The Kansas City Chiefs jettisoned coach Todd Haley today.
The Chiefs are awful. Unwatchable. Setting football back 40 or 50 years with the QB play from Tyler Palko. Seriously. The NFL is going to need a haz-mat suit for clean up in aisle KC.
So, we enter the "poo flinging" stage of the KC coaching search. If the poo-flinging period mattered, Kirk Ferentz will have coached every team in every league ever.
But wait, what about Scott Pioli?
Yes, there is that factor. Colleague Scott Dochterman covered that thoroughly with a trip to KC's training camp last August. There's no denying the bond between the Chiefs' general manager and Iowa's head coach for the last 14 seasons.
From Scott's post:
“The thing about Kirk is he’s one of the finest human beings I’ve met in my 25-plus years in this business, in this game,” Pioli said. “He’s a great family man. He’s got an incredible wife and his five kids, I’ve known them all since they were young.
“His ability to prepare people is the fact that he cares about his kids, how he cares about his players. He understands things in the big picture of football and the big picture of life. I think he does a great job of preparing kids and getting kids to trust him because he’s so genuine. He’s one of those people when you look at football and you see how he does things and how he does his job, it makes you proud to be in the same industry because he’s a first-class act.”
I kind of went through this churn with the Penn State stuff last Sunday (post).
In the aftermuck, I explained to Ferentz why I had to ask the question. He said it was ridiculous, and that's fine. But you don't get all-time immunity.
That said, Ferentz did point out to me that, oh yeah, he has a son who'll be a starting senior center for the Hawkeyes next fall. Steve Ferentz, Kirk's youngest son and a standout at Iowa City High, wants to play football and could end up walking on at Iowa.
So, there's that. Of course, that won't stop the poo flinging with Kansas City.
Ferentz, 56, has a contract that pays him nearly $3.675 million that runs through 2020 in Iowa City. When that came up before Iowa's 2010 opener, I asked Iowa athletics director Gary Barta if it was a "lifetime" contract.
"A 10-year contract in our business, that certainly feels like a lifetime," Barta said. "I've told Kirk privately, but I've said publicly, too, I would love for Kirk Ferentz to work for a lot longer and, hopefully, have this be where he retires."
Remember when Pioli was a GM candidate at Cleveland? I do. It was during the 2009 Outback Bowl.
The poo flinging got crazy.
Here's a snippet from a story I wrote back then: "Boston Herald columnist Ron Borges cited an NFL source familiar with Cleveland's pursuit of Pioli that said Ferentz would be Pioli's first choice for head coach in Cleveland. His Tuesday column also said Pioli would be given "the funds necessary" to land Ferentz.
ESPN's Michael Smith said on the network Tuesday that Ferentz was Cleveland's "primary target." The Associated Press reported that the Browns are interviewing former Jets coach Eric Mangini. The AP listed these candidates: Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, Titans defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, Ravens defensive coordinator Rex Ryan and Cowboys offensive coordinator Jason Garrett."
Pioli never ended up in Cleveland. Mangini did and it was a disaster.
So, the flinging to see what sticks against the wall begins. You can't dismiss it entirely, not until someone is smiling at the podium in Kansas City.
Since we're talking crazy, I'd fling Mark Stoops somewhere. I don't know where.I don't see this happening with Ferentz, the timing doesn't line up, but I can't dismiss it entirely. It's nothing more than circumstantial, which, as we know following Iowa/Ferentz, is more than enough to fling it.