The Texans defense has a new coordinator.
Former linebackers coach Mike Vrabel took over this offseason for Romeo Crennel, who was promoted to assistant head coach.
Head coach Bill O'Brien is enthused by the changes, and last week at the Annual League Meeting in Phoenix, described what will be different.
"Mike has his own style," O'Brien said. "Having played for Romeo and now having coached for Romeo, he's learned a lot."
O'Brien credited Vrabel with the development of linebackers Whitney Mercilus, John Simon, Jadeveon
Clowney, Brian Cushing and Benardrick McKinney. Those players have also spoken glowingly about the impact Vrabel's had on their game. While O'Brien acknowledged that there might be a challenge or two ahead for Vrabel, he also isn't worried.
"Mike knows our defense inside and out," O'Brien said. "He's ready for this. There will be challenges along the way but anybody that knows Mike knows that he's up for the challenge, and Romeo's still there. I think that's important."
Having Crennel and his decades of NFL coaching experience still with the team is a big positive for the Texans.
"Romeo has been a huge part of the success that we've had there," O'Brien said. "Romeo's been a big part of it and he's still there and he's going to help. Romeo's one of the best guys I've ever been around in coaching and he's a great mentor. He's a team guy and he'll be there to help Mike when he has questions, but Mike's ready for the challenge and he's looking forward to it."
Last season the Texans led the NFL in fewest yards allowed per game. They did so, despite prolonged absences by key contributors like defensive J.J. Watt and cornerback Kevin Johnson.