Tag:Todd Haley
Posted on: September 20, 2011 10:09 am
Edited on: September 20, 2011 10:19 am
 

Coach Killers, Week 2: McCown's magnificent 1.8

Coach Killers is your weekly look around the league at those performances, decisions and "Wait, what did he just do?!" moments that put the guy in charge squarely on the ol' hot seat. (Getty Images)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Mike Martz, offensive coordinator, Bears. We don't know if Martz has designs on ever getting another head coaching gig, but you have to wonder if he's trying to get Lovie Smith fired with that game plan against the Saints Sunday. Martz has never been known as an OC particularly interested in protecting the quarterback, and that goes back to his days with Kurt Warner and the Rams in the late 1990s-early 2000s.

But it's a potentially lethal combination when you have Jay Cutler under center and a porous Bears offensive line in front of him. Making matters more problematic: facing the Saints and their defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, who has yet to meet a pressure scheme he wouldn't try.

So what did Martz do? Of the Bears' 63 offensive snaps, he called 52 pass plays. Which made for a Perfect Storm of Pain for Cutler, who was 19 for 45 for 244 yards and a touchdown. He also lost a fumble and was sacked six times.

Cue ESPN blogger Kevin Seifert: "Martz is well-known for his pass-happy ways, but his notable adjustment toward the running game last season was among the most important factors in the Bears' NFC North title. So it's worth noting that coach Lovie Smith rebuked Martz's approach Monday, in his own gentle way, and agreed it was not a formula for success."

Smith told reporters Monday that "I know the balance as far as running/pass wasn't there. All I can say is we'll get it better. You can't win football games with that type of balance."

Smith added: "It just happened. It happens like that sometimes and we'll clean it up. I'm not going to sit here and tell you the reason why. I'm just going to tell you we have to get the balance a lot better, and we will. We didn't do that [Sunday] for a lot of different reasons."

In case it's not blindingly obvious: Martz is the reason why.

It's only a matter of time before Jags fans start sporting 1.8 jerseys.

Luke McCown, quarterback, Jaguars. Here was the Jacksonville.com headline nine days ago, after the Jaguars defeated the Titans, 16-14, in the regular-season opener: "Luke McCown lauded for execution of Jaguars' game plan." The only way that headline would work two weeks in a row is if head coach Jack Del Rio admitted in the post-game presser that the team "Took an unconventional approach to getting rookie quarterback Blaine Gabbert on the field. Instead of just pulling McCown, we thought it made more sense to embarrass him out of a job. I think we accomplished that."

But Del Rio didn't say that. Instead, after watching McCown's clown college-inspired performance against the Jets, all the Jags coach could offer up was a pithy recounting of the obvious. “It was a good whooping."

Way to undersell it, Jack. It was so much more than that. McCown, the guy Del Rio installed as the starter after unceremoniously dumping David Garrard a day before the NFL season opened, was impossibly awful. By the time Del Rio pulled McCown from the game after three quarters, he had completed 6 of 19 passes for 59 yards and four interceptions. It gets worse: his passer rating was 1.8. To get a sense for how truly terrible that is, consider this: if McCown just took the snap from center and spiked the ball into the turf on all 19 of his pass attempts and finished the day 0 for 19 for 0 yards, 0 TDs and 0 INTs, his passer rating would be 39.6.

Maybe that's a flaw in the formula, but the the overall point remains: the Jaguars were markedly worse off when they let McCown try a forward pass.

“I’ve got to do better," McCown said, presumably with a straight face. 

Clearly. But it's unfair to blame him completely; it's not like we expected him to be anything other than a below-replacement-level NFL quarterback. Ultimately, fault lies with Del Rio, who seems to have a knack for inexplicable decisions while somehow managing not to lose his job.

"I guess the immediate next question is what are you gonna do going forward, and my answer is that we'll discuss that as a staff," Del Rio said after the Jets game. "I made the decision in this ballgame to let Blaine play and get some experience, and we'll go from there. ... We're gonna do the things that make sense for us to win on Sunday.""

We have a very hard time believing that last sentence given how the previous two weeks have played out. But it could be worse, Del Rio could be coaching the Chiefs. Which brings us to…

Matt Cassel, quarterback, Chiefs. Like McCown, Cassel is a victim of circumstance. He's also a grown man, an NFL quarterback and Pro Bowler so he should be able to handle the criticism, particularly after what the Chiefs have perpetrated against the game of football in recent weeks. Head coach Todd Haley, once hailed as an offensive mastermind, looks more like a guy just back from an alien abduction that has been programmed to set offenses back 100 years.

