Wade Phillips wants a job, thinks age is working against him

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Wade Phillips wasn’t kept on board when the Texans hired Bill O’Brien as their new head coach, and Phillips hasn’t found a new job with any of the NFL’s other 31 teams, either. Phillips is upset about that.

Phillips wrote on Twitter that he is “Disappointed” he hasn’t received so much as an opportunity to interview for a defensive coordinator position. Phillips noted that he has a wealth of experience in the NFL, and the last five times he was hired as a defensive coordinator, the team that hired him made the playoffs in his first year on the job.

So why isn’t anyone calling? Phillips said on SiriusXM NFL Radio that he thinks his age may be working against him.

The 66-year-old Phillips isn’t the first to wonder if age is working against him in the NFL. Two Raiders scouts who were let go after the 2012 draft claimed age discrimination, and two former Rams employees claimed in 2012 that they were victims of age discrimination. Phillips doesn’t sound like he’s interested in filing a lawsuit, he’s just interested in getting an opportunity to show he can still be a good defensive coordinator.

If NFL teams are overlooking Phillips because of his age, they’re being shortsighted. And they’re also overlooking that the 76-year-old Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau has shown that coaches can succeed in the NFL long after they’re eligible for Social Security.

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Phillips: Doesn’t feel Texans have more wins than Pats

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Monday night’s meeting between the New England Patriots and Houston Texans was prepackaged and sold a playoff preview — possibly of the conference title game — but one of these teams still has plenty of work to do.

“It doesn’t feel like we have more wins than New England right now,” Texans defensive coordinator Wade Phillips told the Houston Chronicle after his team’s 42-14 meltdown. “… You let them get ahead of you like that, you’re going to have problems.”

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Wade doing great!

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Wade Phillips: “It’s good to be back…I’m a little more sore than I thought I’d be…I’m working my way back.”

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Wade Phillips’ condition upgraded

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Texans defensive coordinator Wade Phillips is recovering well from surgery on his kidney and gallblader.

Wade Phillips continues to improve from his surgery. His condition has been upgraded to good. Again, the family requests privacy and no further information will be released at this time,” the Texans said in a statement.

Phillips is expected to return to the team for good before Houston’s Week 17 game. In the meantime, linebackers coach Reggie Herring will take on a challenging Panthers team Sunday.

“I’ve been raised under Wade for the last four years,” said Herring via the Houston Chronicle. “I’ve studied him. We think a lot alike. I’m not Wade Phillips, but it’s Wade Phillips’ system, his defense. It’s our calls. It’s what the players know. We have confidence.”

The Texans have passed every possible test so far. This is another big one. They just celebrated the team’s first division title, and need to get back up for a game against a dangerous opponent.

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Wade Phillips to take a medical leave

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The Houston Texans announced Wednesday that defensive coordinator Wade Phillips will take a medical leave of absence because of a surgical procedure scheduled later this week. He is expected to return later this season, though the team wasn’t specific.

TV station KRIV reported that Phillips’ leave will last “a couple of weeks.”

In his first year with the Texans, Phillips has guided Houston’s defense to a dramatic turnaround while converting it from a 4-3 to a 3-4 scheme. The unit is currently ranked No. 1 overall — giving up just 274.9 yards per game — and is a big reason for the team’s 10-3 record and first AFC South title in franchise history. Last year, the Texans finished 30th overall (376.9).

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Losing Phillips is another setback for the Texans, who have experienced their share of adversity this season. The team is playing with third-string rookie quarterback T.J. Yates after losing starter Matt Schaub and backup Matt Leinart for the season. Also, top wide receiver Andre Johnson has missed a total of seven games because of injuries to both hamstrings.

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Dallas Cowboys: Is Jason Garrett Any Better Than Wade Phillips as Head Coach?

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The Dallas Cowboys have not “wowed” anyone with their performance on defense, except for DeMarcus Ware and Sean Lee, in 2011.

That said, you cannot ignore what the Cowboys defense has done. The defense has kept them in games in order to win games or give them an opportunity to win.

Critics can’t ask any more from the Dallas Cowboys defense. You just can’t.

At the beginning of the season, everyone was talking about how awful the defense was going to be. The defense was going to be a key reason why they would not win games in 2011. I even chimed in on that subject.

Rewind to 2010. If the Cowboys were going to get beat, it would have been because of the defense.

The success of the Cowboys on the defensive side of the ball this season is because of Rob Ryan, without a doubt.

Compared to the Cowboys defense this season, last season it seems like the defense laid down.

Why is that?

Was the Cowboys defense actually laying down?

Could  it have been the lack of production of the offense? Did the defensive players get winded because they were on the field too much, and because of hurtful turnovers on their own side of the field? Did Phillips even have a chance in 2010?

When looking at what Wade Phillips is doing in Houston, taking that team to the 10th-ranked defense in the NFL, one has to wonder what was going on in the Dallas Cowboys organization that would cause such a ruckus in 2010?

The Cowboys had the ability. So what led them into disarray in 2010?

In 2011 you can’t say the Cowboys have better talent on the defensive side of the ball than Wade Phillips has in Houston. There is no doubt; the Texans are better this season than last season. Only differences? Wade Phillips and Johnathan Joseph.

