Crennel takes over one of the worst defensive units in the NFL (statistically speaking) that hasn't had many changes from 2009 to 2010. The safety positions are a new look but after that everything could be pretty darn similar to the 2009 starting lineup.
As we've said more than a few times, the Chiefs are banking on the improvement of the guys already in-house and a large part of that improvement will come from Crennel. He says one of the tasks at hand will be the run defense.
"We're going to try to emphasize not letting them run the ball on us," he said. "If we can stop the run, that will help the passing game as well, with the pass rush and everything. That's one of the things we're going to focus on and we've been talking about."
Their first opportunity comes Friday night against Atlanta for the first preseason game.
"With the preseason games coming up i think we'll begin to find out more about this team, who we have, who can do what and how we need to fit them together to give them the best chance.
As for what they're looking for specifically, Crennel says, "Guys who will hit, who will tackle, have great effort to the football and play the technique the way we teach the technique and those guys will give us the best chance."
Sounds like Todd Haley, no? You can tell these guys have had a Bill Parcells influence.
Arguably the biggest problem facing Crennel and the Chiefs defense is the pass rush. The Chiefs have been miserable in that department with a NFL record-low 10 sacks in 2008 and a still miserable 22 sacks in 2009.
"If everybody does their job, I think we can be effective in the passing game," Crennel says. "Only time will tell how effective that can be. We're going to try to put pressure on the quarterback to make some things happen and hopefully we'll get him on the ground more than they're standing up."
Test No. 1: Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons.