ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) – Defensive end Jared Crick narrowed it down to two teams when he was deciding on his football future: Houston, his home for four seasons, and Denver.
He went with familiarity.
That means he’ll be packing up and moving to Colorado.
The four-year pro signed a two-year, $4 million contract Wednesday with the Broncos, where he’ll be reunited with coach Gary Kubiak, defensive coordinator Wade Phillips and D-line coach Bill Kollar, all of whom he worked with in Houston.
“Just being with Kubes for two years, Coach Wade for two years and Kollar for three years, I know the schemes, what they expect of me and I know what to expect of them,” Crick said. “To come back and play for them again, it was a huge part of the decision.”
Crick is another in a long line of players who love playing for the demanding and often high-volume Kollar.
“He brings the best out of you. Every year that I played under Coach Kollar, I got better and improved as a football player,” Crick said. “I expect playing for him again that I’ll continue progressing as a football player and improve my skill and my game.”
Crick started 31 of 32 games for the Texans over the last two seasons, collecting 104 tackles, 5 1-2 sacks and eight pass breakups in that span.
After playing opposite star J.J. Watt in Houston, he said he’s eager to play alongside Super Bowl MVP Von Miller in Denver.
“J.J. is more of a hand-in-the-dirt kind of guy. Von is kind of a stand-up guy. Both are great rushers, but they bring a lot of different things to the table,” Crick said. “It was fun playing with J.J., but I think it’s going to be fun also learning to play with Von.”
Crick, 26, will compete with Vance Walker and Kenny Anunike for playing time but he could very well end up being the primary replacement for Malik Jackson, who signed a megadeal with Jacksonville last month.
“I’m just coming in and trying to put my best foot forward to start out. Wherever that takes me, it’s going to take me,” Crick said.
Crick said he strongly considered staying with the Texans.
“It was pretty much between here and Houston. At the end of the day, I just didn’t think I could go wrong coming back and playing for Coach Kubes, Coach Wade and Coach Kollar,” Crick said. “Just being in a comfortable fit. I went to Nebraska, so there are a lot of Nebraska fans that are Broncos fans. I have a little bit of a fan base coming in, which will be nice.
“I think the decision, it was tough, but I think I made the right one.”
– By ARNIE STAPLETON, AP Sports Writer
(© Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)