Knapp has college football experience as the running backs coach, wide receivers coach and offensive coordinator for the Sacramento State Hornets from 1986 to 1994 before moving on to the NFL. He's been the offensive coordinator of four NFL teams, the 49ers, Falcons, Raiders and Seahawks, before being hired as the quarterback coach for the Texans before the 2010 season.
In 2011, Knapp helped coach rookie T.J. Yates, who was the team's starting quarterback after Week 12 thanks to season-ending injuries to both Matt Schaub and Matt Leinart, to four wins, including the team's first playoff victory in franchise history.
The local reaction towards Houston Texans' defensive coordinator Wade Phillips' decision to stay put and not even interview with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as previously planned for their head coaching vacancy has been met with predictably overwhelming enthusiasm.
The gang at Battle Red Blog is willing to not question what drove Phillips' sudden change of heart, nor deny that Phillips could still move to another head coaching gig down the road, but not this week, and not while Houston prepares for Baltimore:
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.
The move also dovetails nicely with the Texans' franchise-first postseason run, which already includes a Wild Card round win at home. Considering Phillips' resurrected the Texans defense from one of the league's worst to one of its best in just one year (switching to Phillips' preferred 3-4 scheme), fans are starting to anticipate more playoff appearances to come.
Wade Phillips will not be the next head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, although he'll never find out if he could have taken the reigns of a NFL team for a sixth time. The Houston Texans' defensive coordinator withdrew himself from consideration on Thursday and cancelled an interview with the Buccaneers' organization scheduled for Friday.
After debate among fans and media if the previously scheduled interview was a distraction or even an insult to the Texans organization as they prepare to face Baltimore in their first-ever AFC Divisional Playoff game, Phillips decided to nix the process altogether (quotes courtesy of the Houston Chronicle):
"I explained my reasons to Mark, and he understood," Phillips said. "The timing just wasn’t right. The truth is I love it here. I love coaching for the Texans. We’ve got something magical going, and we want to keep it going."
"I didn’t want to be a distraction, or a perceived distraction," Phillips said. "Even though I would have been doing it (interview) on Friday night on my own time, I know some would have blamed me if we didn’t do well and I had interviewed for the job. At some point, you have to decide what you want to do, and I just decided that it’s important for me to be here right now."
Among Phillips' successes in just one year with Houston was improving the team's overall defensive ranking from 30th to second in the NFL.
For more on the Houston Texans, visit Battle Red Blog. For more on the NFL and this weekend's Playoff match-ups, check out SB Nation's NFL page.
John McClain of the Houston Chronicle breaks down the timeline - and emphasizes the necessity - for Houston Texans defensive coordinator Wade Phillips to interview with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for their open head coaching job in the midst of Houston's preparations to play at Baltimore in the AFC Divisional Round Sunday.
McClain emphasizes "there's no way Philips could tell the Bucs no" to an interview this week and possibly postpone any distraction to the Texans. Further, he defends the process as a moot point in terms of game prep:
The game plan will be fully installed by Thursday. Friday is a light practice. Phillips is going to interview here. It’s not going to have an impact on the players. They’re grown men. What’s going to have an impact on the players is a Baltimore depth chart with Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Haloti Ngata, Ray Rice and Terrell Suggs.
Also defending Phillips is Texans head coach Gary Kubiak, who stated publicly this week that the interview would "not be a distraction" to the Texans as they prepared for Baltimore. Kubiak's comments came after the media informed him that fans were upset with Phillips for the move:
"I think it’s a huge compliment," Kubiak said. "We all know Wade’s track record and the job that he’s done. That’s not a surprise at all that somebody would want to visit with him about the head coaching job."
Phillips has been a head coach for three different teams, including the Dallas Cowboys most recently. McClain defended Phillips' move with the evidence of his work after just one season in Houston - the Texans became one of the league's top defenses in Phillips' 3-4 scheme:
If he gets the job, Texans fans should wish Phillips well because of the tremendous impact he’s made on the team this season. If he doesn’t get the job, well, that’s bad for him but good for the Texans.
Texans defensive coordinator may get his sixth shot as a head coach as he has been recognized for his success in running the Texans defense. Phillips will interview with the Bucs this Friday for their head coach opening.