Texans owner says other candidates will interview next week

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Penn State coach Bill O’Brien may be the favorite to become the next head coach of the Houston Texans, but the team still plans to conduct more interviews next week.

That’s the word from Texans owner Bob McNair, who told John McClain of the Houston Chronicle that he has more interviews scheduled with head coaching candidates.

“The process continues. We have other interviews scheduled next week. It isn’t over,” McNair told McClain.

At least one of those interviews is expected to be with former Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt. Under NFL rules, Whisenhunt, who is now the Chargers’ offensive coordinator, can’t interview for the Texans job until the Chargers’ regular season is over.

In addition to their interest in O’Brien, the Texans have already interviewed former Bears coach Lovie Smith, as well as their own interim head coach, Wade Phillips.

For his part, O’Brien reportedly told recruits today, after ESPN reported that he was the overwhelming favorite to get the Texans job, that he is staying at Penn State. Of course, college coaches routinely tell recruits they’re not going anywhere, right up until the day they leave, so that doesn’t necessarily mean much of anything.

What we know for sure is that the Texans are currently the only NFL team with a head-coaching vacancy, but multiple other teams will join them within the next 48 hours. By firing Gary Kubiak during the season, the Texans got to start interviewing coaching candidates early. But they’re not done interviewing yet.