Chiefs head coach Romeo Crennel spoke to reporters on Monday, briefly discussing the murder-suicide of Jovan Belcher and his girlfriend Kasi Perkins.
Players also spoke about how they’re still grappling with the shocking tragedy that took everyone by surprise.
Below is a transcript provided by the Chiefs of Crennel’s statements.
OPENING STATEMENT “First I want to thank the Chiefs organization for helping deal with the events over the last few days, the Hunt family, Scott Pioli, the football support staff, all the people here at the complex. They were helpful and very supportive. That was a good thing. I cannot thank my coaches and my players enough for helping me and each other get through the past few days. I think playing the game helped. I think it really did. It took our minds off our sorrow and put the focus on the field for a couple hours. The outcome of the game, I think that helped us even more. The game itself, it was a total team victory, everybody played a part in it, all phases were able to contribute to the win. We had no turnovers, only one penalty. We scored some points, had a running game that was good. The passing game helped us in the field position battle. Defensively, we made some key stops in the fourth quarter to help win the game. Siler stepped in and played a solid game even though he’d been playing only special teams for most of the year. That’s commendable on his part. We had young players who hadn’t had very much playing time, had to go in and produce. They held their own. They helped us win the game as well. Now, our focus needs to be and has to be on facing an improving Cleveland Browns team on the road, so that’s what our focus is going to be. We know that we have to deal with the events of the last few days, and it’s not over and it might not be over, for some of us, for most of our lives. But time heals all wounds, so we’re going to start working on the time thing and try to focus on our next task, which is the Cleveland Browns in Cleveland.”
Q: Do you think your players appreciated the fact that they won a football game yesterday?
CRENNEL: “Yes because they are football players and we coach the game and we appreciate every victory. I think they appreciated the fact that we were able to win the game. They understand the significance of the other events that happened because you are talking about lives that were involved. I think they appreciated the fact that we were able to pull together, band together and win a football game and play a football game.”
Q: Brady Quinn said it’s hard to feel like you can win in a situation like this.
CRENNEL: “Well, like I mentioned, everybody handles stress and grief differently. That was one of the things that I talked about with the team, trying to mentally get ourselves ready to play a game. Everybody handles it differently, and Brady always talks from his heart and kind of tells you what he thinks. He is right. It’s hard to prepare and play under the circumstances that we had to play under, but like I said, my hats are off to those guys for being able to pull it together and go out and basically play for each other and help win the game.”
Q: In your postgame comments, you didn’t seem to think it was very extraordinary the effort you put in yesterday.
CRENNEL: “No, it wasn’t because like I told you, these are good kids on this team. They come to work every day. They have good attitudes and they work hard on the practice field. We haven’t produced enough on the game field, but they still come to work every day and they work hard.”
Q: In order to move on, you sort of have to reconcile Jovan as a teammate versus the horrible acts. How do you plan on doing that?
CRENNEL: “We will do it like any other family would do. Jovan is a member of the family. What he did, we didn’t like; we’re not crazy about, but he’s still a member of our family. When you go out in society and things like this happen in society because they do happen in society, you don’t see people throwing the family members out the door. They are still loved by their family members, but the act, you don’t like the act. So, you move on. You deal with it, and you don’t have a choice, you have to move on.”
Q: Did Jovan Belcher ever express any troubles he was having in his personal life?
CRENNEL: “No major troubles in his life. Everybody has issues in their personal life. I mean, all of us here have issues in our personal life. Everybody handles issues differently, from dealing with Jovan, he seemed like a strong-willed individual to me. He’s a leader. He was sitting in the front of the classroom; he’s the first to the drills, all of those things. You’re surprised by the events of the last few days.”
Q: How was coming back to work for the first time?
CRENNEL: “It was like coming to work like you normally do. You think about the events as you walk through the door and walk through the parking lot, but you know the events are over and you cannot undo them. They’ve been done, you cannot undo them. The only thing you can do is work for the future and toward the future.”
Q: What’s your mental state right now?
CRENNEL: “I’ve got a good mental state. My daughters and my wife, they tell me that I must be crazy, that something should be wrong with me, but I can deal with stress. I can deal with grief, so I’m dealing with it by trying to be the leader that those young men upstairs need. They’re young, so they need a good leader at this time. I’m being that for them.”
Q: Have you been able to vent the way you need to?
CRENNEL: “Other than my daughters and my wife, I don’t know that I need to vent. I’ve seen a lot of life and you see things happen, and life still goes on. You have to deal with it. I’m not saying that everybody deals with it the same way, but it has to be dealt with. You do the best you can.”
Q: Were there past experiences in your life that helped you get through this?
