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A Closer Look at Todd Haley
Posted By ChiefsWarpath.com On February 1, 2009 @ 12:28 am In Commentary | Comments Disabled
Picture this: You’re the offensive coordinator for an NFL franchise. Your team has a storied 60+ year history, but most of that story has been pretty sad. The franchise has played in three cities. Most casual fans would be hard pressed to name the first, but many readily relate the team to the second. A diehard few believe the team should not have been moved and that NFL football will never succeed in your team’s current municipality. As a consequence of said moves, your mascot isn’t really indicative of any aspect of local culture (Utah Jazz, anyone?).
Two years ago you were 5-11. Your team was a punchline, not a contender. Now you’re about to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl.
Your quarterback, Kurt Warner, has struggled to find his place in the league for the last few years, and had willingly relegated himself to a backup role just to be ensured a job. He took over for a player whom both fans and front office believed would be the face of the franchise for years to come, but has yet to piece together a winning season. Your running back is a former 1st round pick of the Indianapolis Colts, but wasn’t resigned on account of the fact that another 1st round pick was waiting in the wings. Your wide receivers are a 1st round pick and a 2nd round pick, and, despite playing for a perennial loser, are considered among the best in the league.
Journalists malign your team’s defense. By their standard, it is your offense and nothing else that has brought the team to where it is now. This is a misnomer. Your team’s defense, which is centered around a well-known middle linebacker and a pass rushing defensive end, is better than it looks on paper. It doesn’t matter, however, because you’re the star. You’re the one putting the team back on the map and giving the fan base something to cheer about for the first time in a long time. Because of that, your name is starting to be mentioned as a soon-to-be NFL head coach, even though you’ve never been a head coach at any level. You could be taking over a team as soon as next year. That’s a tall order, but most analysts agree that it’s the correct next step for you.
You are Todd Haley, offensive coordinator for the Arizona Cardinals, right?
Wrong. You are Mike Martz, offensive coordinator for the St. Louis Rams.
This is neither a declaration of support or opposition for Todd Haley as the future head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs. It’s merely a call to attention. It’s true that great coaches can make good players look great, but the flip side of that is that great players can make average coaches look good. Greg Robinson was hired by Dick Vermeil to be the Chiefs’ defensive coordinator based on his rampant success in the same position with the Broncos. As we learned in the pain-fullest fashion imaginable, G Rob couldn’t hack it with any less than five Pro Bowlers at a time. It was hard to get a good read on him because he had so much talent at his disposal. The end result was that the front office’s read on him was all wrong. Flip that again, however, and look at Mike Holmgren. He was doomed to failure without Brett Favre, Antonio Freeman, Dorsey Levens, Mark Chmura, Reggie White, Earl Dotson, and Leroy Butler. He missed that memo, however, and turned one of the league’s laughing stocks into conference champions.
So which is Haley? I haven’t the slightest clue. Nobody does. The comparison to Mike Martz is an easy one to draw, simply because the circumstances are so incredibly similar. Martz clearly turned out to be anything but an NFL-caliber head coach. I question whether he’s even an NFL-caliber offensive coordinator. Still, Todd Haley is not Mike Martz. Todd Haley is Todd Haley, and I have no idea who Todd Haley is. If he’s the guy, I’ll be cautiously optimistic, but that’s the most I’ll be able to muster for a season or two. I’ve seen these opening credits before, and the movie sucked.
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