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Chan Gailey's Playcalling Not Much Different Than Todd Haley's

Yesterday, Adam Teicher floated the possibility of Chiefs new head coach Todd Haley calling his own plays.  In an interview on 610 Sports with Neal Jones, Teicher said his "gut feeling" is that Haley will call his own plays which, according to Teicher, would leave veteran offensive coordinator Chan Gailey out to dry.

The argument against it, which three out of four AP readers agreed with, was that a rookie head coach shouldn't put that much on his plate.  At least not initially.

I'm here to argue that Gailey should stick around and call the plays based on the premise that these two guys aren't all that different when it comes to play calling.

Although last year the Arizona Cardinals and Kansas City Chiefs had different offensive systems, head coaches and personnel, the basics of their play calling were similar.

Does this mean that Gailey can continue to call plays and still fulfill Haley's vision for the offense? In my mind, absolutely it does.  Remember, it's not about who gets the credit, it's about getting it right.

I said the basics of Haley and Gailey's play calling were similar last year. Below is a table looking at each coach's tendencies by down.

First we'll take a look at the number of rush vs. pass plays, then the average gain of each.

Down Rush (H) Rush (G) Avg (H) Avg (G) Pass (H) Pass (G) Avg (H) Avg (G)
1st 192 174 3.71 3.8 260 233 7.49 5.64
2nd 104 115 3.39 4.76 228 202 7.64 6.1
3rd 36 48 2.22 4.48 162 167 5.98 5.17
4th 6 4 0.83 1.5 10 14 5.6 5.29

*H of course refers to Todd Haley and G refers to Chan Gailey.

As you can see above, there wasn't a large variance between the basic philosophies of the two coaches. Haley was obviously a bit more successful passing the ball but a good chunk of that can be attributed to personnel on the field.

Pass plays over run plays

1st down: Haley +68/Gailey +59

2nd down: Haley +124/Gailey +77

3rd down: Haley +126/Gailey +119

I know there's more to a comparison of play calling than simply breaking down run plays vs. pass plays but I wanted to point out that Haley won't have any trouble working with Gailey if he wants to keep a pass-first philosophy like he did in Arizona.

We can delve a little deeper into the tendencies of each play caller with a direction play report.

Haley was working with an excellent left tackle in Mike Gandy and 2nd year right tackle Levi Brown.

Left End Left Tackle Left Guard Up the Middle Right Guard Right Tackle Right End
Plays: 31 Plays: 74 Plays: 18 Plays: 106 Plays: 13 Plays: 50 Plays: 32
NFL Rank: 32 NFL Rank: 6 NFL Rank: 29 NFL Rank: 21 NFL Rank: 31 NFL Rank: 21 NFL Rank: 30
Avg Gain: 5.06 Avg Gain: 4.00 Avg Gain: 2.44 Avg Gain: 2.60 Avg Gain: 4.23 Avg Gain: 3.76 Avg Gain: 4.59
NFL Rank: 18 NFL Rank: 18 NFL Rank: 32 NFL Rank: 32 NFL Rank: 9 NFL Rank: 23 NFL Rank: 22

Gailey's offensive line was sub par at best.  We had to change our offense because the line wasn't able to protect the quarterback.  Even though the Chiefs were ranked 16th in rushing at the end of the season, the rushing attack wasn't a strong point of the team. Gailey, whether it was Herm Edwards' influence or not, tended to run the ball up the gut more than Haley.

Left End Left Tackle Left Guard Up the Middle Right Guard Right Tackle Right End
Plays: 48 Plays: 42 Plays: 21 Plays: 143 Plays: 24 Plays: 44 Plays: 47
NFL Rank: 17 NFL Rank: 25 NFL Rank: 28 NFL Rank: 8 NFL Rank: 28 NFL Rank: 25 NFL Rank: 16
Avg Gain: 8.15 Avg Gain: 4.12 Avg Gain: 3.33 Avg Gain: 4.66 Avg Gain: 3.92 Avg Gain: 4.80 Avg Gain: 5.23
NFL Rank: 1 NFL Rank: 17 NFL Rank: 25 NFL Rank: 7 NFL Rank: 15 NFL Rank: 6 NFL Rank: 12

Even though their philosophies may be similar judging by last season's stats, I don't think Gailey wil be retained.  For once, I gotta agree with Jason Whitlock:

I don’t expect Chan Gailey to be retained as offensive coordinator. It’s not the right fit. Gailey is a stud. I’m sure Haley would love to hold on to such a talented and experienced coach, but there’s no incentive for Gailey to stick around, learn a new offense and call someone else’s plays.

It's Game Time.

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