Sean Pendergast

Betting Odds on Next Houston Texans Head Coach

Dabo Swinney would be a fan favorite if the Texans hired him as their next head coach.
Dabo Swinney would be a fan favorite if the Texans hired him as their next head coach. Screen grab from YouTube
Head coaching searches for  one's favorite football team are a bittersweet thing to follow during an NFL offseason. On the one hand, the constant barrage of breaking news, swerves, and surprises can be exhilarating, particularly for people (like me) required to generate massive amounts of content every day. On the other hand, if your team is searching for a new head coach, chances are your team was not very good last season.

This just in — the Houston Texans were not very good last season. They were bad enough, four weeks in, that Bill O'Brien had to go. Unfortunately, he's left behind a mess, largely a result of his one year as general manager, to where the only redeeming football quality about the team is its quarterback Deshaun Watson, and maybe a half dozen or so other supporting cast members.

So who will be the one anointed as the fourth full time head coach in franchise history? Good question, with lots of interesting potential answers. In fact, the folks at literally want to make it even more interesting by providing odds on whom the Texans will choose as their next head coach. Here's the big board:

Eric Bieniemy (Kansas City OC) +150
Brian Schottenheimer (Seattle OC) +300
Don Martindale (Baltimore DC) +750
Matt Campbell (Iowa State HC) +750
Joe Brady (Carolina OC) +800
Lincoln Riley (Oklahoma HC) +1,000
Marvin Lewis (Arizona State DC/former Bengals HC) +1,000
Robert Saleh (San Francisco DC) +1,000
Brian Daboll (Buffalo OC) +1,200
Dabo Swinney (Clemson HC) +1,200
Byron Leftwich (Tampa Bay OC) +1,400
Jim Harbaugh (Michigan HC/former 49ers HC) +1,400
Matt Eberflus (Indianapolis DC) +1,400
Romeo Crennel (current Texans interim HC) +1,400
Greg Roman (Baltimore DC) +1,600
Josh McDaniels (Patriots OC) +1,600 

What's the best value on the board?
Well, let's start with the ones we know the Texans are interested in — they've interviewed Marvin Lewis for the job, but I don't feel like +1,000 is great value for him. Reportedly, they've put in requests (or will soon) on Joe Brady (+800), Matt Eberflus (+1,400), and Titans OC Arthur Smith (off the board). Of the names listed in this paragraph, I'd bet on Eberflus at +1,400. He's done a fine job as Colts DC, and Deshaun Watson speaks highly of him.
However, the best value on the board, in the wake of Nick Caserio becoming the GM, might be Daboll at +1,200. As mentioned yesterday, he has ties to both Easterby and Caserio from his time in New England, and stars an agent with both guys.

What's the worst value on the board?
There are several, which is not uncommon for futures bets. First, John McClain of the Houston Chronicle, has reported that the Texans will not hire a college coach, so cross off Campbell, Riley, and Swinney. (Harbaugh is in college right now, but I would guess his time in San Francisco where he took the Niners to a Super Bowl, has him being evaluated as an NFL coach.) Next, there is no chance they retain Romeo Crennel and make him the permanent head coach, so cross him off. I pray there is no interest in McDaniels, as I'd like to see the team sprint away from anyone with a New England Patriot stench on him.

If we asked Deshaun Watson who he likes, who would it be?
Here is Watson on what the team needs in its next head coach:

Reportedly, Watson loves Bieniemy, which probably explains his favored status on this odds board, but to this point, only the Falcons and Lions have reached out to the Chiefs for permission to speak with Bieniemy about their opening. The Texans have not. Brady is an intriguing prospect, as he is very young (31 years old), but is viewed as an offensive genius, having turned Joe Burrow into a Heisman Trophy terror at LSU in 2019. And, unlike most of these candidates, the team has announced they've met with Brady:

If there were an option for "Field", which missing names would lead you to take the "Field" bet?
If I owned the team, I would offer the job to former Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer, give him my checkbook, and call it a day. However, I don't think the Texans are looking at Meyer. In fact, it appears to be fairly likely that Meyer winds up in Jacksonville as the next Jags head coach. Among the names that didn't make this 16 person list, Rams DC Brandon Staley has received feelers from multiple NFL teams. If the Texans get into that mix, perhaps he is in play. The Texans have actually interviewed former Colts and Lions head coach Jim Caldwell for the position, but I don't think he's a reason to take the field. Perhaps the biggest reason to bet "Field", if it were available would be Titans OC Arthur Smith, who the Texans plan to interview, and is somehow not on this big board.

Listen to Sean Pendergast on SportsRadio 610 from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. weekdays. Also, follow him on Twitter at and like him on Facebook at
KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Sean Pendergast is a contributing freelance writer who covers Houston area sports daily in the News section, with periodic columns and features, as well. He also hosts afternoon drive on SportsRadio 610, as well as the post game show for the Houston Texans.
Contact: Sean Pendergast