DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 18: Kansas City Chiefs head coach Todd Haley watches the action during the second half of the game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on September 18, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan. The Lions defeated the Chiefs 48-3. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)

Josh McDaniels Becomes Available With Steve Spagnuolo Firing From St. Louis Rams

The third-year coach was fired Monday after a 1-5 stretch

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Bill O'Brien's Exit Makes Way For Josh McDaniels To Join New England Patriots

Bill O'Brien has officially been reported as the new head coach of the Penn State Nittany Lions, a job that will instantly become one of the most interesting to watch in the recruiting and offseason phase of all of college football. However, an interesting subplot will also include just who will take over for him as the offensive coordinator for the New England Patriots, and it seems an old face could go back again.

Mike Reiss is reporting that Josh McDaniels is among the outside options to come back after being let go by the St. Louis Rams. McDaniels has also been linked to the Chiefs this off-season and yet with O'Brien's exit, it seems that New England is the more likely destination.

"A Josh McDaniels return, if he's ultimately available (he was not fired when Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo was shown the door and is still under contract in St. Louis), makes a lot of sense," writes Reiss. "It was McDaniels' departure following the 2008 season to become Broncos head coach that opened the door for O'Brien's ascent up the Patriots' coaching ladder, giving him the chance to work with Tom Brady as quarterbacks coach/playcaller. Unlike some other Patriots assistants who have left to become head coaches elsewhere, no bridges have been burned when it comes to McDaniels and the Patriots.

"This would fall in line with Belichick's past hires, in which he placed a premium on their having a background in the team's system. Belichick isn't about to change the offensive system, which has been expanded over 12 years -- from Charlie Weis, to Josh McDaniels, to Bill O'Brien -- so the new coordinator is going to have to adapt to what is already in place."

If McDaniels heads back to the Patriots, that's going to make things interesting as the Chiefs look for a new offensive coordinator, which was the troubling side of the ball for the Chiefs this season. It's clear they need help and yet the coaches they've talked to so far aren't going to bring those changes since names like Jeff Fisher likely won't sign and Jack Del Rio is a defensive coach. There's lots more unexpected activity ahead for the Chiefs.


Mike Lombardi Believes Chiefs Will Choose Romeo Crennel As Head Coach

Mike Lombardi believes what most Kansas City Chiefs fans believe and what most Chiefs players are hoping will happen — namely that Romeo Crennel will be installed as the new permanent head coach of the team when all is said and done. The team performed admirably under his three-game tryout at season’s end as interim coach, so it’s no surprise to hear that Lombardi thinks Pioli will check around but ultimately land on the man in-house.

“He’s going to go around the National Football League talking to people, but I believe, in essence, he’s going to come back to Romeo Crennel and hire him as the head coach,” says Lombardi, “and try to pair him with a very good offensive coordinator. Romeo’s done a great job, plus he knows the Patriot Way, which is something very important for Pioli as he builds this team.”

The coordinator could be an interesting choice if it is not going to be Josh McDaniels. Perhaps another coordinator from the Patriots or Packers would be an intriguing match, but it has to be a promotion if Pioli is going to talk to a coach from another team still in the playoffs. Mike McCoy of the Broncos has also been mentioned as a possibility.


Mike Lombardi Says Kansas City Chiefs 'Not In The Cards' For Josh McDaniels

For a while, Josh McDaniels was the favorite to replace Todd Haley as the head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs. Now the former Denver Broncos head coach and Patriots offensive coordinator is no longer being mentioned. Mike Lombardi of the NFL Network says he believes that McDaniels will have to find other opportunities outside of Kansas City at this stage and that Scott Pioli will be moving on from what many considered to be his pet project.

“I don’t think Josh McDaniels is going to be the offensive coordinator in Kansas City,” said Lombardi. “I think there will be some other opportunities down the road probably shortly for McDaniels who is no longer in St. Louis with the Rams being fired. But I don’t think Kansas City is in the cards.”

McDaniels’ reputation has certainly been undone since leaving the Patriots, having endured a dramatic and short head coaching tenure in Denver before tanking last season as the Rams offensive coordinator, a team that finished dead last in the NFL in total offense. McDaniels is still young and has the Pats connection working for him, so he will find something soon enough. But it’s not likely to be with Chiefs gear on.


Derrick Johnson Says Kansas City Chiefs Will Be Ready To Play For Whoever Is Next Head Coach

The players clearly wanted Romeo Crennel at season’s end. Scott Pioli is open to other candidates. Yet the Kansas City Chiefs team MVP has made it clear that the players will be behind whoever ends up as the next head coach of the team, whether it’s someone brand new to the entire franchise or someone from within — like Crennel.

“We just have to let the chips fall where they may,” Derrick Johnson told Josh Looney. “We don’t have a say over what goes on, not even a little bit. When it comes down to making a decision, it’s the guys upstairs doing it and they’ll do a great job. Whoever comes in or whoever stays, we’ll be ready to play for them next year for sure.”

Crennel finished with a 2-1 record at season’s end with key wins over the division rival Denver Broncos in week 17 and the Green Bay Packers, who were previously undefeated.

Glenn Dorsey, the team’s defensive end, said he will be interested in keeping a watch on the process.

“You never know what’s going to happen in the offseason, whether its players, coaches or personnel, so I’ll keep an eye on it and an ear open to see what’s going on through the whole thing,”

The same can be said of Chiefs fans who will wonder whether Crennel will make the transition seamlessly or whether they’ll get used to a new face like Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin.


Jeff Fisher Finalist For Dolphins, Rams Head Coaching Gigs According To Adam Schefter

The Jeff Fisher sweepstakes are finally nearing their completion after a round of rumors and interviews that included nearly every head coaching opening in the NFL. It’s clear the former Tennessee Titans coach was a hot commodity after 17 years in a head coaching position, and Adam Schefter reports that it will either be the Miami Dolphins or St. Louis Rams who walk away the winners.

The Kansas City Chiefs reportedly met with Fisher last week for an interview, so they were among those interested enough to check him out. However, the Rams and Dolphins emerged as frontrunners and both have been vying for an experienced head coach already. Jon Gruden was mentioned in both places as well.

The Rams are looking to move on after the Steve Spagnuolo hiring failed to work out. Spags has been rumored for the Eagles defensive coordinator position for the last week or more, but that will be interesting since he left there with some bad blood just a few years ago.

The Dolphins present a nice job in South Florida for Fisher yet the Rams roster might be in a better position for a new coach looking to take over. They have a franchise quarterback based on Sam Bradford’s rookie year and they have the No. 2 pick in the NFL Draft. The Dolphins, meanwhile, have a better defense and could turn things around quicker.

Either way, the Chiefs will be moving on — likely to keep Romeo Crennel in house. However, the Chiefs are still connected with other candidates, so anything is possible at this point.


Joe Philbin Becomes Latest Name Connected To Kansas City Chiefs Head Coaching Position

As the Kansas City Chiefs continue their coaching search, Adam Schefter is reporting that Joe Philbin, the offensive coordinator of the Green Bay Packers, is the latest among many to receive an interview from Scott Pioli and Clark Hunt as they find Todd Haley’s replacement. Romeo Crennel is currently the favorite as he went 2-1 as the interim head coach and earned the trust and favor of the players on the team. Still, Pioli will search far and wide to find his own guy before he names someone to the position.

Philbin has been with the Green Bay Packers in some coaching capacity since 2003 and was with the Iowa Hawkeyes before that, perhaps providing some small link through Kirk Ferentz with Pioli. However, it’s Philbin’s work with the incredible Green Bay offense that speaks for itself. Philbin should be a hot candidate simply for his association with Aaron Rodgers and the rest of the Green Bay offense.


