Andy Reid sees passion in Tamba Hali’s critiques

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Chiefs linebacker Tamba Hali unleashed a commentary on his playing time last season and the team’s veteran leadership over the weekend but where some found fault in the veteran’s message, coach Andy Reid saw passion for his teammates and football.

Aug. 18, 2015; St. Joseph, MO; Chiefs outside linebackers Tamba Hali (91) and Justin Houston (50) during training camp at Missouri Western State University. (Emily DeShazer/The Topeka Capital-Journal)

“The one thing you love about Tamba is he loves to play,” Reid said. “Do I love the fact that he wants to play? Yeah. He’s going to be 50 years old and probably still tweeting out those things that he wants to get in his plays.”

Hali, in a series of Twitter posts and during an interview on the Arrowheads Abroad podcast, fired off a series of comments about his playing time in January’s playoff loss to the Steelers.

“Fans should know this,” Hali posted on Twitter. “Only played 7 snaps last year 2017 playoff game against the Steelers.”

Hali followed with another Tweet indicating the team’s logic.

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

Reid declined to get into the specifics of the decision to play the 12-year veteran just seven snaps against the Steelers.

“As coaches, we have to make that decision,” Reid said. “We make a decision that if he plays seven plays or 27 plays or 47 plays. That’s what we do. Is a player always going to be happy about it? No, that’s not how it works.”

Hali also took issue with teammates who did not take part in the club’s full offseason program. He declined to name any players specifically but Eric Berry, Justin Houston and Marcus Peters only took part in the mandatory team minicamp in June.

“Whoever is on our team expected to be a leader, we need those guys there,” Hali said on the podcast. “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.”

Reid stressed, once again, that offseason workouts remain voluntary.

“Tamba sounded like an angry coach there,” Reid said.

As much as Reid said he would love his entire team involved in offseason work outs, he understands that some players will bow out.

“They understand that, and every team goes through this,” Reid said. “Every team, there are guys there and not there because of the voluntary part of that. That’s the rule and that’s what it is and we go through it.”

Reid’s found the only fault in Hali’s message in the medium.

“Will I talk to him when he gets here?” Reid rhetorically asked. “Yeah, we do not want to do it through the social media part of it. Let’s just talk about it If you have a problem let’s talk about it.”

Reid likened Hali’s comments to a family dispute. Hali’s leadership and tenure on the team give him a voice that resonates among his teammates. When the full Chiefs roster arrives for camp later this week, Reid expects a quick resolution.

“That’ll all work out when they get here,” Reid said. “Those guys have played together forever. He’s like the big brother of the group and does all that stuff.

“We don’t need to do that, obviously, I’m not condoning it. I’ll get all that when they get here. I don’t see that as a big deal.”


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