Tag:Kansas City Chiefs
Posted on: February 8, 2012 6:51 pm
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Warner thinks Haley will be good for Big Ben

Can Haley make Roethlisberger a better quarterback? (US PRESSWIRE)

By Ryan Wilson

There has been some consternation by Steelers fans -- if not flat out gnashing of teeth -- over the news that Pittsburgh hired Todd Haley as offensive coordinator. Haley, whose dad served in the Steelers' personnel department from 1971-1990, replaces Bruce Arians, who "retired" (read: was fired) last month.

It's not that Haley hasn't had success as an NFL assistant, it's just that his abrasive style doesn't seem to mesh with "The Steelers Way." Put differently: Haley's sideline demeanor is 180 degrees from that of defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau. That alone isn't an indictment against the man; he is a football coach, after all. Yelling and screaming is more coming than not. And one of the reasons Arians was let go was because he had become too chummy with franchise quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

Why chumminess was a concern when the Steelers had gone to two Super Bowls (winning one) under Arians and regularly had a top-10 offense still remains a mystery. But this is a transient business; coaches get fired all the time. Just ask Haley, who was canned during the 2011 season after less than three years as the Chiefs' head coach, where he went 19-26.

Before Haley's arrival in Kansas City, he was a successful though sometimes combative coordinator in Arizona. One of the league's most mild-mannered players, former quarterback Kurt Warner, can attest to that.

"It doesn't matter where you stand on the totem pole," Warner, who played for Haley with the Cardinals, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

"If he sees something you can do better, he lets you know about it. That was a reason for our success."

In general, that's all well and good. But it's not like Roethlisberger was struggling to find himself on the football field. He entered the "elite quarterback" conversation several years ago and other than debilitating injuries, he remains one of the league's most dangerous players. He did that under Arians. Whether that success continues under Haley remains to be seen.

"I enjoyed playing for him," Warner continued. "I'm a guy who loves to be challenged in a lot of different ways, and that's what Todd is about. He pushed me and wanted me to be great. He pushed the guys around me to be great."

As for all the sideline ranting and raving, Warner doesn't think it will be a problem.

"It's not about the yelling and screaming; I'm OK with that," said Warner, who along with teammates, got into it with Haley.

"He just wants you to do the right thing. Instead of getting offended, maybe you have to look at yourself and say, 'OK, that's a legitimate concern.' That's the way you get good. That's how you stay great. He will be good for Ben, not that Ben needs a lot of help. He's a great quarterback."

Exactly.

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Posted on: February 4, 2012 10:25 am
Edited on: February 4, 2012 10:39 am
 

Report: Chiefs hire Brian Daboll as OC

Brian Daboll (right) reportedly has been hired as Kansas City's offensive coordinator. (US Presswire)
By Josh Katzowitz

Earlier this week, with Chiefs coach Romeo Crennel and general manager Scott Pioli in Indianapolis for all the Super Bowl festivities, Crennel said he was close to hiring a new offensive coordinator. Now, we know, via the Kansas City Star, that Crennel’s choice is former Dolphins offensive coordinator Brian Daboll.

Apparently, Daboll beat out quarterbacks coach Jim Zorn and former Raiders offensive coordinator Al Saunders for the job.

Daboll is coming off a one-year run as Tony Sparano’s offensive coordinator in Miami where the Dolphins ranked 22nd in yards gained and 20th in points scored (according to Football Outsiders, they were the 20th-most efficient offense overall).

That actually was an improvement over Daboll’s two-year run as the Browns offensive coordinator under Crennell when Cleveland ranked as one of the worst offensive teams in the league from 2009-10.

To be fair, though, Daboll didn’t have much to work with in Cleveland, and after losing Chad Henne to injury last season in Miami, the Dolphins offense improved in the second half of the season, helping the team win six of its last nine games.

