Chiefs coach Crennel pulls team together

Associated Press  |  Last updated December 02, 2012
One day after the shocking murder-suicide involving linebacker Jovan Belcher, the Kansas Chiefs played their finest game of the season and beat Carolina 27-21. No turnovers. Just one penalty. And almost to a man Sunday, they praised the leadership of their embattled coach, Romeo Crennel. The previous day, Crennel had stood alongside general manager Scott Pioli in the Chiefs parking lot and saw Belcher put a gun to his head and pull the trigger. ''It was tough, hard on him,'' said defensive lineman Shaun Smith. ''I told him after the game I love him, because he's like my father. I could feel the pain and emotion that he was dealing with.'' Linebacker Andy Studebaker, his voice choking, said a team ''couldn't ask for a better way to lead.'' ''He provided us with a ton of perspective about leaning on each other, bracing each other,'' Studebaker said. ''He provided great leadership, great perspective in the circumstances we dealt with yesterday. I don't think you could have asked him to handle it better.'' Brady Quinn was 19 for 23 for 201 yards and two touchdowns and gave the Chiefs their best quarterback play since they won the AFC West in 2010 behind Matt Cassel. Quinn also gave Crennel credit for keeping everybody together. ''Crennel kind of said it best before the game, kind of talked to us about how Jovan played the game,'' Quinn said. ''That's how he wanted us to go out and play the game. That's the kind of emotion he wanted us to have.'' Throughout the season, as losses and misplays mounted and the Chiefs dropped 10 of their first 11 games, fan and media criticism of Crennel became relentless, even personal, and sometimes cruel. Never once has he let on that it bothered him. But this was different. Crennel admitted the pain and shock of what he had witnessed would stay with him a long time. ''Respectfully you guys and ladies, I'm choosing not to answer any questions about what I saw yesterday,'' Crennel told reporters. ''And I think you will understand that and you'll respect my wishes on that, because it wasn't a pretty sight.'' He said he knew the players would be looking to him for strength. ''I felt like I would be able to handle it, and I knew I needed to be strong for the players in that locker room and they needed to see a strong, individual leader,'' he said. While many around the town and around the league were wondering if Sunday's game would be postponed, Crennel was making the decision to carry forth. ''After talking with the captains, they also felt like it was best that we play,'' he said. ''If for no other reason it takes our mind off our misery for a few hours. That's what it did. It helped us do that.'' Crennel said he sensed a good energy in the locker room as the Chiefs were about to take the field. The win snapped an eight-game losing streak and gave the hometown fans a victory to cheer for the first time in almost a calendar year. ''It was a total team victory. I'm proud of the guys in that locker room, proud of the coaches, proud of the organization for having to deal with what we had to deal with, and be able to pull through it and show some character,'' said Crennel. ''As an organization, as a team, as players and coaches, I thought that was all very positive.''
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Popovich praises Magic, wishes him well with Lakers

Report: Andrew Bogut likely to join Cavs after buyout

Report: Broncos expected to 'at least discuss' Romo

Report: Raiders don't expect to keep Latavius Murray

Report: Josh Hamilton needs another knee operation

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Ball's father says comment about Lakers was misquoted

Revis hints he is open to taking significant pay cut

Several NBA executives have concerns about Lonzo Ball’s father

Kim Mulkey gives awful post-game speech about Baylor scandal

Bill Walton goes shirtless during ESPN broadcast to the dismay of one woman

Sanu: Halftime show played role in Super Bowl collapse

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

Box Score 2/24: A night of NBA disrespect

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

The NFL off-season is a passer’s fancy

The Aesthetic: Pushing the boundaries of the three-pointer

NBA coaches who should be fired soon

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

The NFL off-season is a passer’s fancy

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher who has recorded 10 or more shutouts in a single season

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker