“Bill and I are going into our 10th year together between our last two here in Kansas City and seven years with the New York Jets in different capacities. Bill is going into his 34th year as a coach in the NFL, he’s up close to 47 years coaching in general. He was the offensive coordinator with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers through most of the 2000s. In the seven years he was there he won a Super Bowl as the offensive coordinator. He’s been a defensive coordinator in the league.
“I’m just really excited about the step we’re taking today, that the Kansas City Chiefs are taking. Any time you can hire from within in this league, that is the name of the game. The goal really when I took this job a couple years ago was to have continued development of our staff so when you do have to make changes or additions that you’re able to do it from within, I know it’s a real positive. Bill has been here from day one with me and he will continue to coach the offensive line but he will be our offensive coordinator. I’m just really excited about today and excited about the direction that we continued to take here. At this point I will turn it over to Bill Muir.”
BILL MUIR: “Well, fellas, I’d just like to say I’m very appreciative of the confidence that Todd has displayed in me obviously in giving me this position. I can tell you honestly I’m very excited to be the offensive coordinator of the Kansas City Chiefs.
“We’ve made great strides in the two years that we’ve been here and while I’ll sit here and make no bold predictions nor do I have a crystal ball, I’m looking forward to helping our team, specifically our offense, our staff, our group of great young players – we have a core of players that are truly exciting to look forward to work with. The staff on offense is a staff that I’m excited to continue to work with. A veteran like (assistant head coach) Mo (Maurice) Carthon is unbelievably positive in his assistance in what we’re able to accomplish. We have some young coaches who have played a long time in the league and we hope to help them continue with their development. The short and the long of it is I feel very confident in being able to help our offense move forward in the coming year.”
Q: Todd, who is going to call plays for you next year?
HALEY: “How did I know that was going to be the first question Kent? We’re not there yet Kent. I’m really excited about the step we were able to take today. I went through a very thorough process, both externally and internally obviously, in trying to find the right guy. I said that early on when we knew we were going to have to find an offensive coordinator that the key thing here is we get it right and I feel like we got it right with Bill Muir. We’re not there yet, we’ve had some discussions Kent. I think that really good playcalling is the result of a staff that works very well not only in the off-season but specifically in the season, that’s when the playcalling gets done; (it’s the result of) a staff that works well together in harmony so-to-speak and is on the same page. We’re going to continue discussions and we’re going to get that part of it right also Kent. That hasn’t been determined at this time.”
Q: Bill, I know you worked for an offensive guy and a pretty good playcaller in Jon Gruden at Tampa Bay. When have you called plays in the past and how do you feel about your abilities to do that?
HALEY: “Let me add one thing, what I will say and I should’ve said in the first answer Kent is here over the last two years and our time in New York together, I will say that somebody like Bill with the experience that he has is such an integral part of the game-planning process that I can say through these last two years, Bill has been a very big part of the playcalling as it was here the last two years here. Whether it was myself that was getting the credit for calling the plays or Charlie (Weis) for calling the plays, Bill has had a big hand in that. Go ahead Bill, I’m sorry.”
MUIR: “Yeah Kent, specifically to answer your question, on offense I have not been the direct signal caller even though I was the coordinator at Tampa Bay, Jon called the signals. Basically we were in collaboration. I would say that most of the passing game was his and the running game was mine. I know there’s a big hang-up about who calls the plays but basically the most important part is to get it right. I think Todd’s going in the right direction. Football in the National Football League is really a situational game – as you prepare for it during the course of the week, not one person can totally encompass all of the situations so they’re delegated. Which when you put your gameplan together and those situations come up during the course of the game, quite often the signal caller is going to the person who has researched the Red Zone, short-yardage, goal-line, this is an obvious blitz situation, what protection is good here, we’re in zone blitz. As I said, I know the focus and the spotlight is always on the signal caller, I know that’s an issue here with the media but I really don’t see it being an issue in terms of our effectiveness. The second part of your question I’ll answer this way, I was a defensive coordinator and I called every defense in every game while I was with the Indianapolis Colts in that capacity.”
Q: If hiring from within is always the name of the game, why did Bill Muir not get the job last year?
HALEY: “I think that’s a good question Nick. I should say your goal is to develop your staff from within so when you do have changes or changes are necessary, when you can keep the continuity, that is ideal. That being said, I also believe that you can’t have enough good coaches, specifically good coaches that fit and are like-minded is a phrase I’ve used around here and Charlie (Weis) was definitely one of those guys – he had worked with all of us here, specifically Bill and Maurice (Carthon) and I in the past. Fitting into what we were doing was not going to be an issue with Charlie so when you have a chance to hire somebody, especially just getting off the ground and still clearly in the foundation-laying process over the last two years, I think that is also a no-brainer from the Kansas City Chiefs standpoint. Now, going into year three, to keep continuity Nick is a must, especially with the progress we’ve made and when you have somebody of Bill’s expertise and experience, I’m just really excited about number one, that Bill wanted to be around here in the first place a couple years ago, number two that he still wants to be around here and he’s going to lead our offense. That’s what I’m excited about.”
Q: This will be QB Matt Cassel’s fifth offensive coordinator in the past four years or so. How important in finding the offensive coordinator or in hiring Bill Muir was the confidence that he’s a guy that will be around for more than one season?
HALEY: “Bill used the crystal ball term, we don’t have a crystal ball unfortunately and you don’t know exactly everything that’s going to happen and sometimes some things occur that you can’t control but in this situation, the key component over the last two years was that our system that we put in place, terminology specifically, has not been changed now in two years and I think that’s benefitted everybody involved, the good young players that Bill referenced specifically on the team that you’ve seen continued development in, Matt Cassel is one of those. The development of Matt Cassel is a key ingredient in us continuing to make progress. To me, now we have a chance to go into a third full year relatively unchanged from a system-terminology standpoint. On top of that, Matt and Coach Muir have had to work very closely together here over the last two years. The number one thing from Matt must be understanding protections when it comes to the pass game and understanding the run game in a system like ours in which we’re making a number of checks at the line of scrimmage so Bill and Matt have had to work very closely together over the last two years and they’ll obviously continue to work even closer. That part of it all, that was the time that was spent trying to make sure that we got this right and again, I feel very confident that this is a real good step for the Kansas City Chiefs.”
Q: Was Bill Muir your first choice and if he was, why the delay in making the announcement?
HALEY: “I think the delay is just what I said. I wanted to be very thorough in going through this process because this is something that is very critical to the success of our team. I feel like we were very thorough. The number of experienced coaches on the staff that I went through discussions with and then externally went through the same process with a number of individuals, all that being said, the important part is to get it right and I feel really good with where we are. I feel really good with Bill Muir being our offensive coordinator. That is a good thing for the Kansas City Chiefs.”
Q: What were you looking for in an offensive coordinator and what led you back to Bill?
HALEY: “I don’t know that it changed Kent. You want to be thorough in the process and once there is news you have an open spot on any staff in the NFL you are going to get a lot of people who think they are the man for the job and make it known to you. The key things are, number one, the system cannot change for this group of developing players. That has been a constant from day one or from probably from sometime in August in year one I should say. At that point I made a pretty significant change in order to make sure the foundation, specifically offensively got laid at that time. That has been the number one priority, to continue to stack years of doing similar things, similar terminology. There is always an evolution offensively and defensively with calls, names. There is a lot that goes on. The base system terminology is intact. It is not a lot different than what Bill and I were doing in the 1990s with the N.Y. Jets and 2000. One of the key things was continued continuity. The other key component to this, the continuity is what really helps develop your young players I believe, your developing players. The other aspect that was very important to me as the head coach was the continued development of our young coaches. Bill referenced we have a really good mix of veteran coaches throughout our staff, both offensively and defensively. Fostering the development of those young coaches was probably the number two thing on the board for me as far as the person who came in here and led our offense. In both of those things I feel really, really good about Bill Muir in what he has been doing and what he will continue doing in a little more spotlighted role.”
Q: Has Bill brought his knowledge of the running game to the offense combined with your knowledge of the passing game the last two seasons?
HALEY: “I would say it is ours. I was very excited about my initial staff being hired when I was hired and all those things. I have talked about this a number of times; I was really excited about last year – the addition of Charlie Weis, the addition of Bernie Parmalee coaching our tight ends, the addition of Pat Perles coming over to be the assistant offensive line coach from helping on defense the year before. I was really excited about the continued development because of our staff. A major contributor to developing players is goods coaches. Now in year three we have a chance to build on it. Bill has obviously been here since year one. He has been such an integral, integral part along with Maurice Carthon I would say over the last two years of developing an identity, I would say Bob, which started about halfway through year one where we really started to develop the identity of the team that we were going to be able to run the football. That continued last year. We are all very proud of what we did in the running game. Bill, like I said, I would not pigeon hole Bill strictly into a run guy. He said that, but Bill has had a great contribution across the board here offensively and really as a complete staff when you have a guy with his experience. He has contributed in both the run and pass game for us here the last two years. He has contributed to me as the head coach with advice and words of wisdom that only someone like he can have through his experience.”
Q: Are you going to hire somebody as quarterbacks coach or is there somebody on your staff you could hire? How many external candidates did you look at for the coordinator’s job?
HALEY: “The last part, I prefer to stay away from who I talked to, when I talked to them, all those things. I know I went through a very thorough process and I feel really good about the answer we came to. As far as the rest of the staff, the continued development or hiring, if anything comes up you will hear about it. I am not saying we are finished, I am not saying I won’t hire somebody else or make changes amongst the staff, we are still in that process. The most important thing was now is that everybody is back and we are back working as a staff and somebody is in place and in charge and leading the offensive side of the ball.”