Romeo Gets Another Shot

From the Truman Sports Complex

His first chance as a head coach in the National Football League did not go well. In four seasons under Romeo Crennel, the Cleveland Browns finished 24-40. He was fired after the 2008 season.

His second chance started a month ago, and Crennel was already sporting a 2-1 record before he was given the official title of head coach. That was announced on Monday as the Chiefs made him the team’s 12th head coach.

Crennel agreed to a three-year contract.

“There are only 32 of these jobs in the world and sitting here and representing the Chiefs I think is very special,” Crennel told an afternoon press conference as he was flanked by team chairman Clark Hunt and GM Scott Pioli. “This job is not always the easiest job to have because I had one before that did not turn out the way I wanted it too. I’m going to work very hard to make this one turnout the way I want it too.”

The hiring of the 64-year old Crennel changes the dynamic from what it was three years ago when Pioli and then Todd Haley were hired by team chairman Clark Hunt to lead the franchise. Then, Haley was among the youngest head coaches in the league. Now, Crennel ranks among the older coaches in the NFL.

“Delighted to have a man of Romeo’s character and experience leading the Chiefs franchise,” Hunt said in his brief remarks. “It was clear to Scott and I that Romeo was the best person to continue to develop our young football team and the best coach to lead the Chiefs into the future.”

Hunt said the process took four weeks, starting when Haley was fired on December 12. Pioli said that at least a half-dozen people were interviewed or talked to about the position. That group included former Tennessee head coach Jeff Fisher, former Jacksonville head coach Jack Del Rio and Green Bay offensive coordinator Joe Philbin.

“I’ve known Romeo for quite some time and understand and know what he is and who he is and what he represents. He has a great football mind. He has a great deal of integrity. He certainly knows to get the troops motivated. He knows how to create a great deal of energy, emotion and respect among the players. I’m excited about this day. The fans should be and will be very excited about this.”

Based on what they had to say before the season ended last week, the Chiefs players will be very excited about this decision; there was near unanimous support for Crennel in the locker room.

“I think there is a good nucleus in that locker room,” Crennel said of the players. “There’s substance and character to them. Going forward we have an opportunity to develop and build that competitive team that will hopefully give us a chance to be on the championship track, year in and year out.

The next step becomes the coaching staff Crennel will have to work with. Traditionally, that’s been a decision made by the head coach. That will be different in this case as both the new coach and the holdover GM will work on creating the staff.

“Scott and I have known each other for awhile and we are going to collaborate on what is best for the Chiefs,” Crennel said. “With his input we are going to chose someone in the building or outside of the building to do that (offensive coordinator.) I think right now it’s a little early for me to sit up here and say I know exactly who it is going to be.”

Crennel did say that last season’s offensive coordinator Bill Muir is still on the Chiefs coaching staff.

Call him an older and wiser Romeo Crennel.

“Anytime you sit in a head coaching seat you gain a tremendous amount of experience,” Crennel said. “I think it will benefit me tremendously in this situation. I think here at the Chiefs they have a good history, we have good ownership and we have a plan in place that we plan to work and improve.

“I’m going to use all of those experiences to try and be the best that I can be.”

17 Responses to “Romeo Gets Another Shot”

  • January 9, 2012  - Johnfromwichita says:

    I’m not going to claim to know the best coaches for the OC and DC position but I’m pretty sure that I would be satisfied with Gary Gibbs, the linebacker coach for DC and Jim Zorn for OC. All I ask for is consistency; been so long without it.

  • January 9, 2012  - Randy says:

    The Chiefs really need to go out and get a good offensive coordinator. If the offense does not take a big step forward next season then we will all be watching other teams in the playoffs again next January. That win over the Oilers in Jan 1994 seems like a lifetime ago.

  • January 9, 2012  - Chuck says:

    I fully agree with Randy if we don’t score more points next year it will just be more of the same. A great OC is an absolute MUST.

  • January 9, 2012  - Roger says:

    I think they need to find the new “head coach in waiting” at either the OC or DC position. Zorn is an excellent quarterbacks coach, but have my doubts about OC. I know Gibbs failed once at DC, but then again that guy in New England, Bill something or other had a losing record his first HC job. Boy you’d think as many times as he’s been to the Super Bowl I’d know how to spell his name. Maybe RAC will be the same way tool.

  • January 9, 2012  - ED J says:

    I would rather have Mel Tucker From Jacksonville as def coordinator. He did good job for Jags and was on Crennel staff in Cleveland. Don’t know who’s out there we can get at OC outside of the guy we interviewed for head coach from Green Bay Phiblin he is OC in Green bay but he doesn’t call plays. Wouldn’t mind have a guy like that to work with Cassel and Stanzi.

  • January 9, 2012  - ED J says:

    But OC is the most important hire on this team because if defense struggles Crennel can just take over on defense. He’s not offensive mind so we all knew Crennel would be head coach, but we cannnot afford to miss on OC/QB coach. This is the most important hire in 10yrs for this team. There’s alot of talent on offense we need a OC that can maximize that. We also need QB coach that can help improvement of Stanzi and someone that can at very least get Cassel back to playing like the guy in 2010

  • January 9, 2012  - TDKC says:

    When Haley was introduced there was a picture much like the one above. With Haley between Pioli and Hunt.

    I remember all the talk on the various blogs about these three young and promising leaders of the “new” Chiefs. The ones who would surely win many championships in the years to come.

    This time I see a very different picture. I see an impatient owner still finding his way. A GM with much to prove and an aging coach wanting to give it one more shot before fading into retirement.

