Q&A with Romeo Crennel - 9/24

Posted Sep 24, 2012

OPENING STATEMENT: “Alright, so we’re still excited about the fact that we were able to win a game. We needed to win one, so that was good. Particularly the way that the players played – I thought that they had energy, effort, good attitude no matter what the situation was, and there were some bleak situations during the course of the game, but they didn’t quit playing and they kept playing and as a result it paid off for us, we were able to come back and win the game in overtime. I can’t say enough about the coaches and the job that they did and the players and the way they played. Now, that one is over with and we’ve got another game coming up this week and we have to be better than we were last week to have a chance to win that one. So we have to prepare better, we have to play better to give ourselves a chance and that’s going to be the focus and that’s what we’re going to try to get done. During the course of the game, there are a couple guys that made some plays that helped the team win, particularly Justin Houston – 3.0 sacks and a safety – that was big. Jamaal Charles and his rushing yardage and then a 91-yard run for a touchdown, I think that kind of lifted the team and helped in all aspects make them feel like we could win the game. Special teams units, they did a nice job as far as keeping [Darren] Sproles under control and so a lot of good things happened in the game but there are still things we need to work on and try to get better at as we go down the road. So that’s what we’re going to try to do.”

BOB FESCOE (610 SPORTS RADIO): What’s Dexter McCluster’s injury?

CRENNEL: “Dexter has an elbow. They’re looking at his elbow and they’ll let us know later on today or tomorrow the exact prognosis.”

FESCOE: What about Peyton Hillis?

CRENNEL: “Peyton has an ankle. He’s in a boot right now so we’ll see how he responds to the boot and hopefully he’ll be back for this game. We just have to wait to see how that goes.”

ADAM TEICHER (KCSTAR): What about Rodney Hudson?

CRENNEL: “Hudson has a knee and they’re evaluating his knee still and they’ll let us know later on what that looks like.”

TEICHER: Are you preparing for San Diego without all three of those guys?

CRENNEL: “I don’t know. I’ll have to wait until probably Wednesday to know for sure.”

DANNY CLINKSCALE (SPORTS RADIO 810): Can you go through the 4th-and-five play call?

CRENNEL: “As we were looking at the game, we were thinking about it and felt like we could pin them in the hole like we had been doing in that half. Then we thought about giving Drew Brees the ball again, not too crazy about that, and we felt like maybe this was an opportune time to try and get something done and try to make a play to win the game. That’s why it was changed. I called the timeout. I made the change, and it worked out.”

TEICHER: If Hudson doesn’t play Sunday, are you inclined to stay with Ryan Lilja at center and Jeff Allen at guard?

CRENNEL: “Today, yes.”

TEICHER: But maybe not tomorrow?

CRENNEL: “Well, I don’t know. If he’s not playing, then I probably need to research to see if I can find at least a backup to come in. I’ll have to see what that looks like.”

TEICHER: How did that arrangement work?

CRENNEL: “I thought Lilja did an excellent job to tell you the truth because he came into the game and he snapped. He had shotgun snaps with no quarterback-center exchange problems in there. Then as well as Lilja, I thought Allen did a nice job, coming in and playing really for the first game sustained time in a tough situation. So, both of those young men did great jobs.”

TEICHER: Is that your biggest worry in a situation like this?

CRENNEL: “Yes. That’s right because if you have a guy who hasn’t played the position a lot, to put him in there and expect him to perform, sometimes you just don’t know what’s going to happen. A lot of teams try to take advantage of the fact that you have a new center. We were able to operate and operate efficiently, so that was good for us.”

TEICHER: What do you lose without McCluster?

CRENNEL: “He has a unique skill-set, and we try to take advantage of that. If he’s not able to play, then we’ll have to take advantage of the other guys and their skill-sets. Everybody has a different skill-set. It’s our job to try to determine what the strong points are and try to take advantage of those strong points.”

TEICHER: Do you think Wylie is anywhere close to being ready?

CRENNEL: “He’s been better during the course of the last two weeks, so we’ll have to see where he is this week.”

TEICHER: Injury issue aside, do you think he was ready to play on a more consistent basis?

CRENNEL: “He’s a rookie.”

FESCOE: What about Cassel’s performance yesterday?

CRENNEL: “He started off OK. There were a couple throws that I thought sailed on him a little bit, and then he had that one bad play on the interception. But he hung in there. He made a fourth down throw in the second half that helped keep the drive alive for us. I think he’d want one or two throws back, but he helped his team win.”

FESCOE: How does the team stay focused being down 24-6 after the past couple weeks?

CRENNEL: “One of the things during the week we’ve been focusing on is that. I think the leaders on the team have kind of taken it upon themselves to push the team to try to get better in that respect, to try to keep up the energy and just play every play. If you have a negative play, forget about that one, put it behind you and don’t try to correct it and all those things, but put it behind you and let’s play the next play. I think that’s what the team did yesterday. When there were negative plays, and there were negative plays, they put those behind them and then concentrated on the next play. I think as a result of it, that helped us during the course of the game.”

FESCOE: Did you see your team come together during the course of the game?

CRENNEL: “I thought the team grew as a unit and as a team in understanding how they have to play this game to be the most effective.”

FESCOE: Chemistry came together?

CRENNEL: “Some did. I think some did, yes.”

FESCOE: How does chemistry build?

CRENNEL: “In days like yesterday. That’s probably the best way that it happens. Guys are put in pressure situations and how are you going to react in those pressure situations? If guys pull for each other, try to help each other, then that chemistry just becomes stronger as you go down the road. Hopefully the way we won yesterday will help this team.”

