Kansas City still has vacancies to fill at its coordinator spots, although early reports are the team will take its time. Whether that indicates a deliberative decision-making process or simply that the candidate of choice is still busy coaching remains to be seen. But the offensive coordinator job will be particularly crucial, given Romeo Crennell’s defensive background and his announced intention to handle the play-calling on that side of the ball.
There’s some name candidates out there, including former head coaches. Brad Childress, who led Minnesota to consecutive NFC North titles in 2008-09 is in the mix, as is Jim Zorn, who had a poor two years in Washington over that same timeframe. I believe Zorn would be a very bad hire. While he was treated terribly by owner Daniel Snyder in Washington, the fact remains that Zorn has never had success at any level higher that quarterbacks coach. With this being Crennell’s second, and probably last chance at an NFL head-coaching job and his success likely determining the future of Kansas City GM Scott Pioli, I would just find it hard to think they’d bet so much on Zorn.
Childress, on the other hand, oversaw successful offenses in Philadelphia as a coordinator. And his tenure at Minnesota was marked by one year where he managed to make the playoffs exclusively behind the running of Adrian Peterson and another where he almost made the Super Bowl behind the arm of Brett Favre. Childress was also the coordinator on the Wisconsin Badgers’ 1993 Rose Bowl team, where UW broke through and began to mark itself as a consistent Big Ten power. Whatever Childress’ flaws as a head coach, there can be no question of his ability to oversee half of a team.
Mike Martz and Brian Schottenheimer are also available. There has been nothing of note tying Schottenheimer to the job and he will likely wait and see what happens with his father’s candidacy for the Tamp Bay head coaching role. As for Martz, one would hope that an inconsistent tenure in Chicago has ended all discussion of him as an offensive guru. We’re a long ways removed from the days of “The Greatest Show On Turf.” If you give Martz a great quarterback, a Hall of Fame running back and a climate-controlled environment, he gets results. Otherwise, his record is less than stellar.
The name out there I like the most is Hue Jackson, recently deposed as Oakland head coach. The Raiders did a sound job establishing the run, first with Darren McFadden and then with Michael Bush. Jackson also had Jason Campbell playing the best football of his career before an injury necessitated the deal for Carson Palmer. There’s no reason to think he couldn’t make that same formula work in Kansas City.
If it were up to me, I’d make an offer to Jackson, with Childress being a solid runner-up.