Wade Phillips on Bucs' radar

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Houston Texans defensive coordinator Wade Phillips is on the radar for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as they search for a head coach, ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported.

I’d heard some rumblings on this last week and Phillips was the guy I was referring to Friday when I was talking with ESPN Tampa Bay Radio’s “The Fabulous Sports Babe’’ and said there was one potential candidate who could raise some eyebrows.

That’s because Phillips had seemed to be a forgotten man as people talked about candidates for the Tampa Bay job and other openings around the league. Phillips has had some success as a head coach and has done a remarkable job with Houston’s defense this season.

You could make the case that Phillips is the “hottest’’ name we’ve heard so far in Tampa Bay’s search. We know the Bucs have interviewed Mike Sherman and Jerry Gray. Phillips has had more recent NFL experience and success than Sherman and Gray never has been an NFL head coach.

Mortensen also reported that the Bucs have interest in Cincinnati defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer and former NFL coach Marty Schottenheimer.

But age could work against Phillips, 64, and Schottenheimer, 68. But the Bucs do appear intent on going in a different direction after firing Raheem's Morris, whose age and maturity became issues as the Bucs went on a 10-game losing streak to end the season.