Per NFL Media’s Mike Garafolo, Texans HC Bill O’Brien put the target squarely on himself for the 0-4 start when he pushed for complete control as coach and general manager. Garafolo notes O’Brien was even negotiating the contracts and dealing directly with agents.
Albert Breer of SI believes that Patriots’ OC Josh McDaniels and Director of Player Personnel Nick Caserio could still possibly be headed to Houston, but wonders if they would still be willing after seeing O’Brien’s situation play out with the team.
Clemson HC Dabo Swinney could also be a potential candidate in the future due to his relationship with EVP Jack Easterby and QBDeshaun Watson, according to Breer.
However, Swinney predictably didn’t have much to say on it given he’s in the middle of his own season: “I have not heard from Deshaun, and that is not even anything that I want to have to think about.” (Sarah Barshop)
O’Brien had a feeling that he could be fired following the loss to the Vikings: “I respected the decision. I know in this business when we lost to Minnesota a game we had a chance to win I knew something like this could happen. That’s the business. We had a nice conversation. I thanked him for the opportunity.” (Aaron Wilson)
O’Brien on his time with the Texans’ organization: “We fell short as far as taking this team further in the playoffs. We worked very hard to get this to a place. We just didn’t get this done. I will leave with very fond memories of this organization and Houston.” (Wilson)
He also mentioned the players and said they are leaving on good terms: “I spoke briefly with the players. I thanked them. Tremendous guys.” (Wilson)
O’Brien also believes that Romeo Crennel will do a good job taking over as the interim head coach in Houston: “This is a good football team. Romeo will do a great job.” (Wilson)
He also added that he wants to continue to coach beyond leaving the Texans: “I want to coach. Football is the ultimate team game. No doubt in my mind I want to coach again.” (Wilson)
O’Brien says he told Texans’ CEO Cal McNair: “I’m sorry we couldn’t get this team over the hump.” (Mark Berman)
Per ESPN’s Turron Davenport, Titans HC Mike Vrabel declined to discuss specifics about the almost dozen players on the COVID-19 list, though he said they were trending in the right direction. He noted there will be a conditioning ramp-up period for them to return as well as testing negative.
Titans first-round OT Isaiah Wilson, who went on the list before Tennessee’s outbreak, could come off as soon as tomorrow, per Vrabel. (Paul Kuharsky)
Vrabel anticipates leaning heavily on the practice squad to get through the next week or two: “We’re good. Looking forward to seeing (some players on the practice squad players) play. We’re confident in what we have.” (Erik Bacharach)