Houston Texans DC Romeo Crennel was less than complimentary while describing the state of the weapons on the New England Patriots offense.
It’s never a good idea to provide the New England Patriots with any bulletin board material or extra motivation leading into a game. They’re simply too good of a football team as is without any of that added juice; give it to them, and the Patriots could come out guns blazing.
Romeo Crennel of all people should know better.
The 72-year-old football mind has been either defensive coordinator or assistant head coach (or both at the same time, like he is now) for the Houston Texans under Bill O’Brien since 2014. Before that, Crennel was the New England defensive coordinator under Bill Belichick from 2001-2004, overseeing the early days of the Patriots dynasty and supervising terrific defensive players like Rodney Harrison, Ty Law, Richard Seymour, Mike Vrabel, and others.
All of this is to say, there’s really no good excuse or reason why Crennel would or should be the person giving any kind of sound byte to the media that could possibly be used against him in a meaningful NFL game. But that’s exactly what may have happened this week, thanks to Crennel speaking candidly – perhaps too candidly – to USA Today’s Avery Duncan over at Texans Wire.
Asked about the Patriots’ limitations offensively, Crennel could have rerouted the conversation instead and praised his opponent, as we’ve seen Belichick do time and time again. Instead, Crennel was blunt in his assessment of the weapons surrounding Tom Brady this season.
"“Well, Edelman, he’s himself, he’s kind of special. Dorsett has speed, Sanu has some size and can make catches. So, he’s (Tom Brady) got guys. I don’t think that’s — when you look at it overall, he doesn’t have the guy — he doesn’t have Randy Moss. I think that that’s what he would like to have, if he could get that ability, that playmaking style, because that’s kind of what he’s used to.”"
Crennel’s not entirely wrong. Any team – and any quarterback – in the world would be thrilled to have a guy like Randy Moss on the roster. Obviously the Patriots miss a player like Rob Gronkowski, too, just as they miss Antonio Brown… even though Brown wasn’t on the roster for very long at all.
Claiming that Brady doesn’t have “the guy” this year though is a bit disrespectful to Edelman, in particular. Many people could argue that Edelman has been more of “the guy” over the past few years for Brady than Gronkowski even, and Edelman is also having a career year for the Patriots in Gronk’s absence this season.
“Jules” currently has 76 receptions on 112 targets for 809 yards and four touchdowns through 11 games of action. Barring injury, he’s well on his way to setting new career highs for himself in every major receiving category except for touchdowns this season. As of now, Edelman is on pace for 110 catches, 162 targets, 1,176 yards, and 5.8 touchdowns.
Additionally, dumbing down Brady’s other receivers to a simple skill or two each probably isn’t going to go over well with the players in question. Phillip Dorsett obviously has a lot more than just “speed” going for him. Crennel saying that Sanu “has some size and can make catches” also seems to be a gross oversimplification of the ex-Falcon’s abilities.
Hopefully the New England receiver group is taking notice of Crennel’s less-than-stellar assessment of them, and they all come out hungry and motivated to make a difference Sunday night against the Texans and their porous pass defense. It’s up to these Patriots pass-catchers to make Crennel eat his words and re-evaluate them.