Winning & Forgetting

Chiefs coach Todd Haley said his team – coaches to players – learned the most important thing about winning last week. And interestingly, it is a lesson he believes you cannot learn without winning.

And that is you have to put success behind you quickly and not forget the thing that gave you success in the first place.

“When you are not winning on a consistent basis you don’t learn that feeling,” Haley said of enjoying success and putting it behind you. “(If you aren’t winning) it just becomes the next game. I can’t really explain it, but it is something I have learned. I don’t think you learn it if you are not winning.

“You (have to) learn the feeling that as soon as the game you are playing is over, it’s over no matter how big that game was.”

As illustration, Haley recounted the Chiefs-Chargers games in a new Arrowhead Stadium on Monday Night Football.

“That first week there was no bigger game for any of us who have been here this last year-and-a-half,” Haley said. “It was a division game against the reigning division champions at home in a new stadium. For this team, there has been no bigger game.

“But as soon as it was over, there was no bigger game than yesterday. The San Diego game paled in comparison to the Browns game because it was our chance to get two wins. As soon as it ended yesterday, you felt some jubilation and a sense of accomplishment. Now there is no bigger game than San Francisco coming this Sunday.

“That part of it is difficult. The most important thing now is my cutoff for enjoying this is 5 o’clock (Monday). Once we hit that 5 o’clock time you know these two are behind us.”

Haley said the players came in Monday, had what he described as a “real good run” and a good start to the week. Next up, how the players respond to some unaccustomed success.

“Last week was a miserable week,” Haley said of the days following the win over San Diego. “Even though we won, the physical aspect of it and mental aspect of it, we were more tired. As the week went on, though we never had one of those A-plus practices, I think we were able to get a little better each day.

“(I’ll look) for the same things (this week) as I looked for last week and last year . . . that guys are on time, they are preparing hard, working hard, practicing hard, supporting their teammates. Those are the same things I have been looking for because those things are what help you win.”

Another byproduct of winning is that Chiefs coaches may become more demanding in their weekly preparations.

“When you do have some success and when a team is coming off a win, it is generally an excellent opportunity to really coach and be as critical as you can on techniques and the way you can do things. Guys, generally their force field isn’t quite up the way it is when you have not had success, and they sensitivity level is not as tender.”

It doesn’t mean things will always go well in a game. Haley said the Chiefs went through what he called “a rough patch” in the first half against the Browns. But they stayed the course and overcame the lapses. That’s what also makes a good team.

“When that game started, our guys were ready to play,” Haley said. “But we just weren’t quite all together – whether that was a product of the short week or whatever. We just weren’t quite clicking or completely focused. We were doing a few too many of the things that can get you beat.

“By the second half we finally got our legs back under us and were able to get the job done. It’s an encouraging sign that our guys have been able to hang together and fight through the adversity in each of these games and stick together and make enough plays to win.

“We’re 2-0, and we’re 2-0 for a reason . . . because we played better than our opponents in each of these games. I hope in the next day guys spend some extra time getting ready for San Francisco. That’s what our goal is for the week, each and every one of these days to make a little progress. If we do that, good things will happen.”

11 Responses to “Winning & Forgetting”

  • September 21, 2010  - napahank says:

    I cannot believe the “lack of love” for Cassel! In the SD game the cross wind messed with both QB’s; however, Rivers had NO choice, down 14 pts in 2nd half. We DID have a choice and we played it smart and tough albeit not “pretty”.

    Last week there was communication/timing problems in the 1st half and Cassel did fine in the second half. Both INT’s were not all on him as Chamber’s got turned around and our RT doesn’t know how to keep DE’s from jumping at the line and tipping balls.

    For heaven’s sake we are 2-0 and Cassel hasn’t done anything to lose the games. Can he improve, heck yes, but so can just about everyone else on the roster.

  • September 21, 2010  - Edward says:

    Agreed napahank. Cassel will be fine. Everyone from fans to media always talk about how they want KC to draft and develop a home grown QB. Well we’re actually trying to develop someone who has shown proven success and everyone is getting frustrated with the process. Bottom line Cassel has shown me last yr he can make the big throws and big plays late in games. Crennel has turned this defense around in a hurry and Weis has a track record of molding good QB. So what i’m getting out is its only week 2 give this guy Cassel time he’ll develop into a good QB. Fans and the media just need to be patient with the process.

    Lets not forget just last yr most of you was already calling Dorsey and Jackson busts. When I was taking up for those guy saying how they just were in year 1 and 2 and it takes time to develop defensive linemen. Now the same people are on these guys jock. You just look foolish overreacting like that. Everyone needs to take a deep breath enjoy the 2-0 start and give our starting QB time to develop like Dorsey and Jackson. Learn from the past people or you’re doom to repeat it.

  • September 21, 2010  - Rick says:

    “the “lack of love” for Cassel!”

    A 55.8 QB rating will do that.

