The Offensive Wheel Spins … Tuesday Cup O’Chiefs

Monday proved a busy day for members of the International Brotherhood of Offensive Coordinators:

  • Still mourning Sunday’s loss in the Super Bowl, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick publicly confirmed Monday that Josh McDaniels will be New England’s offensive coordinator in 2012. He replaces Bill O’Brien who left to become head coach at Penn State.
  • The Chiefs made it official Monday, naming Brian Daboll as the replacement for fired/retired 2011 offensive coordinator Bill Muir. The connection between Daboll and the team on the coordinator’s job first broke Friday.
  • While no official announcement had been made, it was reported around the country and we can confirm Monday that former Chiefs head coach Todd Haley has been offered the job as offensive coordinator of the Pittsburgh Steelers. He replaces Bruce Arians who was not offered a new contract and is now the Indianapolis Colts coordinator.

As the 2011 season came to an end on Sunday with the Super Bowl in Indianapolis, the race to complete coaching staffs for the 2012 season kicked into an even higher gear. Leading the way was the offensive coordinator position. Here’s a look at those three situations.

Josh McDaniels/New England

A failure as head coach in Denver and a failure as offensive coordinator in St. Louis last year, McDaniels returned to the place where he had success. He spent eight years with the Patriots before he left for the Broncos. In an unusual twist, he was already with the Pats during their run through the playoffs as he signed after being fired by the Rams. Reportedly he kept his distance internally as O’Brien ran the offense in the playoffs.

Last year, the Rams offense finished No. 31 in the league in yards gained with an average of 283.6 yards per game. They were No. 32 or last in scoring, with 16 offensive touchdowns.

He’ll take over an offense that finished No. 2 in the league, average 428 yards and more than three touchdowns per game. The Patriots had more rushing TDs (18) than the Rams had total offensive touchdowns.

Todd Haley/Pittsburgh

It was amusing hearing some of the national media during Super Bowl week talking about Haley and the fact he did not yet have a job in the NFL. Some of the national media types were writing about how nobody wanted to hire Haley because his name was a big part of the Kansas City Star story about the toxic environment in the Chiefs organization.

Writing Monday morning on, Peter King’s passage about the Steelers read: “The interview with Todd Haley for offensive coordinator was a courtesy interview. There’s a sense Haley’s too tough to get along with. That plus the fact that, on his way out of Kansas City, he implied to the Kansas City Star that the team was bugging his phone. Leveling unfounded accusations against your employer (and if there is anything to them, then let’s have the proof) to the media is not a very good way to get a job in a league where other teams think those who own and run the Chiefs are good men.”

Later Monday, King had to react to the news that the Steelers offered Haley their offensive coordinator’s job. King tweeted: “Re Haley to Pittsburgh, if he gets the job, which it appears he will, my bad. Got some bad info. No one to blame but me.”

This is not meant as a beat down on P.K. because he’s one of the best, but he was the most visible of many who were backhanding Haley without spending any time gaining an understanding of his side of the story.

Turns out there are a lot of people around the NFL, obviously plenty in Pittsburgh, that have a far different view on Haley and what type of person and coach he is. Should you think he’s being hired as some sort of courtesy, then you have no idea how things work in the NFL.

Yes, a lot of employment gets done because of who you know and who you’ve worked with in the past. With Pittsburgh and Haley, that’s not the case. His father Dick hasn’t worked for the Steelers in 22 years. He has not previous connections to GM Kevin Colbert or head coach Mike Tomlin. He more than likely crossed paths a few times with the man who is running the team, Art Rooney II since they both grew up in the same southern suburbs of Pittsburgh, although they were a generation apart (15 years).

Haley’s landing with the Steelers because Tomlin and his organization believe he’s the best man to take care of their offense in 2012. He has a lot of work to do corralling QB Ben Roethlisberger and balancing up the Pittsburgh offense. In the ’11 season despite a 12-4 record, play selection was 57 percent pass to 43 percent run. Big Ben was sacked 42 times, among the 10 highest sack totals in the league. It’s on reason he always seems to be hurt.

Haley’s hiring – and he had more than one option – is an indication that the rest of the NFL has come to understand just how bad things have become within the Chiefs building.

Brian Daboll/Chiefs

Brian Daboll hasn’t even moved his boxes inside the front door of the Chiefs facility and his addition as offensive coordinator has fans expressing skepticism.

Daboll is from the Patriots-Belichick coaching tree. He’s been an offensive coordinator for two different teams over the last three seasons, with those three editions finishing on average 5-11, scoring an average of 17.6 points and producing 289.1 yards per game.

If that doesn’t sound very impressive, it’s not. In the same three seasons where the Chiefs had four different offensive coordinators, the Chiefs finished on average with a 7-9 record, scoring 18.2 points and producing 321.2 yards per game.

The Chiefs need help on offense going into the 2012 season, even if RB Jamaal Charles, TE Tony Moeaki and QB Matt Cassel all return from their injuries at 100 percent. There were a lot of people available in the NFL job pool with far more extensive and impressive resumes than Daboll. There was Jim Zorn, already on the staff that has time in the NFL as a player, assistant coach, coordinator and head coach.

