Arrowheadlines 12/13: Haley issues statement, player reaction, Crennel’s first words as head coach, more (links)

Todd Haley released a statement after his firing:

“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.

“I would like to sincerely thank my coaches and my players for their commitment and loyalty throughout my time with the Chiefs.

“I would like to thank all of the great Chiefs fans. My wife, Chrissy, and I would also like to thank the city of Kansas City for welcoming us and our five children and making us feel at home.

“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.”

Some of the Chiefs players voiced their opinions over the Haley firing.

“It was a little bit of a shocker,” running back Jackie Battle said. “Todd is a very passionate coach and wants to win. It caught me off guard a little bit. We went to the playoffs last year and won the AFC West, but I guess the team’s moving on.

(Going to the playoffs last year) has to mean something. The season didn’t go the way we wanted this year, but he’s proven that he can win in the league.”

All-Pro Linebacker Derrick Johnson, once a recipient of Haley’s “tough love” program, said that the players still believed in Haley.

“We definitely believed in him,” Johnson said. “My best wishes are for him, and I hope he does well in the future. “Me and Todd have grown closer in the time he’s been here. We’ve had our ups and downs, of course, but my hat’s off to him for sticking with me and being passionate about what he believes in. We’ve shared some good times. He’s a fun guy to be around. He’ll definitely be well missed.”

Johnson went so far as to say, despite the injuries, its the players’ fault for the 5-8 season.

“This is the NFL and, when you’re losing, that’s the nature of the beast,” Johnson said. “It goes on in the NFL all the time, every year…I’m a player, so I never blame a coordinator or a head coach. At the end of the day, it’s the players out there playing, and we have to make the plays.”

***
As mentioned yesterday, Crennel is taking over as the interim head coach for the rest of the season and GM Scott Pioli says Crennel has the respect of the players.
He also addressed the media for the first time as head coach.

A handful of highlights of Crennel’s press conference are below:

  • No decision on who starts at quarterback next week. I would guess it’s Tyler Palko but it sounds like Ricky Stanzi is a possibility.
  • Crennel will continue to call the defensive plays for the Chiefs, which I think is a good move. The defense, while certainly shaky at times, has some promise.
  • Crennel is a candidate for the head coaching job in 2012. GM Scott Pioli and Clark Hunt indicated that in Monday’s press conference and I think he’s a legitimate candidate. The Chiefs could do worse.
***

KC Star: Chiefs Decide IT’s Time To Fire Coach Haley

KC Star: Some Fan’s Think Haley’s Firing Overdue, Others Say Pioli To Blame

Independence Examiner: Haley’s Exit Symbolic Of Messy Season

KC Star: Chiefs GM Pioli Due His Share Of Blame In Haley’s Failures

KC Star: Despite This Year’s Record, Chiefs Job Should Be Attractive

Topeka Capital-Journal: Chiefs Brass Does Haley, Fans Disservice

Arrowhead Addict: Todd Haley Firing Was The Right Move At The Right Time

 

What are they saying around the nation?

The Musket Fire wonders Can The Patriots Woo Back Romeo Crennel To Fix The Defense?

Others have their thoughts on the coaching search. Iowa head coach Kirk Farentz was on the short list when Pioli made his last hiring for the Chiefs. Hawkeye Insider gives us 10 Reasons Ferentz Stays with Iowa. The Wichita Eagle discusses Haley’s Replacement.

 

Yahoo Sports: Haley’s Firing Reflects Poorly On Chiefs GM Pioli

Fox Sports: Does Haley Firing Really Make Chiefs Better?

Washington Examiner: Chief Excuses Aren’t Enough For Haley

ESPN: Haley Couldn’t Keep Up 2010 Success

NFL.com: Chiefs Eye Playoffs Under Crennel After Firing Haley As Coach

ESPN: Scott Pioli Has To Get This Hire Right

 

NFL.com Video: Haley Out In Kansas City

NFL.com Video: Chiefs Executives Discuss Haley Firing

NFL.com Video: Reporters’ View On Haley’s Firing

NFL.com Video: Where Do Chiefs Go From Here?

NFL.com Video: Coaching Domino Effect

NFL.com Video: Billick Taking Calls?

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