Tag:Wade Phillips
Posted on: January 25, 2012 9:43 am
Edited on: January 25, 2012 10:41 am
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Report: Sherman, Chud getting 2nd Bucs interview

By Will Brinson

Only two head-coaching vacancies remain: the Colts and the Buccaneers. Indy got a late start on their search so it's not surprising Jim Irsay's still looking. But things are getting a little weird for the Bucs, who whiffed on landing Chip Kelly from Oregon.

They're now backpeddling and are reportedly focusing in on former Texas A&M coach Mike Sherman and Panthers offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski.

The Tampa Bay Times Stephen F. Holder wrote on Wednesday that barring another mystery candidate like Kelly emerging, it looked like a "one-horse race" for the Bucs gig with Sherman the only pony on the track. According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, Sherman will interview for the second time with the Bucs on Wednesday.

However, Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer writes that according to the "buzz around Mobile" at the Senior Bowl, Chudzinski is also getting a second look with the Buccaneers. (Chud is in Mobile along with the Panthers coaching staff, but not talking to anyone.)

Panthers head coach Ron Rivera is, and he sounds like he'd like the Bucs to wrap up their search already.

"We've heard nothing. Hopefully, we'll hear something by the end of the week," Rivera said, per Person. "We do know, from what I hear, they've brought in somebody for a second interview. So we'll see what happens."

The Bucs waiting until Wednesday to regroup and start interviewing candidates for the second time shows pretty clearly that they were all-in on Kelly, in case that wasn't obvious by what happened on Sunday evening.

Sherman, Chud Marty Schottenheimer, Wade Phillips, Brad Childress, and Mike Zimmer were the only known candidates for the job in Tampa Bay. (Phillips withdrew his name from consideration.)

Earlier Wednesday, Sherman was the only guy with a second interview coming and appeared to be the proverbial leader in the clubhouse. But it might have been just the end of the (also proverbial) third round.

Chud's now getting a second look and Chilly, Schottey or, um, Zimmy could all end up getting a second look too.

Or another shocking name could emerge out of nowhere; given how off the radar the Glazers and Mark Dominik kept Kelly's name until the last minute, it wouldn't be that surprising.

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Posted on: January 17, 2012 5:09 pm
Edited on: January 17, 2012 5:11 pm
 

The next Colts head coach: the early candidates

Who are the likely coaching candidates now that Jim Caldwell is out in Indy? (Getty Images/US PRESSWIRE)

By Will Brinson and Ryan Wilson

It's that time of year: head coaches get fired and we speculate as to who will replace them. On Tuesday, the Colts dismissed Jim Caldwell after a 2-14 effort this season. Perhaps the biggest surprise is that it took so long. Owner Jim Irsay got rid of Bill and Chris Polian early this month but Caldwell's future hung in the balance until Indianapolis hired a new general manager. The team announced Ryan Grigson in that role last Wednesday, and six days later, Caldwell was let go.


Which brings us to this: who's on our very early list of potential replacements? Glad you asked.

Brad Childress

Any other head-coaching gig and Childress probably wouldn't get much consideration. But the Colts are different. Whatever their plans are for Peyton Manning and/or Andrew Luck, the coach, at least in recent history, has served more as facilitator than a fire-and-brimstone motivator. Childress is best (and perhaps unfairly) remembered for selling his soul to convince Brett Favre to be Minnesota's quarterback.

That PR disaster aside, Childress was 39-35 in five years with Minnesota (including 10- and 12-win seasons in 2008 and 2009), and the Vikings were one Favre interception away from the Super Bowl in '09.

Before arriving in Minnesota, Childress served capably as Philadelphia's offensive coordinator (2003-05). Since the Colts already have a franchise QB (possibly two by late April), Childress won't have to worry about shuttling players to Mississippi to convince an over-the-hill quarterback to play one more season.

Marty Mornhinweg

Some might cringe at Mornhinwheg here considering he won five games in two seasons in a previous stint as an NFL head coach. But he's got an easy out: that was with the Lions. Also, he's worked for the Eagles since 2006, meaning he and Grigson have plenty of time as colleagues. Mornhinwheg's passing offenses have been consistently ranked in the top 10 or 15 in the NFL, and that's a huge plus for a team that's likely draft Andrew Luck first overall in three months. Mornhinwheg would go into a situation where the expectations would be low with a rebuilding franchise. Grigson running the show would mean that Mornhinwheg would get significantly more patience from his bosses than he might in a different situation.

