Romeo Is The Man … Wednesday Cup O’Chiefs

Get used the sound of his voice, the toothy grin that he flashes when he’s amused and the grim glare he wears when he’s not happy.

Romeo Crennel is the Chiefs head coach for the rest of the 2011 season. For those that like to gamble, put your money down on Crennel being the head coach in 2012 as well. Romeo is the man that Scott Pioli wants to put in Todd Haley’s old seat as the Chiefs head coach.

All one has to do is pay attention to the little things and Pioli’s desire to have Crennel in the job becomes obvious. And make no mistake, Romeo wants the chance to be a head coach again; getting fired after four seasons in charge of the Cleveland Browns (2005-08) left him very unfulfilled.

“When I left Cleveland one of the things that I felt was that my competitive nature, my competitive energy that I have was, I’d like to be a head coach again and show I can get it done,” Crennel said on Tuesday, when he spoke to the media for the first time as head coach. “We won 10 in Cleveland in one year (2007) and probably we had a chance to make the playoffs and didn’t make it and then the following year things kind of fell apart a little it and they made a change.

“So I would like to be a head coach again to show that I can do it, I know how to get it done and I think the experience from the first time will make me better the next time around. Otherwise I don’t know if I would have taken the position to try and finish out this season if I didn’t want to be a head coach again.”

Whether or not Crennel and Pioli already have a deal in place for next season is not something they are going to share with the rest of the world. But you know Romeo, if you don’t screw up too bad in these last three games, and you shave on a regular basis (wink, wink) and the defense plays well, then we can probably work something out (wink, wink) for next year.

Words mean something, and one word was missing completely from Monday’s Hunt/Pioli Show – interim. It was never used from the moment Pioli said for the first time that Crennel would be taking over, through the back-and-forth that went on with the media over 20 minutes. Pioli didn’t use the word because it does not apply in this case.

When asked what sort of timetable he was going to be working with in his search for a new head coach, Pioli appeared to slap away the question.

“What I want to do, what we want to do is get ready to play the Green Bay Packers and try to beat the Green Bay Packers, and then get ready for the next game and try to win that game and then try to win the next game,” Pioli said. “And this will be an ongoing process and we’ve got time to make a decision and again we’ve got someone upstairs that’s going to be working very hard who’s going to be considered as well.”

Pioli wasn’t dodging the question – he was letting us know that there are three Sundays ahead and that Crennel can wrap this thing up by New Year’s Day. There may be an interview or two outside the building, but Romeo is already under contract for the 2012 season as coordinator. The chances of him falling into the budgetary lines the Chiefs have for their head coach are much better than somebody like Bill Cowher, Jon Gruden or Jeff Fisher.

If the Chiefs do not blow up in the last three games, if nothing unusual happens to rock the boat and if they actually find a way to beat Green Bay, Oakland or Denver, Crennel is going to get the job. Pioli is not going to hire somebody he does not know, and his circle of acquaintances in the NFL is not a wide one. It’s made up largely of those who worked their way up through the Bill Belichick tree. That’s one chip in Crennel’s pile.

Although he did not have a winning record (24-40) as the head coach of the Browns and Cleveland missed the playoffs all four years, Crennel will not be taking the job wearing training wheels. All the extra stuff a head coach has to handle will be very familiar to him, including the daily sessions where he must help fill the media’s belly with news and notes without saying anything. That’s another chip for Romeo.

He’s already in the house and held in high regard by those he works with. The players like him. Romeo now has three chips.

Crennel has proven over his career that he’s a talented coach, not only in creating defensive schemes and attacks, but he handles players well. He likes them and they like him, but he’s no pushover that can be taken advantage of by the locker room.

That’s four chips for Romeo Crennel and say hello to the new head coach of the Chiefs.


