Following their 37-10 loss to the New York Jets, the Kansas City Chiefs decided to part ways with head coach Todd Haley.
“This was a difficult decision but one that we feel is best for the future of the Chiefs,” Chiefs owner Clark Hunt said. “Although there have been bright spots at different points this season, we have not made meaningful progress and we felt that it was necessary to make a change. We appreciate Todd’s contributions during his time with the club, and we wish him well in the future.”
In nearly three seasons as head coach, Haley posted a 19-27 record, winning the AFC West in 2010.
“Todd helped this team in many valuable ways over the past three seasons, and I am thankful for his contributions,” Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli said. “Unfortunately, we have not been able to establish the kind of consistency we need to continue to build a strong foundation for the future and we believe a change is important at this time.”
Todd Haley is far from a “warm and fuzzy” character in front of the media and surely the Chiefs didn’t have the success they envisioned, but how much of the fall was the fault of the head coach?
Kansas City was anything but a well-oiled winning machine prior to Todd Haley’s arrival as they won just six games combined in 2007 and 2008. Haley took over an empty cupboard and one could argue that the talent assembled was a much bigger issue than Todd Haley’s coaching acumen.
General manager Scott Pioli dealt for former Patriots backup quarterback Matt Cassel and subsequently bestowed a six-year, $63 million contract extension upon him. Cassel, a backup while in college at USC received his break in New England when Tom Brady went down in the 2008 season opener with a knee injury. Cassel navigated a team that was 18-1 a season earlier to an 11-5 record with no playoffs.
Pioli’s first draft pick with the Chiefs was defensive end Tyson Jackson who hasn’t lived up to his third-overall draft status. From that point on, improvements to the 2-14 roster that Todd Haley took over have been minimal.
Kansas City won 10 games under Haley in 2010 which included an AFC West title. In 2011, his judgement year, Haley lost running back Jamaal Charles, quarterback Matt Cassel, safety Eric Berry, tight end Tony Moeaki and tackle Ryan O’Callahan to season ending injuries and the team has a 5-8 record through 13 games. That’s more than $160 million worth of contracts on the injured reserve.
Romeo Crennel will serve as the Chiefs interim head coach and St. Louis offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels has been mentioned as a long-term replacement. McDaniels worked under Pioli in New England before taking over as Broncos head coach from 2009-2010.
Todd Haley didn’t have the immediate success that Chiefs fans envisioned, but will a guy like Josh McDaniels be any better?
Charlie Bernstein is the NFL Insider for ESPNFlorida.com and ESPN 1080 and 1040 in Orlando/Tampa and Editor-in-Chief of Sports Media Interactive, covering the National Football League, NCAA, and National Basketball Association. Charlie covers the Jacksonville Jaguars for FoxSports and has been featured on the NFL Network and Sirius NFL Radio. Charlie is also a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. You can follow Charlie on Twitter @nflcharlie