Thanks for the memories? Wade Phillips eyes Tampa Bay head job, Texans couldneed new defensive guru
Another jolt of urgency has been added to this Houston Texans' playoff run. Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips — the man who's changed everything for the Texans — might not be in Houston for any attempted encores.
Phillips is set to interview for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers vacant head coaching position on Friday, two days before the Texans will take on the Baltimore Ravens in a second-round playoff game. ESPN NFL information guru John Clayton first reported that the Bucs were set to meet with Phillips on Friday.
It's hard to begrudge the 64-year-old Phillips getting another shot at being a head coach. He's 82-59 as head coach, 23 games over .500.
With Friday being a light preparation day, Phillips' absence shouldn't affect the Texans gameplanning for Baltimore. Of course, if Phillips ends up getting the Tampa Bay job, everything would change for the Texans next season.
It's hard to begrudge the 64-year-old Phillips getting another shot at being a head coach. He's 82-59 as head coach, 23 games over .500. It may not be a fair comparison because of where the Texans were mired when he took over, but Gary Kubiak is 48-49 as a head coach in contrast. Phillips' work with the Texans' defense this season, turning one of the worst defenses in the league into the second-best unit in the NFL likely even has Jerry Jones lamenting the day he fired Phillips.
After all, Phillips did take the Cowboys to two playoff appearances in four seasons — a level his replacement, Jason Garrett, couldn't reach this season.
For Phillips, it has to be gratifying that teams are still looking at him as a head coach after the major surgery on his gallbladder and kidney — one that Phillips' dad, ex-Oilers coach Bum Phillips, has said removed a non-cancerous tumor "the size of a volleyball" from his son. Of course, Phillips helped himself there by coming back so quickly to be with his team, missing only two Texans games.
The Bucs could use someone that old-school tough.
Tampa Bay finished 30th in the NFL in total defense this season (sound familiar?) and lost 10 straight to end the year.
As for the Texans, the common sense thought is that they'll be even better next season with the return of quarterback Matt Schaub and the continued development of players like J.J. Watt, Brooks Reed and Ben Tate. But Brian Cushing, Connor Barwin and Johnathan Joseph may get only one season under Phillips.
They might only have these playoffs to make the most of that.