I happen to believe Todd Haley can be a good NFL coach. I also think the Chiefs can be better, certainly, than what they’ve displayed thus far. That said, it’s clear that the Chiefs are an absolute mess — arguably the worst team in the NFL at this point — and that Todd Haley has no clue how to fix it. One listen to his comments after the 48-3 loss to the Lions and it’s clear that there’s not enough awareness in at least his immediate perspective after the game.
It’s great that Haley blames himself. He’s right. It’s been two straight weeks that the Chiefs have been outmatched in every aspect on the football field against teams that should not be as formidable as they have been. That’s not to take anything away from the Bills and Lions, who certainly deserve the wins they’ve racked up against the Chiefs this year. But it’s also clear that they’re not the Patriots and Packers, who come later on the Chiefs schedule by the way.
Simply put, this season is a disaster in the making. Any excuse for what Haley could possibly say about the short offseason, the lack of conditioning, etc. have been lost in the complete lack of a plan the Chiefs seem to have against teams who endured the same shortfalls this offseason.
The problem is while taking the blame, Haley is also still making positive comments about simply planning better during the week. Listen to the following from his post-game press conference:
“We had some opportunities early in the game to get the thing going in the direction we wanted it to go, and we weren’t able to finish those plays, make those plays, stay out of a penalty situation. All things again that I think if we just do a better job of working at it during the week and obviously we have to carry it into the game to have a chance to start moving into being a good team because, right now, we’re not.”
That’s a coach completely unaware that the Detroit Lions just set a franchise record for largest margin of victory. The victory didn’t just expose some weaknesses the team needs to work on. It didn’t come down to just too many penalties or a few turnovers. This was a complete disaster. And the main problem is that it just came after another disaster. For two consecutive weeks now, the Chiefs have looked like the worst team in the NFL. That calls for a total overhaul.
I’d take much more comfort if Haley went off in the press conference and just said, ’We’ve got to do something major." Or perhaps he could say, “Next week you are going to see a massive overhaul.” At the very least, the Chiefs could begin to spend some of the $30 million or so they’re sitting on and get some depth from the many veteran free agents still available.
Instead, Haley still believes the Chiefs can be a good team. He still makes reference to just practicing better. While that may help close the margin a bit, laying down consecutive games of 40+ points for the other team while only scoring one touchdown on the year is too ugly to just improve on in practice. It’s a coaching issue. It’s a talent issue. Something major needs to take place.
Of course, the Chiefs wouldn’t be the first team to go 0-2 to turn things around if they can, but I would bet that any team that has come back from the early season deficit has never looked this bad. The reality is that the Chiefs are a total and complete mess and it’s going to take more than what Haley apparently believes to fix it.