After 51 years of coaching football, Romeo Crennel has decided to call it a career. Crennel certainly deserves a tribute from us and all of “Pats Nation”. He’s coached college and NFL, defense, and special teams and had a few stints as head coach.
Overall, Crennel has coached Western Kentucky, Texas Tech, Ole Miss, the New York Giants, the New England Patriots, the New York Jets, the Kansas City Chiefs, the Cleveland Browns, and the Houston Texans, which is why we are writing this tribute.
Plus, he’s coached through six decades, from the 1970s to the 2020s. So it’s safe to say that Crennel has football at nearly all its stages. Crennel knows the game as well as anyone else. Although he’s had an excellent career away from New England, this article mainly focuses on his success with the Patriots and Bill Belichick.
Romeo Crennel and Bill Belichick: An Offense’s Nightmare
Bill Belichick and Romeo Crennel have a special relationship, as they both came from the Bill Parcells coaching tree. Parcells was their Head Coach with the Giants, Jets, and Patriots. Romeo Crennel kicked off his NFL coaching career with the New York Giants in 1981 when he was hired as the Special Teams Coach.
After a few disappointing seasons, the Giants decided to promote Linebackers coach & special teams coach Bill Belichick to defensive coordinator. This partnership was the beginning of defensive greatness between Crennel and Belichick, as they went on to win two Super Bowls together in just five seasons.
In addition, both Belichick and Crennel were crucial in the development of Lawrence Taylor, who had his best years during those five years. After that point, the two have been nearly inseparable; they’ve spent 18 seasons together and won five Super Bowls.
When Bill Belichick was hired to be the Head Coach of the Cleveland Browns, Crennel stayed with the Giants for a few more seasons until the New England Patriots hired him in 1993 as the Defensive Line Coach.
Their paths crossed once again when Belichick was hired as the Assistant head coach & defensive backs coach of the Patriots in 1996; after that, they were inseparable for the next eight seasons, except for when Crennel was the defensive coordinator for Cleveland in 2000.
When Belichick finally settled in New England, he knew he needed Romeo on his coaching staff. So, in 2001, the New England Patriots hired Crennel as the Defensive Coordinator.
They went on to win three of the next four Super Bowls, as the Patriots’ defense was at an all-time level through that stretch. In addition, Crennel coached some all-time great Patriots defenders, including Teddy Bruschi, Ty Law, Rodney Harrison, Lawyer Milloy, Rodney Harrison, and others.
After 2004, Romeo Crennel coached the Cleveland Browns, Kansas City Chiefs, and Houston Texans in defensive and head positions. Notably, from 2014 to 2021, Crennel coached a primarily defensive position with the Texans.
In 2017, he stepped away from the defense and was the assistant head coach. That year, Houston had the worst-ranked defense in tHe NFL. In 2018, Crennel returned to the defensive coordinator role, and the Texans shot back to the league’s fourth-best defense. Crennel makes any team’s defense better, and his knowledge of football defenses is nearly unmatched.
Final Tribute Remarks
Romeo Crennel knows the game of football inside-out, as he’s been coaching the sport for over half a decade. Crennel is one of the all-time defensive coaches, as he can work magic on that side of the ball. With five Super Bowls, Romeo has undoubtedly had an impressive career.
Despite his retirement, Romeo Crennel will be a big part of the NFL community for a long time. Thank you for everything you’ve done to help kickstart the greatest dynasty in NFL history!
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