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Report: Vikings, Texans have contacted Bill O’Brien

OBrien AP

Only 15 days from the annual arrival of Black Monday, the coaching carousel already is spinning.

It’s spinning in part because the Texans have a vacancy, created nine days ago.  Which has given the Texans a head start on looking for a new coach.

Reportedly, at least one other team without a head-coaching vacancy has started looking for a new coach, too.

According to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, both the Vikings and the Texans have contacted Penn State coach Bill O’Brien.  The former Patriots offensive coordinator flirted with the NFL in January, before opting to stay put at Penn State.

O’Brien’s new deal reportedly has a buyout that currently would cost $7.73 million for an NFL team to take him away from the Nittany Lions.  The price tag for a jump to another college program reportedly would be $13 million.

Regardless of whether O’Brien would leave for the NFL (and whether an NFL owner would write a check that big for the privilege of writing big checks to O’Brien), the notion that the Vikings have started sniffing around potential candidate is, if true, a bad look for a team that still has a head coach in place.

Frazier has a contract that extends through 2014.  While it’s not unusual for teams to scope out their alternatives before firing a head coach, it’s critical that discretion be maintained.  Failure to do so hurts the Vikings in the short term, and potentially O’Brien in the long term.

Regardless of how it got out, future teams who are considering a coaching change may be reluctant to reach out to O’Brien before actually making the change.

From O’Brien’s perspective, the ongoing NFL interest could make it hard to nail down a recruiting class.  But it could make it easier for O’Brien to land yet another new deal from Penn State.

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24 Responses to “Report: Vikings, Texans have contacted Bill O’Brien”
  1. jakec4 says: Dec 15, 2013 10:38 AM

    Makes sense to chase this guy and pay his buyout given the enormous success of Josh McDaniels, Romeo Crennell, and Charlie Weis as head coaches. The Belichick coaching tree has bared nothing but rotten fruit.

  2. timegambit says: Dec 15, 2013 10:41 AM

    That rattling you hear is the sound of Leslie Frazier’s confidence being shaken.

  3. ninersareyesterdaysnews says: Dec 15, 2013 10:41 AM

    Cleaning up that mess at Penn State is pretty impressive…to win while doing it? Outstanding. This guy is what Jim Harbaugh wishes he was.

  4. Blackpool says: Dec 15, 2013 10:45 AM

    Good. A ham sandwich would be better than what we currently have in place at Minnesota.

  5. golforepar says: Dec 15, 2013 10:48 AM

    Rumor is that the Vikings want O’Brien to try out at QB!

  6. Gordon says: Dec 15, 2013 10:53 AM

    Another Belichick flunky. Don’t these guys learn?

  7. Andre's Johnson says: Dec 15, 2013 11:04 AM

    Texans’ to-do list:

    1) Hire Bill O’Brien
    2) Draft Clowney
    3) Trade back into end of 1st round to get QB.

    NOW WE’RE COOKING WITH HOT GREASE!

  8. conormacleod says: Dec 15, 2013 11:16 AM

    Wilf paid $2 mil to have Freeman hold a clipboard. He won’t blink at paying the buyout to get a good coach. And, if Spielman still wants a job, he will vote yes to replacing the entire coaching staff. The Vikings went 10-6 last year because of AP, not because of Leslie.

  9. thefiesty1 says: Dec 15, 2013 11:22 AM

    The Texans just contacted Mack Brown – he’s available now.

  10. jusford says: Dec 15, 2013 11:23 AM

    Vikings have started sniffing around potential candidate is, if true, a bad look for a team that still has a head coach in place.

    as if the Vikings to do anything correctly. expect something different from a bad organization?

  11. jtumen88 says: Dec 15, 2013 11:29 AM

    as a current penn state student and team analyst, B.O.B. is going nowhere.

  12. gripless says: Dec 15, 2013 11:42 AM

    I’m a huge Penn State fan and Vikings fan and Bill O’Brien is not worth the buy out or risk. Yes, he has done an outstanding job keeping Penn State on centerline BUT, his clock management is poor, he has made the defense regressive and just lost a long time linebacker coach. Additionally, in the big games, the team did not show up as well. Probably more based on a lack of depth and scholarships but still not enough results to warrant a 7m buyout and then you need to deal with his salary.

    Get someone proven in the NFL

  13. ratbastardshanahandjob says: Dec 15, 2013 11:56 AM

    I wish my Raider would contact him….

  14. kerryc21realty says: Dec 15, 2013 12:02 PM

    Hope the Redskins contact him as well

  15. dragonfly99 says: Dec 15, 2013 12:16 PM

    As long as Spielman remains GM, no big name candidate is going to consider the Vikings. Firing Frazier and keeping Spielman is like re-arranging the chairs on the Titanic.

  16. machoawesome says: Dec 15, 2013 12:52 PM

    We want the Mooch.
    We want the Mooch.

  17. skolvikesskol says: Dec 15, 2013 12:57 PM

    Is it really going to effect the vikes performance.

  18. msmith954 says: Dec 15, 2013 1:00 PM

    If Frazier is surprised that he is on the hot seat, he’s dumber than I thought.

  19. whatjusthapped says: Dec 15, 2013 1:23 PM

    I can understand Houston looking at him because they have an interim coach in place but it is classless and unprofessional for the Vikings.

    If you are going to look for a head coach, do the right thing and fire your current coach and then move on.

    If you ever wonder why the Vikings have been in the NFL for over 50 years and never won a Superbowl, its called karma. From the Loveboat, to the Whizanator, to head coaches scalping Superbowl tickets, to the head coach being sued for sexual harassment to Mrs. Springer sueing the Vikings to this poor taste move, the Vikings can’t seem to do anything right.

  20. taintedsaints2009 says: Dec 15, 2013 2:24 PM

    I think most Vikings fans know that no matter who the coach is and who they start at quarterback, they’ll screw it all up.

  21. drs76109 says: Dec 15, 2013 2:40 PM

    Don’t kid on Mack Brown. He is an excellent football coach. i can easily see him as a pro HC.

    I doubt O’Brien is going anywhere, with that buyout. Otherwise, he likely would’ve taken the Philadelphia job last year.

  22. icebowler says: Dec 15, 2013 2:44 PM

    Brett Favre just won a state championship coaching H.S. He is now qualified to coach the Vikings.

  23. thesconnienation says: Dec 15, 2013 4:04 PM

    icebowler says:
    Dec 15, 2013 2:44 PM
    Brett Favre just won a state championship coaching H.S. He is now qualified to coach the Vikings.

    ____________________________________

    Sounds more like he is overqualified. Viking coaches don’t with championships.

  24. ejmat2 says: Dec 16, 2013 1:04 PM

    thesconnienation says:
    Dec 15, 2013 4:04 PM
    icebowler says:
    Dec 15, 2013 2:44 PM
    Brett Favre just won a state championship coaching H.S. He is now qualified to coach the Vikings.

    ____________________________________

    Sounds more like he is overqualified. Viking coaches don’t with championships.
    ——————————————–
    Now I’m a Vikings fan but I have to admit that’s a good one. I had to laugh. Not to say it doesn’t piss me off too but a fact is a fact.

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