Wade Phillips named interim coach

Updated: November 6, 2013, 9:25 PM ET
By Tania Ganguli | ESPN.com

HOUSTON -- Each time Wade Phillips has been an interim head coach, it has happened unexpectedly.

The Houston Texans named Phillips their interim coach Wednesday while Gary Kubiak recovers from the transient ischemic attack he suffered at halftime of Sunday night's game against the Indianapolis Colts.

Phillips will lead the Texans, who are mired in a six-game losing streak, until Kubiak can return -- although when that will be is still unclear.

"We've lost some games, but there are tougher things than losing some ballgames that people have overcome," said Phillips, whose father, former coach Bum Phillips, died three weeks ago. "So we can overcome losing ballgames if people can overcome some of the things that happened."

Phillips took over head-coaching duties for Kubiak in the second half of the Texans' 27-24 loss to the Colts. Houston led 21-3 at halftime.

Phillips' role didn't change much outside of having to make certain game-managing decisions, as he left offensive play calling up to offensive coordinator Rick Dennison, who called the plays from the press box.

Dennison will call the offensive plays again Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals. He is trying to allow Kubiak some space, but the coach has called to check in quite a bit.

"I'll say this -- he's called more than I've responded," Dennison said.

[+] EnlargeWade Phillips
Troy Taormina/USA TODAY SportsTexans defensive coordinator Wade Phillips inherits a team on a six-game losing streak and without head coach Gary Kubiak for the foreseeable future.

Dennison added later that once, when he called Kubiak back, Kubiak's wife answered the phone.

"I was in trouble," Dennison said.

Overall team decisions have been left up to the 66-year-old Phillips, who has coached football on some level since 1969.

Phillips took on his first interim job with the New Orleans Saints in 1985, when he coached the team for the final four games after his father stepped down.

After Falcons coach Dan Reeves asked to be released 13 games into the 2003 season, Phillips coached Atlanta on an interim basis for the final three contests.

Phillips has been a head coach for the Denver Broncos, Buffalo Bills and most recently with the Dallas Cowboys, where he spent three and a half seasons.

Phillips was fired during the 2010 season and took over as Texans defensive coordinator at the start of the 2011 season.

When he came to Houston, Phillips orchestrated one of the most dramatic turnarounds in league history with a defense that was one of the worst in the NFL in 2010.

"I get a better parking spot, but that's about it," Phillips said, referring to how things change for him personally. "I'm just keeping the seat warm."

Tania Ganguli

ESPN Houston Texans reporter

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.


ALSO SEE