His agenda was to get out of the game with all of his players in good health. He did that. It was a game in which he could rest his starters and free agent acquisitions another week before debuting them on a stage that didn't include a nationally televised football audience.
He did that too.
So what's next?
On Sunday the Kansas City Chiefs get back to work. They'll enter the final four days of training camp or conditioning or whatever they call what the fans and the media have been forced to witness since July 29th up in St. Joe.
All we can hope as fans is that the Chiefs get down to business this week. The goal of the preseason is to evaluate but what did any of the coaches really learn about their players. And I'm not sure much of anything was gained from Friday night's scrimmage.
But with that ugly game behind us, it's clear this football is approaching the time in August when the head coach needs to start worrying about the first four games on the Chiefs 2011 schedule.
Haley doesn't have the time to tinker with the depth chart or worry about which superstars aren't going to live up to their contracts this season or which rookies can step up, like they did a year ago, to help this team defend its AFC West Title.
Instead he has to focus on the Buffalo Bills, Detroit Lions, San Diego Chargers and Minnesota Vikings. Because its during this period right now that begins four weeks from today, that the Kansas City Chiefs and their head coach must focus all of their energy on winning that first quarter of the season.
After watching the four AFC West teams the last several days, it's clear the Chiefs had the worst showing of their division rivals. I'm not talking about wins or losses. But to be blanked at home in your first preseason game, doesn't sit well with me.
Still I'm going to give Haley a mulligan and hope that he doesn't even bother to review Friday night's video replay. Instead he should simply open up the incinerator and burn the Tampa Bay game film.
When the team hits the practice field today, he has to settle on all of his starters and get them ready for opening day. Then he needs to settle the back-ups and virtually decide the best 53 man roster he can assemble right now.
Sure he should leave some wiggle room if, General Manager Scott Pioli, adds a few more veterans to the roster. But for the most part everything has to be set in motion that determine which 11 men on offense and defense will start. And for the players behind them, who falls in line next should one of them get injured.
With four weeks to go until the home opener against the Bills, there isn't time to play the mental games that some head coaches like to do. They can't even joke with the media about the depth chart or anything else. In fact, Haley shouldn't even say much to the media because we're just going to spin it our way anyway.
Instead Haley needs to have a singular focus on the business at hand. And for those that need reminding, it's winning football games.
Right now every practice matters and the more reps the starters can get with each other, even in the purest and simplest of drills, could have an impact in the first quarter of the regular season.
There just isn't time to do it any other way.
As we witnessed on Friday night, many of the players in the second half were guys that are going to comprise the back end of the Chiefs roster. Now not many, if any of them will be starters, but some have a place on the Chiefs 53-man roster.
So my advise to Haley, and last time I checked he wasn't asking for it, will be to take each week left of practice getting his starters ready for battle on September 11th. Thus he needs to leave the back-ups to the assistant coaches and any roster decisions in the hands of Pioli.
In my view, that's the only way the Chiefs are going to ascend in 2011 rather than descend, which appears to be the sentiment by many in the national media.
The Chiefs are young, mentally strong and have a good leader in Haley. They have a balanced roster of diaper dandies and wily veterans who comprise a roster than can win this division again. ?
The problem is that they haven't had the chance to play with each other yet in a live game. Going forward that has to be modus operandi for their next preseason game versus the Baltimore Ravens and the two that follow.
If not, and Haley continues the same approach he did against the Bucs, this Chiefs team isn't going to be ready a month from now.
It's been a brutal offseason for everyone involved with the NFL. And the Chiefs, like the other 31 teams in the league, are facing the same dilemmas on different fronts that could spin any football team out of control.
To prevent that from happening in Kansas City, Haley is going to have to make all the right moves.
And that begins Sunday in St. Joe.
WARPAINT ILLUSTRATED MESSAGE BOARDS:
Pretty or not it was just a meaningless preseason game.
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