Orlin Wagner - AP
Tuesday the Chiefs added seven new assistants to the coaching staff: Joel Collier, Gary Gibbs, Steve Hoffman, Bill Muir, Clancy Pendergast, Pat Perles, and Dedric Ward. The Chiefs also retained offensive coordinator Chan Gailey, offensive line coaches Bob Bicknell and Joe D’Alessandris, and defensive line coach Tim Krumrie.
However, coaching assignments for the new staff have not been announced.
Some of these names are new, so let’s examine the basics of each coach’s career, starting with Collier, who most recently spent three seasons (2005-2007) with the Patriots, where his working relationship with Pioli began. In New England, he was in charge of three impressive secondaries.
Prior to his time with the Patriots, Collier coached in Miami for 11 seasons, spending seven years as a running backs coach. Ricky Williams enjoyed his most productive years under Collier in 2002 and 2003, and Collier also worked with offensive coordinator Chan Gailey for two seasons.
Gary Gibbs’ name was the first leak this past week, and he was previously the Saints’ defensive coordinator from 2006 to 2008, before serving as a linebackers coach in Dallas from 2002 to 2005. Gibbs worked with Haley in Dallas during the 2005 season. Big 12 fans may also recognize Gibbs from his time as head coach at Oklahoma.
Steve Hoffman joins Kansas City after serving at Miami as kicking coach and special teams assistant for two seasons. In 2006, Hoffman was a special teams assistant in Atlanta, and also spent 16 years in Dallas as a kicking and quality control coach. Hoffman’s only connection with Haley comes through Bill Parcells.
Bill Muir, who previously served as the offensive coordinator and offensive line coach on Jon Gruden’s staff in Tampa Bay, has an impressive 31 seasons as an NFL coach. He also spent time with Bill Parcells on the Jets’ staff.
Clancy Pendergast instantly became linked to Kansas City via rumor mills (due to his obvious working relationship with Todd Haley) after the Cardinals fired him shortly following the Super Bowl. Pendergast has also served under Gibbs twice during his coaching career - first as an assistant at Oklahoma, and second as a positions coach in Dallas.
Pat Perles may be the most surprising hire, as he’s spent the last six years at North Dakota State, serving the last four years as offensive coordinator. He owns only two years of NFL coaching experience, coming in Los Angeles with the Rams in 1992 and 1993. Perles also spent a number of years in the Canadian Football League. He does not, however, have an obvious connection with Haley
Dedric Ward, a native of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, started his coaching career as wide receivers coach at Missouri State, and spent the last two seasons as a quality control coach in Arizona under Haley. He worked mostly with receivers in 2008 and running backs in 2007.
What position groups will these men coach in Kansas City? There aren’t clear cut answers at the moment, but Chan Gailey appears to be one certainty at offensive coordinator. That still doesn’t answer the question of who will call plays for the Chiefs, however, Gailey or Haley. It’s been rumored that Gailey might accept a diminished role in play calling, but that hasn’t been confirmed.
Defensive coordinator is still up in the air. Both Pendergast and Gibbs are coming off stints as defensive coordinators, and both have worked as coordinators on coaching staffs that included Haley. Interestingly, Pendergast has worked under Gibbs twice in the past. Is a promotion in his future? The odd man out at defensive coordinator will most likely coach linebackers.
One of the few who may be penciled in at an obvious slot is Hoffman. After roles as a kicking coach and special teams assistant, a promotion to special teams coach seems likely.
Perles’ experience as an offensive coach the last six years means he’ll likely stay on that side of the ball, but he has worked as a defensive line coach previously. Judging from the experience of the remaining offensive coaches, Perles is a likely candidate to oversee running backs or receivers.
Ward will likely head up the skill position group not assigned to Perles. Ward was a wide receivers coach in Springfield.
Haley has previously stated he would look for coaches who enjoyed coaching aggressively, and that description fits Krumrie, who may be the most surprising holdover from the Herm Edwards era, given the embarrassing performance of KC’s defensive line last season. It’s hard to imagine Krumrie coaching any other position group in 2009, especially because he played the position, and there’s nobody else on the staff with previous experience in that area.
The most confusing part of KC’s coaching assignments comes at offensive line. Bob Bicknell was the top offensive line coach last season, and helped rookie Branden Albert play well at left tackle. However, Muir’s experience and reputation trumps Bicknell’s, so if Muir takes over the offensive line, where will Bicknell and D’Alessandris wind up? It’s possible Bicknell will end up coaching tight ends while D’Alessandris will continue on as an offensive line assistant.
Stay tuned to Warpaint Illustrated for more updates on the Chiefs’ new coaching staff.