St. Joseph, Mo. – The decision isn’t an easy one to make for Romeo Crennel. On one hand, he can play his starters for some significant minutes during Friday’s preseason opener against the Arizona Cardinals. On the other hand, he knows that he’s risking his marquee players for the games that count with each extra minute they play for.
But that quandary will fall solely on the shoulders of Crennel. And in the meantime, he expects his starters to prepare like they’re taking on the Falcons in Week One of the regular season, not the Cardinals in Week One of the preseason.
“I told them to be ready to play however long I needed them,” said Crennel in his Wednesday press conference. “I didn’t know how long that might be, and I told them the only consideration would be that if there was someone who might have a little nagging injury or something like that, I may take that into consideration and not give them as much playing time. I want them to get ready to play. I don’t want them going into the game thinking, ‘OK, I’m going to come out after the first quarter or I’m going to only play a series.’ Just be ready to play and we’ll see how long it is.”
Even the slightest amount of playing time is a good sign for some starters. Crennel said earlier this week that
Crennel said Flowers, Bannon, and the rest of the injured players won’t be brought along faster in order to get them some preseason snaps.
“When the trainer tells me that they can practice, then they’ll practice,” said Crennel. “But, if you don’t practice, it’s hard to play in the game because you’ve missed that time. So, when the trainer says these guys can practice, then we’ll practice them. And, if they cannot practice before the game, chances of them playing in the game are not great.”
The first preseason game is getting closer, and that means Romeo Crennel is approaching his own mini-milestone.
Friday will mark the first game Crennel will coach as the full-time head coach of the Chiefs. He led the team for the final three games of the 2011 season after acting as the defensive coordinator for the previous 13, but it was as an interim coach only.
His last game was with the Cleveland Browns on Dec. 28, 2008 against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Crennel, a 31-year NFL veteran, is still the teams’ defensive coordinator. But he credited the flexibility of his defensive coaching staff with letting him focus on the offensive side of the ball as well.
“I think it’s coming along pretty well,” said Crennel. “I’ve got good help, and that’s the thing that allows me to try and take on both roles. (Secondary coach) Emmitt Thomas, (linebackers coach) Gary Gibbs, (defensive line coach) Anthony Pleasant, (defensive assistant) Adam Zimmer, (defensive quality control coach) Otis Smith – those guys do a tremendous job, and I have faith in them. If I’m not there, they can get it done. ”
Take Five: Quick Hitters from Wednesday’s Practice:
1. Flowers (foot) was held out of practice again.
2. Defensive back
4. A big collision occurred when
5. Two big back-to-back runs from