A day after announcing he’d finalized his first coaching staff in Kansas City, Chiefs head coach Romeo Crennel sat down to discuss the team’s newest assistant coaches.
Crennel said he encountered a few obstacles during the five-week search, but ended the process pleased with the final results. In addition to Crennel, the Chiefs coaching staff is comprised seven offensive assistants, five defensive assistants, two special teams coaches and two strength and conditioning experts.
Five staff members were added, one was promoted and 10 were retained.
“I think that it’s a good group; they’re good teachers,” Crennel said. “They’re going to be hard workers, good football people and there will be good staff cohesiveness and we’ll be able to translate that to the players in the locker room and on to the field.”
Of the 10 staff members who retained their same role from last season, just three were from the offensive side of the football.
Crennel left his defensive staff status quo, hinting that he’ll lean on linebackers coach Gary Gibbs and defensive backs coach Emmitt Thomas to help balance the demands of serving as both head coach and defensive coordinator.
“They are experienced coaches, veteran coaches, that when I’m not able to be there I know that things will go along in the right direction and in the right manner,” Crennel said.
Here’s what Crennel had to say about some of his newest staff members …
Offensive Coordinator Brian Daboll
In his introduction to the Kansas City media last week, Daboll described his offensive philosophy as “attacking” and “up-tempo.” He’s expected to bring his own style to Kansas City, which will require some adjustments for returning veterans.
“I think that there is going to be some change because Brian has some different terms than he used to have, because he’s been in a couple different systems now,” Crennel said. “They’re going to have to learn some new terminology.
“I don’t think the transition will be a very long transition because we’re going to have an offseason that we can work on it and OTAs and mini-camp and then going into training camp. Any time you have to learn something new, there is a curve, but I don’t think it will be a big, major curve.”
Wide Receivers Coach Nick Sirianni
Crennel promoted Sirianni from offensive quality control coach to wide receivers coach. An original member of Todd Haley’s first staff, Sirianni spent three seasons in a quality control capacity. He was the staff’s lone in-house promotion.
“Nick is a hard-working young man,” Crennel said. “He works extremely hard and he is smart. He’s a sharp guy and he kind of reminds me of some other young guys that I’ve worked with in the past who have been able to elevate themselves in this profession and do a good job, and I think Nick kind of falls into that category.
“For the two years I’ve worked with him, I’ve been impressed with what he brings to the table, what he has done in the press box on game day, and I think that he’ll do a good job with the receivers.”
Offensive Line Coach Jack Bicknell, Jr.
Crennel interviewed several candidates for the offensive line job after Bill Muir announced his retirement earlier this month. Bicknell won his interview and, ultimately, the job.
“I interviewed several offensive line coaches and Jack came in and impressed us,” Crennel said. “We liked the way that he interacted with us. We felt like we could work with him. He played the offensive line, he’s coached offensive line and most recently he was with the Giants, and I like what the Giants do on offense with the running game and how they have been able to protect Eli [Manning].”
Offensive Quality Control Coach Jim Bob Cooter
Cooter became available when Jim Caldwell’s staff was let go in Indianapolis earlier this off-season. Crennel liked Cooter’s background as a college quarterback and the recommendations he received.
“Cooter is a guy that as we were going through the interview process, his name kept coming up to us,” Crennel said. “So we decided that we were going to investigate ourselves and found out that he was highly thought of and a smart guy.
“He worked with quarterbacks, played quarterback, so we felt like that would be a help to us that we could get a sharp young guy like that and develop him and bring him along.”
Special Teams Coach Tom McMahon
Crennel touched on his reasoning for hiring McMahon and overhauling the special teams staff.
The contract of Steve Hoffman was not renewed this off-season by Crennel. Hoffman had led the team’s special teams efforts the past three seasons and has since joined Dennis Allen’s new staff in Oakland.
Kansas City saw success in the kicking game last season, but struggled with coverage and protection.
“As we looked at it, there were some inconsistencies that occurred in all phases of the game and we would like to be more consistent all across the board,” Crennel explained.
“We would like more out of the return game, more out of the coverage unit and then more out of the kick unit that puts points on the board. If we can do a better job all the way around, I think that’s going to be helpful to us.”
Special Teams Quality Control Coach Derius Swinton
Swinton worked for McMahon in St. Louis and impressed Crennel with his football aptitude
“This Swinton kid, I interviewed him and he’s a sharp young man and I think that when you get a chance to meet him that you’ll be impressed,” Crennel said.