Edwards officially becomes Chiefs coach

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Former Jets coach Herman Edwards took over the head coaching duties in Kansas City.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Seventeen years after he was an intern with the Kansas City Chiefs, Herman Edwards is their head coach.

"I finally found my way back. You never plan on something like this until it happens," Edwards said Monday at a packed news conference. "Fate has me back here. It's good to be back home."

After his playing career in the NFL ended, Edwards was a scout and later an assistant coach in Kansas City. He signed a four-year contract with the Chiefs after getting released from the final two years of his deal with the New York Jets.

His hiring, expected for more than a week, concludes intense, behind-the-scenes wrangling between the Jets and Chiefs general manager Carl Peterson, who has been Edwards' friend and mentor since he tried to recruit him to UCLA more than 30 years ago.

The Chiefs will give the Jets a fourth-round draft pick as compensation. But the 51-year-old Edwards said at the outset he would not take questions about what happened in New York.

"I believe in family. And what happened in New York stays in New York," he said. "So if you have any questions about what happened, I'll tell you right now, it stays with that family. ... It stays in that house, and I threw the key away."

Peterson called his longtime friend "without question, one of the most qualified head football coaches in the NFL today."

"From a personal standpoint, I have wanted to do this for many years," said Peterson, president of the Chiefs since 1989. "I think the future of the Kansas City Chiefs is in exceptional hands."

Edwards' hiring leaves seven coaching vacancies in the NFL: the Jets, Detroit, Green Bay, Houston, New Orleans, Oakland and St. Louis.

In addition to Edwards, the other new coach hired is Brad Childress, Philadelphia's former offensive coordinator, by Minnesota, which fired Mike Tice on the day the season ended.

The Chiefs, 44-36 the past five years under the now-retired Dick Vermeil, were the only 10-win team not to make the playoffs this season.

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