After removing Bill O’Brien from his position as head coach and general manager earlier this season, the Texans look ready to start the search for new team leadership. However, in the era of Covid-19, the scouting, interview, and hiring processes are much more difficult than ever before and makes finding outside candidates nearly impossible. This may be why the Texans look to be keeping the search to a candidate already in the Texans’ organization.
Reports suggest that the Texans are seriously considering Romeo Crennel as the full-time head coach moving forward. Crennel has been the Texan’s interim head coach since the organization moved on from Bill O’Brien in October and has led the team to a 2-3 record since.
Crennel has 39 years of experience coaching in the NFL, 6 of which were spent as the head coach of either the Cleveland Browns and Kansas City Chiefs. He is 30-58 as a head coach with only one winning season (2007 Cleveland Browns) and is 20-52 outside of that season. Of the other 33 years of his NFL coaching career, he spent nine as the special teams’ coach of the New York Giants, ten years as a defensive line coach for the Giants/Patriots/Jets, then the rest of the time as defensive coordinator for the Browns/Patriots/Chiefs/Texans.
Despite having so many years of experience in the league and having spent significant time studying under Bill Belichick, Crennel has not seen any success as a head coach in the NFL. No fans can tell you that better than the fans of the Kansas City Chiefs and the Cleveland Browns.
It is not just his record that is problematic either, as he has a history of drafting poorly as well. Sure, the head coach is not actually in charge of the draft, but they do have considerable say in the matter, especially in the first few rounds.
Crennel coached teams have only drafted a player with an approximate value above 50 three times (Joe Thomas with Cleveland, Justin Houston and Dontari Poe with Kansas City), and all three players did not see a rise in positive production until after Crennel was removed from his position. Only Joe Thomas was a first-round pick, which means he is probably the only draft pick that Crennel was heavily involved in taking.
You would also think, that as a defensive coordinator, he would help some defensive players shine under his coaching, but that just is not true either. He has only ever had one player make it on an all-pro team, with Derrick Johnson making it in 2011 with the Kansas City Chiefs (although, that should not be contributed to Crennel as he was only in charge for the final three games of the season; taking over after the firing of Todd Haley).
Except for his outlier 2007 season with the Cleveland Browns, his teams always rank in the bottom five in points, bottom six in yards, bottom ten in interceptions thrown, bottom ten in passing yards, bottom five in rushing yards allowed (this one actually also includes the 2007 season), and bottom five in passing touchdowns allowed.
Chiefs’ and Browns’ fans have had to sit through the agony of Crennel’s leadership, and it looks likely that the Texans’ fans are going to experience it next.