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Chiefs Players Getting The Message On Playing Hurt

"Someone once told me, which I agree, you never want to see someone else doing your job and the mentality, as always, is to get back as soon as I can.”

That's a quote from Matt Cassel's Wednesday press conference and I wonder if that "somebody" was Bill Belichick in New England or Todd Haley in Kansas City. Both coaches have Bill Parcells ties and I've heard Parcells make a similar statement. Not that something like that is tied specifically to Parcells.

Instead it's a reality in the NFL. If you're hurt, if you're not out there for whatever reason, someone else is taking your position while you're away and, potentially, even when you come back.

You think Ryan O'Callaghan realizes that? The Chiefs right tackle was the starter when he went down with a training camp injury. Barry Richardson assumed his role in his absence and has held the spot ever since.

Haley apparently isn't Marty 'You Don't Lose Your Job To Injury' Schottenheimer.

The NFL doesn't stop for a week because you're hurt and there will always be a replacement for you. As Haley has said in the past, there are no sacred cows.

That's the mentality Haley has tried to instill in the Chiefs. That's why you see Cassel admitting to reporters that the decision not to play last week wasn't his because, if it was, he just may have been out there. It's why, in Week 15, the Chiefs open the week with just one name on the injury report and that's from a nearly busted appendix -- not a football injury.

And I think the mentality about injuries fits into Haley and GM Scott Pioli's plan for a tough football team. As I've said, we're realizing that many of the mysterious and (at the time) unexplainable things Haley did last year, are starting to make some sense. Judging by the injury report, the players have gotten the message on playing hurt.

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