The gambling gods giveth and the gambling gods taketh away. We were given one glorious year of Romeo Crennel to line our wallets with 20s and laugh our way to the bank. We all knew coming in that it was gonna be a one year deal, but that didn’t make it any less fun. Still, the world we live in is that much more drab and empty now that he’s gone. I guess I just miss my cash cow.
You’re damn right I just used a paraphrased Shawshank quote to describe my relationship with Romeo Crennel! If you’re banking on the Chiefs to be good in 2013, which I am, you’re banking on the loss of Romeo Crennel being worth several wins by itself. If you doubt the merits of that theory, you really just don’t understand how bad Romeo Crennel is at his job.
Need proof? All you need to do is look at the past two years. The 2011 Chiefs, with Todd Haley as their coach, went 7-9. Jamaal Charles, Eric Berry and Todd Moeaki all missed almost the entire season. Several other players missed big chunks of time. Their Week 17 starting quarterback, Kyle Orton, joined the team in Week 11. Every other team in their division finished 8-8, so there weren’t many easy wins to be had.
I don’t consider Todd Haley a good coach. You don’t consider Todd Haley a good coach. Todd Haley doesn’t consider Todd Haley a good coach. Ok, Todd Haley does, but he’s an egotistical maniac. Todd Haley’s wife doesn’t consider him a good coach. There, that’s better. But despite all of the turmoil of his 2011 season, his team went 7-9 and was coming off of a season in which they won the AFC West.
Now look at the 2012 Chiefs. Everyone is back and healthy. They don’t lose a single significant free agent and add several (Eric Winston, Stanford Routt and Kevin Boss topping the list). The Raiders actively sucked (4-12) and the Chargers deceptively sucked (-153 point differential). On the surface, considering everything surrounding the team, the Chiefs should have gotten significantly better in 2012.
So what happened? They went 2-14. WTF? How is that even possible? What could he possibly have done to turn that team into the worst in the league? You’d have to do something insane like start Brady Quinn at quarterback to do that. (Pause). Wait, that’s EXACTLY what he did!
Let’s do some basic arithmetic. Forgetting about the vast difference in roster quality, Haley won seven games with this team and Crennel won two. That’s a five-game difference. Now consider that Todd Haley is a fairly bad coach and Andy Reid, buffoonery aside, is a fairly good one. Is Reid worth two more wins than Haley? I say yes.
You know exactly what you’re getting with Reid. Eight stupid challenges, 20 misused timeouts, 400 press conferences that leave you wondering how the hell this guy got a job, and a brilliantly schemed offense that never enters a game unprepared. You can forgive his utter lack of game management skills when you remember the rest of the package with him.
Say what you will about Alex Smith (my nickname for him is far too offensive to be put in print), but at the very least he’s significantly better than Bratt Quassell. When you factor in the boost he’ll get from playing under Reid (one of the five best quarterback coaches in football by any measure), you have at the very least a passable starting quarterback considering the rest of the roster.
By the way, the rest of the roster is pretty damn good. I don’t see a clear weakness anywhere on it. They have a running game (Charles), receivers (Dwayne Bowe, Moeaki), an offensive line (senseless release of Eric Winston aside), pass-rushers (Justin Houston and Tamba Hali) and a secondary (Eric Berry and Brandon Flowers).
There isn’t a unit on this roster that looks legitimately bad. They’re also fairly deep thanks to years of high draft picks and some semi-decent free agent signings, and have hit the schedule cycle jackpot drawing the AFC South and NFC East along with the Bills and Browns as their placement games.
So answer me this: how can a team with no significant weakness, a decent coach and a weak schedule suck? The answer is that they won’t.
Look at the AFC landscape this year. You’re allergic to numbers if you think the Ravens are going to come close to repeating as champs. It’s July and half of the Steelers are already out with injuries. It’s July and half of the Bengals are already in prison (I’m sorry, I couldn’t resist, let’s try that again). The Bengals employ Andy Dalton as their starting quarterback. Sleeper teams like the Dolphins and Colts really haven’t proven anything.
Tell me why I’m supposed to believe any team outside of Denver, New England or Houston is a playoff lock? Which of the above teams is honestly better than the Chiefs RIGHT NOW? I’m not sure that any of them are. I think the Chiefs are going to make the playoffs, and I’m going to win copious amounts of money when they do. Thanks for one final gift Romeo, you’re gone but not forgotten.
By: Sam Quinn