As XFL’s opening weeks ramp up, the popular topic of conversation is NFL talent. Who has the most NFL talent? Who is the next P.J. Walker, who eventually went on to throw for 731 yards and 3 TDs for the Panthers, or Taylor Heinicke who threw for 1,859 yards and 12 TDs for the Commanders?
However, is a player even the most important asset the XFL has? Or is it possible that it could be the person developing the talent and not the talent itself? One could argue that Houston Roughnecks’ Wade Phillips is the biggest asset to the XFL.
Wade Phillips brings a wealth of knowledge to the XFL. Son of legendary Houston Oilers coach, Bum Phillips, this local Port Neches-Grove graduate has won at the highest level. Phillips was the defensive coordinator for the Denver Broncos when they won Super Bowl 50, 24-10, over the Carolina Panthers.
He was also the NFL’s Assistant Coach of the Year in 2015. Coach Phillips previously coached the Broncos (93-94), the Bills (95-97), and the Cowboys (07-10). He has won 82 games as a professional coach in the NFL. This experience is proving to be valuable in the XFL with the Roughnecks.
Phillips is in the XFL and has his Roughnecks 1-0 by defeating the Orlando Guardians at TDECU stadium 33-12 in front of 12,784 fans. This is Coach Phillips’ first win as a head coach. Now he is back in the coaching saddle continuing right where he left off in the NFL, developing the talent he has and winning football games.
The Roughnecks do not have some of the bigger names in ex-NFL talent that the other teams have. But that did not seem to matter Saturday night. His Roughnecks scored on 4 straight possessions offensively. Defensively, they shut the Guardians down after the first drive of the game went for 6. The Roughnecks outscored the Guardians 33-6 after the first drive of the game.
So, can Coach Phillips continue to develop his talent into NFL future players? Will he remain undefeated and keep winning games? Only time will tell. The question will continue to get answered in week two as the 1-0 Roughnecks welcome the 1-0 Renegades from Arlington on Sunday night at home.