Crennel named Texans interim head coach to finish 2020 season

By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher

The Houston Texans have named Romeo Crennel as the team’s interim head coach. He has been with the Texans since the 2014 season.

Crennel replaces Bill O’Brien, who was fired by the team on Monday. When O’Brien took the Texans head coaching job, Crennel spent the last seven seasons on his coaching staff.

Former Houston Texans defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel and Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Vrabel talking before their teams do battle
Romeo Crennel and Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Vrabel talking before their teams do battle (Getty Images)

This will be Crennel’s first head coaching opportunity since the 2012 season with the Kansas City Chiefs. He was 2-14 during his last head coaching opportunity with the Chiefs.

“RAC is perfect for a situation like this because he’s a leader of men,” said former Texans guard Jeff Allen, who played for Crennel when he was the Chiefs’ coach, according to the Houston Chronicle. “I loved Romeo. I think he’s a great leader. I was a rookie, and I was just out there swimming, trying to figure things out in the deep end. My experience with him was great as a head coach. “Even though we didn’t win very much, he did a good job of keeping the team together. There were a lot of things going on. He definitely is going to foster a good environment with the Texans.”

Crennel knows how to guide a team out of a dark cloud. During his year as the Chiefs head coach, he had to deal with an unfortunate circumstance. In 2012, then-Chiefs player Jovan Belcher attempted to commit suicide in the Chiefs parking lot at Arrowhead Stadium.

Crennel, former Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli, and former Chiefs linebackers coach Gary Gibbs attempted to talk to Belcher. However, Belcher decided to kill himself with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

Before killing himself, he murdered his girlfriend. Just hours after Belcher’s death, he guided the Chiefs to a win over the Carolina Panthers.

“Romeo did everything in his power to comfort us and protect us,” Allen said. “There were decisions made that were out of his control. The league forced us to play. He was professional about it. He said, ‘This is the situation. If you don’t want to play, you don’t have to.’ We felt it was the right thing to do, and he helped us incredibly with that extremely difficult situation.

“Besides the incident, there was some friction behind the scenes with the organization. Romeo knew that, but he ultimately knew what his role was, and that was to try to right the ship. He did the best he could. Unfortunately, we didn’t have all the right pieces.”

As a head coach, Crennel is 28-55. He was 4-15 as the Chiefs head coach. In addition, he was 24-40 as the Browns head coach from 2005-2008.

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