Thursday, November 11, 2010
Wes Phillips says dad is dejected
By Calvin Watkins
IRVING -- Wade Phillips' firing Monday afternoon had a major impact on several Dallas Cowboys players. But they weren't the only ones.
After Phillips addressed the team a final time, the players gave him a standing ovation. One person who also was caught up in the moment was Phillips' son, Wes, the Cowboys' quality control/offensive assistant.
Wes Phillips said his father didn't prepare him for what was about to happen, but with the team struggling with a 1-7 start, he prepared himself for a possible firing.
"It's tough to see your father get fired no matter whatever anybody else wants to say," said Wes Phillips, who believes his dad will continue coaching. "At the same time you know it going into this business, particularly when you accept a head coaching job. If things don't go well you will be the one to take the fall. I've been around it before -- he's been fired before. Obviously I haven't been on that staff at the time, so that's been an adjustment. But we're ready to go forward."
The father and son have enjoyed professional and personal success together. Since he's been on the Cowboys' staff, Wes Phillips got married and had Wade Phillips' first grandchild.
However, the NFL is a business, and sometimes it doesn't have a place for feelings.
"He's doing good as can be," Wes Phillips said. "I'm sure he's a little dejected and a little upset we didn't do better. First and foremost, he's always been a guy to say, 'Hey, I didn't prepare them well enough and I didn't get them to play.' ''
There were several Cowboys players who were considered "Wade guys," such as Keith Brooking and Igor Olshansky, who played for Phillips in previous stops.
Phillips' first draft choice was outside linebacker Anthony Spencer, and Phillips' defensive scheme was aggressive, which allowed several defensive players to showcase their talents. They grew fond of the coach.
"I'm a Wade Phillips guy," Brooking said. "Yeah, I'm disappointed he didn't finish the job he set forth in the beginning. This league is about change and if you're not getting the job done, as I said it before this is a performance-based business. If you're not performing at a [high] level, coaching [and] playing, someone will replace you."
Calvin Watkins covers the Cowboys for ESPNDallas.com. You can follow him on Twitter or leave a question for his weekly mailbag.