Romeo Crennel out, Scott Pioli in limbo

December, 31, 2012
12/31/12
11:27
AM ET

The Kansas City Chiefs have begun the cleanup project after a miserable 2-14 season.

And they are taking an unusual route.

The team announced head coach Romeo Crennel has been fired. But the team will not fire general manager Scott Pioli ... yet.

Owner Clark Hunt released a statement announcing Crennel’s firing. In it, he apologized to fans for the terrible season and said this about Pioli: "The entire football operation will remain under review, and there may be additional changes to come. No final determination has been made at this point on the future of general manager Scott Pioli.”

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Hunt will lead the charge to hire a new coach and then Hunt and the new coach will discuss the direction they want to take at general manager. That is very unusual, especially when there is a strong-willed general manager such as Pioli in place.

This could be an indication that the Chiefs will target an experienced, high-profile coach. I couldn’t imagine Hunt would rely on the input of a young coach regarding the future of the general manger position.

This, at the very least, suggests Pioli’s power will be greatly decreased if he stays. I can’t see Pioli being excited about that prospect.

This is an interesting developing story. I will have more reaction later. Here is Hunt’s complete statement:

"I have a tremendous amount of respect and admiration for Romeo, both personally and professionally. He is an accomplished coach, a man of great character and he helped guide our football team through some extremely challenging circumstances this season.

“However, I am embarrassed by the poor product we gave our fans this season, and I believe we have no choice but to move the franchise in a different direction. I will immediately begin the search for the next head coach of the Chiefs. The entire football operation will remain under review, and there may be additional changes to come. No final determination has been made at this point on the future of general manager Scott Pioli.

“Finally, I want to personally apologize to our fans for our performance this season. We are blessed to play for some of the best and most passionate fans in the National Football League and they deserve better than what we gave them this season. I want our fans to know that I will do everything I can to provide them with a dramatically better team -- both next season and in the seasons to come -- and our entire organization appreciates their support.”

Bill Williamson | email

ESPN Oakland Raiders reporter

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