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.