March 22, 2018

Wade Phillips Making Changes to the Texans Staff

This week is the start where interim Head Coach Wade Phillips gets his opportunity to impress Owner Bob McNair over the next three weeks. Phillips takes over a 2-11 Houston Texans team struggling to find a win, and it will mark the third time in his coaching career that he will be given the interim tag.

Phillips is not scared of making changes and has already started shifting around his staff.

Special Teams Change

As we know, long time special teams coach Joe Marciano was fired shortly after Gary Kubiak was let go and Bob Ligashesky was named the special teams coach for the remainder of the season.

We started that today as a matter of fact. He’s (Bob Ligashesky) got some different ideas. When you get new coaches in, you’re going to get different ideas. We’ve got some different ways of doing things, different ideas.



 Offensive Changes for Phillips

“… Rick Dennison will still be in the booth. We’re going to bring Dan Hammer (Hammerschmidt) down on the field and the play calling will go Rick through Karl (Dorrell). And then Karl will also have some input as far as more of the passing game than the running game. Of course, Karl’s in constant communication with the quarterback when the quarterback’s out of the game and obviously when he’s in the game, really.

This is a big one and even though Dennison will have the final call on the play, quarterback coach Karl Dorrell will have input on the passing game. There needs to be a new set of eyes on the field and letting Dorrell have some say will help the offense since he is talking to Case Keenum on the field after every offensive series.

Phillips said in his Monday press conference to the media that he needed to talk to Dennison about the play calling situation:

(on if offensive coordinator Rick Dennison will call the plays) “I’m going to meet him today and we’ll discuss all of that.”

Phillips has some things to iron out with Dennison before he would address the media again on the play calling situation. This comes as a little bit of surprise with Dennison not getting full control of the offense with Gary Kubiak gone.

With Dorrell now involved more with the offense, it will be interesting to watch on Sunday to see how much influence he has on the complexion of the game.


Defensive Changes for Phillips

“We’re going to proceed that way. Defensively, Vance Joseph will probably make the calls defensively with my help, obviously, overseeing him. Again, the running part of the defense, Reggie Herring will be involved in that. We’re going to collaborate more.”

When Phillips went down in 2011 with a kidney and gall bladder that required surgery to repair, the defense was left in the hands of linebacker coach Reggie Herring. Now Phillips has turned that duty over to secondary coach Vance Joseph (pictured above) to call the defense. Herring will have input, but Joseph is a young defensive mind that has a real future on being defensive coordinator in the NFL.

Joseph has a chance to bring some fresh ideas to the defense and help separate himself from a defense that has been getting exposed by offenses with similar game plans.

This is a big moment for Joseph and seeing what he can bring to the table for the Texans defense will be another interesting scenario to watch.

Wade Phillips is doing what he has to in order to win the last three games of the season.  If there is any turn around from the team, it could help his future here in Houston. His regular season record is 82-60 as an NFL head coach, and he could possibly get another chance here in Houston to do it again, if he can put together three strong games.

He has made it known that he wants to be a head coach again, and Phillips has already made some necessary moves that needed to be done a long time ago. He has started changing the Kubiak era at Reliant and working on that good impression for Bob McNair to notice. The team wants wins and if Phillips can produce them there is a chance that the “Phillips Era” could be right around the corner.


You can follow Patrick on Twitter. He is the Editor of State of the Texans.

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