Chiefs Ready To Fill Out Coaching Staff

It's been 10 days since Scott Pioli hired Todd Haley as the 11th Head Coach of the Kansas City Chiefs. In that time span, not much news has leaked from Arrowhead other than the release of a handful of coaches. With the NFL combine on the horizon the Chiefs will likely announce their 2009 coaching staff this week. Who will comprise it?

What we do know is that five coaches were let go late Friday evening - Jon Embree (tight ends), Michael Ketchum (defensive assistant/assistant linebackers), Curtis Modkins (running backs), Kevin Patullo (offensive assistant/quality control) and Eric Price (wide receivers). Chan Gailey, Bob Bicknell and Joe D'Alessandris remain on the offensive side with Tim Krumrie sticking around on defense.

Gailey wants to run things offensively, but Haley appears set on calling the plays this year. In the event Gailey is let go, other candidates for offensive coordinator could emerge from Haley's old team, the Arizona Cardinals. Russ Grimm (assistant head coach/offensive line) and Maurice Carthon (running backs coach) are potential candidates for the Chiefs' vacancy.

Other names floating around are former Tampa Bay Bucs coach Bill Muir, who could replace Bicknell. Muir was dumped when Jon Gruden was fired last month.

Defensively, things are a bit muddled for the Chiefs. Krumrie is still on board despite the fact KC's defensive line was terrible last season, setting an NFL record low for team sacks. Some of the blame for the struggles of Glenn Dorsey, last year's top pick, also must fall at Krumrie's feet.

At defensive coordinator, leading the pack to be Gunther Cunningham's replacement are a trio of possibilities including former Cleveland Browns head coach Romeo Crennel, recently fired New Orleans Saints defensive coordinator Gary Gibbs, and former Cardinals defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast, who was fired after the Super Bowl.

Per some reports, Gibbs has already been hired and could serve as KC's linebackers coach or as defensive coordinator. The Saints' defense struggled under Gibbs the last few seasons, and in some NFL circles he's regarded as more suited for a position coaching job.

Pendergast may also be a risky hire, because Arizona's defense was ranked near the bottom of the league the last four seasons. However, should the Chiefs hire him, it's possible he could lure Cardinals linebacker Karlos Dansby, one of this offseason's prime defensive free agents, to Kansas City. The Chiefs will likely be looking to add two starters to play alongside Derrick Johnson.

The ideal candidate might be Crennel, who has history with Pioli from their New England days. There is little doubt in our minds that Pioli and Crennel spoke after Herm Edwards was fired and Cunningham left for Detroit.

If Crennel comes to KC he'll likely change the Chiefs' base defense from a 4-3 to the 3-4 scheme he ran in New England. But regardless of who is hired, KC's new coaching staff will soon be in place, and then the pursuit of free agents will begin.

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