St. Louis Rams Zeroing In On Jeff Fisher As New Head Coach

If the Kansas City Chiefs are truly interested in Jeff Fisher as a possibility as their new head coach, they’re going to have to win his services above other teams. The St. Louis Rams are definitely among the frontrunners as they’ve already reportedly scheduled an interview.

“Though the St. Louis Rams were not one of the two teams listed as the favorites for Jeff Fisher in the report from CBS Sports’ Mike Freeman earlier on Monday,” writes Tim Kavanagh, "they will be getting a crack at him in the very near future. Just hours after Steve Spagnuolo’s firing was officially announced, Peter King of Sports Illustrated reported that Fisher will be interviewing with the Rams this week.

“Interestingly, King adds that the Rams will interview Fisher, then attempt to find a new general manager afterwards. This means that Fisher could have some say in who this hypothetical GM would be, and one name to keep in mind in that case is New England Patriots senior adviser Floyd Reese (though we stress that this is speculation). Reese was the Tennessee Titans’ general manager from 1994 through 2006, and though things ended in somewhat acrimonious fashion, the two did have an effective working relationship prior to that.”


Peter King Says Romeo Crennel Deserves Kansas City Chiefs Head Coaching Gig

Romeo Crennel has his best backers inside the Chiefs locker room, where most of Kansas City’s players have been quite vocal about retaining their interim head coach and defensive coordinator over the long haul. That said, he’s also got some strong support among sportswriters, such as Sports Illustrated’s Peter King who gives Crennel some kudos when listing what he liked about Week 17.

“Romeo Crennel’s job performance, which has to be one of the best by an interim coach in recent years,” writes King. “He went 2-1, including the Chiefs handing the Packers their only loss, and his defensive players showed how badly they want to play for him by allowing 33 points in the three games he coached. He deserves the full-time gig.”

Crennel would certainly represent the continuity that could keep the Chiefs late-season momentum moving forward, but certainly there will be many moves made — from decisions at offensive coordinator to quarterback. Crennel is not a lock by any means, since Scott Pioli is quite clear that he will make the decisions he feels are in the best interest of the team no matter what public opinion is at the moment, but Crennel has to be considered the favorite here.


Josh McDaniels 'Was Not And Will Not Be Interviewed' For Kansas City Chiefs Head Coaching Job

While some names have linked to the Kansas City Chiefs head coaching gig as possibilities — from interim head coach Romeo Crennel to former head coaches like Jeff Fisher — one name was just shot down this morning in an article from the Star’s Sam Mellinger. It’s actually a name many Chiefs fans will be glad to hear: Josh McDaniels.

When writing about what would happen if Crennel were permanently hired, Mellinger addresses the status of the Rams offensive coordinator.

“Crennel would have final say in hiring assistants, and that includes Josh McDaniels, with whom he worked four seasons in New England and will reportedly be fired as Rams offensive coordinator,” writes Mellinger. “Chiefs fans have spent a lot of time agonizing over McDaniels, but a Chiefs source said he was not and will not be interviewed for the head coaching job.”

Now a source has certainly been wrong before, but that’s a very pointed, direct quote from Mellinger, so that will likely stand as true when everything is played out. That doesn’t count McDaniels out from coming to KC at all as offensive coordinator, for example, but it does mean that McDaniels won’t be running the ship as he did in Denver, and as some feared might happen because of his connection to Scott Pioli.


If Josh McDaniels Is Not Fired By Rams, Chiefs Must Offer Promotion From Offensive Coordinator To Get Him

The rumors are churning that the Kansas City Chiefs players might just get their wish to keep Romeo Crennel as their head coach. Crennel went 2-1 in his three game audition, including wins over the Green Bay Packers and Denver Broncos to close out the season. That said, the Chiefs have been horrible on offense all season — going beyond injuries to Matt Cassel and Jamaal Charles. The team needs to do something on the offensive end and Josh McDaniels has often been linked to the team because of Scott Pioli’s presence. But it’s not that easy.

“If the team decides to keep Crennel, the next interesting decision is what to do with the offense,” writes Tim Kavanagh. “St. Louis Rams offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels has been linked to the potential opening due to his ties to GM Scott Pioli, but he’s under contract in St. Louis for another season; therefore, in order to be poached for a gig with the Chiefs, he’d need to have a promotion in job title.”

The Chiefs could offer McDaniels an assistant head coaching gig to team with Romeo Crennel. That would keep everyone happy and allow the Chiefs to get the offensive guy that they want. However if the Rams clean house, then this becomes a non-issue.


Josh McDaniels Becomes Available With Steve Spagnuolo Firing From St. Louis Rams

If Chris Mortensen is right, the entire St. Louis Rams coaching staff will soon be available for NFL franchises to peruse. That makes the long rumored move from Josh McDaniels from the Rams to the Chiefs now a possibility without having to wait through most of the post-season as the Chiefs had to do the last team they made drastic coaching moves.

McDaniels just ended a season helming the worst offense in the NFL with the Rams who secured the second overall choice in the NFL Draft. His hire would certainly be met with a healthy dose of skepticism with the Chiefs, but Scott Pioli is rumored to want coaches he is familiar with and several successful NFL coaches have had their bad stops along the way (i.e. Bill Belichick with the Browns). Pioli might see the same with McDaniels in Denver.

That said, the entire Rams staff is headed somewhere. Spagnuolo might be headed to Philly as rumored. Billy Devaney is apparently also available now as the team’s former general manager. Bad news comes in waves this time of year and it’s not surprising to see the Rams pulling the trigger even after only two seasons of Spags and Devaney.


Kansas City Chiefs Head Coaching Opening Easiest To Predict Scott Pioli's Tree In Place

The Kansas City Chiefs' opening at head coach is the "tidiest" of all of the possibilities in the NFL at this point, a group that also includes the Miami Dolphins, Tampa Buccaneers and St. Louis Rams. So says Sports Illustrated's Don Banks, who believes that it should be rather easy to predict what Scott Pioli will do as Chiefs GM because he will likely stay close to the coaching tree with which he is most familiar.

"The Chiefs' coaching scenario seems the most tidy of all, and of course, the NFL is rarely tidy, so it probably can't happen the way we're envisioning," writes Banks. "But here goes: Win or lose Sunday at Denver for Romeo Crennel (although a win and a 2-1 interim head coaching record makes the rationale a much easier sell), there's a pretty good shot he gets elevated to the full-time gig. League sources then expect Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli to go out and hire Rams offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels to the same post in Kansas City, with the expectation that McDaniels will be let go when Spagnuolo is canned.

"Pioli will then have made his own locker room very happy with the retention of the popular Crennel," he continues, "who he likes and greatly respects, but also will have put in a place a succession plan with the arrival of McDaniels, who could use another couple seasons to let the radioactivity from his failed Denver head coaching tenure die down. Crennel is 64, and gives Pioli a trusted short-term coaching option. McDaniels is 35, and gives Pioli a trusted long-term coaching option."

The idea of Josh McDaniels being groomed as the long-term replacement for Crennel would take a major sell job on the franchise's part, since McDaniels has failed at every turn since he left New England in the first place. After all, if a player is continually filled with potential and promise and every other words insinuating that they haven't yet performed to expectations, then you eventually cut ties with that player and a word like "prospect" is no longer used. McDaniels is nearing that level himself.


