If you heard any of Todd Haley’s press conferences this season, you know that the head coach viewed his team as young and developing no matter what was happening with their record. On Thursday he finally conceded that, yes, he decided to drop that four letter word on the Chiefs that every player dreams of hearing.
“I never made it public, but I told the guys a few weeks ago that I thought we were a good team and we’ll see what we can do with it from there,” Haley said. “It’s hard to get into the NFL Playoffs. There are 12 teams left and we’re one of them.”
“You guys have asked me a whole bunch, ‘are you a good team…aren’t you a good team?’” Haley said. “I think that each year starts fresh and that you define who you are going to be through the experiences that you go through. Each and every game that we played during the regular season helped define us getting to this point and what we are right now. I don’t think that’s over. I think that we have to use this week to its fullest.”
After a season of the same line, I almost expected Haley to say he told them they were good right before the Oakland game in which they went out and proved they were still young and developing. Instead we got what was one of the more genuine responses from the coach. Though people will argue otherwise (Hello, Seahawks) it’s not easy to make it to the second season. The Chiefs won their division over a good Chargers team and a Raiders squad that beat up on everyone else in the AFC West.
In order to beat a tough, experienced team like the Ravens, the Chiefs players need to have the confidence that only comes when you know you belong. It’s important for them to remember that while they may have been a work in progress during the regular season, that now is the time for the finished product to come out and play. This week it looks like Haley has properly delivered that message and hopefully it pays off come Sunday.