With veterans set to report to training camp in only a few days, Tamba Hali took a moment Tuesday to clarify the impetus behind his surprising Twitter barrage over the weekend.
In short, Hali — who pleaded for more playing time and seemed to seemed to question a handful of his teammates’ decisions to skip organized team activities during the barrage — expressed via Facebook Live that his only motivation for airing his grievances was his intense desire to win.
“Guys, I think it got blown out of proportion,” Hali said. “All I was trying to say is, at the end of the day, I love the game. I want to bring the Kansas City Chiefs a championship. I’ve been here for 12 years and I’ve always wanted to do that and I’ve always given it my all and I’ve always been part of the equation.
“And what happened last year is, I just wanted to win. I think everybody can bear with me and understand the frustration of losing the game in the playoff and barely playing … being a competitor, you just want to win. And that was basically what the rant was about.”
During the Tweet storm, Hali pointed out that he’d only played seven snaps in the Chiefs’ 18-16 divisional-round loss to Pittsburgh after being told all season that he was being saved for the playoffs.
But on Tuesday, Hali — whose non-stop motor during his 12-year career has earned the respect of teammates and coaches, alike — insisted that he remains committed to the Chiefs’ ultimate goal of winning a Super Bowl this season.
“As far as the Chiefs go, I’m all in,” Hali said. “All the Chiefs understand I love to compete and I will continue to compete as long as God lets me run. I don’t feel like done. I just want to know where we’re going. We have the second toughest schedule for this season, and people say oh, I called out a couple players. I was just letting people know how I feel.”
Hali never mentioned Eric Berry, Marcus Peters, Justin Houston and Dee Ford — the four prominent Chiefs who missed parts of OTAs — by name during his weekend vent session. But he did reiterate his belief that the team’s leaders needed to be around.
“We have a young team,” Hali said. “Sometimes you have to point fingers at your leaders know you’ve got to be around. I’ve been here 12 years and I’m not getting younger. When I was younger, I felt I could play this game forever. Reality has struck. It’s not going to happen that way. Time is running out and for us to win a championship.
“I think coach (Andy) Reid and his staff have assembled some of the best coaches and players on this team so we can make a run. We just need to make sure coaches and players are on board and understand what’s at stake here.”
Hali ended the six-minute broadcast by making it clear he wants to remain in Kansas City, and added he’ll in St. Joseph on Thursday with the rest of his teammates when they’re due to report.
“I just wanted to clear the air,” Hali said. “I’m not looking for more money. I just want to win, guys. I think you guys can respect that from a player at this stage of his career.”