Big Changes to Chiefs Are an Indictment of the Leadership in Kansas City

Christopher Hansen@ChrisHansenNFLNFL AnalystNovember 5, 2012

The Kansas City Chiefs made changes on Monday hoping to turn around their lost season. The Chiefs are 1-7 and have not led a game for a single second, so it was obvious that change was needed. Change can be good, but change for the sake of change is not going to correct Kansas City’s problems.

According to Adam Teicher of The Kansas City Star, the Chiefs waived cornerback Stanford Routt and Romeo Crennel made linebackers coach Gary Gibbs the defensive coordinator. Both changes come on the defensive side of the ball, when Kansas City’s issues have been offense- and turnover-related.

These changes are actually a further indictment of the leadership in Kansas City and not changes that will help the team win more football games. Routt has hardly been a good addition this season, but paying the guy $6 million not to play for the team doesn’t make much sense. The Chiefs just signed Routt in the offseason and sold him as the long-term replacement for Brandon Carr, and after eight games have given up on him.

Routt’s signing and release are clearly an indictment of general manager Scott Pioli. The Chiefs decided to be cheap and not re-sign Carr and then made a poor decision to sign a guy the Raiders disliked so much that they were willing to eat a big portion of his contract.

Maybe Routt was horrible, maybe he was below average, but was he more responsible for the Chiefs’ 1-7 record than Matt Cassel? Cassel was benched, but he’s still employed and a starter until Brady Quinn is cleared to practice.

The offense has been the issue in Kansas City, and yet Romeo Crennel basically fired himself as the defensive coordinator. It’s true that the move will free up Crennel to spend more time with the offense, but will the defensive-minded Crennel really be able to help Brian Daboll? Crennel hasn’t ever coached offense, and he’s been a coach for 42 years.

The Chiefs made two moves that may or may not help the defense and did little to nothing to solve the problems on offense. The moves only further indict Pioli and Crennel for the poor decisions that have made the Chiefs historically bad in 2012. If the Chiefs really wanted to make changes that would help the team, then Pioli, Crennel and Daboll would be the ones looking for a job, and not Routt.

Routt became one of what are likely to be many fall guys for Pioli and Crennel. Why Routt was selected might have something to do with his relationship with Crennel and lack of progress since joining the team. The whole thing stinks because Routt is a veteran, and the Chiefs shouldn’t have been surprised that Routt struggled in a few areas. 

"You have relationships," Crennel said. "You bring people in and you hope that things work the way you want them to work. The transition was taking a little longer than I thought it would take.” (via the Associated Press)

It sounds like the Chiefs wanted to make a move just to get the media off their back, and Crennel decided to get rid of the guy he liked the least. That’s not a way to run a football team, and that’s not going to help the Chiefs win games.

At least Gibbs has experience as a defensive coordinator, with his most recent stint being from 2006 to 2008 under Sean Payton in New Orleans. Gibbs is also responsible for the development of Justin Houston, Tamba Hali and Derrick Johnson over the past three years and is a logical choice to take over Crennel’s duties.