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Chiefs fire head coach Haley, Crennel takes over

Kansas City coach Haley watches during Denver''s win in Kansas City, Missouri
Kansas City coach Haley watches during Denver''s win in Kansas City, Missouri

(Reuters) - The struggling Kansas City Chiefs have fired head coach Todd Haley and named defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel as interim coach, the National Football League team said Monday after their fifth loss in sixth games.

The decision came after Sunday's 37-10 loss to the New York Jets that all but eliminated the Chiefs (5-8) from making the AFC playoffs.

"This was a difficult decision but one that we feel is best for the future of the Chiefs," team chairman Clark Hunt said in a statement on the team's website.

"Though there have been bright spots at different points this season, we have not made meaningful progress and we felt that it was necessary to make a change."

The injury-hit Chiefs, who won the AFC West title in 2010, lost safety Eric Berry, running back Jamaal Charles and tight end Tony Moeaki to torn knee ligaments in September.

After reeling off four wins in a row, they began a slide that worsened last month after quarterback Matt Cassel was lost with a broken right hand.

"Unfortunately, we have not been able to establish the kind of consistency we need to continue to build a strong foundation for the future...," general manager Scott Pioli said.

The Chiefs went 19-27 during the 44-year-old Haley's tenure with the club.

Kansas City will try to regroup in time for a challenging home date Sunday against the unbeaten Green Bay Packers.

(Reporting by Larry Fine in New York; Editing by Frank Pingue)