Teams with coaching vacancies think Bill O’Brien may be available

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There are six coaching vacancies in the NFL. Could there be a seventh tomorrow?

It’s possible, if the Texans lose today.

We noted last weekend — after the Texans had already clinched the AFC South — that Houston coach Bill O’Brien could be fired, or leave the team in a mutual decision. Today Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports that multiple teams with coaching vacancies think O’Brien may be available if the Texans are bounced out of the playoffs today.

Playoff teams rarely get rid of their coaches, but it has happened before, as when the Broncos fired John Fox following a loss in the divisional round of the playoffs two years ago. That happened in large part because Fox and Broncos G.M. John Elway weren’t seeing eye to eye, and there have been reports that O’Brien and Texans G.M. Rick Smith don’t see eye to eye.

If O’Brien were to become available tomorrow, he’d likely be considered a strong candidate for multiple teams that have a coaching vacancy. And so those teams will be watching today’s game closely.

67 responses to “Teams with coaching vacancies think Bill O’Brien may be available

  1. If the Texans let O’Brien walk mutually or not, it would just be another sign of the disfunction of this franchise at the top. Their defense has only gotten better in the the three years he’s been there and they’ve gone to the playoffs twice now with subpar QB play. If it’s true, he’ll definitely get another shot at HC somewhere else.

  2. The Texans fired Gary Kubiak, Denver picked him up, and they won the super bowl that first year. I didn’t hear anything about Kubiak attending coaching school when he flew from Houston to Denver, so obviously he was a good enough coach to win a super bowl when he was in Houston. If there is a rift between coach and owner, or coach and GM, like there was with Harbaugh and Baalke in San Francisco, then it’s understandable. Three coaches later, S.F. finally fired Baalke. Is this another one of those deals?

  3. If the Texans fire O’Brien, they’ll need a new coach. Hopefully someone who can get a team without a QB into the playoffs. Someone like Bill O’Brien. I heard he might be available.

  4. If this happens, look for the Texans to bring in the tandem of Kyle Shanahan as HC and Wade Phillips as D Coordinator. O’Brien would be a top candidate at Jacksonville, San Francisco and San Diego.

  5. The GM and owner went out and made a big splash to throw $72 million at Osweiler.

    It is clearly O’Brien’s fault that Osweiler sucks.

  6. Yeah, blame O’Brien for signing an unproven QB to an 18 mill contract. No JJ excuse, injuries happen, but the coach should have at least a game manager at QB. let’s see how dumb Houston is. If they let him go, some HC needy team is gonna be very lucky.

  7. It would be absolutely stupid to let O’Brien go. He’s done very well considering the offensive roster he has had to work with. That O-Line and the QB have been really bad in the passing game over the past 3 years.

    If anyone needs to go, it’s Rick Smith. Starting over now with a new coaching staff might waste JJ Watt and DeAndre Hopkins careers.

  8. minerslung says:
    Jan 7, 2017 6:45 AM
    Youre gonna fire this guy without jj watt and because you dont have a quarterback?
    ——————————————————————————————————–Whoever OK’d the signing of Osweiller is the one who should be FIRED!

  9. Coaches off the Belichick tree aren’t ready to be head coaches right away.

    The should coach in college for a few years before going back to the pros,

    O’Brien did that, but not long enough. He’s just hitting his stride now and will only get better.

    Huge loss for Houston if they can’t see it.

  10. The worst division in all of football and you fire the coach of the team that won it without a QB but keep the coach and GM of the team with one of the better QB’s in the league that couldn’t. Hilarious. In fact the only explanation for the managements of every team not getting fired for not winning that pathetic division is “divisional dysfunction”

  11. Really hard to judge a Head Coach without a QB.

    From afar it looks like he has done a pretty good job. How can you fault a guy who makes the playoffs w/o a qb who can be relied on even though our division has been a joke?

  12. Rick Smith is a “replacement level” GM & the Texans could easily find a replacement. BOB is one of the top 5 coaches in the NFL & the only coach in the league that has been able to bring teams to the playoffs with replacement level QB. The Texans would be completely foolish to let O’Brien walk to retain Smith. It would kill this franchise for the near future.

