Chiefs hire Charlie Weis as offensive coordinator
AP Sports Writer
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) – Charlie Weis is back in the NFL.
Barely a month after getting fired at Notre Dame, Weis signed on Friday as offensive coordinator with the Kansas City Chiefs, where he’ll join two old friends in trying to revive a flagging franchise that’s won only 10 games in three years.
“This marriage seemed very, very simple,” Weis said. “I’m very excited to be a part of a growing process that has been started here in the last year.”
In an interview on Wednesday, Weis virtually confirmed that he was coming to Kansas City to rejoin head coach Todd Haley and general manager Scott Pioli.
Pioli was a front office executive in New England when Weis was offensive coordinator for the Patriots’ four Super Bowl teams, and Weis shared a small office with Haley for three years when they were assistants with the New York Jets.
“My relationship with Todd and my relationship with Scott and several other persons in the organization made Kansas City look like a fine landing spot for me,” Weis said. “I couldn’t be more pleased.”
Weis, 53, indicated that other NFL teams have expressed interest. Although his five-year record of 16-21 at Notre Dame did not pass muster with the Fighting Irish, his credentials as an offensive coordinator were never questioned while helping the Patriots win three Super Bowls.
“There were plenty of places that were out there that were opportunities,” he said. “Right from the start, Kansas City was a place that intrigued me. Knowing Todd and Scott, and the players on the team, there were just so many things that intrigued me.”
He and Haley spent much of last week together after the Chiefs beat Denver in the regular-season finale to finish 4-12 in Haley’s first season.
“Charlie brings with him a terrific, a tremendous resume of having success coaching offense and running offenses,” Haley said. “This, to me, is as perfect a fit as we could have here.”
Weis and Haley both are strong-minded men and in one of those interesting career twists that happen in all professions, the old boss has become the new underling.
When they first shared an office, Weis was the Jets’ receivers coach and Haley was his assistant. Then Weis became offensive coordinator and Haley became his receivers coach.
“As a matter of fact, that was one of the first issues we had to get settled,” Weis said. “Ten years ago, it was a different situation. The last time we worked together was 1999. A long time has passed.
“At this situation right now, it’s Todd’s ship and I just want to be there to help him guide it. Our face-to-face meeting was very, very important to make sure we felt comfortable, and especially that he felt comfortable being he’s the boss.”
Haley, two weeks before the season began, fired offensive coordinator Chan Gailey and assumed the position himself. He has admitted it was quite a load for a rookie head coach, and he hinted ever since Weis was fired on Nov. 30 that he might try to bring him on board.
“Our knowledge of each other, the relationship we had prior to this hiring will ultimately make for a seamless transition for us and, most importantly, for the team,” Haley said.
Haley said he wanted all along to have both offensive and defensive coordinators and will have no trouble turning over the play-calling.
“I would think I’ll have a hand in it,” he said. “We’re bringing another brilliant offensive mind into the picture, which always helps.”
This will probably not be the only major coaching change for the Chiefs, who were late in getting a staff together because Pioli had to wait until after the Super Bowl last season to hire Haley off the staff of the Arizona Cardinals.
Former Cleveland head coach Romeo Crennel, who also has New England ties with Pioli, could be a candidate to replace Clancy Pendergast as defensive coordinator.
“I went into this with the understanding it was probably going to be a two-year process to get the coaching staff in place the way I felt most comfortable, and would give us the best chance of succeeding,” Haley said.