King: O’Brien would be “strong candidate” for two vacancies

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Houston’s wild-card win over the Raiders coupled with owner Bob McNair’s proclamation that coach Bill O’Brien was never getting fired puts to rest the possibility that O’Brien will be leaving the Texans, right?

Uh . . . no.

The talk of a potential split hasn’t ended simply because the Texans beat a team that was down to its third quarterback and because the owner declared that O’Brien isn’t getting fired. The talk hasn’t ended because it’s widely believed in league circles that O’Brien is not happy in Houston. (One league source used extremely colorful language in explaining O’Brien’s mindset.)

Officially, O’Brien denies any interest in leaving.

I don’t know where it’s coming from, honestly,” O’Brien told Peter King of TheMMQB.com after Saturday’s win. “That’s probably a question for someone else. All those things out there, I’m not familiar where they’ve originated from, and I certainly want to finish what we started and bring a championship to Houston. That’s why I came here.”

Houston also is privately pushing back against tales of dysfunction bad enough to lead to a divorce, taking the position that people don’t have to be happy or compatible to work toward winning football games (although it helps). The deeper message could be that the Texans aren’t willing to let O’Brien walk away and become the head coach of another team without compensation.

On that point, King explains that O’Brien would be a “strong candidate” for two of the six current coaching openings.

“Obviously that’s an interesting candidate, but we’d want to know why that thing blew up, if it does,” an unnamed decision-maker told King. “We’d want to know what he [O’Brien] is like to work with.”

It’s unclear which teams would want O’Brien. Some have speculated that the Rams and Jaguars would pursue him. The possibility that Jacksonville would want to keep O’Brien in the division makes it even more important for the Texans to finesse this situation in a way that allows him to be traded, as a practical matter, to a team not in the division.

48 responses to “King: O’Brien would be “strong candidate” for two vacancies

  1. It should be the other way around.

    For a supposed QB guru, Tom Brady got even better after he left, Christian Hackenberg may never see the field, and every Texans QB has failed miserably.

  2. Why is this guy such a big deal? I mean, Im not saying he is a bad coach…but he doesnt strike me as the type of coach the league should be abuzz about or that a team should trade for. Am I missing something here?

  3. At some point you also have to ask yourself why this guy is so combative and also lets people around him know it to tell it to other people. This is the same stuff you heard when he left Penn State. He was also noted to have been in screaming matches with Tom Brady like that proved a point when the former had 3 Super Bowl rings at that time. Rick Smith is a moron, but no one is going to be 100% in charge in that business nor should they if they’re a coach.

  4. charliecharger says:
    Jan 9, 2017 12:49 PM
    When J.J.Watt comes back, and if he comes back healthy, Houston will be in the super bowl in a year or two, regardless of who’s coaching.
    ————–
    Judging by your screen name and the fact that the Chargers won’t be in San Diego anymore, it’s good to see you’ve already picked your next NFL team to root for you, even if they are bland and boring and your post is delusional.

  5. He cursed alot on Hard knocks trying to be a tough guy…Beyond that I”m not sure what he is accomplished to be a hot commodity.

  6. charliecharger says:
    Jan 9, 2017 12:49 PM
    When J.J.Watt comes back, and if he comes back healthy, Houston will be in the super bowl in a year or two, regardless of who’s coaching.
    *****************************************
    This is hilarious, I hope for your sake you’re trying to be funny.

  7. joetoronto says:
    Jan 9, 2017 1:03 PM
    No one can be happy working for McNair, the man is a complete A-hole.
    ———-
    I never thought we’d see you emerge from your parents basement after all the gloating you did about the Raiders, just to see them get beat by the team your commenting on.

  8. “Why is this guy such a big deal? I mean, Im not saying he is a bad coach…but he doesnt strike me as the type of coach the league should be abuzz about or that a team should trade for. Am I missing something here?”

    The guy has one two division titles with QB’s named Brian Hoyerm Brock Osweiler, and Tom Savage. That is nothing short of impressive even in a weak AFC South.

