The Texans are hiring former Arizona Cardinals defensive line coach Matt Burke as their defensive coordinator, according to league sources.
A former Miami Dolphins defensive coordinator, Burke coached former Texans Pro Bowl defensive end J.J. Watt in his final NFL season before he retired.
Burke has also coached for the New York Jets and Philadelphia Eagles, holding the title of run game coordinator and defensive line coach with the Eagles. He has previous stints with the Cincinnati Bengals, Detroit Lions, Tennessee Titans, Harvard and Boston College. He played safety at Dartmouth.
Burke coached the Dolphins’ linebackers before being promoted to defensive coordinator. The Dolphins improved to 16 in total defense and 14th in rushing defense in his first season as defensive coordinator in 2017. Xavien Howard was named to his first Pro Bowl in 2018 as he intercepted seven passes.
The Texans also interviewed New York Jets safeties coach Marquand Manuel, a former Atlanta Falcons defensive coordinator, twice for the job, including one in-person interview, according to league sources.
A former University of Florida standout defensive back and Bengals sixth-round draft pick, Manuel played in the NFL for eight seasons. He has coached for the Seattle Seahawks, Falcons, Philadelphia Eagles and Jets.
He was secondary coach for the Eagles, secondary coach-senior defensive assistant with the Eagles before being promoted to defensive coordinator as they ranked 10th in scoring defense, ninth in total defense, ninth in rushing defense and fifth in red-zone defense in his first season as coordinator in 2017.
The Texans also requested an interview previously with Chris Harris, the former Washington Commanders secondary coach, hired and announced by Tennessee Titans coach Mike Vrabel as defensive passing game coordinator-cornerbacks coach Tuesday.
The Texans had interest in 49ers defensive line coach Kris Kocurek, but sources emphasized that Kocurek will remain with the 49ers working under new defensive coordinator Steve Wilks. Kocurek, a Texas Tech graduate and former NFL defensive lineman, could potentially receive an upgraded salary and/or job title.
The Texans also have had interest in 49ers defensive passing game specialist and secondary coach Cory Undlin, a former Detroit Lions defensive coordinator,, according to sources, for a potential assistant coach role. Undlin’s contract has expired with the 49ers, so he can leave without being promoted to a coordinator role.
Undlin, 51, was previously a defensive coordinator for the Detroit Lions under former coach Matt Patricia before the staff was fired after the 2020 season. He has been an assistant coach for the New England Patriots, Cleveland Browns, Jacksonville Jaguars, Denver Broncos, Philadelphia Eagles, Lions and 49ers.
Undlin earned Super Bowl rings with the Patriots as a defensive assistant in 2004 and with the Eagles in 2017 as a defensive backs coach.
Aaron Wilson is a contributor to Sports Talk 790.