Romeo Crennel is now the first coach in NFL history to win two debuts as an interim head coach, after leading the Houston Texans to a 30-14 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday.
The team gave the game ball to Crennel in the locker room after the guiding the Texans to their first win of 2020 following an 0-4 start.
"That's our first time this year, so they were really excited about it," Crennel said. "Felt good about the way they played the game in situations that came up in the game and they were able to fight through, make plays, make stops and so they felt really good about those things. So as a result, they felt really good about the win. I told them that they were better than the record showed going into the game, and I think they believed that to a degree and then we won the game. So now they might believe everything I tell them."
At 73 years old, Crennel also became the oldest coach in NFL history to win a game, but that didn't slow him down from showing off his dance moves in the locker room.
"I don't even think we got video of it which makes me the most sad, but hopefully we can have the dancing all year long," defensive end J.J. Watt said. "So it was pretty impressive. There were certainly some old school moves in there, but he had the locker room riled up. It was pretty awesome atmosphere."
"Man, he did like five dances," cornerback Bradley Roby said. "He did Soulja Boy, the Macarena, started doing the disco. I don't know what he was doing. It was funny though. NFL games are hard to win. Just playing in the league so long, I just enjoy each one."
There was cause for celebration too as the Texans offense gained a season-high 486 total net yards (129 rushing, 357 passing) and 24 first downs (seven rushing, 16 passing, one by penalty). Deshaun Watson had his most productive day yet, throwing for a season-high 359 yards and three touchdowns. Defensively, the Texans picked up their first two turnovers of the season while the run defense allowed a season-low of just 75 yards rushing.
The Texans were having fun and it showed.
"Yeah, he's very loose," Watson said. "The meetings are very hilarious. He doesn't do it on purpose, at least I don't think so. But that's just his personality and he's very loose, he's got our guys laughing and enjoying when it comes to our meetings. He lets the coaches and the staff do what they want to do. I mean, do how they do want to coach us and have our own sessions with our own units and we play as one complementary football team. That's what it's all about. It's about being a family just supporting and serving one another."
"Well, I think maybe my personality, you know, I do smile some," Crennel said. "I can joke with them a little bit. I think that and the change – anytime there's a change, attitudes change just a little, and so that we were able to win the game, and I think that that helped. If we had lost the game, it would be a different story, but because we won the game, I think that everyone wants to say what did I do. Well, the players are the ones who did it, and that's what I've been telling them all week, that they have the ability to do it, and you try to show them evidence that they can do it, and then now they have to go out and perform, and they did a good job today."
Crennel was associate head coach for the first four weeks of the 2020 season, his seventh with the Texans. Crennel, now in his 38th year in the NFL, served as the Texans assistant head coach/defensive coordinator for two seasons (2018-19), one as assistant head coach/ defense (2017) and three as defensive coordinator (2014-16).
With the win, the Texans improve to 1-4 on the season and will travel to Tennessee to face the 3-0 Titans in Week 6.