Kansas City Chiefs

Chiefs' brass happy with Haley's work

KANSAS CITY, Mo. —Coach Todd Haley will be moving into the final year of his contract next year, and while general manager Scott Pioli wouldn't say whether the Chiefs would extend his contract, his comments seemed to indicate they would.

Pioli praised Haley on Monday.

"I think he's doing a good job of growing into the job," Pioli said. "He's adjusted well to changes in personnel, changes in roster. He's adjusted well to staff changes. This team has continued to evolve and continued to develop. Players have developed well. That's Todd and the whole coaching staff."

Echoing comments made recently by Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt, Pioli also said he has a good relationship with Haley.

"I think it's a good working relationship. I really do," Pioli said. "We're both focused on the same thing, which is winning football games."

Asked whether they work well enough together to allow the Chiefs to win a Super Bowl, Pioli said yes.

"Absolutely," Pioli said. "We talk often. Our approach hasn't changed in terms of the way and the amount of communication from two years ago, a year ago. It's the same. It hasn't changed in terms of the volume or anything else."

Pioli said he meets with Haley regularly during the season to discuss roster needs for upcoming games. The 4-4 Chiefs are tied for first place with Oakland and San Diego in the AFC West and play the 3-5 Broncos on Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium.

"We make sure we have solid communication, particularly right after a game, the Monday and the Tuesday," Pioli said. "We evaluate performance and where we're at as far as health and where we are for the upcoming game. We'll talk about the game plan for the upcoming game and then what we're going to do as far as roster makeup."

The Chiefs have a regular-season record of 18-22 halfway through Haley's third season. They finished 4-12 in 2009, his first year with the Chiefs, and then last season went 10-6 and won their first division title in seven years.

This year, the Chiefs started 0-3, losing their first two games by a combined 79 points. By the time they finished their second game of the season, a 48-3 defeat at Detroit, the Chiefs had lost safety Eric Berry, running back Jamaal Charles and tight end Tony Moeaki for the year with knee injuries.

But the Chiefs rallied to win four straight games before falling to 4-4 with Sunday's 31-3 loss to previously winless Miami.

Pioli indicated he wasn't tempted to fire Haley or otherwise get discouraged when the Chiefs started the season so poorly.

"I didn't think that was who we were when we were 0-2, and that's why I'm not surprised when we were able to continue to improve and begin to play good football," Pioli said. "What you don't want to do is get caught up in the dramatic swing of any one game or two games. I don't think you can evaluate that small a portion of the season. That's one-eighth of the season.

"I believe we have a good football team and a good coaching staff. We have a good, young football team that is continuing to develop."

Haley, at his news conference Monday, called the first half of the season "adventurous" for the Chiefs. They've been outscored by 70 points even though they've won as many games as they've lost.

"It's been a different set of encyclopedias from the start," the coach said. "Everybody's had the same challenges, with the lack of offseason and some of those things. I think it has led to a unique year thus far. I said that in training camp, that I thought it would be a wild ride, and it hasn't disappointed."

Haley said he hoped the Chiefs' performances would be more even over the season's second half. Including the game against Miami, the Chiefs have lost three games by four or more touchdowns.

"Consistency is the key to being a good team or a great team," Haley said. "Very rarely do you see a team that's inconsistent be one of the last teams standing. Consistency is going to be one of those things that we're really going to work hard on in all areas.

"We've got a team that's still developing and still getting better and is still a work in progress. I'm excited about these guys."