Josh McDaniels, Bill O'Brien Linked To Kansas City Chiefs Head Coaching Position

Some of the buzz around interim head coach Romeo Crennel has died down after the Kansas City Chiefs have lost any hopes for making the NFL playoffs this season. Or at the very least, it’s gone down enough to include some other head coaching names again — some that will delight and others that will frustrate.

Bill O’Brien is the Patriots offensive coordinator, but he will be without a contract in a matter of weeks, making him available to sign with anyone — a rare instance for a top notch assistant coach. Josh McDaniels will also be free if the rumors become reality that Steve Spagnuolo will be out as Rams head coach. Jason LaConfora writes that both of those names should be linked with the Chiefs for good reason.

LaCanfora writes, "One job that could intrigue O’Brien is with the Kansas City Chiefs, according to a source familiar with his thinking. The team is considering lifting the “interim coach” label from Romeo Crennel and promoting him, with an offensive-minded “coach in waiting” joining the staff, according to league sources.

“Josh McDaniels, currently the offensive coordinator for the St. Louis Rams, also will be a candidate for that role in Kansas City and the head-coaching position, given his relationship with general manager Scott Pioli and prior work with quarterback Matt Cassel from their Patriots days.”

Chiefs fans will not be excited about the addition of McDaniels, especially as head coach, given the drama in Denver during his short tenure there as well as the horrific offensive output of the Rams under his watch this season. O’Brien is another matter entirely, as he’s a new name on the circuit and besides his employer being the Pats, it’s hard to know much about him at all.


Josh McDaniels Still Among Favorites For Kansas City Chiefs Head Coach Despite Fan Sentiments

Josh McDaniels is hated in Kansas City. Take a poll anywhere and it’s clear that he would be among the least favorite candidates to replace Todd Haley as the Chiefs head coach. It might be different if the Matt Cassel legacy in KC was stronger, but it’s clear that McDaniels’ dramatic tenure with the Denver Broncos as their short-lived head coach as well as the St. Louis Rams inability to formulate any real offense this year under his leadership has damned his reputation. Yet Adam Schefter says fan sentiment might not mean a thing when all is said and done.

Schefter points specifically to the upcoming Broncos-Patriots game on Sunday as evidence that McDaniels’ work in the NFL speaks for itself. He writes, "Sunday’s matchup is a testament to McDaniels’ work, and why he still will be in demand despite St. Louis’ struggles. No one around the league would be surprised if Kansas City and its general manager Scott Pioli, who worked with McDaniels in New England, made a hard run at him as the successor to Todd Haley. New England would always have a spot for McDaniels.

“And St. Louis wants to keep him even when change is likely to shake up the organization. As the Broncos continue to make the unlikely climb from worst to first, and as Denver continues to supplant unbeaten Green Bay as the story of the 2011 season, the irony is the person who helped make it all possible no longer is a part of it. McDaniels is battling through a challenging season in St. Louis, but his legacy is on display in Denver.”

Of course, Chiefs fans likely won’t care either way and if Pioli hangs his hat on McDaniels then there’s likely to be a mini-riot of sorts. Then again, winning cures everything.


Did Todd Haley Purposely Bench Ricky Stanzi To Spite Scott Pioli?

When something doesn't make sense, the answers have to be there somewhere. And perhaps they can be found in the unstated power play that ultimately cost Todd Haley his job.


Derrick Johnson Says Todd Haley 'Will Definitely Be Well-Missed'

One thing is clear in the midst of the cloud surrounding the Kansas City Chiefs firing their head coach Todd Haley: he never lost his players. Even until the very end, Haley's players have rooted for him, played hard for him and rebounded from completely embarrassing losses to still have a mathematical possibility of making the playoffs. Derrick Johnson, for one, is going to miss Todd Haley.

"Me and Todd have grown closer in the time he's been here," Johnson told the Star. "We've had our ups and downs, of course, but my hat's off to him for sticking with me and being passionate about what he believes in. We've shared some good times. He's a fun guy to be around. He'll definitely be well-missed."

Yet Johnson also admits that he realizes the business side of things. After several years in the NFL, some things become a part of the yearly cycle, even if it's personal.

"I guess you never expect it because you always try to be optimistic about things, but this is the NFL. It's just the nature of the beast," linebacker Derrick Johnson said. "It goes on all the time, throughout the year. I won't say it's no big deal -- it's a very big deal for the Kansas City Chiefs right now -- but this goes on throughout the year."

"This is the NFL, and when you're losing, that's the nature of the beast," Johnson said. "It goes on in the NFL all the time, every year."


Romeo Crennel Might Provide Best Complement To Scott Pioli For Long-Term Success

There's no end to the speculation of who will be the next head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs. Some go for the younger, sexier choices like a college coach or young coordinator. Others know that the storied veteran coaches might work well as a counterpart to the passionate Todd Haley. Count Seth Wickersham of ESPN among the latter. He believes the one candidate the Chiefs already have in house might work best of all. That's good news for Romeo Crennel.

Wickersham writes, "Crennel is 64. He's spent a life in football. He arguably knows more about football than Pioli, no offense to Scott. The GM-coach marriages that work best -- think Atlanta, or the Jets, or the Ravens, or the Steelers -- are the ones in which each partner complements the other one.

"Crennel knows how to win. He and Pioli were part of a staff that won three rings together, and neither of them has won one since. Yeah, he's not a sexy hire, but sexy hires are overrated. Sometimes, you just need someone reliable and knowledgeable and lacking an ego, relatively speaking.

"Crennel knows enough about coaching and enough about football to know that it's not about him. Not all coaches do. Some coaches preach team, but behind closed doors, it's about them more than anything. Crennel wants to win by any means, and by virtue of that, he can help Pioli, who might not have a chance to make a third head-coaching hire if the second isn't successful."

Nothing will be determined for some time, but it's clear that Crennel holds the edge by virtue of being the interim. If the Chiefs can impress on Sunday against the Green Bay Packers, even in a losing effort, and show some consistency at season's end against the Broncos and Raiders, Crennel might work his way into another head coaching gig.


Scott Pioli Encouraged To Avoid Patriots Coaching Tree To Find Todd Haley's Replacement

The names all sound familiar at this point. Whether it's Scott Pioli's ties with Kirk Ferentz as old friends or Eric Mangini and Josh McDaniels from his time in New England, the list for the next head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs are all connected in some relational way or another to Pioli's coaching tree, as Len Pasquarelli calls it. Yet Len also writes that Pioli needs to avoid such a tree in order to really find the right person for the job to replace Todd Haley, who was fired yesterday. 

Pasquarelli writes in his latest column that the team needs to shift out of the comfort zone to find their new head coach. Instead of someone who will offer something familiar, perhaps the team needs to shake things up. He writes:

Forget the so-called "short list." A "long list" doesn't even exist yet. But when it does, when Pioli and owner Clark Hunt sit down and draw up a list of potential replacements, it probably shouldn't include Crennel. Or Josh McDaniels, another Belichick creation who already has one strike against him as a head coach, and who ironically is the Chiefs' offensive coordinator. Or Eric Mangini. Or anyone else with ties to the Belichick-Pioli glory years with the Patriots.

Pioli is one of the brightest, most astute football people we know, and we're hardly qualified to offer advice. That said, this suggestion, humbly offered: It's time, Scott, to plant a new tree.


Todd Haley Was Undone By Scott Pioli's Inability To Develop A Franchise Quarterback

Matt Cassel and Chad Henne. Those are the quarterbacks behind the two coaches that were fired yesterday from the Chiefs and Dolphins respectively. Todd Haley was stuck with Matt Cassel signed to a long-term contract after Scott Pioli traded for him with a second round pick back in ’09 while Tony Sparano was given Henne to make it work in the AFC East. Both experiments failed and both coaches were axed because of it.

