I have been reading Arrowhead Pride for years now and enjoy reading but have not yet felt like I needed to sign up a post anything. Things have drastically changed this year for our team and an eerie cloud has been hanging over Arrowhead and I believe there is a silent war happening right under our noses.
I first noticed something odd in the days after the first game. It was subtle but Todd Haley had gotten a couple mentions of being on the hot seat. Yes we lost in a blow out in the season opener and it is a what have you done for me now league but one game after a playoff season?
After game twos blowout the media makes Haley’s hot seat seem like its going to burst into flames. That’s when I also read Michael Silvers article on yahoo sports about the situation.
While Haley on the hot seat will strike most fans as odd – he was a legitimate coach of the year candidate in 2010, his second season in K.C. – people who know what’s going on inside the organization are nodding their heads unremarkably. That there is a lot of tension between Haley and his boss, general manager Scott Pioli, is the worst kept secret in NFL circles.
Then he goes on to say:
1) I think Haley’s a very good coach, though he’s habitually dissed in the media, a sign (I suspect) that someone in his organization whose name rhymes with cannoli likes to go off the record with certain reporters.
Now at this point all of this is hearsay but it leaves me with a complete feeling of angst. The media doesn’t want to have anything to do with the Kansas City market but for some reason they are choosing to write articles like this? I mean yes drama sells but in Kansas City it still normally runs under the radar.
Game 3 comes and goes pretty quietly with a close loss.
Game 4 and Cassel is referring to Haley as a part of the female anatomy. What else is going on in this moment? I get the feeling that Haley is letting Cassel know that he didn’t want Cassel on his team and that he can be replaced, but what do I know. Either way it fired Cassel up and he took it out on the Vikings.
Game 5 and the team pulls out a squeaker against a lethargic Indianapolis team. What happens next? The rumor comes out that if Haley wouldn’t have won that game Pioli was prepared to fire him. Where did that come from, it early and you just played 2 decent games?
Week 6 the bye comes and goes. We win in week 7 and 8 and we get buy pretty quietly.
Week 9 and we get demolished by the previously winless Miami Dolphins. Our team just looks dead. Cassel looks like he was sleepwalking through the game. Every camera shot he has a blank look in his eyes, no fight, broken, only doing exactly what he is told.
Week 10. A team that just doesn’t seem like it cares. Has Haley lost control in the locker room? Has the team realized they have to take sides? Team Haley vs. Team Pioli – Led by Matt Cassel?
Cassel comes out of the game with an injury and what happens? He is told he is too injured to go back in? Monday morning Matt Cassel tells the media he has began preparation for New England and plans on playing through the injury.
A little bit later Todd Haley (the same Todd Haley that refuses to talk about injuries) goes on the record saying Matt Cassel is injured and will not play against New England. I read most of Haley’s press conferences and I can tell you this is not like Todd Haley at all. I have seen him refuse to give any information at all about injuries, especially before the first official injury report.
So here we are, battle lines drawn (in invisible ink), about to enter the most difficult 5 games of our season tied for second in the worst division in football. Where do we go from here? What happens if Haley wins? Would Cassel be out? If he looses will he be fired? Would a new coach be able to with Cassel? Does Pioli move to the Hot Seat too?