Warpaint Illustrated: Wake up call

By Nick Athan
November 18, 2010

Kansas City Chiefs head coach Todd Haley hasn�t had the best of weeks.� He suffered a blowout loss at Denver, then had to deal with �Snub Gate� and now has to prepare to face his old team, the Arizona Cardinals, at home on Sunday. �

If there was a silver lining in last weekend�s drubbing, the loss at Denver appears to have awakened the Kansas City coaching staff.

In the Chiefs first seven games, the team was competitive and there wasn�t a hint of a blowout this season.� That�s a huge improvement from a year ago.� In 2009, the team lost four games by 14 points or more.� On Sunday, the Broncos beat them by 20 points. �

To avoid losing their third game in a row, Haley and his coaching staff have to make some changes.

�As a coaching staff we have to get back to the mindset that was allowing us to compete and to be in games.� We were in games until last week.� That really was the wake up call game,� Haley said.

�We can prevent those games from happening as long as we�re doing the things that don�t allow that to happen.�

In coach speak, that means the team has to get back to the basics and redefine their approach to the fundamentals that Haley has stressed since day one of training camp. �

And that means, as Haley stated in his press conference Wednesday, his players might be in full pads three times this week. After the bye week when the team was preparing to face the Indianapolis Colts, Haley went from two days of pads to three.� �

Though he didn�t say that would be the case again this week, one could assume that the players will be in full pads on Friday. But that�s just half of the dilemma facing the Chiefs head coach. �

As the season wears on and more teams see film on you and vice versa, coaches have to take extra time to break down film so you can identify areas that need to be corrected.� It also means that if there is a weakness that�s developing on your team or your opponents, you have to be willing to make adjustments.

�The process and the evolution on the season you get more information on teams and you have to adjust.� And I think the teams that make the most adjustments, have the most success,� he says.

After losing two games in a row, the adjustments that Haley makes this week could be the overriding factor that puts the Chiefs back on the winning track. �

Chiefs Notes

Tight End Tony Moeaki, who appeared to suffer a head injury in the Broncos game, didn�t practice on Wednesday.� It�s unsure if he�ll be able to play Sunday.� Local reporters asked Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel about the availability of his rookie tight end, and though he wouldn�t indicate one way or another if he would be able to play Sunday, his body language suggested Moeaki wouldn�t be available.

With one rookie likely out, another is ready to return. Safety Kendrick Lewis appears fully recovered from a strained Achilles heal.� The Chiefs deep secondary was woeful against the Broncos. If healthy, Lewis has the type of speed that can keep up with Cardinals All-Pro receiver Larry Fitzgerald.