Watching Romeo Crennel on draft day was like watching a little kid opening up a Superman action figure on his birthday. He can fly! He’s super strong! He can shoot lasers from his eyes! He’s 350 pounds and can run like a tight end!
However, now it seems like a few months have tempered Crennel’s expectations on what his Superman toy can do.
After happily proclaiming that Dontari Poe was a three-down player who could contribute immediately, the Chiefs head coach appears to be backing off his April assertions on the risky Poe.
“He needs to work on technique; he needs to work on understanding the system,” Crennel said to 610 Sports’ Jay Binkley. “He needs to get the calls correct all the time. He's got a ways to go."
Not a ringing endorsement of someone who’s currently sitting behind Anthony Toribio on the depth chart, but certainly not cause for early alarm either. Look for the Memphis Monster to get the majority of his early game reps in third-down nickel situations, as that’s the primary package Poe has been seeing first-team snaps in.
More interesting to watch will be later in games as Poe will likely get more snaps with the second defense in a more traditional noseguard role. Expect to see him struggle early in August as Poe tries to adjust from being able to simply overpower opponents to having to apply the coaching and technique required at the NFL level.
It might be a bumpy road at first, but there should be signs of improvement towards the end of August as Poe adjusts to the pro game. But don’t expect a Vince Wilfork redux for awhile.