Report: Texans in Discussions to Hire Bill O'Brien

December 28, 2013 at 5:20p    by Jason Priestas    
Bill O'Brien is close to leaving Happy Valley for the NFL according to published reports.

Per ESPN's Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter, talks between Penn State coach Bill O'Brien and the Houston Texans have intensified as the Texans look to replace Gary Kubiak, fired three weeks ago.

Bill O'Brien has emerged as the overwhelming favorite to become the next coach of the Houston Texans, and the two sides are working to get a deal in place within the next week, league sources told ESPN.

O'Brien met with the Texans this week after Christmas at his home in Cape Cod, resulting in intensified discussions they hope will culminate with a finalized contract, the sources said.

The Texans had been doing due diligence on O'Brien, including his six-year stint with the New England Patriots. The feedback has been strong in his favor, sources said, which motivated Houston to commence negotiations to get a deal in place.

O'Brien is coming off two successful seasons with Penn State, in which he went 15-9 and captured the Big Ten's Coach of the Year award in 2012, renewing optimism in the program following the Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse scandal.

While his departure would be a blow to the quality of football played in the Big Ten, Penn State, even amid sanctions, is a desirable destination for a coach. Tennessee Titans coach Mike Munchak, Vanderbilt's James Franklin, Miami's Al Golden, and Tampa Bay's Greg Schiano have all been floated as potential replacements for O'Brien, should he leave.



BassDropper's picture

So, Hackenburg has no reason to stick around. BOB promised Hackenburg that he would stay until he left college.


BassDropper's picture


The B1G would lose a highly touted recruit.


fanfarris's picture

Bassman.Maybe the BIG can still retain  Holley.I say lets go after the recruits before someone else get them.If Bill leaves.


703Buckeye's picture

I would really like to see BOB stay at Penn State and help them come out of the sanctions strongly but I can't blame him for taking a NFL head coaching job.

"Attack the Strong, Trample the Weak, Hurdle the Dead!"
-Former OSU S&C Coach Lichter

gerry30's picture

I do blame BOB. My wife's MSU. She doesn't hate Saban for leaving. I do. (MSU is a fine school with great kids and fans. Her other half of the family are weasels. Huge difference in the students and alum.) These some-and-dones really screw their recruits and the programs. The tax-and-spend governments get 55% of their money. How much do they need --after banking five or ten million and a retirement account fit for a sheik-- to live on? I place loyalty to those who deserve it as the starting point of a guy's integrity. Five or six years minimum should be  the commitment. (And if the guy can't cut muster, he should be canned.)   


Hovenaut's picture

"The feedback has been strong....."

No kidding.

High character, high quality.....tough for PSU, but he clearly is NFL caliber material.

Good for Houston if they get the deal done.

"Success - it's what you do with what you got" - Woody Hayes

Bucks777's picture

On the flip side of things. We can look no further than 2 of the greatest college coaches all time:
1) Steve Spurrier  - Left Florida to go to the NFL, returned saying he didn't like coaching million dollar cry babies who you have no control over, they are already millionaire's and really dont have to play if they dont want to. (I paraphrased greatly, but know some people that personally know him and from some of the comments he did make 1+1=2)   
2) Nick Saban- Went to the NFL and had the same feeling he will never return, same with Spurrier.  There have been many College coaches leave to try our the NFL, most returning, and not liking the experience. If you go these days it's for teh money and all business, nothing in the NFL anymore, hyped up commercialized piece of crap!
To me if a coach leaves a school for more money and spot light, what does that make him???
A professional hooker.  LOL

tosubuckeye's picture

It was obvious from the start that BOB is an NFL-lifer.  They need to get a "college guy" in there to see them thru.  From previous posts there are many who would love the opportunity; namely, guys who have worn the blue and white, and are currently outstanding coaches. 


Bucks777's picture

I would rather take a college football player that was good at the sport; has a passion for coaching and train him on the job to be a coach in D1. That way you can make the contract say what you want it to.  6 year commitment, cannot apply or seek other employment at another school for coaching in any capacity.  Basically , locking in a coach to learn on the job, get paid big bucks to stay and bring a program through, of course you surround him with talented coaching staff and other support t staff.  Let's all make one thing very clear here, Coaching is by no means rocket science, as people have made these coaches to live on pedestals, simply are not that great!
I would much rather have a passionate coach that is from the state of Pennsylvania and loves Penn State with all his heart. To me you simply can;t go wrong. You could be looking at the next best coach.  When a coach comes from that perspective (ex. Urban) he loved OSU growing up as a kid, woody hays, and everything about Ohio, he is from Ohio.  He will not coach at another school until he retires.
This is exactly the formula that Penn State and the other BIG Programs needed to be looking into, not bringing in someone from the outside, but someone that lived and grew up in the History of your institution. 
Coaching has changed, they are all ME , ME , ME people today.  Only way to find the next ideal stay in it all coach that is dedicated to the School and to making an impact for life, is to go get one of your own and train them!  That is the recipe going forward if these colleges in the BIG want to become something special.  Because as long as they keep brining in Coaches that are not from the school, not from the state, they will only turn and leave, no loyalty.  I would much rather prefer and inexperienced loyal, homegrown person to pay all that money to, loyalty wins out every time.
Loyalty= passion= commitment=success!!!

