clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Sticking with Todd Haley and Matt Cassel is Key for Chiefs Long-Term

If this week taught us anything about the NFL, it's, well, exactly what we'd say every week about the NFL: Every week is unpredictable. This week, you had the Redskins (the same roster the Chiefs defeated on the road in week six) nearly knock off the undefeated Saints, the Raiders probably ruined the defending champs playoff hopes (Steelers) and the Dolphins came back to defeat the Patriots, muddying the waters of the AFC Wild-Card picture. In other words, all is normal.

The reason for this picture is because it describes the Chiefs' season of ups and downs and it's easy to get an itchy trigger finger pointing in either direction. If you go by this week's stats, suddenly Bruce Gradkowski is the Raiders' QB hope and Jason Campbell erased all question marks about his place as the Redskins long-term answer at the same position. On the flip side, you might believe that Matt Cassel is not the answer and that Todd Haley needs to be "one and done" as the Head Coach of the Chiefs.

But in the NFL where unpredictability is king, there are at least some things that are usually true. That's a middling statement - a shaky bridge across swampy ground. But that's as certain as anything gets in today's market and that's what the best teams have to hope for. Every year, while some unexpected teams rise and fall, you can also predict most of the good teams and most of the bad teams. You know that some coaches are going to have their teams prepared and, while even guys like Belichick or Jeff Fisher have off-years, that's the abnormal rather than status quo.

This is why it's vital for the Chiefs to stick with what they have - at least at those pivotal positions of quarterback and head coach. If you had the resolve to hire them (or trade for them) in the first place, then the chaotic waves of the NFL ocean dictates that you must keep them. In fact, the most destructive thing you can do at times is to continue to replace coaches, schemes and players at the skill positions. The learning curve is too great - for coaches and players - and the speed of the game is simply impossible to understand until you're in the moment, no matter how great you were in college.

The Colts are what they are because of continuity. Jim Caldwell is an extension of Tony Dungy. From the front office to the coaching staff, from ownership to personnel, the Colts continue to draft and groom the same types of players year in and year out. Every scout and coach are all on the same page. The linemen have chemistry and when new faces show up, there are identifiable slots for them to fill. And of course, it doesn't hurt to have Peyton Manning.

But even the Saints show the same. They upended the defense this off-season, but that comes after a few years of having Sean Payton learn the ropes of being an NFL caliber head coach. It's the test that Pittsburgh faces now in their current slide and what you'll see with such a model franchise is that there will be no doubts about any changes. Mike Tomlin will remain head coach. They will make the proper adjustments. And chances are, you'll see them continue to fare well in the long run - even if the 2009 season ends up a disappointment.

Sure Matt Cassel had a JaMarcus-esque start this last Sunday. And sure Todd Haley's made some questionable calls. Perhaps you weren't a fan of either in the first place. But they are here, for better or worse, and if the Chiefs hope to truly take the next step forward, the team's better off sticking with these guys through thick and thin for the foreseeable future.

NEW: Join Arrowhead Pride Premier

If you love Arrowhead Pride, you won’t want to miss Pete Sweeney in your inbox each week as he delivers deep analysis and insights on the Chiefs' path to the Super Bowl.