The NFL notebook …
KANSAS CITY, Mo. ó Herm Edwards was the kind of coach who would put his arm around players walking through the locker room.
Todd Haley takes a little different tack.
Fiery and blunt, Kansas City’s first-year coach is using his no-nonsense approach to try to change a losing culture that’s bogged the Chiefs down the past two seasons. After the team completed offseason practices under Haley this week, it’s clear everything ó from the workouts to the attitude ó is going to be different around Arrowhead.
Call Haley the anti-Herm.
“It’s been like night and day,” fullback Mike Cox said.
Haley’s demanding coaching style traces back to his days as an assistant under Bill Parcells with the New York Jets and Dallas Cowboys. The Tuna berated his young assistant, showing no sympathy. He even made Haley run laps after one foul-up.
Now, Haley has become a sort of mini-Tuna, shouting at his players, not allowing any excuses or distractions.
“The No. 1 thing has to be football for all these guys,” Haley said. “That’s been made clear to every player on this team.”
Haley isn’t always a hothead. But he plays one on TV.
One of the enduring images from the NFC Championship Game was of Haley calling a string of excellent plays against Philadelphia while angrily arguing with receiver Anquan Boldin, who pulled off his helmet and was briefly restrained by teammates.
“That changed everything for me,” Haley said of the oft-replayed exchange. “I couldn’t go anywhere in Phoenix after that. I used to be able to hide against the wall, but then everybody knew me all of a sudden.”
And, hey, Haley made the right calls ó against a Philadelphia defense designed by the outstanding Jim Johnson, no less ó and the Cardinals wound up winning.
“Here I’m trying to call plays to win a championship and I’ve got somebody yapping behind me,” Haley recalled. “It took us to the Super Bowl, and then all of a sudden it became the perception of, `What’s this player doing? Is he an idiot? This coach is trying to call plays.’ ”
SAN DIEGO ó San Diego has signed fifth-round draft pick Brandon Hughes to a four-year deal.
Hughes, a cornerback from Oregon State, is the first member of the 2009 draft class to sign. He played for former Chargers coach Mike Riley and finished his college career with 178 tackles and three interceptions.
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