Only 44 years old, Todd Haley has a long NFL coaching career ahead and made it clear in a statement Monday that he plans to get back on the sidelines.
“First, I would like to thank Clark Hunt and the Kansas City Chiefs for giving me the opportunity to coach this historic franchise. Growing up in the NFL, watching my Dad help build those great Pittsburgh Steeler teams, I have a profound love for this league. This opportunity has been a dream come true,” Haley said.
Haley released the statement through his agent to the Kansas City Star, not through the team. It didn’t thank G.M. Scott Pioli (no surprise), but also didn’t ruffle any feathers. It did defend Haley’s record.
“I am proud to have been a part of continued improvement and the first AFC West title since 2003. This year has been extremely challenging, but despite losing several key players to injury and free agency, we have been able to remain competitive and remain in contention with three games remaining in the season. I wish the coaches and players good luck down the stretch.
“NFL football is extremely competitive. Being hired and fired is part of this business. I want to thank everyone for their support and I look forward to my next opportunity in this great league.”
With one playoff appearance and a 19-26 record, Haley not get another head coaching gig for a while — if ever. He’s an offensive coach and his offense in Kansas City peaked at 14th in points scored in 2010. His inability to work with the front office could hurt Haley’s chances to lead a team down the line.
Haley’s positive defining traits were that his players liked playing for him and he developed some young talent. A lot of Chiefs played better under Haley than they did under Herm Edwards.
Also: That beard was pretty sweet.
UPDATE: Here is Pioli and Hunt talking about Haley’s departure Monday.