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Hoping for Bill O’Brien? Don’t hold your breath

The Texans’ current head coach would certainly be a fit, but he is not likely to be available.

If a coach with head coaching experience and experience as a coordinator appeals to you, Bill O’Brien of the Houston Texans might have been someone you’d like to see as the next head coach of the Buffalo Bills. Throw in the fact that O’Brien has been a winner at every recent stop of his career, both as an assistant (with the New England Patriots) and as a head man (with Penn State and Houston), and he would be a solid coach for any organization looking to turn itself around.

Some Bills’ fans have even gone as far as to speculate that the team is waiting for Houston to lose prior to naming a head coach, hoping that O’Brien becomes available. John Wawrow of the Associated Press was fairly succinct in his evaluation of that thought process.

While connecting O’Brien to the Bills makes sense at a very basic level (the Pegulas are huge Penn State backers, and Terry is a PSU alum), it really doesn’t make much sense at any deeper level after that. O’Brien has led the Texans to a 27-21 record over the past three seasons, posting identical 9-7 records from 2014-2016. In 2015 and 2016, the Texans won the division, and they just won their first playoff game with O’Brien at the helm this past week, defeating the Oakland Raiders (sans Derek Carr) 27-14.

O’Brien has won with eight different starting quarterbacks, and the offense has regressed each year he has been at the helm (from 17th in yards and 14th in points in 2014 to 29th in yards and 28th in points this season). The team’s defense, however, has improved each year under Romeo Crennel, rising all the way to 1st overall in 2016.

While it isn’t out of the realm of possibility that O’Brien is fired after this season comes to a close, it certainly isn’t likely. It definitely isn’t worth waiting for Houston to decide before Buffalo names its own head coach for 2017, and Wawrow seems to think the situation is not something the Bills are even considering at this time.