Haley's also the man who commandeered play-calling duties from offensive coordinator Charlie Weis before last season's playoff loss to the Ravens, an ugly game that foreshadowed life without Charlie, who bolted for the University of Florida in January. Now, two games into 2011 and the Chiefs are, by any measure, the worst team in the league.

It all starts with Cassel, who has a respectable completion percentage (63.8 percent on 37 of 58 passing), but is managing a paltry 4.3 yards per attempt, has just one touchdown and four interceptions, including a three-pick effort in the Chiefs' 48-3 no-show performance against the Lions Sunday. Cassel's passer rating through two weeks: 50.4. By comparison, he had just seven interceptions in 2010, and sported a passer rating of 93.0.

Another not-so-fun fact, courtesy of STATS: "Kansas City lost its first two games by a combined margin of 79 points, the worst scoring differential to start a season for the Chiefs since losing the first two games of the 2007 season by 27 points."

Ah, yes, the halcyon days of losing by an average of just 13.5 point a game.

While it's a tad unfair to lay the unending ineptitude at Cassel's feet, it's not completely Haley's fault, either. The Kansas City Star's Sam Mellinger writes that "Blaming this entirely on Haley is both lazy and dishonest. You’re looking at the wrong guy. Focus away from the head coach for a moment, and look at the general manager."

We couldn't agree more. The problem: general manager Scott Pioli does the hiring and firing. If it comes down to canning himself or the head coach, we're guessing Haley will be the first to go. The only question is when (we have Halloween in the office pool). Cassel might get to the end of the season, but that has more to do with convenience than loyalty. The Chiefs have the great misfortune of being one of the league's worst teams playing one of the toughest schedules. Which means that the "Do we have a shot at Andrew Luck" conversations have begun in earnest. 

NFL Week 2

Seahawks wide receivers, cornerbacks (alo acceptable: players not named Earl Thomas). It's not like anyone expected Seattle to waltz into Pittsburgh and beat the Steelers. Vegas listed the Seahawks as 14-point dogs, and the Steelers were motivated in their home-opener after an embarrassing loss in Baltimore in Week 1. Plus, it's not an exaggeration to suggest that, outside of safety Earl Thomas, Seattle doesn't have one legitimate playmaker. That severely limits your chances in a play-making league.

Also not helping: dropped passes and cornerbacks who either play 15-yard cushions or bump-and-run coverage without the bumping.

Quarterback Tarvaris Jackson is in an untenable situation. Against the Steelers, the game plan involved quick, short passes and running the ball. Neither worked, so the few times Jackson attempted to throw the ball more than 10 yards downfield, the play often ended with his receivers dropping the pass. This goes back to the lack of play-makers; Sidney Rice didn't play, and there's no reason to think that Mike Williams, who ate himself out of the league once before, or Chris Durham would suddenly morph into something other than possession receivers. Then again, Jackson's not Drew Brees whe in comes to accuracy, either.Yahoo.com's Doug Farrar joked during the game that "Jackson should be taken off the field for the safety of his receivers. He's hanging them out to dry all over the place."

So, yeah, terrible football a two-way street.

The excellent Field Gulls blog does a nice job of breaking down cornerback Brandon Browner's curious day.

"Most of his struggles are easy to explain as him lacking the speed and awareness to cover a wide receiver like Mike Wallace. 'Speed' here isn't just straight-line speed. Browner may be athletic enough to still play cornerback at 6'4", but he does not turn on a dime, he lacks the short-area quickness to go up against these smaller guys. …

"…[M]ore curious … the lack of jam from Browner. He was occasionally lined up five or six yards off the line, which in itself is an odd use of Browner's talents. Where [Marcus] Trufant used such cushions in this game to make sure he could at least contain against long runs, Browner looked inept trying to executed the same idea. And even when lined up right on his man, he seemed hesitant to put a hand on him, even just to shove him to the outside lane. I have no explanation there. Perhaps he was intimidated by the receivers' speed, perhaps he was instructed to be extra careful with his hands for fear of penalties."

No need to worry. This is all part of head coach Pete Carroll's yet-to-be-explained-in-detail Plan. We're guessing it involves comfortable khakis and Andrew Luck.

