When a team is coming off a 4 win season, it is going to turn a lot of heads when they start the next year with three straight victories. While the Chiefs players told The Star’s Kent Babb that the coaching staff rarely mentions last year, that doesn’t mean they have forgotten what losing that much felt like.
“That was in the back of our minds,” Carr said. “We don’t want a repeat performance of last year. But we knew last year that we were getting better. It may not have shown on the scoreboard, but we were doing the little things. Now it’s paying off, and you can see it.”
In the past, Haley has been part of staffs that did a similar thing to move on from a previous season. Whether that year was successful or sour, those staffs sometimes had T-shirts printed to remind players to get over what had happened in the past; all that mattered now was what was happening next.
Waters said that hasn’t been a problem, because so much seems different now. The Chiefs have new coordinators and several new assistant coaches, a promising rookie class and, most importantly, three victories in as many weeks.
“There’s so much different,” Waters said. “There was so much stuff that was not where we wanted it. Some of the stuff, we had to go through. This year, just the attitudes, the approach that we’ve taken, the different personalities that we’ve brought in the room — we’re a different team from last year. We just are.”
Even with the Chiefs sitting at 3-0, I still get emails daily that take issue with Haley (and only half are dealing with Jamaal Charles). We should all be able to agree that he has done an outstanding job at walking a fine line between harping on 2009 and ignoring it. He still talks daily about the Chiefs “process”, which included the terrible 2009 season but doesn’t use it as a “Remember The Alamo!”-type rallying cry.
Besides the alleged “22 guys off the street” encounter shortly after he was hired, Haley has talked stressed learning how to win and not focused on the losing culture. Some don’t see a difference in those two, but to me they are a world apart.