Romeo Crennel removes himself as the Chiefs’ defensive coordinator

The Kansas City Star

In an effort to fix some of the many problems ailing the 1-7 Chiefs, head coach Romeo Crennel announced today that he has giving up his duties as the defensive coordinator, handing them over to linebackers coach Gary Gibbs.

The Chiefs also released starting cornerback Stanford Routt, signed last winter as a free agent, and signed defensive lineman Shaun Smith, a former Chief.

In relinquishing the defensive coordinator duties, Crennel said he was trying to eliminate the perception that he’s spending too much time on that side of the ball and ignoring the offense.

“I will continue to be in meetings sometimes,” Crennel said. “I will meet with Gary on a regular basis as well as I do with (offensive coordinator Brian Daboll and special teams coach Tom McMahon) to know what the game plan is and what’s going on there. But I’m going to spent more time with the whole team and less time with the defense.

“We have a young team and some guys, the perception may be that I’m a defensive coach , that I’m a defensive coordinator, and I don’t care about other parts of the team, which is not true. But their perception may be that. By my being with them more, I think they will see I’m concerned about the whole team.”

Routt was one of the Chiefs’ big off-season, free-agent signings. He replaced Brandon Carr, who left as a free agent for Dallas.

When the Chiefs signed Routt, who played seven years with the Raiders, coaches said they would have to integrate him into their way of doing things.

“The transition was taking a little bit longer than I thought it was going to take,” Crennel said, “so we just felt like it was time to part ways.

“He was trying to learn the system and he trying to adapt and making some progress at that but I needed it to be faster. I thought it was going to be faster but it wasn’t happening so I made the move.”

Routt missed last week’s game against San Diego because of what the Chiefs called an injured hamstring. Javier Arenas started in his place and Crennel said Arenas would probably start in next Monday’s game against the Steelers in Pittsburgh.

Smith, who played with the Chiefs in 2010, takes Routt’s 53-man roster spot after signing a contract for the final eight games of the season.

The move gives the Chiefs depth at defensive line. Glenn Dorsey reinjured his calf in last week’s game against San Diego. Dorsey missed the previous four games and played against the Chargers before leaving the game for good with the injury.

Smith was one of the more popular players while he was with the Chiefs because of his outgoing personality. He played in all 16 games for the Chiefs in 2010, starting 10. He left after the season to sign with Tennessee, where he played last year.

Smith had not played in the NFL this season. He previously played for New Orleans, Cleveland and Cincinnati in his nine-year NFL career.