AFC West: Brad Childress

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. -- The Kansas City Chiefs and Andy Reid needed each other.

A year ago, as the Chiefs were toiling through their summer preparations, this pairing seemed more than unlikely. It appeared implausible.

The Chiefs were embarking on the Romeo Crennel era. The franchise was focused on salvaging the Scott Pioli leadership by having one of his former New England colleagues take over the coach's headset on a full-time basis after he had guided the team following Todd Haley's dismissal in December 2011. There were no thoughts of Crennel being a temporary caretaker for one of the biggest coaching names in the game. Reid was entering his 14th season in Philadelphia.

But 2012 ended up being an awful year for the Chiefs and for Reid. Change was necessary for both.

When Reid was let go by the Eagles, Kansas City owner Clark Hunt acted swiftly, turning from Pioli and Crennel to Reid. It was a bold move from the Heartland, where the Chiefs usually stay out of the national spotlight.

Hiring Reid was bold. And while technically neither Reid nor his new team has accomplished anything just yet, the fit seems right. Reid is resplendent in red. The Chiefs’ players are energized by the top-notch coaching and energy Reid has brought.

“I don’t look to the past and we can’t look to the future yet; all we got is right now,” Reid said. “And the 'right now' is pretty good. … I really like where we are and what these guys are doing.”

While it is just August, the Chiefs look nothing like the 2-14 team they were in 2012. Most teams that earn the No. 1 overall draft pick look like it the following training camp. Instead, the Chiefs look like a complete team with few holes, one that is ready to make a big move.

“We don’t even talk about 2-14 anymore,” said safety Eric Berry, one of six Pro Bowl players from what was, despite the record, a talented 2012 outfit. “We are all focused on getting better and getting coached by Coach Reid and his staff. … We can’t wait to get out here every day to see how we can get better. Everybody feels that way. We’re all so happy right now.”

THREE HOT TOPICS

[+] EnlargeAlex Smith
Stacy Revere/Getty ImagesAlex Smith's smooth transition at quarterback is just one reason behind the Chiefs' bright outlook.
1. The quarterback: Thus far, the transition to Alex Smith has been a success in Kansas City. Of course, we won’t find out anything tangible until we see if he can make a difference in the regular season. But so far, Smith has taken to Reid’s coaching and shown he is the leader of this team. He has been good in training camp, and he was excellent in the first preseason game. If Smith can be the smart, mistake-free player he was in his best San Francisco days, the Chiefs can be a real contender. This team has been screaming for solid quarterback play, and it may be about to get it.

“He’s a smart guy,” Reid said of his quarterback. “He gets it. He makes it easy. He doesn’t run out of gigabytes.”

2. Finding a No. 2 receiver: There aren’t a lot of issues with this roster, but finding a solid No. 2 receiver behind star Dwayne Bowe is a focal point of this camp. Free-agent pickup Donnie Avery will likely be the guy, and he has shown he can be a capable NFL player. He can get open. The team would like to see 2011 first-round pick Jon Baldwin finally develop. He has big ability but has failed to show the consistency to be a top-of-the rotation player. The Chiefs have a varied offense, so this will not be a huge problem, but it would be beneficial if Bowe had some legitimate help opposite of him.

3. Dontari Poe: If training camp is any indication, Poe has a chance to be among the breakout players in the NFL this season. The No. 11 overall pick of the 2012 draft has been terrific. He has taken to the new coaching. The light has come on. The super-athletic Poe is getting the playbook and has been dominant at times. Nose tackle sets the tone for the defense, and it seems Poe is up to the task. To his credit, Poe made strides late in his rookie season and seems to have carried it over to his second training camp.

REASON FOR OPTIMISM

The Chiefs' roster is loaded. There are not a lot of holes. Sure, the Chiefs could use a deeper group of receivers, a deeper defensive line and a few odds and ends here and there. But in today’s NFL, that is not a deep list of concerns. Add a top coach like Reid, a capable quarterback like Smith and several fine free-agent additions to a roster that featured six Pro Bowl players, and there is a lot to like about this team. This is not your average club trying to rebound from 2-14.

REASON FOR PESSIMISM

There isn’t much not to like here. The worst thing Kansas City has going for it is simply rebuilding from a 2-14 season. Just how many wins can a 2-14 team expect in the first year of a new regime? The Chiefs will be much better. But what does that mean? A 7-9 season in Kansas City would signify great progress. But if the Chiefs want to make a run at the playoffs, they likely will have to go 9-7 or better. A seven-win improvement is never an easy task in the NFL.

