NFL head coaching speculation is getting going now, and the Houston Texans could be compelled to make a move.
Over three seasons with Bill O’Brien as head coach, the Houston Texans will have a winning record in all three campaigns with back-to-back division titles. Competing in the very soft AFC South has helped things, but there’s nothing obvious to suggest O’Brien’s job is (or should be) in jeopardy.
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But there is a surprise firing in the NFL head coaching cycle every year, and Jay Glazer of Fox Sports has suggested O’Brien could be it.
Surprise opening could be Texans, if they lose early in playoffs I can see O’Brien/team agreeing to part ways — good candidate on market
O’Brien notably did not meet quarterback Brock Osweiler before the Texans gave him a big contract last offseason, and he probably took too long to make a change when Osweiler struggled mightily this season. But otherwise O’Brien has done well as Houston’s head coach, and if being difficult to work with is going to be what brings a change the Texans should be careful what they wish for.
Ownership expectations clearly drove the Texans’ signing of Osweiler, and a decision to let O’Brien go would carry a similar vibe.
A Wild Card Round playoff loss should not necessarily bring a parting of ways or an outright firing, unless it’s a particularly dismal blowout. But as Glazer suggested, O’Brien would become a top candidate on the market immediately and he should not lack for opportunities.
Glazer is a very reputable reporter, but it would not be surprising if his source here is someone within O’Brien’s camp or even O’Brien himself. So any rumor of the Texans firing O’Brien, or a Jim Harbaugh and 49ers-esque “mutual parting of ways”, has to be taken with some level of skepticism right now.