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Examiner
  • Chiefs coach should add 'embarrassed' to his reaction

  • After watching the visiting San Diego Chargers reign over the water-logged Kansas City Chiefs Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium, head coach Todd Haley was asked how he felt.

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  • After watching the visiting San Diego Chargers reign over the water-logged Kansas City Chiefs Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium, head coach Todd Haley was asked how he felt.
    “Disappointed.”
    Good response. I would have been disappointed too, especially since his team had appeared to make giant strides the past two Sundays. But that came to an end             following a 37-7 loss to the Chargers.
    “Mad.”
    If he wasn’t mad, then he needs to find another profession.
    “A little bit of a letdown – especially after getting a tough win on the road.”
    That “tough win on the road” came last Sunday at Washington against a team whose head coach has been stripped of play-calling duties and who has about as much of a chance of returning to the Redskins next season as the captain of the Titanic had of getting another vessel.
    The word I was waiting to hear was embarrassed, because that’s what I kept feeling as I watched a team take a dramatic step backward heading into the bye week.
    Two weeks ago the Chiefs nearly pulled off a victory at home against a terrible Dallas team that claimed a 26-20 overtime win.
    They then traveled to Washington and handed Jim Zorn’s hapless squad a 14-6 loss that resulted in the Redskins coach losing his role as offensive coordinator.
    This week, I was expecting something special at Arrowhead. Even though the Chiefs had won just one game this season, they at least looked like a team with a heart, a team that cared, a team that was actually on the brink of something special.
    But all that changed on a dark and gloomy Sunday afternoon that matched the mood of the team’s locker room.
    “We’d have all liked to have gone into the bye week with smiles on our faces,” said quarterback Matt Cassel, whose 25.3 quarterback rating was a season low and reflects the impotence of the players who are supposed to be protecting him on the offensive line.
    He has been sacked 26 times this season and when he’s not on his back, he’s running for his life.
    “We’ve got a lot of work to do,” Cassel said, taking the loss like a man and never pointing an accusing finger. “It’s not going to be a fun film to watch on Monday.”
    It will be more like a horror film as Cassel was picked off three times (he was actually picked off four times, but one was called back because of a San Diego penalty) and could never seem to get into any type of rhythm against a 3-3 San Diego defense that had struggled much of the season.
    Page 2 of 2 - When asked to evaluate his quarterback, Haley said, “I have to review the tape. He has to do a better job – but he was under duress from start to finish.”
    The Chargers led 20-0 at halftime and were never in fear of losing at a stadium that was once touted as “The Loudest Stadium in the NFL.”
    It’s now the mildest stadium in the NFL, and, as the final seconds ticked off the clock, there were more players and coaches on the field than fans in the stands.
    “Instead of back-to-back wins, we get our butt kicked across the board,” Haley said, “the bottom line is this – we have to get better.”
    If they don’t, the empty seats at Arrowhead on those cold November Sunday afternoons will let the coach and his players know how the fans really feel.
    Disappointed.
    Mad.
    And embarrassed.
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