One Down, One to Go — Chiefs Add WeisJanuary 7th, 2010 by Lee Eldridge
People have speculated for weeks. I wrote a post a month ago that new coordinators should be the top priority for the Chiefs, and had hoped for a reunion of Charlie Weis and Romeo Crennel in Kansas City. And yesterday, news broke that Weis had accepted a job with the Chiefs to become their offensive coordinator. Good job Chiefs. One down, one to go.
As you recall, the Chiefs fired offensive coordinator Chan Gailey just days before the regular season began. Head coach Todd Haley took over the duties of offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, and completely revamped the offense. The move was puzzling at the time. And subsequently, the offense struggled mightily. The offensive line was atrocious. Larry Johnson couldn’t run the ball. The line couldn’t protect quarterback Matt Cassel. The Chiefs were having to learn a completely new offense on the fly. And it wasn’t going well.
But as the season progressed, so did the offense. Signs were difficult to see on a week-to-week basis. It’s easy to point to the success that Jamaal Charles had running the ball compared to Larry Johnson, but that’s only a piece of the puzzle. Other improvements were materializing. In particular, the offensive line was improving. Wade Smith had replaced the injured Mike Goff at right guard. And after rotating through a few players at right tackle, the team settled in with Ryan O’Callaghan. In the first 10 games of the season, the line gave up 37 sacks (3.7 per game). During the last six games, the line gave up only eight sacks (1.3 per game). In the first half of the season, the line couldn’t open a hole for Johnson. For the last half of the season, Jamaal Charles gained more yards than any back in the league except Chris Johnson. Much of that was due to the speed and elusiveness of Charles. But it was also due to the improved play of the offensive line.
Makes you wonder how much more the offense could have progressed if the Chiefs hadn’t lead the league in dropped passes. If the wide receivers could have hung onto the ball, it’s easy to see where the Chiefs could have picked up another couple wins late in the season.
Now back to Charlie Weis. He is widely considered one of the brightest offensive minds in the game. And he runs virtually an identical offense to Todd Haley. Before the news leaked about the hiring of Weis, here’s what Haley had to say about his old friend: “Charlie would allow us to run the offense we’re running if he were in this mix,’” Haley said. “’I will do everything I can to get the best, bright football minds in a position to help us. Charlie is a bright football mind who I have first-hand experience with. He would be a guy I would consider.”
The transition of the offense from Haley to Weis should be seamless. Now the firing of Gailey, and the move to Haley’s offense, has put the Chiefs in a better position moving into the next season.
Now if only they could find some receivers who could catch the ball. And oh yeah, hire Romeo Crennel to run the defense.