Cards assistant hired as new Chiefs coach

by Jay Glazer

Jay Glazer is a Senior NFL Writer for FOXSports.com on MSN and also appears every week on FOX NFL Sunday as the network's NFL Insider.

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Updated: February 6, 2009, 2:43 PM EST
126 comments
The Kansas City Chiefs' long road to finding a head coach has come to a close.

The Chiefs offered the position to Cardinals offensive coordinator Todd Haley and he has accepted. The two sides are now trying to work out terms of a contract agreement.

Haley interviewed for the position earlier this week and a Cardinals player at the Pro Bowl told FOXSports.com Haley was scheduled to arrive in Honolulu for the Pro Bowl Thursday as a guest of Cardinals wideout Larry Fitzgerald, but canceled at the last moment because of the Kansas City job.

"He's going to be a big loss for us," another Cards player told FOXSports.com.

A different Cardinals player said, "He was really liked in the locker room, because we felt like he was always trying to figure something out for us for Sundays. He never stopped."

Haley called the plays for the high-flying Cardinals offense that shocked the world by not only getting to the Super Bowl, but nearly winning it last Sunday.

Haley takes over a team that went a franchise-worst 2-14 under coach Herm Edwards, who was fired Jan. 23. Edwards lost all but two of his last 25 games and launched a rebuilding project that made the Chiefs the league's youngest team this season.

The Chiefs haven't won a postseason game since an aging Joe Montana was their quarterback in the 1993 season.

Among Haley's most urgent problems will be disgruntled star Larry Johnson. Johnson, the highest-paid player in team history, said this week he saw no future for himself in Kansas City. This season he was benched for violating team rules for three games and suspended for one game by the league. He also faces court dates in two separate cases in which he's charged with simple assault.

A key decision must be made at quarterback. Brodie Croyle, Edwards' choice, has been prone to injury and unreliable. Third-teamer Tyler Thigpen finished the season running the spread offense and was 1-10 as a starter.

The biggest issues, however, are on defense.

Under coordinator Gunther Cunningham, the 2008 Chiefs set an NFL record for pass-rushing futility with only 10 sacks. They also set team records for most yards allowed in a game, most points allowed in a game, and biggest lead squandered in a loss. Cunningham has become defensive coordinator for the winless Detroit Lions.

The Chiefs also need to get more production out of Glenn Dorsey, the defensive tackle who was taken overall No. 5 in last year's draft but whose rookie season was a major disappointment.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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