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“Instead, the Chiefs lost linebacker Brandon Siler to a torn Achilles in camp, and starting tight end Tony Moeaki went down with a torn knee ligament in their preseason finale. Pro Bowl safety Eric Berry sustained the same injury in Week 1 against Buffalo, and All-Pro running back Jamaal Charles tore a ligament in his left knee the following week at Detroit. After three lopsided losses to start the season, Kansas City rattled off four straight wins and briefly pulled into a tie atop the division. But that was followed by a home loss to previously winless Miami, the start of a disastrous six weeks in which the losses mounted and Cassel landed on injured reserve with a broken bone in his throwing hand. Journeyman quarterback Tyler Palko has started the past four games, leading the offense to just two touchdowns -- one of which came on a desperation heave against the Bears two weeks ago. "We've had one of those years where we've had injuries, and injuries to key players, but that's typical in the National Football League," Hunt said. "As a team you have to find a way to overcome that and we just weren't able to do that this year. Our play was up and down the entire season and at times it was up and down during a given game, and I think those contributed to our decision." Besides the lousy performance on the field, it was no secret there was friction between Pioli and Haley, although the GM insisted Monday that they had "a good working relationship." Pioli has said he values consistency in an organization, and that he's used the Steelers as a reference point for building the Chiefs. But his decision to part with Haley was just the second in-season firing of a head coach in franchise history -- Paul Wiggins was fired after seven games during the 1977 season -- and leaves the team in tumult with three games remaining. "We went to the playoffs last year. I mean, that has to mean something," running back Jackie Battle said. "The season didn't go the way we wanted this year, but he's proven he can win in the league. I don't know if it's fair or not, but it's part of the business."
I don't perceive Todd Haley as a mistake. Todd Haley is a good football coach. I'll say that. What we need to do is figure out what direction we're headed in and how we're going to continue to make progress, how we can get some consistency back.” -- Chiefs GM Scott Pioli
|A rash of injuries on both sides of the ball couldn't save Todd Haley. The Chiefs fired Haley Monday.|