Chiefs Overhaul: Coaching Candidates For Next Year

The Kansas City Chiefs went from Super Bowl contenders to the laughing stock of the NFL in a matter of a few weeks. These Chiefs have lost 4 of their last 5 including an embarrassingly bad loss to a Giants team filled with UDFAs. Every coach needs talent to succeed, but good coaches are able to bring out the best in their players. By that standard, Chiefs don’t have many good coaches. It’s time to look at a major overhaul of the coaching staff, starting at the top. I’ve dug into coaching candidates to replace some of Chiefs weakest links. Here we go.

Head Coach: Andy Reid: Reid is actually a very good head coach, but he’s not a good Offensive Coordinator, yet he insists on calling plays. If Clark Hunt can convince Reid to completely abandon play-calling and just coach, he’s probably the best coach the Chiefs could find. If Reid refuses to give up play-calling, he will always be holding this team back and, sooner or later, they’ll realize that.

Head Coach: Gary Patterson: Patterson helped build TCU from meh to amazing. He’s a defensive minded coach with a solid resume and is widely respected. Patterson, coming from a college team, would be willing to be more flexible and innovative with the offense, and defense. The downside is he doesn’t have any NFL experience and there would likely be some growing pains.

Head Coach: Matt Nagy: Nagy is apparently on several other teams radar as a head coaching candidate. Reid, himself, reportedly said that Nagy is one of the best head coaching candidates he’s ever had. K.C. could decide to hang onto Nagy and let his mentor go. Reid’s most recently departed disciple, Doug Pedersen, is currently leading a hot Eagles team that looks to be the best in the NFC, if not the NFL. The Chiefs could do worse than give Nagy a try.

Head Coach: Jim Harbaugh: Whether Kansas City could draw Harbaugh away from Michigan remains to be seen, but there may not be a more qualified NFL head coach, not currently in the NFL. Reid is a players’ coach, while JH is more from the Todd Hayley/Bill Belichick style of coaching. Given the lack of effort by the team this year, I wouldn’t mind seeing a guy with a little bit more butt-kicking mentality.

Head Coach: Wade Phillips: Phillips has been a head coach before and didn’t work out the best. That said, Phillips is maybe the most talented DC in the league. He’s good enough I’d be willing to gamble on him having learned a thing or two that would allow him to lead a team. At the very least, he’d improve the defense.

Offensive Coordinator: Daryl Drake: If Andy Reid stays as the play-caller, and Nagy gets a head coaching job elsewhere, the Chiefs should target Cardinals WR coach Daryl Drake. Drake has a long history as a WR coach and is one of the best in the NFL. While he has no experience calling plays, K.C. still has Childress on staff and could split the OC position like they did last year. While Drake learns to be a good OC, he can work his magic on a WR core that’s still young and pliable. In this way, the Chiefs can shore up one of their weakest positions on the coaching staff (WRs coach Greg Lewis) by stealing a quality position coach that would normally be out of reach.

OC Mike Bloomgren: Bloomgren is the Offensive Coordinator at Stanford University. Before that, he was working with their OL and FBs. Bloomgren knows how to build a solid running game, bringing name recognition to RBs Christian McCaffrey and Bryce Love. He has some NFL experience as an assistant OC and likes to do things on offense that are similar to what the Chiefs do (when they don’t suck that is). The man made Kevin Hogan look good enough that Chiefs gave him a shot. That’s an impressive feat.

OC Jim Chaney: Chaney is a spread offense coach who can inject some modern looks into the Chiefs old-school offense. From his time at Georgia and Tennessee, he’s familiar with college offenses and how to bring players along who grew up in those systems. He’s a run first coach who could help coach up the OL and TEs in blocking.

Defensive Coordinator: Chuck Pagano: Pagano’s time as a head coach is likely nearing it’s end. Hey, not everybody is cut out to be the head honcho, but he’s a highly talented DC. His time as a defensive coordinator in Baltimore was a roaring success. He maintained a solid run defense, and vastly improved their passing defense as well. His defense, in 2011, finished 3rd in total yards, 3rd in scoring defense, 4th in passing defense, and 2nd in rushing defense. The year before he took over, as coordinator, their passing defense had ranked only 21st in the NFL. This would be a slam dunk hire, and my first choice for DC.

