Head coach Romeo Crennel of the Kansas City Chiefs address the media after defeating the Carolina Panthers on December 2, 2012 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. Kansas City defeated Carolina 27-21.
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A subdued Romeo Crennel spoke to the media Sunday after his team’s 27-21 victory over the Carolina Panthers.
Even though the Chiefs earned just their second victory of the season, few people were thinking about football.
Instead, hearts were still heavy, barely a day after Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher shot his girlfriend to death, then drove to the team’s training facility next to Arrowhead Stadium and turned the gun on himself in front of Crennel, General Manager Scott Pioli and Defensive Coordinator Gary Gibbs.
“We are grieving for all involved,” Crennel said after the game, saying he wouldn’t answer any questions about what he witnessed a day earlier.
Chiefs owner Clark Hunt said he left it up to Crennel and his players as to whether to play the game on Sunday.
“The thing that helped me the most was in talking to them, we were all able to lean on each other and let a little bit out,” Crennel said.
As for if the game should be played, Crennel said he thought it was best to play.
"We're football players and football coaches and that's what we do. We play on Sunday."
And play they did. About as good as they have all season. The Chiefs, plagued all season by fumbles, interceptions and all-around sloppy play, had zero turnovers and just one penalty on the day and even scored their first opening-drive touchdown in more than two years.
“I know the players knew the crowd was behind them and wanted them to do well,” Crennel said.
With all that had happened to the coach and the team though, the result was trivial in the bigger sscope of things.
“Even if the outcome had turned out the other way,” Crennel said, “just being able to take our minds off things was helpful.”
Crennel contended there’s healing yet to be done.
“The plan is to rely on each other, our family and friends and our faith,” he said. “That's what will get us through. It's not over yet.”
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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