Romeo Crennel Admits Chiefs Weren’t Ready To Compete Early On Last Year, Hopes Young Receivers Can Step Up In Dwayne Bowe’s AbsenceAugust 1, 2012 – 6:00 am by Steven Cuce
Romeo Crennel shed the interim head coaching tag back in early January, which means he’s been fully entrusted to get the always-proud Chiefs franchise back to consistently winning ways. After the additions of Peyton Hillis and Kevin Boss to the Chiefs offense, Crennel is confident his team can rise up and be ready to compete at the start of the season.
It doesn’t help that Dwayne Bowe hasn’t showed to training camp yet thouhgh. Bowe, of course, is unhappy after being franchised when he refused to sign the Chiefs’ tender. The real question is whether Matt Cassel will rise to the occasion and prove that he is a franchise quarterback. Also will Jamaal Charles be the same player he was before he tore his ACL? The same goes for Tony Moeaki and Eric Berry.
Romeo Crennel joined WHB in Kansas City with Soren Petro to discuss the Kansas City Chiefs moving training camp into hotter temperatures, the Chiefs coming together as a team by battling through tough conditions in training camp, getting off to a fast start in the 2012 season, improving on weaknesses in training camp this season and the absence of Dwayne Bowe in training camp.
The decision was made to move the team’s training camp from Wisconsin to Kansas City in order to let the hometown fans get closer to the football team. The team originally trained in Wisconsin to get away from the heat. How much of a hurdle is that to get work done now in hotter temperatures?
“Well I only think it becomes a hurdle if you have constant triple digit [temperatures] and what part of the day you work? We are going to start working in the afternoon to see what it looks like and see how our guys handle it and then if need to we will adapt and adjust. I think what we will have to do is maybe give them a few more breaks during the course of practice and allow them to take their helmets off to release some of that body heat each from time-to-time. I think if we can get some work done in the heat that will bode well for us.”
Is it important to work in bad weather during training camp to get a team mentally and physically ready for the season?
“Well sometimes yes. I think that’s helpful, so that they can pull together and that’s what generally happens when you are working in bad conditions. The guys have to pull together and really become a team. I think that tough conditions make you tougher.”
How much time did your team spend in the offseason discussing what didn’t work in training camp last year and getting off to the slow start in 2011?
“Well you know what we kind of looked at it and evaluated the season and tried to figure out what are the things we need to do to improve and get better? We all had to take ownership of what happened early on and later on as the season progressed we got better and became more competitive. Our focus is to be ready to go and be competitive from the start. If we are competitive from the start I think that will help us quite a bit.”
How much did you evolve as a head coach? Do you go back to the game plan that you had in Cleveland or is this camp going to be different than what you ran with the Browns?
“Well I think every year is a little bit different, but what you have to do is you have to work with your staff and your team to see the things that you need to do and so as we look at our talent level and what we have on the team, we have to put emphasis on the things that we do well and then try to improve the things that we don’t or haven’t done as well. That will be the focus for this training camp is to improve the things we do well and then try to fix some of the same things that we haven’t done as well.
I know you addressed that Dwayne Bowe isn’t here and there is not a lot to talk about. Is there a time where it is critical for a veteran player like Dwayne Bowe to be in camp?
“Well I think that if you can have everybody here at the start of camp that’s ideal. But as you look around the NFL and guys who have been in similar situations. Some guys come in Week 1. Some guys will come Week 6 and they have still played. We’ll just have to wait until he decides to come and then we will adapt on the basis that we need to. In the mean time I hope some of these young receivers are able to take the ‘bull by the horn’ and step up and give us some good, quality work and then that gives us some more options.”