DC Todd Bowles: Bowles has a history with Andy Reid, and is likely to lose his job as the Jets HC next year. He had a quality career as a DC before taking a head coaching job. While his defenses weren’t quite as dominant as Pagano’s, he’d be a quality option if K.C. weren’t able to woo the future ex-Colt coach.

DC Rex Ryan: Ryan failed as a head coach twice, but he used be a really good DC. Ryan was especially known for his ability to get a team hyped up for a game. While this occasionally backfired, a little passion would be a welcome change for a Chiefs team that often looks less than enthused.

There’s an early look at some coaching candidates. Whether the Chiefs actually have the stones to make these moves, who knows. At any rate, it gives us some possibilities to consider while we wait for the next loss to roll around. It’s not too late for the Chiefs to turn things around this year, but I’m going to expect them to lose every game till they get to the Super Bowl. I’d rather be pleasantly surprised than repeatedly disappointed. What other coaching positions could use an upgrade? What candidates did I miss? Let me know in the comments section.

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Ransom Hawthorne

Ransom Hawthorne

Ransom Hawthorne is an electrician living in central KS. He's married and has two young boys. Born in KS, and raised in Tucson, Ransom spent his middle school years in southern Mexico.
Ransom Hawthorne

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  • HOMER!! Dave

    Hehe, when I thought of Harbaugh coming to KC I instantly had visions Smith cleaning his locker out.

    • ladner morse

      I immediately had visions of Harbaugh staying four years… or four minutes… then he’s outta here.

      You know there’s already talk in Ann Arbor of Harbaugh moving on.

      • HOMER!! Dave

        He seems to be the firecracker sort. Comes in, burns hot, then everything explodes. I’m just not sure that he has the ability to maintain a pro-style locker room with his abrasive personality. Could be wrong though.

        • ladner morse

          I’m also not sure he has the ability to identify with the younger college players that he has recruited to play at Michigan. He’s pretty much a “My way or the highway” kinda guy.

          • HOMER!! Dave

            exactly. We’ve all seen personalities like his in the workplace. The type is very effective at garnering initial results but long term sustainability is nearly impossible.

        • Chiefly Bacon

          It might still be worth it, if Chiefs can get to the Super Bowl in those four years. Look at what happened to the Niners when Harbaugh left. Everything fell apart over night. He was holding it all together.

          • HOMER!! Dave

            True, he held a lot together but he was also a disruption if the stories are to be believed that were circulating at the time. I guess it comes down to what a fan wants. A SB ring followed by immediate organizational restructure or sustainable success a la Tomlin in Pittsburgh per se. Hell if I know, KC has never won squat in MY lifetime.

          • Chiefly Bacon

            Sustainable success is always the dream, but every NFL team is looking for that, how many find it? I’ll take the shortest available path to a championship and worry about the consequences later. To quote Weird Al from that cinema classic: UHF “you gotta grab life by the lips and YANK as hard you can.”

  • berttheclock

    Great list, Ransom. But, first Bill Vinovich will be the ref for Sunday’s game against the Bills. He and his crew worked the opening night game this year against the Pats. They usually do not call many fouls. Last week, they worked the Cowboys at the Eagles game and only called one foul in the second half.

    For some reason (No decision yet on the Bills’ QB, perhaps?), the Chiefs are currently nine and one half point favorites.

    • ladner morse

      Wonder how many losses to bad teams it will take before that turns around?

      • HOMER!! Dave

        evidently more than 3.

    • Chiefly Bacon

      Chiefs could win their next four games by 20 points, and I’ll still be expecting a loss. If they make the playoffs, and beat either the Steelers or Pats, I might let myself hope for a win again.

  • berttheclock

    Open note to Andy Reid. You might want to obtain a video of last night’s game between Atlanta and Seattle. I cial have absolutely no idea where the OC of the Falcons came up with such a revolutionary idea, but, he called for Matty Ice to do something I have never never never seen before in football, pro, college or Pop Warner. The Seahawks knew the Falcons were down to one legit running back so they tried to jam the LOS to stop the run. Ryan took the snap and turned and seemingly faked a hand off to the RB. Geez, have you ever heard of such a thing as that? Well, that forced the defenders to begin to chase the ball carrier and there was Ryan, still with the ball in his hand, looking down field for an open wide out. I really wonder if any other NFL teams will try to emulate this type of trickery?

