ramzee Robinson; promoted CB Jack Ikegwuonu from the practice squad.
  • 49ERS – Out of Thursday night’s game against the Bears are RB Glen Coffee, CB Nate Clements, DT Demetric Evans and OT Joe Staley.
  • GIANTS – placed LB Gerris Wilkinson on the injured-reserve list; signed CB D.J. Johnson.
  • REDSKINS – placed S Chris Horton on the injured-reserve list; signed RB Quinton Ganther.


On November 12, 1961, the Dallas Texans lost to the Buffalo Bills 30-20 at the Cotton Bowl in front of an estimated crowd of 15,000. The Bills scored the last 20 points, all in the fourth quarter to gain the victory. Texans led 17-10 at half-time, on a pair of TD passes by QB Cotton Davidson, for 14 yards to RB Johnny Robinson and 52 yards to WR Frank Jackson. K Ben Agajanian
(right) kicked a pair of FGs, including a 51-yarer in the fourth quarter. Davidson threw four interceptions and was sacked four times. WR Chris Burford caught nine passes for 102 yards. The Dallas defense had three sacks and interceptions from CB David Webster and S Doyle Nix.

On November 12, 1972, the Chiefs lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers 16-7 at Three Rivers Stadium. The Chiefs grabbed an early lead when S Jim Kearney picked off a Terry Bradshaw pass and returned it 65 yards for a touchdown. That would be the final time that Kansas City saw the end zone, as Pittsburgh’s defense held them to 183 offensive yards. QB Len Dawson threw an interception and was sacked five times, twice by DE Dwight White. The Chiefs picked off Bradshaw three times, with Kearney, S Kerry Reardon and LB Bobby Bell grabbing passes. Rookie RB Franco Harris ran for 134 yards on 17 carries for the Steelers.

On November 12, 1973, the Chiefs beat the Chicago Bears 19-7 in a Monday night game at Arrowhead Stadium. The Kansas City defense was dominate as they held the Bears to 146 offensive yards, causing three turnovers and sacked Chicago QB Bobby Douglass (left) six times. The Chiefs only TD of the game came on a 24-yard pass from QB Mike Livingston to WR Otis Taylor. Jan Stenerud kicked four field goals. S Jim Kearney had an interception, while DT George Seals and LB Willie Lanier recovered fumbles. DE Marvin Upshaw had three of the sacks, with DTs Curley Culp and Buck Buchanan and DE Wilbur Young added one each. “It was a good, old-fashioned, hard-hitting, rock’em, sock’em football game,” Hank Stram said afterwards.

On November 12, 1978, the Chiefs lost in overtime to the Chargers 29-23 at San Diego Stadium. A 47-yard FG by Jan Stenerud with two seconds remaining in regulation bounced off both uprights, but went through to send the game into an extra period. Chargers WR John Jefferson caught the winning touchdown pass from QB Dan Fouts while on his back in the end zone as the overtime came to an end. The Chiefs got a pair of TD runs from RB Arnold Morgado from one and three yards. He finished with 115 yards on 20 carries. RB Tony Reed had nine catches for 91 yards. Stenerud had three field goals on the afternoon. San Diego RB Lydell Mitchell had 144 rushing yards on 29 carries. Jefferson caught seven passes for 130 yards.

On November 12, 1989, the Chiefs lost to the Denver Broncos 16-13 at Arrowhead Stadium in front of a crowd of 76,245. David Treadwell’s field goal won this one after the Chiefs had tied the game in the fourth quarter with a five-yard TD pass from QB Steve Pelluer to WR Emile Harry. Pelluer made the start for the Chiefs and hit 17 of 27 for 205 yards, outperforming Denver QB John Elway, who was 11 of 22 for 133 yards and one INT. That one was picked off by DT Dan Saleaumua. The Chiefs had a pair of FGs from Nick Lowery of 39 and 42 yards.


