*Notes: (1) All considerations are based on the results of previous polls. Because the AP community has chosen Schottenheimer, Cowher and Singletary, they are the presumed hires. (2) I do not assume that the Chiefs can coerce anyone who holds the same position with a different team to come to Kansas City. (i.e. Jay Gruden is not a candidate because he is already an OC somewhere else).
Results of previous polls:
GM: Marty Schottenheimer
HC: Bill Cowher
DC: Mike Singletary
The Chiefs have begun their rebuilding and have assembled a mix of familiar faces, aggressive personalities, and a winning atmosphere. With Marty Schottenheimer at the helm re-working the front office and Bill Cowher changing the culture on the field, the Chiefs have clearly done a 180 from the previous regime. Adding Mike Singletary as the DC should add a fire to our defense that simply has not been there. It should also enforce a disciplined structure that eliminates the dance party we saw against Pittsburgh as well as other mistakes and penalties.
Up next is the Offensive Coordinator. The Chiefs offense has been pretty pathetic this year. We turn the ball over far too much and only seem to gain yards in garbage time. Whether this is all on Cassel, another failed tenure at OC, or just the team as a whole is a matter for debate, but with a new regime coming in, it is likely that we see some kind of major change. Something has to give. We can't keep doing the same thing and hope for a different outcome. So here are some candidates that might bring the change we need:
Norv Turner - Head Coach - San Diego Chargers: Most likely to be the fan favorite, Norv Turner has had as impressive a career as an Offensive Coordinator as he has had disappointing as a Head Coach. Turner made his name with the "Norv-West Air" attack. He has seen success in numerous settings, but that is often overshadowed by his failures as a Head Coach.
Turner's "Norv-West Air" is based on a strong running game combined with a quick strike deep passing attack. This has been most noticeable with Aikman-Smith-Irvin and Rivers-Tomlinson-Jackson. The Chiefs are short a QB, and will likely be the same at WR after this season, but we do have a RB for him to build around. An explosive offensive attack would be a stark contrast to the dink and dunk, conservative approach we use now.
The concerns on Turner probably start with the previous hires on the staff. With Schottenheimer, Cowher, and Singletary now on hand (as voted by the fans here at AP), there may not be enough money left for a Norv Turner. Next, I mentioned earlier that the height of Turner's success came with some very talented players. However, without those lineups, he has not fared near as well. It could be a case of the talent making the system work instead of the system maximizing the talent.
Maurice Carthon - Assistant Head Coach - Kansas City Chiefs: Over the past several years, there has been one thing the Chiefs can do...run the ball. Even when Jamaal Charles went down, Jackie Battle showed himself to be serviceable in the run game. This year we have seen Shaun Draughn look good when given his opportunities. The success we have found in the run game has come despite seeing an inordinate amount of 8-man fronts, run blitzes, and playing from two scores down. That shows that there is something going on with our running attack, which Maurice Carthon has been in charge of.
Carthon knows how to run the ball, and that currently fits what this team can do. His hiring would also maintain a sense of continuity in our offense which shouldn't be underrated. Carthon has shown that he prefers a multifaceted attack that utilizes fast RBs to the outside and power backs up the middle, but wants both types to be able to catch the defense off balance by switching roles. In his previous roles he has also advocated a short passing game that allows WRs to get open quickly and then make a play after the catch. This is something that plays to our current roster with Bowe and Breaston.
The concerns with Carthon begin with the fact he is a part of an offense that currently is inept. However, there are many people that would put the focus of that blame on our QB position. With a better option at QB, there is no telling what we would be capable of doing. The next concern is that he has seen limited success in his previous roles as OC in Cleveland, Dallas, and Detroit. However, none of those teams offered much in talent. The final concern with Carthon is that his offense would be virtually identical in philosophy to what we do now. However, given that the personnel is unlikely to go through any huge changes outside of QB, it could stand to reason that Carthon would be the right guy for the job in at least a short-term role.
