Following the announcement that Charlie Weis was hired as the offensive coordinator of the Kansas City Chiefs, Todd Haley and the newest member of his staff spoke with the media via conference call. Here are the highlights:
Charlie Weis’ Opening Statement:
“Thank you, Todd and good morning to everyone, as well. As I’ve been sitting for the last month or so at home looking at the NFL and studying the different teams in the NFL, one of things that was really important to me was, as I was looking for a new opportunity, I wanted to go somewhere where fit was the number one criteria. There are several teams out there that are in a hunt for different types of coaches but there had to be a mutual fit, and my relationship with Todd and my relationship with [General Manager] Scott [Pioli] and several other people in the organization just made Kansas City look as one of the prime landing spots for me. I couldn’t be any more pleased to join this organization. Philosophically, what Todd has expressed to me coincides so closely with how I see things in the big picture that this marriage just seemed a very, very simple and plain one. I’m very, very excited to be a part of a growing process that has been started here in the last year. I’ve been able to watch the team from afar for the last month and gain more familiarity and I’m really anxious to get to work.”
What’s the dynamic going to be like now because when you worked together previously, you ranked higher on the totem pole than Todd?
CW: “As a matter of fact, that was the first issue that we had to get settled because 10 years ago it might have been a different situation. But ‘been there done that’ is really where I am in this stage in my career. I’m very, very happy to be in the position that I am now. You can’t worry. The last time that we worked together was ‘99, that’s a long time ago. A long time has passed. In this situation right now, it’s Todd’s ship and I just want to help him guide it and I think that our face-to-face meeting was very, very important to make sure that we both felt comfortable, but especially he felt comfortable seeing he’s the boss. And I think this is going to be a very simple transition.”
You and Coach Haley both talked about how good the fit was going to be in Kansas City. Were there any other places you were thinking about going?
CW: “No, [but] there were plenty of places. There were plenty of places that were out there that were opportunities, but you want to know something, I think sometimes when you really look at what presents itself, there are things that really intrigue you. Right from the start, Kansas City was a place that intrigued me. Knowing Todd and knowing Scott and guys on the coaching staff and players on the team, there were just so many things that intrigued me. Once Todd pulled the trigger and offered me the opportunity and my wife and my son signed off on it, I couldn’t have been any happier to be coming on board.”
If you weren’t able to get Coach Weis, do you think you would have gone into next year as the offensive coordinator?
TH: “I believe there is an ideal to the way you’re most efficient running a football team and being the head coach. And to me, it’s having a bunch of coaches that you can trust and a bunch of coaches that can coach the way you see fit for your team to be directed. I went into last year really feeling that way, I made some changes that I think were very necessary and still believe that and, as I said, will ultimately work to the Kansas City Chiefs advantage.
“When Charlie became available, to me the fit was so right on the money with what I’m trying to get done here and what Scott’s trying to get done here – really what we’re trying to be is a winning team year-in and year-out and you have a guy, like I said, with a resume and results that Charlie’s been able to achieve…. I was with him some of those years. Everybody thinks differently, but he and I, through that period of time working together, philosophically we think a lot alike. We’ve been trained by the same guy in Coach (Bill) Parcells. When he became available, I thought it was very important that we spent some time together, which we spent a significant amount of time together over the last week or so, and I’m just really excited about the step that the Kansas City Chiefs are taking today.”
Is it going to be tough for you to step aside and let someone else control the offense or will you still have a hand in it?
TH: “I would think that I would have a hand in it. That is just good business because again, Charlie and I, just like [assistant head coach and running backs coach] Maurice Carthon and I, [offensive line coach] Bill Muir and I, we were all offensive guys and we are bringing in another bright offensive mind into the picture which always helps things. Again, I am talking about a different situation, but when Ken Whisenhunt took the Arizona Cardinals job, Ken was a guy that had been an offensive guy his entire career. Ken and I both coached a position on the Jets much like Charlie and I. Ken was an offensive guy, I was an offensive guy and he hired me as his offensive coordinator. I had two years of experience and saw that become pretty successful. So to answer the question, no. This again is a great step for us. The fact that we were able to hire a guy with the experience and the success that Charlie has had as a coach in the NFL and even at the collegiate level, the experience he brings will be a huge asset to me and ultimately to the team.”
How much do you know about the offensive players here in Kansas City?
CW: “I have been able to for the last month watch games by T.V. copy which is obviously a little different than coach’s copy. It has been interesting to watch the offense through the month of December and early January. Come Monday, I should have plenty of time to watch the whole season in its entirety and give personnel breakdowns. I think that at this time, I would be a little ignorant to sit here and say that I have a great feel for every player on the team. I think that wouldn’t be the way to do my self-diligence.”