After the Houston Texans’ 0-4 start to the season, head coach and general manager Bill O’Brien became the first NFL coach to be fired this year. With the job open, there has been plenty of speculation about Clemson’s Dabo Swinney, who coached Texans’ franchise quarterback Deshaun Watson.
CBS Sports named Swinney as a name to watch. Not only is there the Watson connection, but according to the site, he has a relationship with Texans executive vice president Jack Easterby. In the write-up, John Breech floats a potential scenario: Swinney leaves as he’s set to lose Trevor Lawrence, to reunite with Watson, and if it doesn’t work, he pulls a Nick Saban and takes over his alma mater Alabama after the legendary coach retires.
Swinney has long rejected any ideas that he might jump to the NFL. His strengths as a head coach and ace recruiter seem more suited to the college game, and he’s built Clemson into a true superpower. It would be hard to give that up. He also has never seemed with that enamored by the pro game, and doesn’t have the same pro football background that Saban did when he made the jump.
As expected, Swinney has denied interest in the Houston Texans job. “That is not even anything that I want to even have to think about,” Dabo Swinney said when asked about the opening. He said he has not heard from Deshaun Watson either, per Grace Raynor of The Athletic.
Clemson coach Dabo Swinney was asked about the Texans this a.m. and if he'd heard from Deshaun Watson. Said they had not talked, and as far as the job, "That is not even anything that I want to even have to even think about."
— Grace Raynor (@gmraynor) October 6, 2020
Of course, this is the kind of denial that just about every big-time college coach gives when confronted with an NFL opportunity. It is hard to know how he’ll react if an actual offer is on the table.
Some, like Saban, have aspirations to see how they’ll do at the highest level of the sport. Others, like Urban Meyer, never seemed to seriously consider the jump.
We may not get actual clarity here until the offseason, when the Houston Texans hiring process really begins moving. As of now, former Cleveland Browns and Kansas City Chiefs head coach Romeo Crennel is the team’s interim head coach.