FOXBORO - Tom Brady was asked Wednesday if he saw any similarities between what the Chiefs are doing defensively under old friend Romeo Crennel, Brady laughed and said, "Yes. It's what we do on defense so there's a lot of familiarity in training camp and every day in practice. its a 3-4 defense."
While the Patriots are playing far more four-man fronts in 2011, the link between the things done by former Patriots defensive coordinator Crennel- the DC in KC now - is unmistakable.
And Crennel has the Chiefs playing pretty stingily.
After allowing 89 points in the first two games of the year, the KC defense allowed just 81 in their next five games as they went 4-1. The last two weeks, Crennel's defense has backslid a big, allowing 31 to Miami and then 17 to the almost punchless Tebow-led Broncos offense.
The upshot? While the Chiefs defense isn't consistent, it can be daunting when it's clicking. And with a cover corner like Brandon Flowers, a pass rusher like Tamba Hali and two big top-five picks in Tyson Jackson and Glenn Dorsey, the weaponry is there for Crennel to fire with.
Crennel, now 64, was a long, long, long time coaching colleague of Bill Belichick's at the Giants (1981-92, two seasons after Belichick left), the Patriots (1996), the Jets (1997-99) and the Patriots a second time (2001-04).
"They're fundamentally sound and you can see the things they're coaching every week," said Brady of the Chiefs defense. "Very physical. They make it hard to run it and they have some good, experienced corners and linebackers."