Almost exactly a year ago, Texans fans were treated to an onslaught of rumors and innuendo that the team would be parting ways with Bill O’Brien. The biggest difference between last year and this year was that January of 2017 saw the Texans preparing to host a playoff game, whereas the last few days of December 2017 see the Texans fighting the Colts to see who shall bear the ignominy of finishing last in the AFC South.
Be that as it may, there is once again plenty of speculation that Bob McNair and O’Brien will get divorced in the near future thanks in large part to the “toxic” relationship between the head coach and Rick Smith. Well, Adam Schefter is here to tell you that O’Brien isn’t going anywhere. Probably.
Bill O'Brien is likely to be back next season as Houston Texans head coach, league sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter.
There has been much speculation about O'Brien's future in Houston, with the Texans struggling through a 4-11 season after winning back-to-back AFC South titles in 2015 and '16. Though his return is likely, sources say there still are issues to be discussed and hashed out with his contract.
For the record, I’m Team
Jacob OB. If I had to choose between him and Rick Smith, I’m going with O’Brien. I understand and respect the logic of those who think O’Brien hasn’t earned the exalted status some have bestowed upon him. I just happen to think O’Brien, for all the time and game management flaws, isn’t a guy who’ll be as easy to replace and upgrade from as some may believe. Factor in the undeniable truth that Deshaun Watson wants OB back, and I’m firmly in the camp that supports the idea of O’Brien returning in 2018.
We should find out soon enough how things will play out, including but not limited to whether O’Brien will in fact coach out the final year of his contract without an extension. I also wonder whether Smith will receive the infamous “promotion” out of the general manager role that’s been rumored in the past.
Stay tuned. The soap opera surrounding the organization is sure to be more entertaining than what we’ll see at Lucas Oil Stadium in twelve hours.
UPDATE: Ian Rapoport says there’s a big meeting scheduled for tomorrow between O’Brien and Bob McNair, with the Texans’ efforts to keep O’Brien “going on (sic) the right direction.”
The #Texans are working to retain coach Bill O’Brien for 2018 and it’s going on the right direction, sources say. A Monday meeting with ownership is big to work out the issues https://t.co/ZyFMmp9mPG pic.twitter.com/BU44nuBRWG— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 31, 2017
From @NFLGameDay: The #Cowboys will evaluate both coordinators with major changes potentially coming... and why the #Texans are moving to keep Bill O'Brien, who would be the top candidate if available. pic.twitter.com/ejeKL0goNU— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 31, 2017
From @NFLGameDay: The tenure of #Lions coach Jim Caldwell is coming to an end... while it's looking like #Texans coach Bill O'Brien is going to return with some added responsibility. pic.twitter.com/fw2lBovluH— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 31, 2017
UPDATE II: Rick Smith announced that he is stepping away from his role as General Manager of the Texans to take care of his ailing wife. The team will begin a search for a new GM.