Wade Phillips is doing a great job as the defensive coordinator of the Texans. He was a big part of the reason the Texans made the playoffs for the first time ever last year, and he’s a big part of the reason the Texans are 4-0 this year. So does that mean Phillips will be on the short list of head-coaching candidates when jobs open up at the end of this season?
Phillips hopes so. But he doesn’t think so.
“I’d love to be a head coach again,” Phillips told USA Today. “I don’t think I’ll get that opportunity.”
According to Phillips, NFL owners will focus too much on the number 65 (his age) and not enough on the numbers 82 and 59 (his regular season wins and losses in his previous stints as a head coach).
“I think just age,” Phillips said. “And I think people tend to think I wasn’t successful as a head coach but only as a defensive coordinator. They don’t look at my record. They say, ‘Oh, you got fired here. You got fired there. So you’re not a good head coach.’ But that’s all right, I love it here.”
Phillips was certainly not a bad head coach in his stints with the Broncos, Bills and Cowboys: He took all three teams to the playoffs, and has only finished below .500 once in his eight full seasons as a head coach. But Phillips is probably right that NFL owners are going to look for a fresher face if they’re looking to fill a head-coaching vacancy in 2013 or beyond.
So Phillips is probably stuck where he is. And there’s nothing wrong with being one of the NFL’s best defensive coordinators.