As a defensive line coach, Brendan Daly won three Super Bowl titles – two with Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots and most recently Super Bowl LIV with Andy Reid and the Kansas City Chiefs.
But after Matt House, the Chiefs linebacker coach from 2019 to 2021, accepted a position as LSU’s new defensive coordinator, Daly approached Reid about changing jobs and replacing House.
He was looking for a new challenge as a linebackers coach.
“Brendan wanted to move on and try something new and he came to me with that. I think that’s good,” Reid said. is important.”
To fill Daly’s former role as defensive line coach, Reid chose an experienced assistant in Joe Cullen, who served as defensive line coach for five other NFL teams: the Detroit Lions, Jacksonville Jaguars, Cleveland Browns, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Baltimore Ravens.
While Cullen certainly has expertise in this group of positions, he made headlines for a story worthy of Page Six while coaching the Lions in 2006.
It was suspended for two incidents: an arrest for driving naked while passing a Wendy’s drive-thru on August 24, and then for drunk driving on September 1.
“I faced adversity 16 years ago,” Cullen said. “You become a better person if you learn from it and if you move on and you could possibly help someone who may be in a difficult situation. That’s what I tried to do … If I can help someone through a difficult situation, then I’m ready to do it anywhere, anytime, anytime.
Having repaired his reputation, Cullen will now oversee the Chiefs’ defensive line – the most lucrative part of the defense.
Defensive tackle Chris Jones is the Chiefs’ highest-paid defensive player this year. Jones is expected to earn $22.4 million in 2022, and defensive end Frank Clark is expected to earn sixth on the team with $9.2 million.
Given the opportunity to coach this unit led by Jones and Clark, Cullen called him a “no-brainer” when offered the job with the Chiefs.
“I’m thrilled to be a part of it,” Cullen said. “It’s a historical and traditional program; the Hunt family; Andy Reid, Hall of Fame coach; Coach Spagnuolo, I have known him for 30 years.
Daly also has a long relationship with Chiefs defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo. When Spagnuolo was the head coach of the St. Louis Rams from 2009 to 2011, Daly was his defensive line coach.
While Cullen coaches the veteran, well-paid defensive line, Daly will coach the Chiefs’ youngest positional group.
After Kansas City released veteran Anthony Hitchens, the linebackers are now led by third-year Willie Gay Jr., second-year Nick Bolton and rookie Leo Chenal, and each is still on their rookie contract.
Daly is thrilled to be leaving the defensive line, a group he coached for nearly 15 years in the NFL.
“I was kind of interested in growing a bit, challenging myself to do something that was a bit out of my comfort zone. I think that’s how you get better. I think that’s how you grow and improve,” Daly said. “I felt like there were things I could add to the band and some continuity that we can maintain with this transition to the instead of bringing in someone from outside.”
Reid compared Daly’s coaching change to that of Greg Lewis. A former wide receiver for the Philadelphia Eagles when Reid coached there, Lewis was the Chiefs’ wide receiver coach from 2017 to 2020 before coaching a different position on offense — running backs — last year and the coming year.
Reid is confident that restructuring his defensive lineup will strengthen the team going forward.
“We haven’t watered things down,” he said. “We have a good core of coaches.”