Offense, defense, special teams, Miami Dolphins. Upside: it's not all Chad Henne's fault. Bad news: the Dolphins are still 0-2 -- at home -- and the season could be over before the month is out. It also doesn't help when head coach Tony Sparano can only muster a "I don't have any answers" post-game response following the Dolpins' loss to the Texans Sunday. "It’s baffling to me," Sparano continued. "It really is … We’ve got to do a better job."

After a solid showing in Week 1 against the Pats, Henne looked more like himself against Houston, finishing the game 12 of 30 for 170 yards with a touchdown and an interception. But the lack of points is an offense-wide problem.

“I think it’s a little bit of everything — mental mistakes, the fundamentals, executing,” running back Reggie Bush said, according to the Miami Herald. “When we have our opportunities, because we do have opportunities as we did out here [Sunday], we have to make them. That’s what the good teams do. They take advantage of their opportunities. And that’s what we don’t do very well.”

On the other side of the ball, the defense had the opposite problem. Linebacker Kevin Burnett, like Sparano doesn't have an explanation for the slow start.

“Right now I don’t know what to say,” he said. “We’ve got to win our one-on-one battles. If you win one-on-ones, eventually we’ll pull out a victory."

Theoretically, yes. But the the scoring issues are exacerbated when the most consistent player on the team, kicker Dan Carpenter, goes 2 for 4. Granted, the 22-yard chipshot that was blocked wasn't his fault, but he honked a 34-yarder, too. Six points doesn't matter when you lose by 10, but presumably the Dolphins aren't planning to lose every game by double-digit margins. Because if they don't get their act together Bill Parcells might actually walk through that door.

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Posted on: September 16, 2011 6:01 pm
Edited on: September 17, 2011 11:04 pm
 

Chiefs give CB Brandon Flowers contract extension

The Chiefs lock up another young player in CB Brandon Flowers. (US PRESSWIRE)
Posted by Ryan Wilson

Cornerback Brandon Flowers was part of that Chiefs' 2008 draft class that was going to revitalize an organization that had lost its way in midway through the Herm Edwards era. Fresh off a 2-14 season, the team landed Glenn Dorsey, Branden Albert, Flowers and Jamaal Charles with the first 73 picks. And Friday, Kansas City rewarded Flowers with a contract extension which, according to NFL Network's Andrew Siciliano, is for five years and $50 million, with $22 million guaranteed.

That's a nice haul for the fourth-year player. Unfortunately, the Chiefs are more than a good young cornerback away from defending their AFC West title in 2011. The team looked completely unprepared for the Bills (!) in Week 1, and they'll face the Lions Sunday, an outfit with plenty of offensive firepower and a defensive tackle that Kansas City coach Todd Haley doesn't know how to stop.

Flowers joins linebacker Derrick Johnson and rush linebacker Tamba Hali as Chiefs denders landing new deals in recent years; on the other side of the ball, the club has locked up Charles and Dwayne Bowe.

So while there were few positives to take from the Buffalo game (the best Haley could come up with: nobody quit), it's not like the organization isn't trying to retain its young players and build around them. Things seemed to be going well a year ago; Haley led the Chiefs to the division title and the playoffs in his second season, and quarterback Matt Cassel appeared capable of managing the offense.

In retrospect, a ridiculously easy schedule coupled with the Chargers' annual slow start made the Chiefs one of the pleasant surprises of 2010. But it also may have set them up to fail in 2011. Yes, we're only one week into the season, so there's much football to be played. And though Kansas City may not have all the pieces in place to compete right now, by signing Flowers, Johnson, Hali et al to long-term deals, there's clearly a plan for the future. That doesn't do much for fan morale right now, but it could be worse: you could be the Colts.

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Posted on: September 14, 2011 4:26 pm
Edited on: September 14, 2011 4:27 pm
 

Chiefs head to Detroit with plenty of questions

Haley on Bills game: 'To me, you can't let a loss like this drag you down.' (US PRESSWIRE)

Posted by Ryan Wilson


Earlier Wednesday, we documented the dilemma facing the Colts. They can either concede that this isn't their year, put Peyton Manning on injured reserve, and regroup in 2012. Or they can see if Manning's healthy enough to play later in the season and hope Kerry Collins can win a few games in the meantime. It's not ideal, but there are worse problems to have.

