2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Chiefs fire Crennel, make no move on GM Pioli

By DAVE SKRETTA - AP Sports Writer
    2012-12-31 10:24

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Kansas City Chiefs fired coach Romeo Crennel on Monday, but made no move on embattled general manager Scott Pioli despite a 2-14 season marked by blowout losses, fan rebellion and a murder-suicide involving one of their players.

Crennel was fired after one full season as coach, and one day after Kansas City matched the fewest wins in franchise history with an embarrassing 38-3 loss to the Denver Broncos.

``I am embarrassed by the poor product we gave our fans this season, and I believe we have no choice but to move the franchise in a different direction,'' Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt said in a statement. ``I will immediately begin the search for the next head coach of the Chiefs. The entire football operation will remain under review and there may be additional changes to come.''

Hunt said that ``no final determination has been made'' about Pioli's future.

The Chiefs' only victories this season came against New Orleans and Carolina, the latter coming one day after linebacker Jovan Belcher shot his girlfriend to death and then drove to the team's practice facility and turned the gun on himself as Crennel and Pioli looked on.

Crennel seemed to know the end was coming Sunday night when he was asked to defend his job and said, ``If your criteria is wins and losses, there's not much defense.''

Kansas City will have the No. 1 pick in the draft after the most disappointing season in its 53-year history. The only other time the Chiefs finished 2-14 was 2008, the year before Pioli was hired. They were 2-12 in 1977, the only other time they've failed to win at least three games.

``Words can't describe it, to be honest with you,'' cornerback Brandon Flowers said. ``We have to do the best we can to block this out and start from scratch next year.''

With five players voted to the Pro Bowl last week, there are certainly pieces in place for the Chiefs to make rapid improvement. But four of them were inherited by Pioli's regime, and that haul of Pro Bowl players may have been Crennel's biggest indictment.

The only other teams with at least five players voted to the all-star game made the playoffs.

The Chiefs' inept offense managed 18 touchdowns in 16 games, finished minus-24 in turnover ratio and lost nine times by two touchdowns or more. Along the way, they broke an 83-year-old NFL record by not holding a lead in regulation until their ninth game.

Crennel, whose career record as a head coach is 28-55, was hired in 2010 to be the Chiefs' defensive coordinator. Respected by his players, he was appointed interim coach last December when Pioli fired Todd Haley with three games left in the season.

Crennel immediately brought a sense of stability to a floundering franchise, defeating the previously unbeaten Green Bay Packers and winning at Denver in the season finale - after which, players spontaneously started chanting his name in the visiting locker room.

``That's my guy. Everybody knows that,'' defensive tackle Shaun Smith said. ``That's not only my coach, that's my role model. My father figure. We don't just talk football, we talk life.''

With the support of the players, Pioli made Crennel the permanent coach a few weeks later, giving him another opportunity as a head coach after going 24-40 in four seasons with the Browns.

The season wound up being a disappointment from the start.

The Chiefs were blown out by the Falcons in their opener, trounced on the road by the Bills and needed an 18-point comeback to force overtime in their win over the Saints.

Then a stretch of eight consecutive defeats.

Empty seats began to multiply at Arrowhead Stadium, once one of the most intimidating venues in the NFL. An organized fan rebellion paid for banners to be towed behind airplanes asking for Pioli to be fired, and the majority of fans dressed in black for a home game against Cincinnati.

Nothing Crennel did seemed to work, either.

He began the season as the defensive coordinator, but fired himself and turned those duties over to linebackers coach Gary Gibbs. He benched Matt Cassel, in the fourth year of a $63 million contract, and went with Brady Quinn, who played just as poorly the rest of the season.

Injuries were numerous, turnovers plentiful, penalties crippling and blown assignments became the hallmark of a team that was rarely in games into the fourth quarter.

Then came the morning of Dec. 1, when tragedy struck.

Belcher, a part-time starter, shot the mother of his 3-month-old daughter, Kasandra Perkins, multiple times at a home not far from Arrowhead Stadium. The linebacker then sped to the team's practice facility and was confronted by Pioli, who tried to talk him out of more violence.

