Texans react to Gary Kubiak’s firing, Wade Phillips as interim HC

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Wade Phillips is back in a familiar role. He’s a head coach again, even if it’s only on an interim basis this time.

The Texans fired Gary Kubiak on Friday and the 66-year-old defensive coordinator Phillips will run the team for the remaining three games.

But does Phillips still want to be a head coach in the NFL?

“Well, I think I have something to give and I could go into all the stats and stuff, nobody wants to hear those,” Phillips said. “But if you look at the record, I think I have a lot to offer as a head coach. But that’s for somebody else to decide, not me.”

The decision about the Texans’ next head coach will fall on the shoulders of owner Bob McNair, who said during Friday’s press conference that Phillips would be a candidate to replace Kubiak next season.

Phillips said he doesn’t view the final three games of the 2013 season as an audition for a head coaching job in the NFL. Instead, he said he has a lot to worry about, namely getting the Texans their first win in well over two months.

When asked specifically about his desire to be the Texans’ next head coach, the wily coordinator sidestepped.

“I’m right in the middle of it right here,” he said. “I’m up to my rear in alligators. I’m gonna do the very best job I can do in what I’m doing. That’s what I’ve always tried to do. This is the situation, I have been a head coach before and I have been an interim head coach before. I’m familiar with the situation. You have to come in and mold the team the way you feel it ought to be. The strengths, you need to utilize them. And the weaknesses, you try not to. And it’s hard to do in a short amount of time.”

Phillips has been a head coach for several teams during his long coaching career. His last head-coaching stop was in Dallas, where he had a 56-34 record. Overall, he has an 82-61 record overall.

He was asked if he would want to return to Houston to be the defensive coordinator. "I would never say that," he answered. "Because then they wouldn't hire you as the head coach."

Phillips still wants to be a head coach and at least some of his current players think he still has the ability to do it.

“Of course,” nose tackle Earl Mitchell said. “He’s helped us out defensively, he’s led us to two consecutive playoff berth from the defensive side. He’s really good at getting players to listen to him and I think he’s going to be really good for us because he’s been here for a while and he understands how to lead from a head coaching position.”

Phillips might end up being a head coach again in the NFL but for now, he said his focus is on the final three games of the season. And the Texans will face the newly-crowned division champion Colts on Sunday.

Phillips’ message to his team on Monday was about the final few games of the season.

“I think that when he came in and spoke in the meeting today, he hit the nail on the head,” Antonio Smith said. “And basically what he said is that we all have to be in on winning these last three games. At the end of the year, it’s not just up to him to come in and to get it going on the right accord. He said that he’s going to need each and every one of us and I think he’s right with that. We’ve got to give him help.”

-- Dave Zangaro, CSNHouston.com

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