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DC Crennel's speech fired up Chiefs: 'I had to do something'

Kansas City's return from the dead has coach Todd Haleysitting pretty once again in the AFC West. But it was wise, old defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel who provided an unforgettable spark.

With the Chiefs mired in 1-3 start and trailing the Curtis Painter-led Colts in Week 5, Crennel lit into the team with a "fire-breathing, paint-peeling" halftime rant that hit its mark, The Kansas City Star reported.

It worked to perfection, as Kansas City rallied to nip the Colts 28-24 on their way to four straight wins. But even as Crennel finished his manifesto, he wasn't sure it would make a difference.

"I didn't know if that was going to work, but I didn't know what else would have worked at that time," he told the newspaper. "I did know that if we'd kept playing the way we were playing in the first half, we were going to lose that game. I had to do something."

Nothing if not mild-mannered during 30 seasons coaching in the NFL, Crennel went off book this time out. Players cite that moment -- and those words -- as a turning point for a team that's now 4-3 and very much alive.

"The biggest thing was the passion and the intensity he said it with," said defensive back Sabby Piscitelli. "It wasn't so much the words he said. But there was fire in his eyes. You couldn't miss that.

"I think you could say that was a defining moment for our team."

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