Report: O'Brien the 'Overwhelming Favorite'

Report: O'Brien the 'Overwhelming Favorite'
December 28, 2013, 3:45 pm
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Palmer on Bill O'Brien report

(Mary Langenfeld - USA Today Sports Images)

According to a report, Bill O'Brien is the "overwhelming favorite" to become the next head coach of the Houston Texans.

The ESPN report say the Texans met with the current Penn State football head coach the week after Christmas at O'Brien's home and that led to "intensified discussions they hope will culminate with a finalized contract."

If the talks with O'Brien fall through, the report says the Texans still have a short list of candidates. The Texans have also already interviewed former Bears head coach Lovie Smith.

O'Brien took over a Penn State football team in a state of scandal two years ago. Also dealing with a loss of scholarships, he still became the Big Ten Coach of the Year in 2012. He followed that up with a 7-5 record and has impressed with his recruiting. O'Brien was with the Patriots from 2007-2011 and last served as offensive coordinator.

The Texans are in the middle of a 13-game losing streak on their way to being 2-13, the worst record currently in the NFL. They fired Gary Kubiak earlier this month. Wade Phillips is the interim head coach.

The Texans fired Kubiak with three games to go in the 2013 season with the idea that it would give them a jump start on the coaching search. If they land O'Brien, that philosophy will have worked. After the Texans fired Kubiak, owner Bob McNair said the team wanted their next coach to have head-coaching experience and NFL experience. O'Brien would satisfy both of those.

CSNHouston staff writer Dave Zangaro contributed to this report.