OBSERVATION DECK
    [+] EnlargeJamaal Charles
    AP Photo/Gerald HerbertJamaal Charles' role in the offense does not figure to be diminished considering he touched the ball eight times and scored a TD on the Chiefs' first drive of the preseason.

  • The Chiefs like their offensive line. They think they have a lot of depth. Jeff Allen, Geoff Schwartz and Donald Stephenson give the team a lot of options.
  • The Chiefs have no remorse over using the No. 1 overall pick in this year's draft on right tackle Eric Fisher. He is a natural talent who works hard and fits in with his teammates. He is a hard-hat player who just happened to be the top pick in the draft.
  • The coaching staff is pleased with the way star running back Jamaal Charles has adapted to the offense. He has embraced the chance to catch more balls out of the backfield. For anyone who thought Charles’ role would be diminished because of Reid’s arrival, just look at the New Orleans game last week. Charles touched the ball on eight of the 14 plays the Chiefs’ first-team offense was on the field.
  • Players love the scheme of new defensive coordinator Bob Sutton. It is aggressive and player-friendly.
  • One of the strengths of this team going into camp was the defensive backfield. It continues to be. This is a deep, talented unit.
  • One young player to keep an eye is undrafted rookie receiver Rico Richardson. He is catching everything that comes his way. He's a long shot, but there could be room for him.
  • Reid is pleased with the addition of spread game analyst Brad Childress and consultant Chris Ault. They are focusing on the pistol offense and working with both the offense and defense in installing it.
  • The Chiefs’ special teams look good. The return game was fantastic against New Orleans.
  • Berry came on strong at the end of last season after missing virtually all of the 2011 season with a torn ACL, and he looks to be in top form this camp. Expect a brilliant season from this young star.
  • The team likes the work of fullback Anthony Sherman, who was acquired in a deal with Arizona for cornerback Javier Arenas. Sherman will be a part of the offense.
  • Fourth-round pick Nico Johnson continues to push Akeem Jordan at inside linebacker. The instinctive, bright Johnson has been a camp standout.
A look at the Kansas City Chiefs as they begin the Andy Reid era:

Biggest change to expect: This will be a professional, well-prepared squad. Andy Reid’s tenure in Philadelphia may have ended poorly, but there is no denying Reid is a top-level coach. His 14-year era in Philadelphia was mostly successful: He is known as a strong leader and as a coach who knows how to run a program. Expect Reid to stick with what worked for him in Philadelphia. He will run his version of the West Coast offense. He likes to throw more than run, but he will not waste star running back Jamaal Charles. Charles will get his carries, but expect Reid to find a happy medium and use Charles as a receiving weapon out of the backfield. Defensively, Reid is showing flexibility and keeping the Chiefs in their 3-4 defense. Reid has a good staff and he has added Brad Childress and Chris Ault as consultants. Preparation is paramount in Reid’s approach.

[+] EnlargeReid
AP Photo/Charlie RiedelExpect the biggest changes for the Chiefs under Andy Reid to come on offense.
What success would look like: If the Chiefs make a big improvement in 2013 under Reid, it will be because of the offense. The Chiefs' offense has been lacking in recent years (particularly in the passing game). Reid is an offensive specialist and has had a lot of NFL success. The key is new quarterback Alex Smith. Reid has always liked Smith, who was the best quarterback available in the offseason. Smith is a smart, controlled quarterback who should fit in well in Reid’s offense. Smith will not be asked to do too much and will be given the opportunity to do what he does best. The Chiefs failed in the past because quarterback Matt Cassel was a turnover machine. If Reid can direct Smith to play clean football, this offense has a chance to score a lot of points, and in turn, win a lot of games.

Burned out or re-energized? Reid will be watched closely in his first season in Kansas City. Many league observers thought Reid should have taken a year off after his long Eagles tenure ended. His son died last summer and it was an emotional last few years in Philadelphia. Yet, Reid said many times he felt the need to start fresh immediately. Friends say he is refreshed and energized. Time will tell.

More or fewer wins? The bar is not set high at all. Romeo Crennel’s team went 2-14 last season. Reid’s team should easily surpass that total. If all goes right, the Chiefs could contend for a wild-card spot.
Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid is collecting quite the stash off offensive know-how.

Reid hired Pistol offensive innovator Chris Ault as a consultant Monday. The former Nevada coach is well respected in the coaching community. He was Colin Kaepernick’s college coach.

Now, he will work with Alex Smith. Kaepernick is the reason why Smith is no longer in San Francisco.

