Head coach Bill O’Brien will keep defensive line coach Bill Kollar as part of his new staff. O’Brien has been impressed with Kollar’s accomplishments and coaching style.
J.J. Watt credits Kollar, his first and only NFL position coach, for his development. On Friday, Watt was named to the Associated Press All-Pro First Team for the second-consecutive season. He recorded 117 tackles, 10.5 sacks, 22 tackles for loss, a league-high 46 quarterback hits, 3 forced fumbles, 2 fumble recoveries, seven passes defensed, and two blocked field goals this season. Since 2012, Watt leads defensive linemen in the NFL with 134 solo tackles and 23 passes defensed.
“Coach Kollar is a fiery guy, but he’s really, really smart," Watt said on August 4. "Coach Kollar really knows his stuff. In the meeting room especially, he points things out. He’s really good at picking things out of other teams and tendencies and things like that that you can use. His experience, he’s been around for so long, he’s a great asset for our team.”
Nose tackle Earl Mitchell led the league at his position with 48 tackles and 30 solo tackles in 2013. Antonio Smith finished with a combined 101 tackles over the last two seasons, and was also named to his first Pro Bowl under Kollar after the 2011 season.
“Antonio’s done a heck of a job for us ever since he got here," Kollar said last May. "He was third of all defensive tackles in the league (in 2012) in sacks, which people don’t realize. He’s a defensive tackle, really. He plays a three-technique all the time. He never plays out on end so he’s an inside guy at 285 pounds. Antonio is definitely a big part of this defense and does a heck of a job for us.”
Kollar, who finished his fifth season with the Texans in 2013, has 25 years of NFL coaching experience with the last 24 as a defensive line coach. He also played eight seasons in the NFL as a defensive lineman. Prior to Houston, Kollar spent three years as the Buffalo Bills defensive line coach.