One qualification it appears to being in the position of coordinator on the Chiefs is a connection to the Patriots during the 2000s. Crennel was from that group. Charlie Weis was part of that New England picture. Unfortunately, if a GM or coach only hires people they know, then they are going to have shut themselves off from so many talented people.

This is not to say Daboll is not qualified to be an NFL offensive coordinator. While his offenses in Cleveland and Miami struggled to produce yards and points, he was seldom gifted with talented producers on offense. When he had talent last season in Miami with RB Reggie Bush and WR Brandon Marshall, they both went over 1,000 yards for the season. Matt Moore a journeyman talent for most of his career, but he was 16-9 on the TD-INT scale, while completing 60.5 percent of his passes.

Daboll says he’s part of the coaching tree that molds his offense based on the talents of his players. “It is not going to be one set thing where it is going to be 5-wide every play,” Daboll said when he was hired in Miami. “It is not going to be crunch down into a big personnel package. We are going to do our due diligence and research to provide our players with the best chance to be successful.

“Fundamentally, I think you can always improve fundamentals at each position. Whether it is quarterbacks, running backs, the receivers or the line we are going to put a heavy emphasis on fundamentals, we are going to put a heavy emphasis on character, on toughness, on the ability to go out there and execute plays under pressure.”

Daboll is scheduled to speak to the Kansas City media. It will be interesting to see how close his comments are to what he said a year ago when he landed with the Dolphins. Here’s a taste of those year-old answers on questions he’s likely to hear from the K.C. horde:

On what characteristics he looks for in a quarterback – “Accuracy, I would say, pocket presence and I would say his ability to lead the troops under pressure. He is going to have to be good on third down in terms of handling pressure. He is going to have to be accurate with the football.”

On calling plays during the game – “I think we are going to do whatever we need to do to give us a chance. Whether that is spread it out or tighten it down to determine the type of players you are playing against. What we are going to try to do is attack the weaknesses of the defense and we are going to try and maximize our strengths.

On his philosophy on being a coordinator – “What we are going to do as a coaching staff – what our job is to do – tell the players what to do, show them how to do it, and accept no excuses; that is what we are going to do as a coaching staff.”

16 Responses to “The Offensive Wheel Spins … Tuesday Cup O’Chiefs”

  • February 7, 2012  - James says:

    Good luck to Haley in Pittsburgh. I expect him to do okay with a real QB. Meanwhile back in KC the soap opera continues.

  • February 7, 2012  - Tenand6 says:

    Since Haley was hired and fired, we know a lot more about Clark Hunt, Scott Pioli and Todd Haley. Todd can hold his head high. If the Chiefs want to turn their dysfunctional ship around, they can start by paying Haley…..although I wonder if he wants their money.

  • February 7, 2012  - Chuck says:

    Until recently I did not realize that the coaching staffs are no different that a “good ole boys club”. If you are not connected to the tree you don’t get an interview. I always thought Hue Jackson would have been a great choice but I don’t think he even got an interview. Also I say what took them so long??? Daboll has been available ever since Sparano was let go. I think they knew who they truly wanted all along. But they do like to be coy about just about everything.

  • February 7, 2012  - Steve says:

    Tenand6 – you hit the nail on the head. The Haley saga illuminates the mess at One Arrowhead Drive. He wasn’t hired by just any franchise – Haley was hired by one of the most respected franchises in football. People used to say that about the Chiefs. Not so much anymore.

  • February 7, 2012  - leonard says:

    Well here we go again. An unknown, that will more than likely end in disaster. Pioli should have been the on fired. I have no faith in the GM, and in the ownership. I can not believe how far we have fallen in respect.

  • February 7, 2012  - Blake says:

    “Haley’s hiring – and he had more than one option – is an indication that the rest of the NFL has come to understand just how bad things have become within the Chiefs building.”

    Haha, now that is funny. He couldn’t find a job, Arizona didn’t want him the only option he had there was QB coach and even Haley admitted he isn’t a QB guru. Thus the reason Zorn was hired when he was here. Haley has been without a job for longer than most of these other guys that are getting hired and fired and there is a reason he didn’t find a job he doesn’t work well with others. You can put ALL the blame on Pioli and the Chiefs if you want but Todd Haley has a lot longer list of people he couldn’t work with than Pioli does!

    Seriously Bob, do you have to attack the Chiefs, Hunt, and Pioli in EVERY single story that you write?

  • February 7, 2012  - BigJimInWisconsin says:

    I think the hiring of Brian Daboll is a good one. He just has to lose that Cleveland Browns Snuggie… I will not accept that on our sideline.

    Go CHIEFS!

  • February 7, 2012  - brainsmasher says:

    Haley was in over his head. He quit on the Chiefs. Do I believe they bugged his phone? Yes, realizing the mistake they made by hiring him in the first place.

    Haley is probably best suited to be a position coach. The last time he was a coordinator he had a HOF QB and two all pro receivers plus Steve Breaston. He is going to a similar situation with a Pro Bowl QB and some talented young wideouts; but I think he gets exposed for the fraud he is.

