According to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, the talk of the Texans and HC Bill O’Brien parting ways “is much more about O’Brien not being happy with the Texans than the Texans not being happy with O’Brien.”
Florio reports that the situation arises from “friction” between O’Brien and GM Rick Smith. However, the Texans maintain that there is always going to be people who don’t necessarily get along in an intense industry like the NFL.
Interestingly enough, Florio says that the Texans’ position could be influenced by a sense that O’Brien was hoping to released from his contract with the ability to pursue one of the head-coaching jobs. By maintaining that they won’t fire O’Brien, an interested team would have to contact them to negotiate compensation for the head coach.
For what it’s worth, Alex Marvez reported that the 49ers were intrigued by the possibility that O’Brien could be available.
After Saturday’s win over the Raiders, O’Brien said he’s looking to finishing out his contract with the Texans.
“I have a five-year contract here,” O’Brien said, via NFL.com. “I have two years left on my contract. I’m looking forward to coaching here and I’m looking forward to getting ready for this next game. I think it’s a great win today for our team. I’m just really proud of our players. And I think our players, like I said earlier, they work very hard to get to this point. They dealt with the ups and downs. They’re where they are right now. At the end of this weekend there’ll only be eight teams left. And I think that’s a good accomplishment for this team right now but there’s more to be done. There’s more to play. And I know these guys will come in ready to work this week and I’m excited about that.”
Texans owner Bob McNair told reporters after Saturday’s win over the Raiders that he wasn’t going to fire HC Bill O’Brien, despite reports there could be a mutual parting of ways.
“I’m not going to fire him,” McNair said, per Aaron Wilson.
John McClain of the Houston Chronicle reports the Texans will not be firing HC Bill O’Brien, despite the recent reports that have said it’s a possibility, depending on the outcome of their playoff game.
- According to McClain, that both O’Brien and GM Rick Smith wanted to sign QB Brock Osweiler, despite some reports that have said Smith and owner Bob McNair made the call.
- McClain adds that McNair never forces any personnel decision on the people calling the shots for the Texans.
According to Rapoport, there’s a “real chance” O’Brien could be coaching another team next year and should he end up being available, the expectation would be that he would be at the top of the list in terms of available head-coaching candidates. These teams reportedly believe O’Brien could be available, which is why they’re willing to wait.
Interestingly enough, Rapoport says that it’s possible the Texans could trade O’Brien or just mutually part ways after the season.
Like others have said, the relationship between O’Brien, GM Rick Smith, and owner Bob McNair has “always been an odd one” and their personalities have clashed during their time together.
For what it’s worth, most of the sources Rapoport has spoken to believe the Brock Osweiler signing was forced on O’Brien.
Multiple reports have now said that O’Brien could be out after their Wildcard game, so this is clearly something to watch in the coming days.
There were some rumors last year that he could consider some other opportunities but he openly dismissed having any interest in other jobs.
O’Brien, 47, was hired by the Texans back in 2014 after spending a few years at Penn State. Since taking the job with Houston, O’Brien has led them to a record of 27-21 (56.3 percent) to go along with two playoff appearances.
We’ll have more regarding O’Brien and his future with the Texans as the news is available.