    So, consider this scenario. Every DC in the league knows Hunt is the main running threat by the Chiefs. Do you think this type of play might work? Someone over at NFL Network said some pundit has already named this type of play as a “play action”. Hmmm? Do you think you might try it sometime?

  • berttheclock

    Open note to Veach. Did you notice that last night in the Falcons’ game against the Seahawks, Dontari Poe actually hit the QB Wilson? Did you know that unless a defender hits the QB below the knees and does not lead with his helmet, it is legal to hit opposing QBs? Now, I know you were the one who brought the name of Mahome II to the attention of John Dorsey and his subsequent drafting of this SAVIOR of the future is what led to the Cap problems which meant Poe had to leave KC. Too late to bring him back, Mr Veach, but, hitting opposing QBs by defenders of the current Chiefs appears to have become a lost art.

    Just thought you might want to check out trying to obtain someone or several of those types who could possibly get by opposing blockers and strike the opposing QB asunder.

  • berttheclock

    John Dorsey had some great draft picks, but, there was one missed pick I watched last night. In 2015, Dorsey selected Ramik Wilson at 118. This left Grady Jarrett, the excellent NT from Clemson to fall to the Falcons and they selected him at 137. With the Falcons, he got off to a slow start, but, as they moved him up and down the line, he became a force, especially, this season with Poe playing next to him. Last night, he hit Russell Wilson 3 times. At the time of the draft, I kept hoping to see Dorsey select Jarrett. Another what might have been.

    Funny thing is Jarrett fell into the latter part of the 4th round due to the fact many NFL GMs considered him to be a bit smallish.

  • berttheclock

    Ransom, you say you are reluctant to have a HC from a college program leap into the NFL as a HC. May I suggest a few names who have done that leap quite well.

    Jim Harbaugh went from two college programs directly to the Niners. Barry Switzer went from OU to win a SB with the Cowboys. Paul Brown was the HC of Ohio State before becoming the HC in Clevelan. Don Coryell went from coaching at San Diego State to the St Louis Cardinals and then the Chargers. Dick Vermiel left UCLA for Philly, then, the Rams and KC. Jimmy Johnson went directly from Miami U in Florida to leading the Cowboys to glory. Bil Walsh left Stanford to lead the Niners. Pete Carroll was a 2 time failure in the NFL before going to the USC Trojans, where he rebuilt his rep and departed to lead the Seahawk.

    • Chiefly Bacon

      Both Harbaugh and Carroll had at least some NFL experience before they became head coaches. Granted, for Harbaugh, it wasn’t much. I don’t say that it can’t work. Just seems riskier and there’s more of a learning curve. As always, if you believe you’ve got the right guy, you go get him, whatever the cost or risk involved.

  • berttheclock

    Yesterday, David Bell correctly noted how well Ragland played. High number of tackles and he was only in on 47 snaps out of a possible 67. Reid, at his presser, noted that this is actually Ragland’s rookie year as he had been injured before coming to the Chiefs. So, while, he is still learning, he looks to be the star of the future for the Chiefs. Plus, Reid would not say it directly, but, one could imply from his remarks about the status of Ehringer that the OG is not yet back into full playing strength.

    • ladner morse

      I’m only guessing that Parker Ehinger lost some strength over his layoff and rehab since Reid trusted him last year but chose to have the lesser Fulton start in place of Ehinger on Sunday.

      Also… in yesterday’s piece I noted the improving play of Reggie Ragland and his 11 tackles… perhaps you missed it. I also noted, over the weekend, that Ragland is essentially a rookie… Reid must have read my memo.

  • Chiefs-Kings-A’s

    I suppose it always good to dream…….but, Andy Reid recently signed a contract extension, he isn’t going anywhere.
    That doesn’t mean he couldn’t be fired, but I assure you he won’t.

  • Chiefs-Kings-A’s
    • HOMER!! Dave

      uh, whatcha tryin’ to say here?

      • Chiefs-Kings-A’s

        We are a train wreck

        • HOMER!! Dave

          can’t be that subtle man, I’m too simple for complex analogies such as this.

