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Chiefs coach Haley will hire an OC, 'consider' calling plays

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Chiefs coach Todd Haley could wind up calling plays next season.

Haley said Tuesday that he intends to hire a replacement for offensive coordinator Charlie Weis, who is leaving to take a similar position at the University of Florida. But Haley indicated he might take a bigger role in calling plays, as he did after firing offensive coordinator Chan Gailey shortly before the 2009 season opener.

Haley was a successful offensive coordinator at Arizona, helping the Cardinals reach the Super Bowl before he took over in Kansas City in 2009.

Asked Tuesday if he would consider calling plays next season, Haley said: "I'll consider anything. ... But it's going to be a very thorough evaluation of the entire system."

Weis, a three-time Super Bowl winner with the New England Patriots and former head coach at Notre Dame, was part of a franchise-record six-game improvement in 2010. The Chiefs went from 4-12 in 2009 to 10-6 this season, and they won their first AFC West title since 2003.

In training camp, Weis said his main goal was "to fix what's wrong with the quarterback," and Matt Cassel made a huge leap. After throwing 16 touchdown passes and 16 interceptions last season, Cassel finished the 2010 season with 27 TD tosses and just seven picks.

The Chiefs also put running back Jamaal Charles and wide receiver Dwayne Bowe into the Pro Bowl in a season that ended with a 30-7 loss Sunday to Baltimore in the first round of the playoffs.

"We had a real good coordinator here in Charlie, who has moved on to Florida, and we have to make sure that we continue to develop our coaches and have good coaches on the staff," Haley said. "That's a critical part of being a successful team year in and year out and reaching our goals, which is to be a championship team."

A number of potential replacements for Weis have drawn mention, including Josh McDaniels, who was fired last month as the Denver Broncos' head coach. But Haley and McDaniels have had a stormy relationship, to put it mildly.

In what proved to be an embarrassing moment for Haley, he refused to shake McDaniels' hand immediately after a blowout loss Nov. 14 in Denver. Haley apologized the next day to fans and to McDaniels but conceded that he hadn't called the coach personally.

Another possibility could be Nick Sirianni, the Chiefs' young quality-control coach on offense. Sirianni would seem a long shot because he has just two years in the NFL, but Haley has spoken highly of him in the past and given him much credit for taking a role in Cassel's improvement.

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"I would not discount anything right now," Haley said. "What I'm going to be interested in is getting it right. I feel like last year I got it right. We were able to continue to make big progress in building the identity of this team and, on top of that, having some success, to boot. We didn't accomplish all of our goals. But I feel like we got it right, and my staff, our staff, continues to grow and develop. You need to be developing coaches also. We'll get it right."

The ultimate decision will be his, Haley said. Whoever is hired will be his third offensive coordinator in three years.

Haley said he's not concerned about a perception he's not an easy head coach for an offensive coordinator to join.

"It's not something I've thought about or considered," Haley said. "I'm going to continue doing the things that I know as the head coach have got this ship going in the right direction and moving at a pretty good clip."

Haley also disputed a report on Kansas City sports-talk radio station KCSP-AM that he relieved Weis of play-calling responsibilities in the second half of Sunday's loss to Baltimore.

"Absolutely not true," he said.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert (10) rushes during an NFL football game between the between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Los Angeles Chargers, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Peter Joneleit)

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