There isn’t any team or coach that is benefiting from the extended NFL lockout, but are some hurt more than others? John Clayton broke down the 10 coaches he feels have been hurt the most and put Todd Haley right on top of that list.
4. Kansas City Chiefs head coach Todd Haley: Haley spent two years trying to upgrade the offensive talent and get the bodies and minds of veteran Chiefs offensive players right. He brought in Charlie Weis last year to get more out of QB Matt Cassel. Weis has left for Florida, and Haley is left to call the plays. The Chiefs won 10 games last year, but a tougher schedule and the lack of an offseason with players to drive them could cause the offense to backslide. That might lead to unfair judgments of Haley, who produced a playoff team in his first two years.
Like most people, I’d feel a lot better about the Chiefs chances of building on 2010 if they were able to have OTAs right now, but if there’s one aspect that I feel will move forward it’s the offense. The poor relationship between Haley and Weis held the offense back at times last year and is an immediate positive for 2011. Whenever the season does begin, we will see an offense completely operated by Haley, which is what got him the job in the first place.
Lockout or not, Kansas City will also return the most electric running back in the league in Jamaal Charles. No matter how long the players and owners are at odds, Charles will be waiting in the wings ready to take the title of NFL’s best back.
There’s also the new weapons that the offense will have to work with next season. At the top of that list is first-round pick Jonathan Baldwin, finally giving Dwayne Bowe a legitimate deep threat as a running mate. Even though he was an addition last season, WR Jereme Urban will be making his Chiefs debut in 2011 after an injury kept him on the sidelines. Haley brought Urban in to own the slot for the Kansas City offense, something he will have the ability to do as Dexter McCluster plays more coming out of the backfield.
Again, every team is hurt by the lockout. But there’s no way I would include Haley or any of the Chiefs coaches on a top 10 list of those most hurt.