Houston's O'Brien earns low marks in NFL coach rankings
Guiding a team that finished with the worst record in the NFL a season before to a 9-7 record with instability at quarterback and the loss of the top pick in the draft might seem impressive. Yet despite what Bill O'Brien was able to accomplish in his first season as head coach of the Houston Texans, one expert apparently isn't easily impressed.
NFL Media analyst Elliot Harrison released his NFL coaching power rankings with O'Brien coming in at No. 23. Fellow AFC South coach Ken Whisenhunt, who directed the Tennessee Titans to 2-14 record last season, was ranked No. 21.
"O'Brien's first season in Houston can't be deemed anything but a success," Harrison wrote. "The Texans lost not one but two starting quarterbacks at various points, while playing most of the season without the No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. Jadeveon Clowney aside, O'Brien is used to dealing with circumstances out of his control, as his successful run at Penn State indicates."
That seems like a solid argument for placing O'Brien in the top half of the rankings, but perhaps Harrison needs another season to judge. As the Houston Chronicle points out, only one of Houston's wins last season came against a playoff team.
Fellow AFC South coach Ken Whisenhunt, who directed the Tennessee Titans to 2-14 record last season, was ranked No. 21, based largely on his prior success as head coach of the Arizona Cardinals.
(h/t Houston Chronicle)
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