From Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen:
Bill O'Brien has emerged as the overwhelming favorite to become the next coach of the Houston Texans, and the two sides are working to get a deal in place within the next week, league sources told ESPN.
O'Brien met with the Texans this week after Christmas at his home in Cape Cod, resulting in intensified discussions they hope will culminate with a finalized contract, the sources said.
The Texans still have a short list of candidates in case talks break down with the Penn State coach, sources added.
The Texans had been doing due diligence on O'Brien, including his six-year stint with the New England Patriots. The feedback has been strong in his favor, sources said, which motivated Houston to commence negotiations to get a deal in place.
When the Texans fired Gary Kubiak on December 6th, Bob McNair made it clear that he wanted the next head coach to have (1) head coaching experience and (2) NFL experience, but not necessarily NFL head coaching experience. From that perspective, Bill O'Brien made a whole lot of sense for the Texans from the outset.
Although the team has already interviewed Lovie Smith and reportedly had an interest in talking to Ken Whisenhunt, many Texans fans were ecstatic when Jason La Canfora reported that the Texans did want to talk to O'Brien. This excitement only escalated when Ian Rapoport disclosed that the team was going to formally interview O'Brien.
Judging from Schefter and Mortensen's story today, the interview went extremely well. While nothing's done until a contract is signed, all signs point to Bill O'Brien being named the third head coach in Houston Texans history. Personally, I'd consider this a home run of a hire. What say you?