We've just seen word that the Kansas City Chiefs have decided to "shake things up" after a historically bad start to the 2012 season that has left them with a 1-7 record, without holding a lead the entire season, and looking like the clear-cut choice for the worst team in professional football.
The good news is that Kansas City Chiefs' Romeo Crennel has relieved himself of the defensive coordinator position. The bad news is that he's still their head coach.
Crennel appointed current Chiefs' linebackers coach Gary Gibbs as defensive coordinator. Unfortunately for Crennel this decision may have come about 3 months too late. Crennel claimed he was not overwhelmed by both roles. Technically he was correct. He has shown that he has been completely overwhelmed by either of the roles. His bread and butter as a defensive mind has come into question as the Chiefs have failed to get quality stops on opponents all year aside from the Baltimore game. As a head coach he shown that he is completely in over his head as he has not been able to even articulate what the actual problems of his 1-7 team are.
At the same time as Crennel's announcement, the Chiefs "parted ways" (ie. cut) with starting CB Stanford Routt. Routt was a prized free agent acquisition in the off-season by the Chiefs who brought him in likely because they knew they would not be able to resign Brandon Carr (who ultimately departed for Dallas).
Routt certainly less then a stellar start to the year, but he was signed to a 3-year $18MM deal in the off-season by the Chiefs and now he was handed his walking papers. Not traded, mind you, but RELEASED.
Crennel was quoted as saying about Routt's release, "You bring people in and you hope that things work the way you want them to work. The transition was taking a little longer than I thought it would take. We just thought it was time to part ways. That's what we did."
Basically they're trying to get us to buy the fact that because Routt hasn't "transitioned" as quickly as they hoped, that they were better off without him completely? There's yet another cloud of secrecy hanging over the organization after this move. You don't bring in a guy as the anchor for your second CB and then cut him 8 weeks later because he hadn't come along as fast as you'd hoped.
I for one am not someone who thought Routt was the answer, but the facts are the facts: he was better than any alternatives you have on the roster. He was also the same player he was when they signed him from Oakland last year: prone to giving up the big plays, highly penalized, physical, and a decent #2 corner. So since nothing has changed, what gives?
The saddest part about both of these announcements is that they seem to have been made with the sole purpose of trying to "shake things up" or "right the ship" as you will certainly hear verbatim by pundits all over. If these moves came from Pioli then it's yet another in a long line of slaps in the face of Chiefs' fans everywhere.
Will Crennel giving up defensive coordinator duties truly turn this team around? I suppose only time will tell but personally I think that was the one job he was best suited for, and not the other way around. Now you take away what is supposed to be the forte of a coach who can't motivate his players, game-plan, or manage critical decisions in-game.
The Routt release just stinks to high-heaven of a Pioli move. Maybe he wasn't buying into the "Patriot-Way" as Pioli so desires and used it to send a message to the team. The only problem there is that nobody told Routt it would be the Patriot-Way of the early 90's where they couldn't sniff a winning season or playoff berth.
Now we are stuck with Javier Arenas as the second CB opposite Brandon Flowers. This is a guy who still hadn't earned the right to be the nickel-corner in passing downs based on his career thus far. Better still, Arenas may miss some time due to a possible concussion which leaves Travis Daniels, an on/off the roster type of player who hasn't shown anything but his ability to get burned.
Even when the Chiefs' brass tries to shake things up or throw their fans a bone to make it look like they're not sitting there at One Arrowhead with their feet up on desks counting their money, they can't even do that right. So far there's been real change with other NFL franchises mid-season (Browns new regime change, Eagles firing D-coordinator, Titans owner putting entire organization on notice), but the one team that needs it the most shows just how inept they truly are.