One of the major reasons why there is renewed optimism around the Kansas City Chiefs is because of the tremendous upgrade at head coach with the hiring of Andy Reid. While Romeo Crennel was considered by all accounts to be a good guy, his ability to coach a modern football team proved to be non-existent in his one year as Chiefs head coach.
Not only was Crennel terrible with the Chiefs but he also struggled to win games as the head man for the Cleveland Browns. His poor production in his five years of head coaching in the NFL led Deadspin to rank him as one of the top 16 worst head coaches of the modern era.
Crennel coached five full seasons on his own with the Browns and the Chiefs. He lost at least 10 games in four of them, and his face assumed the expression of a man eternally on the cusp of a deep, existential wince.
Crennel was 28-55 as a head coach for the Browns and Chiefs, and lost at least 12 games in three of the five full seasons he was a head coach. Part of his problem was he was never able to develop and/or acquire a reasonable starting quarterback. The list of quarterbacks to start for Crennel leads one to think Matt Cassel should be in the Hall of Fame.
All of those quarterbacks started at least one game for Crennel over the course of the 83 games was the active head coach. That’s going to lead to a lot of losses, folks.
Still, the point of this is a little less about how bad Crennel was as a head coach but how much the quality of coaching should improve for the Chiefs in 2013. Reid was listed as the 10th best coach in the NFL right now in Elliot Harrison’s NFL Head Coach Power Rankings on NFL.com, siting his five NFC title games and Super Bowl appearance. In the 14 years Reid has been a head coach he has lost 10 or more games in a season three times – or one less than Crennel did in five seasons as a head coach. In fact, Reid has won 10 or more games in a season eight times, and has had just two losing seasons since 2000.
Everyone around the NFL likes to comment on how good the Chiefs roster is, especially at the top. If those assertions turn out to be true and the Chiefs have upgraded from the 11th worst head coach in modern football to the 10th best active coach in the NFL then the Chiefs should be making a dramatic turnaround in 2013.