Todd Haley has been fired as the head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs. That much you probably have already heard and it shouldn’t be that surprising. We’ve been discussing the hot seat under the Chiefs head coach since September ourselves. However, even though Haley admitted himself that he failed to have his team prepared for Sunday’s egg-laying in New York, he certainly deserved better than this.
“Deserve better?” That’s a likely question you might ask (or at least I am pretending you are). Perhaps you’re thinking “The Chiefs deserve better,” and that’s a solid notion as well. But while Todd Haley’s teams have certainly been completely outperformed at several points this season (losses to Detroit, Buffalo, Miami and NY Jets quickly come to mind), his team has also exhibited two things that at least should have kept Haley in his position until season’s end.
First of all, his team never stopped playing for him. Sure there’s the stretch from Sunday’s game when the Chiefs wanted to see if it was possible to score a touchdown based on yardage gained from asinine penalties from the opposing team. However, the defense has been lights out at several points this year and his players have stood up for him again and again.
Haley has also toed the company line several times. Scott Pioli is sitting on $30 million that he could have spent and Haley has suffered through a litany of injuries to very important players on a paper-thin roster. Yet through it all, Haley always expected to win, always preached the right mantras and never stepped out of line in terms of morale or miscommunications.
Finally, there are the aforementioned injuries. Haley won 10 games last season. He has said several times himself that he knew he would grow as a head coach along with his young team. Yet this year, he had no Jamaal Charles, Eric Berry, Brandon Siler, Tony Moeaki and then Matt Cassel also fell late in the year. Winning in the NFL is a difficult business as it is, but to have a roster with little to no depth in key places suffer major injuries — it’s impossible for any coach to win with that.
At the very least, what does KC gain by firing Haley now? Even if Pioli wants a leg-up on the competition to talk to coaching candidates, he could do so behind closed doors and allow Haley to finish out the year. Haley deserved better from the Chiefs even if it was a graceful exit. It’s another sour note in a year filled with them.