Merry-Go-Round Spins in NFL … Morning Cup O’Chiefs

It’s the time of year when a scorecard is needed to keep up with all the movements and changes around the league.

In early January, it’s the coaches and GMs. In March it will be the free agents, then in April it will be the draft choices.

Every spin of the merry-go-round and the news cycle brings us changes. Tony Sparano is out in Miami, then lands in New York with the Jets, replacing Brian Schottenheimer who is out from the Big Apple and spent Wednesday talking with Nick Saban at the University of Alabama. That came down a day after his Pops Marty met with the Tampa Bay Bucs about the head coaching job there.

Jeff Fisher reportedly is going to provide an answer on Thursday to both the Dolphins and Rams that want to hire him as head coach. Those teams are not sitting on their hands, as they continue to interview potential coaches. There’s news and many more rumors as the NFL phone lines and e-mail are bubbling with chatter and gossip.

Chiefs fans wait patiently to see what GM Scott Pioli and head coach Romeo Crennel are going to do with the coaching staff, especially the coordinators on offense and defense. If there’s one thing we know about the new regime at Arrowhead it’s that they do nothing in a hurry. They take their time and won’t care if they lose a possible candidate because they were not ready to pull the trigger.

Continuity joined consistency as the “c” words that are driving the Chiefs front office right now. That would indicate that coordinators will come from within. Offensively, that could mean no change with Bill Muir, or moving QB coach Jim Zorn into the role, or even Maurice Carthon who handles the running backs and also carries the title of assistant head coach. Zorn and Carthon have handled the play calling duties for other teams. Defensively, it could mean the promotion of Gary Gibbs from linebackers to coordinator, or maybe Emmitt Thomas.

But sometimes the best laid plans to seek continuity end up getting trashed in the process, as they find somebody outside the building they just have to have.

Whether that’s complicated by having two men involved in the “collaboration” we will see. In some fashion the GM has always been involved in the hiring of coaches with the Chiefs. But to call the process collaboration would be a stretch. That hasn’t been the case with Pioli involved as Todd Haley picked up a couple coaches along the way that were “suggestions” from the GM.

Speaking of Haley, he was in New Jersey on Wednesday, visiting with the New York Jets. Former Dolphins head coach Tony Sparano was hired as offensive coordinator, replacing Brian Schottenheimer who was (pick one) fired or resigned. The rumor mill says Haley could be added with a title of assistant head coach-passing game coordinator or something of that ilk.

Whether Haley wants to get involved with Rex Ryan and that mess with the Jets is another matter. The Jets also fired their receivers coach Henry Ellard. Now wouldn’t that be a mess for Haley to cleanup, what with Santonio Holmes and Plaxico Burruss. There’s also the possibility of Haley returning to the Arizona Cardinals.

Brian Schottenheimer was in New Orleans Monday night for the BCS Championship Game and met on Wednesday with Nick Saban in Tuscaloosa. The Crimson Tide’s offensive coordinator Jim McElwain is leaving to become head coach at Colorado State.

The Jets announced Schottenheimer was leaving the organization after six years on Tuesday. His departure was painted as his choice, but it is clear he was pushed out.

On Wednesday evening, the Chicago Sun-Times reported that the Chiefs director of college scouting Phil Emery will interview with the Bears about their open GM’s job. The NFL Network reported earlier that the Chiefs director of pro personnel Ray Farmer was also a candidate for the Bears job.

The Colts filled their open GM job when they announced this week that Ryan Grigson would take the place of Bill Polian as the leader in Indy. The 39-year old was the Eagles director of player personnel. He’s got some big shoes to fill in Indy. Give owner Jimmy Irsay credit, once he fired Polian, he didn’t waste any time. In nine days, he created a list of 25 candidates, chopped that to seven, sat down for interviews will all seven, and then had a second interview with Grigson.

One guy reportedly still in the mix for the GM job in St. Louis was former Chiefs WR Lake Dawson, who currently is the vice-president of football operations for the Titans, where he got to know Fisher. If they are out of the race for Fisher, the Rams haven’t signaled any other favorites. On Wednesday, New Orleans assistant coach Aaron Kromer as well as Carolina offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski were added to the interview list.