But Grantland’s Bill Barnwell isn’t convinced despite the coaches’ records or the press conferences conducted to explain it all. Instead, he says it’s the fault of the front office for failing to bring in the appropriate talent needed to succeed. He writes:

In the end, while Haley and Sparano might have had their faults, the biggest reason they fell came down to their team’s inability to identify a franchise quarterback, develop him, and keep him healthy through this 2011 season. An effective season from Cassel would have kept the Chiefs around .500 and prevented the organization from firing Haley, even as his generally prickish nature offended those around him.

And growth from Henne would have allowed Sparano to see out the final year of his deal and, perhaps, oversee the growth of a young, championship-caliber defense that could have helped him win the AFC and keep his job. Instead, Haley and Sparano are both out of a job this Tuesday, and while they were imperfect, it’s not clear that they were really the problem at all.


Scott Pioli Gave Todd Haley No Chance To Succeed With Kansas City Chiefs

Todd Haley compiled a 19-26 record in 3 seasons as the Kansas City Chiefs head coach, but did he really deserve to be fired? Scott Pioli is the one who has failed the Chiefs franchise.


Todd Haley Releases Official Statement To Firing Through Agent, Doesn't Mention Scott Pioli

For those who might have missed last night, Todd Haley finally released a statement from his own after Scott Pioli and Clark Hunt had their own press conference to weigh in on the firing of the Kansas City Chiefs head coach. In a short statement given through his agent, Haley reflected back on his time in Kansas City and what he was able to accomplish in slightly less than three seasons.

First, I would like to thank Clark Hunt and the kansas city chiefs for giving me the opportunity to coach this historic franchise. Growing up in the NFL, watching my Dad help build those great Pittsburgh Steeler teams, I have a profound love for this league. This opportunity has been a dream come true.

I would like to sincerely thank my coaches and my players for their commitment and loyalty throughout my time with the Chiefs.

I would like to thank all of the great chiefs fans. My wife Chrissy and I would also like to thank the city of Kansas City for welcoming us and our 5 children and making us feel at home.

I am proud to have been a part of continued improvement and the first AFC West title since 2003. This year has been extremely challenging, but despite losing several key players to injury and free agency, we have been able to remain competitive and remain in contention with 3 games remaining in the season. I wish the coaches and players good luck down the stretch.

NFL football is extremely competitive. Being hired and fired is part of this business. I want to thank everyone for their support and I look forward to my next opportunity in this great league.


Kansas City Chiefs Coaching Search: Basic Survival Instinct Could Hinder Great Opportunity

After the inevitable firing of Kansas City Chiefs head coach Todd Haley, we now turn our attention to the coaching search for the next leader of men in Kansas City. While most of the national attention over the past 24 hours has been on Haley's time in Kansas City, a lot of the local attention has been in-part, on general manager Scott Pioli. Don't forget that it was Scott Pioli who brought in Haley in his first big move after being hired as the general manager of the Chiefs after coming over from the New England Patriots. While general managers will generally get a little more time than coaches to show their worth when first being hired, it's not like Pioli doesn't have a lot riding on his next coaching hire. And it's for that reason that I think the Chiefs are in a bad spot with Scott Pioli right now.

I think that the Chiefs next head coach will be hired for reasons based upon Pioli's survival instinct, and knowing that if it doesn't work out with this next coach, it's him that could be next to go. For that reason I think Pioli will most assuredly go with someone that he is familiar with and someone that he can trust to fall in line with his decisions as general manager. Only two people come to mind when eliminating anyone without ties to Pioli and could be available, and neither of these guys will carry a wave of excitement with them to Kansas City.

Romeo Crennel and Josh McDaniels.

In my opinion the most important thing in hiring the next head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs is that they keep Romeo Crennel as their defensive coordinator, if it's not Crennel himself that's head coach. For this reason you would think that the next coach would be an offensive-minded guy. It wouldn't have to be but if not, they'll need to bring an offensive guy with them because Bill Muir won't be retained as offensive coordinator.

If there wasn't so much pressure to win now for Pioli I would love to see the Chiefs bring back Marty Schottenheimer. Call me sentimental because I, like many of you, grew up in a Chiefs-dominated childhood that saw Marty lead the Chiefs to nine winning seasons in ten years between '89-'98. While six of those ten seasons had the Chiefs win 10+ games. I associate Marty with the Chiefs-winning football games and despite his poor playoff record, he had those teams in position to consistently be in the playoffs. Which any Chiefs fan would take right now.

Bring along current Jets offensive coordnator Brian Schottenheimer to work with his dad and run the offense and we have one big, happy family. Only problem is there are no ties to Pioli with Marty and there is just too much pressure to not miss on this hire. He won't go outside the box on this with so much at stake for him professionally.

So while many Chiefs fans are wanting that home run hire of Marty Schottenheimer, Jeff Fisher or Bill Cowher, it's just not going to happen. Instead get used to the idea of Josh McDaniels, Romeo Crennel, Tony Sparano or Eric Mangini. He'll go with someone familiar to him and that's a shame because I think the outside-the-box hire of Marty Schottenheimer would do wonders for the Chiefs and for the city. But Pioli's survival instinct will kick in and I can't say I blame him.


Tom Cable, Bill O'Brien Enter Kansas City Chiefs Coaching Conversation

It takes no effort at all to find sportswriters and NFL analysts mentioning the same old names again and again for the Kansas City Chiefs coaching vacancy -- names like Josh McDaniels, current offensive coordinator for the worst offense in the NFL with the St. Louis Rams, or Jeff Fisher, former head coach of the Titans. But Bill Williamson of ESPN has a couple of new ideas that might add some serious possibilities.

Bill O'Brien is the current Patriots offensive coordinator and even though Scott Pioli has been gone for the last three seasons, he's still familiar enough with O'Brien to perhaps be interested enough to pull the trigger. As wide receivers coach and quarterbacks coach while Pioli was there, he could also rely on Bill Belichick's endorsement of his young coach. However Williamson writes, "He may not be ready. Pioli needs to hit a home run with this hire. Hiring O’Brien may be risky."

Tom Cable is the other new name that Williamson throws in and while he was considered an interim coach for the Raiders at one point, he earned a permanent title after the team's strong showing under his leadership. He's definitely a no-nonsense guy who lives in the trenches and has the perfect mentality to toe a company line like the one in Kansas City. Here, Williamson says it might not work because Cable "doesn’t have much cachet, and his inexperience may not sell in Kansas City. He’s a long shot." 

Either way, both men bring new additions to a growing list of candidates and they definitely make things more interesting.


Despite Relationship With Scott Pioli, Iowa's Kirk Ferentz Will Not Be Kansas City Chiefs' Next Head Coach

Kansas City Chiefs fans are well aware of Scott Pioli's relationship with Kirk Ferentz, head coach at the University of Iowa. It's the point of ad nauseam as you will never hear Tony Moeaki or Ricky Stanzi being talked about, without the reference to Pioli's ongoing friendship with Ferentz.

As much as Pioli is mentioned as being a New England guy, he is also mentioned as being Ferentz's friend.

Well I am writing this to alert you that Kirk Ferentz will not be the next head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs. Many Chiefs fans will be relieved, some may be indifferent and few likely will be sad as many fans don't think Ferentz necessarily has the experience to captain the Chiefs in the future.

