Romeo Crennel Threatens to Bench Players for Turnovers, and Other AFC West News

Christopher Hansen@ChrisHansenNFLNFL AnalystNovember 9, 2012

ORCHARD PARK, NY - SEPTEMBER 16: Matt Cassel #7 of the Kansas City Chiefs fumbles the ball after being tackled by Alex Carrington #92 of the Buffalo Bills in an NFL game at Ralph Wilson Stadium on September 16, 2012 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

The daily links have been dominated by the 1-7 Kansas City Chiefs, and it’s not because there's nothing interesting going on in Oakland, Denver or San Diego. The Chiefs make headlines just about every day, which is something the good teams only like to do on Monday.

If it’s not the quarterback being booed or benched, it’s a quarterback playing with a concussion, or head coach Romeo Crennel saying he doesn’t know why his star player wasn't used properly.

A 1-7 record is bad, the Chiefs are bad, but in a lot of ways the way it’s all been handled by the organization has been worse. According to the Kansas City Star’s Randy Covitz via Twitter, Crennel said the next player to turn the ball over will earn a seat on the bench.

Given that quarterback Matt Cassel is averaging over two turnovers per game, the only way for Crennel to follow through on his threat is to play quarterback Ricky Stanzi.

But what if Stanzi turns it over too? Will the Chiefs shift to the Wildcat offense on a full-time basis? What if Dexter McCluster or Jamaal Charles fumbles? Dwayne Bowe?

Crennel is making threats he can’t possibly keep in hopes that his team will stop turning the ball over. Of course, this threat just puts more pressure on the players and makes them think about not turning the ball over more than they do about executing the play correctly. Will Crennel instantly assign blame for an interception when it isn’t clear if the receiver or the quarterback made the mistake?

I wouldn’t blame Crennel for benching Cassel for interceptions, a receiver for tipping the ball in the air or a running back that fumbles repeatedly during a game. Benching players that turnover the ball is a smart move, but as a head coach you have to use your discretion. Charles could turn the ball over once and that shouldn’t change how he is used or his playing time. A lesser player can be benched for the same error.

We all know this ends poorly for Crennel and he’s so desperate for something to go his way that he’s making hollow threats. Crennel is trying everything to get his team to perform, except for the one thing that we know works: handing the ball to Charles 25 or more times.

Todd Haley knew how to use Charles, but he was fired. As the offensive coordinator of the Pittsburgh Steelers, he gets a chance to shove a loss down the throat of general manager Scott Pioli on Sunday. According to Ray Fittipaldo of the Kansas City Star, the Steelers know that the Chiefs game is very important for Haley.


Other AFC West News


Steve Corkran of Inside Bay Area says Carson Palmer and Terrell Suggs go way back.

Jerry McDonald of the Contra Costa Times says Taiwan Jones is expected to get a chance on Sunday.



Jeff Legwold of the Denver Post says the Bronco’s underwhelming turnover margin could impede their progress.

The Broncos also continue to evaluate Tracy Porter, according to Legwold.


San Diego

Tom Krasovic of U-T San Diego says Quentin Jammer’s mended hand has returned his ability to jam receivers at the line of scrimmage.

Michael Gehlken of U-T San Diego says Ryan Mathews is looking to break off a long run.  


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