Two For One?
Gregory Shamus - Getty
Gregory Shamus - Getty
Warpaint Illustrated Columnist
Posted Jan 29, 2008


When the Chiefs began their search for a new offensive coordinator and Eric Price was mentioned as a candidate, my immediate reaction was not positive.

Recognizing Price’s connection with Herm Edwards – he served as an offensive assistant with the Jets early in Chad Pennington’s career – gave me pause. Would Herm hire a branch from his own coaching tree just so he could control him?

The possibility of Price as KC’s new offensive coordinator was an even more disturbing possibility when you considered his history – zero experience calling plays week in and week out in NFL games. The Chiefs didn’t need someone fresh from the college ranks to lead a parade of young offensive players, the majority of which would also be arriving fresh from the college ranks.

Of course, Price had his merits. The hot trend in NFL coordinator hires right now is to find a young, energetic coach who can relate to young players. It’s happening in Dallas with Jason Garrett and New England with Josh McDaniels. Price would have been the Chiefs’ chance at such a move.

So when he wasn’t hired, and Chan Gailey was, there was a bit of disappointment from some, myself included. But Gailey’s qualifications for an offensive rebuild in Kansas City were obvious, too.

In reality, I couldn’t choose. Perhaps I should be thankful Herm Edwards could.

But then it dawned on me the other day. The Chiefs got both Gailey – the experienced one – and Price – the young one – on their offensive staff anyway. People were upset when Karl Dorrell bolted for the Miami Dolphins, but in the end it might have been the best possible outcome for Kansas City’s offense, because it meant Price was hired as wide receivers coach.

The Chiefs really got the best of both worlds. By hiring Gailey, they now have an experienced coordinator who’s perfectly suited to raise the offense back to respectable levels. By hiring Price, they have the perfect up-and-coming candidate to lead the offense if Gailey falters, or can’t get the attack over the hump.

Don’t you find it a little suspicious that Dorrell opted to join the Dolphins because he was reportedly assured a chance at the offensive coordinator position in 2009? Is it possible that was his endgame all along? If the Chiefs have plans for Price as their future offensive coordinator, it wouldn’t be surprising if they couldn’t guarantee Dorrell a shot at taking over the same job in Kansas City.

You may not like Herm Edwards after this last season, or even agree with his hiring of Gailey. But to put it bluntly, he looks like a genius for pulling this two-for-one deal off, especially since James Lofton was floating around out there as a candidate for wide receivers coach (Lofton would have been a safe hire).

If Gailey gets Kansas City’s offense performing back at a competitive level, everything works out. The Chiefs will make it back to the playoffs, Edwards will be credited with rebuilding the offense and Arrowhead Stadium will be full again.

If Gailey fails, the Chiefs immediately have Price waiting in the wings to take over.

And there’s a third scenario. If Gailey succeeds with the Chiefs, it’s possible he’d be considered an NFL head-coaching candidate elsewhere. If he leaves, Price steps in and the Chiefs hopefully don’t miss a beat.

As Jack Nicholson once said, “Gentlemen, there is no way that we can lose.”

Oh, I guess there is one way – Gailey and Price could both bomb as offensive coaches. But if that happens, Chiefs fans still wouldn’t have anything to complain about, as they’d likely be getting a new head coach – one who can hire the right offensive coordinator.

Hopefully Edwards has done at least that by potentially hedging his bets with both Gailey and Price.


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