Romeo Crennel was a factor in getting Tyrann Mathieu to Houston.
The newest Texan met with the local media during a Monday press conference at NRG Stadium, and spoke about being "hungry" to join a team with great potential. Joining a defense full of playmakers in J.J. Watt, Jadeveon Clowney and Whitney Mercilus was a draw as well. The great "food" in town was a plus.
But the allure of playing for the defensive coordinator, with his decades of experience, was big.
"It played a part in me coming here," Mathieu said. "Just being around him and Billy O (head coach Bill O'Brien) and having those guys relay their plan for me. I'm excited about it."
Crennel is back in charge of the defense, after Mike Vrabel left for Tennessee. Crennel was the coordinator from 2014 through 2016, and that last unit was best in the NFL in terms of yards allowed per game. Mathieu met with Crennel and O'Brien on Sunday night and came away enthused about the possibilities this season.
"I don't think I've ever had a coach with his kind of pedigree, with all of the Super Bowl wins he's had and all the games he's coached in and being a head coach and being a defensive coordinator," Mathieu said. "Just talking to him last night, I think he has some great ideas for me. I think we're both going to feed off of each other and at the end of the day, I want him to make me the best safety in the game and I do believe I can get to that point."
Mathieu wasn't the only new Texan excited to play for Crennel.
"You have no idea," cornerback Aaron Colving said. "He has a resume of winning. He's been to Super Bowls. He's coached great defenses and he knows what it looks like. I'm just really excited to get in his hands, let him coach me, make me great and be able to help this team."
Mathieu and the Texans will start offseason conditioning on April 16 at NRG Stadium.
The Houston Texans roster in photos. (Updated 3/2/2021)