AFC West: Phil Emery
Pioli said the Chiefs’ three injured stars -- running back Jamaal Charles, safety Eric Berry and tight end Tony Moeaki -- are on schedule to be ready for training camp. All three suffered torn ACLs in their knees in September. Pioli said there aren’t any guarantees that all three will be ready for camp, but the team feels good about each player’s progress.
Pioli said that he thinks this is a strong draft overall, and he really likes the running backs. I expect the Chiefs to look at a running back fairly early in the draft or in free agency. With Charles coming back from injury and Jackie Battle and Thomas Jones being free agents, the Chiefs will need help there. One possibility, I think, is to sign New England’s Benjarvus Green-Ellis in free agency. Pioli signed him as an undrafted free agent in New England.
Pioli said he believes second-year player Rodney Hudson is ready to start at center or guard. His best bet might be at center. Casey Wiegmann is considering retirement, and the team might be ready to move to Hudson, anyway.
Pioli said 2011 first-round pick Jonathan Baldwin has made progress, and is expected to be a contributor in 2012.
Pioli reiterated that he wants to keep receiver Dwayne Bowe and cornerback Brandon Carr, who are headed for free agency. With the Chiefs signing cornerback Stanford Routt this week, the odds of Carr coming back have lessened considerably.
Pioli said he was “heartbroken” to see college scouting director Phil Emery leave to become the Bears’ general manager. Pioli praised Emery extensively and said he will make the city of Chicago proud.
The Chiefs had been preparing for Emery’s potential departure. He had been considered a leading candidate in Chicago. He formerly was a scout for the Bears.
This won’t be a crippling loss for the Chiefs, but they will need to quickly adjust. Losing your college scouting director on the day of the Senior Bowl and four weeks before the NFL combine is not ideal. I’m sure Kansas City general manager Scott Pioli has a plan to replace Emery, since the Chicago process was lengthy.
In other AFC West-related news, NFL offensive coordinator opportunities are shrinking for former Oakland coach Hue Jackson. Baltimore didn’t replace Cam Cameron and Schefter reports the Colts are hiring former Steelers coordinator Bruce Arians. Jackson was considered a potential candidate for both jobs.
They might very well be, according to a tweet from Arizona radio reporter Mike Jurecki. He tweets that he is hearing the Chiefs are refusing to pay the final year of Haley’s contract for cause. This has not been confirmed. If that is the case, it means the Chiefs are saying they fired Haley for a specific reason that was problematic to the team, and that they don’t feel like they should have to abide by the contract. Former Oakland owner Al Davis had similar interactions with some coaches he fired.
Haley was fired last month. If the Chiefs are refusing to pay the final year of Haley’s contract for cause, Haley and the Chiefs will likely engage in a grievance. This month, the Kansas City Star ran a story saying Haley thought the Chiefs tampered with a personal cell phone.
Whether the Chiefs are trying get out of paying Haley or not, there is no doubt there were serious issues between Haley and the Chiefs.
UPDATE: The Cheifs had no comment on the matter.
In other AFC West news:
Denver coach John Fox said he is not in a rush to hire a defensive coordinator to replace Dennis Allen, who became the Raiders’ head coach this week.
San Diego receiver Vincent Jackson said he has not heard from the Chargers about a new deal, but hopes he does. Jackson is to be a free agent.
As expected, it appears Kansas City coach Romeo Crennel will act as his own defensive coordinator. He was the Chiefs’ defensive coordinator the past two seasons. Crennel will hire an offensive coordinator.
Kansas City director of college scouting Phil Emery is to interview with the Bears for their general manager job Friday for a second time. He is reportedly one of two finalists.
Oakland linebacker Rolando McClain is to stand trial May 17 for assault charges stemming from an incident that occurred in his hometown of Decatur, Ala., during this past season.
