Romeo Crennel has coached in some capacity in the NFL since 1981 when he made the jump from coaching defensive linemen at Georgia Tech to coaching special teams and becoming a defensive assistant with the New York Giants. From that point on, for nearly forty years, Crennel remained in the NFL. He stayed in New York until moving to Cleveland to become the defensive coordinator on a 3-13 Browns team. He then took on the same role with the Patriots, running the defense under Bill Belichick during the first part of their dynasty.
After that, Crennel left to be a head coach. He took a job with the Browns and eventually another head coaching gig with the Chiefs. After a stint in Kansas City, he briefly stepped away from the game before he returned to become the defensive coordinator in Houston under Bill O’Brien in 2014, where he stayed until stepping down for a season to allow Mike Vrabel to assume the mantle in 2017. After resuming DC duties when Vrabel left Houston to become a head coach in Tennessee, Crennel once again bequeathed Houston’s defensive coordinator crown a few months ago, this time to Anthony Weaver.
As a head coach in the NFL, Crennel was 28-55, but he has been one of the best defensive coordinators in the league for decades. With Weaver’s promotion in Houston, it appears Crennel has finally permanently stepped down forever from a role he excelled at for so long.
The Pro Football Writers Association has wisely awarded Crennel a lifetime achievement award for all the success he’s had over a 50 year career that started in 1970 when he coached at Western Kentucky.
Congrats to Romeo. He more than earned it.