From the Truman Sports Complex
Facing the second half of the 2012 season with a 1-7 record, head coach Romeo Crennel said Monday that he was stepping away from the role of defensive coordinator so he can spend more time with the entire team.
Linebackers coach Gary Gibbs will now serve as the defensive coordinator.
Crennel has been handling both duties since he was named interim head coach in late December 2011.
“We have continually looked at things, evaluated things and turn over every stone to try to find a way to improve the team, I’ve decided I’m going to spend more time with the whole team and less time with the defense,” Crennel said. “I will continue to be in meetings some times and I’ll meet with Gary on a regular basis as I do now with Brian (Daboll, offensive coordinator) and Tom (McMahon, special teams) to know what the game plan is and what’s going on there.
“I’m going to spend more time with the whole team and less time with the defense.”
Crennel said the change was an attempt to show the team that he’s involved in the entire team and not just a defensive coach.
“We have a young team and some guys their perception may be that I’m a defensive coach, I’m the defensive coordinator and I don’t care about other parts of the team, which is not true,” Crennel said. “But there perception may be that β¦ if that’s the perception of one player, then I need to change that β¦ by my being with them more, I think they will see I’m concerned about the whole team.”
According to the head coach the move has nothing to do with any concerns about Daboll and his role in coordinating the offense.
“My perception is about the team and my spending more time with the team,” Crennel said. “I think by my being a little bit more involved, I might be able to say I want this play or I want that play. Because I was so involved with the defense, I relied on Brian and I’m not afraid to rely on Brian; he’s a good offensive mind. That’s not it.
“This is just me, trying to find a way to make this team better and to help this team.”
The 60-year old Gibbs has been a defensive coordinator at both the college and NFL level. He spent 8 years as coordinator at his alma mater Oklahoma, before becoming the Sooners head coach for six years. Gibbs was defensive coordinator at Georgia (2000) and LSU (2001) and then for two seasons (2006-08) with the New Orleans Saints.