Following Sunday’s emotionally charged 27-24 overtime victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers at Arrowhead Stadium, we met the young man the Kansas City Chiefs hired as their head coach back in February.

Following Sunday’s emotionally charged 27-24 overtime victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers at Arrowhead Stadium, we met the young man the Kansas City Chiefs hired as their head coach back in February.

If that statement confuses you, please let me explain.

We’ve all seen the dazed and confused head coach who seems to have occasional problems with clock management.

We’ve witnessed the guy who gets in his players’ faces on the sidelines and makes such a spectacle of himself that it overshadows anything his team might accomplish.

We’ve listened to the guy who drags himself into postgame interviews and displays about as much joy and love of the game as a seventh grade soccer coach whose team is made up of ADD students on a sugar high.

The guy never seemed to have any fun, and his lack of enthusiasm was contagious – on the field and in the stands.

But Sunday, we met the new and improved Todd Haley.

The guy was smiling.

He proved he had a pulse, and a personality.

When asked about his new on-field persona, he quipped, “I am a rookie head coach and am passionate about what I do. I live and die every day on how it goes with this team – not just game day but Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday …

“It’s all I care about other than God and my family. When you care about someone, there is going to be some emotion. It’s easy to be positive when good things are happening. I’m going to be me every day.”

I loved that answer.

He was honest, to the point and proved to me that he does love what he’s doing.

And a win over the defending Super Bowl champions proves he’s doing something right.

“Obviously, this is a big win for this team,” he added. “We’re a young team, and I really feel like we’ve been making progress. I felt like going into this game this would be a great opportunity to measure where we were as a team. That team we played today is as well a coached team in the league as there is.

“They’re the model for what we’re striving to get to, and that’s something that’s been going on for a long time since I’ve been a young kid in Pittsburgh.”

Haley’s dad, Dick, was the player personnel director for the Steelers and helped mold the team that became the standard of excellence in the NFL during the 1970s.

That’s what his son hopes to create in Kansas City.

Right now, I’d say he’s light years away – but after watching his team’s performance Sunday, I’d say he’s closer than any of us expected when the season began.