Bill O’Brien to interview with Jags on Thursday

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  • Houston Texans
    Houston Texans
    LiveTodayTomorrowvs--|
  • Darrell Bevell
    American football player and coach
  • Bill Belichick
    Bill Belichick
    American football coach

The Jacksonville Jaguars coaching search is entering its third week as the team does its due diligence to find someone to guide Trevor Lawrence’s career. They already spoke to Jags interim coach Darrell Bevell and have others set to be interviewed before the week is over.

Among the people they will interview is Alabama offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien, who the Jags are familiar with from his time with the Houston Texans. According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, that interview will take place on Thursday.

O’Brien is a candidate with a good deal of experience on both the college and pro side of the game. However, his professional career started with the New England Patriots under Bill Belichick in 2007 where he was an offensive assistant. He then worked his way up to roles as a receivers coach and quarterbacks coach, eventually becoming their offensive coordinator.

After his tenure in New England, O’Brien was a head coach for Penn State for two seasons. He replaced Joe Paterno just as Penn State was rocked by sanctions because of the Jerry Sandusky scandal. He guided the team to a 15-9 record in the process before landing a job with the Houston Texans as their head coach.

O’Brien spent seven seasons with the Texans and went 52-48 in the process. However, as Rapoport mentioned, he struggled when taking on the team’s general manager duties while trying to coach at the same time. In the process, he made what some Texans fans viewed as the most questionable trade in franchise history by sending receiver DeAndre Hopkins to Arizona for a fourth-round pick.

In addition to trading Hopkins, O’Brien had a heated exchange with another one of the Texans’ best players in J.J. Watt that resulted in him “losing the team” during his last season, according to ESPN. These incidents and other factors seemed to play into the Texans’ decision to fire him before the 2020 season ended, but he’s since bounced back by having success at Alabama and leading Bryce Young and Co. to the National Championship.

While the Khans appear willing to hear O’Brien out with the chance to interview for another shot in the NFL, the potential hiring of O’Brien is one that comes with a lot of skepticism. Despite his success on the college level, there are concerns about the fact that both he and Trent Baalke have been a part of dysfunctional situations in their careers.