A WEEKLY REVIEW OF O'BRIEN'S CRENNEL'S COACHING

​Now​ my job: Big win for the Texans and Romeo Crennel

The team looked better without O'Brien. Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images

The Texans came away with a big win Sunday besting the Jags 30-14. It was a huge win. The biggest win of the season. Bigly. It was the best. I'd go as far as to say this was the best win this team has had ever!

Enough with the superlatives. This was a good win. I was impressed by the way the coaching staff handled things. They put the players in position to execute and the players did just that.

At 73 years and 115 days, Romeo Crennel was the oldest coach in NFL history. He's also the oldest to win a game. The offense and defense looked different, and for the better. Let's take a look at some of the things that I found that were worthy of praise, and criticism:

The output of the offense was impressive. Deshaun Watson threw for 359 yards and three touchdowns. David Johnson ran for 96 yards. Will Fuller, Darren Fells, and Brandin Cooks each caught touchdown passes from Watson. Cooks caught eight passes for 161 yards. The offense looked fluid and was productive. The biggest difference I saw was Watson checking into and out of plays. You could tell he was more comfortable checking in and out of plays at the line of scrimmage. The no huddle and/or sugar huddle was executed perfectly. Keeping things up-tempo kept the Jags off guard and kept the Texans in rhythm. Watson did throw two picks. The first was all on him, but the second wasn't. At first, David Johnson looked like the complete bust that he's been the last few years. He regained some life and looked good later on. The zone split run play was a favorite. The tight end would motion then block across the line of scrimmage, while the offensive line would zone block to the inside. Johnson had some of his best runs off this play. Major props to Tim Kelly as the offensive coordinator for recognizing what he has, what it's capable of, and calling plays accordingly.

Anthony Weaver called a good game on defense. It was scary at first because they couldn't stop the Jags. Too many times they weren't getting pressure and were getting burned. Eventually, the blitzes dialed up started causing trouble. They even found a way to get two turnovers! They were their first two turnovers of the season and they came at the right times. Several times down the stretch as they were nursing a lead, the pressure caused incompletions, led to sacks, or a turnover. Sure it was the Jags, but it was a win and a much-needed flex of some muscle on both sides of the ball.

The elephant in the room undoubtedly will be if this was done because of or in spite of Bill O'Brien's absence. One can only speculate. Time will tell. They have the Titans, Packers, and Jags again in their next three games. If they somehow pull away from that stretch 4-4, I'll be more impressed. The Packers are a Super Bowl favorite in the NFC and will not be easy. The Titans are solid, but beatable, and they just beat the Jags. 4-4 at the half point puts them in position to make the playoffs still. Even a 3-5 record leaves them an outside shot, especially considering the extra playoff spot. Here's to us finding out if O'Brien's absence is addition by subtraction! Cheers!

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We'll see if Watson is in pads on Tuesday. Photo courtesy of the Houston Texans.

The Houston Texans had their last practice before pads come on for the first time on Tuesday. There was plenty to see on Monday.

1. Deshaun Watson had his usual extremely light level of work. He did very little throwing to teammates, though he did throw to the tight ends in 1-on-1 drills.

2. Texans head coach David Culley said "nothing has changed" when asked if Deshaun Watson will be in pads Tuesday. Culley has maintained that answer for a couple of sessions now.

3. Quarterback Tyrod Taylor was back after missing Saturday with an excused personal day. Taylor has been the best quarterback in camp by a wide margin. Taylor makes better decisions with the football than other quarterbacks, but he does struggle on deeper passes. Taylor missed wildly on one deep ball and was a little wobbly on another.

4. Nobody in camp can cover wide receiver Brandin Cooks. This could be the easiest training camp of his life. He easily gets open in 1-on-1 situations.

5. Rookie wide receiver Nico Collins continues to flash his abilities in camp. Collins easily shook loose from defensive back John Reid and took the route vertical for an easy score. Collins later had a tough catch in traffic.

6. It's only been a few days, but the competition for inside wide receiver reps is tough. Former Bears wideout Anthony Miller has looked quick and nothing like the "draft bust" the Bears fans watched. Keke Coutee has rarely lost a rep, but Desmond King did win a few times over Coutee in the opening days of camp. Former Bengals wideout Alex Erickson finds himself constantly open. The cuts at wide receiver are already shaking out to be difficult.

7. Davis Mills bounced back in a sense that he couldn't be worse than he was on Saturday. The performance from Mills on Saturday was abysmal, but head coach David Culley said he liked how Mills responded today. With Tyrod Taylor back, there were fewer reps for Mills, but he had some impressive throws to go along with an off-target throw or two. Mills was far better than Jeff Driskel on Monday. Driskel tossed two interceptions right to defenders, including one that would've gone the wrong way for a score.

8. This linebacker group is interesting. With a new defensive scheme under Lovie Smith, the type of linebacker is very different from previous years. There was a clear emphasis on cover ability as these linebackers were added to the team.

9. Kamu Grugier-Hill and Kevin Pierre-Louis have both had some significant wins for the linebackers in coverage.

10. Rookie tight end Brevin Jordan looks the part physically, but he's had a rough few days, including a drop on Monday.

11. With the pads coming on Tuesday, it will be fun to watch the rebuilt defensive line clash with the many combinations of the offensive line. There will be no J.J. Watt who historically stirred up the team on day one of pads. Laremy Tunsil's cool confidence about the offensive line over the weekend leads me to believe they are a confident group, while there are spots to be won on the defensive side of the line.

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