I just can't imagine Pioli blowing it up right now. Any new face from outside the organization is going to want to replace half the staff with his own people, and will probably want to churn the roster pretty bad as well. Pioli is going to want final say on the players (which limits the list of coaches who will want the job anyway) but he would have to let the new coach have significant input going forward. That would set the rebuilding process back another year or two, and Pioli isn't going to let that happen. If another HC he picks doesn't turn this thing around, the Don is going to join him on the hot seat in a couple years. I have a hard time seeing him risk it...
At this point, you have to think Pioli will defend his plan so far, and try to keep continuity both in the coaching ranks and the roster. That means let Crennel keep the job, promote a DC from the staff in place, and either let Zorn take over OC, or hire an outside OC who will run the offense already in place with the bulk of the players already in place. Everybody is against McDaniels as HC, but I think his experience with the Patriot system we are moving toward and his success with/confidence in Cassel would make him the perfect fit at OC, at least in Pioli's eyes. McDaniels has to have been humbled by his experiences in Denver and StL, and will be willing to tote the company line here. He and Pioli are reportedly still close, and if the Rams do in fact clean house on black monday as has been reported, he will be looking for a job and won't have many suitors lining up. It almost makes too much sense to actually happen, but too much sense for it not to happen, too.
Fact is, as much as it pains me (and every other Chiefs' fan I know,) Pioli still believes in Cassel. If Stanzi shows anything on the field this year (and you've gotta think they at least play him in mop-up the last two weeks of the season, if not actually give him a start against Denver) then Cassel gets another year and Stanzi gets more development. That means no new QB of any significance. What coach other than Crennel is going to sign on for that? No one.
I believe that Haley saw the writing on the wall and forced Pioli's hand, or he would have lasted the season. The rumors are true. Pioli and Haley didn't get along and didn't agree on the path forward for this team. Haley pushed the players and ran the team in ways Pioli didn't approve of, dressed and talked to the media in ways Hunt didn't approve of, and was starting to tell the press about it (albeit off the record) which is directly opposed to the vision of both. If he had played nice, they would have fired him still, but in January instead of now. Pioli isn't going to risk that happening again. Crennel is a good soldier who already knows the score and won't rock the boat. After the last couple years, McD is probably a safe bet to do the same.
Ferentz isn't going to leave his son before his senior year. Cowher and Fisher would want too much input and too much power. And nobody outside Pioli's circle is going to buy into Cassel going forward. I think Crennel just landed his second HCing gig.