          • Chiefs-Kings-A’s

            The picture was meant for the smarter guys….I was just about to spell it out for you when you beat me to the punch..lol. 😀

          • Chiefs-Kings-A’s

            Kidding of course!

          • HOMER!! Dave

            nuh-uh, now I’m all butt-hurt.

    • ladner morse
      • Chiefs-Kings-A’s

        Haha!

        • ladner morse

          A show that was actually better… the second time around.

          Wish I could say the same for the Chiefs.

          • HOMER!! Dave

            I’m going to take you at your word on this, that gal annoys me.

          • PaulFromNorthMo

            So are you saying you don’t prefer blondes, or your not a gentleman?

          • HOMER!! Dave

            Neither, I am for sure a gentleman when it comes to the treatment of the fairer sex. It’s funny actually, some women are so receptive to manners while others see it as being hit on. It actually cracks me up when the latter happens.

          • PaulFromNorthMo

            Ha ha, true, but then there are the ones that seem to take it as an insult. I’ve actually had women frown at me when I open a door for them, complete strangers at that, but they are mostly quite young.

    • PaulFromNorthMo

      I’m trying to figure out the guy on horseback. The way he’s dressed, it looks like he lives in Sherwood Forrest.

      • HOMER!! Dave

        Haha, I’ve seen this picture I don’t know how many times and this is the first time that I found out that there is a guy on a horse in it.

        • PaulFromNorthMo

          What makes it even funnier is if you imagine the smokestack is a cannon.

  • tm1946

    On the internet this morning – The Chiefs are still the 9th best team in the NFL, mostly because the AFC West is a garbage pit. BUT they looked like they did not want to play anymore football this year against the Giants. They looked done – this from a writer from outside the area…

    I would say Alex was still giving up his body running around but the rest…. might be to close to see the forest for all the trees.

    • Chiefs-Kings-A’s

      I wished Alex could be his own grandpa….oops wrong story…..I wished Alex could be his own coordinator, I honestly believe we would be better on offense, hands down.
      Of course 25% or the calls would result in some kind of fake that would result in him keeping the ball, but I think he could orchestrate the offense better than Andy.
      This isn’t brand new……This has been Andy’s MO for decades.

  • freshmeat62

    I know about a year ago there was a lot of talk among some people who know Harbaugh, whose wife btw is from the KC area, that he would be interested in coming to the Chiefs. But as Laddie stated below, Harbaugh seems to be the Larry Brown of football, and doesn’t stay anywhere for long.

    • HOMER!! Dave

      problem being that Reid was just re-signed. It’s going to take something catastrophic for a change to occur at HC in KC.

      • Chiefs-Kings-A’s

        Are you suggesting that we kidnap him?

        • HOMER!! Dave

          well, I mean….I suppose what i’m saying is…..yup!

          • Chiefs-Kings-A’s

            I was down with the idea, but hell, imagine the food bill.
            How do we start a petition?

          • HOMER!! Dave

            we don’t, it’ll be ramein noodles and yogurt. We’ll call it “body by AO”. After all, it’ll be HIS life we are saving.

        • PaulFromNorthMo

          I know a guy with a big truck!

    • Chiefs-Kings-A’s

      After seeing what he did for San Francisco, I don’t care, I would take a chance on him anyway.

    • berttheclock

      Do you recall the rumor floated at one time by a former AD of KU that he would lead the Jayhawks?

      • freshmeat62

        I doubt the JayHawks would be the laughing stock of the Big 12 if he had.

      • freshmeat62

        I doubt though that Self could take having to share any of the limelite.

  • HOMER!! Dave

    This is not a very enlightening article but there is a very funny thought that came to mind when I read about the KC locker room banner that read “start fast, finish faster”. Seems to be a pretty apt description of the season if this “train wreck” is not sorted out in due order, lol.
    https://twitter.com/theMMQB/status/932972886670938112

  • HOMER!! Dave

    weekly power rankings and they speak of % chance of KC making the playoffs. Not sure how they get 96% and all that but unless KC gets their collective ducks in one row it is moot in any case.

    • HOMER!! Dave
    • Chiefs-Kings-A’s

      When this years Bolts,Broncos and Raiders are in the same division as you are, your percentages automatically rise…….
      We have a 96% chance of making the playoffs, because our 8-8 record will be the best in our division……lol

      • HOMER!! Dave

        Haha, so, depressingly true.