  • September 21, 2010  - el cid says:

    In my real world, Matt Cassel is a little short in value as a NFL QB. He is one tough guy but come on, everyone has noticed while playing the most dominate position on a team, he has not preformed on a acceptable level. “he will be fine” and “lack of love”, this is the NFL, don’t win a superbowl and you are a bum. Len Dawson had to endure it and so will Cassel. Get all warm and fuzzy, but Cassel will have to show the fans just how good he is or isn’t. Patience has little to nothing to do with it, he is the man at QB with the Chiefs.

  • September 21, 2010  - aPauled says:

    I have supported Cassel since he arrived. Asked for patience. Seeing the way he played in the first half against Cleveland tried my patience. Better in the second half but still not good enough. Cassel has to make GREAT strides quickly or we need to look for another QB. He has had time and granted the pass protection and receivers aren’t great…but IMO Cassel is even dragging them down. Matt Cassel, Step Up…or Step Aside!

  • September 21, 2010  - Nate says:

    Cassel plays too tenative. I was glad to see him get pissed in the second half Sunday. He acts too damn timid too much of the time. He cant even look people in the eye when he is asked a question. I don’t question his courage on the football field, but I do question his self confidence right now. I don’t want him trash talking like Phillip Rivers, but I wish he had some of the fire and leadership that Rivers has. Nate

  • September 22, 2010  - Edward says:

    LOL this is funny the debate by Cassel. Are you guys watching the game. I didn’t see the game Sunday I watched it on the radio. I just actually watch the game on NFL rewind online. Here’s what I’ve seen and heard when litsening to radio Sunday. REceivers aren’t getting open. I heard Len say that in the first half and I heard Steve Beuerlein say it when watching it on NFL rewind.

    Cassel made good throws in the first half, but know one was getting open. On his pick trying to throw to Chambers he clearly didn’t make an effort to catch the ball or bat it down. On the ball that was tipped for a pick Richardson clearly got shoved into his lap.

    I must admit when I heard how everyone bashing Cassel after the game Sunday fans and media alike I thought I would watch a game where Cassel overthrew or underthrew receivers. Or maybe situation where he forced balls to guys that weren’t open and missed guys that were open I didn’t see that. What I saw was a quarterback struggling to find guys getting any separation. Second half of the game receviers started to get some separation its no coincidence his numbers got better. Bash Cassel all you want guys until this receving core step up Cassel is going to continue to struggle. He’s throwing good balls when the o-line is protecting and when receviers are getting separation. Its just the latter is not happening more often

  • September 22, 2010  - Edward says:

    I will say this all the talk about getting Charles more carries I think we’ve been attacking getting the wrong guy more balls. Weis needs to get Bowe more involved in the passing game. Bowe has clearly had a good offseason. Its now time for Weis and Cassel to make a more conscious effort in getting him the ball. I don’t know if Bowe is truly going to become a #1 recevier but while Mcluster is falling down on most of his routes and Chambers can’t consistently get separation on the receiver we have to get Bowe more involved in the offense to find out what he can do. Also wouldn’t hurt to get Jeremy Horne on the field either he has a knack for getting open much like Moeaki. Might as well with receving core struggling we might as well try it.

  • September 22, 2010  - Tracy says:

    Just what did Chiefs’ Nation expect thus far? Charlie Weis is coming up on his third–THIRD!!!–game as KC’s OC and we expect a Brady led Patriots’ type of performance from an offensive line that has two new starters and an unsettled RT?

    No question that, other than some highlight reel footage by McCluster, Arenas and Flowers, it has not been pretty but there is good chemistry showing, there is no quitting and they are undefeated.

    This rebuilding process is still in the early stages. Enjoy the ride, as frustrating as it may sometimes be.

  • September 22, 2010  - el cid says:

    Whoa, Tracy. Weis third game?, what about Crennel, isn’t it his third game, also? Unsettled RT, seems the replacement is adequate to say the least. Loved your “no quiting”, they are 2-0, what is there to quit?

    Rebuilding is slow, 2-0 is the enjoyment, not the offensive results so far.

  • September 22, 2010  - Clarence says:

    Edward, with all due respect, do you closely watch the game? I watch the game in person and listen simultaneously to the radio. I later watch the tape a couple of times, (I’m retired and an avid Chief’s fan:-). “Chambers can’t consistently get separation”; How do you get seperation on an underthrown ball? “On the ball that was tipped for a pick Richardson clearly got shoved into his lap.” You may have to watch it in slow motion, but the defender jumped before Cassel released the ball and Cassel threw the ball at his hand. You should also note that Cassel almost overthrew Moeki in the endzone. All QBs make mistakes, its just that Cassel makes far too many. Speaking of our receiver corp, a good receiving corp is dependent on a good QB most of the time. Most of the throws that Cassel missed on were just poor throws, plain and simple! Remember this; not one of the “Hall of Fame” receivers caught all balls thrown to them, but all of them had great QBs throwing to them.

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