Texans want to take next step with O'Brien

December, 31, 2013
12/31/13
11:07
PM ET

It was a deal that took just a few more hours than expected, but ultimately the Texans got their man.

Penn State coach Bill O'Brien reached an agreement tonight with the Houston Texans to become the third head coach in franchise history, filling quickly one of the best jobs available this offseason.

Now the real work begins.

O'Brien isn't being brought in for a rebuilding project. While owner Bob McNair has been patient in the past, he isn't expecting this turnaround to take long. The Texans want him to help them take the next step. They want a man who can sculpt an already talented roster, one who can guide the team's new quarterback, whomever that winds up being, into the kind of player who can lead them to the Super Bowl.

Can O'Brien do it? I don't know and you don't either. I know he's an intense man who succeeded in a very difficult situation at Penn State.

In the next few months he'll put together his staff. If he's smart he'll do what he can to bring back Texans defensive coordinator Wade Phillips. He'll evaluate the roster and figure out who fits in his system.

From what I understand, O'Brien missed the NFL. That's the only kind of college head coach who can succeed in the pros. It's a different environment, a different set of responsibilities. This isn't a job to take lightly right now. Big expectations come with it.

Tania Ganguli

ESPN Houston Texans reporter

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