A friend of mine and I have a longstanding joke. It’s a football coach giving his team a pregame motivational talk and stressing how there’s going to ebbs and flows, peaks and valleys, but if they stick to the plan they’ll prevail in the end. Then the first play of the game goes awry and the coach immediately screams “Scrap the game plan!” I thought of that when I heard the reports surface out of Kansas City Chiefs’ headquarters that head coach Romeo Crennel was considering drastic changes in light of consecutive bad preseason games.
The changes Crennel had in mind were hardly cosmetic—removing himself as defensive coordinator and unspecified makeovers of the offensive and defensive game plans. Nor is that the “we need to get focused” motivational call. Thankfully recent days seemed to have calmed the head coach down a bit, but he’s still far more out of sorts than he should be.
Crennel has gone on to say that Thursday’s preseason finale against the Green Bay Packers will be treated with urgency, thus making Kansas City perhaps the only team in the NFL to have underlined August 30 as a must-win game. After the injury disaster that hit the Chiefs a year ago at this time, one would think the head coach would be reasonably happy to just having gotten through these games in decent medical shape.
I don’t mean to downplay the terrible performance the Chiefs turned in Friday against the Seattle Seahawks or the shaky outing they delivered against the St. Louis Rams. But it’s August! Kansas City is still working new personnel into its offensive line, they are still working key players back from serious injuries and…well again…It’s August!
Maybe Crennel’s words were chosen as a shakeup for the team—to send a message without actually planning on radical strategic changes. If so, then all’s good. But if the boss was really thinking along the lines that’s a cause for concern. Football is here until the end of December at least and there’s no room for hitting the panic button on the last week of August.
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