Catching up on the Chiefs' Head Coach Rumors

342-pioli2 Leading up to the hiring of Scott Pioli as the Kansas City Chiefs GM, these pages were filled with any and every speculation about when and who the Chiefs would hire as their next GM. Being good sports bloggers, we labeled speculation and rumors as such and our anxiety and speculation was rewarded when Scott Pioli came to Kansas City.

Of course, as soon as Pioli was hired, the speculation about Herm Edwards' future began. AP commenter Buck'O laid out the head coach possibilities in a great post from a few days ago. We've all been speculating as to what's going to happen to Herm under the Pioli regime.

Here are the rumors and speculation that have been swirling around the Chiefs' head coaching position.

Initial rumors - Kirk Ferentz, Jim Schwartz, Josh McDaniels and Steve Spagnuolo

As soon as Scott Pioli was hired, Adam Schefter of NFL.com began the head coach speculation. Schefter mentioned Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz, Titans DC Jim Schwartz and Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo.

Since then, Schwartz has been hired as  the head coach of the Detroit Lions. Spagnuolo is the new Rams head coach. And the Kirk Feretnz talk has dropped off dramatically, likely meaning the Iowa head coach won't leave the Hawkeye state.

Then Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels was also a big time rumor candidate, having worked with Pioli in New England.

More speculation - Paul Pasqualoni, Rex Ryan and Todd Haley

Just a few days ago, Adam Schefter, the main guy around all of this head coach speculation, said that the Chiefs could consider Dolphins defensive coordinator Paul Pasqualoni. Citing Pasqualoni's ties with Pioli's time as a graduate assistant at Syracuse, Schefter says he's a "person of interest."

Jack Harry, a local KC television personality, mentioned Ravens DC Rex Ryan as a possibility for the Chiefs' head coach position about a week ago. No evidence for Ryan's hire was given. More speculation of course!

Finally, Adam Schefter again delivers another person of interest - Arizona Cardinals offensive coordinator Todd Haley.

Cardinals offensive coordinator Todd Haley, a former assistant coach for Scott Pioli’s father-in-law, Bill Parcells, in Dallas, could be thrown into the mix of Chiefs head-coaching candidates, should Herm Edwards not be retained.

Parcells has extolled the virtues of Haley to many around the NFL, and Haley has elevated the Cardinals’ offense to where the team is on the brink of going to its first Super Bowl.

Like Haley, most of these candidates are rumored to be possible Herm replacements based on their connections to Kansas City and Scott Pioli. That's pretty much the strength of all of this speculation.

Maybe Herm will stay

Of course, all of this head coach speculation assumes that Herm Edwards will be let out of contract a year early, which hasn't happened yet.

It's within the realm of possibility that Scott Pioli retains Herm Edwards for one more season, bridging the gap to the 2010 off season. There have already been ten head coaching changes in the NFL this year, meaning there are ten head coaching candidates who will be/have been snatched up by those teams.

Former Patriots offensive coordinator and new Broncos head coach Josh McDaniels would have likely been one of Pioli's top choices to replace Herm if he chose to do that. With McDaniels gone, maybe Scott Pioli wants to see what 2010 brings as far as coaching candidates. That means keeping Herm for the fourth and final year of his contract.

The strongest evidence for this scenario is that Hunt and Pioli, had they truly wanted one of the candidates out there for head coach, would have gone out and hired him. Clark Hunt is on a mission to lay the foundation for a true contender and Scott Pioli is the ultimate professional. If they wanted a guy to be the next head coach, they likely could have convinced him to come to Kansas City. Or they would have given reassurance to some of the candidates who eventually did get hired as head coaches by other teams that they were potential head coach candidates in KC. I know the idea of a coaching "hold period" is bit odd but it's something to keep in mind.

Bill Cowher

Part of Herm staying for one more season is, of course, linked to Bill Cowher.

Bill Cowher has gone on record stating that he doesn't plan to coach in the NFL in 2009. Naturally, this had led to speculation that Herm Edwards will be retained for the 2009 season and that Cowher could come to the Chiefs in 2010. I've rarely mentioned Bill Cowher in my front page posts because discussion about him coming to Kansas City has been completely wishful. Until now.

CBS analyst Boomer Esiason said on his WFAN-NY radio show this week that he wouldn’t be surprised if Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli hired Bill Cowher to coach the team in 2010.

Sure, I guess this is a possibility. I don't know how anyone could really think this plan has already been set in motion but it makes sense on the really basic level of 2010 will be Herm's last year and Cowher won't return to football until then.

So, what do we really know?

Get used to this.

Zip. Zilch. Nothing. The Chiefs' GM search and the ridiculousness of the rumors that came during that time are following the head coach speculation. Clark Hunt and Scott Pioli, as they've been doing all along, aren't telling anyone anything.

But we'll still speculate because that's part of what we do. And it's fun.

Here are the candidates I've found so far to be even vaguely associated with the Chiefs' head coach "opening", of head coaching candidates. Those who have already found employment are crossed out.

  • Kirk Ferentz
  • Jim Schwartz
  • Josh McDaniels
  • Steve Spagnuolu
  • Paul Pasqualoni
  • Todd Haley
  • Rex Ryan (Rumored to be the Jets new head coach)
  • Bill Cowher (2010)

Pretty good mix of offensive and defensive minds there. Haley and Ryan are two guys that could be interviewed as early as next weekend, should their teams allow them to do so. Teams are allowed to interview candidates from the two Super Bowl teams during the week before the big game.

Every day that passes without real news, Herm Edwards has to feel more confident that he's going to be around for 2009.

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