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Posted on: February 3, 2012 11:16 am
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Posted on: January 29, 2012 12:02 pm
 

Chiefs Matt Cassel helps woman escape house fire

"I wasn't heroic at all," Cassel said. ..."The real heroes are the firefighters." (US PRESSWIRE)

By Ryan Wilson

In general, the quarterback is the face of the franchise. And that means, for good or bad, he's the first person fans point to when things aren't going well. But that's the deal: you get the accolades when the team wins just with the full understanding that you're the first stop when the torch-and-pitchfork crowd gathers.

Turns out, quarterbacks are people too. And when they're not throwing touchdowns or interceptions, they're living their lives. And apparently, one Kansas City-area woman has Chiefs' quarterback Matt Cassel to thank for saving her from a house fire.

According to KMBC, "the quick actions of a Kansas City Chiefs player may have helped keep the homeowner from harm. …

"Neighbors told KMBC 9 News that Cassel's wife first spotted the smoke and flames coming from the home's chimney. Cassel ran to his neighbor's house, rang the doorbell, pounded on the front door and started to circle the house until he saw the woman who lives there come outside."

The woman said she didn't realize her house was on fire until Cassel sprung into action.  No one was injured in the fire, but a neighbor told KMBC that "I know Matt wouldn't want this kind of attention, but I definitely think he was a hero last night."

Cassel's response: "I wasn't heroic at all. I just ran up to the house and alerted them. The real heroes are the firefighters."

The Chiefs may have had a tough 2011 season but they've been heroic off the field. In June, Cassel's tight end Leonard Pope saved a boy from drowning.

Cassel played in just nine games last season before surgery on his throwing hand forced him to injured reserve in late November. Kansas City was 4-5 when he went down and the Chiefs finished the year 7-9 with Tyler Palko and Kyle Orton under center. A year after leading Kansas City to the AFC West title, head coach Todd Haley lost his job and defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel was named his successor.

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Posted on: January 28, 2012 1:55 pm
 

Romeo Crennel likely to serve as own DC

CrennelBy Josh Katzowitz

After the Chiefs proved that the defense wasn’t the main problem with the team during their 7-9 season -- Kansas City finished 11th in the league in yards given up and 12th in points allowed -- new coach Romeo Crennel apparently has decided that the man who ran the defense the past two seasons should be allowed to run it again.

Which is why Crennel will serve as his own defensive coordinator in 2012.

That’s the word from Kansas City general manager Scott Pioli, who told Sirius XM NFL radio on Friday (via Foxsports.com) that he believes Crennel will stay in charge of the Chiefs defense.

“I’m not sure if he stated it publicly, but I get the sense Romeo wants to be the coordinator on defense,” Pioli said. “I don’t know if he’s made the absolute final decision, but I’m pretty sure that’s the way he wants to go.”

Since Crennel was named defensive coordinator before the 2010 season, the Chiefs have been a defense that’s ranked in the top half of the league’s squads, a big change from the 2009 squad under defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast, whose unit ranked 30th in yards allowed (in Gunther Cunningham’s final season in 2008, Kansas City’s defense also was one of the worst in the league).

Of course, at some point, Crennel will have to hire a coordinator, especially considering the Chiefs don’t have one for offense either.

“We’re talking (about candidates) internally and externally,” Pioli said. “It remains fluid right now.”

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Posted on: January 25, 2012 10:29 am
 

Report: Jack Del Rio could be next Broncos DC

JDR could be the next Broncos defensive coordinator. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

With Dennis Allen now headed to Oakland as the next head coach of the Raiders, the Broncos now need to fill a big void at defensive coordinator. According to one report, Jack Del Rio could be the guy to take over for Allen in Denver.

Jason LaCanfora of the NFL Network cites sources on Wednesday who believe that Del Rio has "emerged as a possible replacement" for Allen after he departs for the Raiders.

Del Rio was axed from Jacksonville in late November and since then's been ripped by former players, been basically called "not as good as Tom Coughlin" by his former owner, and he was reportedly mentioned as a candidate for the Chiefs job.

Defense is JDR's calling card (along with lumberjacking and leather jackets) and the Broncos could particularly make sense given the success he had in 2002 as John Fox's defensive coordinator with the Panthers. That year the Panthers finished first in yards per rushing attempt allowed, second in total yards allowed, fifth in points allowed and seventh in takeaways in the NFL.

