The Los Angeles Rams had a disappointing post-Super Bowl season, and that has inevitably led to a coaching shakeup. Gary Klein of the Los Angeles Times reported that defensive coordinator Wade Phillips will not be retained for next season, which Phillips confirmed on his own Twitter account.
I have been informed by the Rams that my contract will not be renewed.
I want to thank them for the opportunity to be a part of their success the last 3years. Most of all I want to thank the players who I loved workings with. I still want to coach and feel I can contribute.
— Wade Phillips (@sonofbum) January 6, 2020
Phillips, 72, joined the Rams in 2017 as part of head coach Sean McVay’s staff. McVay was just 30 at the time and had experience as the offensive coordinator for the Washington Redskins, but had never been a head coach. McVay handed the defensive keys over to the more-experienced Phillips and the move paid off in a big way. The Rams made it to the wild-card game in 2017, and then all the way to the Super Bowl in 2018.
With the Rams’ struggles in 2019, it makes sense that McVay and GM Les Snead would want to make a change or two. A 9-7 record might be good enough to win the NFC East, but it’s a huge comedown for a team that was so successful just a year ago.
The Rams are Phillips’ 10th NFL team, and he’s had a heckuva career. He started with the Houston Oilers in 1976 when his father was the head coach, and has been steadily employed in football ever since. He’s been the defensive coordinator for eight different teams and had head coaching jobs with the Denver Broncos, Buffalo Bills, and Dallas Cowboys — and that doesn’t count his three stints as an interim head coach.
As Phillips said in his tweet, he’s not done. He still wants to coach. McVay has talked about him in glowing terms in the past, which will only help his résumé despite the end of his Rams tenure.
“He’s always had a great perspective based on his experience, whether it be as a head coach or as a coordinator,” McVay told the OC Register in late December. “But it’s never pushed on you. He’s always willing to share. [Players] love him. He’s got a consistency that you can’t help but appreciate.”
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