  • February 7, 2012  - ED J says:

    Every needs calm down including Bob. Litsen Haley’s good guy heck of head coach. Steelers hiring Haley isn’t an indiament against Chiefs speaks more to how good of OC Haley is Bob. As for Chiefs organization if they’re arent any charges getting pressed against Chiefs for bugging phones then it just sounds like some made up story star ran and now all you fans are buying into the foolishness. Bugging phones is Federal offense and against the law so trust me know one in KC is that damn stupid.

    Anyways all the hating Bob you do on Pioli is ridiculous. I know you got ax to grind since guy doesnt let much out of Arrowhead but seriously making yourself look bad by trying take shots. Its looks good now because team had setback last season. But when Pioli gets team back to winning and do something your precious Carl Peterson didn’t do in 14 yrs like win playoff game. Or better yet when he wins more than 3 playoff games in span of 20yrs then what are you going to say then. I’m sure you’ll spin it where you don’t give him any credit but you just look foolish going against grain against successful people. Their is reason Pats talent level have fell off the cliff since Pioli left. Yea Brady and Bellichick can get you to Super Bowl in a watered down AFC and weak roster but they’re not going to beat more talented team or teams with equal or better talent than them. Which speaks volume to team Pioli helped build in New England.

    Everyone keeps bringing up 2009 draft. But reality is most players from that draft were bust except for few. Most of the guys in top 10 are playing on different teams now or struggling so bad they’re on verge of bust label. Outside of that Pioli drafts have been preety good. Either way he’ll get KC going in right direction and Bob you’ll end up looking like Tebow guy who thinks Tebow is great QB because they beat up on mostly bad teams or teams with even worst QBs and when next season come when Broncos are losing because all the trick plays aren’t working this yr like they did last yr Tebow guy going have to admit he was wrong.

  • February 7, 2012  - cychief24 says:

    I’m with brain, bigjim, and blake-
    Great hire IMO. I went back and watched Short cuts of our loss to Miami this year. Daboll sure exposed our weakness at safety. Exciting hire.

    Bob some of here miss you. Please comeback and send your demented twin to Pitt to cover teen Toddy.

    I really enjoyed your balanced reporting and professionalism for many years. When you started this site it was a daily ritual to read you.

    Now you have gone from bitterness to hatred for my Chiefs. It’s like a raider/donkee writing about our Chiefs. If I wanted to read this garbage I go back to that awful Warpaint Illustrated site that every poster really loves to hate the Chiefs.

    I do enjoy debating and agreeing/disagreeing with the regular posters that frequent here. Bob, I hope you choose to return to your old self and send your demented twin to the showers.

  • February 7, 2012  - txchief says:

    Hey Blake and ED J, you all should realize that writers cannot allow the facts to get in the way of a good character assassination article.

  • February 7, 2012  - cychief24 says:

    edj- good post. I have agreed with many of your posts since the season ended.

  • February 7, 2012  - Tenand6 says:

    EDJ— Why did Cowher want Haley on his staff? Why Parcels? Why Whisenhunt? Why Tomlin? Why Pioli?

    Haley’s a great coach. Ask Warner, Fitzgerald, Keyshawn Johnson, Bowe, DJ, Hali, Breaston, Charles, etc…

    I hope he continues to have a great career. He’s a good man who helps NFL players become multi-millionaires. God bless him.

  • February 7, 2012  - ED J says:

    Ok first off Tenand6 never said Haley was bad coach. If you read my blog I said he got Steelers job because of his success as OC. ONly thing I said was him getting job wasn’t an indiament on Pioli or Chiefs as Bob tries make it seem. At end of the day we’re going to be better off without Haley and he will have success in Pittsburg. But I commend Haley for what he done for Chiefs. He change attitude and culture of Chiefs locker room. Made Chiefs a more tough minded football team. For that as fan I will always be thankful for what Haley has done here. He turned bunch underachieving players into pro bowl guys (Bowe,Hali,and DJ).

  • February 8, 2012  - Justin says:

    Ed J, Tenand6,

    You guys hit right on the head. Clearly there is a history that proves him right – I have pointed this our several times as well.

    The ‘dim witted douche duo’ of cychief and txchief can go pound sand when faced with the ‘facts.’ They are just too bent on hating and can’t see the forest for the trees. Give up guys and take your negative crap with you.

  • February 9, 2012  - RedandGold says:

    You guys keep knocking Haley for failing as a HC. Crennel is a former failure at HC. Pioli is the real failure here and time will reveal it. Bob already sees it and some of you guys are upset with him about that. I think Bob has the inside track on this and the experience to boot. If his intuition is a problem for some of you guys then go read somebody that writes nothing but feel good about the disfunctional state of our Chiefs. Pioli is so busy trying to duplicate something that he cannot that he isn’t building anything worthwhile. The greatest franchise in the league just hired our former HC, that alone tells me that the wrong guy left our building. I haven’t figured out who the bigger idiot is Hunt or Pioli. Hunt will be forced to get rid of Pioli when the Chiefs are unable to hire anyone that has ever had some success in this league. Just ask what Jeff Fischer’s insight into the Chiefs was. I doubt they could have paid him enough to HC here.

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