The Kansas City Chiefs are expected to name Charlie Weis offensive coordinator as early as today and thoughts on the move have started to flood in. Up first is Jason Whitlock of The Kansas City Star leading with his own version of “no offense, but…”
Hear me out. I’m not dumping on Kansas City’s decision to hire one of football’s brightest offensive minds because it’s another sign that general manager Scott Pioli would eventually like to relocate the franchise to Boston.
Weis, I believe, is a Haley decision. They worked together in New York for the Jets. They shared the same office, a love of Bill Parcells and offensive philosophy. It’s a match, on paper, made in football heaven.
Down here on earth, Haley-Weis has the potential to be Kirstie Alley vs. Conan O’Brien, Ali vs. Frazier, or Gilbert Arenas vs. Common Sense.
It’s just too much ego for one playbook.
Charlie Weis made his bones as an offensive play-caller working for Parcells and Bill Belichick. You know what Parcells and Belichick have in common? They’re defensive-minded football coaches.
Parcells with the New York Jets and Belichick with the New England Patriots turned their offenses over to Weis. I’m sure they had suggestions and input, but they hired Weis for his expertise, and within reason they let Weis do his job with autonomy.
Early in the week, Weis expressed interest in becoming Lovie Smith’s offensive coordinator in Chicago. Smith is a defensive-minded head coach. Weis recognizes the kind of room he needs to do his job.
Will he get it in Kansas City?
For the first time as a coordinator, Weis will report to an offensive-minded head coach, a head man with a very high opinion of himself as a play-caller, a coach who will find it difficult to leave his offensive coordinator alone.
As rare as it is, Whitlock and I agree here. No matter who Haley decided to hire, the transfer of power over the offense was going to be something to watch. Luckily Weis is a guy that he has known for most of his career, something that will only help matters.
The fact is that Haley tried to let someone run his offense once and it didn’t work out. So no matter if you dislike the head coach as much as Whitlock or are one of his biggest fans, you cannot deny that Haley handing play-calling over to someone else could lead to trouble.
A more positive view of the hire comes courtesy of ESPN.com’s Bill Williamson.
I love this move. It’s the organization’s first home run since hiring Scott Pioli from New England last January, and this is Pioli’s first home run as general manager. Weis could make Matt Cassel great.
He could help make Kansas City relevant again.
Weis and Pioli were together during New England’s Super Bowl run. Weis was the offensive coordinator and the man behind the development of Tom Brady and the Patriots’ great offense… Combine Weis’ history with Pioli, Haley and the Chiefs’ need for a dynamic offensive coordinator, and this seems like the perfect marriage.
This move allows Haley to spend more time on the overall team. He puts his offense in great hands. No matter what you think of Weis’ days as a head coach in South Bend, he can coach offense. His success in New England wasn’t a fluke.
Kansas City has a chance to make instant progress offensively. Charles, who was terrific at the end for the season and finished with 1,120 rushing yards, looks like a developing star.
But Weis’ biggest task will be working with Cassel. This move was made with Cassel in mind, and he has to be thrilled.
He is a product of Weis’ offense. Cassel was drafted by New England right after Weis went to Notre Dame. But he was brought up in Weis’ system.
This will be a seamless transition for Cassel. Expect his second season in Kansas City to be much more productive than his first.
As long as Pioli gets some more offensive line and receiving help, this offense should be well on its way.
Agreed on all points.
With all of the trouble the defense and the success on offense at the end of the season, I hope Scott Pioli still addresses both sides of the ball equally. Obviously this isn’t Scott Pioli’s first rodeo and he knows a lot more about football than I do but it isn’t crazy to think Jamaal Charles could have him a little blinded to the needs along the offensive line.
Another believer in a Haley-Pioli marriage is National Football Post’s Matt Bowen.
Haley, who would have considered Bucs offensive coordinator Greg Olsen if he wasn’t under contract, according to a league source I spoke to last night, can now be the head coach of this football team. Give up some of that offensive power. I was very strong in my opinion, just as I was with the Bears’ Love Smith, about NFL head coaches taking on the role of coordinator. From my perspective, head coaches need to take on the role of overseeing the entire team at the NFL level. T hey can’t stay in one meeting room and on one side of the practice field. Instead, they need to focus on all aspects of the team: offense, defense and special teams.
But as we know, Haley forfeited this when he fired offensive coordinator Chan Gailey during the preseason and took over the responsibilities of play caller in K.C.
You can bet Charlie Weis isn’t coming to Kansas City to watch Haley run the show on offense. And that’s a good move for this team, just as the hiring of Romeo Crennel to replace Clancy Pendergast as defensive coordinator will be, if the talk we hear is true.
These are all steps in the process for Haley, who — like Josh McDaniels in Denver — struggled in his first season as an NFL head coach. He dealt with adversity, he dealt with the drama surrounding RB Larry Johnson and he dealt with the day-to-day operations that coordinators don’t have to. But I can understand that, as taking control of that team meeting room for the first time is not much different than a rookie taking the practice field for the first time in training camp.
There’s a learning curve on the sidelines, and Haley will continue to learn, but bringing in Weis is a big move in his development as a coach and the development of this young football team in Kansas City — and a necessary move.
I don’t mean to agree with everyone today, but Bowen makes a great point.
Don’t take my concerns about Weis coming to Kansas City about Haley not needing an offensive coordinator. Rather it’s my doubt that he will be able to play well with others. If he plans on taking that next step in his development as a head coach, just like Dwayne Bowe needs to take that same step as a football player with his maturity on and off the field, Haley will need to find a happy balance of input and delegation.