The defense ranked 11th overall, which says a lot about the execution and effort. The unit had to carry the team for the most part because the offense couldn’t score. Crennel’s ability to get so much out of so many players — especially the linebacker group and cornerbacks Flowers and Brandon Carr — shows you why he is so good at what he does. Inside linebacker Derrick Johnson had a team-high 131 tackles, Hali had 12 sacks and four forced fumbles, inside linebacker Jovan Belcher had 87 tackles and rookie outside linebacker Justin Houston had 5.5 sacks. Receiver Dwayne Bowe continued to play well and Steve Breaston eventually developed into a nice second option.
The Chiefs have no coaches with ties to Jacksonville or East Carolina, therefore no one on staff has previous experience working with Garrard.
The closest connecting between Garrard and the Chiefs staff is new offensive coordinator Brian Daboll. Last October, Miami reached out to Garrard following an injury to starting quarterback Chad Henne. Daboll was serving as Miami’s offensive coordinator at the time.
Regardless of Daboll’s involvement/non-involvement in that pursuit, a deal wasn’t reached with the Dolphins and Garrard opted for back surgery.
Q: You talked about going downfield more in the passing game. How does that play into Matt Cassel’s strengths? Do you feel comfortable asking him to do that if that’s what it comes to?
CRENNEL: “It just depends on how far downfield you go. I think Matt has a good enough arm that he can throw the deep ball. Now, this is not saying that every ball is going to be a deep ball. You can go down the field and not be a 50-yard pass every time. If it’s a 25-yard pass, that’s not a bad gain offensively.”
I asked Matt Williamson of Scouts Inc. who he would rather have, Routt or Carr? He said he likes Carr just a bit more, but he’d have little problem seeing the Chiefs opt to sign Routt.
“I would prefer Carr to Routt, but not by leaps and bounds, both Carr and Routt are high end No. 2 CBs,” Williamson said. “I trust Romeo (Crennel) to coach up Routt, who has a ton of ability. I could see Routt thriving across from Flowers.”