The Bears’ website reports that the Raiders have decided not to interview Chicago Bears offensive coordinator Mike Tice for their head-coaching job. It reports the Raiders are concentrating on a second interview with Denver defensive coordinator Dennis Allen. It is not known if anyone else will get a second interview. ESPN’s Adam Schefter has reported that Philadelphia offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg may be a favorite.
This news signals the Raiders want to wrap up the process and it likely means new Oakland general manager Reggie McKenzie believes he has already talked to the man he wants to hire.
If Allen does get the job, Denver will be looking for its seventh defensive coordinator in seven years.
In other AFC West news:
The San Diego Union-Tribune reports former Panthers secondary coach Ron Meeks is expected to be hired for the same job with the Chargers. Meanwhile, Chargers special-teams coach Rich Bisaccia is no longer in the mix for the same job with the Tennessee Volunteers. That’s a good thing for the Chargers. Their special-teams play improved under Bisaccia in 2011.
The Bears announced Chiefs college scouting director Phil Emery is one of two finalists for their general manager job. There was a report earlier Monday that said he has been offered the job, but the Bears denied it.
Now, Pioli may have a tree growing himself.
CSN Chicago reports the Chicago Bears have offered their general manager job to Phil Emery. The team has said no decision has been made. He has spent the past three seasons as the Chiefs’ director of college scouting. He joined the team in 2009, which was Pioli’s first season as the Chiefs’ general manager.
Emery was an area scout for the Bears from 1998-2004. San Diego’s Jimmy Raye was also a candidate for the Chicago job.
That has to be a tough blow for a former head coach to be bypassed in favor of a former offensive coordinator. There are other offensive coordinator jobs available, so perhaps Jackson will land somewhere. As of now, there has not been any reported interest in Jackson, including in Kansas City, where the Chiefs are looking for an offensive coordinator. Friday, we suggested the Colts should consider Jackson for their head-coaching job.
In other AFC West news:
The Chicago Sun-Times identifies Chiefs director of college scouting Phil Emery as the favorite to become the Bears’ general manger. He has worked in Chicago in the past. Chargers executive Jimmy Raye has also interviewed for the job.
The Miami Herald reports one of the reasons Denver offensive coordinator Mike McCoy did not get the Dolphins’ head-coaching job -- it went to Green Bay offensive coordinator Joe Philbin -– is that he was reluctant to keep interim Dolphins coach Todd Bowles as the defensive coordinator. Bowles has interviewed in Oakland for the head-coaching job and McCoy backed out of his Oakland interview to concentrate on a second interview with the Dolphins. It’s unclear if the Raiders will look to interview McCoy at this point.
Allen is set to interview for the St. Louis Rams’ head coaching job Thursday. However, Allen told reporters in Denver on Wednesday that his primary is on the Broncos’ AFC divisional playoff game at New England on Saturday.
“Obviously, I’m thrilled about it, but really, at the end of the day my focus is to try to win a game against the New England Patriots, and that’s the only thing that I’m concerned with right now,” Allen said. “At the end of the day, we’re focused on New England, and we’re trying to win this game, and whatever happens after that, that’s in somebody else’s hands.”
Allen credited the Broncos players for the Rams’ interest. Denver was ranked last in most defensive statistical categories in 2010. However, under Allen, Denver’s defense has been much improved and it is a big reason why the 9-8 Broncos are still alive in the playoffs.
Meanwhile, Kansas City director of college scouting Phil Emery and San Diego director of player personnel Jimmy Raye are among four candidates the Bears are interviewing for their open general manager job.
Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson
The Kansas City Chiefs announced several additions to their scouting department Friday.
General manager Scott Pioli hired Phil Emery as director of college scouting. Emery was previously with Atlanta and has 12 years of NFL experience.
The Chiefs also added Jim Nagy as a regional scout and Jay Muraco and Pat Sperduto as area scouts. Nagy and Muraco worked with Pioli in New England.
The team announced that Ray Farmer will stay on as the team's director of pro personnel. Earlier this week, the team fired several members of the scouting team, including college scouting director Chuck Cook and personnel executive Bill Kurarich.