John McNulty - Quarterbacks Coach - Arizona Cardinals: Considered a strong candidate for the Buccaneers OC job last year, McNulty has made his mark in Arizona. He has served as the Cardinals WR coach, following Todd Haley's departure, until this season when he took over the QB Coach job. Before Arizona, he was the Offensive Coordinator at Rutgers University. The Scarlet Knights saw a dramatic turn for the worse offensively after he left.
McNulty uses a balanced attack. Some may claim that he hasn't done much good in Arizona, but when you look at what he has had to work with, that's pretty tough to put on him. One player that has succeeded under him is Andre Roberts, who has surpassed 1st rd pick Michael Floyd as the Cardinals second best receiving option. However, the fact that McNulty has worked closely with young WRs and young QBs is what leads me to think he will be a good candidate. It shows that he is already well-rounded.
The concerns with McNutly are that he has not yet been offered a role as Offensive Coordinator in the NFL. On top of that, the offense he does work with has not been impressive. However, as I mentioned before, he hasn't had much to work with in Arizona.
Chip Kelly - Head Coach - Oregon Ducks: Chip Kelly has done amazing things at Oregon, and most of them are on the offensive side of the ball. Many people feel that he will be a prime Head Coaching candidate in the 2013 season, but there are many that wonder if teams will want to take a chance on his college system at the pro level. That could make him a much better Offensive Coordinator candidate first.
Kelly's fast paced spread attack is rarely ever slowed down. He utilizes speed and aggression to keep opposing defenses on their heels. Defensive Coordinators must rely on their players to win their individual matchups quickly in order to apply pressure on Kelly's QBs. The up-tempo approach makes substituting players difficult and prevents the defense from catching its breath. The spread attack keeps the defense from being able to focus on one aspect of the offensive scheme while also forcing the defenders to protect the entire field of play.
The concerns on Kelly start with whether or not his offense will work at the pro level. New England has found success with his approach, but is one of the few teams that has been able to properly implement it. A lot of teams that use pass-first offenses have simply found they don't have the personnel for that up-tempo style. The second concern is whether or not the Chiefs have the right personnel to even begin building Kelly's offense. Our outside WRs are not known for their speed and our actual speedsters (McCluster and Wylie) both have injury histories to be concerned about. It could take a while to implement this kind of an offense in Kansas City, and the fans are already impatient. And the final concern is that Chip Kelly may simply decide he doesn't want to be an OC. He may only take a HC job and not even consider any Coordinator positions.
Jimbo Fisher - Head Coach - Florida State Seminoles: Under Jimbo Fisher, the Florida State Seminoles have become relevant again in college football. This is especially true on offense. Fisher has done a lot to pull his team out of the hole that Bobby Bowden started to dig at the end of his career. Fisher is a QB specialist with a long history in the college ranks as an OC as well.
Fisher has brought a passing attack to Florida State that currently ranks 30th in college football. He is a proponent of being aggressive on offense to make the defense react. That is a stark contrast to the Chiefs current approach of just praying we don't turn the ball over. Jimbo Fisher's experience as a QB coach (as well as being a QB in his playing days) should help our next QB in transitioning to the NFL. Jim Zorn doesn't appear to have done much for us at the QB position, so I don't imagine he will be around much longer. This makes hiring an OC with experience in teaching QBs more important. Jimbo Fisher has also shown that he likes to move fast in his approach to coaching. In his introductory speech at Florida State, Fisher made it clear that he expected to turn the program around immediately and not over the course of several years like many coaches do.
The concerns with Jimbo Fisher start with the fact that he is a college coach looking to make the jump to the NFL. In fact, he has never coached or spent any time at the pro level which makes that concern a little greater. However, that kind of new blood matched with his aggressive approach could be enough to make him successful.
There is my short list. As always, I am sure there are names on here that people don't agree with or names that have been omitted. Each of these guys have concerns about them. But, as always, all of the guys who don't have any concerns about them are already employed as Offensive Coordinators on other teams.
Here are the previous posts in the series: