Former Kansas City Chiefs head coach and current Houston Texans defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel watches his team against the Oakland Raiders at O.co Coliseum in Oakland, California on December 16, 2012. File photo by Terry Schmitt/UPI | License Photo
Romeo, Romeo, where art thou? Romeo Crennel is in Houston, and will assume the defensive coordinator job with the Texans.
With the announcement Saturday that defensive coordinator Mike Vrabel landed the head coaching job with the Tennessee Titans, Crennel will slide back into his former role after serving as the team's assistant head coach this past season, Texans coach Bill O'Brien confirmed Saturday.
"Yeah, he was still really involved with the defense this past year. He just had other duties helping me," O'Brien told Fox 26 TV. "He won't have as many of those duties. He'll be back being the defensive coordinator and still have the assistant head coach title."
Before Vrabel took over as defensive coordinator this past season, Crennel was in charge of the defense the previous three years and his unit never ranked below 11th in the NFL in points per game. In 2016, the Texans were No. 1 in the NFL in fewest yards given up per game after being ranked No. 3 overall in 2015.
At the end of the 2016 season, Crennel's contract expired and he agreed to stay on as an assistant head coach. His familiarity with the staff and players should help make the transition easier.
"He was still really involved with the defense this past year," O'Brien said of the 70-year-old Crennel. "He just had other duties helping me. He won't have as many of those duties. He'll be back being the defensive coordinator and still have the assistant head coach title."
Crennel has plenty of NFL experience. The well-traveled coach has spent time with the Cleveland Browns and Kansas City Chiefs as their head coach during a nearly 50-year coaching career.