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A look at Wade Phillips’ track record

Posted by Nick Scurfield on January 4, 2011 – 12:19 pm

Both the Texans and Wade Phillips have expressed mutual interest about the team’s vacant defensive coordinator position. One of the primary requirements for the Texans in their coordinator search is experience, and Phillips has plenty of it.

Phillips, 63, has been a head coach in Dallas (2007-10), Buffalo (1998-2000) and Denver (1993-94) and an interim head coach in Atlanta (2003) and New Orleans (1985). He has been an NFL defensive coordinator for 22 seasons, during which time he coached nine top-10 defenses and 12 top-13 defenses.

Phillips is a 3-4 coach by trade. According to wadephillips.net, the last seven times Phillips has taken over as a head coach or defensive coordinator, his new team has reached the playoffs in his first season. Only once in those seven transitions has Phillips taken over a club that was coming off a winning record.

Here’s a complete listing of Phillips’ 22 seasons as a defensive coordinator. Each team is listed with its overall defensive ranking (team record in parentheses). An * indicates a playoff appearance that season:

2010 Dallas Cowboys: 23rd (6-10) [Coached first half of season]
2009 Dallas Cowboys: 9th (11-5*)
2006 San Diego Chargers: 10th (14-2*)
2005 San Diego Chargers: 13th (9-7)
2004 San Diego Chargers: 18th (12-4*)
2003 Atlanta Falcons: 32nd (5-11)
2002 Atlanta Falcons: 19th (9-6-1*)
1997 Buffalo Bills: 9th (6-10)
1996 Buffalo Bills: 9th (10-6*)
1995 Buffalo Bills: 13th (10-6*)
1992 Denver Broncos: 22nd (8-8)
1991 Denver Broncos: 5th (12-4*)
1990 Denver Broncos: 20th (5-11)
1989 Denver Broncos: 3rd (11-5*)
1988 Philadelphia Eagles: 27th (10-6*)
1987 Philadelphia Eagles: 23rd (7-8)
1986 Philadelphia Eagles: 17th (5-10-1)
1985 New Orleans Saints: 24th (5-11)
1984 New Orleans Saints: 4th (7-9)
1983 New Orleans Saints: 2nd (8-8)
1982 New Orleans Saints: 5th (4-5)
1981 New Orleans Saints: 11th (4-12)


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Posted in Nick Scurfield | 4 Comments »


4 Responses to “A look at Wade Phillips’ track record”

  1. By steve on Jan 5, 2011 | Reply

    Well golly gee, isnt that swell. We hired another softy to turn around are soft defense. What a friggin joke our Texans have become. Boy I bet our players will pay for getting off to slow starts err not finishing games. Talk about scaring them straight. Mr. McNair just doesnt get it. We keep a head coach whose players don’t ever play 4 quarters for cuz he is a nice guy. Then, to solve our problems on defense we hire a guy who if it is at all possible is even more of a softy. Wade Phillips is a great man but you can not think for one minute the combination of these two nice guys is gonna push us over the top. McNair found him to be such a nice guy that he didnt even have to interview anyone else for the job. I am now completely amazed at the decision making going on at the top of this organization.

  2. By Jim on Jan 11, 2011 | Reply

    Well im just undecided, as a huge Texans fan and the dislike of the Cowboys i dont like the move, but all i can say is lets hope for some secondary changes and whatever else it would take to make this defense work, im sick of watching are defense give up such huge leads, we could be up by 24 pts with 1min 30sec left in the game and you know the defense can blow it. The one big thing that i am looking for since he was injured during pre-season is Holliday now that will be fun to watch, he will definantly run back a couple returns if he stays healthy cant wait for next season and if we dont make it atleast 2 rounds into the playoffs all coaches should be fired

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