Kansas City Chiefs' Emphasis On The Right 53 Proving Valuable In Today's NFL

DENVER - NOVEMBER 14: Head coach Todd Haley of the Kansas City Chiefs questions a call as they face the Denver Broncos at INVESCO Field at Mile High on November 14 2010 in Denver Colorado. The Broncos defeated the Chiefs 49-29. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Phillip Daniels is one of the "right 53." And if the longtime defensive lineman ever decides to leave Washington, I'm sure he'd have a home in Kansas City.

In case you didn't hear the latest drama coming out of Redskins camp, Daniels couldn't help himself when asked about his reaction to Albert Haynesworth and his recent mysterious illness that kept him from practice last week. Head oach Mike Shanahan decided to make Haynesworth inactive for Sunday and told the team immediately before the game in the locker room. While some might cry foul over Daniels' publicly commenting on the matter, it's hard to argue with his words.

"I've been through 15 seasons and I ain't won [anything]," says the 37-year-old defensive end. "So what I'm saying is if I can come out here and do this, don't tell me that you can't do it. I want every guy on this team to do well. I want you to realize that if you ain't all in, you don't need to be here."

"It's always something else," he continues. "I just wish the team could stay focused and not worry about things like this. When I come to the locker room on game day, I expect guys to be ready to go and play. I don't expect to get a surprise. At the same time I can understand why it happened. I'm not questioning the coach's decision at all."

All of the focus the last two off-seasons on bringing in the "right 53" and for those still remaining to buy into a new way of doing things was for this very reason -- to avoid incidents like this. Scott Pioli has sterilized the team's media policies and press conferences with Todd Haley are as predictable as the next day's sunrise. Boring? Definitely in Rex Ryan's world. But you cannot deny the results, and the quotes from Daniels remind you what life could be like with headaches in the locker room.

Even when the Chiefs experience any modicum of drama, it's taken care of quickly. Any number of incidents could have stretched into ongoing issues, but the Chiefs always make quick work of an issue -- whether it's the lack of a handshake between coaches, a frustrated team leader like Brian Waters or, most recently, the shoving incident involving Barry Richardson. The Chiefs aren't immune to outbursts or drama. They are, however, well-equipped to handle them carefully and properly.

The tension will continue to build in Washington and likely will result in even uglier events transpiring in the capital. The same can be said of Denver, where Josh McDaniels' ouster will likely bring a bit more disorder before it settles. Meanwhile, the Chiefs will continue to focus on the next game and keeping their heads in the right place -- exactly what a professional veteran like Phillip Daniels wishes his own team could do.
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