Originally posted on Fox Sports Houston  |  Last updated 1/9/12
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HOUSTON The Texans are in the playoffs for the first time ever in large part because of Wade Phillips. And they might lose Phillips because they are in the playoffs. Such is the circular nature of the NFL, where Phillips could possibly go from fired as Dallas Cowboys head coach to hired as Houston Texans defensive coordinator to hired as Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach within the span of a year. Phillips said Sunday the Bucs asked if he was interested, and he told them he was. Because the Texans are still in the playoffs they play at Baltimore this week this has irritated Texans fans, many of whom think the Bucs should have respected that Phillips still has work to do this season in Houston. Texans coach Gary Kubiak said Monday that was simply the nature of the job. "I look at it as a compliment," Kubiak said. "We all know Wade's track record and the job he's done. That's not a surprise to me at all that somebody would want to visit with him about a head coaching job." Losing Phillips would be a blow to the stomach for a franchise that rose from 30th in total defense to second in one season under Phillips, and appears ready to contend for the AFC championship for the next couple of season, at least. The Texans' defense is young and good, and it's key offensive players remain in the prime of their careers. Assuming quarterback Matt Schaub (out for the year) and receiver Andre Johnson (battling hamstring injuries) return healthy next season, Houston will be among the preseason favorites in the AFC. When they were healthy, as they were in the early part of this season, the Texans had a top-10 offense. Houston's offense, however, has been good for years. This defense is a new thing, since it is a new thing, it's difficult to tell exactly how much of the transformation has come from Phillips and how much has come from rookies J.J. Watt and Brooks Reed, free agent signings Johnathan Joseph and Danieal Manning and the healthy returns of Connor Barwin and DeMeco Ryans. It's a new coordinator and a new scheme, but it's also six guys who weren't starting for Houston last year. "It's a big compliment to our defensive players because of the job Wade's done," Kubiak said. "Those are the guys that helped him do that job. So we're proud of any opportunity any one of our coaches would get." The Buccaneers are looking to replace Raheem Morris, who they fired after he went 17-31 in three seasons. Phillips, 64, is 83-64 as a head coach in the NFL, including a 1-5 mark in the playoffs.
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