    Given the dumpster fire that is in Indy & the JAGs being the JAGs, the Titans look to be well positioned to dominate the AFC South for years. Mariota looks like the real deal & the Goff deal looks like the steal of the decade.

  13. Total dysfunction if your coach gets you to the playoffs and you fire him…smh….The higher ups, better focus on a new q/b!!!!

  14. BOB is a great coach trying to work with bad quarterbacks who aren’t fixable. Add in injuries and a bad GM, if he walks I’ll take him in Jax!

  15. minerslung says:
    Jan 7, 2017 6:45 AM

    Youre gonna fire this guy without jj watt and because you dont have a quarterback?
    _________________________________

    JJ is a walking IR machine, so nothing to see there. Now – the QB situation is ALL on O’Brien. He had to have signed off on Oz, who has gotten progressively worse as time wore on. Isn’t O’Brien one of those QB whisperer coaches?

  16. Sure, tom ahead and fire Bill O’Brien. He’lol probably end up with your division rival, the Jacksonville Jaguars. In the meantime, the Houston Texans will hire a mediocre head coach such as Marty Morhenweig or Scott Linehan.

  17. Youre gonna fire this guy without jj watt and because you dont have a quarterback?
    _________________________________

    Supposedly O’Brien was the one that pushed to sign Osweiler. I could argue that is a fireable offense.

  18. O’Brien made it to the playoffs with his best player and disputably the NFL’s best defensive player out for most of the season. He made it without a starting NFL QB…

    Speaking of which…maybe the person who gave Osweiller a $72 million contract should be on the chopping block.

  19. I’d move into witness protection to avoid having Osweiller as my qb. To let let that deal happen goes beyond an incompetent GM. It’s clueless ownership.

  20. If they can him O’Brien would instantly move to the top of the hot candidates list but even with that D Houston would not move to the top of the best jobs list. What HC would want to work for an owner and GM that ran O’Brien out of town under those circumstances?

  21. The franchise was patient with Kubiak so I don’t see why they would be in any hurry to do something dumb like this.

  22. How defining of Rick Smith and Bob McNair was it that Kubaik won a Super Bowl with many of the Texans players and staff then… well, then Smith was made a fool of with Brock. I guess it’s good to be the Godfather of the owner’s grandchildren.

  23. I think that O’Brien did the best he could with what he had. Let’s not forget the fact that Rick Smith, the Houston GM, signed Osweiler without ANY input from O’Brien! Bill didn’t even get a chance to interview or even meet Brock before he was signed!

    Many good coaches fail because of clueless GMs.

  24. He’s proved he is a solid coach. He should leave to a team that gives him a better chance to win. Houston is locked in with that QB and he probably feels it’s a loser deal.

  25. tonebones says:
    Jan 7, 2017 7:02 AM

    The Texans fired Gary Kubiak, Denver picked him up, and they won the super bowl that first year. I didn’t hear anything about Kubiak attending coaching school when he flew from Houston to Denver, so obviously he was a good enough coach to win a super bowl when he was in Houston.
    ———————————–

    Kubiak had about as much to do with winning Superbowl L as Manning did, and that is very little.

  26. hollymolley says:
    Jan 7, 2017 7:52 AM
    I know, its way out in left field but just maybe he could wind up back at Penn State, just say’in…

    Don’t watch much college football do you? James Franklin may have as much job security as Bill Bellichik.

  27. This is where there is a serious breakdown between coach and GM. And that GM has been good (at least on D) but, the decision to sign Brock O to that contract. When multiple reports say Bill O’Brien did not like Brock tells you there is a problem. He will be unemployed for 12 seconds if he gets fired.

  28. sagoucher says:
    Jan 7, 2017 7:35 AM
    He made the call on the Osweiler signing. That’s the reason for the hot seat. If that doesn’t work out he’s gone

    ________________________________________

    How do you know? Did he call you up and make you aware of his plans during Free Agency?
    Did he check with you first?

  29. GM Rick Smith is the one responsible for the QB situation but he’s untouchable due to his relationship with the McNair family. He just so happens he is the godfather of one of Bob McNair’s grandchildren.

