The Houston Texans beat the Oakland Raiders on Sunday, having little trouble against the Raiders stumbling offense. Houston was not exactly strong out of the gates on offense, but they got going and eventually took a 27-7 lead before winning 27-14. Prior to the game, Ian Rapoport suggested the Texans might decide to fire head coach Bill O’Brien with a loss. Rapoport also said that even with a win O’Brien’s future was not entirely certain.
After Saturday’s win, texans owner Bob McNair made clear that O’Brien will not be fired, and would not have been fired with a loss.
#Texans owner Bob McNair said unequivocally that coach O'Brien will be back next season. Said reports he'd be fired had they lost were false— Charles Robinson (@CharlesRobinson) January 8, 2017
It is obviously easy to say this after a win, but whatever the case, it sounds like O’Brien is staying put. And that might also prevent the 49ers search process from getting more complicated. Matt Maiocco tweeted earlier that the 49ers are one of the teams that “could have some level of interest” if O’Brien was fired.
Shortly after word that O’Brien will remain head coach, Alex Marvez offered this tweet:
So, there’s that. Technically this does not preclude a coach trade, but it seems like any move is off the table for the time being. Whether or not the 49ers would have pursued O’Brien will seemingly never be fully known, but it certainly would have been quite the curve ball on this developing process.