The Houston Texans have been zeroing in on one specific head coaching candidate over the past couple of days, and the chances of the Texans hiring former New England Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien are increasing seemingly by the minute. It was reported yesterday that the Texans were close to hiring O’Brien but had other interviews lined up with the likes of Ken Whisenhunt as due diligence. Whisenhunt, who is high on GM Rick Smith’s list, looked like a darkhorse, but then his San Diego Chargers made the playoffs. The Texans wouldn’t be able to interview the Chargers offensive coordinator until the team is eliminated, and the Texans are unwilling to wait around for that.
This has led to O’Brien becoming even more of an attractive candidate for the Texans, especially since Lovie Smith seems more interested in joining the Tampa Bay Buccaneers than the Texans, who showed a high amount of interest in Smith when they first fired Gary Kubiak. There have been a lot of rumors swirling around regarding the Texans coaching search, and the strongest rumors have involved O’Brien and the Texans.
Now, we have the strongest scoop yet. According to ESPN NFL Nation’s Tania Ganguli, ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported that the Texans hiring O’Brien is “imminent” and that a deal is set to happen within the next 24 hours. This falls in line with everything we’ve heard recently, and O’Brien has certainly done great things in college for Penn State and was a quality OC for the Patriots. He is one of the top head coaching candidates on the market and is on most teams’s shortlists, and there is little doubt that he is the top college coach available. It looks like a solid hire on paper, especially if O’Brien can get the QB position right.