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Q&A with Romeo Crennel 12/28

Posted Dec 28, 2011

OPENING REMARKS: “Good morning. We’re excited about the news that we received yesterday that Derrick Johnson and Tamba Hali had been elected to the Pro Bowl squad. I think it’s a good honor. Both young men have worked extremely hard during the course of the year, both in the classroom, on the practice field, and on the game field and it’s always good to be recognized by the voters and in this case it includes the fans, players and coaches and so that’s a nice reward to be one of the best at what you do. I think that both young men are very appreciative of it and they are appreciative of their teammates because they know that they can’t do it by themselves and they have to have a lot of help to make this happen. Of course everybody can’t get voted in so I’m sure there are some guys who are disappointed that maybe they weren’t chosen but I think they are happy for Derrick and Tamba as far as our team goes. But we feel good about that and I think both guys are a little similar as far as that work ethic goes even though they are playing different position. They work extremely hard and sometimes the dynamic play gets the attention and Tamba getting sacks is important and a lot of times Derrick just making tackles, sometimes that gets overlooked but I think that because of his production and the number of tackles that he made and in some of the situations where it was one-on-one in critical situations I think people recognized his ability and the way that he’s played during the course of the year. So we feel real good about those guys getting that honor and hopefully they’ll continue that as they go forward in their careers.

“Now as far as our roster is concerned, Jackie Battle got banged up in the game and he’s in a boot and we are doing x-rays, MRI’s, second opinions to try to figure out what his situation is. Right now he’s not practicing today so if I had to list him, I’d list him as doubtful and until we can get a determination from the doctors, I’ll make a determination at that time about what we need to do if anything as it related to the roster. Other than that we are trying to get ready for Denver because we know that it is a big game, it’s a division game, all of those things that we talk about and the fact that our job is to play and to win games and I think that our guys will be excited about going to play on the road, a tough place to play with a team who is playing for a lot in their minds and some people will say that they have more to play for than we have to play for but I don’t think that’s necessarily the case. So our guys, we’re going to go play, we’re going to play extremely hard, hopefully we are going to play better than we played last week and be able to make some of the plays that we left out there. That’s been the focus this morning and going forward that will be the focus to get ready for Denver.”

Q: What tangible things are you looking for in the last game?

CRENNEL: “I’m looking for great effort, I’m looking for smart players, I’m looking for physical play, I’m looking for guys who want to win. Because that’s why we play the game and so, I think our guys are prideful guys, they’ve played hard all year and we just have to play better. I talked to them about getting better this week and not saying that this is the last game of the year and that it doesn’t matter because it does matter and if we get better and we play to our capabilities we can win the game.”

  Q: There are some teams are looking at you guys to help them out and give them a chance, is that an important factor at all in preserving the integrity of the season?

CRENNEL: “No. Us winning, that preserves some integrity for us. I don’t care about those other guys. They are probably cheering for us and they want us to do good, but they can’t go play the game for us. We’re the ones who have to play the game so the things that we have on the line are what we just talked about.”

Q: When you got here two years ago, what did you find with Derrick Johnson?

CRENNEL: “I found a guy that I knew had ability and I found a guy that was going to be given a chance to compete for the job and that’s what he was told, that he would be able to compete for the job. I think he took the bull by the horns and he competed every day, did a really good job and he won the job and after winning the job he continued to try to perfect his skill at that position and became a really good player as a result of it.”

Q: How close was the competition between him and Demorrio Williams? Was it a tough call?

CRENNEL: “It was a good competition but Derrick won out and I don’t know that it was a tremendously tough call. Both guys are competitive, both guys want to win, but I thought that Derrick did a better job overall.”

Q: Has his season this year been remarkably better than last year?

CRENNEL: “I think probably overall production was better as far as number of tackles and things like that but Derrick has played consistently over the two years that he’s been the starter since I’ve been here and he’s been on the field just about every play, every snap of defense. He calls some defenses, he kind of orchestrates our adjustments out there and he’s done a really good job.”

Q: What do you have in Ricky Stanzi in your opinion?

CRENNEL: “We have a young guy who’s got a good arm, who studies the game. I think he’s improved this year just seeing him on the scout team because that’s what he kind of works; he works against our defense on the scout team. I’ve seen him improve his throwing motion, his accuracy, his command of the huddle so he’s made some progress as far as that goes but whether we see him on Sunday or not, that remains to be seen.”

Q: Does he project to be a starter or a backup in your opinion long term, any thoughts on that?

