Expected to be a serious contender for the AFC West title in 2012, the Kansas City Chiefs instead finished with the worst record in the NFL, and it cost head coach Romeo Crennel his job.
Crennel's second stint as a head coach began as a promotion from defensive coordinator after Todd Haley was fired with three games to go in the 2011 season. With key players like Matt Cassel, Jamaal Charles, Tony Moeaki, and Eric Berry returning from injury, the Chiefs seemed poised to dramatically improve on last year's 7-9 mark. Instead, they struggled badly. The quarterback position was mostly terrible, whether it was Cassel, the best of the bunch but a terribly limited player who finished the season with twice as many interceptions or touchdowns, or Brady Quinn. Crennel's biggest downfall, though, as his supposed forte, the defensive side of the ball, as the Chiefs repeatedly seemed somewhere between wholly inept and completely indifferent from allowing the Falcons to score 40 in the opener to giving up 38 to the Broncos in the finale and every time in between.
In announcing Crennel's firing, Chiefs owner Clark Hunt also noted the evaluation of general manager Scott Pioli continues. Pioli was named Executive of the Year as Cassel led the Chiefs to a surprise division title in 2010, but Cassel has not played well since then and the results have been a disappointment. The chance to hire a new coach would be his third, rare for an NFL GM that doesn't have a postseason win to his credit. Whichever way they go, the Chiefs need to decide his status before moving on to the rest of the offseason.