It is funny how after the first two games people were calling for coach Haley's head. The reasoning was somewhere between preseason conditioning and losing against "bad" teams. Since then Todd Haley rallied the Kansas City Chiefs to 4 straight games won. I think that most people forgot about last year where Haley led the team to the biggest single-season turn around in franchise history. The year before the Chiefs only won 4 games and last year the team won 10--going to the playoffs while winning the AFC West.
At the end of last season many people were saying that Todd Haley should have been the coach of the year. The Chiefs had a lot going for them. Then you fast forward to the end of the lockout. Todd Haley asked around on how teams approached the season the last time a lockout happened in the league. That right there just amazes me because it is indeed thinking outside of the box. Haley and staff then thought that conditioning would be the key to training camp and preseason.
The Chiefs would go to lose every preseason game as the starters didn't play much until the 4th game. That is where the Chiefs lost their second year starting tight end Tony Moeaki. That was probably the first time I heard collective chatter that Haley should be fired. The Chiefs are suppose to destroy teams in the preseason without having a single injury, right?
The first game of the season the Chiefs were expected to beat the Bills since everyone always looks at the year before for clear judgement. What took place was a disaster in every possible way. The Chiefs got outscored 41 to 7. On top of that the Chiefs lost rising star safety Eric Berry for the season. Todd Haley was again the reason for all of this. The second game was different yet pretty much the same against the Detroit Lions. The Chiefs got outscored 48 to 3. On top of that the Chiefs lost the best running back in the game Jamaal Charles. Are you seeing a pattern here? Yes, Todd Haley was again the reason for the loss.
The third game resulted in a loss against the San Diego Chargers yet gave most Chiefs fans a little bit of confidence going forward. The Chiefs lost by 3 ultimately decided by a late 4th quarter interception by Matt Cassel. The defense was playing much better and the offense got their act together for most of the second half. Yet, it was still Toddy Haley's fault or you can blame his freshly shaved face at that point. The Chiefs were then a horrible 0-3 for the season with just a little momentum going forward.
The next four games Todd Haley got his team fired up while not shaving until the Chiefs lose a game. The Chiefs looked impressive against the Vikings and Colts. The real turning point for me came against the Raiders whom the Chiefs shutout at their house. At this time most Todd Haley haters stopped talking. Then the game last night against the Chargers was amazing. The Chiefs always showed heart and never stopped playing--even when the game looked like a clear loss. It looks like Haley's beard will continue to grow along with the supporters.
Now the Chiefs are 4-3 tied for first place in the AFC West. Right now, things couldn't look better for the Chiefs who were the first team in NFL history to lose their first three games, winning their next four, and to be in first place after 7 weeks. Todd Haley was blamed for all the bad earlier in the year so I want to give him credit for all the good.
Todd Haley seemed to take the right path when going more conditioning based earlier in the year. The Chiefs are winning the injury battles by a lot. They were also one of the more healthy teams last year. Haley also seems to get his team motivated. They love to play for him and say nothing but nice things. It now seems like the fans and players both are starting to believe.