Why did Wade Phillips pull out of Bucs' coaching search?
Texans defensive coordinator Wade Phillips informed the Bucs tonight that he would not go through with the interview for Tampa Bay's head coaching post originally scheduled for Friday afternoon.
By taking his name out of consideration, Phillips said he would be better positioned to focus on the Texans' weekend matchup with the Ravens in the AFC divisional playoffs, avoiding even the appearance of a distraction.
But it's fair to ask whether Phillips' reasons are more complex.
The obvious question here: Did Phillips sense he was not a primary candidate for this job? That could well be the case. No one around the NFL seemed convinced Phillips was the clubhouse leader for Tampa Bay, even though he's certainly qualified. For one, the other coaches who have met with the Bucs to this point are seen as stern disciplinarians, something the Bucs seem to be seeking given their gross lack of discipline and youthful roster. Phillips is seen as someone who ran a bit of a loose operation when he coached the Cowboys, who fired him midway through the 2010 season.
The notion that Phillips did not have an inside track at landing the job is being espoused elsewhere, too, including by Sports Illustrated's Peter King.
So, what happens now? Well, the Bucs haven't ruled out additional interviews over the weekend, though we don't know the identities of any remaining candidates beyond the four who have already interviewed. The Bucs also are believed to be eyeing potential candidates who work for some of the eight teams remaining in the playoffs, who they might opt to speak with, too.
So, stay tuned in the coming days because this process is not over.