    Hunt went out and got the “best” available GM. Pioli swung for the fences with the Haley hire. He struck out. Crennel is a safe pick. Promoting him keeps much of the staff intact. Maybe we are actually seeing Pioli take a few pitches and trying to just get on base. Consistently.

  • January 9, 2012  - Niblick says:

    TDKC- I totally agree. I think he stepped out of his comfort zone with the Haley hire. It backfired on him. He went with a safe choice and someone he can work with this time. This will probably be his last coaching hire, if Crennel doesn’t deliver in the next couple of years. I wish he would now make a bold move and trade up with St. Louis and draft RG3. Maybe he will not be a franchise QB and we never get a champonship. By the same token, I don’t think we can get one if we stick with Cassel. The other option is if Manning is released. I read an article that we are one of the five teams he might be interested in signing with. It was jsut one writer’s opinion, but he had some good points.

  • January 9, 2012  - Tenand6 says:

    Pioli has another Patriot guy. I hope this works for him, but Clark Hunt is trying to put together a Super Bowl team with the New England’s second-stringers. Kraft, Belichick and Brady are the core of the Patriots today. Not that Pioli, Crennel and Cassel can’t do some good things, but I don’t see it. Pioli has to improve and build on what he learned. So far, he has stolen from the past in an attempt to bottle and sell it. Why pay a guy millions every year to do that? Dimitroff in Atlanta is doing things in his own way. I hope Pioli can move beyond those people Kraft and Belichick hired. Get off this Cassel kick. Go find a franchise QB and make it happen.

    Carl Peterson went out and got Marty. I don’t think they had ever worked together. Marty was the best coach available. Later, they brought in Joe Montana and Marcus Allen. We need that kind of aggressive move today. The fact that Jeff Fisher wanted no part of the Chiefs should make all Chiefs fans uncomfortable. Why didn’t he want to be a part of the Hunt/Pioli team?

    I like Romeo Crennel. As of today, I don’t see the Chiefs improving their organization. Hopefully, that can still change before the 2012 season begins.

  • January 9, 2012  - cychief24 says:

    Well, I watched the press conference and interviews on the Chiefs site with an open mind. I’m very optimistic for the first time since Vermeil was here. It seems obvious that Romeo and Pioli are on the same page. I like that Pioli says Romeo will hold him accountable. I like that he and Pioli will work together to build the staff and roster.
    I believe Romeo will take what he learned at Cleveland be a great HC for us. I also believe Pioli learned from his first hire, of the bipolar Haley, that chemistry was more important than hiring the next “hot” prospect.

  • January 9, 2012  - cychief24 says:

    I would have been very disappointed if Fisher would have been hired. He defines mediocre.

    I left out that I also liked hearing Romeo talk about free agency 3-4 times.

    Like I said I’m very optimistic for next year and beyond now. I believe Pioli and Romeo will work together to get us going in the right direction.

  • January 9, 2012  - johnfromfairfax says:

    The game in Houston certainly does seem like it was a lifetime ago. I remember Keith Cash slamming the ball in the big poster of Buddy Ryan’s face after he scored. Who would have thought it would be our last win in the playoffs until now? The thing that caught my attention was the fact that Romeo said he and Pioli would pick his coaches. Can you imagine Belichick, Schottenheimer, Cowher or Fisher letting Pioli pick their coaches? That may be the most telling fact from the press conference. That probably would have sent Fisher to the exit by itself if that was a requirement. I also wonder what Pioli’s father-in-law would say if a GM told him they were going to pick his coaches. I think Romeo’s a good man and hope he’s successful but I wish I wasn’t having such a hard time being enthused at this point.

  • January 9, 2012  - cychief24 says:

    Look, like it or not, Pioli had a big hand in helping Belichick build the Pats. I’ve been frustrated by the roster this year and have said so. But I think it comes down to Pioli getting fooled in the interview with bipolar Haley.

    I think it’s great that Romeo and Pioli want to work as a team together. That can only be good. It sure looks like they have a genuine respect for each other.

    And…anything that sent Fisher to the exit was good. Let him go make the Rams 8-8.

  • January 9, 2012  - johnfromfairfax says:

    I hope you’re right cychief and I guess time will tell. I don’t have a feeling one way or another about what role Pioli played in building the Pats and I’m not going to defend Haley or Fisher. I also think it’s of course necessary that the head coach and GM are on the same page. It’s a necessary ingredient for achieving and sustaining success. That includes being on the same page regarding team direction and coaching philosophy. However, I still can’t imagine any coach who is in the position to have other head coaching options available to them letting the GM tell them who to pick for coaches and that’s what it sounded like to me.

  • January 10, 2012  - Justin says:


    I think you are way off base. Pioli brought in the talent, or lack their of. We are thin at every position except receiver and did very little in free agency to shore up either line or other positions.

    The GM picking the HC’s staff – utter lunacy. RAC is will fail if that is the case and Pioli will be gone and take his secrecy and his micromanagement elsewhere.

    Slam Fisher all you want – his record is over .500 and we just got one with well under .500. I really hope RAC can do better but being hamstrung by Pioli his likely fate is down the road kicking stones.

  • January 10, 2012  - jim says:

    Yea, I know they ‘said’ the would work together, but it’s like the yardboy in the White House….you don’t listen to what he says, you watch what he DOES. I’m very arms length about this “working together fraternity” they speak of, because I havent’ SEEN it happen with Pioli yet.

    Let me SEE it and I’ll temper my attitude, but not until then.

  • January 11, 2012  - Craig says:

    Man I love that picture of crennel. Is he happy or what? Congrats Romeo! Go chiefs!

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