Kansas City Chiefs head coach Todd Haley fired offensive coordinator Chan Gailey during the preseason and now five weeks into the regular season he has made another coaching move. According to the Kansas City Star, Haley has replaced wide receivers coach Dedric Ward with Richie Anderson.
Ward is still coaching for the Chiefs, but Anderson was running the receiver drills during the media portion of practice Thursday.
“Coach Haley and everybody involved in the decision making are trying to find a way to get things right,’’ wide receiver Bobby Wade said. “Richie’s been helping out for us. He’s been in our position meetings and at practice anyway. Dedric Ward’s still out there helping. So I think it’s more of a change for the coaches than for us. It’s not a drastic thing for us as players. It has more to do with how (Haley) wanted to see things done. But I think everybody is looking for things that are going to help us. Everybody in this locker room has to be open to that.’’
Haley wouldn’t comment even to confirm the move.
The Chiefs have been sluggish offensively. They are 30th among the NFL’s 32 teams in yardage and 24th in scoring.
Perhaps Haley believes having a more experienced receivers coach will help. Anderson coached wide receivers for the Jets in 2006 and moved on the next year to the Arizona Cardinals. He was fired four days after being arrested for soliciting a prostitute, but the charge was dropped.
Ward coached wide receivers in 2006 for Missouri State and was an offensive assistant the last two seasons for the Cardinals, but this was his first season as an NFL position coach.
Wade said he was comfortable working with either coach and thought the other receivers felt the same way.
“In my experience, it’s really important to build a rapport with your receivers coach,’’ Wade said. “He needs to understand you as an individual and what you can do on the field and what you might lack as far as skill. Then he needs to give you the best opportunity to play up to your ability. So it’s important for every position to have a coach that’s going to be there and going to be consistent.’’
This is a very interesting move by Haley. If Ward is still on staff, why make any sort of official switch of the coaches? Sit the two men down and make it clear they will be working on things together with Anderson taking the lead. Obviously Haley knows his team and coaching staff better than I do, but this is going to come across as change for the sake of change.
In a week when the Chiefs opponent — the Washington Redskins — has a different issue to deal with every day I just don’t know that this was the best timing for any sort of distraction.