Analyst puts Bill O'Brien among coaches with the least job security

HOUSTON -- In an analysis of the league's 32 head coaches, CBSSports.com's Jason La Canfora listed every coach in tiers based on job security. The tier with the least job security was Mercury, as it's closest to the sun, and that's where he listed Texans coach Bill O'Brien.

Bill O'Brien, Texans: A QB guy who has yet to find a passer he could stick with for any discernible period of time now inherits the chore of trying to get this team back to the playoffs -- and to make Brock Osweiler try to justify that $38M guaranteed the next two years. Osweiler's contract will either make or break O'Brien's tenure, especially after a midseason tear and division title obscured just how putrid the Texans at times in the first half of last season.

I'll admit to being a bit surprised to see O'Brien in the top tier. It's true, the Texans played very poorly at the beginning of the season, starting 2-5. It's also true O'Brien made a mistake during that start by waffling between two sub-par quarterbacks. And it's important to consider owner Bob McNair's state of mind. He's been incredibly patient in the past, but that patience might be wearing thinner as the franchise has gone its entire existence without getting out of the divisional round of the playoffs.

What works in O'Brien's favor is that he acted on his early mistakes in 2015 and was able to recover from them, leading the Texans back to the playoffs. His teams have had winning records in both of his first two seasons. There are clear signs of progress, both in the team and in O'Brien's decision-making as a head coach.

Barring a complete disaster in Year 2, I don't see McNair moving on from O'Brien. Rather, 2017 should be a more pivotal season in terms of O'Brien's future.