Chiefs announce coaches, big questions remain

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

The Kansas City Chiefs, suddenly one of the NFL's most mysterious teams, have spoken.

But we're not sure what they have said.

The team announced a large portion, or maybe even the entire staff, as the team begins the Scott Pioli and Todd Haley era. The odd thing is, the Chiefs didn't announce what positions the coaches will have in Kansas City. Shortly after the release was sent out, a team spokesman said the Chiefs will not be announcing specific positions at this time.


Tuesday's peculiar move continues a quiet offseason by the Chiefs. Both the decision to hire Pioli as general manager and Haley as head coach were shrouded in secrecy. Tuesday's move to assemble the assistant coaching staff comes 51 days after the Chiefs' season ended. All of the new coaches are listed on the team's Web site without specific job titles.

Here, courtesy of the Chiefs, is the coaching staff:

The Kansas City Chiefs announced on Tuesday that the club has made several additions to head coach Todd Haley's coaching staff. The following coaches have been retained by the Chiefs: Bob Bicknell, Joe D'Alessandris, Chan Gailey, Tim Krumrie, Brent Salazar and Cedric Smith. The following assistant coaches are joining the Chiefs staff:

Joel Collier -- Collier owns 17 seasons of experience coaching in the professional ranks. He most recently enjoyed a three-year stint with New England (2005-07). Prior to joining the Patriots, he spent 11 seasons with Miami ('94-04). Collier served his first tour of duty with New England from '91-93, spending time on the coaching staff and as a pro scout. He began his NFL career as an offensive assistant with Tampa Bay ('90) after serving as a graduate assistant at Syracuse ('88-89).

Gary Gibbs -- A 29-year coaching veteran, Gibbs most recently served a three-year stint as defensive coordinator with New Orleans (2006-08). He entered the NFL ranks as linebackers coach with Dallas (2002-05). Gibbs broke into the coaching profession at his alma mater, the University of Oklahoma, as a graduate assistant in '75 and was eventually promoted to linebackers coach ('78-80), defensive coordinator ('81-88) and head coach ('89-94) He also served as defensive coordinator at Georgia (2000) and LSU (2001).

Steve Hoffman -- Hoffman owns 19 years of NFL coaching experience. He most recently spent a two-year tour with Miami as kicking coach (2008) and assistant special teams coach (2007). He served as assistant special teams coach with the Atlanta (2006) after a 16-year association with Dallas ('89-04), where he served as kicking coach ('89-98) and kicking/defensive quality control coach ('99-04). He began his coaching career at the University of Miami ('85-87).

Bill Muir -- Muir is a veteran of 31 NFL seasons and owns a total of 44 seasons of coaching experience. He most recently served as the offensive coordinator/offensive line coach for Tampa Bay (2002-08). He has also enjoyed NFL coaching stops with the N.Y. Jets ('95-01), Philadelphia ('92-94), Indianapolis ('89-91), Detroit ('85-88) and New England ('82-84). He began his NFL career in the player personnel department with Tampa Bay ('78-81). He coached collegiately at SMU ('76-77), Idaho State ('72-73), Rhode Island ('70-71), Delaware Valley ('66-67) and Susquehanna ('65). The Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania native also coached professionally for Houston/Shreveport ('74-75) of the World Football League.

Clancy Pendergast -- Pendergast owns 14 seasons of experience in the NFL coaching ranks. He spent the past five campaigns as a defensive coordinator with Arizona (2004-08). Prior to guiding the Cardinals defensive unit, Pendergast spent one season with Cleveland (2003) after enjoying a seven-year tenure with Dallas ('96-02). He began his NFL coaching career with Houston ('95). He began his coaching career in the collegiate ranks as a graduate assistant with Mississippi State ('91) and enjoyed stops at Southern California ('92), Oklahoma ('93-94) and Alabama-Birmingham ('95). Pendergast graduated from the University of Arizona in '90.

Pat Perles -- Perles owns 21 years of coaching experience, including two years in the NFL. He spent the previous six seasons at North Dakota State (2003-08), including the final four campaigns as the offensive coordinator. Perles previously served as the offensive line coach at his alma mater of Michigan State (2000-02). He spent six seasons in the Canadian Football League with Hamilton ('98-99), Winnipeg ('97) and Saskatchewan ('94-96). He began his NFL coaching career with the L.A. Rams ('92-93) after working as the defensive line coach for three years with Toledo ('89-91).

Dedric Ward -- Ward spent the past two seasons as a member of Arizona Cardinals offensive coaching staff along with current Chiefs head coach Todd Haley. In 2007, Ward served as a quality control coach, working intensely with the Cardinals wide receivers. In 2008, the Cedar Rapids, Iowa native entered his second season as a quality control coach, working closely with the club's running backs. Ward began his coaching career as wide receivers coach at Missouri State University in 2006.

It is being speculated that either Gibbs, fired last month as New Orleans' defensive coordinator, will be the defensive coordinator. Pendergast, just fired as Arizona defensive coordinator, is going to be a defensive assistant. There is also talk around the league that Gibbs may be the linebackers coach if Pioli can get former Cleveland head coach and former New England defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel to be the coordinator. Until official titles are announced, speculation will continue.

It is also being speculated that Gailey, who already was under contract for this season, is being retained to be the offensive coordinator. He was Herm Edwards' coordinator last season. Haley is expected to call the plays so expect the Chiefs' offense to take on the personality more of Haley than Gailey. Haley was known for a vertical game when he was the offensive coordinator of the explosive Arizona Cardinals.

The belief is that Muir will coach the offensive line and that Bicknell will coach the tight ends.

Yes, it is murky but that is clearly how the Chiefs prefer to do business these days.