Don’t get this wrong -- Ault’s presence doesn’t necessarily mean the Chiefs will run the Pistol all the time. After all, Smith is not a great fit for that particular scheme.

It just means Reid, known as one of the best offensive-minded coaches in the NFL, wants to get his team up to speed on the Pistol offense. Several teams are using it with success. I think Ault is being brought in to get the defense up to speed on stopping the Pistol as much as he is to help out the offense.

Earlier in the offseason, Reid hired former Vikings head coach Brad Childress and gave him the title of Spread Game Analyst/Special Projects. Childress was Reid’s offensive coordinator in Philadelphia.

These are smart moves from Reid. He is getting his team caught up in today’s NFL, including getting his teams prepared for everything on both sides of the ball. That’s good leadership.

In other AFC West notes:

As expected, the Chargers are moving Marcus Gilchrist from cornerback to strong safety. He was drafted as a cornerback but strong safety is considered his natural spot. He has a chance to start if Brandon Taylor is not ready to return from a torn ACL he suffered in Week 17. Shareece Wright has the inside track of starting opposite Derek Cox at cornerback.

The Chargers are planning to protect Manti Te’o as the polarizing rookie transitions to the NFL.
In a move that was anticipated way back in January, Brad Childress has joined Andy Reid's staff in Kansas City as an offensive assistant.

He was Reid’s offensive coordinator in Philadelphia and the head coach in Minnesota for almost five seasons. Last year, Childress was the offensive coordinator for the Browns.

His official role will be "spread game analyst/special projects." New quarterback Alex Smith has some college experience in the spread offense and Childress will help Reid use some of it.

This is a good hire for Reid. It is always good to have a familiar voice to bounce things off of and it is always good to have the experience of a former head coach on the staff.

Random franchise tag thoughts

March, 4, 2013
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Some thoughts on what the franchise tag deadline means outside of Kansas City in the AFC West as the Chiefs ruled the day:

I’m not surprised that Oakland and San Diego didn’t place the franchise tag on any players. None were worthy of the tag.

It will be interesting to see how the Dustin Colquitt contract affects what Shane Lechler looks for on the open market. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Colquitt signed a five-year, $18.75 million deal. The deal makes Colquitt the highest paid punter in the NFL.

Colquitt is 30 and is coming off of a Pro Bowl season. Lechler is 36, coming off a so-so year and he is coming off an injury. Lechler is considered one of the greatest punters of all time, but I’m not sure if he will command the money Colquitt did. The Raiders are interested in bringing back Lechler, but they have other needs as well.

UPDATE: Schefter reported Lechler would be interested in joining the Texans. He is from Texas.

With Branden Albert getting the franchise tag in Kansas City, the Chargers can scratch a potential free-agent target off their list. But the free-agent left tackle class is still solid so the Chargers will be OK if they decide to try to answer their biggest need in free agency.

In other AFC West news:

The Contra Costa Times reported the Raiders created more salary-cap room by cutting the salary of guard Mike Brisiel. Many people thought Brisiel could be cut because he is a better fit for the zone-blocking scheme Oakland used last year. But it scuttled that attack moving forward. But it seems Brisiel will, at least, get a chance to keep his starting job.

The Chiefs are still in the mix for free-agent defensive end Chris Canty even though he is making other trips. The process still may take some time.

At this point, it seems that former Minnesota coach Brad Childress will not join Andy Reid’s staff in Kansas City this year, but it could conceivably change.
ProFootballtalk.com offers a great point why it doesn’t make much sense for Oakland to give punter Shane Lechler the franchise tag.

Lechler is 36, he has had injuries and his play slipped some last season. Still, he has value, but not at more than $5 million a year.

I could still see him coming back to Oakland, but if he gets a solid offer somewhere on the open market, one of the greatest punters of all-time could be leaving. The AFC West is a very strong punting division, so if Lechler leaves Oakland, he will likely also be leaving the division. The only way that could change is if Kansas City Pro Bowl punter Dustin Colquitt leaves as a free agent. But the Chiefs want Colquitt back.

In other AFC West news:
  • ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting USC quarterback Matt Barkley will not throw at this week’s NFL combine because his shoulder injury is still not healed. Barkley is confident he will be able to throw at his pro day next month. I don’t think the fact that Barkley can’t throw this week impacts Kansas City’s draft preparation. Barkley was more likely a potential target as a second-round pick than the No.1 overall pick prior to this news.
  • Former Denver quarterback Jake Plummer is helping Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein prepare for the draft.
  • Here is more smoke that Brad Childress will eventually join Andy Reid’s staff in Kansas City.
  • In an Insider piece, ESPN.com has a list of the top 50 free agents available.

