Before the 2009 season even started, Chiefs head coach Todd Haley dismissed offensive coordinator Chan Gailey, choosing to instead call plays himself. But after just one season, Haley realized that wearing both hats was too much to take on so quickly in his head-coaching career. After all, besides finishing 4-12, Kansas City also ranked just 25th in total offense, 25th in passing yards and 23rd in scoring.
Aiming high in their quest for a new offensive coordinator, the Chiefs landed Charlie Weis, who might have fallen flat as the head coach of Notre Dame but has a tremendous track record as an NFL coordinator, being part of a Patriots staff that captured three Super Bowl titles from 2000-04. From what we hear, Haley picked Weis not only because the two have a close relationship but also because he believed his system is close enough to Weis' that the offense could have continuity and build upon its ’09 progress.
"Charlie is a guy I have a great amount of respect for as a coach," Haley said at his season-ending press conference. "He's a coach that system-wise I feel we're as close as we can be. It is the same system (that we run here now)."
Haley and Weis have worked together before; when they were both assistants with the Jets in the late 1990s, the two shared an office. Weis worked with Chiefs GM Scott Pioli during their time in New England as well, so the new coordinator certainly won't be in unfamiliar company when he gets to Kansas City.
We also hear that Haley and Co. were high on Weis because of his impressive work with quarterbacks over the years. Weis helped make little-known Tom Brady into a league MVP with the Patriots, and he crafted Brady Quinn and Jimmy Clausen into collegiate stars at Notre Dame. While Chiefs QB Matt Cassel played well at times in ’09, his body of work was nothing to brag about. Some fine-tuning from Weis could go a long way in the signalcaller's development.
The only question about Weis' hire is how he and Haley — two coaches who consider themselves offensive masterminds — can coexist. With neither man boasting a small ego, the pair could clash if Haley tries to get too hands-on with his new hire. If they can work in harmony, though, the potential for major improvement is clearly there.
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