The Chiefs haven’t called Crennel an “interim” head coach. That’s good for Romeo, because interim coaches seldom workout. To check the history we tracked the AFC teams back to the first season of merged football in 1970. Here are some numbers:

  • The average is 2.3 victories per interim coaches.
  • Seven of the 33 did not win a game.
  • There were five coaches that finished the interim season with a winning record. All got to keep their job.
  • One of the coaches went unbeaten, Ron Meyer with a 3-0 at the 1986 Indianapolis Colts.
  • Of the 33 coaches, 15 were not offered the job after the interim season was over.
  • There were 6 coaches that survived the next season before they were fired.
  • Nine interim coaches last more than two seasons.
  • Three coaches who got their start as interims took teams to the Super Bowl, representing the AFC: Fisher, Marv Levy and Raymond Berry. None won.

23 Responses to “Romeo Is The Man … Wednesday Cup O’Chiefs”

  • December 14, 2011  - ED J says:

    Sounds like Bob strongly believes Romeo will get the job all he has to do is win a game or two. I know this definately means Josh McDaniels would be off. coordinator next season. I guess if that’s the csse its fine with me. I’m with Bob don’t see Pioli hiring the big name most of those other guys didnt’ fit Patriot way and he’s not going make same mistake twice even if it does not mean hiring high profile guy. He’s not going hire Fisher. I hear most media and fans throw that name around but no way Fisher is going to go for top secret say nothing to media and Pioli not going to deal with him wearing opposiing team jersey at a coaches function WinK Wink!! Much like he did at Dungy’s get together where he wore Colts jersey when he was Titans head coach and said “I want to feel like a winner”. Either way my thing I’ve said all along get it right this time. I don’t too much care who it is but hire a guy you can get along with and a guy with pedigree to be a successful head coach. Next move would find a franchise QB. If McDaniels does come here a off coordinator we probably could survive 1 more yr under Cassel but have a guy waiting in the wings to take us to next level. I still stand by Chiefs are upgrade in o-line and QB away from competing for it all. If you look around at rest of roster we have good to great players at all the other postions on both sides of the ball.

  • December 14, 2011  - bhive01 says:

    I think Crennel is a safe bet for Pioli. The defense has been up and down this year, but it seemed to reflect the skill of the opposing teams offense and the bad positions that the offense but our defense in. I’m not a big fan of McDaniels because of the taping thing, but perhaps that just means he’s “resourceful”, and god knows we could use someone like that with the shambles of an O-line.

    Let’s hope we can keep all of those pieces in place for the next few years and make a run for it all.

  • December 14, 2011  - Milkman says:

    I think everybody would love to see Crennel succeed. He is a solid coach who has earned a second chance, if that’s what he wants to do. Having said that, if he gets the job permanently Pioli had better hope he succeeds. Having been fired in Cleveland, the same results in K.C. would prove to be the downfall of Pioli. He HAS to make the right decision on a head coach this time. The jury is still out on whether Pioli is the talent evaluater everyone thought he was when Hunt hired him. Not only that, he still has to prove he can read people good enough to pick the right coach to lead this team. This is his chance.

  • December 14, 2011  - Craig says:

    I agree Crennel deserves a seond chance but his track record with Cleveland was not that good. I think the biggest factor is that he is the best coach available for the best price. I will be hard to be competitive 30 million undercap no matter the coach. I could see Schottenheimer coming back like Gibbs did in Washington. Go Chiefs!

  • December 14, 2011  - James says:

    I’m okay with Crennel but they’d damn well better not bring in McDaniels as the OC. He was a loser in Denver, and he’s a failure in St Louis. Got a feeling Piglioli won’t be here for a second term as GM if he continues to handcuff his HC with Cassel.

  • December 14, 2011  - johnfromfairfax says:

