Todd Haley Ousts Chan Gailey as Chiefs' Offensive Coordinator
The only real surprise here is the timing -- there's less than two weeks until Kansas City opens up its 2009 campaign at Baltimore on Sept. 13. All indications are that Haley will take over the play-calling duties, and considering his success running Arizona's offense the past two seasons, Gailey might be lucky this didn't happen sooner.
Herm Edwards brought Gailey in as offensive coordinator last season, after Gailey was let go as head coach of Georgia Tech. With the Chiefs in 2008, Gailey took an offense that had been miserable in 2007 and made it slightly less anemic -- K.C. went from 31st in points scored in '07 to 26th overall in '08.
For whatever reason, Haley kept Gailey around after nabbing the Chiefs' head coaching job. But Kansas City scored just 33 points in its first three preseason games, and Haley decided enough was enough.
"There's never great timing for situations like this," said Gailey, who is still currently on the Chiefs' staff, in a statement. "However, Todd has to do what's best for the team and for the future of the Chiefs. I respect that. It didn't work out for us, but I certainly think that he has a very fine offensive mind and I feel very fortunate to have worked for the Chiefs these past two years.
"I look foward to seeing how I might be able to help the franchise in the near future in other areas."
How much can Haley salvage out of this offense, assuming he keeps play-calling duties to himself? Probably not enough to turn Kansas City into one of the NFL's best attacks, but there is enough talent to put some points on the board. Quarterback Matt Cassel (assuming he's healthy) has weapons in running back Larry Johnson and wide receivers Dwayne Bowe, Bobby Engram, Amani Toomer and so on.
The most obvious issue now is if the team can adjust to someone else calling the plays in the next few days. Haley taking over those duties himself would keep the transition period to an absolute minimum, but it's still a pretty substantial change in the coaching staff given there's less than a fortnight until the regular season.