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Structuring The Staff

Posted Feb 4, 2011

Haley leaves door open to hiring a quarterbacks coach

Changes may still be on the horizon for the Chiefs 2011 coaching staff. Head Coach Todd Haley made that very clear in Bill Muir’s introductory teleconference.

Make no mistake about it; Haley is pleased with the promotion an in-house candidate the caliber of Muir. Aside from a decorative coaching resume, Muir’s hiring makes for a natural offensive transition into 2011 preparations. Offensive terminology will stay the same and players from a much improved unit will understand what’s being asked of them.

That alone is something that most successful teams strive for when transitioning between coordinators.

“To keep continuity is a must, especially with the progress we’ve made and when you have somebody of Bill’s expertise and experience,” Haley said. “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.”

But just because there is a coordinator in place doesn’t mean that Kansas City’s 2011 coaching staff is set.

“As far as the rest of the staff, the continued development or hiring, if anything comes up you will hear about it,” Haley said. “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.”

More specifically, Haley wouldn’t rule out the addition or promotion of a quarterbacks coach for 2011.

Matt Cassel is entering a very critical third season running Kansas City’s offensive system and his continued success is vital to the future of the Chiefs. The foundation has been set and four offensive Pro Bowlers is nice, but the offense is still in the developmental stages.

 “The development of Matt Cassel is a key ingredient in us continuing to make progress,” Haley said matter of fact.

As it currently sits, Kansas City’s offensive staff is structured differently than it’s been during the previous two seasons under Haley. Actually, the structure goes back farther than that.

For the first time since Mike Solari served as offensive coordinator (2006-07), Kansas City’s quarterbacks wont’ be coached directly by the offensive coordinator (Coincidentally, Solari took over the Chiefs offensive coordinator role via promotion from his post as offensive line coach).

In addition to his role as coordinator, Muir will continue to coach the offensive line alongside assistant Pat Perles next season. Although Muir and Cassel will most certainly work together in understanding and executing protection schemes, someone other than Muir will be responsible for coaching the quarterbacks.

When it comes to coaching Kansas City’s quarterbacks, namely the progression of Matt Cassel, a number of hands have been involved. Cassel has routinely met with Haley over the past two seasons, but the primary day-to-day quarterback work has been carried out by the coordinator. The Chiefs have never technically labeled a “quarterbacks coach” under Haley.

When Chan Gailey was retained as offensive coordinator from Herm Edwards’ staff, his positional group resided with the quarterbacks. Haley took over that role following Gailey’s dismissal and was assisted by assistant general manager Joel Collier, as well as offensive quality control coach Nick Sirianni.

Once Haley hired Charlie Weis as offensive coordinator, the day-to-day quarterback operations were conducted by Weis with help from Sirianni and guiding input from Haley.

Sirianni remains on staff, but Haley has yet to announce who will carry full-time role of coaching quarterbacks going forward. It’s a collaborative effort for now, but someone will be running position group through drills and cutting up film when players return to the practice field for offseason work.

“I prefer to stay away from who I talked to, when I talked to them, all those things,” Haley said regarding his search for Kansas City’s new offensive coordinator.

Expect things to be the same as Haley analyzes the structure of his coaching staff moving forward.

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