Besides, would Kansas City fans really want two head coaches in a row that graduated from the same high school? That has no bearing on the future at all, but I do find it an amusing anecdote that Todd Haley and Ferentz are both graduates of Pittsburgh's Upper St. Clair High School.

This may be the one time where a sports bias can help you, as I am both a fan of the University of Iowa, and the Chiefs. I am educated when it comes to the background of Ferentz.

Let's look at what qualifies Ferentz to be the next Kansas City head coach. The 56-year old played linebacker at Connecticut and has been involved in coaching at the college or NFL level since 1977. From 1993-1998 Ferentz was offensive line coach for the Cleveland Browns/Baltimore Ravens franchise. He was on staff with Bill Belichick, further cementing his New England/Pioli ties. 

In 1999, Ferentz, who had been the offensive line coach at Iowa from 1981-1989, took over the Hawkeyes program from the retiring Hayden Fry. He has taken an Iowa program from 1-10 and 3-9 records in his first two seasons to a 98-65 overall record, including four seasons of double digit wins and two BCS bowls.

At Iowa, Ferentz has commonly done less with more than many other programs in college football. For the size of the state, Ferentz has generally exceeded expectations and continually taken unheralded prospects and turned them into NFL prospects. Currently, Iowa has the eighth most players in the NFL of any college program. Offensive line play has continued to be a staple of Iowa's program under his watch.

Does that necessarily mean that Ferentz would be able to translate into an NFL head coach? The jury is out. Ferentz isn't a fiery coach and is more laid back. That is unlike Haley, and likely something Pioli would be looking for.

Though Ferentz has never jumped back into the NFL, he certainly has been mentioned for head coaching jobs before. However Ferentz has continually pledged his allegiance to Iowa. 

Now looking at why Ferentz won't be the coach, it has nothing to do with experience, as it does with wanting to stay committed to Iowa. 

His son James is a junior at Iowa and the starting center on the football team. Their youngest son, Steve is a senior at Iowa City High, and likely to join sons James and Brian as Ferentz boys who have played under their father at Iowa. Would Kirk pass up his son's senior season at Iowa and the possibility of having two sons on his team at the same time? I doubt it.

If one thing can be said, Ferentz is a loyal man. With Iowa's long-time defensive coordinator Norm Parker retiring on Sunday after a long coaching career, Ferentz doesn't seem to be the type of person who would leave the program with that much uncertainty going on at campus.

Now with Iowa finishing 8-5 last season and being 7-5 this season there certainly is pressure on Ferentz to get back to a stronger winning percentage. With a $3.65 million annual salary, many Iowa fans are wanting to see better results. That would spell a perfect time for an exit, and NFL Network's Charles Davis agrees, saying this-

Can't say that the news of Todd Haley's dismissal is surprising. In a lot of ways, it was a matter of when, not if. Now speculation turns to who's next. The name that intrigues me the most is Kirk Ferentz, head coach at Iowa. In the past he has resisted the siren song of the NFL, but to me, if he's ever going to make the move, this would be the time and place for it.

However, getting back the timing of Norm Parker's retirement and the chance to not only coach James' senior year, but also possibly have two sons on the team at Iowa next season, I don't see Ferentz taking the bait this time either.

Now if he did take the job, I imagine the Chiefs would have Brian Ferentz as their TE coach next season. Currently the TE coach with the Patriots (again, notice the connection?), the Patriots tight ends have been barnstorming through the league this season. While a lot of that has to do with pure talent on their roster, you can't argue that what Brian Ferentz is doing is working.

This writing probably comes off as a Ferentz love fest to many Chiefs fans, but let me just assure those of you that are skeptics of his possibility of coaching the Chiefs next year. Don't worry, Kirk Ferentz is not coming to Kansas City.


Former Kansas City Chiefs Head Coach Todd Haley Releases Statement, Wishes Coaches And Players 'Good Luck' Down The Stretch

Earlier on Monday, the Kansas City Chiefs decided to terminate the contract of head coach Todd Haley. Through his agent, Haley has released a statement. Per the Kansas City Star's Chiefs blog:

"First, I would like to thank Clark Hunt and the kansas city chiefs for giving me the opportunity to coach this historic franchise. Growing up in the NFL, watching my Dad help build those great Pittsburgh Steeler teams, I have a profound love for this league. This opportunity has been a dream come true.

I would like to sincerely thank my coaches and my players for their commitment and loyalty throughout my time with the Chiefs.

i would like to thank all of the great chiefs fans. My wife Chrissy and i would also like to thank the city of Kansas City for welcoming us and our 5 children and making us feel at home.

i am proud to have been a part of continued improvement and the first AFC West title since 2003. This year has been extremely challenging, but despite losing several key players to injury and free agency, we have been able to remain competitive and remain in contention with 3 games remaining in the season. i wish the coaches and players good luck down the stretch.

NFL football is extremely competitive. Being hired and fired is part of this business. i want to thank everyone for their support and i look forward to my next opportunity in this great league."

For more on the Chiefs' firing of Todd Haley, check out Arrowhead Pride. For all NFL news, visit SB Nation's NFL page.


Steve Spagnuolo Would Make Interesting Replacement For Todd Haley With Kansas City Chiefs

In the modern media cycle, it only takes five minutes for one guy to be announced as fired before everyone starts wondering who replaces him. Todd Haley was fired today as the head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs and now it’s clear that everyone is interested in his replacement. Every other column continues to mention the same names again and again — Jeff Fisher, Josh McDaniels, Romeo Crennel, Kirk Ferentz — but one name might soon be available if some rumors turn reality: Steve Spagnuolo.

Currently Spagnuolo is the head coach of the St. Louis Rams and if the team knows what’s good for them, they’ll hold onto their head coach even in the middle of a disastrous season — far worse than the Chiefs. But NFL coaching fires spread like a yawn throughout a room and it’s clear he’s already on the hot seat. Given that Jack Del Rio, Haley and Tony Sparano have already taken the fall, Spags might be next.

If so, the Chiefs should immediately request an interview, because Spagnuoli is definitely a quality coach who has not had the talent to work with in St. Louis. While he was given a top shelf quarterback pick in the draft, the offensive line and skill positions have been left void for two seasons. Injuries have also taken their toll on the team and left them lifeless in several games.

Still Spags is known for being a dynamic defensive coach and he has championship experience under his belt as well with the New York Giants. If he is fired in St. Louis, someone will strike quickly to remedy that situation. Out of any recent head coach currently on the market, Spags is easily the main attraction.


Scott Pioli Must Get Next Chiefs Head Coach Right Or Else His Job Is In Jeopardy

Todd Haley got the axe and Scott Pioli is safe. For now. The Kansas City Chiefs general manager must realize, however, that hiring Haley in the first place was his call. So was drafting Tyson Jackson. So was trading for Matt Cassel. Those are a lot of questionable decisions for a general manager too feel too safe.

Bill Williamson of ESPN writes on this subject
in his latest column He notes, "So, the Chiefs have a chance to get better quickly when these players return. It’s all on Pioli. He has to ensure that the Chiefs rebound in 2012. If not, he could soon be on the hot seat. He was the one who hired Haley, so he must take responsibility for it. Hiring Haley — an old colleague from their shared Bill Parcells days — was Pioli’s first move in Kansas City after being hired in January 2009.

“If they couldn’t get along, it is partly Pioli’s fault. He must be able to get along with his head coach. That’s why it is so important that he makes the right call with his next hire. If the next coach is a failure or if Pioli butts heads with him, it probably will be Pioli’s turn to pay the price. We will hear plenty of names connected to this job, including former Broncos coach Josh McDaniels, Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz and former NFL coach Eric Mangini. Expect Pioli to take his time as he tries to get his second coaching hire right. Pioli has to know his long-term future in Kansas City is reliant on him making the right call.”

