Todd Haley was barely three months into his first head coaching job. The Kansas City Chiefs were mired in a rut, having gone 2-14 the previous season, asking Haley to revitalize the franchise.
He brought with him a certain offense that helped improve the Chiefs two games, finishing 4-12 in 2009.
Of the many undrafted free agents the Chiefs brought in, one stood out almost immediately. University of Maine DE/OLB Jovan Belcher not only made the team, he ended up playing in all 16 of the Chiefs games that season, starting three of them.
He would start 42 of the Chiefs 44 games from Week 17 in 2009 to Week 11 of the 2012 season. As an inside linebacker, Belcher fit in well with the Chiefs' 3-4 defense, providing quality run support for a defense that's improved quite a bit in the time Haley was in charge, to after his termination to today.
Haley, now the Steelers offensive coordinator, has to feel a heavy heart as his team prepares to take on Baltimore in a now seemingly trivial Week 13. Any player from a major Division I school has an extremely low chance of making an NFL roster - let alone start 44 total games and play in 59 of them. That gets even lower for undrafted players from small schools, like Belcher.
This isn't quoting Haley, or presuming to comprehend what he is thinking, but his thoughts have to be with a player who defied some seriously long odds and became a decent - if not outstanding - NFL player.
And you have to think Belcher was appreciative of Haley giving him a chance.