It is commonplace within any business to bring aboard your own people when you take a position, and it appears the Kansas City Chiefs front office is no different. Sure there is the argument that Bill Muir is already the offensive line coach for the Chiefs, and his taking the offensive coordinator position isn’t so much of a hire as a promotion, but if one looks a little deeper, you can see why Muir was chosen over any of the other candidates: Muir was with the Jets from 1995-2001 as their offensive line coach, which coincided with the times Scott Pioli and Todd Haley were with the Jets. Coincidence?
I’m not going to bother rehashing the Jets connection like some 9-11 conspiracy theorist, but it does make a person wonder what was so special about that Jets* staff in the late 90’s that has fostered such a love for players/personnel from that team. Whatever it was, the magic has not left in the eyes of Pioli and Haley, so they continue to bring aboard and promote talent from that roster.
*There is one connection between the Jets and Chiefs that is perhaps not as obvious as it is embarrassing. These are the two teams with the longest Super Bowl drought in the NFL (excluding teams that have never gone). The Jets, fortunately, have a one year lead on the Chiefs in this race but seem to be much closer to ending their drought than the Chiefs do. This would leave us Kansas City fans with the longest Super Bowl drought and most consecutive playoff losses in NFL history. Feeling better about being a Chiefs fan yet?
There are a lot of theories as to why this hire was made. We will explore those after the jump, but personally if I had to pick the one reason Muir was chosen over any other, I would have to say that it was because of his connection to Haley/Pioli from that magical Jets team, or at least that’s where it started.
I think the foremost theory here is that Haley will continue to call plays, is an egomaniac, and wants someone easy to “control” so he can continue to do what he wants without having to argue with someone. I see this as a valid point beyond his Jets connection, but why is that so bad? Sure everyone can point to two seasons ago when Haley took over play calling after firing Chan Gailey (and he was fired, if I hear one more person claim he “ran him off” I’m going to smash my brain through my ear with a lemon wrapped around a gold brick) where the Chiefs only won four games. I challenge all of you to go back and watch the progression of the team during that season offensively and tell me there was not steady improvement during the latter portion of the year. Yes it was because Jamaal Charles was the starter. I will give you that, but who was deciding to give him the ball? You guessed it! The person calling the plays: Todd Haley. Lastly, after this past season it is so easy forget that team had a new offensive system in place, a massive amount of team turnover, and only won two games the year before.
The second theory I heard, which on the surface appears to have merit (and also is not an argument bashing Haley) is that during this phase of the team building process that maintaining continuity is paramount, so having someone as OC that was currently part of that system was not only a smart decision, it really was the only decision. A couple of side notes to this.
-So are we to believe that no other person available in the league runs the same type of offensive system that the Chiefs use?
-What about continuity on the offensive line? Isn’t that as important? How will taking Muir, a person with many years of success at that position affect our line?
-Is the entire offseason (and maybe longer) not enough time for a professional to work with Haley and the other coaches to learn where the team is and what system they use?
Yes, I am referring to the article we linked to yesterday from Arrowhead Pride. This is not an attempt to bash them in any way. AP is a good site. I just am not buying this as being valid enough to be the sole reason to promote someone and put so much faith in their hands. “They were already there” is just as ridiculous of a reason as it sounds.
Something that has not been explored as much as I thought after reading about Bill Muir, but is a very good reason to promote him, is that he has already been an offensive and defensive coordinator in the NFL. That seems like it would be a pretty big reason to make someone OC, but perhaps not enough?
Let’s put all of the pieces together and have a little fun while doing it.
If I had to guess, I imagine his interview going something like this:
Haley: So Bill, I know the answer to this, but it’s on every copy of interview questions we have here at the Kansas City Chiefs, whether we are looking for someone to pick up trash, sell tickets, or run our football operations. Did you work for the New York Jets in the late 1990’s?
Muir: Yup, remember Todd? You were the one of the scouts, and you sat on my knee at the Christmas party when I was dressed like Santa. Man that was a good picture.
Haley: Ah, memories. Funny story, I ended up getting that toy train I asked for. Moving forward, so we all know this is my team. My team! Do you think you could do whatever I tell you to do without asking questions or arguing with me, because THIS…IS…MY….TEAM!!!! AHHHHH!!!*
*At this point in the interview Haley goes berserker on Muir and makes him do an entire practice in full pads with the heat in his office cranked up past 100 degrees. With Haley yelling incessantly at him, Muir (pushing 70) collapses and has to be taken to the hospital where he is resuscitated, given an i.v. and rests for three days before returning to finish the interview.
Haley: Well Bill, I guess you really can and will do whatever I, ahem, sorry, whatever I want.
Muir: Yes sir, I believe so.
Haley: Good deal. So, we already know that you’ve been in the offensive system here for the past two years, do you think you will be able to continue what we started here?
Muir: If that’s what you want, sir.
Haley: Great answer Bill. Last question, you have been an offensive coordinator before?
Muir: And defensive coordinator.
Haley: You like golf?
Muir: Love it.
At least that’s how I imagined it going. What do you think Addicts? What would you peg as the primary reason for the Muir hire? What do you think of the hire? Do you expect this to be a good move for KC, or the end of the Chiefs progress?
Disclaimer: No old men were harmed during the writing of this internet blog