For a team that’s 0-2, the Kansas City Chiefs are receiving an inordinate amount of press. Typically, a team that’s in the doldrums like the Chiefs are left alone for the sake of praising the greatest performers. However, the Chiefs are losing like few others in NFL history, thus everyone is paying close attention not only to the team but the coaching situation as well.
Rodney Harrison took some time to discuss the Chiefs with Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio and he had some interesting words. Specifically, he called Todd Haley a dysfunctional coach and said the Chiefs were emotionally devastated. Specifically here’s what he said about the Chiefs level of emotion:
I think emotionally this team is devastated. Defensively, they lost their starting safety in Eric Berry who really is the leader of that defense. He makes a big difference back there with his big hits and his calls getting everyone lined up. Offensively, they lose Jamaal Charles and that’s devastating for this team. Last year, they were No. 1 in the league in rushing, and to lose a guy like that, you don’t stand a chance. Matt Cassel is turning the ball over and they can’t run the ball and defensively they’re just soft.
That’s an interesting statement since everyone in the locker room swears that they’re giving their all. Matt Cassel praised the work of his teammates despite losing by 40. Kelly Gregg says everyone is giving their effort. On both sides, the Chiefs have not given up, so to say they are emotionally devastated is a bit of a misnomer. They’re just not executing at this point.
As for Matt Cassel specifically, Harrison says the responsibility falls on him as the team leader and starting quarterback to get it done protecting the ball.
First he has to play better. He’s the leader of this team. He’s the starting quarterback. The circumstances are totally different. In New England, he had Bill Belichick, a good coach, a veteran coach who had led three teams to a Super Bowl and he had a bunch of veteran players. Here, he has Haley who is a guy that’s more dysfunctional and a lot younger team. So those varying differences make a big difference.
Harrison is right to say that it’s unfair to compare Matt Cassel’s tenure in New England with his time in Kansas City. The teams, the coaches, the circumstances, the schemes are completely different. As for Haley being dysfunctional, it’d be nice if Harrison could back up his statements a bit before randomly throwing out a descriptor like that. It’s one thing to say he’s emotional or he’s not coaching well. It’s another to say dysfunctional.