        • Chiefs-Kings-A’s

          Funny thing is, the team I was worried about the least at the beginning of the season is the one I am worried about winning the division now.

          • HOMER!! Dave

            Not me, I’m truthfully only worried about KC, they still control their own destiny in the division after all. But (why is there always a ‘butt’ when talking about KC?) if Kc cannot right their own ship it doesn’t matter.

          • Chiefs-Kings-A’s

            The fact that they are in charge of their own destiny is what is worrying me.

      • berttheclock

        Sort of turns the old expression of “S$%# runs downhill” on its head, eh?

        • Chiefs-Kings-A’s

          Yep..

  • PaulFromNorthMo

    There’s an article at CBS that McDermott is “still evaluating” who his starting QB will be against the Chiefs. If I were him, I would start Peterman. One thing that’s been proven over the years, Sutton’s defense instills confidence in the opposing O.

    • berttheclock

      It has been known to bring such back from the dead. Sort of akin to being a Lazurus effect or even a Miracle Max.

  • PaulFromNorthMo

    I just watched the first half of the Bills/Chargers game. Peterman made some good throws, but he also made some really bad ones. His first INT was not his fault at all, the ball went right through the FB’s hands and ended up a pick 6 by a LB. I think it was his fourth pick that a was a bad decision on his part, a rookie mistake.
    Two of his other picks, he was under a lot of pressure (the Bills O-line was crappy in pass pro). Peterman tried to throw the pass but floated the ball up for grabs. He seems pretty weak armed, I’m glad we didn’t draft him.
    His 5th int was miscommunication, receiver turned the wrong way or QB threw to the wrong side, hard to tell which, but a SD corner was in the right place for the pick.

    • berttheclock

      Did you happen to notice how one of the Bills’ corners played? Tre’Davious White, the former DB from LSU, was the player the Bills selected with the 27 pick the Chiefs gave up to them in order to move up to 10. I just saw the stats where he had 5 tackles in the game. He did have one INT earlier in the year.

      • PaulFromNorthMo

        Not really, I was more interested in watching the Bills offense, but none of the Bills defense played very well. The Chargers were pretty much doing whatever they wanted on O. I realize the Bills O were handicapping their D, but if not for a couple dropped balls and a missed FG, the score could actually have been worse at the half.

  • berttheclock

    Just read some comments from the Bills’ fansided site. They place a lot of blame on their O-line, (Joey Bosa had a field day hitting Peterman), their OC, Rick Dennison, who has had negative games for the last 3 games, the injury to Benjamin who had just caught a 20 yard pass from Peterman added to the fact other wide outs were out before the game and poor decisions by Peterman who did try to force passes. Casey Hayward, the 2016 Pro Bowl DB, who came over from Green Bay last year to join the Chargers picked off Peterman twice. They do not blame the first INT which turned into a Pick 6 on Peterman, but, just bad luck.

    • berttheclock

      Did you read that Bob Sutton? Bosa was allowed to rush the passer last week. Strange concept, eh?

  • berttheclock

    Peterman may have had problems trying to deal with the elevation of playing in Gardena. it is an incredible 18 meters above sea level.

  • berttheclock

    Off topic, but, had a bit of fun at Dee’s Bar in Portland on Sunday past. A fellow who had grown up in KC was sitting next to my pal, Ron, who is from Garnett. We happened to mention the games played at the old Muni on 23rd. He talked about his dad paying someone to be able to park their car in a front yard and watch the car for him during games. Brought back memories of those times seeing both Chiefs and A’s games at Muni. He said one of the best decisions ever made in KC was to put a huge parking lot between Arrowhead and Kaufmann.

    Anyone else ever park their car near the old Muni?

    • freshmeat62

      Many times. Sometimes in parking lots, sometimes in yards. One time at a Royals game, wife and I took baby son to a game and we had parked in a yard south of the stadium. My son got sick so I went to get the car, but it was blocked in by a locked car, which they weren’t suppose to do. The house owner got a coat hanger and after tearing up some of the molding around the window we finally got it open. It must have been a stick shift because we were able to push it out of the way. I always wondered what the owner of that car thought. I think that was their last year at the old stadium.