  9. “When J.J.Watt comes back, and if he comes back healthy, Houston will be in the super bowl in a year or two, regardless of who’s coaching.”

    Absolutely correct! Just like those 3 or 4 consecutive Super Bowls the Texans played in (and won!) while JJ Watt was healthy.

  10. Obrien looks like an unhappy guy. So He is going to “look” unhappy anywhere he goes.

  11. charliecharger says:
    Jan 9, 2017 12:49 PM
    When J.J.Watt comes back, and if he comes back healthy, Houston will be in the super bowl in a year or two, regardless of who’s coaching.
    ======================

    In your scenario is Watt converting solely to QB or is he going to be the most dynamic 2 way player of all time?

  12. 9-7
    9-7 won AFC South
    9-7 won AFC South
    ——-
    27-21 w/o a QB.
    1-1 in the playoffs

    15-9 in a absolute disaster situation at Penn State.

    Yes I can totally see why he’s highly sought after. He’s made the most out of some very messy situations. (Which includes the Osweiler situation)

  13. charliecharger says:
    Jan 9, 2017 12:49 PM

    When J.J.Watt comes back, and if he comes back healthy, Houston will be in the super bowl in a year or two, regardless of who’s coaching.
    ———————————————————–
    Can J.J. read defenses and throw a 15 yard out?

  14. Dude has done nothing but turn Houston into a successful franchise and they want to get rid of him and the fans don’t even care… no wonder Houston will always suck and never win a Superbowl. PC people can’t handle his coaching style even though it Jets winning results

  15. I believe he left Penn State for similar reasons (not liking it or being unhappy there or something along those lines). At what point does the problem become HIM and not the situation surrounding him?

  16. Let’s see how he holds up against a real NFL team on Saturday night?

    You played a JV team two days ago and now you’ll play the Team of the Millennium. At least Houston will be able to say the visited New England for the winter.

  17. niners816 says:
    Jan 9, 2017 1:13 PM
    joetoronto says:
    Jan 9, 2017 1:03 PM
    No one can be happy working for McNair, the man is a complete A-hole.
    ———-
    I never thought we’d see you emerge from your parents basement after all the gloating you did about the Raiders, just to see them get beat by the team your commenting on.
    *******************************************
    A 49er fan, really?

    You guys can’t make fun of any team, maybe the Bills but that’s about it.

  18. Pegula has deep ties to Penn St, and once kicked in $$ to keep O’Brien from leaving Penn St …. maybe Buffalo is one of the 2 teams King is referring to.

  19. niners816 says:
    Jan 9, 2017 1:02 PM
    charliecharger says:
    Jan 9, 2017 12:49 PM
    When J.J.Watt comes back, and if he comes back healthy, Houston will be in the super bowl in a year or two, regardless of who’s coaching.
    ————–
    Judging by your screen name and the fact that the Chargers won’t be in San Diego anymore, it’s good to see you’ve already picked your next NFL team to root for you, even if they are bland and boring and your post is delusional.
    ——————————————————————
    Judging from your screen name you just might want to be searching for another team to root for too.

  20. It is very obvious that this guy had his name put out for discussion in the vox populi. At Penn State, he was a sour puss, too. Potential suitors take note.

  21. O’Brien to Jacksonville must be a joke, right!?! The guy had eight or nine QBs in Houston and couldn’t develop any of them into productive, NFL starters. Blake Bortles is floundering badly and the next coach should be able to help him or bring a QB coach/O coordinator who can do the job. And if Bill O’Brien had anybody like that on speed dial his QB situation in Houston would not have been so horrific.

  22. Ya’ll need to take a second look at the stiffs at QB this guy has had to deal with. Keenum, Mallett, Fitzpatrick, Weeden, Yates, Hoyer, Savage and Osweiler. YIKES! This guy isn’t just a good coach he’s a freaken miracle worker having 3 winning seasons and 2 division championships with that crew of alleged professional QB’s.

