Kansas City, Mo. — Romeo Crennel wants another chance to be a head coach in the NFL. He may have the opportunity with the Kansas City Chiefs if he can hold together a franchise in disarray over the next three weeks.
Crennel spoke Tuesday for the first time since he was appointed interim coach, telling reporters on a conference call that he wants to be considered for the permanent job in Kansas City. Crennel will lead the Chiefs through the end of the season after Todd Haley was fired on Monday.
“There were no conditions to this,” Crennel said. “I want to try to be helpful in this situation, and I knew one of the ways I could be helpful was to be the interim coach.”
Long considered one of the game’s brightest defensive minds, Crennel has spent the past two seasons as the Chiefs’ defensive coordinator, presiding over a unit that has been their biggest strength. His track record includes five Super Bowl rings as an assistant coach.
Crennel received his first chance to be a head coach in Cleveland, where he had mixed results in five seasons. He took over a moribund franchise and went 10-22 his first two years, but had the Browns on the cusp of the playoffs after finishing 10-6 in 2007. Crennel received a contract extension, but the team slipped to 4-12 the following year and Crennel was let go.
Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli said Monday that Crennel will be given the opportunity to interview for the full-time job, though he’s by no measure a certainty.
Potential candidates could include Rams offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, who worked with Pioli in New England, and Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz, who has rebuffed every overture from the NFL in recent years It’s unclear whether Pioli has even begun to formulate a wish list.
“I know the respect Romeo commands in the locker room,” Pioli said. “We talked with Romeo and I think he’s someone we’re definitely going to be talking to.”