Chiefs vs. Steelers Primer: Thanking Haley

Steelers OC Todd Haley

Even though this is the biggest game of the exhibition season for the Chiefs and Steelers, I can't seem to get rid of the Todd Haley stench that lingers over me. I'm not sure why that's still the case. He's in Pittsburgh and we have Andy Reid. So what's my beef?

When the Kansas City Chiefs hired, Todd Haley, to be their head coach back in 2009, he was the last of nine men to be hired for a premier coaching position in the NFL. And thus when former General Manager, Scott Pioli, made the decision and offered the job to Haley one hour into his initial interview, it was clear Haley was indeed the last viable candidate in the coaching barrel.

What happened over the next three plus season in Kansas City was incredibly difficult to watch as a Chiefs fan. Even worse the rumblings of Haley's actions inside Arrowhead were unsettling. And don't think that I'm going to spill any of that in this article.

Let's just say that Haley's late arrival before the 2009 NFL season was one met with severe skepticism. First, Haley a then hot shot offensive coordinator for the Arizona Cardinals, wasn't even on the NFL coaching radar with the other eight teams, who were also looking for a new head coach.

So when Pioli chose Haley over giving, Herm Edwards, one more season in Kansas CIty, everyone thought this was someone Pioli new general could control. Well that wasn't quite the case because both men butted heads just days into Haley's new coaching gig.

Haley had his own way of thinking and doing things. His rough interior and generally untidy appearance alienated many of the Chiefs best players. Most notably, Brian Waters, Tony Gonzalez, Derrick Johnson and Dwayne Bowe, each had very little respect for Haley.

Now considering those were the stars of the day, it wasn't a good place for Haley to find himself just a few months into his first (and quite likely his last) NFL head coaching position.
BR>What happened during his tenure in Kansas City has been discussed in great detail. Outside of 2010 when, now Kansas University Head Football Coach, Charlie Weis, was running the Chiefs offensive attack, Haley's ego, play calling and coaching deficiencies, were pretty alarming and very telling that he was in over his head.

Now we really can't go back too far because at days end, he's gone and the Chiefs are entering what could be a second run of their Golden Years under new head coach, Andy Reid.

Thus it's worth mentioning that in retrospect, by hiring Haley back in 2009, he solely turned around this ailing franchise.

Haley did his best to hang on during the Pioli era but ultimately the man with no NFL coaching experience, lost his job because he simply wasn't a good at his job.

So as we come back to the present, Chiefs fans should always use the Haley era as a barometer of what can go wrong within an organization that doesn't have a strong presence on the sideline to calm the icy waters of running an NFL team on the field of battle.

To date though, Reid's team has lost both of its exhibition games but you can't tell me there isn't more talent, better coaching and at least a quiet expectation for optimism in 2013. And when you consider the apathy that settled in a year ago has completely run its course, it's quite remarkable, without playing a regular season game, what Reid has already accomplished in Kansas City.

So had the dominoes of the ‘Patriot Way' not fallen as they did, perhaps the Chiefs would still find themselves in that troubling land of mediocrity.

In fact, (yes I'm going backwards again) where would the Chiefs be if Pioli chose Weis over Haley after their very public family feud at the end of the 2010 season? Would Weis have ended up coaching at Kansas University? Probably not.

What would have happened if Haley, or for that matter Weis (had he been given the HC job) in 2011, took the Chiefs to the playoffs. It's likely either man would have received a contract extension from Pioli who likely would still be running the Chiefs today. That meant Reid may have ended up with another NFL coaching gig.

Thus by the grace of the NFL Gods, Weis is coaching my beloved Jayhawks and Reid is coaching my beloved Chiefs.

That's why I decided in my Chiefs vs. Steelers primer to get this all out of my system. I have no ill wills in regards to Haley. I just don't think, regardless of his job on the NFL sidelines or in a coaching box atop an NFL stadium, he can't teach or coach very well at this level.

So as I put closure to my Haley banter for the rest of the season, I want to thank KC's former head coach for being awful at his job during his short stay in the Midwest.

It's because he was so bad at it, this franchise finally made the drastic changes it needed after Haley's replacement, Romeo Crennel, managed just two wins a year ago, to begin the organizational overhaul it truly needed.

As far as Saturday night's game in Pittsburgh, I could care less about the final score. But the competitive nature of my grind never to lose at anything, does want the Chiefs defense to take the Steelers offense to the wood shed a few times. And that will be enough for me.

Because what matters today is the fact, the Chiefs have the best coach on their sidelines in what has seemed an eternity for every Kansas City football fan the last couple of decades.

So as I end of this soliloquy today, Chiefs fans should thank, Todd Haley, for ultimately delivering Andy Reid to Kansas City.

Aren't silver linings great?

Should we thank Todd Haley for Andy Reid?

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