Anthony Weaver is happy he's back with the Texans.
The defensive line coach played from 2006 through 2008 in Houston, before segueing into a coaching career. Stops at the University of Florida, North Texas and the Jets, Bills and Browns came in between then and now. Returning to NRG Stadium in January as the new defensive line coach was different, to say the very least.
"Surreal," Weaver said. "Particularly when I walked out onto that practice field for the first time. I was trying to think, 'Should I put my pads on? My helmet?' I was sure I was forgetting something. It's awesome. But it's a surreal experience for sure."
Weaver is in charge of a group that includes a 3-time Defensive Player of the Year in J.J. Watt and a 2-time Super Bowl champ in Vince Wilfork. As a whole, the defense returns 10 starters from a unit that was third in the NFL in yards allowed per game, and seventh in points allowed per game.
"It was obviously a talented group," Weaver said. "A group that I felt was on the precipice of being great. Now that I'm in the building, you see the work ethic of the coaching staff and how the players respond to that."
Watt's enjoyed the interaction with his new coach through the first few weeks of offseason conditioning. Weaver's seven years of NFL experience as a player go quite a long way, for the defensive end.
"We've had some fun so far," Watt said. "He's obviously been in the League. Any time you got a guy who's played in the League, and been in the League, he knows ins and outs of the League. So it's fun when you have that type of coach. You can work with him and bounce things off of him. It's been good so far."
For Weaver, coaching Watt is a great experience. He doesn't plan on trying to change the game's most disruptive defender.
"You don't mess him up," Weaver said. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it. The thing with J.J. is, I obviously don't want to change him. I hope, just me being here and some of the things I've experienced, hopefully I can help enhance what is already awesome."
Weaver also said Wilfork's high level of play and years of experience are a key in buttressing anything he imparts on to the younger players as a coach.
"You have a guy that has Super Bowl rings," Weaver said. "Now he's telling you also. How do you not do it if you're a young player?"
Weaver and the Texans continue with offseason conditioning at NRG Stadium and the Houston Methodist Training Center.
The Houston Texans roster in photos. (Updated 12/1/2020)