Romeo Improves His Odds

From Arrowhead Stadium

There was the customary Gatorade bath on the sidelines for Romeo Crennel.

Hugs were being thrown about left and right, and the 2011 Chiefs almost to a man seemed to be chanting the man’s initials – RAC, RAC, RAC!!! as they ran into the locker room.

The 19-14 victory over the previously unbeaten Green Bay Packers was a remarkable day in itself. But the guys who dress in the Chiefs locker room hope it was simply the first of many future games with Crennel at the helm of the Chiefs.

“I think they should just give it to him now,” said CB Brandon Flowers. “Everybody would be happy with that around here.”

No one more than Crennel, who made it very public early last week that in taking over from Todd Haley, he was not doing this with the idea that it was three games and done. He wants the gig for 2012 and beyond.

Absolutely nothing that happened on Sunday against Green Bay hurt his chances.

“We’ll see what the next two weeks bring because every week is a different week in the NFL,” Crennel said. “We’ll let the chips fall where they may. That’s what you always do in football. That’s what I tell those guys in the locker room. Do your best and play your best and let the chips fall where they may. The only thing we can control is how we play, the kind of effort we give and hopefully we can win as we go.”

Through this strange season, there has never been any question about effort on the part of the Chiefs. Ownership may have decided they were too inconsistent and fired Todd Haley, but they could not question how hard this team played for the former head coach.

They went out on Sunday and played just as hard for Crennel. The difference was the fact they played smarter. They kept their mistakes to a minimum, especially in two key areas – they had no turnovers and they did not allow a sack. After QB Kyle Orton was knocked down after getting rid of his first pass of the day, he faced very little pressure from the Packers.

The idea that Crennel struck home with in preparing not only the players but the coaching staff was simplifying things; getting back to fundamentals. Both the offensive and defensive game plans for the game were built with that in mind. When they had the ball, they wanted to run and make sure they got that ground game going. They did not want Orton to be careless with the ball. They wanted him to get protection.

Defensively, Crennel wanted to keep Packers QB Aaron Rodgers guessing, so there were a number of different packages in the game plan from the standard base defense of a 3-4-4, to one scheme that was 1-3-7 and also a 1-4-6. But Crennel the defensive coordinator dialed back on the blitz and went after Rodgers with four rushers.

There was a certain comfort zone there for the players because it was Crennel taking charge. In two years with the team he’s become a locker room favorite, a tough-minded task-master who tends to hand out a few more pats on the back and hugs than a lot of other coaches, especially defensive coordinators.

It’s obvious from what they say that the players have confidence in him.

“It would be good to keep winning for him,” said DE Glenn Dorsey. “He’s our leader and a tremendous coach. We’ve just got to keep it going for him.”

Added Flowers: “We want to play hard for this guy. We’ve been through ups and downs as a defense, but he’s a great guy and he always has something positive to say. He’s a guy we want to play hard for and the offense felt the same way. We just want to keeping winning for him.”

The offensive guys had only good things to say as well.

“He’s been around here for two years so everybody knows him and knows that he’s a good coach,” said RB Thomas Jones. “He’s just a guy you want to be around and you want to play for. He has that leadership skill.”

Other than trying to simplify things, Crennel did not ask for much from the players this week.

“I ask them to do the best that they can do, that’s all I can ask of them,” said Crennel. “If they do that and we end up winning games, that’s a plus and a positive. They are the ones that play the game and should get all the credit. It was just standing on the sideline. That’s all I did today.”

The victory now gives Crennel a NFL head coaching record of 25-40, including his four seasons as head coach of the Cleveland Browns (2005-08). He wants more.

“The Chiefs played a very good game today,” Crennel said. “They played the way that I would like to see the Chiefs play all the time. They followed the game plan, they had energy, they had effort and they played their hearts out.”

11 Responses to “Romeo Improves His Odds”

  • December 18, 2011  - Tenand6 says:

    Crennel is a good coach. If he gets good QB play, there would be no reason to hire anyone else. The defense is good and will only get better when Eric Berry returns.

