It's news, yet hardly shocking considering the job O'Brien did with the New England Patriots as their offensive coordinator and then the past two seasons as the Nittany Lions' head coach following the program's epic fall a few years back.
No, perhaps the most surprising aspect of this story might be that the Texans' official Twitter account chose to discuss the matter.
— Houston Texans (@HoustonTexans) December 27, 2013
This is odd. Most official team accounts roundly shy away from rumor-y posts and almost universally will only post factual — or overtly positive — items. So for the Texans' Twitter to post that O'Brien and the team will sit down, you have to think that the report is completely valid and that there is some legitimate interest.
So, are team officials going up to whomever runs the Texans' account and explaining how the team's hiring process will go, step by step? Of course not. But it wouldn't be surprising if word came down through certain back channels that it would be OK for the Twitter administrator to mention it.
O'Brien is the second known candidate to be slated to speak with the team. Former Chicago Bears head coach Lovie Smith already has interviewed for the job and could be brought back in for a second talk.
O'Brien has compiled a two-year mark of 15-9 following the Joe Paterno and Gerry Sandusky scandal, which earned O'Brien nearly universal praise for the way he rallied the team, managed to stop the bleeding from a football aspect and help regain some of the Penn State reputation that had been badly sullied.
But reports have surfaced that O'Brien's buyout at the school has been lowered from $13 million to $6.5 million, which could grease the wheels for him to return to the NFL as a highly sought NFL head-coaching candidate this offseason.
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