The Herald Bulletin

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Pro Sports

December 11, 2013

Eye on the Opponent: Phillips would like to add to family's history in Houston

INDIANAPOLIS — Wade Phillips has been here before. Several times, in fact.

He first took over as an interim head coach in 1985, replacing his late father — Bum — for the final four games of a 5-11 season with the New Orleans Saints. Since then he's been the permanent head coach in Denver, Buffalo and Dallas and had another interim stint in Atlanta.

He's been a head coach — in some form or another — for 145 regular-season games in the NFL and has a career record of 82-63.

But this time is different.

Houston is home. It's where he grew up, where he went to college, where his father became synonymous with the old Oilers franchise and where he first caught the football bug.

Houston is where Wade Phillips' football life began. And, with his third stint as an interim coach beginning Sunday at Indianapolis, it could be where it ends.

Phillips would like to get the Texans' job on a full-time basis. He'd like to turnaround a disastrous season that has seen eight of 11 losses come by seven points or less, including the last six in a row.

He'd like to add another chapter to his family's long history with the city. But he'll have to start by ending a pair of 11-game losing streaks — Houston's current regular-season slide, and the franchise's all-time slump in road games against the Colts.

And he's well aware of the challenge ahead.

"It's obviously a nightmare," Phillips said of the state of the Texans' season. "It's been so many games and so close and just not being able to make one or two plays. It's not like we're getting beat by 20 points every game. So it's been very frustrating."

Nobody saw this coming.

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