Following an offseason filled with extreme changes for the Kansas City Chiefs, Head Coach Todd Haley should stay with the team no matter what happens this year. Right? Robert Boland at National Football Post isn’t so sure.
Being a first-year coach is not a guarantee of job security. Remember Cam Cameron in Miami. Haley was something of a curious choice, and while he has a personal relationship with GM Scott Pioli and modest expectations, Haley must show he is a head coach and not just a guy who yelled back at Anquan Boldin.
I am going to make a very bold prediction: Todd Haley will be the coach of the Kansas City Chiefs in 2010. No matter what… Whew, tough one there. Okay, maybe “no matter what” is a bit strong. Things can always change, but barring an arrest, fist fight with Ryan Succop or talking Clark Hunt into a ponzi scheme I can guarantee you that Todd Haley’s job is safe. With the veteran additions this may not be a “rebuilding” team, but the Chiefs are in transition and will struggle mightily at times. No one has to like that, but you’d be naive to think otherwise. Clark Hunt is anything but naive and will be in no hurry to replace Haley.
Over the past decade there have been huge improvements league wide when it comes to the success rate of kickers. During 2008, kickers set records for accuracy in field goals and PATs. As Bob Gretz points out, however, The Kansas City Chiefs did not contribute to those records.
While the rest of the league has become more accurate, kickers wearing the red and gold have been less accurate. Chiefs kickers had a much better field goal percentage in the 1980s and 1990s than they’ve had through the first nine seasons of this decade.
Including the ‘08 season, Chiefs kickers have made 186 of 242 field goal attempts, a success rate of 76.9 percent in this decade. Among the league’s 32 teams, that ranks 29th in accuracy. They’ve been nearly 10 percent less accurate than the league leader in this decade, Baltimore. In the 100 best seasons for FG accuracy in this decade, the Chiefs have just one season on the list: the 2002 season when they made 23 of 27 attempts, for 85.2 percent; that ranked 85th.
The Chiefs have had 10 different FG kickers in nine seasons and six in the last three. The most stable kicker for the team this decade was Lawrence Tynes. The Chiefs traded Tynes before the ’07 season to the Giants because they were looking for a more consistent kicker on FGs and a stronger leg for kickoffs.
It was a move that’s proven to be a mistake, given the kicking circus the Chiefs have gone through the last two seasons with five different kickers handling field goals. The group of Justin Medlock, Dave Rayner, John Carney, Nick Novak and Connor Barth made 35 of 49 FGs or 71.4 percent. Tynes hit 68 of 87 kicks for 78.2 percent.
The reason for trading Tynes sounds very familiar, doesn’t it? I’ve been guilty as anyone with that line of thought when it comes to the impending training camp showdown between Barth and Succop. But would jettisoning the more accurate Barth (over 83% last season) for the stronger legged Succop be a mistake? If it comes down strictly to accuracy in camp then Succop will have to show he is fully recovered from a groin injury that helped contribute to his lowest accuracy of his college career last season (66.7%). Talking kickers with Chiefs fans is tough, so if you can deal with reading about the kicker that shall remain nameless on this site, click through and check out the rest of Gretz’s rundown of the Chiefs kicking history.