On Monday, he gave his final press conference as the interim head coach.
“I don’t think everybody knows what happened, certainly,” Phillips said. “But we know the results and certainly they weren’t good. We had some individuals that did some really great things, speaking of Andre (Johnson) and J.J. (Watt) and people like that. We had some areas certainly that we played well, when you’re third in the league in pass defense and seventh overall. Offensively, through most of the season, we were in the top 10 in offense. These things are certainly perplexing, but that’s what happened and everybody’s got to move on to the next year and that’s what we’re going to do.”
The future is unknown for Phillips. He is now a candidate for the Texans head coaching job after three seasons as defensive coordinator and winning back-to-back division titles. On Monday, he reflected on his three years back in Houston.
“I’ve been real lucky there as a head coach and defensive coordinator,” Phillips said. “This was one of the best because it was home. I thought we could help.”
Phillips installed the 3-4 defensive scheme that yielded the third-largest single-year improvement since the AFL-NFL merger. The Texans defense, ranked 31st in 2010, finished second in the league in Phillips’ first year with just 285.7 yards allowed per game.
“I don’t rule anything out,” Phillips said. “I said before, if you say you want to be the defensive coordinator, they’ll bring somebody else in as the head coach. Everybody knows this is my home. It was great to come back here. It was a tremendous year, the past two years, were just great for me and being with my family at that time. I am thankful that I was here with my dad for those years because it was exciting to him too. We had some great times together.”
Phillips took over as interim head coach for Week 10 at Arizona while Gary Kubiak recovered from his mini-stroke. He was named the interim for the final three games of 2013 when Kubiak was let go. This season Phillips also dealt with the loss of his father, long-time Houston Oilers head coach Bum Phillips in October.