Take the Chiefs, for instance. Winners of the AFC West last season, Kansas City has looked like one of the worst teams in the NFL in 2011. They were 0-4 in the preseason (including a 25-0 blanking by the Bucs in Week 1), and are fresh off a 41-7 shellacking in the regular-season opener against the Bills.

Unlike the Colts, a team that will improve the second Manning returns, there's no easy fix for the Chiefs. Quarterback Matt Cassel completed 22 of 36 passes for a whopping 119 yards. That works out to 3.2 yards per attempt, or 2.4 yards fewer than Bills running back Fred Jackson gained per carry. Dexter McCluster and Jamaal Charles also lost fumbles, and the defense didn't have an answer for Ryan Fitzpatrick who tossed four touchdowns.

So what's the solution?

“No. 1 is the plus-minus category, both defensively and offensively," Haley said, via CBSSports.com Rapid Reporter Bob Gretz. "We need to create more (turnovers) and we need to protect the ball. If you do that and that alone, even if you struggle in other areas, you can still win games.” 

It also helps to have a short memory.

“To me,” Haley said, according to the Kansas City Star, “you can’t let a loss like this drag you down. This core group of guys has shown that in the past that they’ve been able to overcome a game like this. You don’t ever want one, but if you have one you can’t let it drag you down.”

It's one thing to say "hey, don't worry about it." It's something else entirely to put a beatdown like that behind you while also playing markedly better in the next game. As the Star's Kent Babb points out, "The team’s most looming worry is that there were few encouraging moments in Sunday’s game. Quarterback Matt Cassel wasn’t sharp, the defense was awful, and the Chiefs’ rushing offense, which led the NFL last year, never could settle into a rhythm. To make matters worse, second-year safety Eric Berry suffered a season-ending ACL tear, and he’ll soon join tight end Tony Moeaki on injured reserve."

Losing Berry and Moeaki are downers, clearly, but Haley's taking the glass-half-full approach (and he sorta has to; it's Week 1, after all). “There wasn’t anything on that tape that didn’t look like it was correctable,” he said Monday. “If we were sitting, watching the tape and seeing a lack of effort and seeing just guys get beat in one-on-one matchups and saying, ‘Boy, this guy’s got no chance,’ I would feel differently.”

We take Haley's point, but the "it's correctable" line is right out of Jim Caldwell's "What to say to the media when you don't know what to say to the media" handbook. Next up for the Chiefs: they travel to Detroit to face the Lions, who are fresh off a solid win in Tampa Bay last week.

We have a feeling things are going to get worse before they get better.

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Posted on: September 13, 2011 10:25 am
Edited on: September 13, 2011 7:03 pm
 

Coach Killers, week 1: Haley takes the blame

Coach Killers is your weekly look around the league at those performances, decisions and "Wait, what did he just do?!" moments that put the guy in charge squarely on the ol' hot seat. (Getty Images)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Todd Haley, Chiefs head coach. Week 1 of the regular season looked a lot like the previous four weeks of preseason football for Kansas City's offense. Which is to say: it existed in name only. And it's not like the Chiefs were facing the Patriots on the road. They had the Bills -- the Bills -- at Arrowhead Stadium. Instead of playing like the defending AFC West champs, Kansas City instead looked like the sad-sack outfit that won six games in the final two seasons of Herm Edwards' tenure.
Todd Haley wants you to know that he blames Todd Haley. (Getty Images)

Buffalo led 14-0 after a quarter, went up 34-7 after three quarters, and ended up winning 41-7. And the Chiefs are left to wonder where to go from here.

Yes, it's only one game -- the first game of a long season -- but Sunday's offense looked a lot like the one that got steamrolled by the Ravens in the AFC Divisional Game last January.

It's easy to blame quarterback Matt Cassel, especially after you take a gander at his stat line from Sunday: 22 of 36 for 116 yards. That works out to 3.2 yards per attempt, which means that if the Chiefs threw on every down, they'd go three-and-out every series (which isn't far from the truth). But Cassel isn't calling the plays or assembling the roster. The latter is Scott Pioli's job, but since he's pretty high up on the org chart, that leaves Todd Haley, who puts together the game plan (if you want to call it that).

“I’m taking 100 percent responsibility for our team not being ready to go,” he said after the game. “OK? You can point the finger right at Todd Haley. OK? I’m taking 100 percent responsibility.”

Uh oh. Haley went Costanza on us and started referring to himself in the third person. Not a good sign.

