The Houston Texans knew who they wanted to be their defensive coordinator under new head coach Bill O’Brien. Their eyes were set on him as O’Brien worked to finalize his coaching staff over the last week. On Monday, they got their man, as Romeo Crennel agreed to a three year deal to become the Texans next defensive coordinator.
Crennel’s agreed deal will pay him over $7 million over the next three seasons, including the $3.5 million from his final year owed from the Kansas City Chiefs. He will bring his version of the 3-4 defense to Houston after sitting out of football this past season. Crennel spent last week in St. Petersburg Florida coaching the West squad in college football’s East-West Shrine game.
The Texans were waiting for Crennel to finish those duties, and agreed on the contract terms yesterday. He can now turn his attention to a defense that is in need of a makeover, despite finishing 7th in total defense in 2013. That ranking, based on yardage allowed, was not truly indicitive of the play of Houston’s defense.
The pass rush was primarily nonexistent, and they finished next to last in the NFL with only 32 sacks. The Texans were also inept in forcing turnovers, as they forced only 11 turnovers total and intercepted a paltry 7 passes. Both of those totals were dead last in the league. The unit also struggled in the red zone, and gave up too many points at 26.8 ppg.
Hopefully Crennel will be able to implement a defensive scheme that will be more aggressive and dictate to opposing offenses instead of vice-versa. It will be interesting to see if he will continue to use the two gap version of the 3-4 he’s used previously. That version of the 3-4 doesn’t neccesarily emphasize disruptive play from the defensvie end position. Crennel’s new best player on defense, J.J. Watt, happens to play defensive end and happens to be the best one in the game. Look for Crennel to throw in some different wrinkles in his 3-4 to maximize Watt. He’s seen enough defense in his 44 years of coaching to know that you gameplan around your best. There’s a new vibe around the Texans, let’s see how the defense will look in 2014.