Quick end to coach search will aid Texans

HOUSTON -- Yesterday, after the Houston Texans' season-ending loss to the Tennessee Titans, I stopped team owner Bob McNair outside the locker room to ask for an interview.

"I don't have anything for y'all," McNair said. He added that he would talk to us in a couple of days.

It was a clue that things could be moving fast in the Texans' coaching search, and meanwhile, indications from Penn State coach Bill O'Brien's camp have been that he thinks a deal is close. Further, on Monday evening on "NFL Live," Chris Mortensen said a deal between the Texans' and O'Brien is "imminent." Mortensen expects it to be finished in the next 24 hours.

This news comes on the same day several teams fired their head coaches and began their coaching searches. I remain baffled about the logic behind waiting so long and letting the Texans have this big of a head start. But whatever the reason was, it helped keep Houston from being mired in uncertainty for too long. It also helped keep Houston from having to settle for a second or third choice.

O'Brien wants to get back to the NFL and he wasn't interested in the Browns job. I like the Texans' pursuit here because O'Brien is a smart offensive mind who was in the NFL recently enough that he knows the landscape.

Hiring the head coach is the first domino in a hugely important offseason.