Solari out in KC

Warpaint Illustrated.com has learned that the Kansas City Chiefs have decided not to retain offensive coordinator Mike Solari. He, along with most of the offensive coaching staff, were given their pink slips Tuesday afternoon.

Today is the beginning of the 2008 season for the Chiefs, and this is just the first change among many expected. Solari's dismissal marks the end of a long tenure in Kansas City. He has been with the Chiefs since 1997, when he began as offensive line coach.

Others who were let go were wide receivers coach Charlie Joiner, offensive line coach John Matsko and running backs coach James Saxon.

The coaches who will be retained for 2008 are quarterbacks coach Dick Curl, assistant offensive line coach Bob Bicknell and tight ends coach Jon Embree.

Solari took over as offensive coordinator when Al Saunders left to run the offense in Washington. Solari, who had never been an offensive coordinator in the NFL, struggled mightily in getting KC's offense to perform consistently.

In the end, it was ironically his offensive line that let him down. Solari was a proponent of KC's all-veteran crew, but it backfired for the second year in a row. According to our source, his ultimate downfall was the fact many of his players had little respect for him. Herm Edwards had little choice but to fire Solari.

A report indicated the leading candidate to replace Solari is Eric Price, who served the last four years as offensive coordinator at the University of Texas – El Paso.

Price is no stranger to Edwards. The two worked briefly together in New York, where Price was instrumental in preparing Chad Pennington to play in the NFL.

Recently Price turned down several requests to interview at other universities. He's focused on winning the offensive coordinator job in Kansas City. However, it's not a lock at this point that he'll get the job with the Chiefs.

There are other candidates surfacing, including former Nebraska head coach Bill Callahan, Jacksonville Jaguars quarterbacks coach Mike Shula and current Miami Dolphins head coach Cam Cameron.

Callahan coordinated the offense in Oakland before the Raiders promoted him to head coach. He left the NFL to take over at Nebraska, where he was fired in December.

Shula was Brodie Croyle's head coach at Alabama, and is one of the primary reasons Jaguars quarterback David Garrard has performed so well this year.

Cameron will learn his head coaching fate this week after a meeting with Bill Parcells, who has taken over the Dolphins as Vice President of Operations. It's not likely that Cameron will be retained, and with his experience in the AFC West, he'd be a solid choice for the Chiefs. He was the San Diego's offensive coordinator from 2002 – 2006.

If Price is hired, it will be a departure from the norm for Kansas City. The Chiefs have always hired proven NFL position coaches and promoted them to offensive coordinator. They've never dipped into the college ranks.

Stay tuned to Warpaint Illustrated.com for more offseason news on the Kansas City Chiefs.

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