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Report: Bill O’Brien an “overwhelming favorite” for Texans job

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Penn State coach Bill O’Brien appears to be the leading candidate to be the next head coach of the Houston Texans.

Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen of ESPN report that O’Brien and the Texans are intensifying their talks with the hopes that they can come to an agreement to make O’Brien the next head coach in Houston. The report describes O’Brien as an “overwhelming favorite” to land the job.

Although O’Brien has reportedly told Penn State players and recruits that he’s sticking around, he has also reportedly tried to get Penn State to reduce the buyout that his contract requires an NFL owner to pay to pry him away. There would be no reason to do that if O’Brien weren’t interested in leaving for an NFL job.

The 44-year-old O’Brien has been Penn State’s coach for the last two years. Before that he was an assistant in New England for five years.

Houston fired Gary Kubiak during the season, which gave them a head start on finding a new head coach, and the Texans have already interviewed former Bears coach Lovie Smith, which means they have complied with the Rooney Rule. They can hire O’Brien as soon as they can come to a deal, and from the sound of this report, a deal could be coming soon.

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39 Responses to “Report: Bill O’Brien an “overwhelming favorite” for Texans job”
  1. Gordon says: Dec 28, 2013 4:42 PM

    Another Belichick flunky who will be exposed under the bright lights.

  2. eatitfanboy says: Dec 28, 2013 4:45 PM

    O’Brien to Houston, Schiano to PSU.

  3. 2001asterisk2003asterisk2004asterisk says: Dec 28, 2013 4:46 PM

    Once a cheater always a cheater

  4. ravenswhat says: Dec 28, 2013 4:50 PM

    You mean the rush job to interview lovie was nothing? This is my shocked face that a team from Texas would rush to satisfy the Rooney rule.

    Lovie, you’re a sucker my brother.

  5. braven4evr says: Dec 28, 2013 4:50 PM

    bye, bye Penn State! It was fun while it lasted!

  6. waxthat says: Dec 28, 2013 4:55 PM

    This would be a good hire by the Texans.

  7. jerrahsucks says: Dec 28, 2013 4:57 PM

    You would think after the years his head coaches have failed, Bob McNair would remember the names Charley Weis, Romeo Crennel, Weiney McDaniel, Mangenius, all coordinators under Billy B, with a hell of a lot more experience than O’Brien, who have failed horribly as head coaches. This is why Houston will always be mediocre.

  8. fatguystrangler says: Dec 28, 2013 5:02 PM

    This probably will be the best opening in this round of coach roulette. Can he bring Hackenburg to play QB?

  9. mackcarrington says: Dec 28, 2013 5:04 PM

    If nothing else, this move would show Houston fans that McNair isn’t stingy with his cash. He’s willing to buy out O’Brien’s Penn State deal AND pay him a nice salary.

  10. morr24 says: Dec 28, 2013 5:08 PM

    Color me skeptical. It is a mystery to me how someone with a grand total of 2 years of head coaching experience and a 15-9 record in a relatively weak Big10 can become the hot NFL head coaching candidate.

    He had approximately 18 years of coaching experience as a coordinator and lesser positions (11 as a position coach and 7 as a coordinator). Suddenly, he is offered his first head coaching job 2 years ago and transformed into “the next big thing” in the NFL.

    That is quite a climb. I fear altitude sickness may await his arrival. I will say he inherits a quality team.

  11. MichaelEdits says: Dec 28, 2013 5:09 PM

    No NFL head coaching experience of the sort Bob McNair said he’d insist upon.

  12. thekingdave says: Dec 28, 2013 5:10 PM

    I’m cool with it. The Belichick connection stuff gets kind of ridiculous. He was only there for 5 years unlike Weis and Crennel who go back to the Parcells era Giants. However, I will again question the decision to retain Rick Smith and let him have a say in the next HC. Our lack of depth is comical, all the talk about being next year’s Chiefs jumps the gun.

  13. mkuske says: Dec 28, 2013 5:22 PM

    Uhhhh…not saying he’s not going to the Texans, but Bill O`Brien negotiated the lower buyout last June, so….

    Hard to use that as evidence he’s positioning himself for the Texans opening now.