And while it's swell that he's holding himself accountable, that won't do much to keep him gainfully employed. The Chiefs look completely lost without offensive coordinator Charlie Weis, who left for the University of Florida before the Ravens playoff game. Maybe it's coincidence, or perhaps there's a correlation, but it's not like Haley didn't get the head-coaching gig because of his ability to -- and apologies in advance to Hank Stram -- matriculate the ball down the field.

Either way, if the Chiefs don't find a way to score points, Haley won't make it to Halloween.

Jim Caldwell, Colts head coach. It's simple, really. Caldwell, who took over for Tony Dungy after the 2008 season, is only as good as his quarterback. Yes, that holds for most coaches (most notably Bill Belichick and Tom Brady -- although Belichick went 11-5 with Cassel in '08), but Caldwell can't use that as an excuse when Bill Polian inevitably calls him into his office and asks why he shouldn't be fired.

Week 1 in Review

For the sake of discussion, let's say Manning shuts it down for the season, and Indy wins five or six games with some combination of Kerry Collins, Curtis Painter, Brett Favre and/or David Garrard (joke!). Isn't Caldwell ultimately responsible? (Of course, Caldwell might point out that Polian should've found a competent backup QB long ago, but he can't very well say that out loud.) Put differently: if Caldwell's coaching skills are directly related to whether his Hall of Fame quarterback is on the field, he's not bringing much to the table. Belichick, with or without Brady, is worth , what, three wins a season all by himself? Same with Mike Tomlin or Mike McCarthy.

That said, we don't expect Caldwell to lose his job no matter how bad things turn out for Indy this season. The man did go 14-2 in his first season and take the Colts to the Super Bowl. And Indy was 10-6 a year ago. Then again, his detractors are quick to point out that Caldwell was 26-63 during his eight years as the Wake Forest head coach. That's not exactly something you put at the top of the resume.

Pete Carroll, Seahawks head coach. Carroll has talked about "the plan," presumably one that entails making the team better. But based on some of his offseason moves -- notably, signing Tarvaris Jackson a year after trading for Charlie Whitehurst and weeks after letting Matt Hasselbeck walk -- we're starting to think that this plan involves positioning the team for a run at Andrew Luck. (Which, technically, will make the team better, just not this season.) 

Seattle did win the NFC West last season, but they also went 7-9. That's like being the prettiest ugly girl or the skinniest fat dude. When people say, "They won the division by winning just seven games!" it's not a compliment. They're mocking you. So, no, it's not something to brag about, especially since this year's team somehow looks worse.

The Seahawks lost to the 49ers, 33-17, Sunday, but the game was out of reach well before that. San Francisco led 16-0, and Seattle appeared to be running some version of the Chiefs' offense. And things don't get any easier because the Seahawks travel to Pittsburgh this week. We joked yesterday that the Steelers could play the same sloppy game they did against the Ravens and have little trouble beating this Seattle team. That's how bad it was. Maybe somebody should ask Carroll what his deal is.

Jack Del Rio is quite familiar with the hot seat in Jacksonville. (Getty Images)
Jack Del Rio, Jaguars head coach. The Jags dumped David Garrard just before the season opener and we can all agree that a) the move was probably long overdue and b) the organization has an awful sense of timing.

Whatever, life after Garrard got off to a good start: Jacksonville, with Luke McCown under center, outlasted the Titans, 16-14. But this is the NFL, where fortunes change weekly, and it's not a stretch to think that the Jags' success could be short-lived. Partly because they haven't had a winning season since 2007, but also because their quarterback of the future is currently a rookie sitting behind McCown on the depth chart.

Not only that, it's not like Del Rio hasn't been in the "you're almost certainly getting canned" crosshairs in previous seasons. And his dilemma in 2011 is that if McCown plays just well enough to keep the gig, the Jags might again finish 8-8. But if McCown stumbles and Blaine Gabbert gets the keys to the offense, then it's a rebuilding year. While not an official stat, we think Del Rio is all out of "rebuilding year" mulligans. As it stands, his job security rests with McCown's ability to play better than he has at any point in his NFL career. We wonder if Del Rio will get to keep that black leather jacket as a parting gift.

Tony Romo, Cowboys quarterback. In general, this list will be populated with players who single-handedly torpedoed a team's chances or underachieving units (like the Chargers' special teams any week last season). So it's unusual that the first four names above are all coaches. But Haley, Caldwell, Carroll and Del Rio are as responsible for the fate that awaits them than any miscue their players might make that would ultimately reflect poorly on them.

