Chiefs LB Tamba Hali questions team’s leaders, playing time

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Chiefs dramatic offseason took another hairpin turn days before the opening of training camp with defensive end Tamba Hali questioning his playing time and the team’s player leadership in a series of tweets and an appearance on a podcast.

Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Tamba Hali joined his teammates for practice the first during the preseason at the team’s facility in Kansas City, Mo. (Photo: Matt Derrick,

“I think it’s important, especially if you’re on our team and you’re one of our leaders, that you should always be there,” Hali said during an interview on the Arrowheads Abroad Podcast posted Saturday.

Hali declined to name any specific teammates. His comments appear to refer to safety Eric Berry and linebacker Justin Houston, both of whom missed the team’s offseason training activities and workouts before attending the club’s mandatory minicamp in June.

Cornerback Marcus Peters also skipped OTAs but attended the minicamp. Linebacker Dee Ford missed a portion of of OTAs before returning for minicamp.

Hali said he had not missed any offseason workouts in 12 seasons with the Chiefs. Hali did not participate in drills during OTA practices open to the media but did attend the sessions, often working with his younger teammates.

“Whoever is on our team expected to be a leader, we need those guys there,” Hali said. “Because the younger guys there come in and see these guys and say, ‘Well, I want to be like him. He’s here, he has a lot of money. But he’s here and he’s working with the team.’ It builds such chemistry for our team.”

Hali said it hurt his feelings that some players did not attend offseason workouts. He believes players working on their own undermines the team’s chemistry.

“I understand it’s a business but as far as football goes, when we’re on the field there is no business,” Hali said. “The business is to kick ass.”

Hali pointed toward the last two playoff runs as an indication the team can win a Super Bowl.

“I feel we have the team to do it,” Hali said “It’s just some of our leaders just need to step up to the plate and grab this thing by the horns so we can go.”

Following the podcast, Hali expressed similar sentiments in a serious of tweets. He also expressed concerns about his playing time last season, particularly late in the year and in the playoffs.

“I haven’t missed any off-season workouts in 11 years w/the Chiefs,” Hali tweeted. “I’ve played in every game except four in my 11 year career with Chiefs.

“Let’s look at the Super Bowl champs I am sure they had 100% attendance for OTAS AND OFFFSEASON WORKOUT this year. I maybe wrong,” he added.”

Hali played just seven snaps against the Pittsburgh Steelers in last year’s divisional playoff game. He saw his playing time diminish later in the season.

“I was told the reason I wasn’t playing was they wanted me fresh for the playoff,” Hali tweeted.

Despite venting his frustrations, the veteran went on to say he believes the team can win in the postseason this year.

“Our team is very stacked,” Hali said.

“I love the game and I want to win a championship,” Hali said on the podcast about continuing to play the game at age 33. “Especially being with the Chiefs for so long. I feel like we’re so close.”

He pointed toward the return of a healthy Justin Houston helping toward the goal of bringing a Super Bowl championship to Kansas City.

“He’s a monster,” Hali said. “To have him, to have Dee Ford, the combination of speed and power with those guys, and then to have the old veteran like me who can beat you with these parts, I’m sorry, I think a lot of teams have to come in with good game plans. Our guys are hungry.”

I was told the reason I wasn’t playing was they wanted me fresh for the playoff.

watching both Steelers game from sideline and playing 15 and 7 in the last game I’m still lost. Am I needed in KC anymore?

I haven’t missed any off-season workouts in 11 years w/the Chiefs. I’ve played in every game except four in my 11 year career with Chiefs.

I’m a team player first. Anything for the team. Yet I’m not done knocking QB heads off but 7 plays won’t cut it.

I play because I love the game and did it under some of the worst conditions.

No I’m not high or drunk I just want to play more football.

So people are curious if I’m holding out or got cut. No to both. I want to play more.


Matt Derrick is the lead beat writer for Use the contact page to reach him or find him on Twitter: @MattDerrick.