Wade Phillips

Much like Childress, Phillips wouldn't be the first name that came to mind for most head-coaching opportunities. But again, Indy's a different situation, and Phillips, while short on charisma, is long on experience. He's also a proven defensive coordinator, something the Colts are going to need if the Luck era begins this summer.

Plus, there's this: Grigson is 39 years old. Would Irsay want an unproven GM paired with an unproven head coach? One or the other, fine. Both, however, could delay a rebuilding process that Irsay has already admitted won't happen overnight.

Phillips withdrew his name for the Buccaneers head-coaching search last week, stating that he preferred to stay in Houston as the defensive coordinator. It was the right decision, but Indy ain't Tampa Bay. This is a team that, prior to 2011, had won at least 10 games in 11 of the last 12 seasons, appeared in the Super Bowl in '09 and won the Super Bowl in '06. There's a recent history of success there that most other organizations can't match.

Rob Chudzinski

If we're Grigson and Irsay, we call up Chud and offer him a pile of money to run the offense and grow with Luck. Or, worst case, Chud comes in and works with Manning, if they keep him. The work that Chudzinski did in Carolina this year with Cam Newton can't be understated, and nothing's more important for the future of the Colts than preparing Luck to succeed going forward. Chud's shown that he can get a rookie quarterback up and running pretty quickly, and without requiring too much in the way of offensive weapons (grab some tight ends, sign a marquee, young wideout, draft an offensive lineman and you're good).  The obvious exception to this, of course: Chud's unproven (see Phillips above). 

Steve Spagnuolo

Shortly after Caldwell was dismissed Tuesday, FOX Sports' Jay Glazer reported that Spagnuolo interviewed for the Colts' defensive coordinator position earlier this week and Caldwell was one of the people Spagnuolo interviewed with. (We're immediately reminded of the Bobs asking "What would you say you do here?")

If the Colts thought enough of Spags for the DC gig, maybe they also think he deserves consideration for Caldwell's old job. Spagnuolo sandwiched one- and two-win seasons in St. Louis around a 7-9 effort, so his resume alone doesn't make him a particularly attractive candidate. But again, this isn't a typical head-coaching position and Spagnuolo appears to have the right demeanor for the situation. Which is to say that he's not a showman (see Ryan, Rex or Rob) or a screamer (Todd Haley, for example). We also shouldn't underestimate his ties to the Eagles -- just like Childress, Mornhinweg and Grigson.

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Posted on: January 17, 2012 5:07 pm
Edited on: January 17, 2012 5:08 pm
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Posted on: January 15, 2012 4:51 pm
Edited on: January 15, 2012 5:34 pm
 

Texans defense will lead them back to postseason

Houston's defense could be one of the NFL's best in the years to come (AP).

By Josh Katzowitz

No matter what happens with T.J. Yates -- and he most likely will return to backing up Matt Schaub next season -- the Texans have to be pleased (no, they have to be ecstatic) with the way the season ended.

Not with the final result today obviously, falling to Baltimore 20-13 in the AFC divisional playoffs. But with the successful introduction of Yates in the final seven games of the season, with the showing by Arian Foster that proved he wasn’t a one-year wonder, and, perhaps most impressively, with the young defense that dominated the Ravens offense for most of the afternoon.

On a third-and-inches late in the game, with Baltimore trying to seal the outcome, the defense stuffed Baltimore fullback Vonta Leach to give Yates one more chance to tie the game. Earlier in the half, with the Ravens trying to increase their lead on fourth-and-goal from the 1, Brooks Reed and Tim Dobbins met Ray Rice at the goal line for no gain. The Texans sacked Joe Flacco five times. They pressured him numerous other times.

They were nasty, they hit hard (as Titans quarterback Matt Hasselbeck made sure to point out on his Twitter feed after Houston stopped Rice), and they gave a preview of the future. As in, Houston could be the toughest defense in the league for the next several years.

Already, Houston received great news when defensive coordinator – and, in my mind, the assistant coach of the year -- Wade Phillips withdrew his name from consideration for the Buccaneers head coaching job. “My first priority is to be here,” Phillips said when he was still being considered for the Tampa Bay job. “I like it here. I love it here. You know we’ve had such a magical year and we’re going to keep it going so that’s my first choice.”

But on Saturday, look at who was making an impact. Reed had 2 ½ sacks. As did J.J. Watt. Connor Barwin was a beast, and Brian Cushing was all over the place. That’s a rookie, a rookie, a third-year player and a third-year player, respectively, in the Texans front-seven. Plus, with the vast improvement of the secondary with Johnathan Joseph and Danieal Manning, Houston’s defense will continue to be a special unit.

