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Haley hired as Chiefs look to rebound fast

TODD Haley was hired as coach of the Kansas City Chiefs on Friday after helping the Arizona Cardinals reach the Super Bowl as coordinator of one of the National Football League's most exciting offenses.

Haley joins a team that went a franchise-worst 2-14 under coach Herm Edwards, who was fired on January 23. Edwards lost all but two of his last 25 games and launched a rebuilding project that made the Chiefs the league's youngest team this season.

Scott Pioli, hired last month as general manager, said at a news conference in Kansas City, Missouri, that Haley has a "strong understanding of players and the type of players that create championship football teams."

Haley called this an "ideal situation" for him and "a chance to work with someone I have experience with in Scott."

The Chiefs haven't won a playoff game since an aging Joe Montana was their quarterback in the 1993 season.

Haley, who turns 42 this month, helped shape an offense that carried the Cardinals to an improbable NFC West title and nearly a Super Bowl victory over Pittsburgh.

Haley and Pioli worked together at the New York Jets, where Haley's father, Dick, was personnel director.

Among Haley's most urgent problems will be disgruntled stars Tony Gonzalez and Larry Johnson.

Gonzalez, the all-time leader among tight ends in touchdowns and receptions, said this week at the Pro Bowl he may want out of Kansas City. He was angry during the season that Edwards did not let him get the receiving record at home, and then was upset he was not traded.

Johnson, the highest-paid player in team history, said this week he saw no future for himself in Kansas City.


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