Chiefs coach Crennel pulls team together

Associated Press  |  Last updated December 02, 2012
Cleveland-browns-romeo
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

Calipari got emotional watching former players as All-Stars

Report: Broncos negotiating deal with Malik Jackson

Michael Jordan wants Warriors to break Bulls record

Joe Mauer says concussions have affected his hitting

Kobe once tried to recruit Dirk Nowitzki to Lakers

Report: Broncos waiting on Manning to talk with Osweiler

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

NBA commish wants to look into hack-a-player issue

Report: Jose Fernandez has 'soured' on Marlins brass

Zach LaVine dedicates dunk contest win to Flip Saunders

Alleged Manning sexual assault cited in Tennessee lawsuit

Arian Foster: It's hard for me to watch football

Isaiah Thomas recruiting players at All-Star weekend

Strength coach gives Georgia OL reality check about weather

Country singer wears Fournette LSU jersey after losing bet

Carrie Underwood trolls Ryan Johansen for kissing stick

DeMarcus Cousins on looking angry: 'I'm an ugly dude'

WATCH: Dustin Johnson's son steals Jordan Spieth's club

Fans want Floyd Mayweather to buy their soccer team

Tennessee shares Valentines-themed photo of packed stadium

NY Post writer takes harsh shot at Jason Pierre-Paul

LaVine, Gordon put on best NBA dunk contest in years

WATCH: Thompson beats teammate Curry in 3-point contest

NFL teams, players hand out awesome Valentines

Earl Campbell ‘disappointed’ in Johnny Manziel, wants to help

Big man Karl-Anthony Towns wins NBA skills challenge

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

LaVine dedicates dunk contest win to Flip Saunders

Ranking the ten best free agent pitcher signings

Who had the best NBA All-Star Game of the last 40 years?

The winners and losers of the 2016 MLB offseason

On Kobe Bryant and taking greatness for granted

Bucks need to choose between wins, development

Fantasy booking WrestleMania 32

Unrestricted free agents each team must consider re-signing

QUIZ: Name the winners of the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

Thank you Daniel Bryan

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