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O'Brien thrilled to be working with Texans

1/9/2017 9:04:00 PM
The noise surrounding the future of Houston Texans coach Bill O'Brien hasn't quieted down despite owner Bob McNair insisting he won't be fired.

A two-time AFC South champion, O'Brien has two seasons remaining on a five-year contract.

There continues to be speculation nationally that O'Brien potentially could become available for head-coaching vacancies due to reported clashes with general manager Rick Smith and a desire for more power over personnel decisions.

O'Brien has gone 9-7 for three consecutive seasons and reiterated Monday that he's happy working for the Texans. He emphasized that the talk about his status isn't affecting the focus of the team as it prepares for an AFC divisional-round game against the New England Patriots.

"Absolutely not, no, there's no distraction," O'Brien said. "Like I said after the game, I really enjoy coaching this team. I think one of the things about coming to work here every day is it's a great place to work because you have really good people here and you have a bunch of great players that really understand the meaning of hard work and have put a lot of time into this thing.

"The other thing is our staff. I really enjoy working with our staff. We had a good staff meeting, trying to get going here on an obviously very difficult challenge for us. Just enjoy every day."

With so many job openings, O'Brien would be an extremely attractive candidate. However, he's not available unless McNair changes his mind and fired him or worked out a trade to receive compensation for allowing O'Brien to go elsewhere.

O'Brien could opt to quit and walk away from $10-12 million over the remainder of the contract and wouldn't be able to coach elsewhere in 2017 or 2018 unless McNair allowed him out of his contract.

All of those factors make it appear to be a farfetched scenario that O'Brien would leave. O'Brien has repeatedly said he enjoys living and working in Houston. O'Brien and his wife, Colleen, also have a son, Jack, who requires specialized medical care because he suffers from lissencephaly, a genetic condition that causes developmental issues.

"There's nothing to it," McNair said following the Texans' AFC wild-card playoff game win over the Oakland Raiders when questioned about reports that O'Brien would have been fired if they had lost that game. "I'm not going to fire him. Forget that. If I were you, I wouldn't repeat it because it's false. No, I don't know where they get that. I got a chuckle out of it."

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