News broke earlier today that the Kansas City Chiefs fired head coach Todd Haley. Chiefs defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel will serve as the Chiefs’ head coach for the remainder of the season. For those who may recall, Crennel was the Patriots’ defensive coordinator during their Super Bowl championship years before taking a head coaching job in Cleveland. Crennel went 24-40 as the Browns’ head coach before losing his job and joining the Chiefs as defensive coordinator. The thought (or perhaps the hope among fans) at the time when Crennel was unemployed that he might return to New England and refill his old role as defensive coordinator.
Now that Haley’s out in Kansas City, is it possible that Romeo Crennel could return to Foxboro?
Romeo’s name is being thrown around as a possible candidate to become the Chiefs’ new head coach, though I see that as a long shot. The general thought is that GM Scott Pioli will hire from within the Bill Belichick/Bill Parcells coaching tree, with other names like Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz and Rams offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels being thrown around. If that occurs, it’s possible that Crennel stays in KC as defensive coordinator, staying in that Belichick-Parcells circle. If Pioli goes outside the circle for a new head coach, it’s possible Crennel could be looking for a new home.
If Bill Belichick and the Patriots were smart, they’d pounce on Romeo Crennel and welcome him back with open arms. They could offer Crennel his old role of defensive coordinator and add to that an assistant head coach title. Crennel would bring his obvious knowledge of the system and excellent defensive scheming/coaching ability to a defense really without a true leader. Bill Belichick is pulled in many directions as head coach and Matt Patricia, who is calling the plays, does not have the title of defensive coordinator.
If Crennel can fix a defense that is last in the league and as porous as a screen door, that would be a major feather in his cap and could set him up for another head coaching gig. For the Patriots, an improved defense, even one that is in the middle of the pack, could be just enough to finally put them over the top and into another Super Bowl. Tom Brady, while still playing at an extremely high level, can’t play forever, and it would be a shame to waste these tremendous numbers he’s putting up due to a horrendous defense.
Would you welcome Romeo Crennel back with open arms?