Yeah, maybe I'm one of the few people out there that still believes that. After all, the Chiefs have been doing their best to be the most miserable franchise in the NFL. Not only do they have the worst record halfway through the season, but they also lose by such a ridiculous margin that the University of Missouri has asked if they'll be the Tigers' homecoming opponent next year.*
*This has not actually happened, but I doubt few people would be surprised if it did.
This roster has plenty of talent on both sides of the ball, which makes it so much more painful to see Kansas City colossally fail on the field. And Crennel deserves his share of the blame for this miserable product Chiefs fans are subjected to each week.
But I don't believe the problem is Crennel, at least not directly. Crennel is a defensive coach, and a good one at that. He's also a player's coach; he repeatedly gets the most out of middling talent such as Shaun Smith and Amon Gordon. His team rallied for him to get the head coaching job last year after the Chiefs fired Todd Haley.
The Chiefs need a coach they can believe in and trust; despite the success some of these "fire and brimstone" coaches have, I fail to see how sideline tirades and high-decibel conversations make players better. In eight years in the military, I've repeatedly found myself willing to go the extra mile for commanders who treated me as a capable adult rather than a child; I see little reason to expect much different for football players and their coach.
But Crennel has problems of his own. First, he's trying to manage the overall team while directing the defense, too. Crennel has good people on his staff in Emmitt Thomas and Gary Gibbs, but Crennel needs a right-hand man to handle most of the heavy lifting for the defense. Crennel doesn't need to call every defensive play; a defensive coordinator working alongside him can take some of that burden off his shoulders and let him focus on motivating his team and identifying holes in the opponent's game plan.
As things stand, the Chiefs keep allowing big runs to the outside and completely surrender the middle of the field. Phillip Rivers took advantage of that, completing 90 percent of his passes against the Chiefs in October.
On offense is where the issue really stands out. Crennel needs someone he can count on to keep the Chiefs' offensive machine running with minimal interference; Brian Daboll isn't it. Neither is offensive line coach Jack Bicknell Jr. The transplant from the New York Giants coaches one of the more talented lines, yet its play to date has Eric Winston looking worse than Barry Richardson last year. Other linemen aren't doing much better.
Again, Crennel isn't entirely blameless in this situation. This is his staff, and any successes or (in this case) failures belong to him as well. But players, fans and the Chiefs all had good reasons for wanting Crennel as the new head coach. Those reasons aren't proven or disproved over the course of eight games, even ones as bad as the Chiefs have played this season.
So unless Kansas City can get Bill Cowher to walk into Arrowhead Stadium and put his John Hancock on a contract, the Chiefs should stick with Crennel, at least for now.
If things look like this next season, then that's a whole different ball game.
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