August 31, 2009
It's true that most things don't matter a great deal in the preseason. I would suggest, though, that when you're firing your offensive coordinator two weeks before the season starts, that that means a great deal. And not in a good way.
That's what the Chiefs just did, though. After a preseason in which they've scored two offensive touchdowns in three games (and only one of those by the first-stringers), Chan Gailey is gone. This comes on top of the news that brand new golden boy quarterback Matt Cassel could be out for up to four weeks with a knee injury.
Through three weeks of the preseason, the Chiefs rank 25th in the league in total offense and are a minus-6 in the turnover category. Most people expect this to be a rebuilding year for the Chiefs, but when an organization shells out the draft picks and the cash for a new quarterback and a new offensive-minded head coach, they probably expect a little better than that.
Now, how much of this is Chan Gailey's fault, I couldn't tell you. The original plan was for Gailey to call the plays for the Chiefs. In preseason football, when everyone's running their most vanilla packages, it's probably not poor play calling that's keeping you out of the end zone. No one's getting out-schemed in the preseason. If you're losing, it's probably that the other guys have better players and better team-wide continuity than you do.
Of course, no one knows the real reasons behind Gailey's dismissal, and it's doubtful that we'll get them later when Haley addresses the media. Maybe it was just a panic move by a rookie head coach. Maybe there were major philosophical differences between Gailey and Haley.
No replacement was named immediately. Whoever does take over offensive coordinator duties, my guess is that Todd Haley will be absorbing a lot of the duties that used to belong to Gailey.
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