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Haley Now Chief Of Own Team


Offensive coordinator Todd Haley (center) is leaving Arizona to become the Kansas City Chiefs' new head coach.

The Cardinals are looking for a new offensive coordinator.

The man who held the job, Todd Haley, became the Kansas City Chiefs? new head coach Friday and was introduced as such during a press conference.

?Just being a head coach wasn?t important to me,? Haley said. ?I had a great job in Arizona, with great people, a great organization, we loved everything about it. So it had to be a perfect situation. This is the ideal situation for Todd Haley.?

The move was one of the worst-kept secrets in the NFL, despite little information coming from the Chiefs during their coaching search. Kansas City interviewed a minority candidate in order to comply with the NFL?s Rooney Rule, but Haley was regarded as the top candidate almost from the moment Herman Edwards was fired a couple of weeks ago.

?This is a tremendous opportunity for Todd and one that I know he is ready for,? Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt said in a statement. ?He was a big part of the offensive success that our team has had over the last two years. Todd is a smart, passionate coach who gets the very best out of players and those attributes will serve him well as a head coach.

?For us, it is flattering whenever your coaches are sought after and is a byproduct of the success our team has had. I think it speaks to the progress we have made and will continue to make as an organization. Obviously we knew this was a possibility and developed contingency plans. We now begin the process of activating those plans."

In-house candidates to replace Haley include assistant head coach/offensive line coach Russ Grimm and running backs coach Maurice Carthon, who served as an offensive coordinator in Cleveland.

Technically, Haley can?t take any Cardinals? assistants with him without Arizona?s permission because the rest of the assistant coaches are all under contract. One possibility is offensive quality control coach Dedric Ward, who is close to Haley. Whisenhunt, however, has repeatedly stressed continuity on the coaching staff.

Haley had repeatedly said he was happy with the Cardinals and the team did give him a raise to about $1 million after the 2007 season so he wouldn?t interview for Miami?s vacant head coaching job.

But at that time, Haley acknowledged head coaching was something he was interested in doing.

?When this is your life, you don?t necessarily start out to be a head coach but as you go along the road and it starts to come into a possibility of something you could attain, it is something you start to think about,? Haley said then. ?It comes up, you think about it and you get excited. ?Can I do it?? And I think I can be a good head coach.?

Haley took over play-calling duties from Whisenhunt full time this season. The Cards set a franchise record with 427 points, were fourth in the NFL in yards per game and reached the Super Bowl.

?It was a great two years,? Haley said while thanking the Cardinals organization. ?As I told the players, ?(The 2008 season) was the best year of my life to this point.? ?

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