If you've been paying attention to the NFL the last week, the big story has been the 18-game schedule. The NFL hasn't yet determined for sure whether they will implement it but it seems that nearly all the owners are interested in doing it and that includes Kansas City Chiefs owner Clark Hunt.
In comments to the Kansas City Star last week, Hunt said, "We’ve all seen over the last half-dozen years that the interest in the preseason games has decreased, and the athletes are better conditioned now, they practice year-round, and I think making the switch to 18 and two (preseason) games might be a positive for everybody involved."
Clearly, Hunt is in favor of it. However, I think he should be careful in saying it would be a "positive for everybody involved" because I don't think Chiefs head coach Todd Haley is interested in reducing the number of preseason games.
In the first week of training camp, Haley was asked if having four preseason games were important and said, "Well yes. I mean I would take six and I would take seven." He went on to say that he would "guess that most coaches would take as many as they could get just because that’s what we have to do – we have to get players ready, we have to evaluate, we have to figure things out."
On Wednesday when Haley met with reporters, he was again asked for his thoughts on the 18-game schedule and declined to answer.
So what changed?
Maybe Haley realized (or was told) that the Chiefs brass is for the 18-game schedule so, if he didn't want to publicly support, then he shouldn't talk about it. That's just a guess on my part though.
This is all somewhat labor-related. The NFL can unilaterally impose an 18-game schedule but has said they wouldn't do anything without the NFLPA's support. Of course the league and the union are currently in a bit (understatement) of a disagreement regarding a new CBA.
The Chiefs, like all the other teams in the league, probably want to show a united front and potentially having the owner and the head coach disagree on such a publicly dissected topic like an 18-game schedule wouldn't be indicative of a united front.
However it all shakes out, it looks like we're eventually headed for an 18-game schedule and two preseason games.