Wade Phillips spent the better part five decades as an NFL coach, and largely as a beloved figure.
But Phillips, 73, the son of another beloved NFL (and Houston) figure in the late Bum Phillips, is not presently feeling much pro football love in return.
“I feel like I could help somebody,” Phillips told the Buffalo News on his desire to return to the NFL. “But they’ve got to feel that way, too. ... Whether they’ll consider me to help, I don’t know that. So, we’ll have to wait and see.”
Given the fact that Phillips now follows the NFL the way most of the rest of us do - on TV - he seems to already have his answer.
“I’ve got the NFL Sunday Ticket, on DirecTV, so sometimes I can see six and eight games at a time,” Phillips said. “Sometimes, I flip over to the Red Zone. Sometimes, I stay on the game I would like to watch more of. Or, if it’s coming down close to halftime or something like that and I want to see a certain game, I’ll watch that. But mostly, I flip around.”
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Phillips recently used social media - his Twitter account (@sonofbum) has 185,000-plus followers - to offer his services as a football consultant, and it seems he was overwhelmed with requests at the high school and college level.
“I got swamped,” said Phillips, who lives in the Houston area with wife Laurie and has a vested interest in following the career of his son, Wes, who is in charge of tight ends with the Rams. “It occupied me for at least a month and a half, almost all day, every day.”
It's not quite the same as coaching in a Super Bowl; Phillips was the defensive coordinator of the Denver Broncos when they won in 2015. But Wade says he harbors no bitterness.
"It’s not frustrating to me,'' he said. "I enjoy it. I enjoy the games. That's why I love coaching. I enjoy, obviously, being in them, but also watching the games. I’m not that kind of person that gets too frustrated or bitter about not being a part of it. I’ve been around so long, I love football and I’d be watching football, no matter if I’d retired myself or not.''