Fantasy Football 2014:

Coaching Carousel: O'Brien to Texans; five openings left

The SportsXchange

One of the most infamous days in the NFL calendar year is dubbed "Black Monday," the day following the end of the regular season when multiple coaches are annually fired.

The Houston Texans got the jump on the whole affair by firing their head coach, Gary Kubiak, in early December. He became the first of six to get the axe -- thus far.

So it was fitting that the Texans were also the first to hire a new coach, signing Penn State's Bill O'Brien Tuesday, according to John McClain of the Houston Chronicle.

The Cleveland Browns were next up on the firing line, targeting Rob Chudzinski with a pink slip on Sunday night following just one season. Not long after business hours began on the East Coast, the Minnesota Vikings' Leslie Frazier and the Washington Redskins' Mike Shanahan joined the unemployement line, followed shortly after by Detroit Lions coach Jim Schwartz and Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano.

The status of Joe Philbin with the Miami Dolphins and Mike Munchak with the Tennessee Titans remains up in the air.

The Sports Xchange tracks all the breaking news in its Coaching Carousel.

Houston Texans

Penn State coach Bill O'Brien reached an agreement to become the Houston Texans' new coach, the Houston Chronicle's John McClain reported Tuesday night.

Other media outlets also reported that O'Brien was joining Houston. An introductory press conference is reportedly scheduled for Saturday.

The Texans fired coach Gary Kubiak in early December, and they finished the season with 14 consecutive defeats. After going 2-14, Houston will make the first pick in this year's NFL Draft.

Before coaching the Nittany Lions the past two seasons, O'Brien was an assistant coach with the New England Patriots for six years and the offensive coordinator when they lost to the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLVI.

He took over in State College in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky sex-abuse scandal and managed to keep the Nittany Lions competitive despite NCAA sanctions.

O'Brien, 44, guided Penn State to 15-9 record. He was selected Big Ten coach of the year after the Nittany Lions finished 8-4 in 2012.

O'Brien interviewed for the Philadelphia Eagles and Cleveland Browns head coaching jobs last offseason. Penn State made it easier for O'Brien to leave for the NFL by reducing the buyout teams would have to pay the school for hiring him from $19.33 million to $6.48 million.

Wade Phillips took over as the Texans' interim coach after Kubiak was fired following the team's 2-11 start. Houston lost all three games under Phillips as part of the longest losing streak in franchise history.

Cleveland Browns

Rob Chudzinski was fired Sunday night and the Browns will begin searching for the eighth coach in 16 years.

"We appreciate Chud's passion for the Browns, and we have great respect for him both personally and professionally," the team said in a statement late Sunday. "We needed to see progress with this football team. We needed to see development and improvement as the season evolved and, unfortunately, we took a concerning step backward in the second half of the year.

"Our fans deserve to see a consistently competitive team. We have high standards, and there's an urgency for success. When we believed we were not positioned to achieve significant progress in 2014, we knew we had to admit that a change was needed, and move forward.

"Browns fans are the most loyal and passionate supporters in the NFL. We're fully committed to bringing them the winning football team they deserve."

Multiple outlets reported Chudzinski was in dire straits before FOX's Jay Glazer said Sunday night that the coach demanded a Monday meeting with team decision-makers be moved up to Sunday night. Ninety minutes later, the team had made the move official.

On Monday, Chudzinski met with the team and didn't hide his emotions, according to players.

"I was shocked and disappointed to hear the news that I was fired. I am a Cleveland Brown to the core, and always will be," he said in a statement issued through the team. "It was an honor to lead our players and coaches, and I appreciate their dedication and sacrifice. I was more excited than ever for this team, as I know we were building a great foundation for future success. While clearly I would have liked to see the long-term vision through to the end, I am very grateful to Jimmy Haslam and the Haslam family for letting me live my dream."

--The New England Patriots have granted permission to the Browns to interview offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, the NFL Network reported Tuesday. The 37-year old McDaniels has a longstanding relationship with Browns general manager Mike Lombardi.

--The Cleveland Plain-Dealer reported that Broncos offensive coordinator Adam Gase would be a candidate, citing team sources.

