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INDIANAPOLIS — Charlie Weis is coming to Kansas City, but he won't be bringing his playbook with him.
Speaking to the media Saturday at the NFL Scouting Combine, Chiefs head coach Todd Haley said that Weis will run "our" playbook this year as he joins the team as offensive coordinator.
"The great thing about where we're at right now is the familiarity," said Haley. "As I've said a bunch of times, Charlie and I shared about a six-by-six-foot office back in New York, and we learned under the same mentors and the same offensive philosophy. So, over the years, as you go different directions, that gets diluted and the system has things added, which is natural with any system. But what we've been working real hard at is getting back to the basis of the system even as we knew it back then and really trying to clean up and get back to the purist form of our system that we believe in. The continuity there is just tremendous. It's refreshing."
Haley and Weis were both with the Jets organization before going their separate ways. Each has spent time as a coordinator and head coach, and with both having strong opinions and personalities, their dynamic will be one of the more intriguing things about the 2010 Chiefs.
Haley also addressed the progression of QB Matt Cassel, who had ups and downs during his first season in K.C. Although Haley wasn't always pleased with his quarterback last year, he feels Cassel is headed in the right direction.
"The thing about Matt is that he did continue to improve," said the coach. "He continued to go in this direction, which is good. He's an extremely tough guy, mentally tough, because it was not an easy year to be the quarterback of the Kansas City Chiefs, and he withstood that onslaught. He didn't show any signs of cracking, he's working his butt off right now, he's into football."
Despite mostly praising Cassel, Haley did not rule out taking a quarterback in the draft.
"I think any position would be open to address in some form or another," he said. "Now, it may be to get a guy to develop to step into the role at some point. Across the board, we have needs and that's only natural. We just have to do a good job of finding as many good football players as we can get, however we can get them."
Speaking of adding more players, Haley said that running back was a position where the Chiefs needed to do so in order that the slightly built Jamaal Charles wasn't forced to carry the load himself, as he did down the stretch in '09.
"One way or another, we need to give (Charles) some help. He's 200 pounds soaking wet, and that's something he's working on and he knows this is a critical offseason, but I just think in this day and age, you have to give somebody some help, or the time will be short."
After winning just four games last season, the Chiefs need help all over. The draft, however, could solve at least a few of their problems.
For the most authoritative NFL draft news and free-agency analysis, visit ProFootballWeekly.com.