With the upcoming match up of Kansas City Chiefs Head Coach Todd Haley and his one year removed Offensive Coordinator turned Head Coach of the Buffalo Bills Chan Gailey, the question begs. Who was right? Was Todd's version of building an offense by developing players the better way to go or was Chan's cobbled together, do the best you can with what you have version more attractive? Buffalo is doing much the same thing right now with a backup QB and I must say I like our record better than theirs.
Chan Gailey has skills. He flashed'em while here in KC with Tyler Thigpen by creating an offensive scheme that Tyler (a third string starter due to injury) could run and even score with. Yes it gave us something to cheer for at a time when just about all the air was out of our collective tires as fans. I think that this is why so many maintain their approval of Chan. He made an effort to DO something when all around him was burning. Chiefs fans will always appreciate that effort. Fortunately though, we no longer need that jack-of-all-trades type of thinking. The new tires have arrived and our beautiful 1971 Ford Mustang Convertible with an Arrohead emblem on the hood is speeding down the road again (if you don't like that image, insert your own car here).
You can argue with whether or not that scheme was successful based on the yardstick that you use to measure it. Yes we moved the ball. Yes we scored TDs. Yes, the Pistol/Wildcat/Arrowspread was kinda fun to watch. Did it gets Ws in the books? Nope. Just how much fun is it in the final analysis to watch a team go out and move the ball and score and still lose? Maybe you should go ask a Bills player. They have now done it six straight times. Last week they were masterful at it giving up 37 total points to Baltimore in an effort that included 4 turnovers. One of those came in OT and lead directly to a game winning Baltimore FG.
Doesn't that sound a lot like what the Chiefs would have done last year? The main difference probably would have been that we would have not been able to score enough points to keep up with Flacco. Four turnovers are tough to overcome. Ed Reed's first game back and he gets two INTs. This, Chiefs fans, is one of the reasons why the Chiefs will win on Sunday. Kendrick Lewis is back. His play makes a good secondary a better secondary.
Fitzpatrick threw for 374 yards in last weeks game. He is the first Bills player to break the 300 yd mark in 60 games. That is quite a dry spell and a testament to Chan's ability. No matter how good it was in that regard, it still threw off a loss. I think the reason is precisely why Chan was fired. It's all about what Chan wanted as an offensive focus versus what Haley wanted.
Chan wanted to beef up the O line and smash the ball straight ahead. Haley wanted to trim down the O line and teach those guys how to block more effectively both to spring the run and to protect Cassel when passing was necessary. Bewsaf's posts are showing tremendous improvement from that line. I mean come on. Barry Richardson is making blocks and getting to the second level some? You would think the Swallows have returned to Capistrano. Did you watch Buffalo's running game last week? Jackson had 73 yards and Spiller had 33. I have a feeling that vs. the Chiefs D, those number shrink. If that happens the Bills become one dimensional. I like our odds with Flowers/Carr/Berry/Lewis vs their WRs.
Did anyone notice what happened last week when Berry got his very first INT? There was no doubt in his mind that he was taking that ball to the house. The Jags were in disbelief that this kid was trying so hard to get to pay dirt. In Tennessee, he did this over and over. He will not just return an INT, he plans on scoring every time he touches the ball. That, my friends, is an attitude that I can live with from a KC Safety.
Speaking of the passing game, Chan wanted to send'em down field and sling the ball. Haley wants to make calculated, high percentage passes to receivers who have the potential to gain yards after the catch. Chan is 0-6. Haley is 4-2. The focus is on controlling the ball and not beating yourself with turnovers. Once that focus is achieved and that mentality is ingrained in our players, more of the offensive game plan can be added because the basis will now be in place to assure that even on risky plays our guys will not give the ball away. They will approach decisions from a control stand point instead of the emotional 'gotta score at all costs' mentality that has so far failed to produce Chan the wins he needs. Doing things the way Haley wants them done causes the team to 'default' to not making mistakes. It takes time for that to happen.
As far as this being a possible Trap game, I just don't see it given the circumstances that have occured to the Chiefs this year. I don't think they will overlook the Bills at all. In fact, there are several players on the team that remember Gailey quite well and this should actually help to keep our guys honest. Gailey is not some new comer to be taken lightly. He will rip your arm off and beat you to death with it if you let him get a good grip on you.
The Bills are -4 in the Take away/Give away column ranking 24th in the NFL. The Chiefs are +4 in that same stat, currently ranking 9th in the league. Unless the Chiefs beat themselves we will win our fifth game on Sunday. DJ must be absolutely salivating at the prospects in this game. I'm ok with that attitude too.
Ultimately, IMHO Haley's way was much better than Gailey's. Todd wants to build something that lasts by applying what we have to a proven plan. Gailey likes the idea of constantly changing the plan to accomodate certain players strengths and weaknesses which is fine as far as it goes, but to become a consistant winner you have to get those players to overcome those weaknesses and compete within a system that is a proven winner. That is how you set goals for players. Once set, you give them an individual game plan for how they achieve that goal. This is the essence of how you build a team. What player out there wants anything more desperately than a coach who will believe in their ability to cut the mustard and at the same time tell them how to sharpen that knife? If you create a system that works, people will want to be a part of it. It's working in KC. Haley was right.
So for all you music fans, my final word is this. If Gailey and his Bills (and more than a few still skeptical KC fans) think that they can come into our house, safely navigate the Red Sea and walk home with their first shiny W of the season, listen up and sing this to the chorus.
Haley won't just sit around and let the world go by
He understands completely it's a case of do or die
There's a Super Bowl success out there just waiting to be had
If you think the Chiefs'll lose you're mad
You got another thing coming!
Judas Priest - You've got another thing coming (via priesttv)
Chiefs WIN. Chiefs WILL. BELIEVE.