In the last couple of seasons, the Houston Texans defense has dwelled at the bottom of the league.
Following the Texans defensive implosion against the Chiefs in the divisional round and a year with a weak defensive front and a porous secondary, Bill O'Brien decided change would come from within his staff.
O'Brien promoted Anthony Weaver, Texans' defensive line coach, to the defensive coordinator position.
The Texans' defense significantly underperformed in 2019 and boasted one of the worst pass-rushing units in the NFL.
Their defensive front sacked the quarterbacks only 31 times, tying for the fourth-worst in the league and pressured quarterbacks at a rate of 18.1%, ranking 31st in the league.
Furthermore, the Texans' secondary was another point of concern. They allowed the fourth-most passing yards in the NFL with 4,276 yards in the air. While also allowing 33 passing touchdowns, tying for 4th most passing touchdowns allowed.
With these numbers, a facelift on the defense was put in motion. The change on the defense front was started with the promotion of Weaver, a disciple of Rex Ryan, who will bring new terminologies and a new gameplan on the defensive side of the ball.
The Texans will still depend on defensive end J.J. Watt, who has been an anchor and leader on the Texans' defense for years but has missed 32 games in the past four seasons.
Weaver, who has been Watt's defensive line coach for the past four seasons, has made a strong impression on the veteran defensive end.
Watt expressed to the media in a zoom call how much he likes the new voice leading the defense.
Watt explained, "I love Weave. I think Weave is an incredible coach. I think that he's a great man. I think that he's going to do an unbelievable job for us as d-coordinator."
Watt also touched on Weaver's personality and why he would be an effective and great option as the head of the Texans' defense.
"I think that he has a great mixture of knowledge of the game, experience," Watt continued. "But also personality to be able to handle the players in the room, to be able to inject some fun and excitement into meetings, practice, and everything, all while bringing the knowledge necessary to run a good defense."
For the past four seasons, Weaver has put together a strong defensive line while helping develop players like D.J. Reader, Brandon Dunn, and Angelo Blackson into solid NFL players. Watt has watched Weaver's coaching style up close and sees it carrying to the defense.
"I think he's done an incredible job with the d-line," Watt explained. "So far in doing those things, and I think he's going to do a great job as d-coordinator."
When asked about Watt's role in Weaver's defense and whether he would be playing in a different role, Watt responded with confidence.
"We've talked about it all. Weave and I talk all the time. We have great conversations, and we definitely have some exciting plans," Watt explained.
Watt is optimistic about the newly styled defense that Weaver has drawn up. Weaver has already discussed new terminology being added to the defense to help bring a new vision to the unit in 2020.
"I like what he has planned for the defense," Watt explained. "I think that he's going to bring some new things, some fresh things while also building off of some of the things that RAC (Romeo Crennel) has taught him over the years as well."
Weaver has been working to help Watt unleash him into the playmaker many know he can be, but the defensive end is not letting anyone know what they have planned.
"I'm really looking forward to it," Watt said of playing in Weaver's defense. "I'm not going to sit here and divulge exactly how I'm going to be used and what our playbook is going to look like, but I am looking forward to playing in Weave's defense."
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