Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

31 Dec 2012

Chiefs Fire Crennel, Keep Pioli

Per Adam Schefter, the sword shall only come down on Crennel in Kansas City.

Because it's Romeo Crennel's fault that Matt Cassel was given a huge contract and four years to prove himself worthy of it. Because Romeo Crennel drafted Tyson Jackson third overall, spent a second-round pick on a hybrid player who has no NFL role, and drafted a first-round wideout who's most notable for getting in a fight with then-teammate Thomas Jones on the practice field.

That's not to say that Crennel is great shakes as a coach (he's not) or that he didn't deserve to get fired (he didn't have a lot to work with, but the Chiefs' inability to feed Jamaal Charles in some games this season bordered on pathologically bizarre), but the main reason the Chiefs are where they are is a lack of talent. And oh by the way, their best players -- Charles, Tamba Hali, Brandon Flowers, Derrick Johnson, and everybody else not named Eric Berry or Justin Houston -- were drafted by the previous regime.

Posted by: Rivers McCown on 31 Dec 2012

17 comments, Last at 03 Jan 2013, 4:34pm by DavidL


by drobviousso :: Mon, 12/31/2012 - 11:59am

Sounds reasonable....

by RickD :: Mon, 12/31/2012 - 12:07pm

I think it's clear that Romeo isn't HC caliber. Love the guy as a D-con.

Chiefs' fans are not going to be happy that Pioli is staying on.

by mkosteva@gmail.com :: Mon, 12/31/2012 - 12:19pm

Hey, you can't argue with 5 pro bowl selections..

...oh wait, you totally can.

by In_Belichick_We... :: Mon, 12/31/2012 - 12:22pm

"Because it's Romeo Crennel's fault that Matt Cassel was given a huge contract and four years to prove himself worthy of it."

Cassel was reasonably successful in New England. When is the problem coaching and not the player?
None of the KC/Cassel coaches had previous success as a head coach in the NFL.
Cassel had some success in New England.
There isn't much evidence but it would be silly to completely ignore it.

Not to mention that this doesn't mean Pioli is safe.
If I were an NFL owner or president, I'd allow the GM to present his plan going forward before I gave him the axe.

by sundown (not verified) :: Mon, 12/31/2012 - 12:56pm

Cassel was good in KC the year Weis ran the offense, too.

But you lost me with the "he should be able to present his plan" bit on Pioli. This is the third time he's fired a coach since taking over as GM in 2009--and two of them were coaches he hand-picked. How many separate plans does he get to present and have fail before it becomes clear he's the problem?

by In_Belichick_We... :: Mon, 12/31/2012 - 1:06pm

Presenting the plan does not equate to continued employment.
People learn from their mistakes. If somebody I employ has earned termination for underperformance, I would discuss it with them first: What do they think the problem is and how do they plan to fix it.
This does not mean they will keep the job.

by jackiel :: Mon, 12/31/2012 - 1:46pm

I assume that these conversations occur throughout the year.

Pioli should be gone because it is clear that his plan isn't working. Even if ownership wants to be fiscally responsible, I doubt that they want the team to be non-competitive, especially when the owner is the scion of one of the AFL founders (i.e. there's no financial reason why the team needs to be penny pinchers).

His NE retreads haven't panned out, the overall talent level hasn't improved, he's whiffed big time at the top of the draft, and the work environment seems crappy (the animosity between him and Hailey--the coach he hired--was bizarre). I have no idea why Pioli was allowed to stay.

by justanothersteve :: Mon, 12/31/2012 - 8:54pm

Well, the plan is to draft future Hall of Fame QB in later rounds. The problem is the only QB he's drafted is Ricky Stanzi.

by DavidL :: Thu, 01/03/2013 - 4:34pm

Well, it wouldn't do to have a quarterback controversy.

by Piolihasbeenadufus (not verified) :: Tue, 01/01/2013 - 4:54pm

Who hired all those coaches?

by mehlLageman56 (not verified) :: Mon, 12/31/2012 - 2:03pm

Damnit! I want him in New York, so the reporters get no quotes for the entire year! This has got to happen!

by mehlLageman56 (not verified) :: Mon, 12/31/2012 - 2:05pm

To be a little more serious about it, Pioli is a paranoid control freak, even more than Belichick, and that's pretty much explains what happened with Haley.

by mrh :: Mon, 12/31/2012 - 3:17pm

Paraphrasing the this AM's KC Star, Pioli inherited a 2-14 team and in four years turned it into a 2-14 team. Not a strong resume bullet.

by dryheat :: Mon, 12/31/2012 - 5:49pm

Wow. Put that way, I think he clearly needs to go.

by Gus (not verified) :: Mon, 12/31/2012 - 6:12pm

On top of everything else crappy about that, that also made me feel old.

by commercial electrical testing (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2013 - 10:52am

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by TomC :: Wed, 01/02/2013 - 11:24pm

As usual, commercial electrical testing (not verified) nails it.