And that brings us to Romo, who admitted after Sunday night's loss to the Jets, that the blame was his and his alone. That's not completely true, although a fumble at the Jets' goal line and that pass intended for a hobbled Dez Bryant that found Darrelle Revis on the next-to-last drive didn't help matters.

On Monday's Pick-6 Podcast, we talked about how the perception is that Romo's a choker, and Sunday night was the latest example. We don't actually believe that; if anything Romo's unlucky. Look no further than his counterpart in Week 1; Romo outplayed the Jets' Mark Sanchez but Sanchez has a knack for avoiding mistakes at critical junctures while Romo seems drawn to them. And it's not solely a function of his style of play or decision-making process. It genuinely seems like the gods of chance hate Romo. We think this has something to do with that whole Jessica Simpson thing.

But could his ill-timed miscuses be enough to cost Jason Garrett his job? Nah. Partly because we've seen what the Cowboys look like without Romo, but also because he's a top-10 quarterback. Does he take chances? Yeah, sure. Does he sometimes get burned? Yep. But he has the ability to put a ton of points on the board, and that overrides the occasional mistakes.

Now there's no doubt in our minds that Jerry Jones will some day fire Garrett. But it won't be because of Romo. In fact, Romo will probably end up saving Garrett's job a couple times before it's all said and done.

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Posted on: September 4, 2011 9:28 pm
 

Matt Cassel could miss opener with rib injury

Posted by Ryan Wilson

It wasn't pretty to watch, but shortly after nose tackle Howard Green -- all 340 pounds of him -- sacked quarterback Matt Cassel with all his weight during last Thursday's preseason game between Green Bay and Kansas City, the Chiefs said Cassel had just had the wind knocked out of him.

Cassel confirmed this afterwards when he said “I just got the wind knocked out of me,’’ he said. “We were just being cautious.’’

Head coach Todd Haley added “Unfortuntately, he got dinged up a little bit. I’m not overly concerned.’’

Well, it might be time to start panicking. Turns out, Cassel suffered a rib injury and might not be ready for the season opener Sunday against the the Bills, according to the Kansas City Star's Adam Teicher. This comes days after tight end Tony Moeaki was placed on injured reserve after hurting his knee against the Packers.

And now Kansas City, whose first-team offense struggled throughout the preseason (they started things off with a 25-0 shellacking at the hands of the Bucs in Week 1), face the very real possibility of hosting Buffalo with Tyler Palko under center.

Palko played collegiately at Pitt but went undrafted in 2007. (Fun fact: Palko was so entrenched as the starter that a backup named Joe Flacco transferred to Delaware for more playing time.) He's shuttled between NFL practice squads and 53-man rosters for the Saints, Cardinals and Steelers, and in 2009 was also signed and cut by the UFL's California Redwoods (now the Sacramento Mountain Lions) and the CFL's Montreal Alouettes. Palko played well this preseason for the Chiefs, earning the backup job, but has thrown just six passes in his NFL career dating back to 2007.

“I feel like I’ve gotten better every day in training camp and that’s really my main focus,’’ Palko said recently, according to Teicher. “It’s not to look at anything past just getting better every day. I know it sounds boring, but I’m not in a situation where I can really look ahead. Every opportunity you get, you’ve got to try to seize the moment and do your job.’’

Cassel missed one game due to injury last season and the Chiefs lost 31-0 in San Diego. In 2009, Cassel missed the season opener against the Ravens, a 38-24 loss. Both time, Brodie Croyle, who is now in Arizona, got the start.


Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Howard Green (95) sacks Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel (7) during the first half of an NFL preseason football game Thursday, Sept. 1, 2011, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Jim Prisching)

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Posted on: August 23, 2011 11:23 pm
 

Todd Haley is a big fan of Lil' Wayne

HaleyPosted by Josh Katzowitz

In case it wasn’t obvious, Chiefs coach Todd Haley is a big fan of the rap game. Like, a really big fan. That’s why, quite naturally I should think, he attended Monday’s Lil’ Wayne show at the Sprint Center in Kansas City.

And quite naturally, Haley thought it was awesome.

“It was good, very good,” Haley told the assembled press Tuesday, via the team’s official web site. “Our players all knew I was out there. We made a video at the start of the season and it was one of his songs. The players took to it. We played it every home game … When you saw us gather up in the end zone, it was always a song of his. So, I said if he comes into town and I get an opportunity to give him a copy of it and thank him, I was able to do it. It was a great, great show, terrific.”

