Kansas City head coach Romeo Crennel removed himself as defensive coordinator and promoted linebackers coach Gary Gibbs to the coordinator position on Monday. In another key move, the Chiefs cut starting cornerback Stanford Routt eight games into a three-year contract.
Let’s look at what the moves mean:
Changes needed: The first thing that pops to mind is the Chiefs brass feels like it has to do some things to prove they should keep their jobs after a 1-7 start by a team that was widely expected to contend for the playoffs.
Clearly, Crennel and general manager Scott Pioli believe shakeups were needed to show they want to turn the season around. I’m just not sure these moves will make a huge difference. Cutting Routt doesn’t necessarily make the Chiefs better and giving Gibbs -- who was the defensive coordinator in New Orleans from 2006-08 -- the defense and allowing Crennel to focus on being the head coach doesn’t seem like it will be a cure-all.
Easy to second guess: Both of these moves are acts of the team admitting mistakes.
Routt, cut by Oakland in February, signed a three-year, $19 million deal shortly after being cut. The Chiefs chose Routt over keeping free-agent Brandon Carr, who ended up signing a five-year, $50 million deal with Dallas.
I believe Pioli’s thinking was that even though Carr was younger and better than Routt, they were both starting No. 2 cornerbacks and going with Routt was a better alternative because he was cheaper.
I get that premise. But by cutting Routt now, the Chiefs are admitting they made a mistake and they may have been open to keeping Carr.
Javier Arenas will replace Routt in the lineup. Now, the Chiefs will either have to go with Arenas and Jalil Brown competing for the job next year or bring in another cornerback to compete for the job.
As for Crennel, he will forever be asked why he didn’t just hire a defensive coordinator when he was given the permanent job in January. Crennel said Monday that he is making the move because it is being perceived that he is spending too much time on the defense and is neglecting the offense.
Look, Kansas City is 1-7. We’re beyond perception. It’s all reality. If Crennel is kept in 2013, I’m sure he will searching for a defensive coordinator. Of course, if the Chiefs’ defense soars in the second half; Gibbs will likely be kept as the coordinator.
What’s next: These moves show no jobs are safe in Kansas City. Still, there isn’t a lot more that can be done.
Kansas City has already made a quarterback switch. Brady Quinn could start next Monday night at Pittsburgh if he is cleared after suffering a concussion in Week 8. Perhaps No. 3 quarterback Ricky Stanzi could get a shot if Quinn and Matt Cassel continue to struggle.
Regardless of these changes, more, perhaps drastic, moves are surely in the works after this miserable season ends.