Chief B1G Dump's picture

Penn States sanctions just got real.
We are about to see rock bottom at a once proud program.
Im selfishly hoping they can get half the coach BoB proved to be.
It will be interesting to see how Penn State treads water for the next couple years.

Jason Priestas's picture

I think they'll be okay. The NCAA has already started to reduce the sanctions package. It's still a top job that will pay great money.

BukFan's picture

^@chief.  U have no clue .

Chief B1G Dump's picture

I think it really depends on their hire. Turnover at such a tough time is going to be hard to maintain. With the draw of PSU and the talent base in state and theyll still be inherently better than half the B1G. Theyll for sure be pretty depleted depth-wise when they roll out of sanctions. We'll see what happens to the big recruits and talent and if BoB was doing a hell of a job or if PSU is that big of a draw to these kids.
Losing BoB will definately be a hit. If he goes, I have to think its going to get worse before it gets better.

BTW... Bukfan, go get your shinebox.

Bucks777's picture

All they need to do is hire a High School coach and he can come in and take them to the National Title Game in a couple years!!!
...what you say???
Gus Malzahn
Trust me there are very good High School, and Division 2 coaches out there that have simply not been given the chance.  I like those coaches because they bring something fresh into D1 college football. Some of them have brilliant ideas and game plans, are extraordinary motivators, which is what is needed to create champions!

AngryWoody's picture

Al Golden and James Franklin are sounding like the top replacements.

Our Honor Defend!

fanfarris's picture

How about AL Franklin ?


AMSS's picture

Al Golden? There would be a hire to make to keep the NCAA on your side. 

LouGroza's picture

Coaching situations getting real. This is a look at possibilities. Very interesting.

tosubuckeye's picture

Be careful what you wish for. Just heard Holtz say NFL (not for long) opportunity.  True statement.


Gcar's picture

We have been following this down here in Houston all week. This is by far the number one coach that the Texans want. After watching what Bob did the last two years at penn st. I will be very excited if we can land him! He will get to draft his QB and turn around a team that houston fans go nuts for. He is going to love the game day atmosphere and energy. Reliant Stadium is an amazing place to play and watch football games! 


thekornidentity's picture

247Sports is reporting that BoB told Thomas Holley that he's staying.
@247Sports: Within the hour, Bill O'Brien has told #PennState commit Thomas Holley that he's staying

“Nothing that comes easy in this world is worth a damn.” -Woody Hayes

Crimson's picture

That's what Chip Kelley said to Dontre Wilson.  Win, win!

johnblairgobucks's picture

fans of the "Under Dog" cartoon have seen BOB before, and know of his "Sinister" ways.


Buck Commander's picture

Thomas Holley and Mike Giesicki will be Buckeye Bound according to my cousins uncles brothers sister

Silver Bullets are not only for drinking and killing werewolves they are also for destroying all teams in the BIG TEN..................BOOYAH JACK

AngryWoody's picture

I have a tweet but I can't embed it.

Our Honor Defend!

Kjetland's picture

The guy's offense hums and is built for the pass happy NFL. Last time this guy was in the league he broke records. He will be given the keys to the draft and the offense. 
He would be foolish to thumb his nose at the NFL to stay with a program that has basically been ruinned. 

Crumb's picture

Penn State will go into the toilet without him.

"The only good thing about it is winning the d*** thing" - Urban Meyer on The Game The War

Buckeyevstheworld's picture

Depends on who replaces him.

"YOLO" = I'm about to do something extremely ignorant/stupid & I need an excuse to do it.

AMSS's picture

I don't think they will go in the toilet but they will take a huge hit in this year's recruiting class. They still have nice facilities and deep pocketed alumni/boosters to help attract a good coach. I would not want to be in charge of that search committee though. I would think that the coaching pool would be pretty limited just based on the precarious situation that program is in. It would have to be exactly the right fit to continue their road to recovery without hitting a major pothole in the road. 

buckeyerose's picture

Read a story online this morning on Fox Sports, Holley claims he spoke to Bob Saturday evening around 6 and that Bob told him not to believe anything he was hearing about other teams, that he was staying.  And, now we wait.....

Just win!  

AMSS's picture

They are always staying put until they aren't. He would have to hedge his bets until a deal is signed. It's just part of the game I guess.

armybuckinva's picture

Penn State: According to NFL's Ian Rapoport, Penn State athletic director Dave Joyner is mulling flying down to Tampa to make a push for Greg Schiano, who has said he wants to stay in the NFL.