Waiting For An O.C. … Wednesday Cup O’Chiefs

From the Truman Sports Complex

The news rolled through the Chiefs Nation like a bolt of lightning from a dark cloud in the summer sky:

Todd Haley might not hire anyone to replace Charlie Weis as the team’s offensive coordinator and Haley may take over the job.

Immediately, the head coach’s words were being parsed, scrubbed, sliced, diced and reconstructed by everyone with any interest in how the Chiefs and their fortunes will shake out in 2011.

Now, understand this from someone who was there and asked the question that opened the Kansas City football version of Pandora’s Box – Haley did not say he would not have an offensive coordinator next season.

Here’s the gist of what he said when asked if he was committed to hiring a new offensive coordinator:

“We are in that process of evaluating the team and I am going to continue to do the things that I can do as the head coach to stay on course and continue to build and make all those decisions together with staff and our organization that we think give us the best chance to continue to make progress.”

Translation: I’m not sure what I’m going to do right now. I need some time to ponder the possibilities.

Another question for Haley: Would he consider calling plays next year?

“I will just continue this evaluation process. What I want to make sure is that I do what is best for our team and gives us the best chance to succeed. That will come after a very thorough evaluation and a lot of that has begun. Again, with the guys I have on staff it makes it (a little easier). I don’t think it is ever easy to make decisions in this league but I have guys that will definitely help me and I just want to get it right.”

Translation: I’m not sure what I’m going to do right now, but yes, I might call plays again. Later, a follow up question for the coach just to be sure he did say he will consider calling plays himself.

“Yeah, I will consider anything. There is going to be a very thorough evaluation of the entire system. We had a really good coordinator here in Charlie that has moved on to Florida. We have to make sure that we continue to develop our coaches and have good coaches on the staff. That is a critical part of being a successful team year in and year out and reaching our goals which is to be a championship team.”

Translation: I’m not sure what I’m going to do right now, but yes I might call plays again. It might be the best way to go.

Listening to Haley speak on Tuesday afternoon left me with the impression that he’s got an idea of what he wants to do, but is not ready to move forward just yet. It feels like he’s trying to make sure he’s got all his ducks lined up in a nice straight line before he officially takes the next step. Maybe he’s waiting for somebody to become available, maybe he’s waiting for a decision, or maybe he’s preparing to take a step that he knows will cause consternation.

Understand Haley is a very intelligent man and he’s aware of the impression that lives in the NFL that he didn’t hire his first two coordinators, Chan Gailey and Weis. Most people in the league believe he was asked to keep Gailey by the Hunts because they were big fans of his and also because he was due $1 million in salary. Remember that when Haley was filling out his staff in February ’09, the team was paying Carl Peterson and Herm Edwards for another season and they were no longer there. Many people view Weis as a hire pushed by GM Scott Pioli because of their connections through time with the Patriots.

Also, understand that Haley’s aware of the perception that’s out there that he can’t get along with his coordinators. Whether that perception is reality remains only an assumption, but the circumstantial evidence is piling up against Haley. That’s not necessarily going to be part of the evaluation process, but the coach is aware of the landscape.

Haley’s options are:

  1. Scour the league for the best coach he can find for the job.
  2. Promote from within, giving that coach full command of the offense.
  3. Promote from within while retaining play calling duties.
  4. Take the job himself and put up with the grief from outside and maybe even within the organization.

It’s an important decision for Haley because Weis’ departure and how he’s replaced messes with the chemistry of what went down with the Chiefs in 2010. Every year a team’s chemistry must be reworked because no two teams and no two seasons are the same. That makes any possible carryover valuable.

Quite possibly, the Weis/offensive chemistry may already be faded. From the time his departure became public the Chiefs played two games. In those losses to Oakland and Baltimore the offensive production disappeared. Coincidence?

“Yeah, I would say that it is a coincidence,” Haley said. “We are just not there yet. I am proud of what our team accomplished … it just wasn’t our time and we have to do a better job. We have to do a better job of being ready for that game and that ultimately falls on me as the head coach and I will be better next time.”

The question now is this: Does Haley’s “I will be better next time” include the head coach calling the offensive plays, and would that really be better?

Stay tuned.


  • BUCCANEERS – promoted Dwayne Stukes to special teams coach. Stukes had served as assistant special teams coach and assistant defensive backs coach.
  • CHARGERS – hired Rich Bisaccia, formerly of the Buccaneers, as special teams coach.
  • GIANTS – signed reserve/futures contracts with OL Ikechuku Ndukwe, RB Martell Mallet and DE Ayanga Okpokowuruk.
  • SEAHAWKS – signed reserve/futures contract with QB Nate Davis.
  • TEXANS – announced new defensive coordinator Wade Phillips will install the 3-4 defense in Houston.

14 Responses to “Waiting For An O.C. … Wednesday Cup O’Chiefs”

  • January 12, 2011  - BigJimInWisconsin says:

    So who are the Chiefs MVP & ROY? I don’t see that anywhere. I vote for Hali and Berry.

    Bob, I think you used up all your vowels with the Giants entry.


