Friday, March 13, 2009
Ex-Cards coordinator gets Chiefs' job
By Len Pasquarelli
The Kansas City Chiefs on Friday ended their lengthy search for an experienced defensive coordinator, naming veteran NFL assistant Clancy Pendergast to the post.
Pendergast, 41, was the defensive coordinator for the Arizona Cardinals the past five seasons. He was dismissed by Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt shortly after Super Bowl XLIII.
He served on the same staff as then-Arizona offensive coordinator Todd Haley, the Chiefs coach. Haley and Kansas City officials had attempted to recruit former Cleveland Browns coach Romeo Crennel as coordinator but he rebuffed their efforts. In Pendergast, Haley gets a coordinator with whom he is familiar and who knows his philosophies.
The Chiefs are expected to play the 3-4 defense under Haley and Pendergast.
A 14-year league veteran, Pendergast is known for his creativity. Still, the Cardinals ranked only 19th in the league last year and that likely cost Pendergast his job.
Former New Orleans coordinator Gary Gibbs is also on the Kansas City staff, and probably will be assigned as linebackers coach. There was some thought that if Haley failed to locate a veteran defensive coach, Gibbs would serve as coordinator.
After five seasons as an assistant at the college level, Pendergast moved to the NFL with the Houston Oilers in 1995. He also coached at Dallas (1996-2002) and Cleveland (2003) before then-Cardinals head coach Dennis Green hired him as the defensive coordinator in 2004.
Len Pasquarelli is a senior writer for ESPN.com.