Tag:Todd Haley
Posted on: August 21, 2010 11:49 pm

Initial reports on Maurice Leggett positive

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Chiefs CB Maurice Leggett and his Kansas City teammates had a scary moment in the second half of Kansas City’s 20-15 loss to the Buccaneers. After helping bring down Tampa Bay’s RB Kareem Higgins, Leggett stayed on the turf for a lengthy period of time and had to be taken off the field by cart.

Chiefs Insider
Josh Looney tweeted that both teams held hands and prayed for him but that Leggett was moving his arms and legs.

Afterward, coach Todd Haley said Leggett would stay in Tampa for the night but that the initial tests on Leggett’s extremities were positive. Leggett is nothing more than a nickel back for the Chiefs, but perhaps his biggest value to the team comes on special teams.

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Posted on: August 18, 2010 9:38 am

Hot Routes 8.18.10: We're very persistent, man

Posted by Josh Katzowitz and Andy Benoit

Got links for the Hot Routes? Follow us on Twitter or send an email to josh [dot] katzowitz [at] cbsinteractive [dot] com.

-I love this quote from new Seattle DL Kentwan Balmer on what happened in San Francisco during the past week: “You’re very persistent, man.” No explanation was forthcoming, though the Seahawks seemed pretty impressed with Balmer after his first practice with his new team. Props to the AP reporter for being persistent, though.

-One intriguing storyline for Saturday’s Baltimore-Washington preseason game (you just have to manufacture these storylines for the preseason, eh?) is the return of Ravens quarterbacks coach Jim Zorn to face the team he used to coach. He insists it won’t be awkward .

-The Bengals cut last year’s fourth-round pick, C Jonathan Luigs. The move is a little surprising , because Luigs was the top center in college football while at Arkansas. He’s battled some injuries this offseason, but he played half the season on special teams last year. He wasn’t going to replace starter Kyle Cook, but he seemed like a decent-enough backup.

-Todd Haley was asked about his physical training camps . “It’s all I know,” Haley said. Why is this interesting (or, at least, sort of interesting)? Physical training camps are less and less popular these days. Haley has come under fire on more than one occasion for having a confrontational, perhaps even disrespectful, demeanor towards veteran players. All we know is this: Larry Johnson would disapprove. Not to mention Jerry Jones.

-Could Texans fourth-round rookie Darryl Sharpton really be challenging Xavier Adibi for a starting linebacker job while Brian Cushing is out? Apparently, so.

-The NFL Network forgot to blackout the Bengals-Broncos game for some lucky Northern Kentucky viewers . D’oh. Les Vann, the local CBS affiliate’s VP and GM was less than pleased. “I cannot imagine how the league would have reacted if we had a ‘communication error’ and failed to black out the game.”

-Eagles cornerback Asante Samuel has a hamstring injury, but it doesn’t sound like a big deal . He’s not practicing this morning, though.

-Browns right guard Floyd Womack (some call him “Pork Chop”) is out for the rest of the preseason after getting his knee scoped.

-A player sitting out practice because of tightness in the lower back normally isn’t a cause for major concern … unless that player is Packers DE Justin Harrell.

-Raiders defensive end Jay Richardson is expected to miss the rest of training camp after knee surgery.
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Posted on: August 7, 2010 5:20 pm

Jarrad Page's agent call Chiefs 'Vindictive'

Posted by Will Brinson

Jarrad Page is currently a restricted free agent with a unsigned tender offer from the Chiefs sitting out there, waiting for him. But given the recent comments from Page's agency, Front Page Sports Management, it seems pretty unlikely you'll see him in a KC uniform any time soon.

According to the Kansas City Star , FPSM sent the following email to a KC-area radio station (amongst other media outlets), detailing issues that the agency and its client have with the franchise.

“Beginning in the Pre-Season and continuing all year,” the e-mail read, “Coach Todd Haley mishandled Jarrad last season causing him to end up on IR. … There has been (trade) interest for Jarrad and the Chiefs are blocking legitimate trades. There’s been plenty of time to get a trade done and at this point, in our opinion, it’s clear that the Chiefs are being Vindictive.”

Those are pretty aggressive claims, obviously (even more aggressive is the Star 's use of the word "negligence," which is, legally speaking, quite stout verbiage).

The Chiefs' "blocking legitimate trades" isn't necessarily a concern: after all, what would be the precise context needed for a trade to be considered "legitimate"? Perhaps the Chiefs view Page as irreplaceable and not worth whatever's been hypothetically offered. In that case, the legitimacy of the trade would be 100% worthless.

Far more serious is the possibility that Haley "mishandled" Page. If it's at all possible to prove that in a court of law that Haley is indeed responsible for Page going on IR (and I, along with plenty of lawyers, probably have some doubts about that), then the Chiefs should at least be a little bit nervous.

As it is right now, though, it seems like a public relations ploy designed to get Page out of KC.

