Monday, December 31, 2012
Chiefs' problems extend beyond Crennel
By Bill Williamson
The fact Romeo Crennel is out in Kansas City and Scott Pioli is still employed may imply that the Chiefs are pinning their problems on the coach.
That is the wrong tack to take.
It wasn’t all Crennel’s fault. Yes, his team was terrible. The Chiefs finished 2-14, which is tied for the worst record in team history. Interestingly, Herm Edwards went 2-14 in 2008. That prompted the team’s hiring of Pioli four years ago.
Fans and league observers alike applauded the hiring. Now, after two coaches, Pioli’s team is 2-14.
The Chiefs didn’t look at many other coaches last January when Crennel was promoted from interim coach to the permanent spot. The primary reason was because Crennel was so well-liked and respected by the players. The Chiefs went 2-1 under Crennel to end the 2011 season. They stunned then-13-0 Green Bay in Crennel’s first game as the replacement for Todd Haley and Crennel was essentially considered the future coach from that day on.
This was a team that was widely expected to contend for a playoff spot. However, Crennel and his staff did not do a good job this season. There was little fight in this team. They were blown out routinely. Their 13.4-point differential was last in the NFL. The Chiefs averaged 13.2 points this season, which was last in the league.
The Chiefs -- a talented team that netted five Pro Bowl players despite earning the No. 1 overall draft pick -- were tied for the NFL high with 37 turnovers.
Crennel ends his Kansas City career with a 4-15 record. He is 65 and there is a lot of talk the highly decorated defensive coach may retire. It's been a great career for Crennel, who won five Super Bowl rings with the Giants and Patriots. It was just a bad ending. But not all of the Chiefs’ issues are solely on him, even though he stands as the fall guy at this moment.