Texans excited Phillips returning as defensive coordintor

Withdraws from consideration to be head coach of Buccaneers

January 13, 2012|By John McClain, Houston Chronicle

Texans defensive players were unanimous in their excitement that Wade Phillips canceled his interview with Tampa Bay and withdrew from consideration for the Buccaneers' head-coaching job.

Phillips, former Cowboys head coach, was supposed to interview Friday night in Houston with a contingent from the Buccaneers. He was a long shot to get the job, anyway, and by withdrawing as a candidate, he's guaranteed of returning for a second season.

"Hey, we're selfish, and we're excited about him backing out of the interview," inside linebacker DeMeco Ryans said. "It would have been tough to lose him after one season, but now we don't have to worry about that."

In his first season as defensive coordinator, Phillips has played a major role in the Texans' 11-6 record, AFC South title and wild-card victory over Cincinnati.

"Imagine how good this defense can be with Wade coming back for a second season and us having a full offseason with him," said outside linebacker Connor Barwin, who registered 11½ sacks in his first season playing for Phillips.

Phillips said he didn't want to be perceived as a distraction before the divisional playoff game at Baltimore. Even though he was to interview in Houston on his time Friday night, he was worried that if the defense doesn't play well against the Ravens, a lot of fans and members of the media would have blamed it on his interview.

It'll be interesting to see in the offseason if owner Bob McNair gives Phillips a contract extension with a hefty raise. He signed a three-year deal.

General manager Rick Smith and coach Gary Kubiak, whose contracts expire after the 2012 season, are expected to get extensions.

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