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Report: Jaguars have interest in Bill O’Brien as head coach

Jonathan Taylor and the Colts head east to face the depleted Jaguars during Week 18 in their final chance to claim a spot in the postseason.

The Jaguars are looking for a head coach. They seem to be casting a wide net.

That net could include a return to the NFL by former Texans coach (and current Alabama offensive coordinator) Bill O’Brien.

According to Gene Frenette of the Florida Times-Union, “it appears” that the team has interest in O’Brien. It’s unclear, per Frenette, how much of an interest the Jaguars have, in relation to candidates like former Eagles coach Doug Peterson and former Colts and Lions coach Jim Caldwell.

The real question becomes whether O’Brien would have interest in the Jaguars. The decision to keep Trent Baalke as G.M. definitely will be a factor. The chatter in league circles is that the situation in Jacksonville is “toxic” due to the presence of Baalke.

Regardless of whether O’Brien has or will have other options in the coming hiring cycle, he quite possibly will not want to enter into an arranged marriage in Jacksonville. Unless, of course, O’Brien thinks he can go in, have some success, and eventually take over. (Like he did in Houston, where he eventually became both the coach and the G.M.)

For that reason, Baalke may not want O’Brien. Baalke will instead prefer someone who will gladly accept the current arrangement and not try to upset the applecart.

Of course, this approach limits the team’s ultimate options. Because it will either cause the candidate who doesn’t want to work with Baalke to go elsewhere, or it will cause Baalke to shy away from someone who would be tempted to make his first order of business undermining, and eventually eliminating, Baalke.