At this point, it seems pretty clear Bill O’Brien has full control of the Houston Texans, both coaching staff and front office.
The only question now is whether he’s making the right decisions.
Romeo Crennel out, Anthony Weaver in as defensive coordinator
On Monday came news that Romeo Crennel will not return as Houston’s defensive coordinator, and defensive line coach Anthony Weaver will be promoted to take Crennel’s place.
It’s unclear what role, if any, Crennel will have with the team moving forward.
The 39-year-old Weaver has been with the Texans since 2016; he began his coaching career just a decade ago, after a seven-year NFL career with the Baltimore Ravens and Houston.
Weaver was a grad assistant at Florida in 2010, coached at North Texas in 2011, and came to the NFL in 2012 as the Jets assistant defensive line coach, a move that reunited him with Rex Ryan, who had been his coach in Baltimore.
He’s also coached with the Buffalo Bills and Cleveland Browns.
Ryan, now an ESPN analyst, told Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle that he’s excited for Weaver.
“I think he’ll be outstanding; a guy I think will be a head coach in a few years with that kind of personality, that kind of charisma,” Ryan said. “He’s going to do a great job.”
Crennel is one of the most respected coaches in the league. Now 72 years old, he has been with the Texans for the entirety of O’Brien’s tenure as head coach. From 2014-16 he was coordinator, then in 2017 Crennel was assistant head coach while Mike Vrabel was coordinator.
In 2018, after Vrabel was hired by the Tennessee Titans, Crennel resumed coordinator duties in addition to his role as assistant head coach.
Crennel’s contract is reportedly set to expire soon, and the Houston Chronicle’s John McClain tweeted that the move to promote Weaver had been expected since the Texans’ playoff meltdown against the Chiefs, when Houston was up 24-0 in the second quarter but lost 51-31.
Crennel may also opt to retire.
John Pagano fired
Outside linebackers coach John Pagano has also been fired.
Pagano, the younger brother of former Colts head coach Chuck Pagano, spent just two seasons with Houston. Previously John has been the Chargers’ defensive coordinator and the Raiders’ interim coordinator.
Cap expert also out
In another move that highlights the strangeness of the Texans’ front office, senior vice president of football administration Chris Olsen was fired.
Olsen had been with Houston for 13 years, and was their cap-management expert in addition to serving as interim general manager after the brief tenure of Brian Gaine.
O’Brien is the de facto GM along with Jack Easterby, who is officially vice president of team development after leaving the Patriots after the 2018 season. Easterby has primarily been a team chaplain and character coach, but he and O’Brien seem to have free rein to do what they’d like with the organization.
O’Brien reports directly to Texans chairman Cal McNair.
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