Todd Haley is the Kansas City Chiefs New Head Coach

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"Scott and I were kind of young guys in the business at the time we were together in New York, I think highly of Scott; I think he's done a terrific job... I think they have the blueprint on how to work together and succeed."

-Todd Haley, January 27th, 2009

After parting ways nine years ago in New York, Scott Pioli and Todd Haley have been reunited, FOX Sports reports.

Todd Haley is the eleventh head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs franchise.

The 41-year old Atlanta native was the offensive coordinator of the highly productive Arizona Cardinal offense for the last two seasons. In his first coordinator job, Haley and the Cardinals finished 2008 ranked 3rd overall in points scored and 4th overall in yards gained.

In the eight years prior to Haley's arrival as the offensive coordinator, the Cardinals average points scored rank was 25th and their average ranking for yards gained was 22nd.

Haley helped take one of the league's worst franchises to the brink of a Super Bowl title and the team did it on the back of the offense he coached.

The hiring of Todd Haley completes a head coach search that created an unusually high amount of what I can only call pure speculation about who the candidates were. By my count, at least six candidates were legitimately mentioned by the national media as possible Herm Edwards replacements.

A little while ago we went over all of the rumored candidates for the job, if you want to get caught up.

Right now, let's delve into Todd Haley's career and see what we can expect from the first time head coach.

The Pioli-Parcells Connection

A Bill Parcells disciple as they say, Haley began his career as the New York Jets' wide receivers coach under Parcells in 1997. Haley also coached under him from 2004 to 2005 as the wide receivers coach for the Dallas Cowboys, while Parcells was the head coach.

Todd is the son of Dick Haley, who is the current Player Personnel Analyst for the Miami Dolphins and former Director of Player Personnel for the Pittsburgh Steelers and New York Jets. Haley, his father Dick and Parcells all worked together in New York from 1997 to 1999. Haley was the Jets wide receiver coach; Parcells was the head coach; and Dick Haley as the Personnel Director.

Haley and Scott Pioli worked together from 1997 to 2000, when Pioli was the Director of Pro Personnel for the New York Jets.

If you need any more convincing of the strength of the Haley-Parcells-Pioli connection, remember that Scott Pioli is Bill Parcells' son-in-law.

Teams as coach/admin
1995-2000 New York Jets
(Wide receivers coach)
2001-2004 Chicago Bears
(Wide receivers coach)
2005-2006 Dallas Cowboys
(Wide receivers coach/
Passing game coordinator)
2007-2008 Arizona Cardinals
(Offensive Coordinator

An Intense Coach

During the NFC championship, Cardinals WR Anquan Boldin and Todd Haley had a short sideline spat that started because Boldin had been replaced by another receiver in a few offensive plays.

The two men snapped at each other for about ten seconds. Immediately, Haley's reputation as a coach who didn't take any guff was a national story.

Haley's up front, down-to-business approach was on full display in Dallas as well, where he was the wide receivers coach.

While being interviewed for the Cowboy's head coaching job after Bill Parcells left in 2006, Haley laid out his feelings about Terrell Owens to Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.

Here is the story, as told by Keyshawn Johnson to a Dallas reporter just a couple of weeks ago:

"You know, Jen, why aren’t you touting Todd Haley for the job?" he asked. "He was the only one with the [guts] to tell Jerry 'I really want this job but I can’t coach this team with this guy [Terrell Owens] on it. And I don’t think you are going to win anything of any consequence with this guy on it.’ "

A straight forward, no BS approach to his job? Bill Parcells. Chewing players out? Bill Parcells. The man's influence is obvious.

Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald had this to say about Todd Haley after the team's 2008 divisional playoff win against the Panthers:

"Todd's an emotional guy. He wears his heart on his sleeve. He really wants it as badly as any of the players. It's fun to play for a guy like that."

Another player's coach you say? Um, no. Haley's comments after the NFC championship:

"I only know one way to do it, and that's how I'm going to do it. I was taught by one of the best about how you coach and how you have success, and that person was Coach [Bill] Parcells. I take some heat from it sometimes in this day and age where people say you've got to be a player's coach and all this stuff. Well, that's not me. I'm wired a certain way, and that's not going to change."

The more I learn about Haley the more I'm beginning to believe that we're witnessing the beginning of the career of someone who could become a truly great head coach of the Chiefs.

