Houston Texans head coach Bill O’Brien could be coaching for his job when his team takes on the Oakland Raiders on Saturday afternoon.
Could an NFL head coach really lose his job after winning his division and making the playoffs? It’s happened before and it could happen again if Bill O’Brien can’t lead the Houston Texans to a win over the Oakland Raiders in the wild-card round.
Article continues below ...
The champions of the AFC South host a Raiders team without quarterback Derek Carr and left tackle Donald Penn so they’re expected to win the game. Should that happen, O’Brien’s hot seat may cool off for the time being.
However, if the Texans lose, O’Brien could be out as the head coach of the Texans, but NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport, reports, if that happens, he may not be out of work for long.
Rapoport writes O’Brien could soar to the top of the list for available coaching candidates. He writes O’Brien could be traded, which seems unlikely, or O’Brien and the team could agree to a mutual parting of ways.
Why would a team coming off back-to-back division titles want to get rid of their head coach?
Rapoport cites an odd fit between O’Brien, GM Rick Smith and owner Bob McNair that was made worse with the front office and ownership forcing free agent quarterback Brock Osweiler on him. Osweiler was benched late in the year after signing a $72 million contract but will start vs. the Raiders after Tom Savage was injured in the team’s regular-season finale.
Should O’Brien hit the market, he could have the interest of the San Francisco 49ers and the Los Angeles Rams who could use O’Brien to bring some life to their offense.
Lastly, if O’Brien leaves, Rapoport reports former Texans offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan could be his successor. Shanahan is the Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator and has interviewed with the Denver Broncos and 49ers for their head coach job.