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Bill O’Brien clears out Texans staff, to hire Romeo Crennel

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Well, Wade Phillips won’t get the chance to be the Texans defensive coordinator next year. And none of the guys he worked with are hanging around either.

According to Alex Marvez of FOX Sports, new Texans coach Bill O’Brien met with the existing Texans staff and fired them all, and will name Romeo Crennel as his defensive coordinator.

The 66-year-old Crennel was out of football this season after being fired by the Chiefs with two years left on his contract. That will allow the Texans to stay with the 3-4 defense they’re already running.

The clean house sets the stage for the Texans staff to have a very Bostonian vibe, as O’Brien will tap into his base of former Patriots co-workers for help.

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68 Responses to “Bill O’Brien clears out Texans staff, to hire Romeo Crennel”
  1. 1pwrightt says: Jan 4, 2014 10:40 AM

    Well since Crennel did such a fine job with the Chiefs in there loosing season why not hire him in Texas??

  2. jimjets says: Jan 4, 2014 10:41 AM

    Jerks breeding jerks. Weiss crennel mcdaniels the lot of them have one thing in common – no tom Brady – failure. Just like the jerk in New England. My only question is when Houston loses does Obrien mumble look at the ground and answer every question “they made more plays then us”

  3. bobzilla1001 says: Jan 4, 2014 10:43 AM

    In other words, O’Brien has hired the Texans’ next interim coach in case things don’t go well. Good thinking, Bill.

  4. realnflmaster says: Jan 4, 2014 10:47 AM

    At least he doesn’t run that joke of a Tampa 2 scheme. Embarrassing system that needs to be removed from the NFL. Every team that runs it fails. Lovie in Chicago. Leslie Fraser Vikings. Raheem Morris Bucs. Kiffin Cowboys.

    The list goes on.

  5. htowntexan says: Jan 4, 2014 10:59 AM

    Too bad. Wade is a good man. Best of luck to him.

  6. harrisonhits2 says: Jan 4, 2014 11:00 AM

    Texans are going to be very dangerous with the O’Brien – Crennel combo. This is a great hire by O’Brien and I expect they’ll see an immediate turn around similar to what happened in KC this year.

  7. pfic15 says: Jan 4, 2014 11:02 AM

    That “jerk” in NE won 10+ games without Brady a few years ago…..

  8. 6ball says: Jan 4, 2014 11:10 AM


    Romeo Crennel has 5 Super Bowl rings as either a defensive line coach for Bill Parcells, or as defensive coordinator for Bill Belichick. It’s a fact that’s often overlooked.


  9. poochessays says: Jan 4, 2014 11:13 AM

    On further review, b.o.b is not a man of his word. Don’t let the door hit your butt on the way out

  10. wtfchiefs says: Jan 4, 2014 11:22 AM

    Romeo is a great coordinator. Texans got a good one. I’m sure O’Brien just wanted to hire his own guy.

  11. klutch14u says: Jan 4, 2014 11:24 AM

    Crennel is a great coordinator and his players love him. Where he tends to get in trouble is the above gets him made HC after the HC gets canned and then it all goes to hell. Stay the DC Romeo.

  12. bworacle says: Jan 4, 2014 11:25 AM


    As a lifelong Houston football fan, I think we may have the best coach in our entire history (sorry Bum Luv Ya Blue fans).

    Wade Phillips defense has become too predictable and soft and a full house cleaning was needed (I’m willing to see what GM Rick Smith can do without the equally predictable and soft Gary Kubiak lording over him).

    As to not having Tom Brady, I give you Teddy Bridgewater whose scouting report is similar to what Tom’s was coming out of Michigan. The one thing they share is Football IQ (read this week’s SI article to see what I mean). Teddy is BOB’s kind of player and he’s going to fall in love with him when he gets a chance to talk X’s and O’s with him).

  13. gbrim says: Jan 4, 2014 11:27 AM

    If I was a Texans fan I would rather have Phillips, and his track record, than Crennel and his, running the Houston D.

    Ownership went from arguably too patient to arguably too much change for the sake of change.

  14. audient says: Jan 4, 2014 11:34 AM

    Crennel as a head coach didn’t work out twice. But Crennel as a Defensive Coordinator is a monster. I like it.

    (Browns fan)

  15. rushbacker says: Jan 4, 2014 11:34 AM

    LOL. Patriots West, Version 4.0. Because it worked so well everywhere else. . .

  16. bcajun says: Jan 4, 2014 11:34 AM

    I would have kept Wade

  17. reed20fence says: Jan 4, 2014 11:39 AM

    Dumb move. Amidst all the upheavel and change, keeping Wade was the best thing to do. He knows this roster intimately having coached them for the last few years, and he would have helped O’Brien navigate the waters of Texas football for at least a year.

