Kansas City Chiefs Players Guaranteed to Improve Under Romeo Crennel in 2012
Kansas City Chiefs fans are preparing to watch a new era this season. Romeo Crennel is going to get his second chance as a head coach. He's hoping to make the best of it. Along with Crennel, players on the team are also looking for a new beginning under their new head coach.
The Chiefs are in position to do special things in 2012. With Crennel coaching the Chiefs to a shocking victory over the once-unbeaten Green Bay Packers in his first game as the interim head coach, the franchise received a lot of optimism, and players are looking forward to playing for Crennel in 2012.
Here are the players who are guaranteed to improve in 2012 under their new head coach.
QB Matt Cassel
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This is Matt Cassel's chance to shine and prove his critics wrong. Cassel has never played with an offense that has so many viable players.
Crennel, who coached the Chiefs to a 2-1 record last year, might be able to help Cassel move in the right direction with this offense.
Crennel has a lot of confidence in his new offensive coordinator, Brian Daboll, and in quarterbacks coach Jim Zorn.
WRs Dwayne Bowe and Jon Baldwin
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Dwayne Bowe took a step back last season after catching 15 touchdowns in 2010. While Bowe did develop into an elite receiver under former head coach Todd Haley, Bowe was still struggling with some of his techniques and was sometimes discouraged when he was placed low in the depth charts in 2009.
As for Jon Baldwin, he needs to make sure he stays out of trouble and be with the team full-time for training camp and the preseason. His rookie campaign was a quiet one due to his absence early in the season.
Expect Cassel to throw to Bowe and Baldwin a lot, as they will come away with more catches in the end zone than they did last year.
TE Tony Moeaki
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When Tony Moeaki went down with a torn ACL, it was Leonard Pope who had to step up at tight end.
In Pope's first game with Crennel as the interim head coach, he caught only two passes against the Packers, but they were catches of 33 and 39 yards, gashing his way through to help the Chiefs reach the red zone.
Moeaki, who is considered to be a better tight end, is likely to stay healthy with Kevin Boss taking some of the load off his shoulders.
In his third year in the league, it will be exciting to see him get wide open while Bowe and Baldwin find a way to drag defenders with them and away from Moeaki.
OLB Justin Houston
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Tamba Hali is happy to find a sidekick in Justin Houston to play alongside in the pass-rushing department.
In the final five games of the season, Houston racked up 5.5 sacks, which ended up being his final total for his rookie season.
One of the benefits of playing for Crennel is his strong background as a defensive coach. Crennel is one of the most respected defensive minds in football.
Houston, entering his second season, will be one of the better second-year defensive players because of the coaching staff he has around him.
ILB Derrick Johnson
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Even though Derrick Johnson had a career year in 2011, punching his first Pro Bowl ticket, he can be even better.
For similar reasons as Houston, Johnson is a player who can shine with Crennel as his head coach. Johnson has turned his career around and led the Chiefs in tackles the past two years. In his third year working with Crennel, Johnson hopes to gain more knowledge from him now that he's the head coach.
Johnson was considered one of the most improved linebackers last year. Now, he'll label himself as one of the best this year.
CB Brandon Flowers and S Eric Berry
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I put Brandon Flowers and Eric Berry together because these two have the potential to become the best cornerback-safety duo in the league. And because of pass-rushers, like Hali and Houston, there's more reason to believe that Flowers and Berry will be dangerous in 2012.
Flowers' best season, in terms of interceptions, came in 2009 where he snagged five passes. During Berry's rookie season, he came up with four interceptions while quickly being tabbed as one of the top safeties in the league.
The two together, with Crennel as the head coach, is scary for opposing teams. Offensive coordinators, quarterbacks and wide receivers will have to come up with big game plans to defend the Chiefs sound pass rush.
By the time a quarterback throws an ill-advised pass to avoid a sack, defensive backs, like Flowers and Berry, tend to come up with valuable takeaways, which could be the biggest difference for the Chiefs in 2012.