"I just heard that before I came down," said Todd Haley. "My focus right now is 100 percent on trying to get ready for the Denver Broncos and bounce back from a very disappointing game yesterday."
Haley didn't exactly say Weis was en route to MCI Airport during his press conference, but didn't squash the idea and that's more than enough leeway for us to run with. One thing Haley did deny was that the Chiefs had already been in contact with Weis, despite a previous report from a South Bend newspaper.
"No, I've had no contact with anybody," he said. "No. The focus in this building is putting this team in the best possible position to succeed each day and each week. That is where the focus is. As far as staff goes, that would be something that would be a decision that I would have to make…I can say with a clear conscience that there's been no contact."
Does Warpaint Illustrated believe there's been absolutely no contact between a member of the Chiefs organization and Weis? Not really. General manager Scott Pioli and Weis were both in New England during the prime years of the Patriot reign, so it's not far-fetched to believe there wasn't so much as a text sent between old friends.
However, less is known about Haley's relationship with Weis. While the two were low-level assistants in New York, Haley said Monday he and Weis were quite close, literally.
"I shared an 8x8 office with Charlie for three years in New York," said Haley. "I know Charlie about as up-close-and-personal as you can know him. That's the job whether it's players or coaches, and you see it throughout the league. There are working relationships, previous knowledge, players you know and players you don't know. You've got to make that decision with anybody you bring in. Sometimes familiarity is more important than a talent edge. That's the balancing act you do all the time."
"It's like Leonard Pope. I've known Leonard Pope for two years, and I've known him pretty well. When there is an opportunity or a need that just gives you one more edge, but you've got to evaluate all areas."
It's how the NFL works, as it may be the good-old-boy system of all good-old-boy systems. It's not easy to break in, but once you do, and you develop those relationships, they can carry you your entire career. It's those relationships that have gotten Haley to where he is. Two of his first three jobs were under Bill Parcells, he was reunited with an ex-Jets cohort, Pioli, in Kansas City, and Haley and Arizona head coach Ken Whisenhunt knew each other closely.
"They moved the walls," said Haley. "So Kenny and I actually shared that same office that Charlie and I shared. It was a little bigger with Kenny."
Just looking at the connections and previous relationships between Haley, Pioli and Weis, it's inevitable many Chiefs fans will consider Weis being named the next Chiefs offensive coordinator a foregone conclusion. If that's going to happen, Haley will first have to relinquish the role.
Haley unseated Chan Gailey less than two weeks before his head coaching debut earlier this year, and is not shy about enjoying the offensive coordinator position.
"I think I've stated it's fun calling plays," he said. "I've also said early on that my job is to be the head coach of the team, and if and when that's possible, it is in my opinion that is the best way to run the operation."
"I believe in my heart of hearts that's the way to be the most efficient. In this case this is the way to be the most efficient right now. So, again, if you get the right situation I don't have any problem knowing I could handle it. It's been done many different ways and successfully. That's through experience and the staffs that I've been on. That's having a defensive coordinator and an offensive coordinator."
Charlie Weis was fired Monday, and Todd Haley didn't deny the possibility of bringing in an offensive coordinator at season's end. He endorsed having a head coach and two coordinators as the most efficient possible setup. He defended the NFL's good-old-boy system, saying familiarity with someone outweighs sheer talent. Draw your own conclusions.
Will Weis To Chiefs Happen?
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