CRENNEL: “Well he hasn’t had enough reps for us to make that determination. I think going through an offseason program and a good solid training camp we will be able to make a better determination at that time.”

Q: Are you okay at running back for this game with just those two guys and maybe Le’Ron McClain as well?

CRENNEL: “You might say that you are borderline as far as your depth goes because if you lose one guy, now then you are a little tight but McClain can run the ball and has done a good job of running it and with Dexter [McCluster] and Thomas [Jones] we could probably finish the game with those guys if we had to.”

Q: Does Thomas Jones have enough in his career to carry the ball 20 times if you need him to? Can he do that effectively?

CRENNEL: “I think he can. Now how effective that he’ll be always determines on several things, his ability and the blockers ability. So if we can do a good job of blocking for him he usually does a good job of running when he can find the seam. Now if there are no seams, it’s hard for any runner to be effective.”

Q: What about Dexter McCluster at that position, are you always going to be limited because of his size and some of the things he maybe can’t do?

CRENNEL: “I think you have to be cognizant of his size and the limitations his size presents but he also brings play making ability so if you manage it well you can get a lot of good plays out of him and not expose him too much to the rigors of that position.”

Q: What are your thoughts on Jackie Battle?

CRENNEL: “I thought Jackie Battle has done a good job this year. He plays on special teams and when he’s come into the game he’s been productive because he is a big back, can make good cuts and break tackles so I think he’s brought a lot to the table at his position.”

Q: What can you tell us about the development of Brandon Bair and Jerrell Powe?

CRENNEL: “I think that they’ve also improved, but they also need playing time. Guys and under the rules this year about padded practice, lineman, they need to practice in pads to find out exactly what they can do because in shorts the contacts are not the same, the double teams are not the same and so they’ve had limited opportunities so we need to see those guys in pads so that they can learn more about the position the are playing and how they need to play that position. So I can tell you they’ve made progress, but whether they have starting ability I can’t tell you that right now.”

Q: So you have to wait until training camp?

CRENNEL: “Basically. You know when a guy doesn’t play generally the offseason and the training camp, that’s when you can see strides and development from a player. I remember when I first got here in the offseason, Tyson Jackson, I saw Tyson improve in the offseason and into training camp and then he got hurt. I think it was the first game and he kind of regressed but now Tyson has gotten back to the point where we thought he could get and he’s pretty affective. So I think the same things happens with young players that boom you can get them into you system, get them through the offseason, get them into training camp where you are nagging and you are finding out if they understand the game, if they can play with leverage, if they can separate from blocks, and those kind of things.”

Q: As an old school guy, do you sometimes feel like they are legislating football out of football?

CRENNE: [Laughter] “I can say that the game is different now than it used to be.”

Q: Do you feel that you need to change up the looks on defense than what you had the first time you played the Broncos?

CRENNEL: “I think that depends on who you have doing those jobs. If you have guys who are capable of taking the pitch, taking the quarterback and then taking the guy and if you feel good enough about the guys you have doing that then you can change it up. But if you assign somebody to the pitch who can’t catch the pitch man that’s not very good football either. So we might change up some coverages but our assignments on the dive, quarterback, and pitch probably won’t change a whole lot.”

Q: Do you sense this game is something special for Kyle Orton?

CRENNEL: “Yes, I think it is. Every player that I know wants to play good against their old team. And so he would like to play good and I’m sure he would like to win the game. And that’s what I told him this morning, I said your job is to help your team win. It’s not Kyle versus the Broncos; it’s the Chiefs versus the Broncos so I think guys have to be reminded of that sometimes.”

Q: You felt that was necessary with him in particular?

CRENNEL: “No, just any player, any player. I would have done the same with any player. Whether it was a defensive lineman, a running back, anybody playing against their old team because over my years that’s what I see. Guys getting up, getting hyped for games against their old team.”

Q: Did somebody have to talk to you about that before you guys played Cleveland last year for instance?

CRENNEL: “No, because they know I’m a level-headed guy.” [Laughter]

Q: Anyone in particular you want to campaign for that you felt like maybe should be going to Honolulu?

CRENNEL: “Nope. Because the vote is the vote and I know that over the years there have been a lot of guys who felt like they got shut out for the wrong reason but we’re not changing the vote so nope.”

Q: How close is Branden Albert to being a Pro Bowl type player?

CRENNEL: “Well, we’ve got a little work to do yet.”

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