It’s customary in the NFL for teams to view preseason Week 3 games as “dress rehearsal” time, when starters play into the third quarter, game plans are crafted for the specific opponent and halftime adjustments are made specific to that opponent—rather than just a generic running of whichever plays and defenses the coaching staff wants to work on. But the word from the Kansas City Chiefs’ training camp in St. Joseph’s MO is that head coach Romeo Crennel might not buy into that.
This wouldn’t be a question of Crennel downgrading the last two games in importance. The flip side to the Week 3 Dress Rehearsal approach is that it’s followed by a Week 4 where no one of consequence plays for any significant amount of time. The head coach sounds as willing to turn that idea on its head as he is the whole dress rehearsal idea.
Some of this may be so much posturing—Crennel wants his players to be focused on just playing the game until he tells them to come out and keeping his intentions veiled may be his way of ensuring they do just that. I understand the logic if that’s the case. I also understand if he’s skeptical of the whole dress rehearsal concept. But what I would not understand is if he exposed his starters to unnecessary hits in the preseason finale.
Kansas City lost tight end Tony Moeaki for the year late in last year’s preseason and for all the talk of refining strategies for the regular season the most important goal of August & early September is to get to Week 1 of the regular season in full health. Whatever decision Crennel makes, has to have that goal uppermost in his mind.
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