  14. meatcarroll says: Dec 28, 2013 5:26 PM

    Penn State deserves the death penalty and every bit of misery imaginable. Literally knowingly harbored and enabled a child predator for years and got a slap on the wrist that gets reduced every day, while USC got hosed after a years-long witch hunt that could only find one player (Reggie Bush) accepting illicit benefits 130 miles away from someone wannabe agent unaffiliated with the school. Simply because they were Goliath and the NCAA is THAT petty and grotesquely corrupt.

  15. meatcarroll says: Dec 28, 2013 5:26 PM

    Penn State deserves the death penalty and every bit of misery imaginable. Literally knowingly harbored and enabled a child predator for years and got a slap on the wrist that gets reduced every day, while USC got hosed after a years-long witch hunt that could only find one player (Reggie Bush) accepting illicit benefits 130 miles away from someone wannabe agent unaffiliated with the school. Simply because they were Goliath and the NCAA is THAT petty and grotesquely corrupt.

  16. 8oneanddones says: Dec 28, 2013 5:26 PM

    How many mediocre football minds owe their career to Brady and Belichick?

  17. sterilizecromartie says: Dec 28, 2013 5:28 PM

    That “#1 Overall Pick” is quite the selling point for a team looking for a new coach. It is especially the case for a current college coach who knows the players coming out. I’m sure Bill loves at least one QB in this class and wouldn’t mind coaching them for the next 10-12 years.

  18. eastofmissball says: Dec 28, 2013 5:36 PM

    Want a head coach with a established career in NFL, right Bob. I heard you say that a few times. Now you got a young coach, an ass of a GM, and probably no supporting staff, at least offensive side. Is this guy going to be able to pull away some top position minds? Right now it’s a Rick Smith show tugging at puppet strings, just the way he has been planning…

  19. realfootballfan says: Dec 28, 2013 5:46 PM

    Seems like Houston could do better, but this is the franchise who stuck with Dom Capers and Gary Kubiak way past their fire by dates.

  20. borisbulldog says: Dec 28, 2013 5:59 PM

    EffenYI to HOU-

    The only NFL HC bearing fruit from the Belichick Coaching Tree is Belichick himself!

  21. thetooloftools says: Dec 28, 2013 6:01 PM

    This guy isn’t going anywhere. PERIOD. He Loves Penn State and knows his work there is not finished.
    Their is more to life then $$$. He has a great job (no pressure– all Love) now…. he’s not walking away from that and I’m not even a PSU fan.

  22. bworacle says: Dec 28, 2013 6:03 PM

    McNair never said NFL head coaching experience…He said head coaching experience period.

  23. jdmonte11 says: Dec 28, 2013 6:12 PM

    Who knew we had so many general managers commenting on PFT. I don’t know if OBrien is going to be great or not but I trust scouts & film gurus who say he’s the real deal. Going with Lovie smith or whisenhunt would be settling for retreads. OBriens ceiling is much higher than anyone else out there right now

  24. texanfan62 says: Dec 28, 2013 6:18 PM

    I think this is a great hire for the Texans, if it occurs. First, yes he has NFL Coaching Experience, granted not NFL HC Experience. He has been a HC, granted at a NCAA School, but one that’s had a ton of trouble. He’s an offensive coach, which the Texans need help on. They probably wanted him because he’s going to want to run a 3-4 Defense, and they have Wade Phillips signed through 2015. He’s firery, which Lovie Smith and Wisenhunt aren’t. The Texans need to take risks and quit being a “scared” franchise.

  25. drs76109 says: Dec 28, 2013 6:27 PM

    Tom Bradley to PSU. Should’ve gotten it in the first place. Solid coach and caught in the crossfire of circumstances.

    Enough of these sycophantic coaches, please!

    (That said, a fine football coach in Mack Brown would be a nice fit innHappy Valley, too…)

  26. 10kmp says: Dec 28, 2013 6:27 PM

    @ eatitfanboy says:

    O’Brien to Houston, Schiano to PSU.
    ——————————-

    I’m not a Penn State fan, but if Greg Schiano is the next PSU coach I genuinely feel sorry for those kids. I cannot imagine a more miserable tyrant for whom to play college football (or Pro football for that matter) than Schiano.

