Matt Cassel reveals the pettiest Todd Haley head-coaching story of all time

Matt Cassel, Todd Haley, Kansas City Chiefs. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Matt Cassel, Todd Haley, Kansas City Chiefs. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /

Your mind will be blown after hearing what Matt Cassel has to say about Todd Haley.

Get ready for the pettiest story you will ever hear, coming from Matt Cassel about Todd Haley.

During the pregame of the New England PatriotsMonday Night Football game vs. the New York Jets on NBC Sports Boston, the journeyman quarterback turned analyst Cassel gave us a tale that is the epitome of stranger than fiction. When Cassel was a Pro Bowler for the 2010 Kansas City Chiefs, he experienced unbelievable pettiness out of his former head coach Haley in Week 16.

I am seriously warning you to prepare for your mind to never be the same again after hearing this.

“The man was NUTS on game day.” – Matt Cassel on his former coach Todd Haley

Cassel says Haley was the most animated head coach he ever played for. In Week 16 vs. the Tennessee Titans, the Jeff Fisher-led team was dead-set on running the blitz repeatedly. It was a clear max-pressure situation, so Cassel checked out of it to a passing play with the blessing from offensive coordinator Charlie Weis. Apparently, Haley was not having any of that whatsoever.

Haley was screaming at Cassel every time he checked out of a running play when the Chiefs’ offense was clearly going up against max pressure. This apparently happened throughout the first half. Then in the third quarter, Cassel offered a snide comment of “Oh, Todd. Like you ever played the position.” This is exactly when things fell out of the frying pan and into the fire. Get ready, y’all.

So at the end of the third quarter, a game where the Chiefs can earn first place in the AFC West divisional race, Haley benches Cassel in favor of backup quarterback Brodie Croyle. Since Cassel was a captain on this team, he just went back out there against his head coach’s wishes. When Croyle finally got in there, he threw a pick two plays in. All the chiefs were now big mad at Haley.

While Haley refused to let Cassel play the rest of the game, Cassel felt it was his obligation as team captain to keep on playing. What is even crazier is Haley was unwilling to give Cassel a play call in his helmet. So Cassel was calling plays by himself in the fourth quarter without any help from his head coach whatsoever. Regardless, Cassel would orchestrate another touchdown drive.

Though the Chiefs would beat the Titans 34-14 in Week 16 to help Kansas City win the AFC West, they would not win a game the rest of the year. Kansas City got blown out by the then-Oakland Raiders in Week 17 by the score of 31-10. Oakland actually went 6-0 in divisional play that year. In the AFC Wild Card round, the Chiefs were blown out by the Baltimore Ravens to the tune of 30-7.

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Haley went 5-8 in his last year with the Chiefs in 2011 before getting fired mid-season. He would go on to serve as the Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator from 2012 to 2017 before a brief stint with the 2018 Cleveland Browns in the same role. Though he has success as a coordinator in Pittsburgh, Week 16 in 2010 vs. Tennessee was the beginning of the end for him in Kansas City.

Congratulations on surviving the craziest and pettiest coaching story you will ever hear in your life.