Though he’s been mindful not to change too much too quickly, Romeo Crennel continues to put his own mark on the 2011 Chiefs with small adjustments.
Crennel has made minor tweaks to the pre-practice stretching routine, meeting times and lifting schedules already. He held Friday practice at the team’s training facility rather than at Arrowhead Stadium and has been incredibly forthcoming with the injury surrounding QB
Orton, by the way, has been cleared to play and will start Sunday’s game against Green Bay.
Another change that Crennel has implemented for Sunday’s game is to send offensive coordinator Bill Muir back upstairs into the coaches’ booth.
Muir began this season in the booth, but moved down to the sideline against New England and had remained there since.
“Bill is going to call the game and he has better vision up there in being able to see more things,” Crennel said. “What I’ve found is that when you’re on the sideline you get a pulse of the team to find out how they’re feeling and how they’re reacting. You can look into a guy’s eyes and tell a little bit about him.
“But from the ability to view the game, it’s a limited view. So Bill wants a better view and he’ll go upstairs to call the game.”
Muir will call the plays and give them to quarterbacks coach Jim Zorn on the sideline, who will then relay the call to the quarterback on the field. The Chiefs used this communication system prior to Muir moving to the sideline four weeks ago.
Offensive game-planning has seen some changes this week as well.
“I’m not making any inferences, I’m just saying that with Todd (Haley) being an offensive-minded head coach he was involved in our game-planning on a significant level,” Muir said. “Obviously he’s not here, but we move on.”
In addition to serving as head coach, Crennel will continue to call defensive plays. There will be no change to the defensive play-calling structure as Crennel has always preferred to orchestrate the defense from the sideline.
“I was in the box when I was coaching in college, but I’ve been on the sideline most of my career,” Crennel said. “I just like that feeling of being able to talk to players, look them in the eyes sand get a pulse of what’s going on.”
“Nobody knows what happened,” Succop began explaining just as
Battle heard what Succop was talking about, paused, and yelled back, “I’m sorry Ryan!”
Succop wouldn’t name names, but said there was more to the three-yard kick than simply missing the football.
“I’m not saying names, but I will say that right before I hit the ball my foot got clipped and that made it very difficult to kick the ball,” Succop said.
Sure enough, replay shows Battle looping behind Succop’s approach to the football.
Some have gone on to say that Succop’s fail may have been the worst onside kick attempt in NFL history. Locally, however, Succop has gotten a free pass since he’s connected on 17 consecutive field goal attempts.
Succop’s 17 consecutive field goals tie him for the fourth-longest streak in team history. He needs four more makes to tie Nick Lowery (21) for the team’s second-longest streak.
Of his 17-straight makes, three kicks have come from 50 yards or more and only one has left Succop’s foot with doubt.
“There was one kick – it was the 49-yarder against Pittsburgh on Sunday night – where I just didn’t kick it the way that I wanted to,” Succop said. “I knew it was going to be close and to be honest I wasn’t sure if it was going to go in. At the last second it kind of tucked in there.
“That was one where I look back and think that it was certainly nice to get.”
Rodgers and Romeo
What would Romeo Crennel’s tenure in Cleveland looked like if the Browns drafted Aaron Rodgers in the first round of the 2005 NFL Draft?
Cleveland liked Rodgers, and he was there for the taking, but the Browns ultimately used the third overall pick to select WR Braylon Edwards. Many teams followed suit in passing on Rodgers that year until the Packers couldn’t help but pick the future Super Bowl winner when he fell into their lap at No. 24.
“I was fortunate to meet Romeo when I was coming out of college in 2005 and he was with the Browns,” Rodgers said. “I enjoyed our conversations and have a lot of respect for him. He’s been a coach in the league for a while and I’ve heard nothing but positive things about him and his coaching style and the players enjoy playing for him.
“I expect the Chiefs will play very hard for Romeo. At this point in the season there is a lot of pride involved and guys are playing for other motivating factors as well.”
Crennel also remembers those pre-draft discussions with Rodgers quite well.
“When you talk to quarterbacks, usually they are pretty sharp individuals and you’ll always kind of remember the demeanor that they have and how they present themselves,” Crennel said. “I always thought Aaron presented himself very professionally. You were impressed with Aaron after you spoke with him.
“Since that time, every time I see him on the field he always says hello. That’s the sign of being a good pro and a good player and a good person.”
Chiefs Injury Report
DOUBTFUL – S Jon McGraw (Ankle)
PROBABLE – CB Javier Arenas (Illness), WR Jon Baldwin (Illness), QB Kyle Orton (Right Finger)
Packers Injury Report
OUT – LB Desmond Bishop (Calf), T Chad Clifton (Hamstring/Back), WR Greg Jennings (Knee), DE Ryan Pickett (Concussion)
QUESTIONABLE – RB Brandon Saine (Concussion), G Josh Sitton (Knee), RB James Starks (Knee/Ankle)
PROBABLE – LB A.J. Hawk (Calf), LB Vic So’oto (Back)