Crennel will become Chiefs' D-coordinator, reunite with Weis, Pioli

Just call them the Kansas City Patriots.

When they take the field next year, they Chiefs will have the same defensive coordinator, offensive coordinator and top front-office executive who helped lead New England to three Super Bowl titles between 2002 to 2005.

Throw in quarterback Matt Cassel, who backed up Tom Brady with the Patriots, and the New England-Kansas City connection becomes even stronger as Scott Pioli attempts to reverse the fortunes of the long-suffering Chiefs.

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Romeo Crennel, the defensive coordinator on the Patriots' Super Bowl teams, agreed Wednesday to join the Chiefs in the same capacity, his agent said. Crennel, who was out of football this past season following hip surgery, will be reunited with Charlie Weis, who was the Patriots' offensive coordinator and agreed last week to take that job with the Chiefs.

Crennel and Weis will work for Pioli, who one year ago resigned as the Patriots' personnel director to become the Chiefs' general manager. One of Pioli's first acts was to trade for Cassel and make him the foundation quarterback for his long-term rebuilding project in Kansas City.

Crennel's agent, Joe Linta, said Crennel would begin working for the Chiefs in a "couple of weeks" after attending to some family business and coaching in the East-West all-star game. The Chiefs declined comment.

The Chiefs are in the process of relieving current defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast of his duties, a league source told NFL Network's Jason La Canfora.

Crennel will retain linebackers coach Gary Gibbs, the source told La Canfora, but other staff changes are coming. Defensive line coach Tim Krumrie was let go last week.

The New York Giants also had expressed interest in Crennel and talked with him by phone Monday. But Crennel told them that the Chiefs, who run a 3-4 defense similar to what he coached in New England, probably would be his first choice.

Crennel and Weis will join a franchise that has won just 10 games in three years and went 4-12 last year in Todd Haley's rocky first season as a head coach.

Besides their successful experience with the Patriots, the two new coordinators also have post-New England failure in common. Weis left the Patriots to become head coach at Notre Dame and did get off to a good start. He was fired Nov. 30 with a five-year record of 35-27.

Crennel, 62, left New England to become the Cleveland Browns' head coach. And five years later, he was fired with a 24-40 record, including 4-12 in 2008.

Both men also face a big challenge to help Haley and Pioli get the Chiefs back into contention. Kansas City showed some life near the end of the season, but it hasn't won a playoff game since the 1993 season and is still just 6-35 in its last 41 games.

The Chiefs' defense had some of the worst games of any in the NFL this past season, twice sending opposing players into the record book with franchise-best performances.

Miles Austin, in an overtime victory over the Chiefs, set the Dallas Cowboys' single-game record with 250 receiving yards. Then, later in the season, in what many Chiefs fans consider the low point of the entire year, Cleveland Browns backup Jerome Harrison rushed for an astonishing 286 yards, wiping out Jim Brown's team record with the third-highest single-game total in NFL history.

The Chiefs pick fifth in the April draft. And they would seem to have a favorable schedule in 2010 with just three games against 2009 playoff teams.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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