You know who wasn’t there, wasn’t around the last 13 games, in fact? That’d be former No. 1 pick Mario Williams, who tore his pectoral muscle in October. While Williams has been a standout defensive end during his career, he’s going to be an unrestricted free agent in the offseason.

Is it worth it to bring back a 4-3 defensive end into Phillips’ 3-4 scheme? Williams seemed to adjust pretty well in Phillips’ new defense (he had five sacks in five games, after all), but the Texans played damn well after he was lost for the season. The Texans will have to ask themselves if signing Williams to a big-money deal is absolutely necessary to continue their defensive domination.

On Sunday, the real problem was the Texans’ first-quarter jitters, Yates’ interceptions and Jacoby Jones’ disastrous punt-returning. But with Schaub, Foster and that nasty defense returning next season, Houston will be a scary team to face. And a definite Super Bowl contender.



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Posted on: January 13, 2012 12:45 pm
 

Bucs will interview Mike Zimmer, Rob Chudzinski

Mike Zimmer's intense style might fit nicely in Tampa Bay. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

Up until Friday, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers hadn't shown much interest in interviewing anyone under the age of 75* for their vacant head-coaching position. So it might be refreshing for fans to hear that the Buccaneers have asked permission to talk with both Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer and Panthers offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski.

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According to Jason LaCanfora of the NFL Network, the Bucs plan to speak with both soon.

Previously, Tampa scheduled interviews with Brad Childress, Wade Phillips, Marty Schottenheimer and Mike Sherman. That's not the youngest bunch of bucks. (Chilly's the youngest, at 55.)

But that's Tampa's prerogative, especially coming off a disastrous 2011 that saw Raheem Morris, who turned 35 during the season, lose control of his team, possibly because he wasn't seasoned enough to appear disciplined.

Phillips withdrew his name from consideration prior to Friday's scheduled interview, and with the latest additions to the list, it appears Tampa wants to increase the scope of its search.

Of course, Zimmer's actually 22 days older than Childress, so it's not as if he's that different. And, honestly, he makes the most sense for this position, in our opinion.

For whatever reason, Zimmer's struggled to get interviews for head-coaching gigs until this season and has never been up for serious consideration. But he's a hard-nosed coach known for his discipline, and his defenses have always been top-tier: only once in his three stops (Dallas, Atlanta, Cincinnati) since 2000 has his defense ranked below 20th in total yards allowed.

And that was his lone season with the Falcons in 2007, which means he didn't exactly have a lot of time to work his magic. In 2003, Dallas had the top-ranked defense in the NFL under Zimmer, and the Bengals have been a top-10 unit twice since he took over as defensive coordinator there in 2008.

As for Chudzinski, well, he's a hot name on the coaching circuit right now because of his work with Cam Newton. He's going to get a job in the NFL at some point and he's a Florida guy, so Tampa could make sense. But it's hard to imagine that the Panthers would let "Chud" go to a division rival; if Tampa were really impressed with Carolina's offensive coordinator, it wouldn't be that surprising to see them give Chud a raise and a promotion.

*Approximate

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Posted on: January 12, 2012 8:49 pm
Edited on: January 12, 2012 8:56 pm
 

Report: Phillips withdraws from Bucs job search

Phillips likes it so much in Houston that it seems he plans on staying awhile. (US PRESSWIRE)

By Ryan Wilson

Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips has been as much a part of Houston's success this season as any other single factor. The Texans' D ranked 31st in 2010, according to Football Outsiders; a year in his system and the unit finished the 2011 regular season ranked eighth. 

When coordinators have success, that often leads to head-coaching opportunities. It's how Phillips got his gig with the Cowboys in 2006 -- he did a bang-up job with the Chargers as Marty Schottenheimer's defensive coordinator. So it wasn't surprising that the Buccaneers, which had just parted ways with Raheem Morris after three seasons, wanted to interview Phillips. The two sides were set to meet this Friday … except that it appears Phillips has withdrawn his name from consideration, according to ESPN.com's Adam Schefter.

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This news comes hours after Phillips had talked about a future that involved meeting with the Bucs about possibly being their next head coach. But he also sounded like a man clearly torn about leaving his current situation.

“Well again, you know, my first priority is to be here,” Phillips said of the Texans, who are preparing to play the Ravens this weekend, in comments distributed by the team. “I like it here. I love it here. You know we’ve had such a magical year and we’re going to keep it going so that’s my first choice. You know I may not be their choice either, but I am gonna interview and you know take it from there. As far as distractions, they asked me two weeks ago, they asked permission to talk to me two weeks ago so we knew what was going on for two weeks, but we didn’t let it be a distraction the week before so it won’t be this week.”

