Chiefs receive permission to interview Cardinals’ Todd Haley

The Chiefs are set to interview Cardinals’ offensive coordinator Todd Haley for their vacant head coaching position after receiving permission from Arizona on Tuesday.

Todd HaleyThe Chiefs, including new general manager Scott Pioli, received permission Tuesday to interview Haley, the Kansas City Star reports.

There is history between Pioli and Haley; they worked together from 1997-99 with the New York Jets, Pioli as the director of pro personnel and Haley as an assistant coach.

Haley, 42, led the Cardinals, one of the league’s highest-scoring offensive teams, to their first Super Bowl appearance this year. Haley had said publicly he would not speak to any other teams prior to the title game.

The newspaper reports the Chiefs plan to announce a new head coach later this week.

Haley would be a sound hire, but not because he would make the Chiefs into an offensive juggernaut like some might think. (The Chiefs would need talent like the Cardinals have in order to do that.)

No, Haley is a real ball-buster and as he proved with Anquan Boldin during the NFC Championship Game, he’s not going to take any crap from players. Not that the Chiefs have a history of malcontents and troublemakers (Herman Edwards wouldn’t have allowed that), but they do lack direction and maybe Pioli and Haley could make a formidable duo and resurrect the sinking ship that is Kansas City.

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Five Intriguing Super Bowl Storylines

If anything, the 2008 NFL Season was far from dull. While the Cardinals and Steelers each won their respective divisions to secure playoff berths, neither team was a slum dunk to make it to Tampa at the start of the postseason.

Let’s recap, shall we?

The Steelers entered the playoffs with huge question marks to be answered, most surrounding their offense. In their last regular season game of the year, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was taken off the field strapped to a stretcher after the back of his helmet slammed against the turf following a hit between two defenders. Along with his health, Pittsburgh’s offensive line, although starting to gel in the final month of the season, seemed to be a weakness that defenses like the Titans and Ravens could exploit if they had the opportunity to face the Steelers in the postseason.

So while they ranked first in total defense entering the playoffs, the Steelers had major issues. Yet they steam rolled an overmatched Chargers team in the divisional round, then turned Joe Flacco’s inexperience against him in the AFC Championship Game and now they’re one win away from winning their second Super Bowl title in three years.

Conversely, the Cardinals had a little steeper hill to climb. Although their offense was explosive throughout the season, they played poorly down the stretch and many believed that if they had to go on the road in the playoffs, they would never survive. Not only that, but many pundits also didn’t believe ‘Zona would get past a good running team like the Falcons, who were sure to ride Michael Turner to victory in the opening round.

Thanks to three Atlanta turnovers and a soundly executed game plan to shut down Turner, the Cards beat the Falcons to set up a regular season rematch with the Panthers in the second round. Six Jake Delhomme turnovers later and Arizona was heading to the NFC Championship Game despite everyone and their mother suggesting that they would never be able to win on the road. Then despite the Eagles’ best efforts at a second half comeback, Arizona was able to hang on Sunday to secure a trip to the Super Bowl, which seemed like an improbable task at the start of the playoffs.

Now that the matchup has been set, what do we have to look forward to? Plenty, actually. Below are five storylines that should wet your appetite for the next two weeks before kickoff on February 1.

Read the rest after the jump...

Boldin being labeled as selfish for sideline rant with Haley

During the second half of the NFC Championship Game on Sunday, cameras caught Cardinals’ wide receiver Anquan Boldin in a heated debate with offensive coordinator Todd Haley on the sidelines. According to writer Mike Freeman, Boldin abruptly left the field and locker room after the game without celebrating with his teammates.

Anquan BoldinHe tried to ruin the Super Bowl celebration with his childishness.

In the game, Boldin got into a heated argument with offensive coordinator Todd Haley. After the game, instead of celebrating with his team, Boldin abruptly left the field, then abruptly left the locker room.

It was awful behavior.

Quarterback Kurt Warner also got into an argument with Haley during the game but you didn’t see Warner acting like a petulant child afterwards. He celebrated with his teammates and enjoyed the moment.

I have to say in nearly 20 years of doing this, I’ve never seen a player more concerned about his arguing with a coach over making a Super Bowl.

What Boldin did almost never happens.

Congratulations on making history, Anquan.

According to Haley, Boldin was upset because Steve Breaston replaced him in one of the offensive formations.

Boldin declined comment about it after the game, and Haley called it “a heat of the moment” situation.

“We changed personnel groups out there and I put Steve Breaston in for (Boldin),” Haley said, “and he was upset about it.”

One would have thought the Cards lost the game with how bad Haley was chewed out. (He also got into a smaller debate with Kurt Warner in the first half.)

Boldin’s never been a me-first player so he deserves a break from the national media on this one. But no matter how upset he was, there was no excuse not to celebrate with his teammates. Reaching the Super Bowl should be a momentous occasion in a player’s career. Instead, Boldin has voiced his displeasure several times this year, mainly because of his contract situation and now because he was pulled from a game.

Settle down, Anquan. Your team just made the Super Bowl and will need you. Your contract situation will get worked out after the season. Play ball until then.

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