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A look at the possibilities to become the Houston Texans' next head coach

The Houston Texans need a head coach, and your first thought was probably my first thought. Is Dabo getting bored of clubbing the rest of the ACC by 30 week after week?

"That is not even anything that I want to even have to even think about," Dabo said Tuesday, a statement that may not make sense grammatically but perfectly clicks intuitively.

It's not exactly clear why this was everyone's first thought, since the "Successful college coach leaves his kingdom to link back up with his former QB" does not have a modern precedent. Especially not when that successful college coach is due something like $80 million.

Outside of Deshaun Watson, what connection is there between the Texans and Dabo, a guy who's never spent a day of his life in pro football in any capacity? (The good news for Dabo: He can look forward to doing this whole song and dance again when Trevor Lawrence goes pro.)

But Dabo is actually a good as place to any to start, because Houston's search -- led by executive VP for football operations Jack Easterby -- should center around maximizing Watson's prime. The Texans play in a conference that will be dominated by Patrick Mahomes and/or Lamar Jackson until it's not, and so getting the most out of Watson should be jobs 1, 2 and 3 moving forward.

If it's not going to be Dabo, who might be the Texans' next head coach?

Eric Bieniemy: You can make this thing as complicated as you want, but Bieniemy is the offensive coordinator of the hottest offense in football, keyed by a young quarterback with a skill set similar to Watson's. Kansas City is 32-9 with Bieniemy as offensive coordinator. They're the reigning Super Bowl champions and the odds on favorite to win it again this winter. A large reason Houston even has an opening is because Kansas City ripped off 51 points in three quarters against the Texans last January.

Greg Roman: The other option in the "coordinator running a successful offense led by a QB kinda sorta similar to the guy we have" category. Watson isn't Lamar -- only Lamar Jackson is Lamar Jackson -- but Roman has built successful offenses at two different stops. The former Jim Harbaugh aide helped the 49ers reach a Super Bowl with Colin Kaepernick at the helm in 2012.

Roman also has a history in Houston. He was the Dom Capers' quarterbacks coach and tight ends coach on the Texans' inaugural staff, remaining with the club through 2005.

Josh McDaniels: Legally obligated to be included on any NFL coaching vacancy list, McDaniels backed out of an agreement to take over Indianapolis and now seems to be waiting out Bill Belichick in New England.

While all those names will factor into the search at the pro level, Kliff Kingsbury and Matt Rhule's departures for the NFL indicate that the pipeline between the college and pro game could start to become more active than it had been in years past.

Robert Saleh: The defensive coordinator closest to getting a head job, Saleh also worked previously in Houston. He joined the organization in 2005 as a defensive intern on Gary Kubiak's new staff and left as the Texans' assistant linebackers coach in 2010.

Ryan Day: Day was on an upward trajectory in the League before Urban Meyer plucked him out of San Francisco. The 41-year-old could easily remain in Columbus for another decade or two, but if he has any NFL ambitions at all, his star may never burn brighter than it does right now -- particularly if Ohio State manages to bring home a title in January.

Matt Campbell: It's hard to have a better coaching pedigree than going from Mount Union, to the MAC, to the Big 12. Campbell currently owns scoreboard on both Oklahoma and Texas... at Iowa State. The thought around the 40-year-old Campbell was that he was waiting out one of the Big Four college jobs in the Midwest -- Notre Dame, Ohio State, Michigan and Penn State, in whatever order you prefer. But with no openings in those places anticipated soon, perhaps Campbell cashes in a Big 12 championship by skipping straight to the NFL.

James Franklin: It would buck coaching trends to hire two straight Penn State coaches, but Franklin has been successful everywhere he's been and runs an offense that could get the most out of Watson.

The Texans bought themselves a lot of time by moving on O'Brien after Week 4, and this search could move in any number of ways over the coming weeks and months. But, really, it should only be as complicated as management decides to make it.

In the meantime, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.

Update> We didn't have Joe Brady on the original list; but...have a look.