HOUSTON -- Wade Phillips doesn't expect to be a head coach again, and that's fine. He's happy to finally be working close to where he grew up.
Phillips was hired last week, two days after Kubiak fired defensive coordinator Frank Bush, secondary coach David Gibbs, linebackers coach Johnny Holland and assistant linebackers coach Robert Saleh.
Kubiak said rounding out the new staff could "take some time," because some of the targets are working for other teams. He has asked teams for permission to speak to some coaches, but he wouldn't disclose names.
The Texans (6-10) lost eight of their last 10 games, mostly because of a defense that ranked 30th overall and last against the pass.
Phillips, 63, was fired as the head coach in Dallas after the Cowboys started 1-7. His career record is 83-64, but Phillips isn't anticipating any more head-coaching offers coming his way.
"It's perception, sometimes, more than reality," Phillips said. "I've won a lot of games in this league and I have a really high winning percentage. I don't see me being a head coach again, because of the perception overall.
"When you get fired, it's usually, 'Hey, he was fired because he can't win,'" Phillips said. "It wasn't 'cause I couldn't win. I couldn't win enough."
Phillips was born in Orange, about 110 miles from Houston, played linebacker at the University of Houston and made his NFL coaching debut in 1976 with the Oilers, working as an assistant for his father, Bum.
Phillips worked for seven different teams from 1981 to 2010 and jumped at the chance to live near his parents again and work with Kubiak, a longtime friend of the family.
"Houston is special to me," Phillips said. "My first NFL coaching job was here. At that time, when we were in the playoffs every year and going to the AFC championship. I thought I was a great coach and that we'd be here the whole time. It didn't work out that way. I went 360 (degrees) and came back and ended right where I wanted to be. And that's here."
Phillips said he'll implement a 3-4 defensive front, a change from the 4-3 that the Texans had played. Phillips has been a defensive coordinator for 20 seasons, and at his last five stops, the team made the playoffs in his first year.
"I've been successful in playing a 3-4 for a long time," Phillips said. "I've gone into situations where they've played a 4-3 before, and we've been successful very quickly."
Kubiak didn't seem concerned about the switch, which has caused some buzz among his players.
"Is it a big change? It sounds like it," Kubiak said. "But I think when you start talking about the way he plays his 3-4, it's reduced a lot of times, which is a four-man front, so there is a lot of carry-over there."
Williams, the top overall pick in the 2006 draft, has 48 sacks in five seasons, and led Houston with 8.5 this season.
"When you have a great one, you try to utilize their ability," Phillips said. "I've had two of them who were, by far, better than any of the guys I coached before, or after. I hope to coach one here."
"Getting to know how smart they are, how quickly they learn things, what kind of strength they have and what weaknesses each player has, I still need to learn those things," Phillips said. "It's all part of the process."
"I have some money in my pocket," Phillips said, "but I want to keep it."
Kubiak said the Texans will "look at options" in free agency. First, he and Phillips have to finish their assessments of Houston's current personnel.
Phillips will coach in the East-West Shrine Classic in Orlando, Fla., next week.
Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press