It only took one year of Romeo Crennel being away from football before another team decided to bring him back. A report from Chris Mortensen over the weekend stated that the Houston Texans have interviewed Crennel to be their next defensive coordinator and that he has been offered the job.
After meeting for the first time Wednesday, Romeo Crennel and Bill O’Brien discovered they were a good match.
Crennel is committed to coach the East-West Shrine college all-star game Jan. 18, but when that task is complete, he plans to accept an offer to become O’Brien’s defensive coordinator with the Houston Texans, according to league sources.
Crennel was the Chiefs defensive coordinator in 2010 and for 13 games in 2011 before becoming the Chiefs interim head coach after Todd Haley was fired. Kansas City was 2-1 under Crennel for the final three games of 2011, including a win over the then undefeated Green Bay Packers. That would end up being the high point as the Chiefs went 2-14 in 2012, which led to Crennel being let go in favor of Andy Reid.
Mike Vrabel, a former New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs linebacker, has been hired as the team’s linebackers coach. Vrabel played under Crennel in New England, and was most recently Ohio State’s defensive line coach.
BRANDEN ALBERT RUMORS
A post on the Arizona Cardinals official website a week ago brought about speculation that the Cardinals may plan on pursing Branden Albert in free agency over the offseason.
[Arizona general manager Steve] Keim has said he will try to add a top-tier player this offseason, either through the draft or via free agency. Chiefs Pro Bowler Branden Albert may be the highest profile blind-side protector on the free agent market, and the Cardinals could make an attempt to land him.
Albert will be the best available left tackle on the market this offseason, and teams like the Carolina Panthers and Miami Dolphins in addition to the Cardinals will pursue him heavily. The question now is whether or not the Chiefs will take the risk of placing a second franchise tag on Albert and trying to trade him again like last offseason.
Good news for the Chiefs is that there are more suitors out there looking for a left tackle as opposed to one year ago, and Albert is clearly the best available tackle who is not in the draft. The problem is that a franchise tag would cost KC nearly $12 million in salary cap space, which would put the Chiefs in a serious bind with the salary cap should KC fail to trade him.
The question is whether or not John Dorsey would be willing to settle for a third round pick for Albert. That was the highest rumored off Dorsey received last spring when he tried to trade Albert. If Dorsey can’t land the second round pick he’ll likely be asking for, will Dorsey be willing to cut his losses and take the third rounder? If so, Kansas City may be in using their franchise tag again on Albert next month.
We won’t know the times and dates of KC’s schedule until later in the spring, but we do know who the Chiefs opponents will be for the 2014 season. And let’s just put it this way, there won’t be any “fraud” declarations if the Chiefs start 9-0 again.
Division games: San Diego Chargers, Oakland Raiders, Denver Broncos
AFC East games: New England Patriots, New York Jets
NFC West games: St. Louis Rams, Seattle Seahawks
2nd Place game: Tennessee Titans
Division: Chargers, Raiders, Broncos
AFC East: Buffalo Bills (again!), Miami Dolphins
NFC West: Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers
2nd Place: Pittsburgh Steelers
To recap, that’s five games against the four AFC/NFC Championship teams from 2013, seven games against a teams that made the playoffs, and 11 games against teams that finished .500 or better. Holy crap.
Sitting here in January, if the Chiefs come out of that schedule 11-5 again, I’ll be more than happy with that result. But Kansas City has a lot of work to do if they want to pull off 11 wins again.
Good news is that this is basically the same schedule everyone in the AFC West will have to face next season. And Denver’s schedule is much more difficult than the Chiefs as they’ll sub out Pittsburgh and Tennessee for the Cincinnati Bengals (road) and Indianapolis Colts (home). So things could be worse for the Chiefs.