Texans to promote Mike Vrabel to defensive coordinator

Mike Vrabel is fast becoming a hot name in coaching circles. The Houston Texans made sure their linebackers coach wouldn't leave the building.

The Texans will promote Vrabel to defensive coordinator, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Wednesday, per a source informed of his decision. Romeo Crennel will remain on the staff in a senior advisor role.

The MMQB first reported the news.

Vrabel spent 14 seasons as an NFL player, most notably eight seasons with the New England Patriots. After retiring, the linebacker joined the Ohio State coaching staff for three seasons before joining the Texans in 2014.

The 41-year-old is considered one of the rising stars among defensive coaches. The Los Angeles Rams actually had an interest in interviewing Vrabel for their head coaching position. The Chargers and 49ers were looking at him for their defensive coordinator position.

To combat Vrabel from leaving to potentially join Kyle Shanahan in San Francisco, the Texans promoted their linebackers coach.

Vrabel has a ton to work with in Houston. If J.J. Watt returns healthy, Houston will boast one of the most menacing and diverse defensive lines with Jadeveon Clowney and Whitney Mercilus both completing monster seasons.

Crennel did a fantastic job utilizing his talent after losing Watt for the season. His performance mixing up formations up front discombobulated Tom Brady, at times, in Saturday's playoff loss.

The Texans expect no drop off as they hand the baton to Vrabel.