With the dropping of the interim tag, Chiefs head coach Romeo Crennel
now has the task of filling the position he left behind - that is if he wants a coordinator at all. Although the precedent has already been made in New England, I don't suspect the Chiefs go enter the 2012 season without an official defensive coordinator being named. With several qualified candidates both already on his staff and elsewhere around the league, Crennel will have many options.
With Thursday's news, it is not likely a big name coordinator will be brought aboard Crennel's staff. The good news is that the Chiefs will have their pick of some of the best defensive assistants money can buy. The Chiefs are free to interview any NFL assistant as long as the job being offered is a promotion meaning that the Chiefs can interview any defensive assistant not already labeled defensive coordinator.
The most likely candidate however might already be on the Chiefs staff.
The top candidate in my eye's has to be current linebackers coach Gary Gibbs. Gibbs' role increased when Crennel was promoted to interim head coach and the results were nothing short of inspiring. During the three games with Crennel running the show, and Gibbs acting as coordinator, the Chiefs defense allowed just 14, 16, and 3 points. Although 2 of these games were against inept offense's in the Raiders and Broncos, one was against the Aaron Rodgers
Gibbs has experience as both a head coach at the University of Oklahoma (1989-1994) and as a defensive coordinator for the New Orleans Saints
from 2006-2008. In 2011, Gibbs will send two linebackers (Tamba Hali
and Derrek Johnson) to this year's Pro Bowl.
If not Gibbs then every indication is that Chiefs General Manager Scott Pioli is determined to complete the Patriots model here in Kansas City. With this in mind, Baltimore Ravens
linebackers coach Dean Pees makes a lot of sense.
Pees has spent the past two seasons with the Ravens but prior to that he was the defensive coordinator for the New England Patriots
for three seasons. Following the 2009 season, Pees' contract was allowed to expire. Although the reasoning for not resigning was never made public, Pees was dealing with multiple health issues at the time and has said since that his relationship with Bill Belichick was a good one.
Another interesting name worthy of mentioning is that of Patriots defensive backs coach Josh Boyer. Boyer has spent the previous 5 seasons in New England and despite lacking the title, is the top defensive coach under Belichick.
Without the official title of defensive coordinator Boyer would be available to talk to the Chiefs about a contract since it would technically be a promotion. Although Boyer has been criticized for the Patriots 31st ranked defense in 2011, Boyer is a familiar name to both Crennel and Pioli and would be somewhat of a seamless transition.
Although names like Gregg Williams, Butch Davis, and Jack Del Rio will be bantered around as fan favorites, don't expect to be wowed buy the Chiefs next defensive coordinator. The good news is that the Chiefs have one of the best defensive minds in all of football as their head coach.
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So Should Romeo Crennel hire a DC?
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On Thursday the Chiefs new head coach announced, much like one of his former bosses, he would be the defensive player caller as well as the head coach in 2012. The New England Patriots have been without a DC for the past two season. So could the Chiefs be looking at the same blue print?