Out is Wade Phillips and the old members of the Houston Texans coaching staff, and in comes Romeo Crennel to replace Phillips as the Texans defensive coordinator. A Crennel-to-the-Texans move has been in the cards ever since a rumor surfaced yesterday, and FOX Sports’s Alex Marvez reports, citing a source, that O’Brien has fired the previous staff and has indeed brought on Crennel to be the new Texans defensive coordinator.
O’Brien’s decision to fire coordinators Wade Phillips and Rick Dennison isn’t truly surprising since he wants to bring “his guys” aboard and really run this team his way, but both Phillips and Dennison are excellent coordinators and are arguably the best on the open market now. Neither firing is surprising, though, because O’Brien doesn’t want a power struggle with Phillips, who may have also felt spurned by the Texans for not hiring him as the head coach, and would rather work with Crennel, who is a great defensive coordinator in his own right and knows O’Brien well (they are former New England Patriots coordinators, so the Bill Belichick link between O’Brien and Crennel is certainly there despit the fact that they never worked together in Foxboro). As for Dennison, O’Brien wants to call his own plays, so why should a head coach with an offensive background keep an OC? It doesn’t matter how good Dennison is, O’Brien is going to hire someone who fits what he wants to do.
Anyway, the Texans new defensive coordinator is Romeo Crennel, and it will be interesting to see just how that effects the Texans scheme. They’ll still run a 3-4, but I expect less blitzing, which is actually a good thing. I wonder if Crennel can help the inconsistent Whitney Mercilus take the next step, and it will also be interesting to see how Crennel affects the Texans draft strategy and free agency strategy on defense.