Tribal Voice Kansas City Chiefs Blog

In a strange turn of events, Kansas City Chiefs Head Coach Todd Haley abruptly told his team Tuesday he'll be cutting short the remaining OTA sessions. What's behind the sudden change?

I have an idea, because I've been hearing it all offseason from the players that will actually speak - they're gassed. They've never worked this hard in their entire lives. But to a man, they love the fact that they have a head coach and staff that is pushing them. The atmosphere is so different that I'm eager to get a closer, more inside look.

But that will have to be earned, and that's the mentality Haley has with his players. But he's been so pleased with the efforts of his team that they earned the rest of the week off.

Haley has been hard-nosed and on top of his players since the day he arrived. He's challenged them at every turn. It doesn't matter where you are - the weight room, the practice field, the locker room. Haley is demanding more out of the players and they are responding.

Tuesday's announcement doesn't come as a real shock because it's clear the Chiefs are a more focused group of players than they have been in the last six years. They aren't acting like a team that has won six games in two seasons.

And they certainly aren't acting like a team that will settle for finishing last in the AFC West.

The Chiefs are in the best shape of their collective careers at this point of the offseason. The Country Club Mentality is gone. Old players, young players, players with chips on their shoulders and something to prove are in unison.

Privately, some may be grumbling, but not outwardly, and my guess would be only a handful of players feel that way. Right now Haley owns the players and has earned the respect of the locker room.

His gesture today rewarded the team for their hard work the last three months. It wasn't without meaning, because the Chiefs understand now that if they buy into the new regime, hard work will pay off and be appreciated.

That's been lacking the last 10 years in Kansas City. The players have gone from long practice sessions under Marty Schottenheimer, Gunther Cunningham and Dick Vermeil, to shorter and less challenging sessions under Herm Edwards.

Now they're back to grueling practices that are geared to getting the most out of the players in a precise and regimented routine.

I've said it in the past - initially I was not high on the Haley. But you have to love his attitude and the way he conducts himself at press conferences. There's no lip service, just deadpan honesty. If Haley's ability to coach is anything close to his ability to gain control of his players, perhaps the Chiefs can surprise people this year.


Congrats to Carl Peterson

It's good to see that former Kansas City Chiefs General Manager Carl Peterson is back at work. Tuesday he was named Chairman of USA Football.

The group was formerly run by the late Jack Kemp, so Peterson is filling some big shoes. The NFL has had a solid tradition of giving back to the community and Youth football is one way.

Though it's a non-profit organization there might not be a better man to run it than Peterson. After spending some time with him this past week and I can tell you he's a different man when his daily life is not consumed by the NFL.

He's as relaxed and content as I've ever seen him and clearly is looking forward to carrying on Kemp's legacy. Knowing Peterson, he'll dive right into this and bring youth football to a new level in this country. But I doubt we've seen the last of Carl Peterson in the NFL.


Donte Stallworth Is Lucky

The debate will rage as to whether he received preferential treatment or not. But at least Donte Stallworth didn't hide from the tragedy that cost the life of 59-year old Mario Reyes. Tuesday he pled guilty to DUI Manslaughter, received a 30-day jail sentence and made restitution to the Reyes family. Money can't bring someone back, but with an abundance of wealth in his own life, Stallworth did the right thing.

He'll be on House Arrest for two seasons and must do 1,000 hours of community service. Hopefully those 30 days define the rest of his life - forget his career with the Cleveland Browns. What's important is that he learn from this tragedy. It would be nice if Stallworth became a spokesperson for drinking and driving - especially at 7:00 AM!!!

Stallworth avoided 15 years of prison that could have ruined his life. Now he can do something truly beneficial for himself and others that will surpass any NFL legacy.

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