  23. a1b24312 says:
    Jan 9, 2017 1:49 PM
    It is very obvious that this guy had his name put out for discussion in the vox populi. At Penn State, he was a sour puss, too. Potential suitors take note.
    —————————————————————–
    Lombardi and Belichick are known to be or had been real swell guys. Sweethearts really. Look this is the NFL. These are grown men. If they win nobody gives two hoots if they smile or not. Except the losers who regularly get whooped by their teams.

  24. This sounds more like one or two of the teams with vacancies decided they wanted O’Brien and this is their way of tampering, just putting these stories out there.

  25. He’d win a Super Bowl if he actually had a competent QB. He’s a hell of a coach without a QB and will be mediocre until they do. If Rick Smith could find him one, they’d be set.

  26. After seeing the terrible hideous things BB and the Patriots are going to do to the Texans this coming weekend nobody will want to touch O’brien or anyone else associated with the Texans….

  27. Everybody is missing the point. His owner & GM signed a $72mm QB without even having him try out for the coach. Whether you have clout or not that simply should be a minimum expectation for a coaching job and you can’t fault him for wanting better.

  28. A “supposed QB guru”? This guy has had 8 starters in 2 seasons and has done nothing but win 2 division titles and go 1-1 in the playoffs(with bad QB talent). He was also missing one of the best players in the NFL. With Penn State ties, I can’t see the Bills not making a run at him. He’s the disciplinarian that the team desperately needs, he can pick his QB, and he has a shot at BB twice a season.

  29. a1b24312 says:
    Jan 9, 2017 1:49 PM

    It is very obvious that this guy had his name put out for discussion in the vox populi. At Penn State, he was a sour puss, too.
    ————————————————————–
    Lombardi was a load of laughs, and Belichick is the life of the party.

    Perhaps being a “sourpuss” is a good thing for a HC?

  30. imodan says:
    Jan 9, 2017 1:47 PM
    niners816 says:
    Jan 9, 2017 1:02 PM
    charliecharger says:
    Jan 9, 2017 12:49 PM
    When J.J.Watt comes back, and if he comes back healthy, Houston will be in the super bowl in a year or two, regardless of who’s coaching.
    ————–
    Judging by your screen name and the fact that the Chargers won’t be in San Diego anymore, it’s good to see you’ve already picked your next NFL team to root for you, even if they are bland and boring and your post is delusional.
    ——————————————————————
    Judging from your screen name you just might want to be searching for another team to root for too.
    ———————–
    I appreciate the jab. I even giggled a little. But I’ll always root for the Niners, win or lose. Now if you want to talk about bandwagon fans, once Seattle loses to Atlanta this weekend, you’ll see a lot more Cowboy fan crossovers.

  31. joetoronto says:
    Jan 9, 2017 1:45 PM
    niners816 says:
    Jan 9, 2017 1:13 PM
    joetoronto says:
    Jan 9, 2017 1:03 PM
    No one can be happy working for McNair, the man is a complete A-hole.
    ———-
    I never thought we’d see you emerge from your parents basement after all the gloating you did about the Raiders, just to see them get beat by the team your commenting on.
    *******************************************
    A 49er fan, really?

    You guys can’t make fun of any team, maybe the Bills but that’s about it.
    ———————–
    What’s your obsession with the Bills? Are you still salty because you thought they were moving to your precious Canada and stayed in the states? You’re like the ex gf who can’t take no for an answer. It’s over, bro.

  32. “I believe he left Penn State for similar reasons”
    ________

    To be fair, really nothing could be considered similar to Penn State. That was the thankless job of all thankless jobs. Sanctions, constant fallout from the scandal, and while he was performing miracles holding everything together he was getting criticized for changing things too much because the faithful didn’t want anything different than JoePa had it.

  33. O’Brien seems to have the ability to get the most from coaches and players. What’s wrong with a guy who has a little fire in his belly? Even Clowney is awake now.

  34. magnumpimustache says:
    Jan 9, 2017 3:21 PM
    As a pats fan I was so happy to get rid of this clown. His play calling in the last giants super bowl cost us the win.
    ———————————–
    Could’ve sworn it was all the dropped passes. Even Brady’s wife figured that out!

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