It has been busy week heading into the weekend for the Houston Texans at the Senior Bowl. The biggest news was the exit of Mike Vrabel taking over as head coach of the Tennessee Titans. Here is a quick rundown of an eventful period for the Texans
Comings and Goings
With the exit of Vrabel, there has been some shift on the Texans coaching staff as Vrabel also took a couple of assistants with him to the Titans.
Vrabel has hired Texans offensive assistant Pat O’Hara to coach the Titans quarterback group and has also hired defensive assistant Shane Bowen to be the Titans outside linebacker coach. O’Hara was not with the Texans coaching staff at the Senior Bowl as he was working out the details to join Vrabel in Tennessee.
Bill O’Brien made some moves of his own and hired former Oakland Raiders defensive coordinator John Pagano to coach the outside linebackers. Pagano will join new special teams coach Brad Seely who was also with the Oakland Raiders in 2017 as a coordinator. The two experienced coordinators will now be bringing their backgrounds with them to the Texans. Pagano will join Bobby King, who is coaching the inside linebackers, as the coaches who will lead the linebackers for the 2018 season. O’Brien will actually have two linebacker coaches instead of an assistant to help the position group.
O’Brien has added some NFL experience to his 2018 staff which contrasts with his 2017 staff which was relatively young on the defensive side of the ball and on special teams. Pagano has 22 years of experience, Seely has 29, and O’Brien brings back Romeo Crennel and his 37 years of experience as defensive coordinator.
Senior Bowl Snippets
The Texans coaching staff had first-hand looks at players on the South team. Three players who received significant mention include the following:
Bill O’Brien on Southern Mississippi running back Ito Smith.
“I think he really stood out to me. He has a really good approach to practice, he practices very hard. He has really good quickness, he is built low to the ground, he’s got good strength, catches the ball out of the backfield. I was very impressed with him. I thought he did a really good job this week.”
Romeo Crennel on University of Central Florida defender Shaquem Griffin.
"I think initially you would be concerned about it (Griffin had his left hand removed as a child due to a congenital condition), but then once you see the guy play, you know there is something special about him. Then you have to see if there is a role on your team that he can fit, so I think everybody will do.
Romeo Crennel on Alabama defensive lineman Da’Shawn Hand.
"I kinda like that guy. He has good explosion, he can play with leverage, has some strength. You know we like those kind of guys. We call them grinders."
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