EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 11: Kansas City Chiefs head coach Todd Haley stands on the sidelines during a game against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium on December 11, 2011 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
What a debacle.
Somebody should really be getting fired for that. No, really. REALLY! No, you stop it...
See ya later, Todd, Master of Homeless Man's Swag. We all knew this was coming. Don't make it harder than it already is. We'd still like to be friends (maybe wide receivers coach?). Don't look at this as the end, but as a new beginning. Look Todd, we still love you…we're just not IN love with you. Ya know, bro? You know!
Best bet on where Todd Haley finds himself in three weeks - Cruising the streets, shirt unbuttoned, beard out to there, carton of milk in hand - All within a glass case of emotion.
You could feel this coming. There was a sense of doom surrounding the team on Sunday. It felt like the end. And because of the breaking news, I'm sure nobody really cares about the beating the Chiefs took from Kevin Arnold's New York Jets yesterday, so I've decided to devote this article purely to Billy Goat Haley, and his time here with the Kansas City Chiefs. Here goes…
The Best and Worst w/ His Dirkness:
Best reason to fire Todd Haley - The offense he oversaw was one of the worst offenses in NFL history. 45 points in six games. Three touchdowns in six weeks - one by hail mary, one by quasi-hail mary, and the other an actual legitimate offensive drive (yea!!!). You can excuse him with injuries all you want, to which I'll reply with Robert Griffin III like speed: T.J. Yates (300 yards passing) and John Skelton (winning games). Adaptation is the name of the game in the NFL and Haley proved incapable of it. You remember when that cheery fella Herman K. Edwards was down to his third quarterback? He (or maybe to a greater extent, Chan Gailey) made it work. They moved the ball with Tyler Thigpen. This offense just put up four yards in the entire first half (including a svelte -15 yards passing). And Todd Haley is an offensive guy. This is supposed to be his specialty. This wasn't Bill Muir's offense, this was Todd Haley's offense. And it failed miserably.
Worst indictment of Haley - When Sly James, the mayor of Kansas City, has a better clue about the quarterback situation than the head coach of the Chiefs. It'll be hard for me to think of the Todd Haley era and not envision the stench of Tyler Palko floating up 20 yard air biscuits. They feel mutually connected (much like Herm was to Crodie Broyle). It was almost as if he was daring Pioli to fire him each time he trotted Palko back out there (which you could easily convince me to be the case). I have very little reason to believe that Dick Stanzi (on the case!) could be any worse than Plinko. It doesn't really matter if he is or he isn't. The point is that if something is so blatantly not working, you make a change. Do something different. Otherwise, you're just an infant placing that round peg in to that square hole.
Worst consequence of firing Haley - The potential to piss off some key players, particularly the wide receivers. Haley's biggest strength appeared to be his ability to relate to his players - He listens to the Little Wayne rap music (everybody Wang Chung tonight). His work with D-Bowe was maybe a tad overstated (still inconsistent), but his psychological ploy with Derrick Johnson was a thing of beauty. I suspect you'll be able to tell the players' feeling towards Haley with their level of intensity shown these last three games of the season (unfortunately, Bowe can't throw in the towel like he wanted to five weeks ago because he's in a contract year - wah wah). Jacksonville fired Jack Del Rio, and then went out and destroyed the Buccaneers - that told me something.
Worst assumed reputation - Haley's players always played hard for him. They didn't. Too much fuss was made about how the team didn't quit this year. The Chiefs have been blown out by 27+ points five times in 2011. Five times. They are one away from the most
all time since the merger in a single season (1984 Bills). You don't get dismantled that many times without quitting a time or two. He does deserve credit for keeping his team's head in it after an 0-3 start this year (combined with the injuries), but pretending that he's some sort of motivational wizard is silly.
Worst quality - Inability to stabilize the offense. Haley couldn't keep an offensive coordinator, decide who should call the plays (the problem that never went away), or figure out a way to get the plays to the QB in a timely fashion. Again, from an offensive coach.
Best win - Week 17 of 2009 season (played 1/3/10): 44-24 victory at Denver Broncos. Surprise! This game served as the launching pad for the magical 2010 run. It was God Jam Charles' breakout game. It directly kept the Broncos out of the playoffs. It put a cherry on top of a 4-12 ricecake, providing enough offseason momentum to (hopefully) set the foundation for what will (still) be this team's future.
Best mystery - Whatever the hell else happened in that 2009 season. I have a special knack for remembering nearly everything Chiefs. However, that season is a Justin-Houston-at-the-combine type blur. Larry Johnson (still?). Lance Long? Bobby Wade? And who could forget the TD maker Sean Ryan? People tell me that season happened, but I still have my doubts.
Worst loss - Week 17 of 2010 season (played 1/2/11): 31-10 loss vs. Oakland Raiders. Yes, there were plenty more embarrassments to follow the next season, but this game was the beginning of the end. The team's first game without Charlie Weis was a complete disaster and led directly to the home playoff loss the following week. I'm not sure this team has ever recovered.
Best quirk - Haley going for it on fourth downs. Loved it. And the team loved it. It helped create the energy that propelled the team through the 2010 season (and then mysteriously disappeared in the 2011 season). I remember thinking that our coach not only had bigger balls than everybody else, but bigger brains as well (read enough studies to support going for a majority of fourth downs). Can't help but wonder where it's been this season, with a team that needed to be taking even more risks to succeed.
Worst approach - 2011 preseason. Completely derailed the 2011 season (yes, even before the injuries). Haley's attempt to reinvent the wheel (the apparent phrase of 2011) left his team unprepared for the opening two games of the season (a combined 89-10 bludgeoning). If 31 teams are going about the preseason a certain way, and you decide to attack it another way, you had better be right. Haley wasn't.
Worst look - Haley's clean cut approach to begin 2011. The very first thing I noticed in the first preseason game was that Haley was clean shaven and clean cut. And then our team sucked.
Best way to go out - With a seven penalty in nine play sequence that reeked of the infamous Monday Night Meltdown (which led to Marty's stepping down). Including an unsportsmanlike conduct on yourself (which we never saw because CBS never showed us a replay), 81 penalty yards on a single drive, and two pass interference penalties so bad that an on-the-field riot seemed like a realistic possibility (or atleast some retribution taken on the Jets, which might have occurred with a Tamba Hali hit on Sanchez the next play - again no replay). That will forever be known as The Drive That Killed Todd. Atleast he made his exit memorable.
Best thing to remember - It's not Scott Pioli v. Todd Haley. It really isn't. They
are were both on the same team, I swear. It wasn't working out so the superior made a change. Pioli now gets one more hire before it's him on the way out. He knows this. He's going to go with the coach who he thinks gives this team the best chance to win. This man has been to the promise land before. I think he deserves our support. I believe that we will win.
I'm gonna wrap this up with the proficiency of a Mark Brunell barked cadence (I realize this makes little sense, but it had to be brought up - it was uncanny). I'd like to forewarn all Chiefs fans out there of the potential ugliness of next week. And I don't mean on the scoreboard. I mean a stadium that will be chalk full of Cheeseheads. Wherefore art thou Romeo?