Born on November 12, 1934 in Terrell, Texas was DB Jimmy Harris. He joined the Dalllas Texans for their inaugural season in 1960 after a legal dispute between the AFL and the NFL over an option season in Harris’ contract with the Los Angeles Rams. Harris played there in 1958 and then sat out the next season. He was on the Texans roster for 14 games in the ’60 season, but got very little playing time while he did grab a pair of interceptions. He played the 1961 season with the Dallas Cowboys.

Born on November 12, 1943 in Atlanta was WR Frank Pitts (right). He was selected in the fourth-round of the 1965 AFL Draft out of Southern University. Pitts played six seasons (1965-70) with the Chiefs, participating in 74 games with at least 33 starting assignments. He caught 78 passes for 1,450 yards and 11 TDs during his time with the Chiefs, including two Super Bowl appearances.

28 Responses to “Ultimate Rebuilding Pain … Thursday Cup O’Chiefs”

  • November 12, 2009  - ILChiefsFan says:

    I’m not getting it. Was last season not a rebuilding season as well? It sure was billed as one.

    Last season through 8 games: 1-7, 126 pts. scored, 223 pts. allowed, -97 pt. differential.

    This season is bad, and in some ways more disconcerting than last season, but do we have to pretend it’s the worst ever?

  • November 12, 2009  - Jim Lloyd+ says:

    Cassel has a good eye and arm todo it , but IF he hurried , the number of interceptions can jump .

  • November 12, 2009  - MenInRed says:

    I’m with you Dan, let’s let it all out we got nothing to loose.

    GO CHIEFS!!!

  • November 12, 2009  - el cid says:

    You have to wonder when Haley talks. The reason behind some of the stats Haley is so proud of is (wait for it, drum roll) the Chiefs do nothing that would adversely affect the stats. Cassel does not throw downfield and the offense takes no chance playing it close to the vest. Haley has said the team must play ugly to stay in games and possibly win. HAS NOT WORKED SO FAR. Cassel has said when they are desparate at the end of games he generally runs his own game. WHY NOT LET HIM DO IT AT THE BEGINNING? Because bad things can happen if you actually try to move the ball. Well, morning to all and enjoy the process.

  • November 12, 2009  - Jody says:

    A rookie hothead head coach who thinks he’s too smart for a OC or QBC doesn’t inspire much confidence.

  • November 12, 2009  - ThunderChief says:

    The excellent NFL franchises are continually upgrading their roster, not allowing favorites to remain on the roster when their level of play has slipped beyond the acceptable range. They sort of reload on the fly.

    The Pats of the past decade are a good example of this and yet, they find room for guys like Seau who can still bring something to the roster and locker room. Maintaining that delicate balance has to be a slippery slope of modus operandi.

    One mis-step here and there and what results? A full blown rebuild where the 2009 Chiefs find themselves. It’s one thing to go through this rebuilding, and another to stay mired in it.

    The current Chiefs, to me, are flirting with ‘mired’ status which is where the Lions have been for the past how many years?

  • November 12, 2009  - ED says:

    Bottom line this season is tough to swallow for all Chiefs fans I think. Mainly because we went through this same process with Herm and now we’re going through it again with Haley. So Bob you could’ve through Herm 2007 team in that group as well. Going through 3 years in a row of the team trying to rebuild is very uncommon an painful as a fan. Its understandable in our situation anytime you make a head coaching change in the first rebuild you and then you have to do it all over again because new head coach doesn’t share same philophies as previous one.

    However Bob my take is if offense stays the way it is now we’re going to win against Oak and Cle and that will be it, but if the offense improves we can win about 4 to 6 more games.

    I do think Haley will get this thing turned around and next yr will result in a huge spike in wins. Once a couple things happen more talent at the offensive line and receiver. We add another pass rusher opposite Tamba. And last but not least hire a smart innovative offensive coord. that knows how to get the ball to the playmakers on the team. He’s a sleeper pick as an offensive coord. Charlie Weiss. But think about it makes sense. If he’s fired at Notre Dame more than likely he’s going back to the NFL. His former GM boss is our GM. So just keep an eye out on that.

  • November 12, 2009  - Mad Chief says:

    ED says:
    “Going through 3 years in a row of the team trying to rebuild is very uncommon an painful as a fan.”