The Search

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Todd Haley's name was initially floated by Adam Schefter of NFL.com back on January 18th.

Just two days after that, on January 20th, NBC Sports Analyst Cris Collinsworth suggested that Haley would be the next head coach of the Chiefs.

Then on January 27th, the Tuesday before the Super Bowl, Haley himself addressed the rumors about him and the Chiefs by giving the standard non-answers to reporters.

Nearly two weeks passed with no official news until the Chiefs asked and were granted permission by the Cardinals to interview Haley on February 3rd.

In between that time, rumors that Mike Shanahan was the next head coach of the Chiefs were spread by ESPN's Chris Mortensen. After a thorough media beat down by NFL.com's Adam Schefter later that same day saying that Shanahan would not be the next head coach of the Chiefs, Mortensen quietly backed down and ESPN quickly removed the incorrect portions of his story.

Haley comes to the Chiefs after what could be the most secretive head coaching search in the history of the NFL. Literally no information was leaked during the thirteen day search for a head coach, causing the media and the fans to go bat @#$& crazy for nearly two weeks. 

In an age where anonymous communication is only clicks away, the leak proof ship that Pioli and Hunt are running is incredibly impressive.

What's Next?

Since the end of the season, the Chiefs have lost defensive coordinator Gunther Cuningham to the Lions; special teams coach Mike Priefer to the Broncos; and defensive backs coach David Gibbs to the Texans. Haley will have to replace at least those coaches.

The offensive staff has remained entirely in place with the exception of Dick Curl who departed to the Rams. Offensive coordinator Chan Gailey was apparently in the mix to be the next head coach, which makes me think that he will remain in his current position.

Starting immediately, Scott Pioli and Todd Haley will get down to the business of hiring a coaching staff, evaluating players and preparing for the NFL draft. We'll be covering their every move in the coming months.

A new head coach typically brings in his own people but with Haley being a first time head coach, he may not have that many assistants that would follow him to KC.

Pioli and Haley will likely work closely to find coordinators and coaches that work for both of them, considering Pioli puts a premium on being able to work closely with his head coach.

A New Beginning

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Carl Peterson resigns. Scott Pioli is hired as the new GM. Herm Edwards is fired. Todd Haley is the new head coach. Clark Hunt will be entering his third year as the franchise owner.

It's not very often that a franchise can say that within a three year span the team changed the head coach, general manager and owner. And on top of that, the roster had massive turnover as well. After a rocky few years, I can say with confidence that I believe that the Kansas City Chiefs will be a strong playoff contending team within two years. The franchise is stabilizing after three mistake ridden seasons.

This has been the most significant off season for the Kansas City Chiefs ever. The team is moving in a truly brand new direction. It's exciting, hopeful and invigorating to be a Chiefs fan right now.

Scott Pioli may end up being the most important long term hire this off season but the head coach is the face of the team. Todd Haley has attitude, intelligence and most importantly a long list of positives about the situation he's entering.

Todd Haley and Scott Pioli will hopefully bring the Chiefs back to the era when Arrowhead was feared; the playoffs were assumed; the defense was nasty; and a Chiefs Super Bowl was a Sports Illustrated cover story.

Football is fun again in Kansas City. Thanks Clark.

Todd Haley Quick Hits

  • 41-years old
  • Former offensive coordinator for the Arizona Cardinals (2007-08)
  • Coached under Bill Parcells in New York (1997-2000) and Dallas (2005-06)
  • Pittsburgh Steelers ball boy as a kid and grew up a huge Steelers fan
  • Father Dick is a long time NFL personnel guy
  • First NFL head coaching job

Learn more about Todd Haley by checking out these links:

Todd Haley Biography (Arizona Cardinals official site)

Keyshawn Johnson says Todd Haley can run the rats out of Valley Ranch (Star-Telegram)

Todd Haley Gets an A+ (Upon Further Review)

Todd Haley = the next Mike Tomlin? (Red Zone)

Haley Sticking Around (Revenge of the Birds)

Tough Emotional Coach Leads Cardinals into Super Bowl (Jim Trotter @ SI.com)

Cards-Steelers Connections (Peter King MMQB)

Haley to the Chiefs (Adam Teicher @  the Kansas City Star)

Leadership could take away Chiefs' troubles (Jason Whitlock @ the Kansas City Star)

Haley to the Chiefs, He's a Chief and He Needs Hailing (Jon @ Home of the Chiefs)

 

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