As BFD FanShot'd earlier this evening, beloved defensive mastermind Wade Phillips elected to withdraw from consideration for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' coaching search. The initial reaction from Texans fans was, predictably, elation. This season has been memorable for so many reasons, and Wade's transformation of the Houston defense from laughingstock to juggernaut is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, reason(s) why. We love Wade, and I don't think there's a Texans fan anywhere who's not ecstatic that he's staying.
After the initial joy, some fans began questioning why Wade would pull his name out of the head coaching race in Tampa. Was it because the Bucs had already settled on their choice, and Wade didn't want to waste his time? Was it because Wade preferred one of the other head coaching vacancies? Was it because Bob McNair made Wade an offer he couldn't refuse? Was it health related?
According to Wade, through Mark Berman, the answer to all of those questions is no.
"I want to be here, that's what it really came down to," Phillips said. "I didn't want to be a distraction whatsoever, whether that was perceived or not.
"People talking about you interviewing on your day off and all that stuff. If you don't do well, always people are going to say that was a distraction. I sure don't want to be a distraction for this team at this time. That was part of it too."
Phillips acknowledged that withdrawing from consideration for the Buccaneers' job was a hard decision."Yea, a little a bit because I certainly have ambitions," Phillips said. "You have to do what's best for you and your family and that's what I feel like I'm doing."
So what do we take from all this? First, let's acknowledge that at no point did Wade say that he no longer wanted to be a head coach again. He simply said he wanted to be in Houston, didn't want to be a distraction, and wanted to do what was best for his family. Now, it's entirely possible that his family let it be known they were happy in Houston and that motivated his decision to withdraw from consideration (if so, any Texans fan worth his salt had better buy any Phillips a drink if the opportunity presents itself). It's also entirely possible that Bob McNair has let Wade or his agent know that the outstanding work Wade has done this season will be rewarded.
We're not likely to ever know what brought about Wade's change of heart, and it's possible that he entertains throwing his hat back into the head coaching ring at some point. Maybe even later this offseason (though I don't think it's likely).
Right now, with Wade readying his defense to play the Ravens with a spot in the AFC Championship Game on the line, who cares? Wade Phillips is still a Texan. That's cause for celebration.Texans vs Ravens coverage