The good news is that Scott Pioli knows this for himself, referencing his own need to become better at his job several times during the team’s press conference today. Only time will tell moving forward.


Scott Pioli Says Romeo Crennel Will Be Among Candidates Considered For Todd Haley's Replacement

The Kansas City Chiefs are now open for a new head coach and it’s clear the impressive defensive performance of the Chiefs this season has Romeo Crennel in a solid spot to be one of the candidates to replace Todd Haley as head coach. The former New England Patriots defensive coordinator is certainly familiar with Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli and he also has head coaching experience while with the Cleveland Browns. Thus not only will Crennel serve as the interim head coach of the Chiefs, but the team’s performance down the stretch might change that interim title.

In a press conference today, Scott Pioli spoke to Crennel’s standing with the team. He said, “We talked with Romeo and he’s going to be someone that we’re definitely talking to. Right now, we’re just trying to take care of today. There are a lot of moving parts right now. We asked Romeo and offered it to him and he accepted. I think it’s safe to say that he’ll be one of the people we’re considering as we move forward.”

Crennel went 24-40 as the head coach of the Browns for four NFL seasons.


Clark Hunt Says Decision To Fire Todd Haley As Chiefs Head Coach 'Was Not Easy'

At today’s press conference to announce the firing of Todd Haley as the Kansas City Chiefs head coach, the owner of the Chiefs, Clark Hunt, took questions from the media to help explain the situation and where the Chiefs go from here.

Hunt opened up the proceedings with some opening remarks that gave some framework of understanding the decision.

“This has been a very difficult day for the Chiefs as we’ve parted ways this morning with head coach Todd Haley. These types of decisions are never easy, but ultimately we felt that we had to do what was in the best interests of the football team. As I’ve said many times before, our goal is to build a team that can consistently compete for championships and one that our fans can be proud of. While there have been some bright spots throughout this season, it is clear to me that we are not making enough progress toward that goal. I do believe that we have a strong foundation in place with a core group of talented players and I am confident in the future of the team.”

Later on, Hunt and Scott Pioli were asked about the timing of firing Haley with three regular season games left and two weeks before Christmas. Hunt fielded the question:

“Timing in these situations is always difficult. There never seems to be a right time. We just felt that the inconsistent play that the team had experienced throughout the season, including yesterday’s game, made today the right day to do it. We want to give the guys a chance to end the season on a high note and mathematically we’re still alive for the playoffs. We wanted the guys to go out and face the Green Bay Packers and play to the best of their ability and we thought a change was important at this time.”

The Chiefs will now turn to Romeo Crennel to serve as interim head coach for the next three weeks.


Todd Haley Fired: Kansas City Chiefs Will Hold Press Conference This Afternoon

For those wanting to hear some answers to the many questions surrounding Todd Haley’s firing from the Kansas City Chiefs, you’ll get some of them at 2pm CT today when the Chiefs hold their press conference concerning the whole affair. It’s likely that some reasons will be given for both the firing and the timing of it all, but it’s unlikely to yield much in the way of news on new head coaching candidates.

Haley was fired earlier today after the team’s disastrous performance against the New York Jets in a 37-10 loss that wasn’t even that close. Haley went 19-26 in his nearly three full seasons as the Chiefs head coach and was always at odds with the front office on a number of subjects — reportedly ranging from the selection of Tyson Jackson with the No. 3 overall selection in the 2009 draft to the hiring of Charlie Weis as offensive coordinator.

Current names being tossed around to replace Haley include Josh McDaniels, Jeff Fisher and Kirk Ferentz.


Jeff Fisher Is 'More Likely' Than Josh McDaniels To Replace Todd Haley

The rumor mill will continue to churn for some time, but it’s likely that Scott Pioli has a contender in mind for who he would like to replace Todd Haley as the head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs. After all, it doesn’t make sense to make a move like this unless you already have a good idea of who you are going after. Some have mentioned names like Kirk Ferentz and Josh McDaniels and Jeff Fisher and those are all good guesses. Russ Lande of Sporting News says that Fisher is the one.

He writesWhile everyone is already talking about [Josh] McDaniels in KC, we have heard Jeff Fisher is the more likely guy right now." Fisher certainly has proved more on the NFL level than McDaniels has. At one point, McDaniels’ stock was red hot as an offensive coordinator and assistant coach for the New England Patriots, but since that time, he’s served as the offensive coordinator for the 32nd ranked offense in the NFL this season with the Rams and had a failed head coaching stint for the Broncos.

Fisher, meanwhile, was just fired after going 6-10 last season in his 17th year with the Tennessee Titans. Overall, however, he has a 142-120 head coaching record.


Todd Haley's Replacements Could Include Kirk Ferentz, Josh McDaniels According To Peter King

As various sportswriter and NFL analysts learn of the Todd Haley firing by the Kansas City Chiefs, some various names are popping up as likely replacements. Peter King of Sports Illustrated notes two popular ones himself as he writes, “First two names I thought of after Haley firing: Kirk Ferentz, Josh McDaniels. I am certain there will be more to choose from.”

We’ve already discussed both of these options and clearly would prefer the Ferentz route. Both are possibilities, of course, given their relationship with the decision maker Scott Pioli, but it’s also easy to reason out of both possibilities give their circumstances.

Ferentz is entrenched in Iowa football with 13 years as a tenured head coach and a family established there. He’s worked hard to get where he’s at and giving that up would take a lot of convincing.

As for McDaniels, he’d be a very unpopular option in Kansas City after his time as the Denver Broncos head coach — one in which he tanked after winning his first six games. His time as an offensive coordinator for the Rams hasn’t gone so well either, so this move really does not make sense other than his connection to Pioli.


Timing Is Key For Scott Pioli To Find Todd Haley's Replacement As Chiefs Head Coach

Remember the last time the Kansas City Chiefs were here. They were looking for their new head coach just three seasons ago and the rumors were flying about who exactly new general manager Scott Pioli would want to bring on as his first official head coach hire. Of course, the hopes then would that it was also his last. Alas, history (or rather, Scott Pioli) has not been so kind to Todd Haley.

The key to the current news that Haley has been fired as the head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs is to remember the timing of Pioli’s last big decision. Because the Arizona Cardinals went to the Super Bowl that season, Haley had to wait on his head coaching candidate to finish out his duties as offensive coordinator. Haley was hot property but the Chiefs could not officially interview and consequently hire their new head coach until February. That’s a death knell when trying to assemble the rest of the staff.

In the end, Pioli got his man in Haley but the rest of the staff suffered, and they have been ever since. Clancy Pendergast was the defensive coordinator. Haley served as his own offensive coordinator. The moves clearly didn’t work and the team went into overdrive the next year trying to find the right coordinators.

Not this time. Now that Haley has been fired with several games left in the regular season, as well as the playoffs, the Chiefs will now have a chance to fill out their coaching staff completely with plenty of time to make smart decisions and hope that they stick over time. If they are forced to wait, it will be because they wanted to wait on a coaching candidate. Instead of picking from leftovers of other teams, they will now have the best choice.

If there’s any perks to Haley’s firing, it’s this whole issue of timing. While Haley deserved better, the reality is that the team is now best positioned to find its new head coach. That’s something that Pioli could not have said the first time around.


