The distance between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Pittsburgh Steelers is not just about the 10.5 point spread for Sunday night’s betting line. Nor is it about the difference in record. Instead, it’s about years of playing playoff-caliber football and establishing a winning tradition — things that the Steelers know quite a bit about. It’s also where the Chiefs are hoping to build toward.
A handful of NFL teams seem to avoid the roller coaster that parity provides in order to become a fixture at the top of the division. For the last decade, the New England Patriots, Indianapolis Colts among others have been the NFL’s gold standard and the Steelers certainly have been one of those teams. The Chiefs, on the other hand, are like most teams who are quite excited to make the playoffs and have dreams of just expecting to do so.
Todd Haley, the Chiefs’ head coach, spoke to that continuity of the Steelers in his press conference yesterday, giving the reasons why Pittsburgh enjoys the continued success that they do.
“I think for them, again, we’ve got enough things for us to be worried about," he said at Friday’s press conference. "But at the same time, we are playing the Steelers, so I think it starts at the top there with the Rooney family, just phenomenal, phenomenal people and family and owners and have been and that’s given them great continuity from the top. I think they’ve generally just stuck with their philosophy of the way that they’re doing things. Again, I was privy to a lot of that growing up. My father was involved. They’ve stuck to their guns and stayed the course with how they want to do things, and that is finding good football players and then having good coaches that maximize those players’ abilities and use them in the way that they need to be used or the way that they see them best used.
“They’ve been able to build on that and understand that winning football games is the No. 1 priority and everything else generally takes care of itself,” he continued. "They’ve proven that here through a bunch of years, and just great continuity throughout the team, and that includes when guys come and go. They do a good job developing young players who step in and play.”