January 05, 2010

Amid speculation that former Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis could be headed to Chicago to replace fired offensive coordinator Ron Turner, a league source said that Weis actually might be bound for Kansas City.

Weis has spoken with the Chiefs multiple times since being fired Nov. 30 after losing four in a row to finish 6-6 in 2009 and 35-27 over five seasons. He has relationships with a number of people in the organization, including general manager Scott Pioli, whom he worked with in New England, and head coach Todd Haley, with whom he shared office space as assistants with the Jets.

"I would expect a decision in the next couple of days," the source said.

At a news conference Monday to announce the firing of the offensive staff, Bears general manager Jerry Angelo declined to identify the candidates to replace Turner. The Bears made a blockbuster trade for QB Jay Cutler in the offseason, but the team still wound up 23rd in total offense. Cutler threw for a career-high 27 touchdowns, but also led the league with 26 interceptions and had a career-low 76.8 passer rating.

Angelo admitted that the replacement for Turner could be "the biggest decision" the organization has made since he arrived in 2001. The Bears have to find someone who can get the most out of Cutler, a fourth-year pro who received $20 million in guarantees as part of the two-year extension he signed in 2009. Weis is an established playcaller who helped the Patriots win three Super Bowls in four seasons before leaving for Notre Dame in 2005.

Still, it's debatable whether Chicago is a better fit. In Kansas City, Weis would be surrounded by former co-workers -- possibly including Romeo Crennel, if he accepts an offer to join the defensive staff -- and would have a quarterback, Matt Cassel, who was brought up in the Patriots system before being traded to Kansas City last year. Some personnel people also contend that the Chiefs have better young talent than the Bears, who lack a proven No. 1 receiver and a physical ball-carrier for the cold of November and December, and have age issues along the line.

"Chicago has location, because my understanding is that Charlie wants to keep his home in South Bend (Ind.)," the source said. "But the Chiefs have everything else."

Haley, who did the playcalling after firing coordinator Chan Gailey before the season opener, has said previously that he wants to hire someone to handle the playcalling so he can focus on coaching the entire team, and not just the offense. The foundation of Haley's system is said to be similar to what Weis uses, so the only major adjustment would be Weis picking up the new terminology.

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