Kubiak approves of Texans DC Phillips interviewing with Bucs

Associated Press
Published: Jan. 9, 2012 at 10:34 p.m.
Updated: Jan. 10, 2012 at 10:38 a.m.

HOUSTON -- Texans coach Gary Kubiak believes his players won't be distracted by defensive coordinator Wade Phillips' upcoming job interview as they prepare for this weekend's playoff game in Baltimore.

Kubiak confirmed reports Monday that Phillips will meet with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Friday to discuss their head-coaching position. The Bucs fired Raheem Morris a week ago after finishing 4-12.

Houston plays at Baltimore in an AFC Divisional Playoff Game on Sunday.

"There's obviously a window where they have to ask for permission to talk to your guys, and then you try to make it work within your normal schedule," Kubiak said. "There's nothing that will change about our schedule. We'll go through our normal week, and Wade will visit with them some time Friday evening, and so he'll still be working on Friday evening when everybody else is getting a little break.

"Nothing will change about what we do," Kubiak added. "I want everybody to understand that."

Phillips, 64, talked last week about his credentials as a head coach, though he added he was content in his current position. He's still recovering from kidney and gall bladder surgery in mid-December, but he still believes he should be considered for a top NFL job. His record as a head coach is 82-59.

The Texans are in the playoffs for the first time, largely because of Phillips' revamping of their defense, which ranked as one of the league's worst in 2010.

Fans called into Houston radio shows Monday, criticizing the Bucs for courting Phillips while the Texans still were playing in the postseason. But Kubiak said Tampa Bay's interest in Phillips is a testament to the job done by Houston's players and the rest of the defensive staff, including linebackers coach Reggie Herring, secondary coach Vance Joseph and defensive line coach Bill Kollar.

"We're proud of any opportunity any one of our coaches would get," Kubiak said. "It will not be a distraction. It's a compliment, and we'll get ready to go."