|Could Todd Haley pull a Josh McDaniels and return to his old job? (Getty Images)|
By Ryan Wilson
So much for Todd Haley and Tony Sparano "joining forces" as an offensive coordinating powerhouse. Despite an ESPN report Saturday, Haley, who was fired as the Chiefs head coach in December, is "nearing a deal to return to the Arizona Cardinals," a source told NFL Network's Jason La Canfora.
On Thursday, the Arizona Republic's Kent Somers reported that Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt was expected to meet with Haley, who served as Arizona's offensive coordinator in 2007-2008, including the team that lost to the Steelers in the Super Bowl following in February '09.
A contract could be completed by next week.
The Cards' offense has struggled the last two seasons, finishing 28th in 2011 and 31st in 2010. But the lack of productivity isn't becauase of Haley's departure but due to Kurt Warner's retirement after the 2009 campaign (Arizona's offense ranked 13th that year). Also not helping: trying to consistently score points with some combination of Derek Anderson, Max Hall, John Skelton or Kevin Kolb under center.
Some of Haley's critics might point out that he didn't magically revitalize the Chiefs' offense upon arrival, either. The team ranked 25th in the league in 2009, rose to 13th in '10 when the team won the division, but fell to 20th in '11 after Jamaal Charles and Matt Cassel landed on injured reserve.
When Haley left the first time, Whisenhunt promoted then-wide receivers coach Mike Miller to offensive coordinator. Somers writes that Whisenhunt "would have to create a position for Haley, which would mean either re-organizing his existing coaching staff or adding a coach," which indicates that Miller won't be relieved of his duties.
Now all the Cards need to do is talk Warner out of retirement.
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