Since word got out that Houston's beloved defensive coordinator, Wade Phillips, will be interviewing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for their open head coaching position on Friday, panic has set in for a good portion of the Texans' fan base. In one season, Wade transformed a hideous defense that was incapable of stopping a Pop Warner team comprised of four-year-old girls into a holy terror, staffed by berserkers that feast upon offenses in a way not often seen in the NFL.
Understandably, Texans fans don't want to see Wade Phillips leave.
Yet we cannot, and should not, stand in the way of Wade as he attempts to right what he perceives to be an erroneous narrative; namely, that he is not a good head coach. It would be selfish of us to try to keep him here. There are only 32 head-coaching jobs in the NFL, and you could do (and many owners regularly do) a whole lot worse than Wade Phillips. He's an excellent coach, and he deserves another shot at sitting atop his profession. To that end, I thought it would be prudent to offer Wade some interview tips, completely free of charge, before he sits down with Tampa Bay tomorrow.
1. Attire: Stay away from suits. They're boring. I would recommend wearing shorts, cowboy boots, and a Chumbawamba t-shirt. Such an ensemble pays homage to your roots while still showing the interviewer that you are a man of the world with discriminating taste.
2. Eyewear: Some people believe that wearing glasses projects an aura of intelligence. Balderdash. Sport sunglasses. At all times. Even indoors. You don't want the interviewer reading your eyes. They could pick up on some hesitation, or confusion, or some other indication of uncertainty. You can't risk that. There's a reason so many poker players wear sunglasses; your eyes can betray you. Plus, everyone knows sunglasses just look cool.
3. Resume: Presumably, the interviewer will already have a copy of your resume. But you need to provide the interviewer with a truly current copy, so make sure you update it. It also doesn't hurt if you demonstrate some confidence. Show 'em you know they're going to hire you. I'd suggest:
January 13, 2012: Interviewed with Tampa Bay Buccaneers for head coaching position.
January 17, 2012: Named head coach of Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
January 6, 2014: Terminated as head coach of Tampa Bay Buccaneers. LOLOLOLOL!!! JUST KIDDING, MR. GLAZER! NEXT STOP, SUPER BOWL!
4. Posture: Don't be contained by a chair. Walk around. Work the room. Gesticulate. Avoid eye contact; as I wrote above, your eyes can betray you, so keep your eyes on the ceiling or floor at all times. If the interviewer asks you to please look at him, don't. It's a trick. He'll lose respect for you if you do it. If you're going to cave to a simple request from some dude in a suit, how can they expect you to make the tough call when you've got a three-point lead with 1:45 left against the Saints and it's fourth down?
5. Phone Calls: Leave that ringer on. Should your phone ring during the interview, take the call. Should you get a text or e-mail during the interview, hold your hand up and immediately advise the interviewer that you need to read what's on your phone. This will show the decision-makers that you're a hot commodity who has the ability to multi-task. If you're worried about no one calling, texting, or e-mailing you during the interview, e-mail me your number. I'll blow that phone UP. We're in this to win it.
6. Flip The Script: It's a common misconception that the person who's interviewing for the job should be the one answering the questions. You're interviewing them just as much as they're interviewing you, so don't get pigeon-holed. Ask questions. You've got a lot on your plate right now with the Texans readying for that divisional playoff game in Baltimore on Sunday, so I took the liberty of preparing a few inquiries for you to ask the guys interviewing you. Feel free to use all of 'em:
a. When you signed Albert Haynesworth, did you do it because you were under the influence of massive amounts of narcotics or simply because you're an awful person who lacks any semblance of a soul or moral compass?
b. LeGarrette Blount gives us a puncher's chance, doesn't he? Get it? Puncher's chance? I've got a million of 'em! No, seriously, Blount should be in jail. Why is he on the team?
c. What happened to Josh Freeman this year? He looked so good as a rookie, and then BOOM, the bottom fell out. I hope you guys aren't expecting me to fix Freeman. I'm a defensive guy. That's really more of an offensive issue.
d. Is Kellen Winslow as unlikable as he seems on TV? Because, man, I wish LeGarrette would hit him. Golly, that's it! Now, I know why you've got Blount on the team! You boys sure are sharp!
e. I bet Aqib Talib knows all the best firing ranges in town. Can you give me his number? Or the number of his gunsmith?
f. A lot of the so-called "experts" (note: Make sure to do the air quotes when you say experts) think the Bucs lacked discipline last year. I think those people are idiots. I say we go the other way. Less rules. As long as you show up on Sundays, the rest is negotiable. I learned that at my last head-coaching stop. Whaddya think about that?
7. Play To Your Strengths: Even with you bombarding the Bucs with questions, they're still liable to slide a few in there. And some of those questions may be tough or make you uncomfortable. They may bring up your 1-5 record as a head coach in the playoffs. They may talk about how poorly your run in Dallas ended. They may ask how you, a man with a reputation as a players' coach, are the right man for the job after a similar style seemed to fail with Raheem Morris. They may ask about your health. If they ask about any of these things, respond the same way. With a stone face and complete silence.
People don't know how to deal with that hammer. They'll wait for a bit, expecting you to answer. They might repeat themselves a time or two. They might ask if you heard the question. They might ask if you're okay. Hold steady. Not a word. Eventually, the interviewer will be overcome by the awkwardness of the moment, and they'll ask you a question that you don't mind answering (e.g., "How's your dad?" or "What would you like for lunch?"). At that point, you've taken the power back. You own the room. It's your world, and they're just living in it.
Follow these guidelines, and things will go exactly as they're supposed to go tomorrow. If you've got any suggested interview tactics for Wade, kindly enlighten him (and the rest of us) in the Comments below.