Most NFL head coaches view the third preseason game as the final dress rehearsal for the regular season, but the Chiefs’ Romeo Crennel doesn’t necessarily buy into that philosophy.
In past years, the Chiefs’ starters have usually played the entire first halves of the third preseason game and even a series into the third quarter after making halftime adjustments as if it were a regular-season game. Then, to avoid injury, the starters would barely play in the final exhibition game.
That may not be the case on Friday night when the Chiefs play Seattle at Arrowhead Stadium or next week when they conclude the preseason at Green Bay.
“A lot of teams have done that in the past, and we might very well do that this game,” Crennel said. “We’ll go into the game and see what’s going to happen.
“Game one was important. Game two is important. So game three is important. I don’t know that it’s more important than the first game … if we can get better, that’s where the importance lies, particularly after coming off a loss in the second game.”
The Chiefs’ starters played two offensive series and three defensive series in the 27-17 win over Arizona in the preseason opener and played the entire first half of the 31-17 loss at St. Louis last weekend.
“I tell the players the same thing all the time, to be ready to play and play until I take you out,” Crennel said. “I just don’t tell them what my thoughts are. I want them to prepare to play … if I tell them I’m going to take you out after the first quarter, then in their minds, they’re coming out after the first quarter, and if I need them in the second quarter, they’re not mentally ready to go.”
Seattle is 2-0 in the preseason, having defeated Tennessee 27-17 at home and Denver 30-10 on the road. But there won’t be as much game-planning for the Seahawks as there will be working on self-improvement.
“We’re still trying to work on our stuff to try to get better,” Crennel said. “We talked to them about Seattle, and we’ve been watching the first two preseason games a little bit, but you see a hodgepodge of players and can’t put your hat on everything you see in preseason.
“We have been talking to them about Seattle because we want them to get in a regular-season routine. … We’re playing at home. Playing at home and winning at home and performing well at home … those are important to us, and we’re going to try to get that done this week.”
Crennel said cornerback Brandon Flowers, who has been nursing a heel injury for three weeks, is still not close to being ready to play.
“He’s not well enough to be out there,” Crennel said. “We need him out there. He’s trying to get there, we’re doing everything we can, and the doctors have been looking at him to try to figure out how we can get him out there. We’ll keep working, he’ll keep working and hopefully it will get done before too long.”