If you're looking to tie the Houston Texans' 2014 improvement, from 2-14 in 2013 to 9-7 last season, to one statistic, look no further than the defense's ability to force turnovers. In 2013, the Texans' defense set a record for the fewest turnovers forced in a season (11); in 2014, they led the NFL in turnovers forced (34). That doesn't happen by accident, not in a Romeo Crennel-coached defense. Certainly, having the best player in football helps, but Crennel's experience (three Super Bowl rings as a defensive coordinator in New England) along with his ability to teach players, young and old, is a huge difference maker for a staff with a second year head coach. "Romeo is a great teacher of the game," said Ted Johnson, who played for Crennel from 2001 through 2004 in New England. "He had us better prepared than any coach I've ever been around." With no franchise quarterback on the roster, if the Texans are to continue their ascent in 2015, it will be on the back of the defense. With Crennel at the controls, they're well equipped on that side of the ball.
READERS' CHOICE: Bill O'Brien