Does Percy Harvin fit in AFC West?

February, 12, 2013
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There have been reports that Minnesota may look to trade receiver Percy Harvin.

He is sure to garner interest because he is an explosive player. But there are also contract and character concerns that could make teams hesitant to trade for Harvin. Let’s look if Harvin would fit in the AFC West:

Denver: I could see Denver potentially being interested. A receiving trio of Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker and Harvin would both be young and exciting. The Broncos would be set there. But there are many other receiver options in free agency. I’m not sure the Broncos would make a jump at a player who has had issues when there are other options.

Kansas City: There are reasons to think this would be a good fit. The Chiefs need to be more explosive at receiver. There is reportedly still a chance Andy Reid could hire Brad Childress. If that is the case, I am sure Childress would advise Reid to tread carefully with Harvin. Childress was Harvin’s head coach in Minnesota and they had a major blowup.

Oakland: I don’t see this being a fit. The Raiders have some young receivers they want to develop. Spending money and draft choices on Harvin instead of areas that are more pressing would not be wise.

San Diego: I think this could be the best fit in the division. The Chargers are begging for a playmaker at receiver and Harvin would be a good on-field fit with Philip Rivers. I’m not sure, however, if the Chargers’ new leadership would be willing to begin its regime by taking somewhat of a risk on a player like Harvin.

AFC West notes

February, 10, 2013
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As expected, the Denver Post reports cornerback Champ Bailey will be with the team in 2013. There was a report that Bailey could be candidate to be a salary cap causality.

U-T San Diego is reporting that Chargers team doctor David Chao has been exonerated by three independent doctors in an unanimous ruling. The ruling was promoted after the NFL Players Association had requested that Choa be dismissed.

The Kansas City Star reports former Minnesota head coach Brad Childress could still join Andy Reid’s staff in Kansas City in an undefined offensive role. Childress was an offensive coordinator for Reid in Philadelphia last decade.

The Chiefs signed defensive tackle Marcus Dixon. He was with the Jets for a few games last season with new Kansas City defensive coordinator Bob Sutton.

AFC West hirings: What's left?

January, 16, 2013
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It’s been a busy 17 days in the AFC West since the end of the 2012 regular season.

The Kansas City Chiefs and the San Diego Chargers both fired their general managers and head coaches and they each found replacements for both spots.

Thus, the heavy lifting of the AFC West firing/hiring season is over, but there still is some work to do for each team. Let’s take a look at what is left for all four teams in the division.

Denver: It has been a light offseason for the division champions, but it is getting a little busy. The Broncos must now replace offensive coordinator Mike McCoy, who took over as the Chargers’ head coach Tuesday. Among the potential replacements are former Arizona coach Ken Whisenhunt (if he doesn’t get a head coaching job), former Colts offensive coordinator Tom Moore, Colts quarterbacks coach Clyde Christensen and Denver quarterback coach Adam Gase. The Broncos quickly replaced secondary coach Ron Milus, whose contract was not renewed. Cory Undlin replaces him. He was with defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio in Jacksonville.

Kansas City: The Chiefs have moved fast. Coach Andy Reid and GM John Dorsey are in place and much of the staff is in place. Among the potential coaches who could join the staff are Brad Childress (senior offensive assistant) and Tony Sparano (offensive line).

Oakland: The Raiders have four assistant openings -- offensive coordinator, special teams, offensive line and linebackers coach. The only coaches reportedly interviewed in a very quiet process have been Mike Martz (OC) and Juan Castillo (OL), while there has been rumbling that Marc Trestman and Greg Olson could be offensive coordinator candidates. I think one name to keep an eye on for that job could be Stanford offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton.

San Diego: McCoy will likely keep the defensive staff together while hiring several other assistant coaches, including a new offensive coordinator.

 

John Fox's decision will linger

January, 13, 2013
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In a season-ending team meeting Sunday, Denver Broncos coach John Fox told his players to be ready to make another playoff run in 2013 after a classic double-overtime 38-35 loss at home to Baltimore.

Fox meets the media to wrap up the season on Monday and he will likely be asked again about his decision to take a knee at the end of regulation despite having 31 seconds on the clock and two timeouts remaining. On Sunday, Atlanta beat Seattle, 30-28, on a game winning field goal after getting the ball in a similar situation.

The situations weren't the same. The Falcons had to go for the win as they were trailing.