    I’m in for 2 pints again Milkman. Pioli better get this one right. I don’t see him going for or attracting one of the coaches that are being thrown around as possibilities like Cowher or Fisher. They aren’t going to put up with his control and he won’t go along with the independence a proven commodity would demand. Romeo is a safe pick and I’ve wondered for some time about just this scenario. It provides a good rationale for firing Haley now. If Romeo can win a couple games (and the Faders and Donkeys are beatable teams even if better than KC) down the stretch he has reason to keep him moving forward without as much push back from the fans. Remember the courtship to get Romeo to come to KC after he sat out a year. Perhaps the opportunity to slide into the HC slot if Haley didn’t work out was a part of the discussion from the beginning. We all want to see the team succeed but at what cost. As far as winning and not caring about how your organization achieves the goal “Just Win Baby” comes to mind and I’d hate to see us go down that road as a franchise. We demand transparency of those who represent our interests in many areas of our lives. Where’s the transparency in something as straightforward as our sports team? I’ve read and heard a lot of silly ideas but the head coach has to lead the team. The GM is responsible for many things, talent acquisition being primary. We’ve heard Pioli say he’s failed on this important task regarding depth ( of course while firing the coach). That’s like me saying I could have tried harder to make it work while spreading rumors about my wife and having a press conference to announce I’m divorcing her. I like Romeo and think he’s a good man but his time in Cleveland didn’t distinguish him as a head coach. He better succeed if this is indeed the future or Clark Hunt will have no choice but to bring in a new GM and turn over the franchise and start all over again. Change isn’t a bad thing but change because of failure gets old and damages the credibility of ownership even more. Let’s not become the new reincarnation of the” Bungals” or “Aints.”

  • December 14, 2011  - RW says:

    For all the reasons Bob points out, the Chiefs could do a lot worse than Romeo at this point in time. Another factor to consider is perhaps there will be a semblance of stability and continuity for the offensive side of the ball.

    If Romeo continues to focus on defense along with being the main guy and lets Muir/Zorn do their deal with the O, without interference, that’s a step forward right there. On the other hand, if Romeo wants to put his oar in the water with the offense, it’s back to the ‘Haley plan’, i.e., not good.

    I’m willing to get behind Romeo and will.

  • December 14, 2011  - Chuck says:

    I also love Romeo but just not as our next Head Coach. I say keep him as DC just where he’s at. Get rid of Muir. Go out and get two guys, (HC & OC) that are full of energy and have great charisma to get this thing going in the right direction. How about hiring Mike Tomlin away from the Steelers???

  • December 14, 2011  - ED J says:

    Chuck what are you 12? Tomlin not leaving Steelers he’s under contract and he’s got stability in Pittsburg. And their winning. Seriously!! Can’t believe you even said that.

  • December 14, 2011  - traumaman says:

    Romeo has demonstrated he actually knows how to game plan for opposing teams. Thanks to Pioli he may have zero talent to work with but finally a HC that actually thinks like a general. Too bad for Romeo that he has to win to be the permanent HC. With Muir as his OC he’s screwed before he even begins. Bill Muir is the most pathetic excuse for an OC I have seen in the history of the NFL. Somehow he has our offense looking actually more incompetent than the Broncos who can’t even complete a pass.

  • December 14, 2011  - Michael says:

    ROC is a great DC, and I think could be a great head coach his second time around. Many head coaches don’t have success in their first pro gig, but after learning the ropes do much better the second time. I kind of feel like ED, I don’t really care who it is as long as it works. A GM and HC have to be able to work together, and be on the same page and not spend time trying to undermind each other. We’ve seen what that does. So, I’m ok with seeing what the Pioli/ROC shows got. Probably last chance at top posts for both.

    One thing I was starting to wonder about. Just how much did Haley have to deal with his assistant coaches working against him? You have to wonder with assistant coaches who have been HC before and want to be again. It probably isn’t done in a blatant way, but under the radar. Maybe not even consciously…Guys like Gailey, Weiss and even Crennel working with/and against Haley? Just wondering.

  • December 14, 2011  - Tim says:

    I love Romeo, but feel this would be a bad move. The reason is the franchise slogan is CONSISTENCY. You won’t have that for very long with a new head coach going on age 65. They need to get it right with a younger person in order to have the best chance to achieve & maintain that objective.

  • December 14, 2011  - Tenand6 says:

    If we draft or trade for a franchise QB, Romeo will do an outstanding job. If we stick with Cassel, the next head coach will always be at a disadvantage when playing any team with a better QB. That’s today’s NFL.

  • December 14, 2011  - Niblick says:

    I’m okay with Romeo. Like everyone else I don’t want McDaniels here as head coach. I saw a new name surface this morning. Zimmer, the DC with the Bengals. I think he’s a long shot. The only other name coach, other than Cowher or Fisher, is Brian Billick. I think he would also be a long shot.

