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Examiner
  • Althaus: Haley’s exit symbolic of messy season

  • Maybe the Kansas City Chiefs did me a big favor by refusing season credentials to The Examiner this season – after I had missed just five home games over the past 35 years.

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  • Maybe the Kansas City Chiefs did me a big favor by refusing season credentials to The Examiner this season – after I had missed just five home games over the past 35 years.
    It spared me the agonizing process of watching a team and its head coach implode right before our eyes.
    While the fans will continue to suffer, the Chiefs put coach Todd Haley out of his misery early Monday morning by giving him his walking papers.
    He was an embarrassment on the sidelines in Sunday’s 38-10 loss at New York, where he was flagged for an unsportsmanlike penalty as his team self-destructed against the Jets in yet another humiliating loss.
    While it’s easy to can the coach, this team’s troubles go much deeper than Todd Haley.
    Injuries to key players like Jamaal Charles, Eric Berry, Tony Moeaki and Matt Cassel seemed to doom Haley from the start. How can a general manager with the pedigree of Scott Pioli piece together a team with no backups at key positions?
    Sunday, the Chiefs had four yards rushing the first half against the Jets and quarterback Tyler Palko’s 15 passing yards reminded me of the good ol‘ days when the Chiefs defense forced Ryan Leaf to suffer through a similar performance at Arrowhead Stadium.
    Now that Haley’s gone will the Chiefs begin yet another rebuilding year? What can this team possibly say to its fans to encourage them to renew their season tickets for 2012?
    What fans are experiencing every Sunday must make them long for the days of Carl Peterson and Marty Schottenheimer.
    They never won the big one – although they came close with Joe Montana and Co. in 1993 – but at least they didn’t embarrass themselves on a weekly basis.
    And now, it appears that someone with the Chiefs was tired of the embarrassment, too.
    In a statement issued by the Chiefs Monday, Clark Hunt, the team chairman and CEO said, “This was a difficult decision but one that we feel is best for the future of the Chiefs. Although there have been bright spots at different points this season, we have not made meaningful progress and we felt that it was necessary to make a change. We appreciate Todd’s contributions during his time with the club, and we wish him well in the future.”
    Pioli also issued a statement: “Todd helped this team in many valuable ways over the past three seasons, and I am thankful for his contributions. Unfortunately, we have not been able to establish the kind of consistency we need to continue to build a strong foundation for the future and we believe a change is important at this time.”
    The Chiefs were 19-27 with Haley at the helm. Last season they won the AFC West championship and he was honored by the 101 Club as the AFC Coach of the Year.
    Page 2 of 2 - When a coach is fired in the middle of a season, that might signal a sense of urgency, with a touch of panic.
    If that’s the case, let’s hope the next hire helps the team re-establish those glory years that seem like such a distant memory.

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