Texans, Bill O’Brien Could Part After Season

SATURDAY, 7:44pm: Texans owner Bob McNair said O’Brien will be back next season, via Charles Robinson of Yahoo.com (on Twitter). “I’m not going to fire him,” McNair said (via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle, on Twitter) after the Texans’ 27-14 wild-card win over the Raiders.

The 49ers, however, were intrigued by the possibility O’Brien could have been a late-arriving coaching free agent, Alex Marvez of Fox Sports tweets.

SATURDAY, 8:15am: Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports that several teams with head coaching vacancies are waiting to see how everything will play out in Houston before they make a hire. If O’Brien is fired, Rapoport notes that he “may soar to the top of the list” for many teams.

THURSDAY, 4:52pm: Although the Texans just reeled off their third straight nine-victory regular season and second consecutive AFC South-winning campaign under head coach Bill O’Brien, his job is in jeopardy, reports CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora. O’Brien is currently preparing for a wild-card round showdown with the Raiders, which could be his last game with Houston if the team loses. Even a win over the banged-up Raiders wouldn’t necessarily save O’Brien, suggests La Canfora.

Bill O'Brien

O’Brien’s problems with the Texans are related to a less-than-ideal relationship with general manager Rick Smith and an unenthusiastic view of quarterback Brock Osweiler, per La Canfora. The Texans guaranteed Osweiler, an ex-Denver backup, $37MM last offseason, but the 6-foot-8 signal-caller has been a colossal disappointment thus far.

Osweiler was among the league’s worst starters throughout the regular season, leading O’Brien to bench him in favor of Tom Savage toward the end of the year. Savage suffered a concussion in Week 17 and won’t be available against the Raiders, meaning O’Brien’s fate is back in the beleaguered Osweiler’s hands. The Texans will likely be stuck with Osweiler in 2017, too, as the team would incur $25MM in dead money by releasing him this offseason.

In the event the Texans do move on from O’Brien within the next couple weeks, it could significantly impact coaching searches around the league. The 47-year-old O’Brien is a proven commodity, having succeeded in leading roles with both Penn State and the Texans, and the offensive mind would surely draw interest from teams with head coaching vacancies if he were to hit the market. Of course, with the Texans joining the hunt for other candidates, it would also lead to an increase in clubs searching for head coaches. Both Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, an ex-Texans assistant, and former Chargers head coach Mike McCoy would be names to watch, according to La Canfora.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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19 comments on “Texans, Bill O’Brien Could Part After Season

  1. Surprisingly a Bucks Fan

    No qb play and won the division, don’t fire him

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  2. LGBT Raven Lover

    I’ll take it lol. I looove Houston ; )

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    • Strauss

      Houstons front office and owner blow if they let go of O’Brien.

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      • LGBT Raven Lover

        I meant I love the city and people. The Texans may be the worst part about the city lol.

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  3. mikey

    He managed to win the division multiple times with a bad quarterbacks. He doesn’t make the personnel decisions. They should keep him, while rick smith should be to blame for the bad quarterback they have on a massive 4 year contract, when bill didn’t even want Brock. While the rest of the team is amazing, at some point you have to be let go for not giving your team a chance to win when you bad quarterbacks to lead your team.

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    • grav85

      Exactly. Rick Smith should have been gone with Kubiak. The guy is a terrible GM and in my opinion OB is winning in spite of him.

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      • rgj57

        Agreed! Rick Smith gets a free pass with this team. Come on Bob…you can still invite him over for dinner but get new GM please!

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  4. ickpoc

    Can we stop posting stuff coming from La Canfora?
    He speculates on everything and most of it doesn’t happen!

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    • pukelit

      No

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  5. Tim Pace

    Come on man

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  6. the GM needs to go that was a bonehead signing

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  7. Riley Jackson

    Send Rick Smith to the house

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  8. JT19

    And so continues the chain of bonehead GMs firing their coaches because the coach disagreed with the bad personnel decisions the GM made.

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  9. K.o.dub713

    Just like when they let kubiak go he won a super bowl the following year same is gonna happen with O’Brien if they let him go. Let gm rick smith go he is trash texan would be better off with out rick smith. its not the coaches

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  10. Z-A

    If he was the guy that said yes bring me Brock. That’s my guy. Then fire him. If it was a team effort… fire them all.

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  11. Wendy

    I think Smith needs to go. We have had lousy drafts and more under him but think McNair loves him over coach so will do what Ricky boy wants. I do not know for sure if he was high on Brock or what. Not sure wher OBrien contract is at either but with the coaching changes ahead around. Keep coach at least for now and see how things go. Part of me does not think will happen

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  12. rgj57

    Anybody seen Rick Smith……he’s gone into hiding since the bad quarterback play.

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  13. fisher40

    O’Brien will be out of a job for about 2 seconds if they fire him. Don’t do it Texans!! A brilliant offensive mind who works with a bone headed GM. All the Texans really need is a top level QB to go along with that great defense. The Texans will regret this if they fire him

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  14. Texan fan 1

    Fire Rick Smith!!! Seriusly Peyton Manning has said he was willing to come to Houston when he left Indy but Smith didn’t want him…smh what an Idiot!!! As a GM you get the players the coach needs not force feed him then blame him for failure!!!

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