Wade Phillips once wore Texans colors, and now he goes for another Super Bowl as a defensive coordinator.Photo by Marco Torres
So you're a Houston Texans fan, and for the seventeenth time in the history of your fandom, you're getting ready to watch a Super Bowl that doesn't include your favorite team participating. It's a shame, and hopefully, that will be remedied someday. With Deshaun Watson as your quarterback, your chances are closer than they've ever been.
In all likelihood, you'll still be watching the game on Sunday, though, if for no other reason than to root against the New England Patriots, of whom everybody outside of Boston claims to be suffering fatigue. (53.2 million viewers of the AFC championship game would seem to indicate otherwise, but I digress.) If you'e a Texans fan, and you're looking for angles that are relevant to the Texans this week, here are a few to ponder:
5. Deshaun Watson playing in the Pro Bowl
When a player is selected for the Pro Bowl, but his team makes the Super Bowl, then the league must find a Pro Bowl replacement for him. Obviously, once again, Tom Brady was selected but unable to take part in the Pro Bowl. Coincidentally, his replacement happened to be Deshaun Watson, who played roughly the final 20 minutes or so of the AFC's 26-7 win over the NFC. Thankfully, Watson survived a slippery field and a bunch of NFC offensive players trying to make her plays on defense, and escaped without a scratch. If you want an idea of how seriously guys were taking this game, here is Eric Ebron taking selfies ON THE FIELD:
4. Rams aggressive off-seasons as a template
The Houston Texans have two key positions that MUST get fixed this offseason — offensive tackle and cornerback. Well, it just so happens that the Los Angeles Rams were the most aggressive team the last two offseasons in fixing, first, tackle, and then cornerback. In free agency before the 2017 season, they gave a big contract to Andrew Whitworth, who's proven to be one of the best tackles in the league. Then this past offseason, they traded for their top two corners, Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib. Now, here they are in the Super Bowl. If you're looking for validation of aggressiveness in acquiring talent, it's the Rams.
3. Whatever happened to Stephen Anderson?
Remember him, Texan fans? He was the third tight end back in 2017, and the Texans were so enamored with his performance that they used not one, but two 2018 draft picks on tight ends. Not surprisingly, Anderson was cut in training camp, and yet, somehow he finds himself now a member of the New England Patriots, on the same depth chart as Rob Gronkowski with a chance to win a Super Bowl ring. Life is weird. If you're looking for a crazy former Texans player tie, though, consider the following....
2. Brian Hoyer, a heartbeat away
Yes, we are one bad step or one blow to the head of Tom Brady away from Brian Hoyer playing in a Super Bowl. He is Tom Brady's backup. If you don't remember, here are the highlights from Brian Hoyer's one postseason start....
Sorry, Texan fan... nobody needed to see that again. That's on me.
1. How can you not root for Wade Phillips?
Speaking of "that's on me," that was, of course, the battle cry of former Texans head coach Gary Kubiak. In his best seasons as Texans head coach, Kubiak's defensive coordinator was the wildly popular and super affable Wade Phillips. He is now the defensive coordinator for the Los Angeles Rams, and if you can't get behind Wade winning another Super Bowl ring — he won one as the DC for the Broncos in 2015 — then you hate pizza, ice cream, sex, and America, and you can go straight to football hell!
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Sean Pendergast is a contributing freelance writer who covers Houston area sports daily in the News section, with periodic columns and features, as well. He also hosts afternoon drive on SportsRadio 610, as well as the post game show for the Houston Texans.