CRENNEL: “Basically, probably my father because he’s a military guy. No major issues happened like the last couple days, but the way he handles himself and the discipline that he had to have as a career army guy. He brought that home, and we had to be part of it. I think that helped me deal with some of it. My mother was a very patient person as well, so I took some of her patience to help deal with life in general.”
Q: Have counseling services been utilized?
CRENNEL: “Yes, we have counselors on site, and they’ll be here most of the week. They were at the hotel Saturday night. The players were told that they’re available and if they want to talk to them and use them, they can. We also have a chaplain who is on site, and I think he has been very helpful. I know the linebackers had a session today. The coaches will probably have a session tomorrow, so it’s available and it’s being used.”
Q: What’s been your stance on players owning guns?
CRENNEL: “I haven’t really had a stance on players owning guns because the law is what the law is. The thing that I’m always concerned about is that there are certain states that have different laws as far as gun ownership is concerned. When we get guys, you have to educate them about laws in your state. Generally what we’ve attempted to do was tell them to know the law, turn your gun in to our security people, let us hold onto it and then after that, if you need it, you can take it home. You can go put it in your safe or whatever you need to do with it, but the law allows for them to have guns.”
Q: What do you mean turn it in to the security people?
CRENNEL: “Well, you’re talking about people who come to you and sometimes they don’t know the law. They just have a gun. Believe it or not, some of them drive it up in their cars. They might drive it to a state that they don’t know the laws in that state, or the state that they have to travel to with the gun in the car. So what we try to do is educate them and inform them and say, ‘Look, let us take care of this gun for you because you can’t have it on NFL property. At any NFL event you can’t have one, so let’s not be tempted by it.’”
Q: Can you give examples of how faith, football and each other has helped you get through this?
CRENNEL: “I’m assuming and I don’t know this, but I think everybody has a faith, different faiths. Everybody’s level of faith is different, so I can’t tell a guy that, ‘This is the way, or that’s the way.’ I think each individual has to have their own faith and believe in what they believe in. That can help them get through. They’re teammates because you’re with them every day. You lean on your teammates. You help them, you help each other. You do that, and then we all have families. They’re probably the most important people in our lives, so you lean on family. You get counseled from them. You tell them problems and seek solutions. I think that combination is probably the best way to go about it.”
Q: Do you think Jovan Belcher was overwhelmed by the high profile job, being a new father?
CRENNEL: “Now you’re trying to make me a psychologist, and I’m not a psychologist. I don’t know what made him snap. I was surprised, so I can’t answer that question.”
Q: Have you talked to Jamaal?
CRENNEL: “Yes, I talk to Jamaal every day. Jamaal, he has a double-whammy is what he has. He lost two people in this incident, and he’s taking it kind of hard. I think yesterday was good for him, so he could take his mind off of it a little bit. It’s a tough situation, but I think Jamaal will get through it and we will help him get through it.”
Q: You said you couldn’t reach the young man. What were you trying to say?
CRENNEL: “I was trying to get him to understand that life is not over, he still has a chance and let’s get this worked out.”
Q: Was there any point that you asked yourself, ‘Maybe I should have said this?’
CRENNEL: “No, I don’t question what I said at all.”
Q: What do you think of the leadership Brady Quinn displayed?
CRENNEL: “Well, as a quarterback, you’re a natural leader, so he always has had leadership qualities and leadership ability. He played a big game yesterday, that was helpful to the team. That was a good thing that he did that. I don’t know what his comments were, but he’s been a leader.”
Q: What had Jovan told you what had transpired before he got to the stadium?
CRENNEL: “He hadn’t told me anything about that. I didn’t know what had happened. All I knew is it was a player with a gun, and that’s not a good thing.”
Q: Have you ever seen him in those conditions?
CRENNEL: “What conditions? I’ve never seen him with a gun. Never, ever.”
Q: Do you know if Jovan had ever suffered a concussion or a head injury?
CRENNEL: “I don’t know that he had.”
Q: Do you know what Jovan’s personal issues were?
CRENNEL: “No, I don’t.”
Q: How does this change the way you view life?
CRENNEL: “It has not changed the way I view life other than I know that nothing is promised to us in this life, so you need to live your life the best way that you can each day because tomorrow is not promised. If you do that, you should feel good about yourself.”
Q: Have you changed your priorities at all?
CRENNEL: “No, my priorities have been stable and consistent all along.”
CRENNEL: “We got beat up just a little bit. We had some guys with some muscle injuries – some hams, some quads. Derrick Johnson is nursing one. Flow, Flowers is nursing one. Abe Elam is nursing one. Bailey is an ankle. He should be OK. We’ll have to see on the muscles the next couple of days to see what they can do.”
Q: Javier left, is he OK?
CRENNEL: “Yes, he’s alright.”
Q: Can Kendrick Lewis play this week?
CRENNEL: “I’m not sure, we’ll have to find out.”