Herman Edwards Out: What Now for the Chiefs?

Matt BrowningContributor IJanuary 26, 2009

While there was constant speculation over the past couple of weeks as to whether or not Herman Edwards would keep his job as head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs, it turns out that the embattled three-year coach never stood a chance.

Owner Clark Hunt and new general manager Scott Pioli ended that speculation last Friday when they fired Edwards, who went 15-34 in his three seasons in Kansas City.

Rumors have swirled ever since, with several candidates emerging as possibilities to be the next head man in Kansas City.

The latest rumor came minutes after Edwards had been relieved of his duties. ESPN’s Chris Mortenson reported that the Chiefs and former Broncos head coach Mike Shanahan were close to an agreement. Shanahan laughed when he heard the report later that evening, and it appears that Shanahan will not be coaching in KC, or any place else, in 2009.

Adam Scheffer of the NFL Network stated that the Chiefs had tabbed Bill Cowher as their top choice, but Cowher has made it clear that he wants to stay in television for one more year and be around his daughter as she finishes high school.

Every team would want a coach like Cowher or Shanahan because they are winners. Their records speak for themselves.

Shanahan would instantly make Tyler Thigpen a better quarterback and perhaps give him a legit chance to be their man for years to come. Cowher would bring a sense of toughness that has been lacking in Kansas City since Marty Schottenheimer was coach.

But neither is the right fit right now. So now what for KC? It’s a very good question.

Some think that Arizona Cardinals offensive coordinator Todd Haley is who the team will turn to. If that is indeed true, several risks come with hiring a guy like Haley.

First, he’s never had head coaching experience.

Second, his character has been put into question recently due to his overzealous nature on the sidelines. Much was made about his confrontation with Anquan Boldin during the NFC championship game. However, both said it was much to do about nothing.

Additionally, bringing up Haley’s name in reference to the Chiefs' job, or any other job right now, is a matter of picking the guy that’s hot at the right time. The chances of Haley being considered for any job before the playoffs were slim at best, and that is something that needs to be kept in mind.

Others will contend that Atlanta's Mike Smith or Miami's Tony Sparano were in similar spots last season and have been successful, but it's still a gamble.

It would be nice to have a successful veteran head coach to come in and help Pioli maneuver their $45 million in cap space and the third pick in the draft.

But at this point, any coach plus Pioli is an upgrade to former GM Carl Peterson and Edwards.