Kansas City Chiefs owner Clark Hunt and GM Scott Pioli conducted a press conference on Monday to announce the firing of Todd Haley and they were asked a couple of times what kind of timetable they have on finding the next head coach.
Before the regular season is over? Shortly after the regular season? After the playoffs?
We really don't know and they didn't give us any hints.
What's interesting about the timing of hiring a head coach takes us back to Haley. Remember he was hired in the first week of February back in 2009, after the Arizona Cardinals had made a Super Bowl run. Some people thought the Chiefs (and the coaching staff) were set back by waiting so long to hire Haley so it wouldn't surprise me if Pioli had a plan to be quicker this year.
I was surprised to hear Kevin Harlan predict on 810 WHB this week that the Chiefs could have this hire done by January 1. That's the day the regular season ends so I would actually be surprised if the Chiefs had it done by then. The Chiefs can't interview coaches that currently have a job so hiring a coach before the end of the regular season severely limits the pool of available coaches.
What they need to do, I think, is wait until the regular season ends. There are always coaches that are surprise firings after the season and I don't think the Chiefs want to limit the available choices. But shortly after January 1, the Chiefs need to have their candidates ready and make a decision by the end of the first week in January.
So my deadline for the Chiefs to hire a head coach is somewhere around January 7. If the choice is Romeo Crennel, that date may be pushed back (since he's already under contract for 2012).