HOUSTON — The Texans have reached a deal with Matt Burke to be the team’s defensive coordinator, a source confirmed to ESPN on Friday.
It was unclear whether new Texans coach DeMeco Ryans or Burke will call the defensive plays.
Burke, 46, spent the 2022 season as the Arizona Cardinals‘ defensive line coach. He has served as a defensive coordinator before, with the Miami Dolphins from 2017 to 2018 under coach Adam Gase.
The Texans might also be interested in another former Cardinals employee, as sources told ESPN’s Dan Graziano that former Arizona head coach Kliff Kingsbury was in Houston on Friday to speak about a job on Ryans’ coaching staff.
A Texas native and former Texas Tech quarterback and head coach, Kingsbury went 28-37-1 with the Cardinals over the past four seasons before being fired at the end of the season.
Under Burke, the Cardinals allowed 118.6 rushing yards per game in 2022, which ranked 14th in the league.
While with the Dolphins, Burke’s units never finished higher than 27th in scoring defense — giving up 24.6 points per game in 2017 (29th) and 27.1 in 2018 (27th).
Over those two seasons, the Dolphins ranked 26th in pressure rate (28%), 29th in sacks (61) and yards per play (5.8) and 31st in rushing yards allowed per game (127.9), per ESPN Metrics powered by NFL Next Gen Stats.
Burks will be tasked with fixing a Texans defense that struggled across the board in 2022.
The Texans allowing a league-worst 170.2 rushing yards per game — the most since the 0-16 Detroit Lions (172.1) in 2008. Overall, Houston allowed 2,894 rushing yards, sixth most in NFL history. In addition, the Texans ranked 30th in total defense (379.5 yards per game) and 27th in points allowed (24.7).
NFL Network was first to report that Burke and the Texans had reached an agreement.