Here at Merlin’s Magic, I try to take the longer term view of the Kansas City Chiefs. Back on December 9th, I wrote the “House Money” article to remind fans just how far the Chiefs have come this year. We were playing with house money and we needed to enjoy the run. However, I feared that a big thud was coming. The second half of the Ravens game was that big thud. It was an ugly half of football against a very good football team. That game was a measuring stick. Right now, we are far short of matching up against the Ravens, Steelers or Patriots. The good news is that we have another off-season and another draft to continue to upgrade the roster. Scott Pioli and the scouting department will find more good players to add to the Chiefs. We have all off-season to go through the needs and talk about various options there. I want to focus on a potentially larger and more troubling question.
No matter how many good players the Chiefs add, there is a nagging problem that may keep the Chiefs from being an elite team. That problem is Todd Haley, offensive mind. It appears, from outside, that Todd Haley fancies himself as a high level offensive coordinator. Many fans consider Haley an offensive genius. I disagree with both assessments. Todd Haley called plays for a year and a half for Warner, Fitzgerald and Boldin. His play calling in his first year with the Chiefs was not stellar. With Charlie Weis leaving, that makes two offensive coordinators in two years that left. Both coordinators, in my opinion, are better than offensive coordinator Todd Haley. This raises the question: ‘Can the Chiefs win a Super Bowl with Todd Haley’s hand on the offense?’ My answer is no. That leads to the key question ‘Can Haley trust any strong offensive coordinator?’ That question may be running around Scott Pioli’s mind. Fair or unfair, by Haley firing Chan Gailey and Charlie Weiss taking a demotion to leave the Chiefs, it’s fair to raise that question. During the year, I believed that Todd Haley had cemented himself has the Chiefs head coach. By leaving, Charlie Weis has reopened that question. The key to being a successful manager in any endeavor is getting good people under you and letting them do their jobs. Haley needs to hire a strong offensive coordinator and get out of his way. Who should Haley hire? It’s very obvious. Who is on the street that has a good relationship with Matt Cassel and has directed a high scoring offense that was better than the sum of it’s parts? As a bonus, this guy knows the AFC West pretty well. I don’t care if he coached the Broncos. Josh McDaniels is the obvious choice. Does McDaniels want to come to the Chiefs? Is Haley strong enough to bring him in? If not and the Chiefs do not meet expectations, you may see a new head coach in KC. Don’t worry, he is already on the roster. Suffice it to say, there would be a lot of ‘hooplah’ if this man was given the job.