• Brian L. Barefield

Back to Where It All

In 1977, a rock group who went by the stage name of Player wrote a hit song called “Baby Come Back.” Within that song was one of the most memorable verses that I am sure every man who has lost a good woman has sung on numerous occasions.

Baby come back, any kind of fool could see There was something in everything about you Baby come back, you can blame it all on me I was wrong, and I just can’t live without you

These lyrics had to be running through assistant head coach and defensive coordinator, Romeo Crennel’s mind last year as he relinquished defensive play calling duties to Mike Vrabel. Crennel was promoted to assistant head coach to help head coach Bill O’Brien in other areas to help strengthen the team.

Things change quickly within the National Football League and within the span of one football season, Vrabel has become the head coach of the division rival Tennessee Titans, and Crennel has been given a familiar title to go along with the one he currently holds for the Texans, defensive coordinator.

“It’s just the same as it was before. I don’t think you forget what it takes and what you need to do. It’s all about evaluating, motivating and trying to put a good plan together and get the guys to execute and play it,” Crennel responded when asked what it is like to be back on the sidelines this season.

Houston’s defense is coming off a very down year by their standards. They were ranked 20th out of 32 teams last year and gave up 346 yards per game. Those numbers are unacceptable to a team who is used to being at least top five in the NFL in total defense. Coach Crennel knows that injuries to key positions was a major reason for the slippage in defensive ranking and hopes that the Texans don’t suffer the same fate this year.

“I hope we are healthier and have everybody on the field because we think that if we get everybody on the field, we can be pretty competitive. I know what it takes to win and that’s effort, knowledge, communication, and making plays,” said Crennel.

For as much excitement as the defensive players exudes by having the veteran play caller back on the sideline. One-person face lights up at the mere mention of Romeo Crennel. That person just happens to be head coach Bill O’Brien.

“He’s a great person. That’s the first thing I’ll tell you. He’s a very bright person, very smart, very calm, very experienced. He’s wise. I go to him with a lot. A lot of different conversations that we have about not only X’s and O’s but things off the field. He’s meant a lot to me,” O’Brien said when asked what it is like to have Crennel back calling the plays.

Hopefully, Coach Crennel will be humming another great tune from the 70’s by the rock group Queen at the end of the season, “We Are the Champions!”

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