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Reports: Texans considering Penn State's O'Brien

Bill O'Brien, Texans Working On Deal

HOUSTON (AP) -- The Houston Texans have interviewed Penn State's Bill O'Brien about their vacant head coaching job and he has emerged as a leading candidate, according to media reports.

Houston team owner Bob McNair told The Houston Chronicle on Saturday night: "The process has been underway, and it continues. The process isn't over. We have other candidates to interview next week."

The paper reports O'Brien met with McNair and general manager Rick Smith last week, and also has interviewed former Bears coach Lovie Smith and interim coach Wade Phillips.

ESPN reported, citing unidentified sources, that O'Brien is the "overwhelming favorite" to become the Texans' coach.

O'Brien is 15-9 at Penn State, guiding the Nittany Lions through two winning seasons despite severe NCAA sanctions. Before following Joe Paterno at Penn State, he spent five years (2007-11) as an offensive assistant with the New England Patriots.

The 44-year-old O'Brien drew interest from the NFL last year, interviewing with Cleveland and Philadelphia before deciding to stay at Penn State. His contract was re-worked after last season and the buyout if he were to leave for an NFL job was lowered to about $6.5 million.

Text and phone messages left for O'Brien and Penn State athletic director David Joyner by The Associated Press were not immediately returned.

The Texans (2-13) fired coach Gary Kubiak this month and have lost 13 straight games.

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harolddundee December 31 2013 at 1:10 AM

It always comes down to the money.

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maximusintoxicus December 30 2013 at 8:48 PM

Bill O'Brian would have to be NUTS to leave that job at Penn State. Hey.. if he want's to chase an NFL dream / paycheck or whatever and put his head in that meat grinder more power to him. The grass isn't always greener. He's making nice money with NO PRESSURE in Happy Valley. No pressure at all. Guess what sports fans. He didn't inherit a total loser program. He isn't walking on water. I hope he stays, But Nick Saban and The Old Ball Coach Spurrier couldn't wait to get out of the pro game.
I spent 40 years in Happy Valley and can seriously say I was NEVER a Penn State football fan. I met Joe Paterno many many times and did not like the man. He just ran over ANYONE who had ANYTHING bad to say about HIS football program. He was a freakin' monster and with the upcoming trials will be exposed for the Godfather and power monger he was.
Good luck coach Bill... be careful what you wish for.
You already have the respect of your peers as you are the "IT COACH" right now. It's a tough decision. I'll say a prayer for you that you do what is best for you and your family.
All I know is that it's not an easy decision.

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1 reply to maximusintoxicus's comment
tkdhoff December 31 2013 at 1:05 AM

I can understand why someone named "maximusintoxicus" would not like Joepa. Apparently, your 40 yrs in Happy Valley were not that "happy" either. Actually, there wasn't much bad to say about Joe's football program, so he didn't have to "run over many people". Oh yeah, he also dedicated his life and millions to "his university". He wasn't a "monster", Sandusky was. Joe reported it. There were no charges against Joe. He earned and acquired power over 60 years. He didn't come in like BOB and use the place as a stepping stone for his own greed and ego. BOB shouldn't have accepted the job and signed a contract to just use as a stepping stone his 1st and 2nd year at the job. He's not the "head coach", he's a "rent-a-coach", and he doesn't deserve the position if he doesn't want to be there.

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cassband1 December 30 2013 at 6:22 PM

The days of Loyalty are over. Players and coaches alike go where the money is.

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deebeedonny December 30 2013 at 3:19 PM

After two years this O'Brien is ready to pack in at Penn State. Joe Paterno was loyal to Penn State for 60yrs. He was offered on many occasions to coach in the NFL, but Paterno loved Penn State and remained loyal for all those years. It was obvious that the Board of Trustees at Penn State were looking for a reason to oust Paterno, and put this obrien in there, now Obrien shows no loyalty and is ready to leave Penn State. No matter who they get to replace him there will never be another Joe Paterno....

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waynobueno13 December 30 2013 at 2:57 PM

Would hate to see him go, he's done an exception job for the position the program is in but if he does I would'nt mind seeing Mike Munchack come in.

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Sue Brown December 30 2013 at 2:54 PM

I do not want this coach to leave Penn State. The program is just starting to get back on its' feet. I believe the coach leaving will be a downer for Penn State.

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msgoe December 30 2013 at 2:53 PM

and going with lovie smith is not a great move either .. all defense no offense ... they have that problem now

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msgoe December 30 2013 at 2:52 PM

the fact they are interviewing him is not a good sign for the texans .. the texans have a fair amount of talent and really need a coach who is offensive minded and has a winning record in the pros ... going with someone who has not been a head coach in the nfl is not a good move ..

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jeleml40 December 30 2013 at 12:02 PM

He would be making a mistake to go to the Texans. They are not a great franchise and he could do better either staying in college or looks at other teams like the Redskins, or others.

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johnjharting December 30 2013 at 10:50 AM

I am sure he will do what is best for his family...which is something Penn State is not used to....Joe Paterno always thought of the University first.

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1 reply to johnjharting's comment
adf3415 December 30 2013 at 1:40 PM

OOO really? Is that why Joe gave his son a coaching job? Supported another who ran for congress? OOO yes and his daughter still works for PSU......so perhaps, you might tell us how he wasn't a family man??

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