Somebody has finally knocked some sense into the head of Clark Hunt. Well, partially at least. After an atrocious three months of football for Romeo Crennel and his Kansas City Chiefs team, cornerback Stanford Routt was released, Crennel gave one of his jobs to Gary Gibbs, and Shaun Smith has returned to the defensive line.
The announcement came on Monday, four days after a terrible loss to the San Diego Chargers, 31-13, on ‘Thursday Night Football.’ The Chiefs gave up another four turnovers, increasing their total to 29, the highest in the league.
It is no secret that this team has not been able to perform at the caliber they should, and things are not looking good for the Chiefs. If not for the overtime thriller at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in Week 5, this could have been a Jim Schwartz disaster all over again.
It was becoming clear that Crennel could not handle both responsibilities of defensive coordinator and head coach, so after eight weeks of bitter disappointment he decided to give up the job that helped take the Patriots to three Super Bowls from 2001-2004.
Unfortunately for the Chiefs, all of these moves have come a day late and a dollar short. Sitting at 1-7, the Chiefs should start looking at which quarterback is going to be the number one draft pick next year.
Despite that, there is some optimism that surrounds the changes: Scott Pioli is slowing lose power inside the Chiefs organization.
For one, Pioli would have never made the move to release Stanford Routt. His ego is too large. Not only this, but it was a surprise that Routt was released, and not traded. Pioli may be big-headed, but he certainly is not stupid. He has just been misdirected.
It also is not a secret that Crennel has wanted Smith on the team since last season. Smith played on the team during the 2010 season, but was released shortly after. Crennel, it seems, had been fighting Pioli to get him back, and has finally won the battle; surely not without help from a higher being.
Pioli’s four year reign in Kansas City has been nothing but a disaster, and is at its worst this year. A supposed football guru coming from the Patriot system, Pioli was supposed to turn things around for the Chiefs. Instead, he threw them into a sewer system that leads straight to the Dead Sea.
Luckily for fans, all signs are pointing to a move away from Pioli. These are all very uncharacteristic of the close-knit, tightly kept Pioli who does not like to admit mistakes. This was the make or break season for Pioli, and he failed to get things done.
With Gibbs taking over the defense, fans can expect to see a different style of play, and hopefully, a much improved one. Let’s just hope that some of Crennel’s defensive genius rubbed off on Gibbs.
These moves by no mean improve the quality of the team—the Routt release may even make the secondary worse—but it at least gives a spark of hope for everybody involved. With the division far out of reach, it is time to focus on next season, and more importantly, the 2013 NFL Draft.
That’s where Matt Cassel’s replacement is found.