--ESPN Cleveland reported Lombardi would seek an interview with ESPN analyst Jon Gruden. Gruden was head coach in Oakland when Lombardi worked under Al Davis in the scouting department, and said he's not interested in pursuing an NFL job this year.

--The Browns have asked for permission to interview Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Adam Gase and Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, according to Cleveland.com.

--The Browns also reportedly sought permission to interview Cardinals defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, who would satisfy the NFL's Rooney Rule.

Detroit Lions

Head coach Jim Schwartz was fired by the Lions after a 2013 season that saw the team go from a 6-3 start to losing six of the final seven games to finish 7-9.

Detroit led in the fourth quarter in all seven of those games, including the season-ending loss to the Minnesota Vikings.

A decision on the fate of general manager Martin Mayhew was made Sunday, and he was informed he was staying with the Lions.

Schwartz, 29-51 in five seasons, met with the team Monday and informed players he was fired. He is owed $12 million for the remainder of his contract.

"He's done a lot of good things for this team and this organization, so it's tough," quarterback Matthew Stafford said. "I've only played for one head coach in the NFL, Coach Schwartz, and I felt like we had a great locker room. It's not always what everyone hears on the outside. It was a joy to play for him. It was fun."

Miami Dolphins

Owner Stephen Ross declined to give a show of support for Joe Philbin when asked about the head coach's job following the Dolphins' second consecutive loss to end the season and miss the playoffs.

"I'm making no comment on that," Ross said, per the Miami Herald. "We're going to look at everything."

In perhaps even more jeopardy is general manager Jeff Ireland.

"I'm going to look at everything," Ross said. "When you're disappointed you don't make decisions based on the fly. You have to give it a lot of thought and go look at everything."

Minnesota Vikings

Leslie Frazier was fired Monday. After leading the Vikings to the playoffs following the 2012 season, Frazier's contract was not extended beyond this season, during which Minnesota posted a 5-10-1 record.

General manager Rick Spielman said the inability to advance the team's young talent and develop a deep roster worked against Frazier.

New York Jets

Owner Woody Johnson said Rex Ryan will return for the 2014 season. The Jets finished 8-8 despite erratic play from rookie quarterback Geno Smith. Ryan will be entering the final year of his current contract, although the New York Daily News reported there is an understanding an extension will be worked out.

"We're going to keep Rex Ryan, and he's going to be our coach next year," Johnson said. "I couldn't be any prouder of this team."

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Head coach Greg Schiano and general manager Mark Dominik were fired Monday.

Schiano went 11-22 in two tumultuous seasons marked with unrest, including the decision to bench and ultimately release former first-round pick and 4,000-yard passer Josh Freeman amidst leaks to media that the quarterback failed multiple drug tests.

Dominik, promoted from the scouting department in 2009 when Jon Gruden was fired, hired Raheem Morris as head coach before pulling the plug on what was the youngest coach in the league.

Tennessee Titans

Head coach Mike Munchak said he would meet with team president Tommy Smith in the coming days.

"There's a lot of things we're going to talk about," Munchak said. "We would have liked to have been better this year. We have to figure out how we can get better and then go from there."

Smith declined to comment on Munchak's status following Sunday's game, according to The Tennessean.

Washington Redskins

Mike Shanahan was fired Monday after four seasons as head coach of the Washington Redskins.

Owner Daniel Snyder is in the market for a head coach for the eighth time since 2000.

"Redskins fans deserve a better result," Snyder said in a press release. "We thank Mike for his efforts on behalf of the Redskins. We will focus on what it takes to build a winning team, and my pledge to this organization and to this community is to continue to commit the resources and talent necessary to put this team back in the playoffs."

Shanahan, 24-40 as head coach in Washington, limped to the finish line with a 3-13 season and franchise-worst eight-game losing streak.

On Tuesday, it was reported that Carolina Panthers defensive coordinator Sean McDermott will interview this weekend with the Redskins for their head coaching job.

McDermott, 39, is in third season with the Panthers after spending more than a decade in the Philadelphia Eagles' organization.

Carolina currently ranks near the top of the league in points and yards allowed, while generating a league-high 60 sacks in 2013.

Carolina (12-4) has a first-round bye before hosting a divisional-round game Jan. 12.

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Draft time:
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