With Phillips in place, is Houston a 3-4?

January, 5, 2011
1/05/11
6:24
PM ET
The Texans shot down a report Tuesday that Wade Phillips had been hired. Crazy, the tone was. He hasn’t even interviewed.

So today he interviewed and he’s hired.

How could anyone have jumped the gun like that?

I poured out my thoughts on Phillips as the Texans defensive coordinator last week when his name was first reported. That’s here.

He’s obviously steeped in 3-4 defenses, but it sounds like he and Gary Kubiak will look at what the Texans have and decide what kind of team to be. Phillips is known as 3-4 guy but has worked some 4-3. I’d envision them staying in a 4-3 only as part of a transition.

Houston radio guy and blogger Lance Zierlein had a good line recently about the decision. Paraphrasing, he asked what does it matter if they don’t have the personnel for a 3-4 when they don’t have the personnel for a 4-3 either?

Mario Williams isn’t ideally suited for it. But people probably said the same thing about Bruce Smith, and I don’t remember a major career derailment when he played for Phillips in Buffalo.

While the change could take some time, it might be a good thing. Give Peyton Manning and the rest of the division something different to dissect, be the one team deploying people differently.

Paul Kuharsky | email

ESPN Tennessee Titans reporter

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