  30. From my perspective as a Texans fan, we might be better off without O’Brien. His temper seems to cause problems (witness the quarterback flipping and flopping over the last three years, which episodes always start with him visibly flipping his lid on the sidelines).

  31. This actually takes the heat off of Jed York…..wait, neither franchise or GM’s know what they’re doing. I’m sure Harbaugh has been chuckling ever since he left. Kubiak has a ring….next, O’Brien.

  32. Houston paid the equivalent of Elmer Fudd’s mansion and a yacht for a QB that stinks. I don’t know who’s bright idea it was to spend that kind of money on said unproven QB, but they are stuck with him.

    It is much easier to try to bring in someone to salvage the QB, then basically give up on him and assume he is a bust, wasting a butt load of money in the process.

    If it was O’Brien’s bright idea to bring in said QB, then I can understand why he might be on the hot seat.

  33. tonebones says:
    Jan 7, 2017 7:02 AM
    The Texans fired Gary Kubiak, Denver picked him up, and they won* the super bowl that first year.
    ============
    *to be clear, the donkeys did not “win” the superbowl. they were awarded the bowl courtesy of the WWNFL and Mannings last hurrah storyline. they would have missed the playoffs altogether had they been held to the same level as most teams.
    all that aside, kubiak sucks as a coach and I am sad to see him leave the broncos. But we can all take solace in the fact that elway has to make the next selection and, being the idiot that he is, will bring in the wrong person.
    btw, when Wade leaves you might as well start the rebuild. HE is your best “player”

  34. Everyone agrees OBrien has done a great job getting to the playoffs without a QB

    No one agrees on Garropolo’s value and few think the Pats will ge a first

    See the problem?

  35. sagoucher says:
    Jan 7, 2017 7:35 AM
    He made the call on the Osweiler signing. That’s the reason for the hot seat. If that doesn’t work out he’s gone
    ————————
    Not true. The GM signed Brock before O’Brien got to meet him. It was doomed from the start.

  36. ” look for the Texans to bring in the tandem of Kyle Shanahan as HC and Wade Phillips as D Coordinator”

    I see Phillips either trying to get a head coaching position himself, or waiting to see if Matt Patricia leaves the Pats and taking that gig as the best available if he can’t land an HC position.

  37. A 9-7 record would only be good enough for 3rd of 4th in some divisions this year. Even in the AFC South Houston was only one game out of third place. So having won the division is no great achievement. Bum Phillips was fired by the old Oilers after a pair of 11-5 games after losing to the Steelers in the AFC championship. Now that’s cruel.

  38. Remember when O’Brien shut Brady up when he was yelling at a teammate on the bench on national TV? I do. This guy put the GOAT in his place and forever earned my respect. Give the guy a serviceable QB and support from the top and Houston has stability. Let him walk and it’s back to sucking, simple as that.

  39. To be honest, I haven’t been a fan of O’Brien’s since watching him jerk Hoyer back and forth last season for no reason. They should probably fire the GM who signed Osweiler, but I’m still pretty skeptical of O’Brien. That was actually a world class coaching blunder last season. The Texans are lucky that division is not so good.

  40. If the Texans and him “mutually part ways”, he’ll be unemployed for about a day. No doubt about it.

  41. Tell me, what the heck has this guy done? He got shut out last year in the playoffs. He stabilized Penn State. Anything else? Not sure what all the fuss is about him. Glad he doesn’t coach my team. We win rings!

  42. tonebones says:
    Jan 7, 2017 7:02 AM
    The Texans fired Gary Kubiak, Denver picked him up, and they won the super bowl that first year. I didn’t hear anything about Kubiak attending coaching school when he flew from Houston to Denver, so obviously he was a good enough coach to win a super bowl when he was in Houston. If there is a rift between coach and owner, or coach and GM, like there was with Harbaugh and Baalke in San Francisco, then it’s understandable. Three coaches later, S.F. finally fired Baalke. Is this another one of those deals?

    ————————

    Kubiak was probably #4 on the list of factors why the Broncos won the SB. Wade, Manning, and Elway were bigger factors than Kubiak.

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