EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Getting fined for being late to meetings is part of life for NFL players. You either show up promptly or you pay.
Wade Phillips — the coordinator of the Houston Texans' No. 1-rated NFL defense — looks at things a little differently though. This week, just days before his team's biggest showcase of the early season, Phillips fined himself for keeping the players later than scheduled in one meeting.
"The man fined himself. Players love that. You just don't see coaches doing that. It shows we're all in this together."
"Normally, it's about players coming in late being fined," Texans safety Danieal Manning tells CultureMap. "But in this case, Wade stood up there and was like, 'I kept you guys a little longer than I was supposed to. Fine me.'
"The man fined himself. Players love that. You just don't see coaches doing that. It shows we're all in this together. We're all accountable to each other. It sounds like a little thing, but I can tell you it got everyone on the defense a little more pumped up to prepare even harder.
"That's a coach who gets it. Wade's so cool."
The 65-year-old Phillips' self fine came with the 4-0 Texans preparing to play the New York Jets on Monday Night Football. Texans head coach Gary Kubiak talked all week about how the Jets may be the most difficult team to prepare for in the league because of all the different things they do on offense and defense. Wade's Bulls On Parade had to get ready for not only Mark Sanchez, but the very real possibility of an increased role for Tim Tebow.
So how does Phillips react?
He destroys any tension by fining himself for keeping his players longer than usual. Everyone gets the extra work needed done — and leaves laughing.
"We've got a lot of self-motivated guys on this defense," Manning says. "But Wade makes you want to do even more."