Big changes were expected in Houston after the Texans' disappointing 2-14 season, and they continued on Jan. 4 as Wade Phillips was fired from his defensive coordinator position, according to Tania Ganguli of ESPN.com.
Phillips served as Houston's defensive coordinator since 2011, and he was also the Texans interim head coach for the final three games of the 2013 season following the firing of Gary Kubiak.
Former Penn State head coach Bill O'Brien was officially hired on Jan. 3 to replace Kubiak, according to the Texans' official website. Despite Phillips' strong track record as a defensive coordinator in the league, O'Brien clearly wanted to build his own staff.
There were no hard feelings regarding the departure from Phillips' perspective as he thanked the organization on Twitter after the decision to fire him was made.
Thanks to McNair family and great Texan fans and most all our players. It was wonderful being home. I wish the best to all— Wade Phillips (@sonofbum) January 4, 2014
Was firing Phillips the right decision by the Texans?
Despite Houston's awful campaign, the Texans actually ranked No. 7 overall in total defense. They were also No. 7 in 2012, and they were No. 2 in 2011. The progression of Houston's defense was significant under Phillips as it ranked 30th in 2010.
It remains to be seen if and when Phillips will get another job, but there figures to be some interest considering the turnaround he orchestrated in Houston.
As for the Texans' new defensive coordinator, John McClain of the Houston Chronicle believes that former Cleveland Browns and Kansas City Chiefs head coach Romeo Crennel is the main candidate.
Romeo Crennel should replace Wade Phillips.— John McClain (@McClain_on_NFL) January 4, 2014
It certainly makes sense due to the fact that Crennel and O'Brien have a New England Patriots connection. They never served on the same staff, but Crennel was New England's defensive coordinator from 2001 through 2004, while O'Brien served in a number of offensive coaching roles with the Pats from 2007 through 2011.
Phillips was seemingly a victim of circumstance in Houston, but he should land on his feet, and the Texans figure to be in good hands as well.
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