Former Giants assistant coach Romeo Crennel retires after 50 years in coaching
Romeo Crennel began coaching as the defensive line coach at Western Kentucky back in 1970.
More than 50 years later, Crennel is calling it quits as he announced his retirement on Monday.
"Football has been my entire life and it's been a dream come true to coach for 50 years," Crennel said in a statement. "There are so many friends to thank who have helped me and supported me throughout my career. I especially want to thank the fans and owners of the New York Giants, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Cleveland Browns, Kansas City Chiefs and Houston Texans for allowing me to contribute to the game that I have loved so much for so long. I'll miss everything about coaching and teaching, but the thing I'll miss the most is being around the guys every day. My goal was to put every player and coach in the best position to succeed and I consider every guy I coached or worked with a part of my family. I would also want to thank my wife Rosemary and my three daughters, Lisa, Tiffany and Kristine, for all of their support over the years. Because of their love and selflessness, I have been able to live out my dream. I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to spend more time with my grandchildren while staying around the game of football."
Following a decade at the college level, Crennel began his NFL coaching career with the Giants. He served as special teams coach from 1981-1989 before switching over to the defensive line for the next three seasons.
Crennel was a member of the Giants' first two Super Bowl Championship teams (XXI, XXV).
After his 12 seasons with the Giants, he would go on to coach for five other NFL teams: the Patriots (1993-1996, 2001-2004), Jets (1997-1999), Browns (2000, 2005-2008), Chiefs (2010-2012), and Texans (2014-2022).
On top of his two Super Bowl titles with the Giants, Crennel also won three championships with the Patriots (XXXVI, XXXVIII, XXXIX) in his four seasons as their defensive coordinator from 2001-2004. He was named the PFW Assistant Coach of the Year in 2003 after leading the Patriots to the No. 1 scoring defense in the league. Additionally, the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA) awarded him with the 2020 Paul "Dr. Z" Zimmerman Award for lifetime achievement as an assistant coach.
He most recently served as senior advisor for football performance for the Texans, a position he had held since early March 2021.
The longtime NFL coach has several ties to the Giants' current coaching staff.
While Crennel was leading the New England defense in the early 2000s, Giants head coach Brian Daboll was also on Bill Belichick's coaching staff. Daboll was a defensive assistant under Crennel in 2001 before switching to wide receivers coach, a position he would hold until 2006. Then when Crennel was named the head coach of the Chiefs in 2012, he brought Daboll with him to serve as his offensive coordinator. Eagles coach Nick Sirianni is the other current NFL head coach that worked under Crennel.
Giants assistant defensive line coach Bryan Cox played under Crennel for three seasons, two with the Jets (1998-1999), when Crennel was their defensive line coach, and one with the Patriots (2001), which ended in a Super Bowl title. As did defensive backs coach Jerome Henderson, who was with the Patriots with Crennel in 1993 and 1996.
View photos from the career of former Giants assistant coach Romeo Crennel, who announced his retirement on Monday.
PFF praises Adoree' Jackson in CB rankings
Following the departure of James Bradberry, Adoree' Jackson now sits atop the Giants' depth chart at the cornerback position.
Jackson signed with the Giants last offseason and enjoyed a strong first year with the team. His 80.9 coverage grade from Pro Football Focus was the fourth-highest among all cornerbacks in 2021, while his 74.9 overall grade was 15th at the position.
PFF's Anthony Treash recently ranked the top 32 outside cornerbacks in the NFL, in which Jackson landed at No. 12.
"Jackson has been a brick wall on his side of the field over the past few years," writes Treash. "Among qualifying corners since 2019, he boasts the fifth-lowest target rate (12.0%), sixth-most passing stops (29) and second-fewest yards per coverage snap (0.69). Quarterbacks are largely avoiding him in coverage, and he's blowing up anything underneath him when given the opportunity. While the Tennessee Titans did cut him in the middle of that stretch, the data speaks for itself. Jackson earned a top-five coverage grade in his first season with the Giants in 2021 and will eye elite-level play in 2022 and beyond at the Meadowlands."
The Giants secondary will certainly sport a different look this year with several veterans no longer on the team.
While the unit may be on the younger side, Jackson is ready to step into a leadership role and help guide his fellow defensive backs.
"Just lead by example and like you said, understand that's the position I'm in and taking full responsibility and accepting the role that's given to me," the veteran said at the start of OTAs on his mindset as the team's No. 1 corner. "So I think that's my mindset. Obviously if you're given a role, you have to believe that you can do it and do it at the highest ability, in that aspect, just taking it a day at a time at practice and in the classroom or in the meeting room, whatever it may be, just trying to get those reps mentally and physically, so I can go out there and be prepared and do it at a high level.
View the best photos from spring practices at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center.
Inside the Film Room: Dane Belton's speed & awareness
Dane Belton earned a 77.2 overall grade from Pro Football Focus last season, including an impressive 82.3 coverage grade.
The safety earned a selection as First-Team All-Big Ten after registering five interceptions. Belton also forced eight incompletions, which tied for the fifth-most among safeties in 2021.
The Giants selected Belton in the fourth round (No. 114 overall) in last month's NFL Draft.
Check out the video below to watch Bob Papa and Super Bowl champion Shaun O'Hara break down the film of the rookie safety.