The Kansas City Chiefs are getting ready for their first mandatory mini-camp under head coach Todd Haley and as Jonathan Rand at KCChiefs.com points out, the players have noticed he’s all business.
“No-nonsense” is a description that rolls quickly off the tongues of players asked to define Haley’s M.O. And if that’s the approach that can get them on a winning track, it meets their approval. Defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey knew early on how Haley would run things.
“The day he came in, he let us know there’d be no nonsense. It’s going to be his way – his way or the highway. That’s all you can ask, for a coach to be straightforward. He runs a tight ship. There’s not too much laughing. It’s fun but you can’t get lackadaisical. You’ve got to be focused the whole time. He believes in discipline — knowing your assignments, knowing assignments when you’re tired. I like it. You’ve got to take care of your business.”
New coaches inevitably enjoy a honeymoon, especially if they’re taking over a team that’s recently been down and out. The length of the honeymoon depends on the immediacy of encouraging results. Veteran LB Zach Thomas doesn’t read too much into a coaches personality.
“There are coaches who are stern and some who are laid back, but if you win, it doesn’t matter. If you win, it’s always a great way to coach, but if you lose it’s the wrong way.”
It’s not as if Herm Edwards, who preceded Haley, was a soft touch. He preached that he wanted a smart, tough and well-disciplined team. But those goals couldn’t be met while he was turning his roster into the league’s youngest.
With change sweeping over the Chiefs’ front offices and coaching offices, it wasn’t likely that any player from 2008 would feel too secure. Haley, indeed, made it clear he didn’t have commitments to the previous regime’s decisions.
“The first thing I said to the entire group was, ‘I don’t care how you got here, whether a free agent…trade…draft pick…first pick…last pick.’ The best guys are going to play all the time here…whoever gives us the best chance to win.”
Zach Thomas is on the right track when he says winning is the best way to coach. We don’t know if Todd Haley can win as a head coach in this league yet, but we’re going to find out real soon. We do know that Herm Edwards came in preaching discipline but that ended up being a joke. I disagree that his teams weren’t disciplined because of a young roster. What about when he had a mostly veteran team? Edwards was always — and will always if he ever makes a return to the sidelines — a player’s coach. And his definition of “player coach” means creating one set of rules for most players and then special rules for three or four specific players. Hopefully Todd Haley walks the walk and treats his players one of two ways: like someone you can count on or someone you can’t.