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News » No sideline job for Crennel

No sideline job for Crennel

No sideline job for Crennel
Romeo Crennel is stepping back and taking a big-picture view. For the first time since 1981, he won't be coaching in the NFL, and the former Patriots defensive coordinator acknowledged he's not sure how he'll handle it.

``I told several people that by the middle of June or middle of July, I may be climbing up the walls,'' he cracked.

Crennel's decision to sit out isn't due to a lack of interest from teams. He surely would have been a coup for a team such as Kansas City, with former Patriots vice president of player personnel Scott Pioli in his first year there as general manager and Todd Haley taking over as head coach. Denver, where former Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels is in his first year as coach, would have been another natural option.

But health, primarily, dictated Crennel's course of action. He had hip replacement surgery in February - a month after he was fired as head coach in Cleveland - and decided that he'd focus solely on rehab. That meant that the only coaching opportunity he'd seriously consider was returning to the Browns in a different role.

``I felt like if I was able to stay in Cleveland, it wouldn't have been a major transition, because you kind of know what's going on and the guys you're working with know what to expect, but it didn't work out that way,'' said Crennel, who guided the Browns for four seasons.

``When I didn't have the job in Cleveland, I felt like I'd put more of an emphasis on getting myself healthy, so when I came back, I'd be able to put all the energy into Football and not have to worry about the hip. Next year we'll see what's available and make some decisions from there.''

It's not often that a head coach is willing to remain with the team that fired him, but Crennel was prepared to do so because of his feelings for Browns owner Randy Lerner.

``I like him personally,'' he said.

Crennel's coaching career began at Western Kentucky in 1970, and he's been on the sideline every season since - 11 in college, 28 in the NFL. His NFL break came under Bill Parcells with the Giants in 1981. Crennel has five Super Bowl rings - two from the Giants in 1986 and 1990 and three with the Patriots (2001, '03, and '04).

At 61, he's not considering retirement.

``I've been doing it for so long that I think I'm going to get antsy,'' he said. ``My plan is to get back in it if the opportunity is there and available.

``You miss the competition, the locker room, dealing with players and coaches. That's such a big part of my existence to this point, so not being around those guys on a daily basis, it will be an adjustment.''

At the same time, Crennel is looking forward to following the game from an outside perspective.

``It's been a long time that I haven't been involved in Football, so this is something totally different, unique to me,'' he said. ``I think that you have to adjust your mind-set the best you can, and change the emphasis.

``During Football season, you don't get to spend as much time with your family, so that's one of the things you get to do a little bit.''

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: May 3, 2009

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Shaun Rogers Name: Shaun Rogers
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