Receivers coach David Culley is leaving Chiefs to join Bills’ coaching staff

Chiefs receivers coach David Culley is leaving the team to join the Buffalo Bills’ coaching staff, according to sources.
Chiefs receivers coach David Culley is leaving the team to join the Buffalo Bills’ coaching staff, according to sources.

The Chiefs’ coaching staff will look a little different in 2017.

Wide receivers coach David Culley, a longtime assistant under coach Andy Reid, is expected to take a job as the quarterback coach for the Buffalo Bills under new head coach Sean McDermott, multiple sources told The Star on Monday evening.

A replacement could already be on hand, however. Sources also told The Star that former Philadelphia Eagles receivers coach Greg Lewis has joined the Chiefs’ coaching staff for the Pro Bowl this week in Orlando, Fla., and is the leading candidate for Culley’s old position, though it has not yet been made official.

Sporting News’ Alex Marvez reported the news first.

The loss of Culley, 61, will shake up the staff some. He’s spent the last 18 years as an assistant under Reid, dating back to their days in Philadelphia, and the last four as the Chiefs’ assistant head coach and receivers coach. He last coached quarterbacks in an official capacity in 1988, when he was at Southwestern Louisiana.

As the Chiefs’ receivers coach, Culley was one of the primary people responsible for developing rookie Pro Bowler Tyreek Hill, a fifth-round pick who took to the system quickly — which doesn’t always happen in a Reid offense — and finished with the most catches (61), receiving yards (593) and touchdowns (six) of any of the Chiefs’ wide receivers.

Culley’s departure opens the door for someone on the staff to receive the now-vacant assistant head coach title, which would mean a promotion, at least in name. It would also allow for a new hire to receive more responsibility and potentially more money, if Reid were to go that route.

Lewis, 36, is a former receiver who played under Reid from 2003 to 2008. He’s spent the last five years at five different stops — as a receivers coach at the University of San Diego (2012), San Jose State (2013) and the University of Pittsburgh (2014), and as an offensive assistant with the New Orleans Saints in 2015.

He was then hired by new Eagles coach — and former Reid assistant — Doug Pederson to guide a young group of receivers in 2016. The unit struggled, however, as drops were an issue and only third-year pro Jordan Matthews finished with more than 400 receiving yards.

Philadelphia’s No. 2 and No. 3 receivers, second-year pros Nelson Agholor and Dorial Green-Beckham, finished just below that threshold, and Lewis was relieved of his duties in January, though it now appears that he is potentially set to get a fresh start in Kansas City.