The organization has also made a significant front office change

Texans promote from within for new DC as changes begin

Getty Images

A few of the Texans changes are just a sign of Bill O'Brien's increasing power.

Romeo Crennel is out

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

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

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

Most Popular

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome

Listen Live

Yordan Alvarez came up big in Game 5. Composite image by Jack Brame.

The Astros can win the pennant Friday night. Can't dangle the carrot any closer in front of the face than that. Taking the last two games at Fenway Park has the Astros in excellent position, but any notion that a third American League championship in five years is now inevitable, is silly. The Astros are probably 80 percent or better to advance, but of course the Red Sox could win games six and seven at Minute Maid Park à la the Nationals in the World Series two years ago. The Astros had all the momentum after winning three straight in D.C., came home for the coronation, and pfffft. You have momentum...until you don't. It's nothing to bank on. The Red Sox had all the "mo" after clobbering the Astros in games two and three of this AL championship series. Then Jose Altuve crushed the eighth inning tying home run in game four, ahead of the seven run volcanic eruption of a ninth inning. Nine more Astro runs later in game five, and here we are.

One key distinction that makes the Astros hand look stronger up 3-2 now than vs. the Nats, the Red Sox don't have Stephen Strasburg and Max Scherzer ready to pitch. Like Framber Valdez vs. Chris Sale in game five, game six is another starting pitching rematch. Alvin native Nathan Eovaldi grossly outpitched Luis Garcia in game two. We'll see if Sox manager Alex Cora winds up regretting even more using Eovaldi to start the fateful game four ninth inning. Eovaldi only threw 24 pitches, but three nights later we'll see what and how much he has in the tank.

After pitching horribly against the White Sox and then the Red Sox, and then citing a sore knee, Luis Garcia is his own huge question mark. So was Valdez before Wednesday spinning one of the great postseason pitching performances in Astros' history. Framber was awful in each of his first two postseason starts, absolutely magnificent in cruising through eight innings in game five. Should the Sox force Game Seven, Valdez certainly is a relief option on two days rest. Jose Urquidy would start, opposite Eduardo Rodriguez in a game three rematch.

Valdez and the Astros hope his next outing is Tuesday night in game one of the World Series. Ideally, at Minute Maid Park against the Atlanta Braves. Alas, the defending champion Dodgers remain alive and kicking, having won their fourth do or die game already in this postseason to send the National League Championship Series back to Atlanta. Now, if somehow we knew as fact that the Astros are going to win the World Series, I'd estimate approximately 99 percent of Astros' fans would prefer to beat L.A. Since we don't know that the Astros are going to win it all, getting the Braves would be more favorable for the Astros, if for no other reason than the Astros would get home-field advantage. Should the Braves make it, among other factoids Charlie Morton would be in his third World Series with three different teams in the last five seasons (Astros in 2017, Rays last year, Braves this). If the Braves can close out the Dodgers Saturday, Morton is Atlanta's likely game one starter at MMP. Provided the Astros are the AL Champs of course.

Watt a matchup for the Texans

The Texans play at Arizona Sunday. Yeah, and? You imagine that J.J. Watt and DeAndre Hopkins find the two team's current situations amusing? The Texans are a 1-5 stink bomb that will keep on stinking. The Cardinals are 6-0 and an emerging Super Bowl contender. While Deshaun Watson continues collecting about 600 thousand dollars per week to do nothing (and waiting to become a Miami Dolphin?), Kyler Murray has made the leap to upper echelon NFL quarterback.

Buzzer Beaters:

1. Decisions, decisions. Astros-Red Sox game 6 or Rockets home opener vs. Thunder. Tough call?

2. The Rockets will regularly be overmatched and probably lose 55 games or more again this season. At least they have young talent to offer some hope. The Texans presently have near nothing.

3. Best 2021 Astros' postseason journey signature food: Bronze-Atlanta/Los Angeles, anything? Silver-Chicago, deep dish pizza Gold-Boston, lobster roll

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome