Haley Silent As Chiefs Send LJ Home

As he did Monday, Chiefs' head coach Todd Haley declined to field questions from the media about Larry Johnson's controversial behavior during Tuesday's press conference, citing the Chiefs' and the NFL's ongoing investigation into the matter.

After Johnson's agent confirmed his client was responsible for the comments on his Twitter page Sunday evening, and an apology was issued Tuesday, it's clear the investigation doesn't revolve around whether or not Johnson did in fact make the comments. So what could the Chiefs and the NFL be "investigating?"

"When a further statement is made by the club or the league, I think you'll have a little more insight," said Haley. "Again, I appreciate the concern and attention."

The only logical explanation for an investigation would be the involvement of legal aid. The Chiefs, and the NFL, could be consulting with lawyers over how to handle the situation, and finding out exactly what their options are.

Did Johnson somehow breach his contract with his Twitter statements and locker-room comment? Can the Chiefs try to reclaim money from Johnson if he is released? Can the NFL or the team legally suspend him for making legal, yet inflammatory remarks? What will the NFLPA's next move be if Johnson is indeed cut, fined, or suspended? All these factors will heavily weigh into Clark Hunt and Roger Goodell's decision.

Johnson was not at KC's practice facility Tuesday, as the Chiefs have "instructed" him to refrain from practicing or participating in other team functions while the situation is still under investigation. Monday, Johnson said he'd talk to the media Thursday, as he usually does. However, Haley was unable to confirm or deny whether Johnson would be addressing the media Thursday. Players will be released after practice Thursday for the bye weekend. If Johnson doesn't address the media by then, he may not until next Monday, if at all.

Haley did not indicate if he had spoken with or been apologized to by Johnson the last two days.

"I keep all my conversations with the players private," he said.

Haley also did not say if he had addressed his team in regards to the situation.

The LJ turmoil comes at a good time for the Chiefs with the bye week approaching. If Johnson is released or suspended, they'll have more time to prepare Jamaal Charles and/or get Kolby Smith healthy for their next game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

"I've said from the start that running back is a position of strength for us," said Haley. "Kolby Smith has had a tough go here. This is coming up on 12 months for him, and I like the guy, I really do. I like the way he works, I like his attitude, I like his character. From what I can tell, he comes from good bloodlines. His cousin is Mike Brown, one of my favorite players, so I like a lot about Kolby and I hope it works out for him because I think he'd be a big asset for us."

"Jamaal has showed signs that he's starting to get it. You're averaging 8.3 yards per carry, in limited carries obviously, but you know, he's doing things. Every game he's starting to show up, and he's showing up to us in the meeting rooms, out in the practice field, so I'm excited about, as I've said right from the start, how this running back's going to turn out."

Is it possible the LJ situation could be a blessing in disguise? There have been rumblings all season that perhaps Charles would be better suited as KC's primary runner. The distraction could also prove to be a teaching point for Haley's young team.

"It's all part of the process," he said. "This is, I knew, a big job coming into when I was offered the job, not something I took lightly. Obviously, if a team's won six games in two years to a job you're coming into, you know there's a lot of broken parts probably, and it's probably not just bad luck."

"I think it's all part of the process, and I've said a number of times what I expect out of the team, that I want, first and foremost, a mentally tough team, and this will be part of that hardening. I think having to learn how to, no different than last week, me saying going out and practicing in the rain and the cold, those are all steps you take as a coach to get your team mentally hardened, where things eventually don't bother them."

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