After thanking Pioli and Crennel for his chance in the NFL, Belcher shot himself in the head.

The Chiefs played the following day against Carolina, and Crennel was praised for the way he stoically led a team in turmoil. Kansas City put together its best performance in a 27-21 victory.

It wound up being their last win, though.

The Chiefs were blown out by Cleveland, shut out by Oakland and beaten by the Colts before an embarrassing season finale against the Broncos.

It was enough to finish Crennel, and enough to put Pioli's future in jeopardy.

``I want our fans to know that I will do everything I can to provide them a dramatically better team,'' Hunt said, ``both next season and in the seasons to come.''

---

Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Branden OliverSep 22 09:14a

With injuries to both RB Ryan Mathews (knee) and Danny Woodhead (ankle/leg), RB Branden Oliver could see more playing time going forward with the San Diego Chargers.

Eddie LacySep 22 09:13a

Green Bay Packers RB Eddie Lacy had five of 11 carries Sunday, Sept. 21, go for no gain or negative yardage. Lacy acknowledged defenses may know how to contain [ More ]

Jonathan GoodwinSep 22 06:42a

New Orleans Saints C Jonathan Goodwin (leg) left the game Sunday, Sept. 21 after suffering a left leg injury. He was carted off the field and was later seen [ More ]

Tyvon BranchSep 22 06:32a

Oakland Raiders SS Tyvon Branch (foot) sustained a fractured foot during his team's 16-9 loss to the New England Patriots on Sunday, Sept. 21. His status for future weeks has not been determined.

Rod StreaterSep 22 06:13a

Oakland Raiders WR Rod Streater (foot) suffered a fractured foot during his team's 16-9 loss to the New England Patriots Sunday, Sept. 21. Streater was wearing a walking boot [ More ]

Deonte ThompsonSep 22 05:53a

The Baltimore Ravens waived WR Deonte Thompson on Saturday, Sept. 20 in order to promote RB Fitzgerald Toussaint from the practice squad, but Thompson could stick with the team [ More ]

Marvin JonesSep 21 11:53p

Cincinnati Bengals WR Marvin Jones (foot) is expected to be healthy enough to return in Week 5 after the team's bye.

Rex BurkheadSep 21 11:53p

Cincinnati Bengals RB Rex Burkhead (knee) and LB Sean Porter (hamstring) are likely to be healthy enough to return after the team's bye in Week 4, head coach Marvin Lewis said Sunday, Sept. 21.

Ike TaylorSep 21 10:42p

Pittsburgh Steelers CB Ike Taylor (arm) suffered an apparent right arm injury in the third quarter of the Week 3 game against the Carolina Panthers. He was placed in [ More ]

Adrian PetersonSep 21 10:12p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson wants his representation to accelerate his trial date for child-abuse charges, with the goal of getting it set for 2014, according to a source [ More ]

Keenan AllenSep 21 09:42p

San Diego Chargers WR Keenan Allen (groin) was able to play in Week 3 against the Buffalo Bills, but he managed just two catches for 17 yards and he [ More ]

Jordan CameronSep 21 09:42p

Cleveland Browns TE Jordan Cameron (shoulder) was able to play in the Week 3 game against the Baltimore Ravens. He was limited to just one target, and that was good for a 43-yard reception.

Dez BryantSep 21 09:42p

Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant (shoulder) was able to start in Week 1 against the St. Louis Rams, posting team highs with six catches, 89 yards, seven targets and a touchdown.

Antonio GatesSep 21 09:42p

San Diego Chargers TE Antonio Gates (hamstring) was able to play in Week 3 against the Buffalo Bills, but he was limited to just one reception for eight yards.

