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News » Kansas City Chiefs Inside Slant 2009-03-20


Kansas City Chiefs Inside Slant 2009-03-20


Kansas City Chiefs Inside Slant 2009-03-20
The Chiefs now have a defensive coordinator, but no set plans on whether they'll go to a 3-4 look or stay with the 4-3. They also have four new free agent acquisitions whose impact most likely will be as role players.


After hiring two defensive coaches with coordinator backgrounds, new coach Todd Haley elected to make Clancy Pendergast, his defensive counterpart when Haley was offensive coordinator for NFC champion Arizona last year, his first defensive coordinator in Kansas City.

Haley's other candidate was Gary Gibbs, who was a coordinator at New Orleans.

"It was a tough decision because they are both great coaches," Haley told the Kansas City Star. The deciding factor, he said, came down to "the fact that Clancy and I were together the last two years with Arizona, and he was such an integral part of that Super Bowl run. It was a win-win situation, no matter what we did."

Pendergast was fired by the Cardinals after the loss to Pittsburgh in the Super Bowl, but that did nothing to shake Haley's belief in a fellow co-worker.

"It was a huge bonus for me to have somebody like Clancy available when I got the job," Haley said. "I can't comment on why things were done (in Arizona), but I know Clancy and the defense were an integral part of our Super Bowl team."

What kind of defensive look Pendergast will employ remains to be seen. The Cardinals, Haley said, began the season in a 4-3 and began an evolution into a 3-4 by the Super Bowl. The Chiefs could end up using elements of both systems.

Leading the list of new free agent acquisitions is wide receiver Bobby Engram, who at age 36 represents a considerable older free agent acquisition than the Chiefs pursued during the three-year Herm Edwards era.

But Engram caught 94 passes as recently as 2007 with Seattle, when he had a 1,147-yard season, and Haley believes he can be a consistent role player as a third-down possession receiver.

"The third down receiver takes a special makeup because the first ball he sees coming his way may be in the second quarter; it might not be until the fourth quarter," Haley said. "You don't get quite as many opportunities, but it's always going to be a critical ball to catch, so I don't think that job is for everyone.

"You need a certain type of mental makeup, a certain amount of mental toughness to go a quarter and then, all of a sudden, here comes a contested catch in traffic that you must make to get the first down. I think Bobby has made a career out of playing that position."



Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: March 20, 2009

Brodie Croyle Name: Brodie Croyle
#12
Position: QB
Age: 25
Experience: 3 years
College: Alabama
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