Haley also said he was quite versatile when talking about musical tastes. From Foo Fighters to Barbra Streisand, Haley proclaimed, “I like a broad range.”

Ah, but who’s your favorite, Todd?

“Lil’ Wayne is up there. I like him. He’s good. He’s good. He thinks outside the box for sure.”

In case you wanted to read a review of the show to affirm Haley’s account, the Kansas City Star called it an “impeccable” performance.

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Posted on: August 20, 2011 10:36 am
 

Todd Haley now upset with John Harbaugh

Todd Haley and John Harbaugh share a handshake and some words (AP).Posted by Josh Katzowitz

During Friday's preseason telecast between the Chiefs and the Ravens, the commentators wondered how Kansas City coach Todd Haley would react to a late Baltimore timeout and a touchdown run by RB Anthony Allen with eight seconds to play in the Ravens 31-14 win.

The producer even made sure to catch the postgame handshake between Haley and Ravens coach John Harbaugh as the two had a longer-than-normal conversation.

Sure enough, Haley was upset, which led Harbaugh to say this to reporters after the game.

"I want to apologize to the Chiefs if they feel like we were not doing the right thing at the end of the game," Harbaugh said, via MASN Sports. "That wasn't the mindset, OK? The mindset was -- this is the preseason. If this had been the regular season, we would've been on a knee. The idea in that situation is to give those young guys who work hard and who are trying to make a football team -- this football team or another football team -- to play the whole 60 minutes and give them a chance to show what they can do. Offensive line, running backs, everybody.

"I know that's debatable, I know there's a point of view both ways, I understand that. But I just feel like that was the right thing to do for our players, to give them a chance to play the game out and see what they can do. So, that was the thinking on that."

Harbaugh is wrong. That mindset isn’t “debatable.” No, that mindset is “perfectly reasonable.” Harbaugh even tried to explain it to Haley afterward.

"I think he said something like, 'I don't know about that,'" Harbaugh said. "I understood, and I just said, 'Preseason, preseason for the young guys.' He said 'OK.'

You’ll remember that Haley got really upset last year and refused to shake the hand of former Broncos coach Josh McDaniels for running up the score on the Chiefs or for McDaniels’ participation in New England’s Spygate or for something. You’ll also recall that it led to this classic picture of Haley wagging his finger in McDaniel’s face.

Haley, McDaniels

Haley later apologized for letting his emotions get the best of him, and the next time the two teams met, Haley and McDaniels did shake. Haley was given a pass because there were many observers who believed he was in the right against McDaniels.

But a preseason game when it’s clear the Ravens are trying to work on their team and see how their bubble players perform on the field? A preseason game that, last time I checked, doesn’t mean anything in the standings? I mean, really?

"Their coach has to do what he has to do to get his team ready," Haley said. "I'm trying to do what we need to do to get our team ready."

And if Haley is preparing himself for a long season of being offended by opposing coaches, he’s certainly on the right track.

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Posted on: July 27, 2011 8:31 pm
Edited on: July 27, 2011 8:44 pm
 

Steve Breaston headed to Chiefs on five-year deal

Posted by Will Brinson

Wednesday was another day of bananas free agent rumors, signings and general insanity (reminder: follow everything in our updating Free Agency Experience and with our 2011 NFL Free Agency Tracker!), but there was a really fun little run on wide receivers late in the evening when Seattle went out and got themselves a downfield threat in Sidney Rice and Kansas City stepped out and grabbed a very good No. 2 in now-ex-Cardinal Steve Breaston.

Breaston, according to Sports Illustrated's Jim Trotter, is reuniting with old offensive coordinator Todd Haley with the Chiefs, and doing so with a five-year deal that guarantees him $9.5 million.

The last time Breaston and Haley were working together, 2008, the wideout piled up 1,006 yards and caught three touchdowns. (Since then, he's totaled 1,430 yards and four touchdowns in two seasons.)

Breaston's addition to the Chiefs roster gives them a non-rookie option (Jonathan Baldwin is there as well) to line up across from Dwayne Bowe, and should help equate to pretty strong offensive firepower from the defending AFC West champions.

Just for comparison's sake, Breaston's pretty good value too, when you consider that Rice netted $18.5 million guaranteed from Seattle, and the Jets coughed up $24 million guaranteed over five years for Santonio Holmes.

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