    Defense was not the problem with the Texans. The debilitating and depressing lack of support from the offense was the problem.

  18. truths4all says: Jan 4, 2014 11:39 AM

    Unless you are a jerk of a coach like Whisenhunt to ran the Cards into the ground without Kurt Warner, any coach and his staff are only as good as the playmaking players he has on the roster that the GM got for him.

  19. moronbait says: Jan 4, 2014 11:49 AM

    As a chiefs fan, Romeo was a terrible head coach. As a defensive coordinator I thought he was very good. I think this is a good hire by the texans and if they get a QB in this draft, they are playoff bound next season. In fact, I may put my money where my mouth is and place a bet on them for next season. I live in Nevada.

  20. chiefdt58 says: Jan 4, 2014 11:50 AM

    Romeo is one of the best defensive minds in football. I wish he could have stayed with the Chiefs in a coordinator role. Texans fans that are whining because of his head coaching record will be singing his praises as a defensive genius next year. Romeo is one of the good ones in life and football.

  21. damcmp says: Jan 4, 2014 11:53 AM

    Fire them All!!!!!! now evaluate the players and see that you aren’t stacked/loaded at all!!!! LMAO!!! Absolutely nothing beyond a few big names and fat cats… they spend a great deal of time on IR counting their money

  22. grruffgrruff says: Jan 4, 2014 11:56 AM

    This is what Cleveland needs to do. Clean House.

  23. bostonian13 says: Jan 4, 2014 11:57 AM

    Why are people saying Belichick is nothing without Brady? He damn near was getting the browns to dynasty form before the owner screwed everything up. I mean c’mon, the Ravens should give Belichick a ring for their first Superbowl.

  24. tonyc920 says: Jan 4, 2014 12:02 PM

    I certainly hope the negative posts in here are NOT Houston fans. OBrien is fantastic coach and should do well quickly. So Romeo wasn’t cut out to be a head coach but that doesn’t mean he’s not a good D-Coordinator. In fact he’s not just good, he’s great and his players typically will tear their hearts out for the guy. I’m in GB so I’m a Packer fan. I’ve always respected a Crennel defensive scheme. He’s gonna have fun moving JJ Watt around on passing downs.
    You’re in good hands Texans fans.
    Go Pack !

  25. stixzidinia says: Jan 4, 2014 12:08 PM

    Never gets old seeing Patriots staffers fall flat on their faces when they venture out from under Belichick’s tent. This time will be no different.

  26. chools119 says: Jan 4, 2014 12:19 PM

    As a patriots fan, I think this is great for Romeo, I wish we had hired him back. Instead we have Matt Patricia, who has never been a DC before and it shows.

  27. sbelig says: Jan 4, 2014 12:19 PM

    Both the O’Brien and Crennel hires are extremely strong for Houston. Everyone that hates the hires really simply hates New England and BB and would rather complain about the building out of a solid staff because of ingrained dislike for the success NE has had. But both these guys do come from success, know how to win, know how to get players to want to win. So hate away as you’ll be the ones a year or two from now backtracking and saying you thought they were the ones for the job when originally hired.

  28. Bronco$32&33 says: Jan 4, 2014 12:24 PM

    Like this was a huge shock to anyone.

  29. toe65 says: Jan 4, 2014 12:25 PM

    I believe that it was a good choice. If Wade was such a good DC why did the defense fail so bad this year. New eyes and ears on the ground is the best that O’Brien could do. Bring in the coaches you know and trust to support your efforts.

  30. madsk1lls says: Jan 4, 2014 12:26 PM

    Look how crennel failed in Kansas City with all the talent they have. Hes fired and now they’re an elite defense. Texans don’t have half the talent and depth of KC. Big mistake not keeping Phillips.

  31. berniemadoffsides says: Jan 4, 2014 12:32 PM

    Big mistake getting rid of Wade. He’s not a great head coach, but he’s an absolute beast of a DC.

  32. chuckxx says: Jan 4, 2014 12:36 PM

    Sorry but Romeo is a disasterous pick.

  33. tim8450 says: Jan 4, 2014 12:47 PM

    So, Crennel has 5 Superbowl rings, and Wade Phillips has how many? There are no coincidences.

  34. tigerlilac says: Jan 4, 2014 12:49 PM

    Great to see the Patriots haters crawling out from under their rocks to slam a coach and a franchise that is going to the playoffs again, their 8th top-two seed since 2001 (11 division championships in 13 years). In the previous seven years they earned a bye, they went to the Super Bowl 5 times, winning three.

