They're both fiery. They're both emotional. They're both highly competitive. Todd Haley, the Head Coach for the Kansas City Chiefs, and Mike Singletary, the Head Coach of the San Francisco 49ers, share much in common in terms of coaching style and temperament. At least, they did in the recent past. But the events that transpired on Sunday and the resulting aftermath of the Chiefs completely dominant 31-10 victory displays two coaches on distinctly separate paths.
Check out the most recent news that Jimmy Raye was just fired as Offensive Coordinator of the 49ers. This comes after the following was reported by Matt Barrows in the Sacramento Bee:
Mike Singletary said he would have to make "some hard decisions" after a 31-10 loss to Kansas City on Sunday, but offensive coordinator won't be one of them. Asked if Jimmy Raye will be the offensive coordinator for the rest of the year, Singletary said, "Yes. Yes."
One day after backing his Offensive Coordinator, Singletary reversed his position and fired Raye earlier today. It's an emotional move that instantly takes from Singletary's credibility and ability to hold the ship together. Being an emotional coach is fine. Being an emotional coach out of control is another thing. Three games into the season doesn't make or wreck anything at all. Witness the Broncos fall after starting 6-0 last season. While statistics can give a team certain probabilities for making or not making the playoffs, an emotional response from the Head Coach after three games isn't the way to go -- unless it was the planned move all along.
But Singletary made that clear yesterday in giving Raye the "yes" vote. It's the opposite of what Chiefs fans and sportswriters have witnessed in Haley's second year. The seasoned veterans he's placed around him in Charlie Weis and Romeo Crennel certainly can't hurt. But Haley himself seems to have gained an aura of respectability this season -- a demeanor that Haley was missing last season when losing his temper or yelling at players.
Scott Pioli saw something in Todd Haley in the first place to make him his first choice at Head Coach in this new position with the Chiefs. It was a gutsy call to wait until the Cardinals were finished in the playoffs that season while other teams were hiring choice candidates left and right. And after the first season, many questioned whether Haley was going to be make it as a first-time Head Coach with such emotion and fire. Now, everyone is thinking differently.
While Singletary and Haley have much in common, what we're witnessing three games into the 2010 season is a world of difference -- where one coach can channel his energy and passion and still maintain his credibility and composure while the other is losing face right in front of us all day after day.