Turns out, Phillips likes it so much that he's decided to stay. Or at the very least, not pursue the Tampa Bay job.

Meanwhile, the Bucs organization is still in flux. Thursday afternoon, CBSSports.com Rapid Reporter Scott Purks noted that "Nothing is totally clear about the search for a new head coach, but the leaders for the job appear to be Mike Sherman, Marty Schottenheimer, Wade Phillips and Brad Childress -- in that order. Interviews with more candidates are expected in the next couple of weeks."

We can whittle list to three now that Phillips isn't interested.


The Houston Texans will square off against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium. Which team will advance to the Conference Championship? NFL.com's Pat Kirwan and Jason Horowitz preview this game. Watch the game at 1 PM ET on CBS. 

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Posted on: January 9, 2012 12:39 pm
Edited on: January 9, 2012 12:40 pm
 

Report: Bucs to interview Marty Schottenheimer

MartyBall last appeared in the NFL in 2006. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

The Buccaneers aren't playing any games when it comes to seeking out a discipline-heavy coach to replace Raheem Morris, having already interviewed Mike Sherman for the open position.

And now, in some shocking news, they'll also talk to Marty Schottenheimer. Yes, Marty. That's according to Chris Mortensen of ESPN, who reports that Schotty will talk with the Bucs on Tuesday about their head-coaching gig.

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Marty last coached in the NFL in 2006, when he went 14-2 with the Chargers, won the AFC West, made it to the AFC Divisional Game and came one Marlon McCree dive to the ground after an interception shy of upsetting the Patriots and advancing to the AFC Championship Game.

After that season, Marty was fired when assistant coaches Cam Cameron, Wade Phillips (who's also talking to the Bucs this week), Rod Chudzinski and Greg Manusky all bolted for other gigs and his relationship with general manager A.J. Smith became extremely strained.

Schottenheimer, who has a career 61.3 winning percentage as a head coach in the NFL, won his first championship at any level with the Virginia Destroyers of the United Football League.

Though Marty might seem a bit old (68) to dive back into the NFL with a young team like the Buccaneers, it's possible that his hard-nosed, disciplined approach and an emphasis on "MartyBall" (read: run, run, pass, punt) could help reverse Tampa Bay's fortunes in 2011.

Another interesting aspect of a potential Marty hire in Tampa is the effect it would have on Brian Schottenheimer, the Jets offensive coordinator. Marty's son is believed to be out of New York one way or another, and jumping ship from the Jets to the Bucs would be a logical move for a coach who's already worked under his father at three different stops in his career.

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Posted on: January 8, 2012 3:04 pm
Edited on: January 8, 2012 3:25 pm
 

Texans Phillips to talk to Bucs; Mike Zimmer too?

Wade Phillips is going to talk to Tampa about their opening. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

Earlier on Sunday we passed along the report that the Bucs might be closing in on naming Mike Sherman their next head coach. So it's interesting (very interesting actually) that the Buccaneers asked the Texans for permission to interview defensive coordinator Wade Phillips.

And, according to John McClain of the Houston Chronicle, the Texans gave Tampa Bay permission to talk with Wade and the two sides will speak on Friday.

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"I'm gratified somebody noticed," Phillips said, per McClain. "I don't want to leave Houston but I want to be a head coach. We'll talk and see how much interest [the Bucs] have in me."

Phillips has been a head coach at the NFL level three times. He went 16-16 as the Broncos head coach in 1993 and 1994, 29-19 as the Bills head coach from 1998-2000 and 34-22 as the Cowboys head coach from 2007-2010. He was also an interim head coach for four games with the Saints in 1985 and for three games with the Falcons in 2003.

Wade's gotten the lion's share of credit for turning the Texans defense from the NFL's worst unit in 2010 to the NFL's second-best unit in 2011. Even though the additions of Johnathan Joseph and Danieal Manning also helped, there's no question Phillips made a huge impact and his stock went way up after the Texans strong defensive performance this season.

Given the way the Buccaneers finished the season -- losing 10 straight in embarrassing defensive fashion and falling to 30th in the NFL in defense in the process -- talking with Phillips makes a lot of sense.

According to Chris Mortensen of ESPN, the Bucs will also speak with Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer.

Zimmer can interview and take the position at any point since Cincinnati's eliminated from the playoffs. But the Bucs can't actually hire Phillips until the Texans are knocked out, which would be Monday, January 16 at the earliest (Houston and Baltimore play that Sunday).

All of this makes it much less likely that Sherman's announced as the next coach within the week.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com