January 7th, 2017 at 9:57pm CST by Sam Robinson
Here’s the latest coming from the first week of the NFL’s January hiring period.
- Just because Texans owner Bob McNair declared he wouldn’t fire Bill O’Brien doesn’t necessarily mean the coach will be back for a fourth year, with Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reporting O’Brien may decide to leave on his own accord. Sources informed Florio that O’Brien is unhappy with the Texans more so than the team being dissatisfied with his performance. Friction with GM Rick Smith again appears to be at the root of this, but Florio notes the team continues to maintain the parties don’t have to like each other but only need to work together. “I have a five-year contract here. I have two years left on my contract. I’m looking forward to coaching here, and I’m looking forward to getting ready for this next game,” O’Brien said after today’s wild-card win (via James Palmer of NFL.com, on Twitter).
- After being promoted midseason to replace Norv Turner, it’s looking like Pat Shurmur will be elevated to the status of full-time Vikings OC, per Mark Craig of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Craig notes Mike Zimmer is expected to announce soon Shurmur will be the next Minnesota OC. The Vikings ranked 28th in total offense and 23rd in scoring this season, with a sluggish rushing attack being the chief limitation.
- The Rams are doing their homework on Redskins OC Sean McVay, Florio reports. Just 30, McVay would be the youngest head coach hired in NFL history, but the latest coming out of Los Angeles is a belief the wunderkind offensive guru could get the most out of Jared Goff. The Rams have cast a wide net for their next HC, with numerous candidates having already been interviewed or still on the docket. Florio deems a Sean Payton trade or a Jon Gruden hire unlikely at this juncture.
- Saturday’s Rams/Josh McDaniels summit appears to have impacted the team’s meeting with Kyle Shanahan. Weather will force a postponement, with Rams representatives being unable to get out of Boston on time, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reports (on Twitter). The Jaguars, 49ers and Broncos have already met with the Falcons’ OC.
- The Broncos are eyeing a coach that won’t interfere too much with the dominant defense the team has assembled in recent years, Florio writes, but that doesn’t necessarily disqualify Vance Joseph. Denver wants its next coach to preserve continuity defensively and fix an offense that has fallen off the historic pace of the Peyton Manning era. The team’s brass reportedly realizes Shanahan would be best suited of their three apparent finalists — Shanahan, Joseph and Chiefs ST coordinator Dave Toub — to do this but views Joseph as a quality candidate to coax the best effort out of their players.