When you’re one of the hot young defensive minds in NFL coaching circles but you inherit a defensive roster pillaged by incompetence thanks to your head coach and general manager (who happen to be the same person), you fall into the category of: set up to fail. Anthony Weaver was very much set up to fail with the 2020 Houston Texans defense. The 2019 defense was weakened when O’Brien traded away Jadeveon Clowney iand failed to so much as offer a contract to outgoing free agent cornerback Kareem Jackson. When O’Brien let D.J. Reader walk in free agency, it only got worse.
Now, losing key players is a fact of life, but good teams overcome these loses by, yep, you guessed it, adding players of equal quality who are often a better fit. Not the Texans. O’Brien replaced Clowney with Barkeviuos “The Hit” Mingo, Kareem Jackson with Vernon Hargreaves III, and D. J. Reader with rookie Ross “I got my butt chewed by J.J. Watt for not working hard” Blacklock. The last marquee defender the Houston Texans added to the roster was Justin Reid; he was drafted in 2018.
While acquiring Bradley Roby was at least a step in the right direction, Phillip Gaines, Gareon Conley, Eric Murray, and Brien Boddy-Calhoun combined couldn’t match the production of D.J. Reader. With that, it should come as no surprise the 2020 Houston Texans were one of the worst defenses in recent memory. How can you hope to shut down opposing offenses with J.J. Watt as all of your pass rush, Zach Cunningham covering the whole middle of the field, and Justin Reid left to defend the entire secondary by himself? The greatest defensive mind in NFL history can’t consistently win with 3 v. 11. Talent deficiency aside, people will always point the finger at the coach when a unit isn’t performing, so it should come as no surprise that many fans blame Anthony Weaver for at least part of Houston’s woes. With a new head coach eventually coming in, Weaver’s time in H-Town was almost surely up regardless.
Apparently Urban Meyer, collegiate coaching legend and front-runner to take the Jacksonville Jaguars head coaching job, knows better. He reportedly wants Weaver on his first NFL staff. Meyer is smart enough to see the potential Weaver still has, and none of the stigma of Weaver’s association with O’Brien will dump on him.
Texans defensive coordinator and defensive line coach Anthony Weaver is among the assistant coaches under consideration for Urban Meyer's prospective staff with Jaguars as talks continue with him and Jacksonville, according to league sources.— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) January 14, 2021
A student of both Rex Ryan and Romeo Crennel and a former starter for the Baltimore Ravens and Houston Texans, Weaver knows a thing or two about running a defense. If he should land in Jacksonville, he’ll bring institutional knowledge about the Texans, which should help a divisional opponent.
Not long after the Urban Meyer rumor floated out into the Twitterverse, Jason La Canfora of NFL.com brought his own flavor to the mix, reporting that Weaver could also be a candidate for job on a Brandon Staley staff.
Brandon Staley, who has met w/Jets and Chargers (and possibly Lions to come) would bring a very strong staff of rising coaches, I'm told, including Texans DC Anthony Weaver, Colts DB coach Jonathan Gannon (great work with that secondary) and Bears DL coach Jay Rodgers (former QB)— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) January 14, 2021
One way or another, it’s evident Weaver is not long for the Third Coast. And why shouldn’t he want to head somewhere else for a fresh start? With all the #FireEasterby nonsense going on here, a guy with a bright coaching future ahead of him would be wise to put as much distance between himself and the current antics on Kirby as humanly possible. For Anthony Weaver, this might be one of those times where losing your job is actually a blessing.