  35. pgolf3 says: Jan 4, 2014 12:55 PM

    silly boy thing about tex was the d/
    thank you from al other teams…

  36. nflrox36 says: Jan 4, 2014 12:57 PM

    The Texans will regret hiring Romeo…While in KC the Chiefs routinely gave up 30+ points a game…vs 17 pts per game now.

    You’ve been warned

  37. dualprime says: Jan 4, 2014 12:58 PM

    Now draft Clowney for Romeo and Bortles for Bill!

  38. gilmorelogic says: Jan 4, 2014 12:59 PM

    Old Bill seems to be singing the mantra ” My way”. Kubiak and Wade felt good but didn’t finish the job. Old Wade’s defense is only good for three years max. Repeat after me, halftime adjustments, halftime adjustments etc.. Welcome to Houston Mr. O’Brien, I hope you finish what Bum Philips started. I’m a believer.

  39. toybkshr says: Jan 4, 2014 1:02 PM

    Don’t fret for Wade, he’ll have a DC gig within a week. Not head coach material (who is in Dallas?), but a good defensive mind.

  40. hitorbunt2 says: Jan 4, 2014 1:48 PM

    It will be interesting to see if Bucs go with college coaches who are more into teaching players since they only have for 2 or 3 years before going pro to the Texans hiring coaches that have been on many teams an seem to say my way an you must adjust to systems that we used for 10 years with the many teams that fired me.
    I wish the Ravens would fire the entire offense coaching staff.
    We had fried rice of tackle-1 yd, fired rice off center- 1 yd, 5 yd pass than punt, time off clock 30 seconds, no wonder our def. got tired , of course its Flacco fault because Pitta was hurt, hell no try calling a pass play of 12 yds, or pass first than run second.. who in there right mind will hire Jim Caldwell maybe he can join Monty (wake me up at halftime) Kiffin an they can play Madden 25, probley end in a tie…
    One pissed off Ravens fan, you think its cold now wait to Feb 2nd…

  41. metalguitarist1 says: Jan 4, 2014 1:51 PM

    I think they should have kept wade he was a very good coach.

  42. atwatercrushesokoye says: Jan 4, 2014 1:53 PM

    It’ll be interesting to see how this affects JJ Watt, yes Crennell and Phillips both run 3-4 defenses but they’re completely different schemes.

    Phillips runs a 1 gap 3-4 that plays more like a traditional 4-3, the ends sand nose can penetrate their gaps because they’re only responsible for 1 each, the backers are then also responsible for gaps. This scheme allows lighter more athletic linemen to play it.

    Crennell runs a traditional 3-4 where the linemen are each responsible for controlling 2 gaps, it’s more important to tie up blockers and keep anchored allowing for the backers to flow and make plays. This scheme requires bigger space eating linemen, they want 3 defensive linemen to control 5 offensive linemen.

    Both schemes have pros and cons but they require different types of players, Watt would seem to be wasted as an end in Crennell’s scheme, I wouldn’t be shocked to hear rumblings of him being moved to outside linebacker.

  43. surfinbird1 says: Jan 4, 2014 2:02 PM

    Now with Josh McDaniels maybe going to Cleveland They’re gonna fight over who gets Matt Cassel from the Vikes. Bunch of Belichick wannabes. You’re nothing without the Hoodie nothing I tell you nothing. Sorry I got carried away.

  44. dcpatfan says: Jan 4, 2014 2:03 PM

    damn! lifelong patfan here and I always hoped i’d see RAC back on the sideline. KC fans you will have the best defense possible moving forward….great personnel move.

  45. dcpatfan says: Jan 4, 2014 2:04 PM

    Texan fans (sorry)

  46. bigdawg24 says: Jan 4, 2014 2:44 PM

    “Patriot way” works really well when you have a guy like Tom Brady for your QB.

  47. bigdawg24 says: Jan 4, 2014 2:44 PM

    Texans deserve better than this hire.

  48. riverhorsey says: Jan 4, 2014 3:14 PM

    Romeo is not a risk taker. His defensive aggressiveness will depend entirely on how O’brien coaches Romeo.

  49. thetooloftools says: Jan 4, 2014 3:17 PM

    Bill O’Brian is going to be a bust.
    He inherited a very good Penn State team, got a few wins, and somehow went to God status.
    Houston is going no where with this guy. Tom Brady was Tom Brady before he got there. Penn State was not a rebuilding project either.
    Houston, you have a problem.
    This man is not the man.

  50. afcdomination says: Jan 4, 2014 3:22 PM

    great hire. he is such a good defensive coordinator. the defense fell apart when he became head coach, the man will do wonders with JJ Watt.

