The organization has also made a significant front office change
Texans promote from within for new DC as changes begin
A few of the Texans changes are just a sign of Bill O'Brien's increasing power.
Romeo Crennel is out
Shakeup in Houston: Longtime respected assistant Romeo Crennel is not expected to return as the #Texans' defensive coordinator, sources tell me and @RapSheet. His contract is up soon; he could return as a senior assistant or retire. DL coach Anthony Weaver a top candidate for DC.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) January 20, 2020
This was a move that had to be made. Despite issues with health and talent, the Texans defense was not anywhere close to good enough under Romeo Crennel. A top five points per game number in 2018 turned into the 19th best figure in football in 2019 capped off by defensive ineptitude against the Chiefs in the playoffs. The Texans were also bottom five in yards per game.
The Texans once before had Crennel leaving the defensive coordinator spot with the promotion of Mike Vrabel to defensive coordinator only to have the long-time coordinator return when Vrabel was hired by the Titans. Hopefully this move works out better than the last time as Vrabel oversaw a massive drop off in his one year at the head of the defense.
It wouldn't be unusual to expect to still see Crennel with the Texans considering the youth and inexperience as a coordinator the new team's defensive coordinator possesses.
Anthony Weaver is in
Texans promoted their defensive line coach Anthony Weaver to their defensive coordinator, per league sources. He takes over job from Romeo Crennel.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 20, 2020
I didn't believe the Texans would turn to Anthony Weaver as their next defensive coordinator, perhaps opting for more experience, but here we are. I really enjoy this risk the Texans are taking.
Weaver is well respected across the NFL and people I have talked to mentioned they thought he might have been ready to coordinate a defense before last season. There is a thought he will be a head coach in the league eventually if his success as a position coach carries over to the coordinator job.
Weaver has been in Houston coaching the defensive line for four seasons after two seasons doing the same in Cleveland. I don't need to tell you the Texans defensive line has vastly overachieved when you think about the actual investment the team has made in it to this date. Weaver has turned player after player into contributor and has coached up D.J. Reader, a late round pick, to near the top of his position.
Weaver played under Rex Ryan when Ryan was the defensive line coach and defensive coordinator in Baltimore. He also coached under current Packers defensive coordinator Mike Pettine in Cleveland.
This is no easy task for Weaver. He takes over a side of the ball with quite a few holes to fill via either free agency, trade, or the draft. His side of the football lacks overall talent and there aren't a ton of avenues to get a talent influx for the Texans defense.
A new leader of the defense, and hopefully new direction, could be a huge move for a side of the ball that underwhelmed in 2019. Of course, they didn't underwhelm anywhere near the level of underwhelming the offense was, but there have yet to be many changes on that side of the ball.
The last time the Texans promoted from within for this position, they failed miserably that season on defense bottoming-out. The team will have to hope Weaver has different results.
Contract expert shown the door
Texans have fired senior vice president of football administration Chris Olsen, their primary contract negotiator, according to league sources— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) January 20, 2020
This was a huge shocker to me from the front office side of the Texans. When I talked at length about the Texans with people around the NFL there was always a conversation about how no matter what the structure was when it came to the general manager situation the Texans could lean on Chris Olsen to make sure their contracts were lined up right.
Olsen was very well thought of around the league. Now, the Texans have one less front office mind to lean on as the non-GM situation seems to continue.
I would say though, over the past year, the Texans have handed out some very un-Olsen type deals to players. Nick Martin's contract seemed pricey. Whitney Mercilus potentially was overpaid a great deal. But there were still plenty of really good deals made in the past year.
The Texans are set to negotiate two of the biggest contracts in franchise history this offseason with the expectation quarterback Deshaun Watson and left tackle Laremy Tunsil get new deals.
For whatever reason, Bill O'Brien and Jack Easterby along with whatever other people sit on the council of decision-making have decided the contract expert was not needed. This could be because they have someone in mind for these duties but it also could mean something much bigger.
This could be a clearing so the Texans could hire a general manager. Now, I believe O'Brien would still maintain power over said GM but I also think it would take a lot off O'Brien's plate while still allowing him to work with the offense to a great degree.
O'Brien can't continue at his current pace. He was spread too thin and the team suffered for it. A general manager could take some of those duties off his hands while allowing him to get back to the offense in a more full-time capacity. Again, I believe O'Brien would remain the final decision maker on most everything, but it wouldn't hurt to have that title on someone and help the Texans top employee