Del Rio parlayed that success, along with his work as the Ravens linebackers coach before that, into becoming the replacement for Coughlin in Jacksonville. He only compiled a 68-71 record over nine years, but his defenses were typically stout. 2010 and 2011 were the exception, not the rule.

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Posted on: January 24, 2012 6:22 pm
Edited on: January 24, 2012 6:23 pm
 

Report: Todd Haley interviewing with Cards

By Josh Katzowitz

Last week, it appeared that former Chiefs coach Todd Haley was not going to find a job with his former team, the Cardinals, even though both sides apparently wanted it to happen. That’s because Arizona coach Ken Whisenhunt didn’t want to remove offensive coordinator Mike Miller, and though there was an open quarterback coach position, Haley apparently didn’t want to take anything less than a coordinator job.

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Things apparently have changed.

NFL.com’s Jason La Canfora reports that Haley is in Arizona today for an interview and writes, “Based off what I'm hearing now, sounds like they may be able to find common ground this time and make it work.”

Haley spent 2007-08 in Arizona as the offensive coordinator, and in his final season before getting the Kansas City job, the Cardinals were a top-five offense.

With Miller in his first season as coordinator this year, Arizona ranked 19th in yards gained and 24th in points scored, but Arizona finished 8-8, somewhat surprising since franchise quarterback Kevin Kolb was out for about half the season and the team lost second-round pick Ryan Williams before the year began.

As for what kind of job Haley and Whisenhunt have been talking about? I have no idea. Maybe we should ask Kansas City general manager Scott Pioli.

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Posted on: January 15, 2012 10:45 am
 

What kind of organization do the Chiefs run?

Scott Pioli has been accused of running an administration based on paranoia and secrecy (US Presswire).By Josh Katzowitz

In what has to be one of the most interesting ledes of the day and one of the most fascinating stories of the new year, the Kansas City Star’s Kent Babb describes the level of paranoia and job security fears that have descended upon the Chiefs since general manager Scott Pioli took over the team in 2009.

Paranoia, in fact, runs so rampant that former coach Todd Haley believed that his offices were bugged and that his personal cell phone had been corrupted.

First, the lede:
Todd Haley walked into the public relations office at Chiefs headquarters on a Thursday in early December. Four days before he was fired as the team’s coach, he wanted to talk about what life was like inside this organization. But he didn’t know who else might be listening.

Looking up toward the ceiling, he darted into a back hallway before hesitating. Then he turned around, going back through a door and stopping again. Haley suspected that many rooms at the team facility were bugged so that team administrators could monitor employees’ conversations. Stopping finally in a conference room, Haley said he believed his personal cellphone, a line he used before being hired by the Chiefs in 2009, had been tampered with.

As Babb writes, the team denies any of these covert operations, but what apparently is not in dispute by those who speak anonymously is that intimidation and secrecy are major parts of the current administration’s methods.

“When you’re mentally abused, you eventually lose it, too,” one former longtime Chiefs executive told the paper.

Pioli, HaleyChiefs owner Clark Hunt, though, defended his organization and its hiring of Pioli.

“We needed a culture that pursued excellence,” he said. “One that valued honesty and integrity, one where the employees would be held accountable.”

Haley’s paranoia was probably justified. Back in October, we told you that Pioli was on the verge of firing Haley, even though Haley had led the Chiefs to the AFC West title the season before. Haley temporarily saved his job with a winning streak, but not for long.

Yet, this question also is asked:

Is the current culture all Pioli’s doing, or is he acting on the orders of Hunt? One former VP of sales and marketing, who resigned in October, said, “It’s professional football, and I do think that it can be a bit of a pressure cooker. To attribute that to Scott Pioli is unfair.”

But read Babb’s story. Some of the details in the article are amazing, including Pioli’s demand that team employees who have offices facing the practice field must keep their window shades drawn during team workouts. Amazingly that includes team president Mark Donovan.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com