  27. flyeredup says: Dec 28, 2013 7:14 PM

    Feel bad for the kids because of Schiano? He’s no Sandusky.

  28. dirtyharry1971 says: Dec 28, 2013 7:23 PM

    Hey psu please hire Jay or scott paterno!!! YESSS!!

  29. rubenxx7 says: Dec 28, 2013 7:50 PM

    damn wish he would go to detroit instead.

  30. heybeerman95 says: Dec 28, 2013 7:53 PM

    meatcarroll says:Dec 28, 2013 5:26 PM

    Penn State deserves the death penalty and every bit of misery imaginable. Literally knowingly harbored and enabled a child predator for years and got a slap on the wrist that gets reduced every day, while USC got hosed after a years-long witch hunt that could only find one player (Reggie Bush) accepting illicit benefits 130 miles away from someone wannabe agent unaffiliated with the school. Simply because they were Goliath and the NCAA is THAT petty and grotesquely corrupt.
    —————————————————–

    Talking about beating a dead horse…..you posted the exact same thing on the last 2 storys. Obsesed just a bit?

  31. ravensbob says: Dec 28, 2013 7:56 PM

    PSU is not a premier job anymore, the NFL is.

  32. kev86 says: Dec 28, 2013 8:23 PM

    Lovie to Jets?

  33. nickynick04 says: Dec 28, 2013 8:43 PM

    USC…HA players take a cut in pay to play in the nfl

    and they trow stones at pennstate
    ok….
    stay classy usc stay classy

  34. irootforthecardinals says: Dec 28, 2013 8:46 PM

    The retread argument is a terrible one. Most people learn from failures in past experiences. Whisenhunt and Lovie would be better options than O’Brien. And to all the doubters, Andy Reid, John Fox, Pete Carrol and Bill Belicheck are all retreads.

  35. murty77 says: Dec 28, 2013 9:25 PM

    morr24 says:
    Dec 28, 2013 5:08 PM
    Color me skeptical. It is a mystery to me how someone with a grand total of 2 years of head coaching experience and a 15-9 record in a relatively weak Big10 can become the hot NFL head coaching candidate.

    He had approximately 18 years of coaching experience as a coordinator and lesser positions (11 as a position coach and 7 as a coordinator). Suddenly, he is offered his first head coaching job 2 years ago and transformed into “the next big thing” in the NFL.

    That is quite a climb. I fear altitude sickness may await his arrival. I will say he inherits a quality team.

    ————————————————–

    Yeah, 15-9 is not a real impressive record for a potential NFL HC, but considering he walked into a no win situation and has had two winning seasons at PSU actually speaks volumes about how good of a coach he is. It’s amazing he’s been able to keep that program respectable after all the penalties and everything they’ve gone through. Being a B10 fan in general, it’ll be sad to seen O’Brien leave, but he’ll make a damn good NFL HC, imo.

  36. allseeingone says: Dec 28, 2013 10:54 PM

    Hiring any coach regardless of background is a risk. Even hiring a Parcells or what’s his name in Washington can’t guarantee a winning team. O’Brien took a job that at a U that was under deep distress. Most of it’s best players took off. He took that group of leftovers and competed admirably against teams like Ohio State and Michigan and Wisconsin. He was able to actually recruit great HS players to a U that was under Bowl and BCS restrictions. I say give the man a chance. Obviously he knows how to get the best out of any talent in any situation.

  37. Frazier28/7 says: Dec 28, 2013 11:07 PM

    Good. Yes. Take him.

    We want Leslie Frazier or Brian Billick in Minnesota.

  38. xli2006 says: Dec 29, 2013 9:20 AM

    Ha, wow. Would be a very underwhelming hire.

    PLEASE hire of the coach of the team that got smashed by my less-than-stellar Indiana Hoosiers.

    So many options at the Pro and College level, is this really the best they could do?

  39. pandebailey says: Dec 29, 2013 2:39 PM

    Amazing how much play this guy gets for doing nothing – he’s a career 15-9 as a head coach….anywhere. He cleverly sucked enough money out of Penn State in just two year to dim the lights in Happy Valley and now he’s suddenly the hottest thing for the NFL???

    For once I agree with Tom Brady, this guy deserves to be yelled at and told to step back.

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