Phillips: Manziel right for Texans

Updated: February 7, 2014, 6:49 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Wade Phillips believes Johnny Football is the right fit for the Houston Texans.

In an unsuccessful interview in late December to become the Texans' permanent head coach, Phillips told ownership the team should draft Johnny Manziel, the dynamic quarterback from nearby Texas A&M. He also kidded that his suggestion may have cost him a chance at getting the job.

"When I did the interview with the McNairs, I told them they ought to take Johnny Football," Phillips said on 610 SportsRadio in Houston. "That's what I told them, and I'm sitting here now without a job."

Texans owner Bob McNair hired Penn State coach Bill O'Brien as Gary Kubiak's replacement. Phillips, formerly Houston's defensive coordinator and not part of O'Brien's staff, was the Texans' interim coach for the final three games after Kubiak was fired in early December.

[+] EnlargeJohnny Manziel
Ronald Martinez/Getty ImagesIn his interview to be Texans coach, Wade Phillips told ownership the team should draft Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel at No. 1. "That's what I told them," he said, "and I'm sitting here now without a job."

The Texans, who own the No. 1 pick in this year's draft, have a need at quarterback after Matt Schaub and Case Keenum struggled last season.

Manziel, a Texas native who has uncanny scrambling ability and is a precision passer, is expected to be taken high in the first round in May's draft.

"I thought it would be the Earl Campbell of Houston -- the reincarnation," Phillips told the radio station. "The Heisman Trophy winner comes to Houston, from the state of Texas. I thought it would be a neat deal."

Other quarterbacks expected to be drafted early include Teddy Bridgewater of Louisville and Blake Bortles of Central Florida.

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