  51. afcdomination says: Jan 4, 2014 3:24 PM

    JJ Watt will be more of a OLB, hand in the dirt as much as possible. look what crennel did with tamba hali, who was at best a “good” DE in the 4-3 who would net 8 sacks. he turned into more of a monster as a 3-4 OLB, and Hali is flat footed and doesn’t have near the ability of Watt

    expect huge things for JJ Watt in Crennel’s D

  52. bigwii says: Jan 4, 2014 3:31 PM

    With the offensive mind and leadership of Bill O’Brian and the defensive genius of Romeo that team could be scary. Especially with the talent that’s already there. Not to mention O’Brian doesn’t put up with any crap and he’s not afraid to being any diva back down to earth.

  53. gbatap says: Jan 4, 2014 3:31 PM

    Crennel will waste JJ Watt. Biggest reason Poe had a breakout year was because of the system change that allowed him to be more agressive and less reactive(which is what Crennel wants of his dline).

  54. drs76109 says: Jan 4, 2014 3:38 PM

    Wade’ll get a job. Might even get the HC in TN!

  55. aljack88 says: Jan 4, 2014 3:41 PM

    “Penn State was not a rebuilding project either.”

    yea, Penn State was in such good shape when O’Brien 1st got there. No scandals or anything going on.

  56. cantonbound13 says: Jan 4, 2014 3:56 PM

    Take notes Stephen Ross!

  57. jimjets says: Jan 4, 2014 4:21 PM

    Anybody who has any association with belicheck at all gets a shot. Now it’s this jerks turn. Nothing more nothing less. My ten year old daughter could “coordinate ” Brady’s offense and he’d still score and win. Do it in Houston with a rookie qb. Go ahead do it

  58. drs76109 says: Jan 4, 2014 4:27 PM

    Wade’ll get another job without question. Wouldn’t ‘t be surprised if he came back to Dallas. Wouldn’t be surprised if ends up in TN (his Dad, Bum, used to be their HC when they were the Oilers).

    I agree that it’s not a smart move by the Texans, and maybe telling for O’Brien in the long run. But Wade will be fine, most likely a DC somewhere.

  59. wolfmanpatriot says: Jan 4, 2014 5:00 PM

    Wade is a decent DC, but he is no Romeo, just like Romeo is a decent HC, yet no BB.

    I miss Romeo in New.England.
    Houston’s D is about to become a dangerous animal.

  60. rogerrodgers says: Jan 4, 2014 5:09 PM

    one loser hiring another loser…great…

  61. texanzfanz says: Jan 4, 2014 5:27 PM

    I really hope these are not Texans Fans talking down on what’s happening with this organization right now.
    With a year like 2013, big change was needed and we should welcome Coach Bill O’ Brien & respect his decisions.
    Can’t get much worse than 2-14!

  62. fanasaurus says: Jan 4, 2014 5:47 PM

    …….. you sound a little jealous of B. Belicheck and the Patriots. Switch teams, from the looser Jets and R. Ryan and time you’ll feel much better.

  63. chrisg25 says: Jan 4, 2014 5:59 PM

    Please stop with the “We should have kept Wade” because his defense is too simple now. This is a passing league and he hasnt got with the program. Man blitz is all he knows.. Crennel will be great as an assistant like he has when those teams he use to be with won Superbowls. So give the man a try before you try to out him.

  64. aljack88 says: Jan 4, 2014 7:56 PM

    fanasaurus says:
    Jan 4, 2014 5:47 PM
    …….. you sound a little jealous of B. Belicheck and the Patriots. Switch teams, from the looser Jets and R. Ryan and time you’ll feel much better.


    Jimjets has a thing for jerks – the Jersey shore is the place to be.

  65. blackdonnelly says: Jan 4, 2014 10:29 PM

    I think it’s a good move for the Texans……clean house and start up fresh. Hiring The Romeo I believe is going to be a good move for Houston – he has a good record as a DC – we’ll leave the whole HC debacle out of the equation.

    fanasaurus: It’s an unwritten rule to NOT switch teams. You make a pick – you run with it for life. You take the good with the bad. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with being a scumsucking bandwagoner – provided the team in question will even have you.

  66. vapor54 says: Jan 5, 2014 7:53 AM

    Crennel seems to be a safe hire. I thought
    O’Brien would roll the dice more

  67. evansvc says: Jan 5, 2014 4:27 PM

    Will Bill O’Brien take a look at some veteran quarterbacks? There is one in Houston that would love to have the opportunity….

  68. gutierrezray07 says: Jan 6, 2014 2:14 PM

    When I heard Bill O Brien had took the job… I told my wife right away… Well Wade is fired… I knew it would happened…. I don’t feel like Wade is up for the job… Maybe could be wrong but I feel that lots of changes needed to take place but as far as Romeo….. Hmm I’m not to crazy about that pick but lets see what we get out of this change but it better be for the good

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