Scott Pioli: 'We've Not Been Able To Establish Kind Of Consistency We Need' With Todd Haley

The key word used by Scott Pioli in the Chiefs’ official press statement concerning the firing of head coach Todd Haley is “consistency.” That’s certainly a true statement. The Chiefs lose their first three, win their next four, drop their next four and then win at Chicago. Suddenly they completely lay an egg on the road at the New York Jets on Sunday. This 2011 season has been a roller coaster ride for the Kansas City Chiefs, to say the least.

“Todd helped this team in many valuable ways over the past three seasons, and I am thankful for his contributions,” Chiefs General Manager Scott Pioli said. “Unfortunately, we have not been able to establish the kind of consistency we need to continue to build a strong foundation for the future and we believe a change is important at this time.”

Yet the reality is: how consistent could a team have been this year with the tougher schedule matched with the overwhelming amount of injuries and lack of depth on the roster. Haley is the fall guy for a lot of bad decisions, his included, and it’s clear that a new coach will need more players to work with if “consistency” is the goal.


Could Kirk Ferentz Replace Todd Haley As Head Coach Of Kansas City Chiefs?

The rumor mill will churn, so undoubtedly we will be paying close attention. Some names to already come through the Twitter wire speaking possibilities of Todd Haley’s replacement as Kansas City Chiefs head coach include Jeff Fisher, the longtime Titans head coach, or Josh McDaniels, the former Denver Broncos head coach and New England Patriots coordinator. But what about another name: Kirk Ferentz?

Ferentz is a name that the NFL’s Albert Breer believes will be a candidate to watch for and rightfully so. Scott Pioli is close with Ferentz and Ferentz has been offered pro jobs before. Perhaps if the right one came along, the Iowa Hawkeyes coach would finally make the leap.

Ferentz’s name has been discussed before, earlier in the year when the Chiefs were losing at historical levels, so perhaps this isn’t that new.

Ferentz is 96-65 in his 13 year tenure at Iowa. He’s a staple now of Iowa football with a great salary of over $3.5 million and a comfortable position. That’s a lot for a coach to give up, and it would likely take a great friend and great opportunity to do it.


Todd Haley Fired: Failure To Get Along With Scott Pioli 'Did Him In'

The Kansas City Chiefs front office has been living in tension — that much has been well-publicized. Thus, for some, the firing today of the Chiefs head coach Todd Haley is not surprising given the lack of results on the football field. Combined with the tension between Haley and Scott Pioli, the team’s general manager, Pro Football Weekly says it finally did Haley in.

“Injuries a major issue this season, but not seeing eye-to-eye w/ Pioli did him in,” reported PFW on Twitter. And that’s likely the best summation of the entire issue. Pioli is the one with the reins. Pioli is the captain of this ship. Pioli is the one with the owner’s ear. Thus, as Scot Pioli goes, so will the Kansas City Chiefs.

Todd Haley went 19-26 in his coaching career with the Chiefs and now Pioli will likely move on to someone else within his familiar tree. It will, certainly, be someone he can see eye to eye with.


Todd Haley Fired: Jeff Fisher, Josh McDaniels Lead Kansas City Chiefs Coaching Candidates

The reports coming in from Adam Schefter and Evan Silva are that Josh McDaniels, the Denver Broncos former head coach, and Jeff Fisher, the former head coach of the Tennessee Titans are the early names to replace Todd Haley in Kansas City. There couldn’t be a bigger disparity between the two.

The Josh McDaniels era in Denver was a complete joke from the beginning. While he will always have the bright spot of being the guy who took a chance on Tim Tebow, assuming Tebow will continue to fare well, then McDaniels has that lone highlight. Other than that, McDaniels’ legacy in Denver was short-lived and filled with drama. He became the offensive coordinator for a St. Louis Rams team that suddenly looks like they need a new quarterback despite spending a No. 1 pick on Sam Bradford. In short, this would be a scary hire.

Jeff Fisher, on the other hand, was 142-120 in 17 seasons as a head coach for the Titans and while he never won a Super Bowl, he was able to maintain a long-term record of success for a franchise that ultimately decided to move on. He was ultimately fired last season after a 6-10 record, but Fisher still has a solid reputation as an NFL head coach.

Many more names are likely to be thrown out, but these first two couldn’t be any different if they wanted.


Why Todd Haley Deserved Better From Scott Pioli And Kansas City Chiefs

Todd Haley has been fired as the head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs. That much you probably have already heard and it shouldn’t be that surprising. We’ve been discussing the hot seat under the Chiefs head coach since September ourselves. However, even though Haley admitted himself that he failed to have his team prepared for Sunday’s egg-laying in New York, he certainly deserved better than this.

“Deserve better?” That’s a likely question you might ask (or at least I am pretending you are). Perhaps you’re thinking “The Chiefs deserve better,” and that’s a solid notion as well. But while Todd Haley’s teams have certainly been completely outperformed at several points this season (losses to Detroit, Buffalo, Miami and NY Jets quickly come to mind), his team has also exhibited two things that at least should have kept Haley in his position until season’s end.

First of all, his team never stopped playing for him. Sure there’s the stretch from Sunday’s game when the Chiefs wanted to see if it was possible to score a touchdown based on yardage gained from asinine penalties from the opposing team. However, the defense has been lights out at several points this year and his players have stood up for him again and again.

Haley has also toed the company line several times. Scott Pioli is sitting on $30 million that he could have spent and Haley has suffered through a litany of injuries to very important players on a paper-thin roster. Yet through it all, Haley always expected to win, always preached the right mantras and never stepped out of line in terms of morale or miscommunications.

Finally, there are the aforementioned injuries. Haley won 10 games last season. He has said several times himself that he knew he would grow as a head coach along with his young team. Yet this year, he had no Jamaal Charles, Eric Berry, Brandon Siler, Tony Moeaki and then Matt Cassel also fell late in the year. Winning in the NFL is a difficult business as it is, but to have a roster with little to no depth in key places suffer major injuries — it’s impossible for any coach to win with that.

At the very least, what does KC gain by firing Haley now? Even if Pioli wants a leg-up on the competition to talk to coaching candidates, he could do so behind closed doors and allow Haley to finish out the year. Haley deserved better from the Chiefs even if it was a graceful exit. It’s another sour note in a year filled with them.


Is Todd Haley Completely Off Of The Coaching Hot Seat For Kansas City Chiefs?

The dominoes are starting to fall a bit early, although one always does this time of year. Jack Del Rio is no longer the head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars, a strong statement given that he’s been in the position for nine seasons. Few coaches have enjoyed that length of tenure with the lack of success he’s had over time (one playoff win to speak of). Yet as Del Rio is now replaced with Mel Tucker as interim head coach, it begs the question of who else is on the hot seat around the NFL.

Surprisingly, Don Banks of Sports Illustrated doesn’t place Kansas City Chiefs head coach Todd Haley on his list of six coaches on the hot seat. Norv Turner is appropriately listed for the Chargers, as are Tom Coughlin (Giants), Steve Spagnuolo (Rams), Andy Reid (Eagles), Jim Caldwell (Colts) and Tony Sparano (Dolphins). Many of those are easy to predict, especially Turner, Sparano and Caldwell. But it’s interesting to see names like Reid and Spagnuolo on the list without also placing Haley alongside them.

The reason is that just one month ago, we were wondering ourselves if Haley was going to be gone soon. Mike Silver predicted that Josh McDaniels would take over in Kansas City. Peter King also addressed the tension, saying that it was general manager Scott Pioli who was safe and not Haley. In short, there was a lot of talk about Haley leaving KC one way or another.

