Former New England Patriots assistants have had their share of success against head coach Bill Belichick. And on Sunday, longtime friend Romeo Crennel joined that club.
Crennel, now the Houston Texans head coach after the organization fired Bill O’Brien after four weeks, earned his first win over Belichick’s Patriots with a 27-20 win in the Week 11 contest at NRG Stadium in Houston.
Crennel and Belichick had met just one time prior to Sunday as head coaches, with Belichick’s Patriots defeating Crennel’s Browns in 2007. The pair set a record as the oldest head coach matchup in NFL history Sunday.
“Well, like you say, any time you go against a guy that you’ve worked with and that you’ve coached against before, a win is a good feeling. So, I feel good about that,” Crennel told reporters postgame. “But I really feel good about the fact that we were able win a home game. We hadn’t done that, so winning a home game was a big plus.”
Crennel, as you may recall, served on Belichick’s coaching staff in New England as the defensive coordinator for the Patriots’ first three Super Bowl titles. In addition to that, however, they worked together on coaching staffs for 18 seasons, including 10 with the New York Giants (1981-90), three with the New York Jets (1979-90) and five with the Patriots (1996; 2001-04).
Brandin Cooks, on a similar note, was also going against his former team. The Texans receiver, though, didn’t look at it as a redemption game, but rather was just happy to get a win.
“I mean, it was just good to get a ‘W,'” Cooks told reporters. “I don’t go into games saying ‘Oh, I’m playing my old team,’ then you start doing things out of the ordinary. So, in reality, it’s just good to get a win at home.”
The Patriots fell to 4-6 with the loss while the Texans improved to 3-7.