  • December 14, 2011  - ED J says:

    Tenand6 you put it perfectly if he or any other head coach not named josh mcdaniels is hand cuffed to cassel wiil be changing coach and Gm next time. Best thing for Scott to do is find franchise Qb even more so than head coach

  • December 14, 2011  - johnfromfairfax says:

    Billick isn’t a hot commodity. I’m sure he’d be glad to get any HC job at this point but don’t think he figures prominently on most teams’ radar. I would rather have RAC than most of the others being mentioned. As far as those wanting Cassel gone, he was Pioli’s big deal and a lot of the reporting has it that it was a point of contention Haley and Pioli with Haley not being sold on him. I doubt that he’s going anywhere and would think that Pioli is not thinking of jettisoning him at this point. In fact, if the St. Louis staff is fired after the season I could see Pioli bringing in McDaniels as OC to work with him. Remember McDaniels blew up his relationship with Cutler by trying to acquire Cassel so it wouldn’t be a stretch to bring in another Patriot guy that Pioli would have been interested in to begin with to go with RAC and Cassel. Who knows, it might even work.

  • December 14, 2011  - Niblick says:

    I’m not sure Pioli is that enamored with McDaniels. I read a couple of years ago where Belechick was not. Pioli may be, but he is usually joined at th hip with Belechick. He’s been a disaster at St. Louis. Perhaps it’s not all his fault with their poor OL. i know he did a good job with Cassell but other than that I’m not impressed with him. I personally would rather see them draft a top QB and groom him.

  • December 14, 2011  - Steve says:

    Tenand6 – you’re right about the franchise quarterback. The O-line hasn’t been great but it’s been good enough at times for a good quarterback to excel. Would really not like to see McDaniels come in. I hope Pioli doesn’t hire Romeo with the condition that he hire McDaniels as the OC.

  • December 14, 2011  - Blake says:

    I completely agree Bob! I have been thinking about all the names out there and Romeo makes the most sense, I also think he will be the next head coach. Pioli doesn’t know Gruden, Cowher, and Fisher very well. I think those three will want more power than Pioli is willing to give. Those three are going to want to completely change the coaching staff and the players and they dont fit into the way Pioli is trying to build this team. McDaniels, Crennell, and possibly Ferentz are the other three that have worked with Scott, friends with Scott, and all have experience. If Pioli hired McDaniels he would get crucified by Chiefs fans and I think he wants a guy with more experience, he is still a young guy. I dont think Ferentz will leave, but if he does I think it will come down to him or Crennell. Crennell just makes the most sense! I would not be surprised if Crennell is hired as head coach, McDaniels gets brought in after he is let go in St. Louis and he is given some type of job in KC possibly OC. If he was Offensive Coordinator then that means KC could resign Orton to compete for the starting job which is a good thing.

  • December 14, 2011  - Johnfromwichita says:

    Good Lord, it just dawned on me: we have a coach named Romeo. That wasn’t an earthquake I just felt; that was Shakespere turning over.

  • December 14, 2011  - johnfromfairfax says:

    ROC is the man and the ball is in his hands. Other Johnfrom just don’t tell us McDaniels’ middle name is Juliet or it’s over for us all! Another shocking thought for the long time followers of the site. Who would have thought many of us would have arrived at the point where Rin Tin Tin made sense! It’s a mad world.

  • December 14, 2011  - Michael says:

    Mcdaniels is the one who drafted Tebow in Denver to take Orton’s place; so I don’t see how him becomming OC would make it more likely Orton would stick around.

    This almost sounding like an already done deal; ROC as head coach, Mcdaniels as OC; Muir back to the OL; maybe keep most of the other coaches. Not saying I agree with it but, like I said, I don’t care who it is as long as it works. I do still like the idea of someone like Fisher or Zimmer; probably too much to hope for. Another interesting idea is current Patriots OC Bill O’Brien, which Pioli might actually go for.

  • December 16, 2011  - Duke says:

    I know Tony Dungy has turned down several inquiries since retiring, but if Pioli does his job, which is to conduct a thorough search for the absolute best coach available, then he should contact Mr. Dungy. He has ties to the Chiefs from the time he spent as an assistant here early in the Schottenheimer era, although he’s not a Pioli crony.

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