AFC West: Mike Miller

I know many Kansas City Chiefs fans are anxious to see who will run the team’s offense now that Charlie Weis has departed for the same job at the University of Florida.

The Chiefs’ search has been very quiet in the 10 days since Weis officially left the team. There has been speculation, but there has been no official word on interviews. There was talk Denver offensive coordinator Mike McCoy could join Todd Haley’s staff, but he is staying in Denver. Among the other names that have been speculated about include in-house candidates Maurice Carthon and Nick Sirianni, Arizona assistant Mike Miller and Tampa Bay offensive coordinator Greg Olson, who is under contract and would be difficult to hire.

I expect Haley to make a decision sooner rather than later. I know he is studying candidates and is working to get the hire done.

Haley is looking to find the right fit. He fired Chan Gailey during training camp in 2009 and Weis lasted one year. Haley doesn’t want to look for another offensive coordinator next year, so he’ll looking for someone who’ll mesh with him and his staff well. Chemistry is key for this hire.

Haley is also looking for someone who can continue the nurturing of quarterback Matt Cassel. Cassel, who was named to the Pro Bowl on Thursday, made terrific strides in 2010. It has to continue in 2011 and the new offensive coordinator will clearly play a big role.

I think Haley is taking his time to ensure he gets this choice right. While Haley said last week that he wouldn’t rule out calling his own plays, I think Haley saw the benefits of his freedom in 2010 and it allowed him to be a better head coach opposed to in 2009 when he was the offensive coordinator after he fired Gailey.

Haley wants to find the right fit. It’s just taking time.
The Denver Broncos are keeping stability on offense.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that Mike McCoy will remain the Broncos’ offensive coordinator. He was also getting interest in Kansas City and in Cleveland.

This move makes complete sense for Denver. McCoy worked for new Denver coach John Fox in Carolina prior to coming to Denver and working for former Denver head coach Josh McDaniels.

The biggest personnel question in Denver is the future of quarterback Tim Tebow. Fox is a defensive specialist, so he’ll need to have a coach who believes he can develop Tebow.

The fact that McCoy decided to stay in Denver rather than go to the Chiefs or the Browns is an indication that he believes he can make it work with Tebow. McCoy called plays after McDaniels was fired, and Tebow made strides when he started in the final three games of the season under McCoy’s guidance.

This continuity will only help Tebow moving forward.

Names that have surfaced for Denver’s defensive coordinator include Ron Meeks, Sal Sunseri and former Atlanta and Seattle coach Jim Mora.

Meanwhile, Kansas City will have to adjust its offensive coordinator search now that McCoy is staying in Denver. Other names that have been mentioned to replace Charlie Weis, who is now the offensive coordinator at the University of Florida, include Tampa Bay’s Greg Olson (who is under contract there and who could be difficult to hire), Arizona’s Mike Miller and Kansas City assistants Maurice Carthon and Nick Sirianni.

Evening AFC West notes

January, 11, 2011
Kansas City coach Todd Haley doesn’t think his reputation as a tough coach to deal with will hurt his ability to hire an offensive coordinator. Haley has gone through two offensive coordinators since taking over in 2009.

The Kansas City Star reports that Tampa Bay offensive coordinator Greg Olson could be a target. Haley liked him last year, but he wasn’t available. He is under contract and could be difficult to hire. Other candidates include Denver offensive coordinator Mike McCoy, Arizona assistant Mike Miller and in-house candidates Maurice Carthon and Nick Sirianni.

In a radio interview, San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers supported the team’s decision to bring back coach Norv Turner.

Cleveland may want to keep defensive coordinator Rob Ryan. There has been talk he could be a candidate in Oakland.

In a radio interview, Kansas City quarterback Matt Cassel talks about what went wrong for the Chiefs in their 30-7 home playoff loss to Baltimore on Sunday.

Final Word: Ravens-Chiefs

January, 7, 2011
Wild-card Final Word: NY Jets-Indy | Baltimore-K.C. | N.O.-Seattle | G.B.-Philadelphia

Three nuggets of knowledge about Sunday’s Chiefs-Ravens wild-card game:

[+] EnlargeJoe Montana
AP Photo/John SwartJoe Montana was the quarterback the last time the Chiefs won a playoff game.
Is this the end of Weis in Kansas City? This could be the final game of the short Charlie Weis era in Kansas City. Weis is leaving as the Chiefs’ offensive coordinator to take the same job at the University of Florida. Weis will stay with the Chiefs until their season is over. If the Chiefs lose to the Ravens, the next pressing job for Chiefs coach Todd Haley will be to hire Weis’ replacement. Among the names Haley could look at are Chiefs assistant coaches Maurice Carthon and Nick Sirianni. Arizona assistant Mike Miller, who previously worked with Haley, and Denver offensive coordinator Mike McCoy are also possibilities.

Ready to bounce back: The Chiefs are coming off one of their worst games of the season, a 31-10 regular-season finale loss to the Raiders. The Chiefs have prided themselves in bouncing back from bad losses this season, although they did lose back-to-back games twice (Weeks 5-6 and 9-10). Still, the Chiefs have come up big with convincing wins to avoid a three-game skid. Kansas City guard and leader Brian Waters said this week that it is not in the Chiefs’ “DNA” to recoil after tough losses. He expects the team to bounce back from the Oakland beatdown and play tough against the Ravens. Really, what choice do the Chiefs have? If they lose back-to-back games for a third time this season, there will be no more chances for redemption.

History is not on the Chiefs’ side: The Chiefs have not won a playoff game since the 1993 season, when they were led by Joe Montana. Kansas City has lost six straight playoff games. If the Chiefs lose Sunday, it will be an NFL record of seven playoff losses in a row.