Letter to Kansas City Coach Todd Haley: Stop With the Onsides Kicks Already!

James AdkinsCorrespondent IIOctober 16, 2010

KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 26: Dexter McCluster #22 of the Kansas City Chiefs runs downfield with a 31-yard touchdown reception against the San Francisco 49ers at Arrowhead Stadium on September 26, 2010 in Kansas City, Missouri. The Chiefs won 31-10. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images
Last week, Kansas City Chiefs head coach Todd Haley told his players before the game that if they lost the opening coin toss and the Indianapolis Colts chose to receive, that his team would try an onside kick to start the game.
The Colts won the toss and took the ball, and kicker Ryan Succop executed the daring play-call to open the game. While the onside kick caught Colts completely off guard, Succop’s kick dribbled short of the required 10 yards, and the Colts got the football on a short field. Nine plays and a 20-yd field goal later, the Colts had an early 3-0 lead.

Now the obvious upside that Haley was shooting for was to steal the opening kickoff and set up his offense with a short field. But what happened instead was that he immediately put the backs of his defense up against a wall.

The Chiefs coverage units on special teams have been outstanding this season. They are the best in the league covering kickoffs, allowing just 14.5 yds per kickoff return and rank third in opponents punt return average at 4.2 yds per return.

So against the Texans, if Houston should happen to win the toss and take the ball, hopefully Haley will just let Succop kick the ball deep on Sunday and let Terrance Copper and Demorrio Williams fly down the field and set the tone by hitting the Texans returners right in the mouth at the 15-yard line.
If Haley does choose to just kick the ball off, then the Texans will have to punt the ball to the likes of Javier Arenas and Dexter McCluster, who have already shown that even if they don’t take it back for a touchdown, they will give the offense great field position.