TEICHER: Any other injuries?

CRENNEL: “Other than the normal bumps and bruises, no.”

TEICHER: Do you have a sense if Kendrick Lewis or Anthony Toribio will be back?

CRENNEL: “There is a possibility. We’ll have to see what Lewis can do. He’s been doing a little bit more each week. He had his pads on last week. We haven’t hit him yet, but he needs to get hit to see whether he can take the hits and how he will respond. I think he’s anxious and he wants to play, so he can go out there Wednesday or Thursday – whichever day we have pads on – and get something done. Then there’s a chance that maybe he can play.”

LEIF LISEC (METRO SPORTS): Is there a point where you start to wonder how much more Jamaal can give you?

CRENNEL: “He was doing well, so I was hoping for another 91-yarder. Generally, Jamaal, he’s pretty good about letting me know if he needs a break. He never came to me to say he needed a break. Because he was doing well and we needed him, we used him a little bit.”

BOB GRETZ (BOBGRETZ.COM): Is there a magic number of touches for him?

CRENNEL: “It’s game-by-game. Really it is. I think that’s the case with most running backs. You can take some running backs and you can say this guy is a 20 carry per game back, or another back may be a 15 carry per game, but generally, if it’s going well, you don’t mind giving it to him. They don’t mind getting the ball either when it’s going well. It’s when it’s going bad that they really don’t want it.”

FESCOE: What’s your thought process in the two-minute warning when you play for a field goal to put the game into overtime?

CRENNEL: “What you have to determine is exactly what you want to do at that point in the game. A lot of times it depends on what’s happening in the game, what has occurred during the game and your overall situation. Going into the game, I felt like it was a game that we needed to win. To give ourselves the best chance, we didn’t go for the win in the end of regulation. So we went into overtime and then we won it in overtime. As the game was going, you just try to get a feel for what’s happening, what you think the other team is going to do, what you think your guys can do, and then you make the best decision available at that time.”

FESCOE: It looked like you had their defense on the back of their heels. It didn’t go through your mind to just try to go and win it right then?

CRENNEL: “We thought about the possibility of maybe taking a shot into the end zone and then kicking the field goal, but as it worked out, the way it worked out, it’s the way it worked out. So, we went with that.”

FESCOE: Is it a confidence thing at that point? Do you have more confidence in your kicker than your offense at that point?

CRENNEL: “No, not necessarily. I think if you can get to a point in the field, then you kind of figure you’ve got a field goal. So if you get to the point on the field, then you can take a shot in the end zone, then you can take that shot. Now, the thing that you risk in taking a shot in the end zone is a protection problem or a turnover, and then you have to decide whether you want to risk that or not.”

AL WALLACE (WDAF): Can you talk about the difference of being 1-2 and 0-3 and what it can do for a team?

CRENNEL: “I think what the victory does for the team is give the team some more confidence in their ability and their opportunity or chance to win a game. Everybody isn’t telling them how bad they are anymore and how bad they’ve been. Some people may be talking about, ‘hey you did a good job and your running game looked good, your defense got better.’ So, they might hear some of that as opposed to all the negative stuff they’ve been hearing. Some of that helps them mentally. The approach to the week – other than the fact that it’s a division game, we always talk hard about division games and trying to win division games – the week will go like it’s been going. We correct the mistakes, we put a game plan together and then we go practice that game plan. Then we go play on Sunday and try to win a game. That’s what’s I’ve talked to those guys about. ‘Hey we’ve got to win a game, so we’re going to try to win a game.”

FESCOE: You had Tyson Jackson at the nose tackle position?

CRENNEL: “That was in a sub situation, and that’s a little bit different because in a sub situation, you don’t have as many things that you have to worry about. Sometimes he can go in there and function better in that scenario. He’s been playing his end position in the 34.”

GRETZ: There’s only one back that’s done some of the things that Jamaal Charles has done and that’s Jim Brown.

CRENNEL: “Different styles completely. Jim Brown was a special kind of guy. I think Jamaal has some special qualities about him, but Jim Brown, he’s one of those guys that when they played a lot more went on, particularly at the bottom of the pile and things like that. Jim would get off the ground and you’d never think he was going to make it back to the huddle until the ball was snapped and they gave it to him and he took off again. Jim is kind of one of a kind. I admire him, anyway.”

JOHNNY KANE (KMBC): Have you talked to Scott since the win last night?

CRENNEL: “Yes. I talked to him and asked him if he was worried during the course of the game. We just said, ‘hey it was a good game.’ We needed a win. We got a win. Now let’s get ready for next week and see if we can do it again.”

KANE: Was he nervous?

CRENNEL: “I don’t know”

TEICHER: Is it remarkable that you’ve never had a lead through the first three games and you’re still playing for first place?

CRENNEL: “Last year, after everything that happened, we were still playing for the division last year. We were one game away from winning the division, one blocked kick away from winning the division last year. I’ve seen quite a bit, and I’ve said all along that it’s early. This is a marathon, it’s not over yet, and the fact that we won a game, it’s helpful that we won a game but we still need to win another game. We still need to play well and we still need to get better. That’s going to be the focus going forward, trying to get better and improve on the things that we mess up so that we don’t mess up as much. Maybe we can play with a lead.”

TEICHER: Is that your experience that these things come back as long as you take care of your own issues?

CRENNEL: “That’s all you can do. You have to take care of your business and do what you’re supposed to do and see what happens because you can’t really depend on anybody else other than yourself and your team.”

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