KANSAS CITY, Mo.—In his accustomed spot on the sideline and, by all signs, very much in the moment, Romeo Crennel cued his Chiefs defense with the usual gestures. His right fist held high. His hands waving just so.
Earlier, as his defensive players rested on the bench, Gary Gibbs stood before them with photos of Cam Newton and the Carolina offense. Gibbs leaned in close, jabbed at the photos with his finger, got his message across.
Up in the press box just before the start of this (meaningless?) game between the 1-10 Chiefs and the 3-8 Panthers, Scott Pioli made a quick blow-through. There were a few handshakes and many more knowing looks, but Pioli kept nodding and moving and then he was gone. Somehow, he’d appeared clear-eyed and well-rested.
Three men—the head coach, his top defensive assistant and the team’s general manager—had jobs to do Sunday. Barely 24 hours after witnessing Jovan Belcher’s suicide by gunshot in the parking lot outside the Chiefs’ training facility, they did their jobs.