When Charlie Weis decided to split town after just one year as the offensive coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs, speculation ran rampant that Weis and head coach Todd Haley simply couldn’t get along and that the rift is what caused Weis to leave.
I’ve often said that I don’t have a problem with KC’s secretive ways under Scott Pioli but I’ve also said that by being so secretive, the organization forfeits it’s right to be righteously indignant when those following them incorrectly speculate on the reasoning of certain moves.
Thus when Weis departed, it was no surprise when the organization offered little in the way of an explanation, nor was it surprising that some decided on their own that personality differences between Haley and Weis was at the root of the departure.
If you caught The Morning Fix earlier today, you may have noticed that the first article we linked to was from CBSSports.com and concerned Weis. The article, brought to us by Dennis Dod, has some new quotes from Weis and seems to indicate that Weis’ leaving had much more to do with his family than Todd Haley.
One very interesting aspect of the article is a story about some problems Charlie and his wife Maura had with the care of their daughter Hannah, who is a special needs child. I’ll let you read the article for yourself but in short, the school responsible for bussing Hannah home failed to deliver her on time on a couple of different occasions, leading Weis and his wife into severe panic about the whereabouts of their daughter. According to the article, the bus drive failed to notify Hannah that she was at her stop and the girl then ended up riding the entire route to the end.
“At that point, Kansas City was dead to Maura. Charlie felt the same way, even as his contributions helped the Chiefs win the AFC West and helped quarterback Matt Cassel go to the Pro Bowl.”
The article goes on to talk about Charlie’s son, who will be starting his coaching career at Florida, as another contributing factor to Weis inquiring about openings at Florida.
I am sure that things were not all sunshine and rainbows between Todd Haley and Charlie Weis in 2010 but this story provides some interesting perspective. Haley and Weis are professionals and I have always doubted that things were so back between them that Weis would pick up and leave after just one year.
Might some personality differences made it easier for Weis to leave Kansas City?
If they did exist, were they likely the major, contributing factor to his departure?
I doubt it.
It is easy to look at guys like Charlie and Todd Haley as just football guys who eat, sleep and breathe the game. I think we sometimes lose sight of the fact that they are complete people with families and children and concerns that have absolutely nothing to do with what happens on the field on Sunday.
Painting Haley as a mean tyrant that all his employees hate is easy. Thinking of Weis as an arrogant jerk who couldn’t handle being told what to do by a younger, inexperienced football coach is easy to. Unfortunately, things are usually a bit more complicated than that and complicated matters, especially those involving family and children, are not always the easiest things to talk about publically or to roll into a sound bite for the convenience of the media.
At the time the Chiefs offered an explanation that Weis was splitting town for personal reasons and they left it at that. The speculation began and as I said above, KC’s recent track record of secrecy likely leads to them experiencing more unfair speculation than they might if they were more up front on more issues. Secrecy breeds suspicion, after all, so even when the Chiefs are telling the truth, there seems to be a knee jerk reaction by some in the media to start sniffing for anything that might smell funny.
Now that Weis has some distance from KC and the Chiefs are no longer in the middle of a playoff week, I can see where he feels a bit more comfortable setting the record straight.
At the time of his departure, I wondered aloud on this site why Weis would take a step down to the college ranks when he had a prestigious job in the NFL. At the time, I was thinking only of football. I didn’t know much about Charlie’s family or his situation. That was my error.
Looking back on it now, it may be that Charlie wasn’t just thinking about football when he left Kansas City. From this perspective, his move to Florida makes a whole lot more sense.