Charlie Weis’ time with the Chiefs won’t necessarily be remembered for the offensive revival he helped generate. His stint will be noted more for its brevity.
Weis, hired by Todd Haley as offensive coordinator just last winter, will leave the Chiefs after the season to take the same position at the University of Florida.
Weis will call the plays for the Chiefs in their final regular season game Sunday against Oakland at Arrowhead Stadium and through the playoffs, which for Kansas City will begin next weekend.
There’s no doubting Weis’ impact, though. The Chiefs lead the NFL in rushing by more than 15 yards per game over the second-ranked Raiders. They are ninth in total offense and 11th in scoring.
More importantly, his presence freed Haley to concentrate full-time on the traditional duties of a head coach. The Chiefs are 10-5 and last weekend clinched their first AFC West championship since 2003.
As a result, Haley is a strong coach of the year candidate.
Haley served as the offensive coordinator in 2009, his first season with the Chiefs, after firing Chan Gailey during the preseason.
Given the Chiefs’ success this season, it’s unlikely Haley would return to designing game plans and calling plays. Possible replacements could include Tampa Bay offensive coordinator Greg Olson, who worked with Haley in 2003 when they were assistant coaches for the Chicago Bears, and Chiefs offensive aide Nick Sirianni.
Sirianni doesn’t have much coaching experience. He worked for five seasons in small college before joining the Chiefs last year when Haley arrived.
But Sirianni works with the quarterbacks on a daily basis and there are those in the Chiefs organization who believe it is Sirianni and not necessarily Weis who deserves much of the credit for Matt Cassel’s rapid development.
Cassel had a breakthrough season. With 27 touchdown passes and five interceptions, is the fifth-rated passer in the league.
Weis’ quick departure from the Chiefs plus the fact he’s leaving an NFL job for one in college raise the issue of incompatibility between he and Haley. The two once worked together with the New York Jets, with Weis as offensive coordinator and Haley as an offensive assistant just trying to make a name for himself in the profession.
Weis later as offensive coordinator with New England helped the Patriots win three Super Bowls. He was the head coach at Notre Dame for five seasons before being fired at the end of last season.
Weis addressed the issue last January after being hired by the Chiefs.
“That was the first issue we had to get settled,’’ Weis said. “Ten years ago it might have been a different situation, but been there, done that, is really where I am in this stage of my career. I’m very, very happy to be in the position I’m in right now.
“In this situation right now, it’s Todd’s ship, and I just want to be there to help guide it. Our face-to-face meeting was very, very important to make sure we both felt comfortable, especially that he felt comfortable being that he is the boss. I think this will be a simple transition.’’