There are six NFL head coaching vacancies, and when the dust settles from this weekend it appears there could be a seventh.
Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports that Bill O’Brien is on the hot seat, and that a loss against the Raiders today could result in his exit from Houston. Possibilities reportedly include a coach trade, a mutual parting of ways, and a good old fashioned firing. Jay Glazer also tweeted earlier this week that O’Brien could be out.
This makes sense! The Texans have gone 9-7 all three years with him at the helm. They’ve won the AFC South the last two years, but that’s more a matter of futility in the rest of the division than exceptional leadership from O’Brien. The offense, which is supposed to be his specialty, has been putrid through a long list of quarterbacks now.
The part of the report that is baffling is that Rapoport says O’Brien “would immediately become among the most coveted” NFL head coaching hires. Glazer also called him a potential “good candidate on market.” Why? How unimaginative are NFL teams that there aren’t six available people on the planet they would want more than a guy whose teams have been mediocre? Again, this is a supposed offensive guru that’s been carried by a stout defense.
Rapoport’s report makes it sound like Brock Osweiler, who got benched this season but is starting today after his replacement Tom Savage suffered a concussion, was foisted upon O’Brien by the Texans front office and ownership. Even if that’s the case, it’s O’Brien’s job to minimize the liability, which he failed to do.
If it were me, I’d way prefer Chip Kelly to Bill O’Brien. While Chip’s teams have certainly not played well the past two seasons, he was dealt 2-7 offsuit with the 49ers this year, and his first two years with the Eagles showed a lot more promise than O’Brien has demonstrated in Houston.