Before the win over the Green Bay Packers, there were few voices calling for anyone currently on the current Kansas City Chiefs coaching staff to take over the position after Todd Haley. Romeo Crennel was quickly announced as the interim coach after Todd Haley was fired and every ounce of discussion among fans and in the media centered on outside candidates -- both for the good and bad. From Jeff Fisher and Josh McDaniels to Kirk Ferentz and Marty Schottenheimer, the assumption was that Scott Pioli would bring in fresh blood.
Funny how much changes within a single week. Not only is Romeo Crennel publicly stating his own aspirations to remove the "interim" tag from his title, but his players want him as well. From the Gatorade bath to the emotional locker room afterward, it's hard to ignore the love that Crennel clearly receives from his players.
Tamba Hali said yesterday, "I think anybody on this team would agree with me, if we can keep Romeo as our head coach here it would be great. We love what he does and his game plan and as you can see what happened on Sunday, he was able to control the clock along with our quarterback and that’s something we haven’t been able to do here in a long time is control the clock. Now to win games."
The question now is whether or not general manager Scott Pioli has been backed into a corner. If the Chiefs win out or even two of their last three, it's clear that Crennel has the locker room. He also has the Chiefs highlight moment of the season under his cap with the win over the Green Bay Packers. If Pioli wanted to bring in someone new, he would have a serious sales job ahead of him with the roster and the Chiefs fan base.
If anything, it seems fans are open to someone other than Crennel in the head coaching spot as long as it doesn't cost Crennel a spot on the coaching staff. Yet what head coach wants to be neutered from the outset by being told who is going to remain on his staff and who will not? Names like Jon Gruden or Bill Cowher are already being disqualified from Kansas City in the media because they will want more control than a GM like Pioli will give them. If Pioli also demands a defensive coordinator remain in place, that might keep others from taking the job as well.
Yet it's hard to see Pioli letting Crennel outright leave the team after the job he's done and the public approval he's received so far. It's almost as if his choice for interim head coach has backed him into a corner he might not be able to walk away from. Unless Pioli was hoping for Crennel in the job in the first place as a long-term possibility, the interim tag might come back to bite him.