As we talked about earlier this week, there’s been speculation that Bill O’Brien may not be the head coach of the Houston Texans much longer. Since Jay Glazer’s initial report, several other reporters have joined the fray to weigh in about the chances of the Texans and O’Brien parting ways. It’s fair to wonder how much of this is coming from actual sources versus simply being an echo chamber stemming from Glazer’s original tweet, but there’s no debating that the topic of O’Brien’s future in Houston has gotten considerably more attention than it did before last week.
In any event, Ian Rapoport weighed in this morning (thanks to Rivers for bringing it to my attention first), and Rapoport’s got some information/speculation I have yet to see anywhere else. Some excerpts, with emphasis added in bold by yours truly:
While the Texans face the Raiders today in a playoff game at 4:35 p.m. ET, six teams are engaged in a competition to find a new head coach.
And many of them appear to be waiting on the future of Houston coach Bill O'Brien, according to several sources.
A coach trade is possible. As is a mutual parting of the ways. As is the Texans simply deciding three years is enough; time to go in a different direction.
The signing of $72-million quarterback Brock Osweiler, who struggled mightily and was eventually benched by O'Brien, has served as a lightning rod for argument and frustration. Whether he was forced on O'Brien by McNair and the team's brass, as most sources believe, or whether Osweiler is merely a symbol of a brutal free-agent miss, his struggles loom large.
It has been a frustrating season, even with the playoff berth. And several teams hope to be the beneficiaries of it if O'Brien becomes available. If that happens, keep an eye on Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, who coached on the Texans' staff from 2006-09, as O'Brien's successor.
Neat. This is precisely the type of distraction one hopes for on the day of his team’s freaking playoff game. Nevertheless, let loose with your thoughts about the likelihood of the Bill O’Brien Era ending in Houston, including but not limited to whether you’d consider trading O’Brien for draft capital and whether you’d like to see Kyle Shanahan back in Houston if the team and O’Brien do decide to end their partnership.
UPDATE: Bob McNair and Bill O’Brien spoke about the rumors of O’Brien’s possible departure.