The preseason games don't count, but they sure do matter—especially for a coach like Romeo Crennel, who wanted a successful preseason showing from his squad and got the complete opposite.
As the head coach and the defensive coordinator, Crennel knows that he has a few things to work on himself. As far as his players go, he wants more out of them.
The Chiefs gave up 116 points this preseason—the fourth most points given up as only four teams surrendered over 100 points this preseason. The Chiefs defense had no chance of stopping opposing quarterbacks in their preseason losses, allowing their opponents to strike with a fast start.
Week 2 vs. Rams QB Sam Bradford: The Chiefs were hoping to carry some momentum over to Week 2 after defeating the Arizona Cardinals. However, Sam Bradford was able to do whatever he wanted to do with his offense and quickly came up with two touchdown passes less than five minutes into the game.
Week 3 vs Seahawks QB Russell Wilson: In a preseason game where the starters get significant playing time, the Chiefs were tossed around, while Russell Wilson helped the Seattle Seahawks move the football. Wilson threw two touchdown passes to create a 23-7 lead going into halftime, and his teammates on all three phases found a way to score in the third quarter to continue to stampede.
Harrell went 13-of-15, passing for 223 yards and two touchdown passes. The reason this is important is because the Chiefs have some injured players on defense and a suspension for Tamba Hali and the backups who played in this game may get a lot of playing time in Week 1 of the regular season against the Atlanta Falcons.
These are certainly not the characteristics you see from a Crennel-coached defense, and it raises concerns before the regular season gets underway.
Let's not forget, Todd Haley did try and handle multiple duties as a rookie head coach. He took over for Chan Gailey as the offensive coordinator and the quarterbacks coach. Crennel, while serving as the head coach, is also the defensive coordinator.
Crennel should try to take some of the load off his shoulders and promote a current assistant coach on defense to defensive coordinator. This would allow Crennel to focus on the offense, defense and special teams units equally.
Coaches don't tend to do well when carrying multiple key roles for a football team in the NFL. Crennel is trying to make the most out of his second chance and can succeed. He needs to change things for himself and take some of the pressure away from him.
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