Chiefs vs. Steelers: Would a Kansas City Upset Sway Support for Romeo Crennel?

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Chiefs vs. Steelers: Would a Kansas City Upset Sway Support for Romeo Crennel?
Jeff Hanisch-US PRESSWIRE

Does a Kansas City Chiefs' victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday Night Football stir any optimism for Romeo Crennel?

No.

For one, K.C. is sitting at 1-7 and Crennel's head coaching resume simply keeps getting worse and worse. Secondly, that's unsurprisingly parallel to Romeo's rapport with the fans. According to Eric Edholm of Pro Football Weekly:

“It’s as bad as it’s been here,” said Kansas City Star columnist Sam Mellinger, who has been a frequent, caustic critic of the team this season. “The fans are tired. They are tired of not having a quarterback. (The Chiefs) were a chic Super Bowl pick for some people, and this happens. Fans are angry right now, and you can understand why.”

One victory doesn't solve a whole lot, even if it comes over the Steelers in Pittsburgh. With seven games remaining after Monday, the Chiefs still have to face the Denver Broncos twice and the Indianapolis Colts.

Include a road divisional game at the Oakland Raiders, and 4-12 appears to be the most realistic finish. Games at the Cleveland Browns and home games versus the Cincinnati Bengals and Carolina Panthers are just the more realistic winnable matchups left.

In addition, Crennel even delegated his defensive coordinator duties elsewhere. Per the Associated Press via the USA Today last week:

Kansas City Chiefs coach Romeo Crennel relieved himself of duties as defensive coordinator on a day of massive changes that included the waiving of cornerback Stanford Routt and the signing of defensive tackle Shaun Smith.

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Let's put it this way: You know things are in the midst of uncharted territory, regarding a bad season/situation, when the head coach makes a move like that. However, taking the defensive coordinator duties also was a smart move on Crennel's part.

Just because a coach has a specific mindset, whether it be offensive or defensive, adding the coordinator duties on top makes for one tough gig. If anything, Chiefs' fans should be rejoicing because it's a small, but important, change.

And when the team is struggling like Kansas City, any sort of change is good.

Also, shortly after stepping away from the coordinator position, Crennel made another bold move. In an article by Bill Williamson of ESPN.com:

Crennel told reporters Friday he has threatened his players with the loss of playing time if they fumble or throw a bad interception. Crennel said if he deems the turnovers inexcusable, players will stand next to him or on the bench for some plays. 

“Sometimes [to emphasize corrections] you basically have to threaten them -- so if you fumble it, I’m going to take you out of the game,” Crennel said. “Then they will get the message.” 

Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

That was a long time coming, because the Chiefs have possessed a case of the fumbles all season. The good news is better late than never. The downside is that every coach must emphasize that from day one: not waiting until mid-November.

After all, turnovers simply cannot be tolerated and it has cost Kansas City way too much in 2012. To put fumbles in perspective, take rookie running back David Wilson of the New York Giants, for example.

Wilson was Tom Coughlin's first round selection of the 2012 NFL draft, but he fumbled in Week 1 against the Dallas Cowboys. In an article by Mark Hale of the New York Post:

The rookie running back, the Giants’ first-round draft pick this April, had a big fumble in last night’s season-opening 24-17 loss to the Cowboys at MetLife Stadium.

The miscue killed a drive in the first quarter, and Wilson never got another carry the rest of the game.

Asked if the fumble prompted the Giants to stay away from Wilson, Tom Coughlin replied, “Probably a little bit, sure.”

Since Week 2, Wilson has only been given 16 carries and an extremely limited role in Big Blue's offense. That kind of coaching is a big reason why the Giants have won two Super Bowls under Coughlin.

On the other hand, that lack of tolerance from the beginning of the season, as well as during the preseason, is a key reason for Crennel's minimal success as a head coach. The constant fumbles by Kansas City early in the season should have been dealt with immediately, as opposed to later on.

If you're looking at the Monday night game, the Chiefs are the definition of an underdog. Unfortunately, the Steelers haven't been consistently dominant this year either, when compared to recent seasons.

Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

From 2004 through 2011, the Steelers had only two years (2006, 2009) where the team won less than 10 games. Entering at 5-3, Pittsburgh began this season 2-3, but has won three consecutive. So, in short, the Steelers are still more vulnerable right now than what we're use to seeing.

Crennel, though, is 0-8 versus Pittsburgh as a head coach, with every loss coming from his time in Cleveland.

So, it's going to take a lot for him and Kansas City to win on Monday night.

However, it's going to take even more for Crennel to gain support from the Arrowhead fanbase.

 

Follow John Rozum on Twitter.

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