Gary Kubiak may yet be safe, paired with Wade Phillips

On Monday, we passed along speculation from more than one Houston journalist that guessed Texans coach Gary Kubiak was on his way out.  They may have spoken too soon.

“After the Texans lost at Denver, I thought [Texans owner] Bob McNair would fire Gary Kubiak. Now I don’t. I believe Kubiak will be back,” John McClain of the Houston Chronicle wrote on Twitter Wednesday.

McClain cited McNair’s belief in Kubiak’s excellent offense and McNair’s patience.  McClain says the owner hasn’t indicated what he will do, but the changing winds have to be coming from somewhere.   He’s not the only reporter to indicate Kubiak may be safe.

Peter King on Twitter Tuesday: “Was told today: ‘Don’t fire Kubiak yet. You might be wrong.”

NFL Network’s Jason LaCanfora: “Speaking to coaches and executives today, hearing rumblings of Wade Phillips possibly landing as coordinator in Houston with Kubiak as head coach.”

Texans fans probably just threw up a little in their collective mouth.  But this idea is just crazy enough to work.

We’ve said for weeks that it’s dangerous to just throw away Kubiak’s effective offense when it has so much continuity.  Phillips may not be a great head coach, but he brings a lot to the table as a defensive play-caller.  Kubiak has shown no aptitude to fix a poor defense, much like his former boss Mike Shanahan.

Our problem with this plan is more about Houston’s front office.  G.M. Rick Smith has poured resource after resource into one of the worst defenses of the last decade.   It’s a lot to expect Wade Phillips to fix all that.

35 responses to “Gary Kubiak may yet be safe, paired with Wade Phillips

  1. The “Fire Gary Kubiak” movement have changed their signs to read “Execute Gary Kubiak”.

  2. I am a die-hard Texans fan and I’m fine with this move (if it comes to fruition). And no, I did not throw up in my mouth a little…

  3. Wade Phillips? Well, i guess with that “lights out” defense they had in Cowgirl land this year, he’d be the logical choice. He really had those boys flying to the ball, and they played their hearts out for him. Until he was fired, then it was Wade?….Wade who? Didn’t they give up the most points in team history this year?..Oh wait, like the other team in Texas, you might actually need some players….

  4. I don’t think it fits. I can’t see the Texans’ personnel fitting as a 3-4. Then again, at the moment they don’t fit as anything because they’re just not very good, so crazier things have happened. I just don’t see any merits in moving to a 3-4 under Phillips when the cornerstone of your defense is a 4-3 defensive end.

  5. Kubiak has shown no apptitude to win. This situation is a classic C’mon Man! Oh well, maybe the ownership of the Texans will wake up when the fans don’t buy the tickets anymore. What a joke. And just what is Wade Phillips going to do except provide comic relief? Clean house Houston; from the GM on down.

  6. As a Colts fan, I hope this doesn’t happen. Phillips may just turn things around down there. They have studs on the d-line and at linebacker, their biggest problems are in the secondary. I’m sure Bum Jr. could get a little more out of them.

  7. Not a Texans fan, but I think that would be a very good match. Why would their fans throw up over it?

  8. hope Wade is ready for those checkered table cloths he was so worried about… bye bye ‘glamour’.

  9. I’m just glad that Phillips will not be anywhere near the Denver coaching staff. He couldn’t win with Elway!

  10. Everybody talks about Gary Kube and his offense, look the offense this year has under performed and has left the Texans coming from way behind in most games this year, and when they did get the lead they couldn’t control the ball and keep it. All this with the best RB in the league this year. Gary has proven he is not a good call player and Head Coach at the same time. The best offense the Texans had with him as a head coach was with Kyle Shanahan calling the plays last year, thats fact. If he stays that won’t be good enough, he needs to go!!

  11. Wade will probably wear the interim coach tag once again come November 2011.

    I like Wade as a DC better than a HC but flyerscup2010 is exactly right pointing out the issue between personnel and scheme at hand.

    If I’m a Houston fan I think it would better to just blow the thing up and get a new HC in there, the overall talent level is good enough to contend for a playoff spot.

  12. I like the Wade Phillips idea. He’s shown that he can be a really quality D coordinator. I think you have to throw the time spent in Dallas out the window, since he was overseeing everything not just the defense.

    The problem lies in their ability to switch from the 4-3 to a 3-4. Actually, it is more important to have Mario Williams’ buy in on whatever decisions are made. He’s the best player on that side of the ball for Houston.

    Phillips can coach the D. Kubiak can tell the offense what to do. Worth a shot.

  13. I agree the overall talent is good there and I bet if a new system was put in place they could become contenders overnight..

  14. Houston Sux as a Fan Base! Kubiak is an OFFENSIVE COACH! Each yr his offense is tops in the league. He should be given a chance to hire as many Coordinators on D as he needs. His offense has major league continuity. #1 Rusher and Receiver! Top 5 qb statistically! C’Mon Ya’ll! Get real, b4 ya’ll go back to the David Carr days!!!

  15. Rolling on the floor at this…

    Hire Wade “Milquetoast” Phillips and see how fast your defense under performs! After four head coaching stints he amassed an whopping career winning percentage of .581.

    Yep, that’s just the guy you should hire!

