The Houston Oilers named defensive coordinator Ed Biles yesterday to replace O.A. (Bum) Phillips, the head coach who was fired Wednesday.
Phillips was discharged by owner Bud Adams, who blamed Phillips' refusal to hire an offensive coordinator.
Biles, assistant to Phillips in his six years at Houston, said yesterday he intended to hire an offensive coordinator, but would make no quick decision on that position.
Ted Marchibroda, former head coach of the Baltimore Colts who had been reported under consideration for the job, said that Biles telephoned him here yesterday.
"I want to think for a few weeks about what I am going to do next," Marchibroda said. "I want to keep my options open."
Marchibroda said he would like a head coaching job. "I didn't talk to the Oilers about the head coaching vacancy. I want to stay low key and see what takes place," he added, referring to other franchises where there are or might be openings.
He has had several offers to become an assistant coach, but indicated he is not particularly interested in that level as yet.
He probably would have to take a cut in pay to accept a job with the Oilers. He has two years to go on a contract calling for $150,000 annually from the Colts. Although Phillips had been head coach with the Oilers for six years, his salary was estimated between $120,000 and $150,000 a year.
The New Orleans Saints are interviewing candidates to replace Dick Nolan, who was fired last month as head coach, and the Green Bay Packers are in the market for a general manager since that function was taken away from Coach Bart Starr.
The Redskins' staff is awaiting a decision from Jack Kent Cooke, chief operating officer, on the status of Coach Jack Pardee and Bobby Beathard, the general manager.
Biles, 49, said of his contract as head coach: "It is long enough for me to get the job done and the annual salary was at least $100,000."
The Oilers acted quickly in naming Biles, it was believed, in hopes of retaining Philips' assistants. But several of them have indicated that if Phillips gets another head coaching job they would follow him. He has been reported as a prime candidate for the job in New Orleans.
Oiler General Manager Ladd Herzeg indicated that only Biles was interviewed to replace Phillips.
Owner Adams said at a news conference: "Bum's done a great job making us a contender and a solid playoff team. I agonized and had two sleepless nights over this decision." He added that all the team needed to be a Super Bowl participant next season was a "new game plan."
Biles said: "I don't tink we will be a set, two-tight end, Earl Campbell offense anymore. There will be a place for that, but we will be more balanced."
Phillips led the Oilers to the playoffs the last three seasons. The Oilers finished second in the American Football Conference in total offense, but had the lowest scoring average of the teams that made the playoffs.
"Discipline on our team wasn't a major problem," Biles said. "There are no major problems. It's just a situation where a few minor adjustments have to be made."
Others familiar with the operation said that Phillips was dismissed because he didn't produce after being permitted to make costly trades for Ken Stabler, Dave Casper, Leon Gray and Jack Tatum.
Supporters of Phillips contend he had to make trades to upgrade the team because the budget for scouting collegians has been skimpy since Sid Gillman built the club that Phillips inherited.
Phillips wasn't bitter. "Instead of talking about the last six years, look forward to the next six," he said. "I just got fired; I didn't die. I an a survivor and I'll land on my feet. If I told somebody working for me to do something (hire an offensive coordinator) and they didn't, I fire him right there. I know you don't believe this, but Bud Adams did everything I asked him to do. He gave me the football to run with; I guess I didn't run far enough."