Yesterday, a quote from Bill O’Brien provided a touch of ambiguity regarding his future in Houston. This morning, there is more news breaking on this topic, and it sounds as though there is an effort being made by both parties to put an end to any further concerns of O’Brien leaving Houston.
NFL News tweeted the following this morning:
NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Saturday that "Texans brass has made it clear to teams during the coaching search process that they won't lose Bill O'Brien, just as they've said publicly they won't fire him (Saturday)." This jibes with the reporting of Houston Chronicle NFL reporter John McClain, who Tweeted Saturday morning that he spoke personally with O'Brien, and that O'Brien "assured me he's not going anywhere and will continue coaching the Texans."
A week ago, Rapoport reported that teams needing a coach -- then a majority of the six teams with openings this winter -- would be interested in O'Brien's future should the Texans lose early in the postseason.
The grind of an NFL season can wear on relationships and cause plenty of mental fatigue. Whatever was motivating any potential separation between O'Brien and the Texans seems to be calming down. Houston may have realized that they have a coach who, in three seasons, has won the division twice and has never finished with a losing record.
Also, the only head coach opening right now is in San Francisco, which is far less desirable in terms of available personnel than in Houston.
The AFC South will inevitably get more competitive in the coming seasons. It wouldn't be wise for Houston to cast off a coach with a winning reputation when the formula has gone well thus far compared to many other teams.
John McClain tweeted this to further confirm the Texans’ head coach isn’t going anywhere:
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Texans coach Bill O'Brien said this morning he definitely will be coaching the Texans next season.
O'Brien and his team are preparing for tonight's divisional playoff game against New England, and there have been national and local reports that he would be leaving the team.
O'Brien said he will return for the fourth year of his five-year contract. He's expected to address the issue after the game.
O'Brien's contract says he has control over who does and doesn't play. General manager Rick Smith's contract says he has control over personnel. Smith signed a four-year extension before the season.
Obviously something developed over the last few weeks for there to be this much smoke pouring across media outlets, both locally and nationally, but perhaps it was just the tension and grind that exists in a highly competitive environment. We look forward to hearing directly from Bill O’Brien after the game tonight. It’s a real shame that this is all still swirling around just hours before the Texans play one of the most important games in franchise history.
Does this calm you concerns about this whole matter, or do you still feel another shoe is about to drop that may affect the Texans’ organization going into next year?