Consecutive AFC South titles, a playoff victory over the Raiders, and a 27-21 overall record will not be enough to secure a contract extension for Bill O’Brien this offseason. Houston’s head coach, entering the fourth year of his five-year contract with the Texans, will have to play out the 2017 season before discussing an extension.
After Houston’s divisional round loss to the Patriots this year (really, even before the team beat the Raiders in the Wild Card round), rumors swirled about whether or not O’Brien would return as the head coach for 2017. The Brock Osweiler debacle, along with a potentially strained relationship with general manager Rick Smith, seemed to spell trouble for O’Brien’s tenure in Houston. Owner Bob McNair quickly declared that O’Brien was the Texans’ coach for 2017.
Three other NFL head coaches were hired in 2014, the same year as O’Brien. The Vikings brought in Mike Zimmer, the Redskins signed Jay Gruden, and the Lions hired Jim Caldwell. Of those three, both Zimmer and Gruden have already received contract extensions. All four head coaches hired in 2014 have secured at least one postseason appearance, but O’Brien is the only one with a playoff win.
This week, McNair said, “We’ll talk to [O’Brien] about [the contract extension] at the end of this year. That’s typically when we do that sort of thing. We’ll sit down with him and see what he’s happy with and if he wants to be extended and see how we feel.” For his part, O’Brien claims he’s not worried about his future with Houston:
"I really don't think about my contract," O'Brien said at the AFC coaches breakfast. "I really don't. I'm focused on coaching this team and doing as good a job as I can to help our coaches coach and our players to get better.
"If you look at Mr. McNair's track record, that's what he does. He did the same thing with coach (Gary) Kubiak, extended him going into the last year of his contract. I think he did it twice. I know that when Mr. McNair wants to sit down and talk about those things, then we'll sit down and talk about it."
The Texans could be looking for a better season or deeper playoff production from O’Brien prior to offering him an extension. What do you think, Texans fans? Does O’Brien have something to prove if he wants an extension? Do you want him to stay on as Houston’s head coach? Discuss in the comments section below.