  16. Just discussing this a couple of nights ago. Wade is a terrible head coach–but he’s a really good defensive coordinator. Of course, you’ve got to give him talent to work with, and that may be a problem in Houston. But his defensive know-how coupled with Kubiak’s offensive know-how could make for an interesting team. Would like to see Wade do what he’s good at.

  17. Rolling on the floor at this…

    Hire Wade “Milquetoast” Phillips and see how fast your defense under performs! After four head coaching stints he amassed an whopping career winning percentage of .581.

    Yep, that’s just the guy you should hire!


    Pointless comment. First off, they wouldn’t be hiring him for head coach, they’d be hiring him for D coordinator. Secondly, a winning percentage of .581 as a head coach isn’t terrible. That’s an average of about 9.5 wins per year as a head coach. That’s not too awful to me.

  18. this isnt’ a terrible idea at all, as Wade is one of those great coordinator/terrible head coach kind of guys…the defenses he’s coordinated have always done well, the only question will be whether he tries to convert HOU’s 43 to a 34 with its current personnel…as previously noted, Mario Williams is pretty much the definition of a 43 DE and would be horribly mis-cast as a 34 DE or OLB…

    but assuming Wade can work around the talented front 7 already in place, it should be an improvement for HOU…

  19. You want to wake the defense up. Go with the original man in black, Jerry Glanville. He sucked as a head coach but as a DC he was relentless 9.2 point allowed per game (still an NFL record)

  20. I am not for Wade coming to Houston al tho I am all for keeping Kubiak. We do need a new DC but i don’t think a new DC will do much with out a new GM. This is the main problem with this team the GM Smith needs to go along with DC Bush. But just getting a DC or just getting a new GM will do nothing to help. and Wade is not the answer.

  21. skoalbrother says: Dec 29, 2010 4:54 PM

    You want to wake the defense up. Go with the original man in black, Jerry Glanville. He sucked as a head coach but as a DC he was relentless 9.2 point allowed per game (still an NFL record)
    Uhhhh, that was back in 1977 (different rules, different game.) when the league average team scored 17.2 points a game, which is the lowest number since 1942.

    Jerry Glanville is an ass-clown who knows one thing and one thing only, blitzing!

  22. This may be a good thing for Houston. There are plenty of HC’s who should only be coordinating.
    Wade Phillips is the epitome of this. Norv Turner too. I wouldn’t be surprised if Phillips is successful there.

  23. I am stunned…and completely pissed off at Bob McNair for stubbornly refusing to fire Gary Kubiak. Yes, Gary seems like a great person. However, I thought McNair was paying his head coach to win football games, not be friggin’ Mr. Rogers! As a fan, I care about RESULTS…Kubiak’s had FIVE years to get it done. 1 winning season isn’t good enough. Being average isn’t good enough. And a losing record definately isn’t good enough. We have tons of talent on offense, yet rarely play well for 60 minutes (slow starts and epic collapses are the norm)…ultimately the coach is to blame. Kubiak’s play calling is suspect…he often gives up on the running game (even when we’re ahead); he’s often displayed poor clock management. However, much of the blame must fall on our GM…through the years he just hasn’t done a very good job drafting players for our defense (especially our secondary). The Texans defense has always been a weakness, but this season has been humiliating. I’ve never seen so many NFL players struggle with the basics- tackling should be second nature at this level. Every single defensive coach needs to be fired…especially the defensive coordinator. I REFUSE to spend anymore of my hard earned money at games or on merchandise until my team’s owner proves he isn’t satisfied with sub-par production on game day.

  24. The Texans should be patient and wait for Marvin Lewis to be available. Although, Cowher may already have him lined up.

  25. Might be a good idea if Phillips could coach the 4-3, but I doubt he would have success in that format. So, they would have to force the players to adjust. Mario Williams is a stud 4-3 DE. Put him in as a 3-4 DE and you waste the talent. But, I don’t think he has the ability to play as an OLB. Could DeMeco Ryans share the middle? Maybe. The key, however, would be a certified Nose Tackle. Okoye is big enough, but can he set the line?

    Without the stars fitting into the 3-4, it would take a huge rebuilding effort. It could be done with a really good off season effort in the draft and free agency, but it would be tough. Just ask the Bills!

  26. I hope the Lions and Texans get either Wade Phillips or Marvin Lewis to be their DCs. They are far better options than the team’s current DCs.

  27. One small note. Isn’t Wade the same guy who lead the hapless Dallas D this past year, that is until he was let go like the second stage of an ICBM?

    You gotta love the NFL, you can’t make this stuff up.

  28. @2ndaryinsanity …

    Hang on … no one knows yet if Kubiak’s job is safe. It’s just speculation.

    @pukey60 …

    Wade’s attention was divided in Dallas–plus he had Jones to contend with. He is a solid defensive coordinator, although some have made a good point about bringing him into a 43 defense. Dom Capers is another guy who’s a better DC than head coach. And as others have posted, Marv Lewis and Norv Turner were good coordinators. Haven’t you ever heard of the Peter Principle? People are promoted until they exceed their level of competence, then left there to rot in ineffectiveness. Maybe Wade will get a chance to step back down to the place where he excelled.

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