The Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA) has awarded Romeo Crennel with the Paul "Dr. Z" Zimmerman Award for his lifetime achievement as an assistant coach.
Crennel is entering his 38th year coaching in the NFL, including his seventh with the Houston Texans. Before he arrived in Houston in 2014, Crennel was part of 16 playoff appearances with 12 division crowns, six conference titles and won five of the six Super Bowls he has appeared in (New York Giants – XXI and XXV, New England Patriots – XXXVI, XXXVIII and XXXIX) in his professional football career.
After serving as the Texans defensive coordinator for five seasons (2014-16, 2018-19) in Houston, Crennel was named associate head coach following the 2019 campaign.
During his tenure as Texans defensive coordinator for five seasons (2014-16, 2018-19), Crennel's unit helped Houston put together three straight winning seasons for the first time in franchise history (2014-16) and back-to-back double-digit win seasons that represented the second-most wins (21) over a two-year span in franchise history (22 wins from 2011-12). In 2016, the Texans finished the 2016 season with the NFL's top-ranked defense for the first time in franchise history, surrendering an average of only 301.3 total net yards per game. They also gave up the fewest first downs (17.0) and second-fewest net passing yards (201.6) per game.
Other nominees for the honor included Bill Arnsparger Dick Hoak, Rod Marinelli, Bobb McKittrick, Floyd Peters, Bobby Turner and former Houston Oilers defensive coordinator Buddy Ryan.