Originally I thought this question was unworthy of a response from the Chief fan base. It is so common to question the "man" when things are going bad--and this has been a bad season. Rumors and leaks have spread since last years playoff embarrassment to the Ravens. Scott Pioli and Todd Haley were not getting along. The War Room book that exposed a broken relationship between the two.
It seemed like the question of "Did Haley give up?" was one that many began to ask but I did not think it worthy yet. That is until this last weekend. Green Bay, who many have said might be one of the best teams EVER in NFL history, got killed by the chiefs. The chiefs owned the whole game. So after watching this game I began to ask the same question: Did Haley give up on the Chiefs?Consider the Following:
1. The absolute horrid off-season performance of the Chiefs. NO OTHER TEAM looked as bad ad the Chiefs. This has to reflect the Head Coaches efforts to get the players ready. Yes, this looks like Haley misjudged, miscalculated, or purpose did not even try to perform at the level that was needed. Nothing else explains the horrid play on the field.
2. The 0-3 start to the season is in direct relation to the horrid off-season play. These games weren't closes loses. They were first quarter blow-outs. The loses came to teams that were expected to be poor teams (bills and lions).
3. The screams of firing the head coach already were loud, but Haley side stepped them with difficult wins against the Colts and Vikings. Understand these teams are 2 of the 3 worst teams of the nfl. Haley saved his neck for a couple of weeks.
4. One thing that sheds more light into the situation is Haley's two decisions to stick with Palko and abandon Gaithers. These two actions seem unwarranted and completely off-base for a team that is wanting to place the best 53 on the field. Not using Kyle Orton and instead going with Palko is a clear sign of poor (accidental or intentional) coaching. Yes, Orton had a badly injured hand... BUT everyone has injuries!!! In fact, many players (in NBA and NFL) have had the same struggles and played through their dislocated finger. But somehow Orton was benched for Palko for 3 weeks? I am not dissing Orton but I am claiming something is fishy with this story. Haley's intentional benching of Orton shows a lack of judgment or a complete lapse of trying. Gaithers is another example. Even if Gaithers would not be starting he is at least more valuable than the bench tackles? right? I was not shocked to see him snatched by the Chargers and given the Game Ball two weeks later. Does this smell fishy yet?
5. Perhaps one of the biggest concerns with Haley's giving up on the team rest in the poor play-calling for the offense. Yes, Haley isn't directly in charge, but in many ways he is still the man. He tells the OC what plays and styles to practice and perform and Haley ultimately has control. Watching 8 games, this season, where the Chiefs have scored under 10 points is a direct failure of Haley. Muir (the OC) might not be the best or average... but Haley still controls the system.
I don't want to be blaming Haley for everything and if you know me, I have been a huge supporter of him. But these 5 issues makes me wonder about Haley giving up on the Chiefs. Am I wrong?