coach in 1976 for the Houston Oilers.
That's when Hess really got to know Bum and Wade. The Oilers were training in San Angelo when he was the head coach at Angelo State.
"I like to call it the Texas method," Hess said of the simple way Wade operates. "He just uses a common sense approach to things. I just think Wade's group of people and Bum's group of people, they just fit things to common sense."
So that was no deadpanning or charade during Thursday's news conference when Wade reduced his defensive philosophy to basically putting the players in the best positions to succeed. Nor was his offensive philosophy, that stuff about getting the ball into the hands of his best players.
Sounded too simple, right, as if he was hiding something or didn't know enough?
Not so, says Hess. That's Wade.
He remembers when Wade first went to the Oilers, and they had the mammoth (in those days) Curly Culp to play nose tackle when the Phillipses introduced the 3-4 defense to the NFL. He was massive by that decade's standards, so Culp would just line up on the center and go to it.
But later on, Hess says he remembers Kenny Kennard playing nose tackle. He was smaller. He was a totally different player. So the Phillips guys adjusted, slanting him more to utilize his speed.
Just good, ol' common sense, and Hess insists Wade will figure out how to get the most out of Roy Williams.
Don't, though, get the idea because of this simple approach to football, or because he's rather understated or likes to fire off one-liners, that Wade Phillips is a soft guy. That players can take advantage of him.
"He's not going to get bullied," Hess said.
And that includes by the owner, although Hess says that in his eight years with the Cowboys no head coach who cared to put in his two cents and was willing to suffer the consequences if that made no sense in the end ever got bullied by Jones.
Now take all this for what it's worth, since you know Hess is a big Wade Phillips fan, and know, he wasn't a big Parcells fan, and probably one of the reasons he retired after Parcells' second season. And don't think Jim is angling to get back in the business, saying all these nice things about Wade to ingratiate himself.
"I've written my last report," Hess said.
But when it comes to football people from the state of Texas, these guys like Jim respect Wade Phillips, and they don't seem to get caught up in the numbers as much as some fans or media do. Although, remember Phillips' raw head coaching numbers say he's 45-35, with only one losing season in his five full years as head coach.
"I just don't think you could find a better fit," Hess said of Phillips becoming the seventh head coach in Cowboys history. "This cat's different now, as far as to work with, and he will listen."
Thanks man, drive safely. Come see us.