Jeff Fisher’s hiring got all of the praise. Greg Schiano is getting all of the criticism. Somewhere in between, Kansas City Chiefs fans would figure that Romeo Crennel would land somewhere in the middle in terms of perception of new coaching hires. However, Chris Burke of Sports Illustrated says that the Chiefs made the single greatest coaching hire of the off-season with their promotion of interim head coach Romeo Crennel to permanent status.
That’s surprising since Crennel is not the sexy name for sure. His last go around in Cleveland left something to be desired, and other teams reached for promising young hires left and right. Yet Burke says that Crennel’s steady qualities are what qualifies him to earn Burke’s best grade of all coaching hires at an “A-”.
Yes, I’m well aware that Crennel finished 16 games under .500 (24-40) during four years in Cleveland. I am also aware that he didn’t exactly have a stacked deck to work with there — in his tenure, Trent Dilfer, Charlie Frye, Derek Anderson, Brady Quinn and Bruce Gradkowski all started at quarterback.
Crennel’s brief stint as Kansas City’s interim head coach was impressive, with wins over then-undefeated Green Bay and at Denver in Week 17. Those performances alone aren’t enough to guarantee Crennel has success going forward, but the reason this is a great hire is that it goes the exact opposite direction of Todd Haley. Between his unusual sideline personality and clashes with GM Scott Pioli, Haley walked the tightrope his entire tenure.
Crennel has full support in the Chiefs’ locker room, experience as a head coach and a smart defensive-minded approach. His second go-round leading a team should be better than his first.