Five Candidates to Replace Bill O’Brien in Houston


After seven seasons, the Houston Texans have officially moved on from head coach and General Manager Bill O’Brien. Despite a 52% winning percentage during the regular season since 2014, that number has specifically dropped to 33% during the playoffs.

The Texans, who are 0-4 to start the 2020 season, will likely wait until the offseason to offer the head coaching vacancy on a long-term status to a promising candidate. With that, who are some of the top names that will be on the market?

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Matt Eberflus (Defensive Coordinator, Indianapolis Colts)

Indianapolis Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus and offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni should both be considered promising candidates for coaching positions this offseason.

For Eberflus specifically, he led the Colts to a 10-6 record as a defense-first roster during the 2018 season. With 29 years of experience, he spent 11 seasons with the Cleveland Browns (2009-11) and Dallas Cowboys (2011-17) as a linebackers coach.

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Wink Martindale (Defensive Coordinator, Baltimore Ravens)

As a popular head coaching candidate during the previous offseason, Martindale could once again find himself in a promising position. He interviewed with the New York Giants prior to the team hiring Joe Judge for their respective vacancy.

Last season, the Ravens were one of the best teams when it came to turnover differential, points allowed, and first downs allowed. To put that into perspective, the Texans are allowing over 30 points per game through the first four weeks this season. The hiring of a defensive-minded candidate such as Martindale could be a refreshing change of pace in the future.

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Brian Daboll (Offensive Coordinator, Buffalo Bills)

Daboll may appear to be an outside candidate, but he has a promising resume. Previously, he has worked under the likes of Bill Belichick and Nick Saban. With Josh Allen’s continuous progression, perhaps Doball could be a dark horse candidate for Houston.

If the Bills can hold on and take the AFC East division title this season, Daboll will become one of the top candidates for alternative franchises. If the Texans have the goal to capitalize on the play of Deshaun Watson and revolve the team around him moving forward, then Daboll is arguably the best candidate.

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Robert Saleh (Defensive Coordinator, San Francisco 49ers)

After controlling one of the best defenses in the NFL last season, it was a surprise to see Saleh back with the 49ers instead of with another franchise as a head coach. Still, his defensive leadership makes him a promising candidate.

Saleh interviewed for the Browns’ head coaching vacancy in 2019, losing out to Vikings offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski. Regardless, he will be a name that the Texans, as well as other franchises, need to consider.

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Eric Bieniemy, (Offensive Coordinator, Kansas City Chiefs)

As the coordinator of the most complete offense in the NFL, Bieniemy was snubbed during last season’s head coaching search process. He interviewed with teams such as the Carolina Panthers and New York Giants, but ultimately returned to the Kansas City Chiefs in hopes of securing a second straight Super Bowl.

The Texans have every right to interview Bieniemy, but the question is whether he would take the position. Without immediate draft capital and their previous superstar in DeAndre Hopkins, it would take a payday to bring him in.

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