In light of the news that Charlie Weis is leaving the Kansas City Chiefs for the University of Florida, we've seen a wide array of reactions from the national and local media. Some point the finger at Todd Haley and say he has trouble working with other offensive minds. Some point the finger at Charlie Weis for bad timing on the announcement.
I like the way Peter King of Sports Illustrated described the story last week -- "It's a multifaceted story. Some personal, some professional." In other words, there are plenty of angles to this one.
We're seeing two guys receiving blame for what's going on right now. Let's take a look at both of them.
The Todd Haley can't work with anyone angle.
"Today," writes Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star, "even as he's a legitimate candidate for NFL coach of the year, Todd Haley looks like an impossible man to work for, ego and insecurity driving two veteran offensive coordinators away in a 16-month span."
"It's my belief that Haley left Weis no choice but to leave," writes Jason Whitlock of FOXSports.com. "Haley is too insecure to work in a professional manner with confident, competent people for an extended time."
Both go about making their point in very different ways but it comes down to the question of whether Todd Haley's personality will mesh with any offensive coordinator in the future.
I don't think asking that question is stirring the pot (well, maybe the way Whitlock asked it is stirring the pot). Looking at the facts, Haley fired Chan Gailey, hired himself, fired himself, hired Charlie Weis and now sees Weis leave. Three coordinators in two years. It's fair for fans to wonder if this is coincidence or if there is truth to speculation that Haley has issues working with other offensive minds.
In my mind, this is a fair question and it's one that we'll be focusing on as the Chiefs eventually pick their next offensive coordinator.
This is Charlie Weis' fault angle.
"Listen, I have no problem with someone leaving one job for another," 610 Sports' Nick Wright said. "You do what you want, and what your current or future employer will allow you to do. The issue isn't that Weis is leaving. The issue is how he's leaving. The issue is that Weis didn't address the media after the game Sunday, no, he let Todd Haley deflect questions about how this went down. The issue isn't that Weis hasn't done a good job-he unquestionably has. The issue is that while everyone made jokes about Weis' weight, the fattest thing on him is his ego, and his thirst for attention and credit."
Wright's point isn't that Weis is leaving -- it's the way he's gone about it. He said the way things went down, with the timing of it all and other things throughout the year, points back to Weis and his ego .
I agree that the timing is all very strange. There's the recruiting angle of it all but the timing didn't do the Chiefs any favors. I understand the need and desire to blame someone but I'm not sure this is completely a Weis-is-an-egomaniac situation.
If this were completely an ego thing, I think that would suggest there was some sort of malice or intent from Weis to screw the Chiefs over. With the history between Weis and a lot of folks at One Arrowhead Drive, I can't see that being the case.
Here's my take:
As a fan, I'm definitely not happy this is what we're talking about this week. The Chiefs finally make it to the playoffs and the national buzz on the team is about something other than the playoffs. The focus should be on Arrowhead, the Ravens and the incredibly fun ride the Chiefs have had to this point. That's the part of this that makes me upset.
I can't say that I have much insight to provide on how Haley and Weis got along other than what we've heard. But I tend to believe that where there is smoke, there's at least some fire. And multiple national and local reporters believe that there's friction between Haley and Weis. Where are they getting that? Maybe they're wrong but it's my belief that something was going on to cause so many folks to suggest this was the case.
It's natural to blame someone. I want to blame someone for what's going on but, as King suggested, there are just too many moving factors to blame just one person. And unless this was done purposely at this time, someone is to blame. The timing flat-out stinks. There's no doubt about it. But I don't think there's one person to blame here. If anyone is to blame, it's everyone involved for letting it play out like this.
I know my take is boring because I don't point the finger but I just don't see an easy scapegoat.