Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Zorn's hiring good for Chiefs' Matt Cassel
By Bill Williamson
The hiring of Jim Zorn as quarterbacks coach in Kansas City should ease the minds of Chiefs fans.
There has been nervous tension in the city since Charlie Weis departed as offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach, taking a job at Florida. The tension didn't ease much after coach Todd Haley promoted offensive line coach Bill Muir to offensive coordinator following a three-week search. Who would be charged with continuing quarterback Matt Cassel's development? Cassel flourished under Weis in 2010, Cassel's second season in Kansas City.
This is where Zorn comes in. A former NFL quarterback and head coach, Zorn is known for his excellent work with quarterbacks. He was recently let go as Baltimore's quarterbacks coach after reported friction with offensive coordinator Cam Cameron. However, Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco publicly complained about Zorn's dismissal. Zorn also has had the endorsement of Seattle quarterback Matt Hasselbeck following Zorn's long tenure with the Seahawks.
This hire is important for Haley. Cassel needs a mentor and a champion. Zorn can fill those roles. This is a smart move by Haley. There was concern Haley might be taking on too much in 2011, as he admittedly did in 2009 after firing offensive coordinator Chan Gailey late in the preseason. Haley acted as his own offensive coordinator that season. He has not said whether he or Muir will call the plays, but before hiring Muir, Haley said he could see himself as the primary playcaller.
Haley has hinted that the play calling will be a collaboration of the offensive staff. Zorn's addition should only help that process.