On Saturday afternoon, less than a week before the start of training camp for the Chiefs, linebacker Tamba Hali aired his grievances for all of the world to see — on Twitter.
Hali took to social media to state that he believes he should have played more than seven snaps in the NFL Divisional Round of the playoffs against the Pittsburgh Steelers last season.
Chiefs coach Andy Reid has always loved the personality and passion a player like Hali brings to the table, but in this instance, he was not pleased with the means of delivery.
“We don’t want him to do it through the social media part and all that,” Reid said at Monday’s news conference on the campus of Missouri Western State University. “Let’s just talk about it.
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“If you have a problem, let’s talk about it.”
Hali, 33, has spent his entire 11-year NFL career in Kansas City, appearing in 172 of a possible 176 games during that span.
But over the past two seasons, Hali’s age and inability to stay fully healthy have caught up with him. In 2016, he started just two games and recorded only 3 1/2 sacks, the second-fewest of his career.
Yet over the weekend, Hali made it clear that he believes he should play more this season.
“The one thing you love about Tamba is that he loves to play,” Reid said. “I mean, that’s the one thing. I can’t tell you he’s getting any younger, I can’t tell you that. I do love the fact that he bugs on you that he wants to play.
“As coaches, we have to make that decision. And so, when we make the decision that he plays seven plays or 27 plays or 47 plays, that’s what we do. And is a player always going to be happy about that? No. That’s not how it works.
“But, do I love the fact he wants to play? Yes. He’s probably going to be 50 years old and still tweeting out those things, that he wants to get in his plays. I love that about him.”
The Chiefs selected Hali in the first round of the 2006 NFL Draft, and he has enjoyed five Pro Bowl seasons since — most recently in 2015.
But since then, Dee Ford and Justin Houston have solidified their roles as starters at the linebacker positions.
The truth is that this season, Hali’s role could be even more reduced.
“We will see (about his role), how his wheels (knees) hold up,” Reid said. “That’s been the issue. We will see how those hold up, but I am glad he is with us.”