Chiefs coach Todd Haley made news when he fired offensive coordinator Chan Gailey and decided to take on the responsibilities himself. It’s difficult to take on that many tasks as the head coach, but is it groundbreaking? KCChiefs.com’s Josh Looney takes a look at the history behind such a move.
For starters, the entire AFC West has head coaches serving as primary offensive play callers. Tom Cable does it. Josh McDaniels does it. Norv Turner does it. Kansas City was the last to jump on the bandwagon, but Todd Haley does it now as well. A year ago, the Chiefs were the only team in the division not to see its head coach call plays as former head coaches Mike Shanahan and Lane Kiffin both did it in Denver and Oakland.
Then there are others in the league. How about Ken Whisenhunt in Arizona, Brad Childress in Minnesota, Mike McCarthy in Green Bay, Sean Payton in New Orleans, Gary Kubiak in Houston and Jim Zorn in Washington? They all do it too. You get the point. Officially, 11 head coaches called served as their team’s primary play caller a year ago.
Oh yeah, and just for good measure, Wade Phillips (Dallas), Lovie Smith (Chicago) and Rex Ryan (Jets) all call their own defensive plays. Go ahead and throw Jaguars head man Jack Del Rio into that mix as well. At the end of the day, calling plays and serving as head coach isn’t anything new to this league, but it’s certainly something we’re not accustomed to seeing in Kansas City.
But what about the success rate? I mean, these guys are so over-worked, certainly the majority of them came up short of the ultimate goal. Well, take a look at these names – Bill Walsh, Dan Reeves, John Gruden and Mike Holmgren. They’ve all won world championships serving as both head coach and primary play caller.
I never had an issue with Haley calling the plays for the Chiefs. My issue was with him taking on the job of offensive coordinator. Virtually every coach Looney talks about calling their own plays still has a coordinator to help lighten the load. You’re telling me Todd Haley’s job wouldn’t be easier if he had Chan Gailey handling the little day-to-day offensive issues?
You have to appreciate Haley’s ambition, but hopefully next season he brings in (or promotes) someone to serve as offensive coordinator while he still calls all the plays.
After weeks of roster movement, the Chiefs were quiet yesterday during “Transaction Tuesday”. As the season goes along, you might want to keep an eye on a player that has worked out in Kansas City: David Terrell.
The former first-round draft pick of the Chicago Bears, selected eighth overall in 2001, is fighting for a shot to get back in the league. Just one chance. Terrell almost landed that opportunity last month when Todd Haley, his wide receivers coach for the first three years of his career, brought him to Kansas City for a second workout with the Chiefs.
Had the Minnesota Vikings not cut Bobby Wade, Terrell probably would have been signed. The Chiefs had a greater need for a slot receiver, Wade’s strength, and they passed on Terrell. A source said he looked good, and obviously there was legitimate interest as the team brought him in twice in about a month’s span.
“I ran good routes, I was fast and I was quick,’’ Terrell said. “I did what I needed to do. They needed something different than what I was. I’ve talked to a few other teams.’’
If the offense continues to sputter, Terrell is a name to remember. When he wasn’t signed last time the team brought him in for a workout I figured he didn’t look good. But if they thought enough of him to take two separate looks you know he couldn’t have been too disappointing.
We’ve seen Haley and Pioli waste no time shuttling players in and out of town and usually it’s people they are already familiar with.
Did Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo really not know he final play against the Denver Broncos was the final play? The local Fox affiliate in Dallas posted a video showing a confused Romo holding up three fingers towards the officials shortly after his 4th down pass to Sam Hurd fell incomplete. After a day of media speculation, Cowboys public relations director Rich Dalrymple felt a need to release a statement.
Dalrymple said Romo told the players in the huddle prior to the play that it was fourth down. But as Romo left the field, he noticed the down marker on the Cowboys sideline read “three.”
Believing an error could have been made, Romo went to the officials and held up three fingers, asking if it had really been third down. He was told no. It turns out the down marker was in the process of being changed sequentially from four to one to reflect the change of possession.
Wide receiver Patrick Crayton echoed that statement in his explanation of what happened.
“You’ve got to realize, after that play, we’re taking our time, waiting to see if a flag is going to be thrown or whatever, and they’re changing the down marker to go down. I see the same thing, thinking it says third down. Sometimes, it happens. You’re thinking maybe they made a mistake. He knew it was over, but you can always ask.”
I don’t know. If this were back in the day before instant replay and a million officials I would believe Romo was trying to pull the wool over their eyes in an attempt to get an extra down with a second left. But if you watch that video, he does look awfully confused holding up those three fingers.
Either way, the more the media is asking the team about things other than Kansas City, the better it is for the Chiefs. Keep the distractions as high as possible in Dallas this week.