Toby GerhartSep 21 08:32p

Jacksonville Jaguars RB Toby Gerhart (ankle) was able to play in the Week 3 game against the Indianapolis Colts. Gerhart posted 32 rushing yards on nine runs, and he [ More ]

Cecil Shorts IIISep 21 08:32p

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Cecil Shorts III (hamstring) was able to play in Week 3 against the Indianapolis Colts. He had five receptions for 35 yards with a touchdown, and [ More ]

Sammy WatkinsSep 21 08:32p

Buffalo Bills WR Sammy Watkins (ribs) was able to play in Week 3 against the San Diego Chargers, but he was limited to just two receptions and 19 yards. He was targeted eight times.

A.J. GreenSep 21 08:12p

Cincinnati Bengals WR A.J. Green (toe) was able to start in Week 3 against the Tennessee Titans, and he finished with six receptions for 102 yards and he was targeted a team-high nine times.

Andre EllingtonSep 21 08:12p

Arizona Cardinals RB Andre Ellington (foot) carried 18 times for 62 yards in the Week 3 game against the San Francisco 49ers, and he added three receptions for 13 yards.

Nate FreeseSep 21 08:02p

Detroit Lions PK Nate Freese misfired on a 41-yard field goal attempt in the Week 3 game against the Green Bay Packers, and he is 0-for-4 from beyond 40 [ More ]

Tre BostonSep 21 07:52p

The Carolina Panthers have declared OG Andrew Norwell, OT David Foucault, RB DeAngelo Williams, RB Fozzy Whittaker, WR Jerricho Cotchery, QB Joe Webb, SS Tre Boston inactive for Week 3.

DeAngelo WilliamsSep 21 07:42p

The Carolina Panthers have declared OG Andrew Norwell, RB DeAngelo Williams, OT Garry Williams, DL Greg Hardy, LB Jason Williams, QB Joe Webb, SS Tre Boston inactive for Week 3.

DeAngelo WilliamsSep 21 07:42p

Carolina Panthers RB DeAngelo Williams (thigh) is inactive for the Week 3 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

B.W. WebbSep 21 07:42p

The Pittsburgh Steelers have declared CB B.W. Webb, DT Daniel McCullers, RB Dri Archer, QB Landry Jones, WR Martavis Bryant, OG Ramon Foster, OG Wesley Johnson inactive for Week 3.

L. TaliaferroSep 21 07:23p

Baltimore Ravens RB Lorenzo Taliaferro carried a game-high 18 times for 91 yards and a touchdown in Week 3 against the Cleveland Browns. He was subbing for the injured RB Bernard Pierce (thigh).

Chris WilliamsSep 21 07:12p

Updating a previous report, Buffalo Bills WR Marcus Easley (knee), SS Da'Norris Searcy (ankle) and OG Chris Williams (back) were each unable to return after leaving the Week 3 [ More ]

Nick NovakSep 21 07:12p

San Diego Chargers PK Nick Novak made a pair of field goals and he had two extra points in the Week 3 game against the Buffalo Bills. He has [ More ]

Danny WoodheadSep 21 06:42p

San Diego Chargers RB Danny Woodhead (ankle, leg) suffered a severe high ankle sprain and fractured fibula in the Week 3 game against the Buffalo Bills. A source said [ More ]

Dennis PittaSep 21 06:42p

Baltimore Ravens TE Dennis Pitta (hip) suffered a dislocated hip in the Week 3 game against the Cleveland Browns. He will have tests Monday, Sept. 22, to check for a possible fracture.

T Y HiltonSep 21 06:42p

Indianapolis Colts WR T.Y. Hilton (ankle) left the Week 3 game against the Jacksonville Jaguars due to an ankle injury. Head coach Chuck Pagano said Sunday, Sept. 21, that [ More ]

Jake LockerSep 21 06:23p

Tennessee Titans QB Jake Locker remains the starting quarterback, and head coach Ken Whisenhunt said Sunday, Sept. 21, that he never considered benching Locker despite a lopsided loss in [ More ]

Matt CasselSep 21 05:52p

Minnesota Vikings QB Matt Cassel (foot) has several fractured bones in his foot, head coach Mike Zimmer said Sunday, Sept. 21, after the Week 3 game against the New Orleans Saints.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group