    Yes. Very. The thing some seem to forget, though…is that this is the FIRST year for Pioli and Haley. So, I’ll continue to try and be patient.

    I wonder if Rams fans are calling for Steve Spagnuolo’s head…like so many Chiefs fans are calling for Haley’s? What if Cowher had been hired before this year, and he was 1-7 with this team? Would you want him gone, too?

  • November 12, 2009  - SG says:

    “What if Cowher had been hired before this year, and he was 1-7 with this team? Would you want him gone, too?”

    For one, I don’t perceive our current HC as having the same credibility as Coach Cowher yet (that has to be earned). For two, the war drums aren’t in play yet…but at the same time, the current season’s results IS included as part of the body of work and we don’t give him a mulligan just because he’s the new HC. His credibility is based on his body of work. Are things the current HC and current GM doing (INCLUDING the trade of the FRANCHISE TE and the action or general INACTION regarding the O-Line in the offseason) working to increase or decrease their credibility when they say “trust me, we’ll be able to actually compete for a playoff spot next season or in two seasons?”

  • November 12, 2009  - Mad Chief says:

    SG says:
    “For one, I don’t perceive our current HC as having the same credibility as Coach Cowher yet (that has to be earned).”

    Oh, I agree 100% there. I was merely asking, based on our record, if we would be satisfied or confident at 1-7…if it was someone other than Haley at the “helm”…that things were going to improve sometime soon?

  • November 12, 2009  - SG says:

    If any of y’all are bored with the discussion about how bad our team is historically (even though the season is 1/2 over…it does happen to be (destroy the) RAIDER(s) WEEK and today is a great time to re-visit some things that can help us evaluate how our team will look with a 2-7 record since most of us believe this is a very winnable game.

  • November 12, 2009  - SG says:

    “I was merely asking…”

    Ok, I follow you now…(coffee hasn’t kicked in just yet)…if it were someone else like Cowher, I’m not sure we would be at all satisfied. We might expect even more.

  • November 12, 2009  - Mad Chief says:

    Yup…Raider Week. We need to win this one. We should have won when we played them here. Their only other win was against the Eagles. ??? How the hell did they beat the Eagles, anyway? I didn’t see the game.

    With the Steelers, Chargers, and Donkeys coming up…we need to head into those games on a positive note by beating the Raiders. A convincing win would be nice. A blowout would be even better.

    And a note to Todd Haley: Run the damn ball! Let’s see what our RB’s can do, when given a fair shot. You had no problem giving the ball to LJ 20+ times a game…when he wasn’t doing jack. Why not give Charles or Smith the same opportunity?

  • November 12, 2009  - ILChiefsFan says:

    Mad Chief said:
    “How the hell did they beat the Eagles, anyway?”

    They blitzed the hell out of the Eagles. This is apparently a no-no in the mind of Al Davis, but it certainly worked in that game. The Chiefs need to watch out for that kind of pressure.

    And I agree with you; the Raiders game is a must-win. If the Chiefs can’t pull this one out it’s pretty hard to argue that they’ve made any progress this season.

  • November 12, 2009  - SG says:

    “A convincing win would be nice.”

    Mandatory! Even in seasons’ past when the Raiders went to the Super Bowl, we beat them at least once (often twice). Even “Herm’s Men” could beat the Raiders. To paraphrase a SEC head coach recently, we need to let the Raiders appreciate “the sincerity of our contact” (e.g. hit them in the mouth and mean it).

  • November 12, 2009  - Mad Chief says:

    Sad fact:

    Our last “convincing” win? And by “convincing” I mean by more than one score.

    Sept. 28 last year. We beat the Donkeys 33-19. Before that? Sept. 30 of 2007. We beat the Chargers 30-16. That’s the only two wins in the last 2 1/2 years that we’ve won by more than one score. (I didn’t count the Redskins game this year. They could have tied us with a TD and 2-point conversion.)

    I’d really like to see that trend end this weekend. And who better to smoke than the Raiders…at their house?