Now there’s no word of it when other coaches are getting fired, despite the Chiefs current four game losing streak. They’re mired in the basement of the AFC West with the San Diego Chargers and the offense, Haley’s signature area, is the worst part of the team. In fact, the Chiefs have scored one offensive touchdown in the last 16 quarters (a one yard TD pass from Matt Cassel to Le’Ron McClain). That warrants another mention: one offensive touchdown in four full games.

I’m certainly not advocating that Haley should be fired. Rather, it’s just very interesting that the hot subject in Kansas City only one month ago has now disappeared despite the team sinking straight to the bottom of the division after holding a share of the lead. Did the tension go away? Is it boiling under the surface? Has Haley earned a shot to come back since the team is clearly playing motivated football despite the losing streak? Those are all important questions.

Perhaps Haley is still playing for his own security and a win on Sunday against the Bears can help still any rough waters from churning at this point.


Kansas City Chiefs Owner: Team Not Contemplating Head Coaching Change From Todd Haley

Earlier in the year, the hot seat talk surrounding the Kansas City Chiefs head coach Todd Haley was red hot. In fact, it seemed like he might be the first coach fired of this NFL season. Now the Chiefs are hot as a team and riding a three game winning streak into Monday’s game against the San Diego Chargers for the division lead. With it comes Chiefs owner Clark Hunt’s announcement that there’s no talk of replacing Haley.

“They have an excellent relationship,” Hunt says of general manager Scott Pioli and Haley. “I understand there’s been a lot of focus on that subject. But in the time I’ve been around them, they work very well together. They have a shared vision for the kind of football team they’re trying to build.”

Hunt says the player personnel side is also something they share and that strengthens the bond between them.

“Most importantly, they approach the player personnel side very much from the same perspective. I rarely if ever have seen them disagree on a player, whether it’s a draft choice or a free agent. It doesn’t mean they don’t have discussions where they share different viewpoints about players, but at the end of the day they reach an agreement and move forward with whatever the decision is on the player.”

It’s interesting to hear this when a writer like Yahoo!‘s Mike Silver notes that the tension between the two is one of the “”" target="new">worst kept secrets in the NFL." That’s not something Silver would throw out there lightly if there wasn’t some truth to it.

For now it seems that winning is the cure-all in the NFL. Haley has been publicly backed by the highest of powers and the Chiefs have seen the drama fade from the media. A win against the Chargers will only further that positivity.


Chiefs QB Matt Cassel Denies Knowledge Of Any Scott Pioli-Todd Haley Tension

Ever since Sunday’s horrific loss to the Lions, Chiefs head coach Todd Haley has been on the proverbial hot seat and the temperature seems to rise with each new day that passes. Numerous writers have thrown out their guesses for possible replacements for Haley in recent days, and Haley himself had to take questions about his job security at Chiefs press conferences. Suffice to say, it’s been a rough week for the Chiefs.

Rumors started appearing that Scott Pioli, the Chiefs GM, doesn’t like Haley and that tensions have been around for awhile. Michael Silver wrote of the tension that it’s the “worst kept secret in NFL circles.” But at least one player promises he has no idea what anyone is talking about. 

“To be completely honest I haven’t seen that with my own two eyes," Matt Cassel told WHB's Soren Petro. "From what I see they talk to each other in the building. They are communicating and everything. It looks great, so I don’t know anything. I can’t really speculate on the article or what is being said out there because I haven’t seen that or know anything about it.”

That’s good news for a Chiefs team that needs the rumors to die down so the roster can go about its business. Then again, the single best thing the Chiefs coaches and players can do this weekend to stop the rumors is to simply win a game. That can happen this weekend against the Chiefs.


Josh McDaniels Predicted To Succeed Todd Haley Next Head Coach Of Kansas City Chiefs

The latest column from Michael Silver over at Yahoo! Sports (always a must-read, by the way) has some great information about the current state of the Chiefs front office and coaching situation. While we’ve already written about what Silver said regarding the tension between Scott Pioli and Todd Haley, another prediction warrants a mention since it’s entirely possible and impossible at the same time.

Silver specifically predicts that Josh McDaniels will be the next head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs. Todd Haley is already on the hot seat according to several sportswriters this morning, and the discussion will eventually turn to possible successors. Silver heads up the proceedings with his predictions, saying:

I believe that if Pioli fires Haley, he’ll try to hire his old New England colleague Josh McDaniels, he of the disastrous tenure as Broncos head coach that included dubious personnel moves too numerous to mention, a cheating scandal and five victories in his final 22 games. When McDaniels, currently the Rams’ offensive coordinator, becomes K.C.’s next head coach, count on two things: I’ll remind you that you heard it here first and you’re going to be treated to a real diatribe.

Silver is right to follow a Patriots thread to a possible new coaching hire. McDaniels is a decent link with ties to both Pioli and the AFC West and it’s entirely within the realm of possibility that McDaniels could be such a hire. Yet after such an unpopular coach, could Pioli really spin McDaniels to the buying public? I just don’t buy it. And Silver’s right to cry foul over it as well.

Either way, these are interesting days in Kansas City even though the Chiefs have performed so poorly. Count me among those who still believe Haley is a decent citizen and coach, and for me the biggest issue is why Pioli hasn’t spent the $30 million at his disposal over the summer to bring in the depth and competition Haley could use right now. Haley has certainly been outcoached, but he also hasn’t exactly been given everything he could have been given to work with. Numerous people are at fault here.

Make sure to check out Arrowhead Pride for all of your Chiefs news and updates.


Chief Concerns: Tension Between Scott Pioli And Todd Haley 'Worst Kept Secret In NFL Circles'

Yahoo! Sports Mike Silver is either making something for the sake of his late night diatribe for his column or else we’re stumbling onto something unexpected for the first time. But as yet another columnist places Kansas City Chiefs head coach Todd Haley on the hot seat and speaks of his possible dismissal, Silver mentions another reason besides the Chiefs on-field disaster this season.

Specifically, Silver addresses a growing tension and inability to get along with general manager Scott Pioli as the main reason why Haley would be ousted. Even more surprising, Silver mentions it with such ease, like it should be common knowledge. He writes:

While Haley on the hot seat will strike most fans as odd – he was a legitimate coach of the year candidate in 2010, his second season in K.C. – people who know what’s going on inside the organization are nodding their heads unremarkably.

That there is a lot of tension between Haley and his boss, general manager Scott Pioli, is the worst kept secret in NFL circles. The fact that they get along like vegetarians and Gates Barbecue shouldn’t be enough to get Haley fired, but the combination of that and a season from hell could certainly do the trick.

It’s surprising that the two wouldn’t get along since it was clear that Pioli was zeroing in on Todd Haley in the first place as his primary coaching candidate. If you think back to the time Pioli was fired, fans and writers were wondering why Pioli kept silent on the coaching candidates coming in while other teams were not only filling their head coaching slots but their assistant roles as well. The reason was because Pioli couldn’t talk to his candidate yet because Arizona, Haley’s former employer, was still playing in the postseason.

Certainly the interview process wasn’t about a couple of phone calls and a face-to-face with Pioli, right? Certainly, Pioli did his homework, hung out with the guy, checked several references and knew his body of work well before he hired him. Certainly Pioli cannot be that surprised at Haley’s demeanor, philosophy and techniques. It’s clear he didn’t even want anyone else.

Yet apparently the tension between the two is the ‘worst kept secret in NFL circles.’ Silver is undoubtedly stretching the story to make a point, but this is the first I’ve heard of any tension between these two in Arrowhead. And if so, that definitely makes Haley a hotter seat than I realized.

Make sure to check out Arrowhead Pride for all of your Chiefs news and updates.

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