Anthony Weaver

Texans Hire Anthony Weaver As DC

The Texans are making a change at defensive coordinator. Anthony Weaver has been promoted from defensive line coach to take over for Romeo Crennel, as Adam Schefter of tweets

Crennel was said to be considering retirement. It’s not immediately clear whether the 72-year-old will walk away from the game or return to the team in some sort of advisory capacity. The former Browns and Chiefs head coach served as defensive coordinator from 2014-16 and returned to that role in 2018, after Mike Vrabel became the Titans’ HC. All in all, he’s spent 38 years as an NFL coach.

The Texans ranked 19th in defensive DVOA in 2019 and just fired outside linebackers coach John Pagano. Crennel’s defense is coming off a brutal divisional-round showing, when the Chiefs erased a 24-point deficit by halftime in a 51-31 rout.

Weaver, 39, played with the Texans for three seasons in the 2000s and has coached in Houston for the past four years.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Romeo Crennel Contemplating Retirement

A two-stint defensive coordinator for the Texans, Romeo Crennel has not committed to staying in his role for the 2020 season. The longtime coach is considering retirement, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reports.

Crennel, 72, has played key roles on all six Bill O’Brien Houston staffs. The former Browns and Chiefs head coach has served as defensive coordinator from 2014-16 and returned to that role in 2018, after Mike Vrabel became the Titans’ HC.

Should Crennel step down after 38 years as an NFL coach, Texans defensive line coach Anthony Weaver is viewed as a top in-house replacement candidate, Wilson adds. Weaver, 39, played with the Texans for three seasons in the 2000s and has coached in Houston for the past four years.

Although Crennel served as HC in Cleveland from 2005-08 and spent the 2012 season as the full-time HC in Kansas City, he may still be best known for his work as defensive coordinator for the Patriots’ first three Super Bowl championship teams. He has coached in the NFL since 1981, beginning as the Giants’ special teams coach and staying in New York until 1992. Working under Bill Parcells and Bill Belichick, Crennel has won five Super Bowls as an assistant.

The Texans ranked 19th in defensive DVOA this season and just fired outside linebackers coach John Pagano. Crennel’s defense is coming off a brutal divisional-round showing, when the Chiefs erased a 24-point deficit by halftime in a 51-31 rout. After finally deploying J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney for a full season together in 2018, the Texans traded Clowney and again saw Watt miss extensive time due to injury. Houston ranked seventh in DVOA last season, rebounding from a down year under Vrabel.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

South Rumors: Colts, Texans, Falcons

The quarterback situations on the Colts, Jaguars and Saints represent key news as the eight South-division teams venture to the Combine. But plenty of other news came out of some South teams’ headquarters on Friday. Here’s the latest:

  • Bobby Johnson interviewed for the Raiders’ HC job, although it might not have been the most on-the-level meeting since a Jon Gruden deal was reportedly already agreed upon. But the former Raiders tight ends coach now has a gig elsewhere. The Colts hired Johnson as their assistant offensive line coach, Alex Marvez of Sporting News reports. Johnson spent the past three seasons on Jack Del Rio‘s staff as Oakland’s TEs coach and spent time on the Jags’ and Bills’ staffs prior to that. Johnson will be working under Dave DeGuglielmo, who was caught in a tough spot when he agreed to terms with Indianapolis when Josh McDaniels was still set to become head coach. Adam Caplan of reports (on Twitter) Johnson also interviewed to be the Cowboys‘ O-line coach.
  • The Texans also made a move to fortify their staff by agreeing to an extension with defensive line coach Anthony Weaver. Mark Berman of Fox 26 tweets Weaver’s deal will now have two additional years tacked onto it, so it will run through the 2020 season. Weaver’s been Houston’s D-line coach since 2016. Previously, he served in the same position for the Bills (2013) and Browns (2014-15).
  • Although the Texans are expected to re-sign Shane Lechler, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reports they worked out punter Taylor Symmank. The specialist has kept busy over the past several months with workouts, also auditioning for the Jaguars, Vikings, Chiefs, Titans and Bills since September 2017. A Texas Tech product, Symmank went to camp with the Vikings last summer.
  • The Falcons worked out former Buccaneers center Ben Gottschalk, D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports (on Twitter). Gottschalk started a game for the 2016 Bucs but has only played in two contests. The Bucs cut the former UDFA out of SMU just after the 2017 draft.
  • The Jaguars enjoyed a busy Friday, cutting Chris Ivory and extending their power structure.

