Kollar going back to Buffalo

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It seems to his players that Bill Kollar is so serious, he's funny. Through seven weeks of the 2009 season, the Texans' defensive linemen already know plenty about Kollar and his entertaining sideline performances.

Bills defensive end Aaron Schobel knows, too. He played for Kollar the last three seasons before the veteran coach left Buffalo to become assistant head coach and defensive line coach with the Texans.

"On Sundays, he's a maniac; he's not human," Schobel said. "He's as loud as it gets. We've gotten into it just because of his personality and my personality. But that was only during the game. When the game was over with, we were back to normal."

Texans defensive end Antonio Smith has been listening to Kollar's boisterous coaching style in practice and watching him careen about the sidelines during games.

"If you ever observe his antics on the sidelines, you can't help but laugh," Smith said. "He's on the field (and) he's got expressions and phrases I can't say on the record. He's just funny."

Defensive tackle Shaun Cody can tell this week is special for his coach.

"His yelling has been up today even more just because we're going up to play Buffalo," Cody said on Wednesday, smiling. "As soon as we got on the practice field, I could tell he was pumped up."

Kollar worked under Bills head coach Dick Jauron for three seasons and coached many of the current Bills defensive linemen.

Now, very briefly, he'll get a chance to reflect.

"I really enjoyed working for Coach Jauron and Ralph Wilson," Kollar said. "There are nothing but fond memories. Well, the weather is a little tough. Other than that, I had a great time up there and really enjoyed it.

"Most of them are still up there. I get hold of them once in a while and have a lot of good relationships with those guys. It's just small talk, but they are a bunch of really good guys."

While the mercurial Kollar might give his players an occasional chuckle, that's not his intent. No one doubts his desire to get every ounce of performance out of his players in practice and in games.

{QUOTE}"If you've been around him, you know he's loud," said Schobel, who had 22.5 sacks in three seasons under Kollar. "I used to go to the bathroom and I could hear him all the way across the building.

"But he's a good coach. He lets you know what you're supposed to do and he gets the most out of you. I enjoyed being around him."

In less than half of one season, Smith already has learned to appreciate Kollar.

"Intense, that's it," Smith said of Kollar. "Everything he does from top to bottom, from the littlest to the biggest, he's intense about everything. But he's honest, brutally honest."

In the first three games, the Texans allowed an average of 436.3 yards and 28.7 points. They also were giving up 205 rushing yards per game.

Then, a turnaround – some might call it a miracle – happened. In the next four games, the Texans allowed an average of 48.5 rushing yards, best in the NFL.

"It always picks spirits up when the guys are playing better," Kollar said. "Hopefully, we can keep it going the rest of the season. The one thing is the guys kept working hard. Some of those long runs we gave up early, somebody's out of their gap, somebody misses a tackle and we were giving up long runs.

"They knew to just keep getting squared up on your gap responsibilities and that if everybody played hard, things would improve, which they have."

That makes it easier returning to show your current work to your former employer.

"You can't say enough about Bill Kollar as a person and as a defensive line coach," Jauron said. "His career in the NFL both as a player and coach has been so productive wherever he's been. He works very hard at it. He's a great guy to be around and to have on your staff.

"I wish he wasn't going to be across the field from us, but that's it. I know we'll both do our best."

Kollar expects the Texans' surging defense to continue its improvement against the Bills.

"You want to win every week," Kollar said. "It'll be good to go back in there and see a lot of friends I had from the staff and people around the office. We'll see how it turns out."

EDITOR'S NOTE: Michael A. Lutz worked for The Associated Press for 38 years covering news and sports in Louisville, Ky., Dallas and Houston. Most of that time was spent in Houston covering the Oilers, Astros, Texans and other college and pro teams.

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