The League

Doug Farrar
Writer

Doug Farrar

A FootballOutsiders.com staff writer

Chiefs Could Do It

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When looking at those last-place teams in the running for a big turnaround, I'm going with the "Bill Parcells in Dallas" theory. It goes something like this: If you worked with The Tuna in Dallas, you seem to have gained an innate knack for turning teams around. In 2006, former Dallas offensive coordinator Sean Payton took the Saints from the Katrina nightmare to a spot in the NFC Championship game in his first year as head coach in New Orleans. Last year, ex-Cowboys offensive line coach Tony Sparano, with the help of Parcells himself, turned the Dolphins from an oh-for-regulation laughingstock to the AFC East champs. Now, we have Todd Haley in Kansas City -- he's the former Cowboys passing game coordinator/side receivers coach in Dallas who also ran the offense that took the Arizona Cardinals to Super Bowl XLIII.

Haley's got two important assets in his corner -- a potential franchise quarterback, and a general manager he can work with. His association with Chiefs GM Scott Pioli goes back a decade to when both men worked for the Jets, and former Tom Brady backup Matt Cassel will try to make his own name in a new city.

Haley has another advantage in that his Chiefs will be playing in what looks like the NFL's worst division. The Raiders have redefined hapless over the last half-decade, and the Broncos have morphed into Josh McDaniels' Banana Republic. The Chargers will provide stiffer competition, but there's real hope in Kansas City for the first time in a long time, and Todd Haley could be the reason why.

Other last-place teams to watch out for: The Jacksonville Jaguars will look to rebound from a horrific injury season and some dodgy personnel moves over the last few years. The New Orleans Saints could win the Super Bowl if they can just put any semblance of a defense together. The Redskins could be playing for the jobs of Jason Campbell and Jim Zorn in the league's toughest division, and the Blls might surprise in the AFC East. But I'll go with the Chiefs.

By Doug Farrar  |  May 29, 2009; 9:22 AM ET  | Category:  Doug Farrar , Kansas City Chiefs , NFL , New Orleans Saints , San Diego Chargers Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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