Former Cleveland Browns coach Romeo Crennel is getting a chance to a head coach in the NFL again — well sort of.
The Kansas City Chiefs made the 64-year-old defensive coordinator the interim coach after the team fired Todd Haley on Monday. But if things go well in these last three weeks Crennel could parlay this shot into becoming the Chiefs next head coach.
His defense has been the lone bright spot in what has been a disastrous season for the Chiefs and Crennel also seems to have the respect of the players and organization.
“Romeo commands respect from the players in the locker room,” Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli told the Kansas City Star. “Watching how the players react and respond to Romeo had something to do with it.”
There is a growing belief that the Chiefs may not be able to find anyone better than Crennel, who has been the defensive mastermind of some of the New England Patriots’ Super Bowl teams. He’s certainly been a steadying force for the Chiefs this season.
“I don’t know what their decision will be at the end of the year,” said former linebacker Willie McGinest, who played for Crennel both in New England and in Cleveland and is now an NFL Network analyst, “but that team is in great hands right now.”
Crennel was 24-40 in four seasons with the Browns from 2005 to 2008. But he did lead the Browns to a 10-6 campaign in 2007 before things fell apart.
There doesn’t seem to be a benchmark the Chiefs must hit for Crennel to remain in charge after the interim period but he can make a strong case with improved play and enthusiasm in these final three games.
“Romeo is going to do things the way Romeo knows how to do them,” Pioli said. “He’s been a head coach in the National Football League.”
Contact Terrance Harris at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @Terranceharris.
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