  • January 12, 2011  - Tenand6 says:

    I have a great deal of confidence in Haley. For the Chiefs to win, they will have to out coach the competition more often than not. Our talent pool is too shallow and Pioli/Haley understand that. Haley has to make the hire with his style of coaching in mind. It’s critical that the next OC, if there is a next OC, understands who is the leader of this team. It’s Haley. Summer Camp made that clear to me. Haley is the unquestioned leader.

    You’re right, Bob. Haley is a very smart guy. He appears to work well with Pioli and between the two of them, I assume most of their decisions will work well for the team in the short and long term. They’ll make mistakes, but so will every other organization.

    For the first time since Carl and Marty were here, I have confidence in what the Chiefs are doing. I’ll always enjoy questioning/examining their moves, but always with a “benefit of the doubt” spirit. But that’s just me.

  • January 12, 2011  - Dave says:

    I’m a big Haley fan, but I don’t want to see him as the OC or play caller next season. That’s just too much additional responsibility for a head coach.

    Get McDaniels.

  • January 12, 2011  - Rick says:

    I have to agree with 10&6 and Dave, I think Pioli made a good hire when he brought in Haley. Expecting perfection from these guys is not wise and not smart, but in the short time Haley has been the coach in KC he’s done a great job of turning around the Chiefs. Shoot if anything I’d say they’re a year or two ahead of schedule considering the mess they inherited.

    I think Haley, like most in the NFL, is smart enough to realize that he has a target on his back and that the media will play it’s stupid games regardless of what he does. The press would much rather crucify someone, than have to acknowledge they’re doing a good job. Shoot some fans are like that as well.

    Haley will be fine, the Chiefs will be fine.

    Go Chiefs!!!

  • January 12, 2011  - Thomas says:

    The Chiefs Organization has made very positive strides over the past 2 years. Fans need to give them the benefit of a doubt.
    Whatever their decision on the Offense Coordinator will be needs to be accepted by the players and then executed on the football field.
    Continuity and consistency will be the keys to the 2011 team.

  • January 12, 2011  - jim says:

    I’m more concerned in getting someone in here that is considered around the leaue to be a QB guru who can serve as OC, as well. I think Olsen from the Falcons might be the best choice, but can’t get to him till after playoffs (supposedly).

    There is a scenario that would have an OC, but with Haley calling plays. Thoughts??

  • January 12, 2011  - Michael O says:

    Todd get a OC and let them do their job. Coach the team, and leave the play calling to the OC.

  • January 12, 2011  - el cid says:

    If and only if Haley wants a OC, make the move and get him in here for imput into free agency and draft. If not, move on (although I think not having a OC for game day is a mistake).

    Would we really be satisfied if “they” could not get the guy they wanted because they took to long for due diligence? Been there, done that.

  • January 12, 2011  - cychief24 says:

    I’m in the same boat as tenand6.
    The last time I felt this confident about the Chiefs was ’97.
    Good points made by Dave, Rick, Thomas, jim, and Michael O. Thanks!

  • January 12, 2011  - Jerry says:

    Dave, I live in Colorado and let tell you, we do not want McDaniels. He may be a qb gru but his ego is hugh. I agree that Haley needs to be head coach and have a OC to groom the qb and call the plays on game day.

    GO CHIEFS!!!!!!

  • January 12, 2011  - Edward says:

    Yea Mcdaniels would make sense but that alone would cause a media frenzy with any little argument between the two would cause media rumor mill would fly. Haley probably going to hire a young up and coming coordinator which will help because he can be here for 2-3 yrs before he may leave for a head coaching job.

  • January 12, 2011  - Kiowa says:

    Oh boy, look at next years scheduled teams the Chiefs play. That has hell written all over it! I see 6 or 7 wins next year!

    2011 Home Opponents
    Denver (4-12)
    Oakland (8-8)
    San Diego (9-7)
    Buffalo (4-12)
    Miami (7-9)
    Pittsburgh (12-4)
    Green Bay (10-6)
    Minnesota (6-10)

    2011 Road Opponents
    Denver (4-12)
    Oakland (8-8)
    San Diego (9-7)
    New England (14-2)
    New York Jets (11-5)
    Indianapolis (10-6)
    Chicago (11-5)
    Detroit (6-10)

  • January 13, 2011  - cychief24 says:

    7 wins at home and 3 on the road = 10-6 which = playoffs.
    I wonder how they will figure the 2 additional opponents when the CBA is finalized. My vote would be 2 additional Division games on a rotating basis.

  • January 16, 2011  - bleifer says:

    That schedule is brutal. But think about the long run. This team is not being built for next year and then start over, like a lot of older teams do – make a big splash and then rebuild. It is being built for a long, long run – hopefully, a run that lasts like Pittsburgh’s, with extremely high quality and a consistent style or identity that produces numerous championships over decades, interspersed with minor rebuilding seasons that are still competitive. I think the Chiefs are at exactly the right stage of development to weather a killer season like next year’s, and learn to become very tough. An 8-8 season is about the most that could be expected, and would represent continued improvement. As fans, we should be looking toward next year as a “hardening off” season in preparation for a championship run in 2012 and beyond. But we have to be toughened. Watching the playoffs this year, including the Ravens, shows that the teams that compete at that level have to become just plain hard-assed, mean, skillful players, with a passion for manhandling opponents.

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