According to multiple reports, the Jaguars are set to interview former Houston Texans head coach Bill O’Brien next week following the Alabama Crimson Tide’s National Championship game. O’Brien is currently serving as the team’s offensive coordinator under HC Nick Saban.
The #Jaguars plan to interview former #Texans coach Bill O’Brien for their vacant HC job next week after #Bama team plays in the National Championship on Monday, source said. @JohnReid64 had the timing first.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 7, 2022
First reported by Florida Times-Union columnist Gene Frenette, the team’s interest in O’Brien comes at a time when the organization is conducting a “wide net” to find its next head coach.
The team has already interviewed former Philadelphia Eagles HC Doug Pederson along with former Detroit Lions HC Jim Caldwell and current Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive coordinator Todd Bowles for the position.
It appears #Jaguars do have interest in Bill O'Brien, but what isn't clear is how viable a candidate he is compared to Doug Pederson or Jim Caldwell. Part of any wide-ranging interview process is also a fact-finding mission as it is targeting someone as a legit candidate.— Eugene Frenette (@GeneFrenette) January 6, 2022
O’Brien is just the latest to be reported as a possible candidate and has had some success with the Texans in the past. He would be fired last season, however, after starting the year 0-4. He finished first place in the AFC South four out of seven seasons with the Texans, reaching the AFC Divisional Game twice.
His standing record as a head coach in the NFL is 52-48. Though, it was done in the worst division in football, with two rebuilding teams and the Tennessee Titans yet to reach where they are today.
Where it would take a turn for the worst for O’Brien occurred during the final year of his tenure, when the head coach, turned Texans general manager opted to trade All-Pro receiver De’Andre Hopkins, along with other oft-criticized moves.
The dysfunction began in 2017 when there was a reported “toxic” relationship between O’Brien and then-GM Rick Smith. In that year, the Texans would go 4-12. The team would go 11-5 and 10-6 in the two seasons following.
Once fired, O’Brien left the Texans in a state of disarray as the team’s G.M., including the highest payroll, headed into the year, trading away Hopkins and Jadeveon Clowney for very little compensation and without first or second-round picks due to the team’s trade for former Miami Dolphins tackle Laremy Tunsil.
Still, O’Brien has had a knack for coaching at the highest level, especially as a play-caller and offensive mind.
He helped Texans QB Deshaun Watson become one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL over his first four years with the team, he’s also credited with the development of Alabama freshman QB Bryce Young this season. The Crimson Tide are one of the best offenses in college football this year.
O’Brien also has ties to Jacksonville in a roundabout way. His friend and current colleague is former Jaguars HC Doug Marrone. Marrone currently coaches with Alabama as the program’s offensive line coach.