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NFL head coaching rumors: Texans hire Bill O'Brien, Lovie Smith expected to interview with Lions

The head coaching rumors continue as we have some updates on each of the six head coaching searches in the NFL this year.


The first new 2014 NFL head coach has been hired: Bill O'Brien will join the Houston Texans in a deal that's been in the making for well over a week (via ProFootballTalk). O'Brien's leaving Penn State, in part because he hated dealing with the ghost of Joe Paterno hanging over the program, according to The Buccaneers never even attempted to court O'Brien, as far as we know.

While the Glazers are in hot pursuit of Lovie Smith, they're not the only ones. Lovie Smith and Jim Caldwell are expected to interview with the Detroit Lions, according to the Detroit Free Press. Both of those expectations come from John Wooten, head of the Fritz Pollard Alliance which helps promote diversity in the NFL. An expectation is a long way removed from reality, however.

It's not clear when the Bucs will first interview Smith, or whether such an interview has already taken place. It's entirely possible the Bucs won't let Smith leave without signing a contract, but it's clear they're not the only ones interested in Lovie Smith. It would be a little surprising if Smith didn't end up as the Bucs' next head coach, although this wouldn't be the first time the Glazers fail to get their first choice for the position of head coach.

Meanwhile, the four other teams without a head coach are continuing their search as well. The Cleveland Browns have been repeatedly linked to Josh McDaniels, while they also want to interview Gus Malzahn and James Franklin according to Jason La Canfora. Meanwhile, Mike Garafolo reports the Lions will interview Todd Bowles, and the Redskins will interview Sean McDermott, per Joe Person. Both the Vikings and Redskins have been linked to Darrell Bevell as well, via Ian Rapoport and Jason La Canfora. The Redskins, Browns and Vikings have not been linked to Lovie Smith as of yet.