Romeo Crennel to be Texans' DC

After meeting for the first time Wednesday, Romeo Crennel and Bill O'Brien discovered they were a good match.

Crennel is committed to coach the East-West Shrine college all-star game Jan. 18, but when that task is complete, he plans to accept an offer to become O'Brien's defensive coordinator with the Houston Texans, according to league sources.

Crennel has been widely believed to be the favorite to become O'Brien's defensive coordinator because of their ties as former New England Patriots assistants. However, the two men had never worked together, and Wednesday's meeting was not only an interview but an introduction.

When their interview was completed, O'Brien extended an offer for the job. However, Crennel asked for more time to fulfill his commitment as the head coach of the West college all-stars in the East-West Shrine game without distraction.

Consequently, the Texans and Crennel had no comment. Any announcement on their pending partnership would occur after the East-West game, sources said.

One day after Crennel met with O'Brien, the Texans hired former Patriots linebacker Mike Vrabel to be their linebackers coach. Vrabel played under Crennel but also was Ohio State's defensive line coach. O'Brien was impressed with what he saw from the Buckeyes unit when he served as the Penn State coach for two seasons in the Big Ten, sources said.