Coach Notes: Giants, Texans, Bills, Titans

There aren’t many offensive or defensive coordinator jobs still available, as our tracker shows, but teams continue to tweak their coaching staffs in preparation for the 2016 season, interviewing and hiring position coaches and other assistants. Here are a few of Thursday’s updates on that front:

  • First-time head coach Ben McAdoo appears to be considering an assistant with head coaching experience for his staff. Per Josina Anderson of (via Twitter), the Giants interviewed former Niners head coach Mike Singletary today for their linebackers coach job.
  • On the other side of the ball, the Giants interviewed Packers assistant Mike Solari on Wednesday for their offensive line coach position, tweets Alex Marvez of FOX Sports. According to Marvez, Solari is a “strong candidate” to be added to McAdoo’s staff.
  • As expected, the Texans have hired former Ravens and Texans defensive lineman Anthony Weaver as their defensive line coach, tweets John McClain of the Houston Chronicle. Weaver, who last played for Houston in 2008, will replace Paul Pasqualoni.
  • According to Marvez (via Twitter), the Bills are making Pat Meyer their assistant offensive line coach.
  • Marvez also reports (via Twitter) that the Titans have promoted Nick Eason from defensive line assistant to defensive line coach.
  • The Bengals announced three coaching moves today (via Twitter), re-assigning Robert Livingston as assistant defensive backs coach and adding Robert Couch and Dan Pitcher to their offensive staff.

Coaching Notes: Bills, Bucs, Jags, Texans

The Bills have made a groundbreaking hire, reports Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, as they’ve named Kathryn Smith a special teams quality control coach. Smith is the NFL’s first-ever full-time female assistant coach. She previously served in lesser roles under Rex Ryan with both the Jets and Bills.

Regarding Smith’s hiring, Ryan said, “She has proven that she’s ready for the next step, so I’m excited and proud for her” (Twitter link via The Buffalo News’ Tyler Dunne).

Other coaching news from around the NFL . . .

  • New Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter will call the team’s offensive plays, but he still plans to hire an O-coordinator (Twitter link via Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times).
  • The Jaguars expect to have a defensive coordinator in place by Monday, tweets Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union. The front-runner for the job is defensive line coach Todd Wash, per O’Halloran (Twitter link). As PFR’s Coordinator Tracker shows, Jacksonville has also shown interest in some currently available outside candidates, having interviewed Jerome Henderson, Marquand Manuel and Lou Anarumo for the job.
  • In other Jaguars news, assistant coach coach Doug Marrone will return for a second season with the club, per O’Halloran. Marrone interviewed for four different head coaching vacancies in recent weeks, but those teams hired other candidates.
  • Paul Pasqualoni has stepped down as the Texans’ defensive line coach after just one season because of family reasons, according to Mark Berman of FOX 26 (on Twitter). Anthony Weaver, who coached Cleveland’s D-line the past two seasons, could take Pasqualoni’s spot.
  • The Colts have named Greg Williams their secondary coach, reports Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter link). Williams was San Diego’s assistant secondary coach the previous three seasons.
  • With Terry Robiskie on his way to Tennessee, the Falcons’ wide receivers coach position is open. Atlanta will likely promote offensive assistant Mike McDaniel to take Robiskie’s place, according to D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. McDaniel previously coached wideouts in Washington (2013) and Cleveland (2014).
  • Changes are coming to the Lions’ strength and conditioning staff, as the club has fired coordinator of physical development Jason Arapoff and assistant strength coach Ted Rath, writes Tim Twentyman of the team’s website.

AFC East Rumors: Pats, Fitzgerald, Dolphins

While Larry Fitzgerald has long been considered a logical trade target for the Patriots, there haven’t been many substantial reports over the years linking the Pats to the Cardinals receiver. However, Tom E. Curran of hears from a “very well-placed” source that New England had legitimate interest in acquiring Fitzgerald last offseason, sending out feelers to gauge the feasibility of such a move. As Curran writes, things likely didn’t progress too far, and it’s not clear if the Pats would still have interest in Fitzgerald, who is due a significant pay bump for 2014.

Here’s more from out of the AFC East:

  • In his latest mailbag at, Mike Reiss predicts that free agent receiver Julian Edelman will draw offers in the neighborhood of the deal Danny Amendola signed last year (five years, $28.5MM), with the Texans and Browns among the teams that could make it hard for the Patriots to re-sign Edelman.
  • The Dolphins introduced new general manager Dennis Hickey at a press conference this afternoon, with Omar Kelly of the South Florida Sun Sentinel and Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald among the reporters passing along highlights. Some notable items from the presser: Owner Stephen Ross stressed that Hickey will have full control of the 53-man roster and that Hickey doesn’t “have to listen” if Ross tells him to draft, pursue, or play a specific player. Hickey added that the structure of the front office is “completely clear” to him and that he’s already spoken to the team’s medical and personnel staff about the team’s free agents (all four Twitter links).
  • The Bills announced today that they’ve granted the Browns permission to interview defensive line coach Anthony Weaver. If Weaver is eventually hired by the Browns, he’d be the latest in an increasingly lengthy line of Bills coaches following Mike Pettine to Cleveland.