According to league sources, Wade Phillips, the former head coach of the Dallas Cowboys, could soon find himself working alongside his previous in-state rival Gary Kubiak. Phillips, who was fired as Dallas' head coach after their 1-7 start, has emerged as a leading candidate to become the Houston Texans defensive coordinator.
If this move were to happen, sources say, head coach Gary Kubiak would retain his position with the team, despite the team's 5-10 record.
Former Oilers coach Bum Phillips (Wade's father) and ex-Oilers quarterback Dan Pastorini attended Wednesday's practice and urged Texans owner Bob McNair to reconsider the firing of coach Kubiak. The elder Phillips, a friend of the McNair family, might also have suggested the move for his son whom is eager to land another coaching job in the NFL.
Bum Phillips had lunch with team owner Bob McNair and General Manager Rick Smith after practice and emphasized his son's love for the game. According to NFL.com Bum suggested that, "Wade doesn't know how to enjoy anything but football."
Wade would be one of the most experienced defensive coordinators available for the ailing Texans defense. He had stints with the Denver Broncos (1989-92), Buffalo Bills (1995-97), Atlanta Falcons (2002-03), and Dallas Cowboys (2004-06) before he became the Cowboys' head coach.
The Texans have fallen well below expectations this season and owner Bob McNair has struggled to find a viable solution to his coaching situation.
Having just signed coach Kubiak to a two-year extension has made the idea of firing him less likely. Still, changes have to be made for the team to be a serious contender in the NFL, and most of those changes are on the defensive side of the ball.
Coach Kubiak received raving endorsements from both Bum Phillips and Dan Pastorini after Wednesday's practice. They both believe that Kubiak is the right coach for the team but that he needs help with the defense.
The way the players practiced and responded to coach Kubiak was of particular notice for Phillips and Pastorini who believe that there is no better coach for the Texans than Kubiak.
If this merger of minds (Kubiak and Phillips) were to happen there will be disappointed fans on both sides of the Texas aisle. Hardcore Cowboys fans will label Phillips a traitor while many Texans fans will disagree with the choice of keeping coach Kubiak around.
In either case their will be a shake-up in the Houston coaching staff and the combination of Kubiak-Phillips promises to be a step in the right direction as the stars begin to align over the city of Houston.