Texans may have forced themselves into hiring Wade Phillips for 2014


When it comes to firing a head coach and replacing him with an interim head coach, the move comes with one major risk.

If the interim coach does well, it’s hard not to make the interim coach the permanent coach.

In recent years, interim head coaches typically do well, because the players obtain a sufficient kick in the butt to play well enough in order to keep the interim head coach around.  That’s not a favor to the interim coach; it’s a favor to themselves.  Coaches hired from the outside tend to want their own players, which means that guys who have contracts that ostensibly carry into future seasons may not.

And so the increase in performance is artificial and temporary, enough to get the interim coach the job but ultimately not enough to effect the change that the organization craves.

Consider some of the recent interim hires who have gotten the permanent job.  Romeo Crennel in Kansas City replaced Todd Haley during the 2011 season.  The Chiefs went 2-14 in 2012.  Leslie Frazier replaced Brad Childress in 2010.  The Vikings were 3-13 in 2011.

And to bring it all full circle, Jason Garrett replaced Wade Phillips in Dallas three years ago.  The Cowboy have been a .500 team with no playoff berths since then.

A thrice-fired NFL head coach, Wade Phillips has a strong connection to Houston, especially in light of his father’s time as coach of the Oilers.  If the Texans go 3-0 or 2-1 in the final three weeks of the season, owner Bob McNair may have no choice but to keep Phillips for 2014 and beyond.

20 responses to “Texans may have forced themselves into hiring Wade Phillips for 2014

  1. I like Wade Phillips, I think he’s an awesome DC.

    He is NOT a HC though. He just doesn’t have the personality for it.

  2. Gary Kubiak got fired for one reason:

    Matt Schaub.

    Their GM even announced Case Keenum is the starter for the rest of the season…

    Terrible organization

    But at least they don’t cheat like the Seahawks

  3. He’s been fired three times. His track record as a head coach is established. The Texans fired Kubiak to move in a new direction, they’re not going to keep one of his assistants as the head coach.

  4. Like Herm Edwards just, QB is the big issue on this team right now. They should hire a head coach with an offensive mind that can develop a young QB. Even though the Colts fan in me wants Wade Phillips to stick around for a long time.

  5. If the Texans go 3-0 or 2-1 in the final three weeks of the season, owner Bob McNair may have no choice but to keep Phillips for 2014 and beyond.

    Roflcopter thanks for the laugh. Phillips will lead the Texans to an 0-4 record and be gone after the season.

  6. So you point out that recent interim coaches do well when taking over, then stink the following year, yet your article is about how if he does well they’ll have to hire him? Why on Earth do you think they would ‘have’ to hire him? Is USC getting backlash for hiring a better HC?
    Your article should have been: “Regardless of Wade’s record to end the year, Houston should look else where for their next Head Coach”. That would be an article that people would support.

  7. If you are insinuating that McNair has to retain Phillips in order to appease the fanbase based on 4 games at the end of a losing season because he was able to finish on a positive note, then the Texans need a new owner. Making coaching choices and drafting players in order to appease the fanbase is ludicrous. Making the right choices based on the needs of your team as well as support your scheme to produce wins will appease the fanbase.

  8. Mr McNair is making a mistake by focusing only on previous head coaches such as Phillips. John Harbaugh and Mike Tomlin have proven that qualifications with previous coaching experience is a misnomer. The Texans problem has been that they have no upper tier quarterback to compete. Schaub may get you to the playoffs but that is it. The same can be said for Dalton in Cincy and perhaps Cutler in Chicago. They only go so far. Until they address the qb spot forget it.

  9. Wade Phillips has had plenty of success as a head coach. Everyone who likes to bash him just really doesn’t look at the empirical data. He’s a very good defensive coach and was more than competent as a HC.
    He coached for 28 years, is 82-61 overall, took his teams to the playoffs 5 times and had a winning record Seven out of the Nine seasons when he was the actual HC and not an interim. (And the friggin Bills have not been to the playoffs since HE was their head coach. )

    That being said… I also don’t think he will be hired as HC regardless of how the Texans finish. The owner wants a clean sweep/fresh start.. and you don’t get that by keeping the former assistant as the HC unless he’s some kind of rising star.

  10. i’d take him above Lovie Smith any day of the week. and a lot of these other bozos I hear we’re considering. we need a new offensive coordinator.

  11. This post is meant to scare people.

    Phillips had 3 games in 2003 in Atlanta, went 2-1, and in came Jim Mora, Jr..

    You can hire a coach after 3 games compiled with winlessness during Kubiak’s health related sabbatical???

  12. Wade is a great defensive coordinator.

    The Texans would do well to try and keep him in that capacity even with hiring someone else as head coach.

    Wade has had multiple shots leading a team and his record has shown that he is better suited to be a defensive coordinator.

    The Texans have had and still have talent. Their window won’t remain open forever.

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