Kansas City Chiefs

Chiefs Defense Has a Hard Task in Moving Forward Without Romeo Crennel

KANSAS CITY, MO - NOVEMBER 27:  Defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel of the Kansas City Chiefs watches players warm up prior to the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers on November 27, 2011 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Farzin VousoughianContributor IIIFebruary 1, 2013

It's no secret that Romeo Crennel's run as a head coach in Kansas City was a bad one. Rightfully so, it lasted only one full year along with three additional games as an interim head coach.

His time in Cleveland showed that the Chiefs might face issues with Crennel running things. Letting him go as the head coach was a good move by Chiefs Chairman and CEO Clark Hunt. However, losing Crennel has its cons too.

When Crennel joined the franchise in 2010, Kansas City's defense changed.

After running the 3-4 defense under Clancy Pendergast in 2009, the Chiefs landed Crennel to replace Pendergast. From 2010 through to this past year, many defensive players excelled with Crennel as their defensive coach.

During Kansas City's AFC West title run in 2010, Chiefs safety Eric Berry had the privilege of playing for one of the most accomplished defensive coaches in NFL history as a rookie. Berry's work under Crennel paid off after receiving a late invitation to the Pro Bowl.

Linebackers Derrick Johnson and Tamba Hali also became Pro Bowlers under Crennel. Hali received a late Pro Bowl invite in 2010 and earned a spot in 2011 and 2012. Johnson, who's played for four different head coaches and four different defensive coordinators, has punched his ticket to Hawaii in the past two seasons.

Justin Houston's transition from rookie to sophomore in the NFL was a remarkable one after leading the team in sacks and getting a late Pro Bowl invitation.

Despite not appearing in the Pro Bowl, Brandon Flowers and Brandon Carr were a strong duo at cornerback in 2010 and 2011 under Crennel. Flowers was noticed as one of the better cornerbacks in the AFC while Carr made the most improvement among anyone on the team in 2010.

The Chiefs defense, which has allowed 22.7 points per game on average over the past three seasons with Crennel on the staff, must move forward.

Bob Sutton has big shoes to fill coming into Kansas City. He has coached defense with the Jets since 2000, carrying many different titles over different seasons. Sutton is a reliable defensive coordinator, but it will be interesting to see how far this Chiefs defense can go without Crennel.

Many defensive players reached new heights due to Crennel's diligent coaching. Working under Sutton will be different and a challenge, but the players can continue to play at a high level with a new defensive coordinator.

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