It's been well documented, or at least suggested, that not many people felt that the Kansas City Chiefs were going to be able to lure one of the games young offensive minds to run their offense in 2011.
The word at the Senior Bowl this past week, according to our sources, is that the Chiefs would be hard pressed to bring in a coordinator from another NFL coaching tree, based on Haley's ability, or lack thereof to this point in his career, to work with either of the teams previous offensive coordinators.
And when you consider that Haley is still three days shy of his second anniversary with the Chiefs, the team just put into play their fourth offensive coordinator.
With the promotion of Muir over assistants Maurice Carthon and Nick Sirianni, one has to wonder who will be running the offense in 2011? In 2009, Haley took over the reigns from Chan Gailey and failed miserably to establish any offensive identity.
This past season, Haley grew agitated with Weis to the point, that the offense fell to pieces in back-to-back losses against the Raiders in the season finale and a week later at home to the Baltimore Ravens in the first round of the AFC playoffs.
"We are very fortunate to have someone of Bill's caliber take over the role of offensive coordinator," Head Coach Todd Haley said in the teams' press release.
"Bill's depth of experience, his championship success as a coach and as a coordinator is widely respected around the league, and he will serve our young and veteran players very well and provide critical continuity as we continue to develop on offense."
In other words, the Chiefs offensive fortunes are going to sink or swim on the head coach. And maybe with the firestorm over Weis's departure, plus the fact they could not pry Mike McCoy away from the Denver Broncos, this is how it should be in Haley's third year on the job. And that's to be in the middle of the line of fire.
To be fair, Muir does have considerable offensive experience. For seven NFL seasons, he was basically the run offensive coordinator in Tampa Bay under then head coach Jon Gruden. In guiding the Bucs to a Super Bowl back in 2002, his first season in Tampa, Gruden ran the passing offense while Muir was the ground master.
It sounds like that's going to be the same partnership in Kansas City with Haley/Muir. But is that a good thing for the offense, which struggled when too many cooks saw Chiefs Quarterback Matt Cassel's season derail at the end of 2010?
"Coach Muir has been a big part of what we've been able to do as an offense, so I'm excited about him taking over the coordinator role," said QB Matt Cassel on the Chiefs official website.
"As a quarterback and as an offense, continuity is important, and having someone with Coach Muir's experience will help us continue to move forward in the right direction."
Give Cassel credit for setting the tone from the players' perspective and for keeping the company line intact in regards to his new boss. But the 1-2 punch of the Head Coach and Offensive Coordinator that he'll be forced to work with in 2011, will ultimately tell us if Cassel was sincere about today's promotion.
However, we can now put to rest any other speculation, and bad or worse, this is the tandem that's going to determine the Chiefs success on offense this season. We might never know what was at the core of the hire.
But what can't happen in Kansas City is that Bill Muir's tenure is as bad as the one that occurred when former Chiefs Head Coach Herm Edwards promoted then offensive line coach Mike Solari to offensive coordinator. He took Al Saunders, ‘Greatest Show on Turf' and converted them into one of the games worst offensive units.
And if that happens in 2011 under Haley/Muir, then maybe today's move was just a precursor for another move at seasons end.
WARPAINT ILLUSTRATED MESSAGE BOARDS:
So is this a good move or a bad move by Haley and the Chiefs?
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