You also can’t say Phillips had a lack of discipline. A football team doesn’t become the 10th-ranked defense in the NFL if they are not disciplined. So that leads me to the players themselves.

Where was the respect for their coach from the players in 2010?

What gives in Dallas?

Why was it so difficult for the Cowboys to get wins before they fired Phillips? When you look at the Cowboys’ efforts this year, one could say that the players were a significant problem. Was it  just a lack of respect for their head coach?

Anthony Spencer pretty much said it,

“You can’t mail days in in this league,” Spencer told Dan Graziano, of  ESPN.com. “And I definitely found I was doing that last year.”

Why? Why was Spencer, and probably others, mailing it in?

In 2011, the Dallas defense doesn’t have better personnel. They may, or may not, have a better defensive coach. That can be debated.

That leads me to believe that maybe the problem could have been Jason Garrett.

Could the lack of discipline have come from Garrett? Was there was too much going on behind Phillips’s back by Garrett to try and weasel his way into the head coaching job after their slow start? Were there conversations with Jerry Jones behind Phillips’s back? Could those same conversations be going on with Rob Ryan and Jerry Jones?

You know what they say, turnaround is fair play.

So far in the 2011 season, what is any different for this Cowboys team, except they have two wins instead of only one? Oh sure, there seems to be more energy being put forth on the field, but there is still losing games they shouldn’t. When will the losses exceed the effort on the field? And then who’s fault is it, ultimately.

There was no question the Dallas Cowboys were underachieving in 2010. Trying to decipher where the problem came from is even harder.

But clearly, as an outside observer (because it is difficult for media that doesn’t have ESPN, CBS, ABC, Fox or the local media next to their name to experience first-hand knowledge of this team. It is next to impossible to actually know what is going on, so our position has to come from speculation.), we can only see what we see while at the games, or watching what little we can learn from TV.

So my speculation is that Garrett could have orchestrated this whole situation starting in 2010. Now, I am not saying that Garrett went out with the full intention of losing games in 2010, but the fact they lost could have fueled the fire, and given him that extra push to get there. But wasn’t Garrett part of the problem as well? Why did Garrett get the free line directly to the head coaching job?

 

When there are two guys who were “assistant head coaches”, there was bound to be disagreements on how things were done, even if Garrett was in charge of only the offense, and had nothing to do with the defense.

When Phillips was fired, there was no doubt that he had to go. Regardless, when your record is 1-6, you have to go if you are the Dallas Cowboys’ head coach.

The lockout may be the only reason why Garrett still has a job. And perhaps, just perhaps, flushing another $3 million down the drain wasn’t something Jones wanted to do.

Can’t blame him. Remember, the Cowboys already took a $9 million hit with the release of Terrell Owens. And really, who else would have been available?

Keeping Garrett on for 2011 wasn’t because of his coaching performance in 2010. Case in point: the Cardinals and Eagles games in Weeks 16 and 17 were unmitigated disasters.

If the Dallas Cowboys manage to lose to the St. Louis Rams, there is no doubt in my mind that we will hear about Garrett being on the hot seat for the rest of the 2011 season.

Don’t forget, Jones is already second-guessing Garrett’s play calling, although he had since backed down from those comments. He was right, mind you. Makes you wonder what else the good ole’ boy Jerry Jones may be thinking for the Cowboys’ future.

Remember, Jones is known for being extremely spontaneous.

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Cowboys defense won’t be predictable anymore

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The Cowboys defenders complained even before Wade Phillips was fired in the middle of last season that they had become predictable. Linebacker Bradie James said that won’t be the case under new defensive coordinator Rob Ryan.

“The thing about Rob is you won’t be able to know what defense we’re in,” James said. “We had gotten to that point where people were just knowing what was going on. Now, it’s very interesting. It’s very interesting, and we’re just looking forward to getting started. As far as personnel, they [the coaches] don’t know us, and we don’t really know them, because we didn’t have that opportunity [to practice in the offseason]. But you might see a guy like [outside linebacker] Brandon Williams right next to me. You never know, because I know guys talked about player-friendly, but the way Rob does it, he just wants everybody to go out and have fun and get some.”

James said he feels like a rookie again, carrying around “three playbooks” in a “luggage cart”. Without OTAs and a minicamp, the Cowboys are having to learn a new defense on the run. But they like what they have seen so far. DeMarcus Ware said the defense feels invigorated after a season in which they allowed the most points (436) and yards (5,628) in team history.

“We know last year was tough,” James said. “We went from being pretty good on defense [in 2009], and it just went downhill. The ship started sinking. Now, we have an opportunity with a new guy coming in. I feel like it’s tough to figure us out, but we have to figure it out to make it happen. We have to definitely execute everything that’s out there. But we’ve got a little while.

“I’m studying. I’m telling you I have luggage. I have my luggage bag. It’s that much information. I think he will definitely call whatever is best for the defense. I don’t know if we’ll be able to get everything in, but we’ll get the majority of the stuff in that’s part for our personnel. Looking forward to it.”

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