  • November 12, 2009  - Jim Lloyd+ says:

    Watching (Squak On The Street)there is a guy that just came out with a book—-” What do killer whales have in commen with childern ” . — O.K.>
    When they train the whales in the Fla. show’s they reward them to get the needed results !!
    He is saying that if you do this with childern ,
    same thing .
    They then started talking about how this works in the WORK PLACE . I went BINGO !!!
    If you repremaned people they hibernate from this the same as the cave man when he did not have food for days .
    Hibernation is also a form of depression in the human build of todays mankind .
    To disapate this , man is in a better fuction mode if he is rewarded for the things he thinks he does well.
    I know that when I pick up a BIG check , I fell like I can do anything .
    When I’m low on dough I feel like shi*

  • November 12, 2009  - Jim Lloyd+ says:

    Sometimes I feel so good , I start looking at what the lottery is up to or fly to the moon ?
    This is a question as much as a statement .

  • November 12, 2009  - Jim Lloyd+ says:

    Back to football ,
    Is there a door here .

  • November 12, 2009  - SG says:

    “And who better to smoke than the Raiders…at their house?”

    We can rename their place the SmokeHouse (where the home team gets smoked every year by the Chiefs)!

  • November 12, 2009  - gorillafan says:

    I think our players are going to have a huge chip on their shoulders, just pissed about giving the game away on the last drive, that they will be confident and play with passion and give us a win

  • November 12, 2009  - colby says:

    If Vrabel, Herron, and Belcher are all scratches this week, how freaking hilarious would it be if Studebaker and Walters get more time on the field than DJ? Gotta think that would set him off! In all seriousness, I am looking forward to DJ getting more playing time this week. In limited action he has a sack, an INT, and a forced fumble.

    Glad Alleman will be starting instead of Goff from now on. If Alleman or Ndukwe can solidify the RG spot, that leaves us with one less hole to fill next year.

    Too bad Chambers is already missing practice time. Hope he rebounds and plays well again. I think we may have found a gem in Lance Long. People are dogging him now, but the kid has shown that he can catch the ball, which is more than our other receivers have done.

    I’m also hoping to see more of Magee, Charles, Savage, and Studebaker.

  • November 12, 2009  - Tracy says:

    The biggest question is Todd Haley’s capability as HC. He has too much on his plate right now.
    His mission this off season should be to find a good OC; or at least one he will tolerate.
    He should also work on his interpersonal relationship skills; some would say he has to find some first. If Phil Jackson has written a book on his Zen like approach to his job, Haley should find a copy and read it; if there is no such book, Scott Pioli should set up some kind of mentoring program between the two. That may be the only way Haley survives the damage his in-your-face style has inflicted on the team.
    He is doing too much right now to try to change but if he is to survive, let alone prosper, he needs to at least upgrade those skills from incendiary to tolerable.

  • November 12, 2009  - Merwin in NY says:

    I have to agree with you Colby except on the DJ issue. He might play but I do not see him getting too involved in the game. I think with Bowe, Chambers and Long we might just have a good group of receivers to throw too. GO CHIEFS!

  • November 12, 2009  - KC_Guy says:

    In 2008 the Chiefs tore down the team – so that would qualify. In 2007 they were just patching the more obvious spots – the rather successful 2006 season (playoff!!) obviously spoiled them. But noone allowed for patience with Herm after the 2008 season. I really think they could be more competative right now had they stuck to the way they took in 2007 – and not start all over again. Long term? Who knows. I’m not convinced the current approach will pay dividend in the long term – unless Egoli and Haley stop pissing off key players.
    Yes, I read (and like) the Whitlock columns.

  • November 12, 2009  - Mad Chief says:

    KC_Guy says:
    “unless Egoli and Haley stop pissing off key players.”

    What “key players” have the pissed off?

  • November 12, 2009  - gorillafan says:

    KC_Guy says:
    “unless Egoli and Haley stop pissing off key players.”

    What “key players” have the pissed off?

    Yeah I know, what players?

    They pissed waters off but he is still here and he is not a key player

    tony already wanted to be let go

    lj should have been let go anyway

    pollarrd, well who really knows there

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