The Chiefs wasted no time addressing their personnel needs on both sides of the ball. Days after the regular season ended, the Chiefs hired Charlie Weis to be their new Offensive Coordinator.
Now, Romeo Crennel will be joining Weis in Kansas City to run the defense.
It has been suggested that their next step will be changing their team name to the Kansas City Patriots.
The biggest criticism of the move to bring in Weis and Crennel is that both of these men have failed miserably in their coaching ventures since they left New England, and trying to recreate the Patriots' magic is futile.
It is true that getting Weis and Crennel makes it look as though Kansas City believes they can suddenly become the ’02 Patriots. However, that judgment is not really fair.
Had Weis and Crennel both gone to another team, would this same criticism have followed? Or is it only because three other New Englanders have made their way to Kansas City?
Speaking of other teams, there was interest in both Weis and Crennel outside of the Chiefs.
Crennel was interviewed by the New York Giants, a team that prides itself on defense and has some great pieces already in place. Crennel would have gotten to work with players like Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora. The Giants had a very bad year defensively, but they have great potential.
The interest of these organizations suggests that it’s not just Scott Pioli who believes these men could help a team.
Interestingly, both the Bears and the Giants seem to be more ready-to-win organizations where the odds of success might be higher.
Yet both Weis and Crennel turned down the offers, and elected to go to Kansas City. Maybe being familiar with Pioli and Haley really did make the difference, or maybe Weis and Crennel see something other people don’t.
One thing is for sure: Weis and Crennel are desperate to prove they’ve still got the coaching touch. Since they left New England, neither Weis nor Crennel have had a whole lot of success.
Crennel served as head coach of the Cleveland Browns from ’05 to ’08. He finished 24-40 overall and was considered a bust.
Weis was recently booted from Notre Dame after going 6-6 in the regular season. Weis was brought in after the 2004 season, and had been regarded as a savior for the college with a very proud football tradition. Instead, his last season with the Fighting Irish was no better than the ’04 season that preceded his coming to Notre Dame.
The failures of both Crennel and Weis have led some to believe that they will not be able to produce results in Kansas City.
However, neither is being asked to be a head coach. They are being asked to do what they do best: run the offense and defense.
After falling flat in their time as head coaches, it is safe to say that Weis and Crennel will be eager to prove their talent, and that’s good news for Kansas City.
Maybe this is the biggest reason for the good fit between the Chiefs and Weis and Crennel. They all have a lot to prove.
The Chiefs are a team also eager to show they can be a contender. Kansas City showed flashes of talent throughout this season, playing much better down the stretch.
But the Chiefs seemed unable to get over that last hurdle in a game, coming close but coming up short. Experienced coaches should be able to help by giving the team confidence as well as a good game plan.
A well-run team will be mentally tougher and thus able to come away with wins, not close losses.
Another problem with the Chiefs is a lack of talent in certain positions. Crennel and Weis should be able to help evaluate players and identify holes in the lineup.
It will also give Todd Haley time to be the head coach. As the offensive coordinator and head coach, Haley obviously had too much on his plate. With more focused and specific attention on both sides of the ball, Kansas City can’t help but improve.
Think about this: Last offseason Kansas City got a new GM followed by a new head coach and a new quarterback later in February. This meant a lot of changes.
When Matt Cassel came to the Chiefs, he had to learn the offense, and players needed to get used to him. But Haley also proclaimed that there would be an open competition for the starting job between Cassel and Tyler Thigpen.
Haley had just seen this idea work out very well in Arizona, and he must have thought it would be good for the team.
However, it probably just confused the already-transitioning squad because up until the preseason began, they didn’t know who their quarterback was going to be, or who their new head coach was supporting. Haley certainly did not show a lot of confidence in Cassel early on, and that had to affect the mindset of the rest of the offense.
Then Matt Cassel got injured. Then Offensive Coordinator Chan Gailey got fired, and the offense had to be relearned.
No wonder the Chiefs had such a tough time getting any offensive rhythm going in the first half of the season.
Weis will be able to work exclusively on the offense, something Haley could not possibly have done as the head coach. And whatever you say about him, Weis knows how to develop an offense.
Crennel should be no different on the defensive side of the ball.
Having these two on staff will also give Haley good football minds from which to draw. Even if Haley makes the final decisions, he’ll have Crennel and Weis giving him advice.
There are still question marks for the Chiefs, like what will happen with Dwayne Bowe (if he’ll become a No. 1 receiver or not). But there are bright spots such as running back Jamaal Charles.
Adding experienced and proven coordinators Weis and Crennel can only help the Chiefs going forward.