Haley spoke to his team before Wednesday's practice and, for inspiration, invoked two up-from-the-rubble teams: the 1989
"I was a little nervous before that talk," Haley conceded in a phone interview. "You have to organize your thoughts and talk it through pretty clearly when you're talking to them, especially about those Steelers, because you're talking about something that happened when these players were infants mostly."
The Chiefs, who won 10 games and the
"The Steelers feel like we do; they got trounced and they lost a player they really need," Haley said, referring to injured tackle
The Chiefs have to hit the road to face the up-and-coming Lions, who are fresh off beating the
Haley has a personal connection to both the '89 Steelers and '99 Jets. His father, Dick Haley, was the Steelers' longtime personnel director and was still with the franchise in '89 when the team lost its first two games, 51-0 at home and 41-10. The Steelers regrouped to finish 9-7 — with
"If you're not careful, a devastating loss can drag you down," Haley said. "The Steelers didn't let 51-0 do that to them."
Dwight Stone, a receiver from that Steelers team, called Haley this week with some words of encouragement. Stone also played for the '99 Jets — Haley was the receivers coach — when the Jets lost quarterback
That Jets team, Haley said, spent too much time trying to find the ideal replacement for Testaverde rather than trusting the player they had in backup quarterback
The way Haley sees it, losing Berry has the Chiefs in a similar situation.
"I don't think you can ever count on saying you're going to replace Eric Berry with the next Eric Berry," Haley said about the first Chiefs rookie to make the
"It has to be a collective effort to replace a guy who gives you that many snaps and that much production," Haley said. "But I think that's what good coaches are for. You have to find the solution."
"We had wanted all along Steve Smith back and that was the objective, that was the hope and the expectation," Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride said.
However, Gilbride said he feels good about Stokley "because he's an intelligent guy who has shown the quickness that you need …"
Stokley is also very familiar with Giants quarterback
Those are grizzled veterans compared with the quarterback the Packers will face Sunday in Carolina.