I can see why Fox made the decision to go to overtime. If his team made a mistake, it would setup a scoring opportunity for Baltimore. But on the flip side, giving quarterback Peyton Manning a chance to try to get into field-goal position could have been beneficial. Denver was flat offensively in overtime and perhaps going for it at the end of regulation would have helped the Denver offense get over the shock of Baltimore’ game-tying 70-yard score in the final minute.

The debate will rage on and expect it to be a topic for Fox on Monday.

In other AFC West news:

ESPN’s Chris Mortensen is reporting Kansas City Chiefs Coach Andy Reid has interviewed former Miami head coach and former Jets offensive coordinator Tony Sparano for the Chiefs' offensive line coach position. Sparano failed in the higher-profile jobs, but he was known as an excellent offensive line coach in Dallas. Reid has also talked to former Minnesota head coach Brad Childress about a role on the staff. It would help Reid to have two former head coaches.

CBS Sports reported the Chiefs have interviewed Chicago special teams coach Dave Toub. He is considered a premier special teams coach.

Mortensen has reported Oakland has had talks with NFL executive Ryan Anderson about a role it in front office. Oakland has been interested in Anderson for some time. If added, Anderson would be more of a business addition than a football addition.

As expected. Cincinnati offensive coordinator Jay Gruden interviewed for the San Diego’s coaching job Sunday. The Chargers are interviewing several candidates, including Denver offensive coordinator Mike McCoy.

Denver receiver Branden Stokley said he plans to play another year. He is 36. He had a solid season as Denver’s third season after he was essentially brought out of retirement by Manning, his close friend. He had 45 catches and five touchdowns this season.

 
While in transit to Denver on Friday, the Kansas City Chiefs made several expected coaching hires official.

Andy Reid’s new staff is near complete. There was no surprise in the announcement. Former Eagles’ quarterbacks coach Doug Pederson is the offensive coordinator and former Jets’ linebacker coach Bob Sutton is the defensive coordinator. Sutton -- the most important hire on this staff in my mind -- had a two-year stint as the Jets’ defensive coordinator in 2006-08.

Here are the rest of the new Kansas City staff members: Eric Bieniemy (running backs), Tommy Brasher (defensive line), Travis Crittenden (assistant strength and conditioning), David Culley (assistant head coach/wide receivers), Mike Frazier (statistical analysis coordinator), Corey Matthaei (quality control), Tom Melvin (tight ends), Matt Nagy (quarterbacks), Britt Reid (quality control) and Barry Rubin (head strength and conditioning).

Reid has great familiarity with this staff. All but Sutton, Bieniemy and Reid’s son, Britt, were on the Eagles’ staff last season.

The Chiefs are also expected to hire former Minnesota head coach and former Eagles’ offensive coordinator Brad Childress in a role and veteran George Warhop to coach the offensive line.

Pederson played for Reid in Green Bay and has coached for him. Reid clearly trusts him. Pederson is a young coach, but because Reid and Childress will be on the staff, Pederson should be fine.

In a conference call with media Friday, Pederson said he and Reid have not discussed who will call the plays. But if it is Reid (there’s a good chance of it, I’d say), Pederson seems onboard.

“It worked tremendously in Green Bay when I was there as a player,” Pederson said. “Mike Holmgren called the plays; Sherm Lewis was the offensive coordinator. Even my first year in Philadelphia as a player, Coach Reid called the plays and Rod Dowhower was the coordinator. If it works, it works well. The two definitely have to be on the same page. That’s something that Coach Reid and I will discuss as we get into this offseason, especially as we get closer to the season.”

While Reid has a handle on the offense, the Kansas City defense will be Sutton’s charge. Reid’s defenses in Philadelphia faltered in recent years and was a big reason why he is no longer the coach there. Sutton doesn’t have a ton of coordinator experience, but he is valued coach and he’s worked with some good defensive minds.

Expect the Chiefs to continue to use the 3-4 defense because that is what the unit is best suited for. This group has potential and it is Sutton’s job to get the best out of it.
New Kansas City coach Andy Reid dished on his new gig on ESPN Radio’s “Mike and Mike in the Morning.”

In it, among other topics, Reid called Philadelphia quarterback Michael Vick “a good kid.” That innocent comment has some people thinking Reid will bring Vick to Kansas City. I think Vick will be on Reid's list, but he won’t be too high. Remember, Reid is the one who replaced a struggling Vick this season.

