Chan Gailey has been relieved of his duties as Chiefs offensive coordinator, although it was unclear Monday morning whether he would remain with the team in some other capacity.
Coach Todd Haley, who was the Arizona Cardinals’ offensive coordinator before coming to the Chiefs, appeared unhappy with the play-calling Saturday night in the Chiefs’ 14-10 loss to the Seattle Seahawks at Arrowhead Stadium. At Monday morning’s practice, Haley was directing the offense, while Gailey was nowhere to be seen.
“There’s never great timing for situations like this. However, Todd has to do what’s best for the team and for the future of the Chiefs," Gailey said in a statement. "I respect that. It didn’t work out for us, but I certainly think that he has a very fine offensive mind and I feel very fortunate to have worked for the Chiefs these past two years."
The Chiefs have just two offensive touchdowns so far, and they certainly weren’t helped when quarterback Matt Cassel was injured Saturday night. Cassel has gone down four times despite attempting only 19 throws. He was hurt when he was sacked on his first pass attempt against the Seahawks, and it’s possible he might be out for up to four weeks with a strained knee. The Chiefs were expected to address his status today.
“This would be a difficult week regardless of the circumstances,” said Haley, referring to the short week of work before Thursday’s preseason game against the St. Louis Rams. “It just got a little tougher. They aren’t going to call that game off, either, so we’ve got to be ready to play.”
The Chiefs had planned to hammer away at the Seahawks with their running game, and for a time that’s what they did, even after Cassel was replaced by Tyler Thigpen. Sixteen of Kansas City’s first 18 plays were runs, and at one point the Chiefs tried 12 straight runs.
“Running the football is something we’re going to have to be able to do,” Haley said after the game. “If there was a positive early, I felt we were moving the ball on the ground a little bit. We got sidetracked. We can’t let that happen for whatever reason. I shouldn’t say for whatever reason. I should say whatever the circumstances in a game that’s close like that.”
The running game won’t help much if the Chiefs don’t get better quarterback play, and now they may also be without an offensive coordinator less than two weeks before the regular season starts. Thigpen, as he did in training camp, sprayed some passes and missed some open receivers Saturday. Matt Gutierrez replaced Thigpen late in the game and threw a pair of interceptions.
Haley was also critical of the quarterback play, saying, “There wasn’t much good happening.”