    Orton is a superior QB when compared to Cassel. Far better ball-handling skills. Far more instinctive at the position. I still want the Chiefs to move up and draft a franchise QB, but if I never see Cassel again in a Chiefs uniform, that would be ok with me. Like everyone else, I like Cassel the person. He’s not the right guy to take a team to the playoffs year after year, IMHO.

    Charlie Weis isn’t needed to “fix the QB.” We need to improve the QB position. Hopefully, Orton would listen to a contract offer. And, hopefully, Pioli is smart enough to move on from Cassel.

  • December 18, 2011  - Tim says:

    Tenand6…I agree

  • December 18, 2011  - chris says:

    I couldn’t help but notice Coach Hoffman standing by Romeo most of the game, he seemed to have a lot of input. I wonder if he’ll (and guys like Mo Carthon) stick around?

  • December 18, 2011  - Dave71 says:

    The points above about the QB position are dead on. Orton may not be the second coming of Montana but he is definitely better than Cassel. Even our WR bubble screens worked today because of his execution & quick release. Keep him & get rid of Cassel or make him Orton’s backup.

  • December 18, 2011  - cychief24 says:

    First of all…Bob…the Chiefs did NOT play hard for Haley several times this year. They quit in each blow out this year. So, I’m not suree why you make that statement. Haley is gone and so is Carl.

    Romeo should be signed asap.It was great watching an adult as our Head Coach again. Btw, Hoffman was being questioned and helped by Romeo…not the other way around. Hoffman had 12 players on the missed FG, then only 10 for a punt that required a TO. Hoffman should have been sent packing with his mentor Haley.

    As opposed to the simple minded Cassel haters, I hope we have both Orton and Cassel battle it out next summer. Then we will have a very good back up whomever wins out. We simply cannot spend a draft pick on a QB when we need 3 O-lineman and some help for Tamba and DJ on defense.

  • December 18, 2011  - johnfromfairfax says:

    I’m not sure who the QB will end up being but if we win our last two games I don’t see how Pioli lets Romeo go. If he has the support of the players and rallies the fan base then I would think it would be pretty hard to go in another direction even if we are just competitive in the last couple. It would also provide some semblance of continuity for the team regarding staff, schemes, etc. I’m pulling for him and enjoyed other Johnfrom and others’ stories of triumphant rides home seeing dejected cheeseheads slinking back to curdland. What a difference a couple days makes. It’s a great day to be a Chiefs fan. See you guys in the film room.

  • December 19, 2011  - Craig says:

    If we win the next two games we may just win the AFC West again! Orton is a better QB than Cassell. Which is sad to say given the money Cassel is making. Great job Romeo gotta love the guy, great attitude and players love him too.

  • December 19, 2011  - Chuck says:

    I say “hire Romeo” for HC and go out and get a great OC (Muir is not the guy) and move forward.

  • December 19, 2011  - RW says:

    Given what just happened, I doubt ANY head coach could surpass Romeo’s performance. Also, there may be better QBs out there but Orton was as good as any you care to name on this day.

    Flash in the pan QBing and HCing? Maybe but my eyes tell me a different story. If they can do it once, they can do it again and again. Sign ‘em both. Lock ‘em up and let’s get on down the road.

  • December 19, 2011  - Johnfromwichita says:

    If they sign Orton, whice still feeling giddy from yesterday sounds good, they can’t keep Cassel and his large salary. That puts us back into the same hole; we have to get a quality backup quarterback. The Chiefs are going to have start spending money instead of saving. I’m not going to be happy if we don’t spend more next year. $27 to park? Really.

  • December 19, 2011  - cychief24 says:

    A little education JohnFW. The parking will go up to $32 next year to help finance the renovation.

    And…being $30 mil under the cap means we can certainly afford to keep Cassel and Orton.
    Why would we need to get a quality back up when we would have 2 quality starters?

    SOMEBODY played QB in 2010 when we won the AFC West. Pretty sure he went to the Pro Bowl.

    If Orton beat him out GREAT!

    I just can’t wait to read the simple minded haters the first time Orton throws an INT.

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