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Posted on: August 3, 2010 9:58 am

Cassel looking for a brighter tomorrow

M. Cassel is looking to build upon last year's tough season with Kansas City (Getty). It certainly wasn’t New England, and it certainly wasn’t what the Chiefs wanted. When Kansas City signed QB Matt Cassel – who was coming off a 10-5 year while replacing the injured Tom Brady – the Chiefs could have expected more than what they received from him. Namely, a 69.9 passer rating to go with 16 interceptions (along with 16 touchdowns and less than 3,000 yards passing) as the club went 4-12.

Not that it was all Cassel’s fault. Not that the talent Kansas City surrounded him with was very good.

The Kansas City Star profiles Cassel today and how he’s trying to build upon last year’s disaster of a season.

From the story:

But they worked in the offseason to surround him with better talent. Cassel has no such excuse for another mediocre season, something he seems to be aware of. Coach Todd Haley told the story of having to kick Cassel out of the practice facility in Kansas City on many nights in the offseason, Cassel often staying late at the office to study video.

“I worked and pushed myself hard physically and mentally this offseason,” Cassel said, “and I know I came into this camp as prepared as I’ve ever been to play well.”

The Chiefs didn’t do Cassel any favors when they fired offensive coordinator Chan Gailey in the preseason last year, and his receivers weren’t very good either, dropping pass after pass after pass.

Since then, though, Kansas City seems determined to help Cassel. Haley hired offensive coordinator Charlie Weis and the team added running back Thomas Jones and receivers Jerheme Urban and Dexter McCluster.

“You learn a lot from a season like that,” Cassel told the newspaper. “At the same time, we’ve turned the page as a team. We got back in April and started working for this year. This is a new season. This is a new team. We’ve got a lot of new coaches and we’re ready to move on.

“I’m more at ease with my surroundings, my teammates. I think they’re more comfortable with me. That’s a nice feeling to have that."

--Josh Katzowitz

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Posted on: July 27, 2010 3:51 pm

Will Todd Haley and Charlie Weis jive?

Todd Haley tried to give up play-calling duties to his offensive coordinator (Chan Gailey) last year, but the young head coach ultimately couldn’t resist the urge. Haley dismissed Gailey shortly before the season and took over the offense himself. (Good thing, too – Gailey’s power-run oriented system was a terrible fit for Kansas City’s personnel). T. Haley (US Presswire)

This year, Haley’s offensive coordinator is three-time Super Bowl champion play-caller Charlie Weis. The former Patriot offensive mastermind runs a system very similar to Haley’s. And, perhaps more importantly, very similar to the system quarterback Matt Cassel grew comfortable with in New England.

Today, Haley said on Sports Radio 810’s The Program that Weis would call the majority of the offensive plays in 2010. But you’ll notice he didn’t say “all of the plays”. That’s noteworthy. Haley and Weis are both known for their dominant personalities and brutal honesty. Weis was rarely – if ever – vetoed by Bill Belichick in New England. How will he react if Haley can’t resist the urge to overrule him on a key third down decision?

-- Andy Benoit

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Posted on: June 19, 2010 11:47 am

Matt Cassel in 2010

Would you believe Matt Cassel is the third-highest paid quarterback in football this season? Cassel is due to make $11.75 million of the $63 million contract ($28 million guaranteed) he signed a year ago. Cassel obviously did not live up to his paycheck in Year One with the Chiefs. He didn’t secure the full trust of Todd Haley during training camp, got hurt early in the regular season, looked anything but confident when playing from behind and even got benched for Brodie Croyle at one point.

Part of the problem was that Haley had fired offensive coordinator Chan Gailey less than two weeks before the season. And the Chiefs had no weapons in the passing game. Cassel finished the year with 16 touchdowns, 16 interceptions, 42 sacks and a completion percentage of 55. But in a recent phone interview with ESPN, Haley made a very valid point about his quarterback.

“We had 50-plus drops last season,” Haley said. “If those don’t happen, people would look at Cassel differently … If we get the improved offensive play around him that we hope to, I think people will feel better about Matt Cassel.”

Improved offensive line play is inevitable. Newly re-acquired center Casey Wiegmann is old but still a huge step up from Rudy Niswanger. Mike Goff was a major liability at right guard and has been replaced by underrated ex-Colt Ryan Lilja. A stable interior offensive line should not only provide a workable pocket, but also allow the Chiefs to run inside – which opens up play action passing – and aid the young offensive tackles.

Still, Cassel must get better at throwing with bodies around him. If he can do that, he’ll read the field and anticipate passing lanes (two things he didn’t do well in ’09). He’ll have a great teacher in new offensive coordinator Charlie Weiss. Weiss’s system is essentially the same as the one Cassel played in under Josh McDaniels in New England.

That comfort and familiarity will be critical for the quarterback in 2010. If Cassel thrives, the Chiefs have their building block. If he still doesn’t perform, the Chiefs have a problem.

--Andy Benoit

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