  • PaulFromNorthMo

    Nice article Ransom, it’s obvious you put a lot of thought and effort into this. After Clark just gave Andy a hefty extension, I just don’t see a change at HC within the next three years. Another thing to consider along that line is what we gave up to draft Mahomes. A new HC might not care for that pick and want to go a different direction.
    Now I am all in on a complete defense makeover. Keep Houston, Jones, Peters, Berry, Ragland and P-Lewis and retool from there ( there are probably others worth keeping but that would be up to the new DC).
    My own opinion, I’m for bringing in someone young with new outlooks and that is innovative. Enough of using the older retreads that the rest of the NFL has figured out.

    • jimfromkcj

      Geez Paul, you just come up with a plan to remain the same. You are not going to win with guys like Houston and Berry taking way too much of the cap. As for the off line, only Swartz is getting a salary that matchs his output. The first thing this team needs to do is find a money man that understands how to operate under the cap rules. As I have said many times I would rather have 2 or 3 guys who can get 3 sacks apiece than have Houston. Give me guys who may not be pro bowlers, but won’t quit if they are facing a better player. Just keep battling every play.

      • PaulFromNorthMo

        I understand what you’re saying, but it just isn’t financially feasible to dump them this early in their contracts, not unless you’re planning a total rebuild and starting from scratch. And we know Clark isn’t going to do that.

        • jimfromkcj

          I am not suggesting to let them go, I would prefer to trade them for picks. Even trading them for picks and paying some of their salary would be preferable for me. We just are not going to reload or start over as long as we have these big contracts to full fill.

  • berttheclock

    How about a fellow who happens to be 62 years of age. He has retired from coaching, but, with the right amount of money to dangle in front of him by Hunt, his philosophy of teaching players instead of just shouting at them, might be the one who could lead the Chiefs back to glory. He, once, was a coach with the Chiefs and has developed several excellent coaches along the way.

    Bring back Tony Dungy, who said yesterday that the Chiefs must get away from going back to the old dink and dunk game and revert to throwing it down field to open up the game.

  • berttheclock

    Open note to Clark Hunt. Mr Hunt, may I suggest you read about how Stan Kroenke, the owner of the Rams, gave Jeff Fisher a two year extension, then, fired him.

  • berttheclock

    Should Clark Hunt fire Andy Reid, it would not be remotely the same as the lame brained Jerral Jones, who bought the Cowboys for $140 M and promptly fired the legendary Tom Landry.

    Jerry Jones, finally, admitted he had made a huge mistake by firing the beloved Landry. His decision to hire the college coach, Jimmy Johnson was one of the few things Jones has ever done correctly. But, firing Landry in the way in which he did was absolutely dumb.

    Mr Hunt, firing Andy Reid, who is the George Karl version in the NFL would be one of the smartest things you will have every done. Fire him and his staff.

    • ladner morse

      What if Hunt decides to go back to his old organizational structure but require GM Veach to Fire Reid… and have Veach Hire someone new. Conversation might go, “Umm, yes sir, Andy sir… you’re fired sir.”

  • freshmeat62

    Who ever they get, I hope it’s someone that values talent, strength, and speed over ‘trick plays’. This o-line looks like a bunch of stumble bums tripping over each other doing Chinese fire drills. That’s probably not PC! Oh well I think I got my point made.

  • ladner morse
    • tm1946

      If I said that would you put a picture of me and say something nice about me? My granddaughters would appreciate it… not like I have the stage of the NFL.

  • ladner morse
    • tm1946

      Maybe the Chiefs won the game they watched on Sunday.

  • berttheclock

    The canning season is upon us. Peaches, stewed prunes, you say? No, assistant coaches. The Broncos have canned McCoy, their OC, who was formerly a HC. The Raiders have just canned Ken Norton, Jr, their DC.

    • tm1946

      Green tomato relish, to wipe out the odds and ins in the garden, is done…. 36 pints… enough for all the family for another year.

      No one we know or care about is getting canned any time soon.

      • ladner morse

        I’d love some! And you know… Christmas is coming up! 🙂

  • berttheclock

    The canning season is upon us. Peaches, stewed prunes, you say? No, assistant coaches. The Broncos have canned McCoy, their OC, who was formerly a HC. The Raiders have just canned Ken Norton, Jr, their DC.