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Romeo Crennel seems confused by Jamaal Charles, offensive playcalling

After the Chiefs loss to the Raiders on Sunday, the media had questions about Jamaal Charles and the team's offense. Romeo Crennel didn't seem to have the answers himself.

Peter Aiken

It's one thing for the Chiefs to lose game after game, especially to a division rival at home. It's another thing entirely to listen to the team's head coach after the game and hear the confusion.

It's hard for me personally to find the right words, but perhaps I'm sensing a passivity in all of this. It seems that Romeo Crennel is a coach that is potentially overwhelmed by the job description. Perhaps he's at a loss to describe what is wrong -- in much the same way that Chiefs fans wonder how this collection of talent could be 1-6. But it goes beyond that.

It's common for a head coach to lament a loss -- to speak of disappointment and frustration. Not every coach is a spitfire like Al Pacino's character from Any Given Sunday. Many NFL coaches are marked by a calm, steady demeanor. But the Chiefs head coach seems one shade beyond that.

"We had a disappointing loss today," said Crennel in his opening remarks. "I thought the guys came out early on, played hard, had some energy. Then some things happened that turned the game around, and then the second half, in particular, we were unable to come back and get done the things we needed to do to win the game.

'It's unfortunate because the guys put a lot into it during the week; they practice very hard during the week," he continued. "They wanted very much to win this one, but they didn't get it done. A lot of things happened in the course of the game that you sometimes don't have any control over. You just have to go forward and do what you can from there."

There's where it starts. A few sentences of lament and then the admission that basically reads, "Well, what can we do about it? It's out of our control. Let's move on."

After six losses, you can't just keep glossing over them. Every golfer, batter or quarterback will speak about the need to forget your last swing, at-bat or throw for the sake of staying fresh. Whether good or bad, you must move on. So Crennel has a point here. But when there's been so many horrible losses, sometimes you have to feel the sting. Yet even at 1-6, Crennel wants the Chiefs to feel disappointed, shrug their shoulders at some of it and then focus on the Chargers.

Yet it only gets worse from there. When asked whether or not Jamaal Charles, the team's most valuable offensive player, was healthy, Crennel offered, "As far as I know."

When pressed on why Charles only had 5 carries in the game, Crennel just flat out said he didn't know.

"Now, that I'm not exactly sure either. We were rotating our running backs in there. Hillis was back, and he was able to get some carries. He was somewhat effective. When a guy's effective, we kind of stay with him a little bit. Hillis was able to run through there and break some tackles and get some things done."

This is perhaps the most damning evidence for those who say that Crennel is over his head in the move from defensive coordinator to head coach. Not only has the defensive performance as a team fallen off in 2012 despite another year of experience and return of Eric Berry, but now the offense is floundering without explanation. Another 4 turnovers. Charles only has 5 carries. Who can tell fans what is going on? Not the head coach. He is as confused as we are.

If the Chiefs had the answers, they would not be 1-6. If the Chiefs knew exactly what was wrong or how to fix the issue, they would have started to right the ship, especially after a bye week. But at the very least, someone with the microphone needs to stop shrugging their shoulders and say, "We are going to figure this out." Someone has to know what is going on -- even if that means bringing in someone else who will figure it out.

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