Kromer is the offensive line coach/running game coach with the Saints. Chudzinski helped Cam Newton with his transition to the NFL in the 2011 season.


20 Responses to “Merry-Go-Round Spins in NFL … Morning Cup O’Chiefs”

  • January 12, 2012  - johnfromfairfax says:

    The wheels on the truck go round and round. I think it will be a good thing if Marty Schottenheimer returns to the NFL. He’s a good coach and a good man. Continuity and consistency are good talking points but it has to translate in decision making and be supported in the pocketbook. Maybe we can apply it to our head coach and player talent acquisition moving forward. If Hunt sits on as much cash as possible in this last year before the big change in the amount of money that can be hoarded and not spent on players it will speak volumes regarding his commitment to assemble and field a winner and not just talk a good game while pocketing as much cash as he can.

  • January 12, 2012  - RW says:

    The head coach should pick his staff and the GM can keep the hell out of it. I think that’s a significant part of the problem with the micro-managing Pioli having to have his oar in every puddle of decisions rendered.

    Sure, there are budget parameters the GM can influence but the actual coaches chosen are another matter. It’s sort of like the GM and/or the owner wanting to ‘program’ every move without giving the people or middle managers assigned to various tasks the ability to pick-choose-execute decisions on their own. One word describes these types of operations: Losers.

    The plodding style of making moves is another red flag. It’s the difference between playing not to lose vs playing to win. On a side note that has linkage to these comments, I thoroughly enjoyed both reading and recently viewing the “Moneyball” film covering the GM actions of Oakland A’s GM Billy Beane. Never in 20 light years would Jr. Hunt have that kind of innovative and fast moving GM in his organization.

    Jr. Hunt has what he has: Himself and lapdog Pioli. = Sad.

  • January 12, 2012  - Chuck says:

    Regarding promoting from within I always think of a famous line I heard many years ago: People many times will rise to their own level of incompetency.

  • January 12, 2012  - Justin says:

    Chuck, that’s called the Peter Principle. I’d say Clark is the most glaring example with Pioli right behind.

    I am praying that RAC will take this opportunity and make some moves so he can actually get above .500 in his head coaching career. Otherwise, we are back to the start in 3 years.

  • January 12, 2012  - el cid says:

    And all the time Rome burned, Scott Pioli sat there and thought. He thought and thought and thought some more. Then the NFL looked over and laughed but Hunt got to keep all that money.

  • January 12, 2012  - Blake says:

    There have been reports that Zorn will NOT be OC, I don’t think he fits what they want, pretty sure he is a West Coast offense kind of guy. Carthon was Romeo Crennel’s OC in Cleveland and he was fired. Unless he gives him a second chance I dont see him getting hired. I think it would be kinda weird working for a guy that fired you.

    I hate how Pioli only chooses guys that he is familiar with! He is afraid to move out of the Patriot circle of coaches. He was the same way with the players in year one, but he moved on and signed some guys that he hadn’t worked with before, so maybe he will learn one of these days that you cant just hire guys that you use to work with.

    Bob do you have any information to report on the offensive coordinator position with the Chiefs? Or just opinions?

  • January 12, 2012  - el cid says:

    No one is even talking about who is in the running for OC. But I feel he will be someone Pioli can live with. Face it, Crennel cronies are few and far between, not cannot miss name among what is left. So it will be a Pioli hire.

    Look at the playoff team, who looks like the Chiefs? GB, NE, NO no they are a cut above. The Chiefs are more like Den, Texans, Ravens. Those team are in the playoff but the underdogs. They may even win the superbowl but who do you want to be Den or GB?

  • January 12, 2012  - Blake says:

    So it sounds like even if the Chiefs hire a DC, Romeo will still call play! I am happy to hear this!

    Bill Williamson said he talked to Romeo today and that he specifically named some people in the running for the coordinator positions. “Among the potential candidates for the offensive coordinator job could include Kansas City quarterbacks coach Jim Zorn, former Jacksonville offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter and perhaps even former Oakland coach Hue Jackson. Possible defensive candidates could include Kansas City assistant Gary Gibbs, former Jacksonville defensive coordinator and interim coach Mel Tucker, and San Francisco assistant Jim Tomsula.”

  • January 12, 2012  - Johnfromwichita says:

    I really need to get off the consistency dog that I’ve been running into the ground. Even I’ve stopped listening to myself. That said, we need two coordinators and I feel they have to come from within the organization. We’ve had too many changes year after year. The only change that is going to help us is bringing more talent to the field.

  • January 12, 2012  - RW says:

    Folks,my main hope is that Romeo is his own man. If so, I have a glimmer of hope.

  • January 12, 2012  - Nathan says:

    Guess they’re not interested in winning any playoff games down in Tampa Bay.
    At least they’ll win a lot of regular season games though.

  • January 12, 2012  - Johnfromwichita says:

    Nathan, I would love to have him back. I go to the home games. It’s nearly a three hour drive. Do you understand how much shorter going home is with a win? On the other hand, can you imagine the drive home after the Raiders game. Two blocked fieldgoals. By same guy. My wife, like everything else, decided it was my fault. Long drive. Take Marty in a heatbeat. Hey, maybe offense coordiator? Just kidding.

  • January 12, 2012  - johnfromfairfax says:

    I have to stick with the other John. I’d rather lose in the playoffs than not make it to them. A few of those losses had something to do with a guy named Elway or Marty might have had a couple championships. A few things were certain with a Marty coached team. They were nearly always smart, disciplined, played with passion and seldom beat themselves. I read Romeo said he was looking outside the organization for an OC. Hopefully he (or Pioli) won’t wait too long until the other teams name their head coaches and some of the better coordinator candidates are gone.

  • January 12, 2012  - cychief24 says:

    It’s been announced on the Chiefs site that Romeo will call the Defense and keep the Defensive staff intact. He is still reviewing the Offense.
    Just FYI…

    He said on the post game show after GB that Gibbs and Emmitt had taken over more of the game planning to help him. IMO, he called his best games the last 3 weeks.

    I hope they let Hoffman know soon that he won’t be back. He’ll have a hard time getting another job as bad as he is, so he needs an early start.

  • January 12, 2012  - Johnfromwichita says:

    Bob mentioned Lake Dawson. Man, that’s a name out of the past. He had a very good rookie year as a wide reciever, hardly ever to be seen again. I seem to remember he was from Norte Dame. Looks like he has done well.

  • January 12, 2012  - iwriter says:

    Pioli was interviewed on 610 I think and he said he loves cassel… there goes our season… he is not going to bring in any competition… They are accepting that just getting to the playoffs is good enough… no buying any chiefs tickets this year unless that is a smokescreen..Cassel went down in performance this year and in 3 games orton looked much better and more consistant and Orton had not had any real practice with the recievers… bad news in my book..

  • January 12, 2012  - iwriter says:

    woops forgot to mention that Romeo said that the offensive coordinator is coming from outside the Chiefs organization…

  • January 12, 2012  - Johnfromwichita says:

    iwriter, take heart. Fourty three years ago I was calling for a new Chiefs quarterback. We could’t win with Len Dawson, I said. Fourty two years ago they won it all. Ooops. Anything can happen. And often it does.

  • January 13, 2012  - Nathan says:

    Marty had 10 shots at it here and several more with San Diego and Washington. He was pretty consistant at each different coaching stop, with the exception of the year with Montana.
    You can have Marty. The gleam has already been found…we don’t need to go searching for it again.

  • January 14, 2012  - Niblick says:

    The thing I remember most about Lake Dawson is that he was the receiver who desperation fade passes were thrown to on the last plays in the 95 and 97 plyoff losses. Those were the two years we had home field throughout and fizzled out in the playoffs. They are teams that remind me of this years 49ers. Great defense and solid running game, with average QBs. Woops. I don’t consider Bono mediocre. Grbac was decent, but not so much in that playoff game. We are generally considered the favorite in the AFC west next year, but I don’t ever see us advancing in the playoffs without an elite QB.

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