The Chiefs, represented by president Clark Hunt and general manager Scott Pioli, just finished introducing Todd Haley as the 11th head coach of the franchise at a news conference.
Before the official introduction, Pioli spent several minutes reviewing Haley’s background, pointing to his experience in several positions with four different franchises — as well as his family background with his father Dick Haley, a personnel man for the Steelers, Jets and Dolphins – as unique qualifications for the position.
“We really believe he’s the right guy for this job,” Pioli said.
Haley, who just five days ago coached in Super Bowl XLIII, has signed a four-year contract with the Chiefs, according to NFL Network’s Adam Schefter. He began his news conference as the newest coach of the Chiefs with this:
“I’ve been reminded by a bunch of people to smile occasionally and not look too serious on TV,” Haley said before thanking a number of people.
A few notable points that came out of Friday’s news conference:
- Haley noted he first found out that he was a candidate for the Chiefs job the day after the Super Bowl, when Cardinals president Michael Bidwill called to notify him they had given the Chiefs permission for an interview.
- Haley lists his first task as the process of assembling a coaching staff, saying, “I’ve got a completely open mind. I’m kind of encouraged. There’s more names out there than I thought.”
- Hunt said the Chiefs were interested in Haley very early on in the hiring process, and with a smirk, noted it was “inconvenient” that the Cardinals kept winning throughout the playoffs.
- Haley will have the autonomy to hire the coaching staff, but the process will be run through Pioli.
- In terms of what offensive and defensive schemes the Chiefs will run, Haley was noncommittal. He said he has an offensive scheme in mind, but it will be dictated by the roster and what the players are able to do best. He offered no opinion between a 3-4 or 4-3 defense, deferring to the fact that he has yet to sit down with Pioli. “Whatever gives us the best chance to win,” Haley said.
- Hunt had this to say when asked about TE Tony Gonzalez and RB Larry Johnson and their futures with the Chiefs: “I believe deep down that Tony Gonzalez wants to continue to be a Chief. Both guys are under contract with the organization. Todd and Scott will have to evaluate their position with the team going forward. … I don’t think it will change the decision process that Todd and Scott will go through.” Both Haley and Pioli indicated their intentions to have private conversations with Gonzalez and Johnson at some point.
- Haley on putting the Chiefs’ roster together: “It’s not rocket science. It’s finding guys who are smart, tough and love to play football.”