Meanwhile, there continue to be reports Doug Pederson is about to be hired as Reid’s offensive coordinator. He was Reid’s quarterbacks coach with the Eagles. Former Eagles offensive coordinator Brad Childress also may join Reid’s staff.

In other AFC West news:

The left tackle crop in this year’s draft took a hit when Michigan’s Taylor Lewan decided to stay in school. The Chargers, who have the No. 11 pick in the draft, badly need a left tackle. So, this news lessens their options a bit.

In an Insider piece, the Football Outsider finds few holes on the Broncos’ roster. Insider

Evening AFC West notes

January, 9, 2013
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ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that new Kansas City coach Andy Reid is interviewing former Minnesota head coach Brad Childress for a role on his staff. Childress, currently the Cleveland Browns' offensive coordinator, has been linked to the Chiefs since Reid was hired. He was offensive coordinator under Reid in Philadelphia, so it won’t be a surprise at all if he ends up in Kansas City.

The Kansas City Star has a look at three men in the running to become the Chiefs’ general manager: John Dorsey, Tom Gamble and Tom Heckert. Dorsey is considered a top candidate.

Denver left tackle Ryan Clady (shoulder) and left guard Chris Kuper (shoulder) practiced fully Wednesday and seem ready to play Saturday against the Ravens. Backup cornerback Tracy Porter (concussion) did not practice.

In an Insider piece, Steve Muench looks at the top pass-rushers Insider available in the draft. One of these players could end up being Oakland’s pick at No. 3.

In another Insider piece, Mel Kiper re-does the 2007 draft Insider. No, JaMarcus Russell didn’t make the cut this time.
It will be interesting to see who Andy Reid adds to his coaching staff.

Among the names who may be candidates to be his offensive coordinator is former Cleveland head coach Pat Shurmur. He was on Reid’s Eagles’ staff from 1999-2008. There has been talk that perhaps the former Eagles’ offensive coordinator and former Minnesota head coach Brad Childress could be on his staff.

There have reports that former Philadelphia offensive line coach and former defensive coordinator Juan Castillo could be his offensive line coach. Castillo was fired during the 2012 season. He is a close friend of Reid’s and he is considered a much better offensive line coach than a defensive coach.

A key will be who Reid’s defensive coordinator will be. After the death of the highly successful Jim Johnson, Reid’s defenses have struggled. The Chiefs’ defense has talent, so Reid could be able to attracts some good defensive coordinators.

He needs to keep an open mind and get the best possible coach, regardless if the Chiefs stay in a 3-4 defense or become a 4-3 defense. Among the names that have popped up is Monte Kiffin, who wants to come back to the NFL after being on the USC staff where his son, Lane Kiffin, is coach.
NFL.com is reporting that the Indianapolis Colts want to interview former Minnesota coach Brad Childress for their head-coaching opening. Here’s another name the Colts should consider: Hue Jackson.

If Childress is on the Colts’ list, Jackson – who was fired last week after one year at the helm in Oakland – should be, too.

Jackson wasn’t fired in Oakland because he can’t coach. I think Jackson, 46, is one of the bright, young offensive coaching minds in the league. His work with Oakland’s offense the past two years shows how capable a coach he is.

His problem in Oakland was that he took on too much power after the death of owner Al Davis — and that he talked too much. But those are issues he can quickly resolve. The Colts have a strong power structure in which Jackson would simply be asked to coach. And whether the Colts’ quarterback in 2012 is Andrew Luck or Peyton Manning, Jackson would be a good leader for either.

Jackson is a candidate to be the offensive coordinator in St. Louis. If he gets that job and the Rams offense rebounds in 2012, Jackson will likely be a hot head-coaching candidate next year. Still, if the Colts are looking at a retread like Childress, they might as well take a gander at Jackson, who’d still be the head coach in Oakland under the right circumstances.

In other AFC West news:

The San Diego Union Tribune is reporting that former Carolina secondary coach Ron Meeks has been offered the Chargers’ secondary coaching job and he is expected to decide by the end of the weekend. Meeks would replace Steve Wilks — who went to Carolina to work for former Chargers defensive coordinator Ron Rivera, who is now Carolina’s head coach.

The Raiders denied a report that new Oakland general manager Reggie McKenzie has hired former Raider Sean Jones as assistant general manager. The team's search for a new head coach continues, meanwhile; Eagles offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg was reportedly set to interview Friday.

The new coach in Miami could further increase the chances of Dolphins offensive coordinator Brian Daboll ending up in that role with Kansas City. Daboll worked in New England with new Chiefs coach Romeo Crennel.

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