Official website of the New England Patriots

Replay: Patriots Unfiltered Wed Sep 23 | 12:00 AM - 11:55 AM

Romeo Crennel Press Conf.

Coach Belichick Introduction: Well this is a real good day for me in terms of having the opportunity to re-introduce Romeo (Crennel) to you. I know he really needs no introduction because he was here, not that you were able to talk to him when he was here.

Q: Now things will be different.

B: The open door policy.

But a couple of things that I said yesterday, Romeo and I have been friends for the last twenty years. He came to the Giants in 1981 and we both worked there at the Giants and of course here and at New York so we have a long history both personally and professionally not that I think that you are going to find us that much alike, but we seem to function well together. I really feel comfortable with Romeo and I am very pleased that he is able to join us and coordinate the defense. The whole situation came up pretty quickly with the way things unfolded at Cleveland and we really didn't even put the request in to talk to him until Wednesday. So it all unfolded pretty quickly, but this is a guy that I am really excited about. You come to work each day, especially at this time of year and every time I walk into the facility or into the office you think about how you make the team better, how are we going to be a better team than last year and today is a real easy day where I know that we are a better football team now then we were yesterday. That's a good feeling to have for me and I think a lot of other people in the organization know "Rac" (Romeo), they know his background and we are all excited to have him with us. Romeo it is all yours.

RC: Thanks Bill. Hello. I will just start by saying that I am glad and excited to be back and to have the opportunity to work with Bill again. As he mentioned to you we have had a good relationship over the years, kind of came up the hard way special teams, defensive assistant, then he went on and defensive line coach for myself, defensive coordinator. Now I am back with him and back in New England where the last time we were here we had good and bad memories. Good in the fact that we made it to the Super Bowl, bad in the fact that we lost it and we are going to work and try to get this thing right and get it headed in the right direction and hopefully we can end up back in the Super Bowl again. I know a lot of the people here and it is good to see some old faces and they seem glad to see me so that was encouraging and it is nice and I know some of the players. As Bill mentioned coordinating the defense and in football now things do happen kind of quick and the situation in Cleveland developed quickly and happened quickly. When he called and said that he had permission and he wanted me to be the coordinator here I was excited about that to be able to get back with people that I knew, that I had worked with before, and in a system that I had worked with and also knew. So I am excited and what I will do now is I will let you ask me whatever questions you need to ask me.

Q: Did you ever feel that you were a legitimate candidate for the Cleveland job?

RC: I think I was considered for the Cleveland job, but I think realistically I was not the top guy or maybe not in the top two. I think sometimes when coaching changes occur I think that the people making the decisions think about continuity and I would have been a continuity candidate, but as it turned out they got the guy they wanted and so we move and we go on from there.

Q: Did Butch (Davis) want to retain you, did he talk to you about keeping you on?

RC: Yes we talked about it. I knew Butch form his coaching at Dallas when I was with the Giants when we were both coaching the defensive line and he moved on to coordinator. So we knew of each other, we didn't know each other intimately or anything like that. Butch was upfront and straightforward with it and I think he was in a tough situation because he cannot make a decision about a coordinator in five minutes and that is what he told me. He said, "I really don't know you, I need to spend more time with you" and in my mind that was an interview and sometimes timing in this business, you don't have time to go through the interview when you have an opportunity like this available to you. So that because this one was available, that one might not have been available I decided to take this one and go forward with it.

Q: What do you know about the Patriots defense as it has changed since you guys left here and how will you help make it better?

RC: Bill said that I was going to make it better and it's already better today and I don't know whether that is the case or not. We have to get on the field and time answers all of those questions. What I know about it is that I know that in 1996 we had some players that were some good players that helped us get to the Super Bowl that are still on this team. Now what has transpired in that time I know that they have been in a couple of different systems since that time and I don't know where they are as it compares to where I want them to be or where I expect them to be so I am going to have to do some homework and do some film work and find out what has transpired, what has happened and then see if I can get them to where I feel like they need to be so that we can get together and work as a team and try to move forward.

Q: How is the transition from position coach to coordinator, you had one year in Cleveland as coordinator?

RC: Correct.

Q: How does that effect you in terms of the difference from being a defensive line coach and handling the entire defense?

RC: I think it is pretty common when you have your group, your little area you are just worried about this small section right here and so with the defensive line I was worried about these eight guys, ten guys that I had and trying to concentrate solely on those guys. But as the defensive coordinator you have to worry about the defensive line, the linebackers, the defensive backs, the schemes, what the opponent is doing a little bit more and you have to worry about. So the picture is larger, it is a little bit larger picture that you have to deal with. I think that I will be better this year as a coordinator then I was in the first year because generally the first year there is a learning curve that you have to go through. Things come up that you didn't experience before, that you didn't have to deal with before that you have to deal with as a coordinator. So I expect the second year to be better.

Q: At one point later in the year here Bill had to simplify the defense, can you guys make it a little too complicated fort he players sometimes and is there a fine line there?

RC: Sure there is a fine line there and that is one of the things that they say about coaching that we spend too much time analyzing, evaluating and coming up with schemes sometimes that we don't need to come up with and players feel like if we just put them out there and let them play sometimes that is enough, but as coaches we know that generally that is not enough all the time. So sometimes you have to put them in the right position and when you put them in the right position at the right time they are able to make the plays. So what we will try to do is we will try to keep it as simple as we can, but we do have to game plan and we have to play against another team that is across the field. So we have to evaluate their tendencies, their personnel and then try to play that chess game on Sundays.

Q: When a team wins a Super Bowl like Baltimore did do you tend to take some things that they have done well and incorporate them on your team, is that something that happens a lot in the NFL?

RC: Sure, people say that coaches are copycats a lot of times, but I don't think that means you change your system to try to fit somebody else's system. I think you look at their system, you look at what they did well and then figure out if you can take anything from it to apply to your system.

Q: Given your druthers would you prefer to play a 3-4 or a 4-3 or are those designations even important?

RC: Of course they are important. I think what you have to have is a foundation, but in your daily game planning from team-to-team I think you also have to be flexible and I think that was one of the strengths of our system and our years together that we have been flexible because the flexibility if you can get good at it causes your opponents problems. When you cam go from a 3-4 to a 4-3 or a 4-3 that looks like a 3-4 and they have to start preparing for all of those different fronts it causes your opponents problems. Now the flipside of that is that it can cause your guys problems if they are not able to grasp it. So that is part of coaching you have to decide what your guys can handle, what they can do well and then put them in the system and let them do it well. So we are going to have a mixture. We are going to be flexible. We are going to be some 3-4, we are going to be some 4-3 and hopefully all of it is good enough.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.