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Romeo Crennel takes on history with interim tag gone

Romeo Crennel was the perfect change of pace for the Kansas City Chiefs last December.

Players were worn out by the intensity that marked the Todd Haley era, and Crennel's more personal touch helped spark Kansas City to a 2-1 finish, including a Week 15 win over the previously 13-0 Green Bay Packers.

The Chiefs rewarded Crennel by removing the interim tag from his title in January. But if we use recent history as a judge, Crennel is facing an uphill challenge in 2012.

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According to the Elias Sports Bureau (via ESPN.com), the last coach to lead his team to a winning record in his first year as the permanent coach after being the interim coach was Art Shell in 1990.

Shell led the Raiders to a 12-4 mark during the days of "Roseanne" and Vanilla Ice, but he is an outlier. No other coach has managed nine regular-season wins -- Jason Garrett (2011) and Mike Singletary (2009) came the closest with middling 8-8 campaigns with the Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers, respectively.

So what do the numbers tell us? For one, "Win one for the Gipper!" inspiration for a new coach only goes so far. For another, interim coaches are usually saddled with the same subpar roster that contributed to the downfall of the previous regime.

Rome wasn't built in a day, and the Chiefs won't be, either. With Jamaal Charles and Eric Berry back in the fold, Crennel can at least be grateful to have some of the foundation in place.

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