Let's face it Chiefs fans, we could argue the list of areas in which the Kansas City Chiefs need to improve upon for 2010 until we are all red in the face. The debates could vary in topic as widely as the sentiments for the recent draft class of the Chiefs. There are ultra-optimistic homers who minimize our glaring weaknesses that were ignored in the draft, and the ultimate glass half-empty fair-weather "fans" who swears nothing will ever improve unless we bring back Marty Schottenheimer. Don't laugh, they are out there.
Our wish list for 2010 could be comprised of improved play-calling, more consistent play from quarterback Matt Cassel, a hint of pass protection from the offensive line, fewer dropped balls by receivers; and that's just one side of the ball. We could dream of a penetrating pass rush, linebackers who could actually make a solo tackle, and safeties who would provide a presence in the middle of the field and prevent the big play.
Come to think of it, about the only thing we couldn't ask for in means of an upgrade is our kicker and punter, and on paper, a potentially lethal one-two punch in the ground game.
The time for excuses is running out. We have a full coaching staff on board with pedigrees of gold. The Chiefs have placed an obvious priority upon leadership from the choices of their coaching staff to their selections in this year's draft. Learning the "program" and "buying in" to the philosophy - please. This isn't college football.
These men are professionals, each chosen to be part of the Kansas City Chiefs. With two draft classes in the books and one of the highest rates of roster turnover in the NFL over the past two seasons, the bed is made. This is OUR team. And the men responsible for this team have to start taking ownership of that.
Which leads me to the point of this article. I watched several games last season in the presence of Chiefs fans and opponents alike. I don't know if I have enough digits on my body to count the number of times I was completely ashamed and embarrassed by the unprofessional conduct of our head coach.
The men coach Todd Haley is attempting to lead are expected to play smart and hard for a cause greater than themselves, one requiring respect and trust in one another and selflessness on the field.
Interesting. In his first season with the Chiefs, Haley's barking and pointing, cursing and screaming managed to belittle these professional athletes on national television, tearing away any sense of pride these men could have after struggling through consecutive horrible seasons. I hardly can fathom his antics as demonstrations of leadership.
I would hope the man takes a good hard look in the mirror as the Chiefs approach the 2010 campaign. The change which might help the Chiefs most is a grown up, more confident, and less visible coach Haley. It is time for coach Haley to become a leader and less of a finger pointer.