Wade Phillips

Wade Phillips Waiting For Next NFL Opportunity

When the Rams parted ways with defensive coordinator Wade Phillips, we expected the veteran coach to garner tons of interest from teams. Apparently, that hasn’t been the case. Phillips says that he has been hanging on the telephone to no avail. 

I just want to be able to help somebody win,” Phillips told Albert Breer of The MMQB.

Phillips, 72, spoke with new Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski about a position on his staff, but a deal never came together. At this point, Phillips may be looking at his first year outside of the NFL since 2014. Most in their 70s would be content in retirement, but that’s not the case for Phillips, who began his pro coaching career all the way back in 1976.

In 2019, Phillips’ Rams D allowed 22.8 points per game and 339.6 yards per contest, putting them in the middle of the NFL pack in both categories. It wasn’t his finest year, but Phillips has guided some elite defenses over the years. Before he linked up with Sean McVay, Phillips oversaw the Broncos’ vaunted “No Fly Zone” secondary and helped the franchise capture a Super Bowl ring in 2015. Despite last season’s hiccups – including the surrender of 44 points to the Cowboys in December – Phillips remains a beloved and well-respected figure in the NFL.

For now, Phillips and his wife are still in California. If he doesn’t land a job for this upcoming season, they’ll relocate back to their permanent home in Houston.

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Browns Hire Chad O’Shea As WR Coach; Latest On OC/DC Search

The Browns have hired former Dolphins OC Chad O’Shea as their new WR coach and passing game coordinator, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports. O’Shea lasted one year in Miami and drew some criticism for installing an overly complex offense, and he was recently fired in favor of spread offense guru Chan Gailey.

But despite the talent limitations on Miami’s offense, the team did perform reasonably well down the stretch and actually ranked in the top-10 in passing offense and top-15 in scoring offense after Ryan Fitzpatrick reentered the starting lineup in Week 7. As such, O’Shea’s dismissal came as something of a surprise, though recent reports indicated that, while he is an excellent receivers coach, he is not a great coordinator.

O’Shea spent 10 years as the Patriots’ WR coach, so he comes to Cleveland with plenty of experience. He will also have a great deal of talent to work with, and he will be tasked with continuing to get the most out of Jarvis Landry while also helping Odell Beckham Jr. return to prominence. As passing game coordinator, he will also help develop game plans for Baker Mayfield, who struggled in his sophomore campaign but who still has plenty of potential.

As for the Browns’ vacant offensive coordinator post, Rapoport says the team has interest in 49ers passing game coordinator Mike LaFleur and run game coordinator Mike McDaniel. Cleveland had some interest in both men for their head coaching post but never requested interviews with them. The Browns may not request OC interviews either, because San Francisco is unlikely to grant such requests. The Browns may also go without an official OC given new head coach Kevin Stefanski‘s offensive prowess.

Unlike LaFleur and McDaniel, 49ers passing game coordinator/defensive backs coach Joe Woods is not under contract through 2020, so he can join the Browns if he so chooses. We recently heard that Cleveland had narrowed its defensive coordinator search to Woods and incumbent Steve Wilks, though Rapoport says Wade Phillips remains a possibility as well.

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Browns Eyeing George Edwards, Wade Phillips For DC?

The Browns got their new head coach by hiring former Vikings OC Kevin Stefanski away from Minnesota, and they may not be finished raiding the Vikings’ staff. There have been rumblings that Gary Kubiak and/or Klint Kubiak could join Stefanski in Cleveland, and Vikings DC George Edwards could do the same.

We heard on Sunday that Edwards is unlikely to return to Minnesota in 2020, and Ben Goessling of the Star Tribune says a Stefanski-Edwards reunion could happen in Ohio (Twitter link). Courtney Cronin of ESPN.com says Edwards wants to go somewhere he can call plays, which he cannot do with the Vikings since head coach Mike Zimmer handles those responsibilities (Twitter link).

Edwards, 52, has been in the NFL in some capacity every season since 1998. He was the Redskins’ defensive coordinator in 2003, the Bills’ from 2010-11, and he has been the Vikings’ DC since 2014. He’s also served as a positional coach with several different clubs, including the Browns in 2004.

In addition to Edwards, the Browns may also be interested in Wade Phillips, per Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com. We recently heard that Phillips, 72, would not be returning to the Rams in 2020, but his vast experience could be appealing to Stefanski, just as it was to Sean McVay when he became a first-time head coach in 2017.

In 2019, the Rams allowed 22.8 points per game and 339.6 yards per contest, putting them in the middle of the pack in both categories. But Phillips, who has plenty of head coaching experience in addition to his years as a defensive coordinator with multiple clubs, remains a respected defensive mind and would command the type of respect that Cleveland’s locker room could use.

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Rams To Move On From DC Wade Phillips

Wade Phillips won’t return as the Rams’ defensive coordinator in 2020. On Monday, Phillips announced that he’s leaving Los Angeles. 

I have been informed by the Rams that my contract will not be renewed,” Phillips wrote. “I want to thank them for the opportunity to be a part of their success the last three years. Most of all I want to thank the players who I loved workings with. I still want to coach and feel I can contribute.”

Phillips, 72, was a part of head coach Sean McVay’s inaugural staff. He’s been in the NFL since 1976 and even though he has done it all and captured a Super Bowl ring, he has no desire to retire. Given his resume, there’s little doubt that Phillips will be able to hook on elsewhere as a defensive coordinator, even though things did not go according to plan for his Rams defense in 2019.

In 2019, the Rams allowed 22.8 points per game and 339.6 yards per contest, putting them in the middle of the pack in both categories. Still, he didn’t get as much help from the offense as he would have liked – McVay’s much-ballyhooed offense put up just 24.6 points per contest.

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West Notes: Rams, Phillips, Suggs, Carr

The Rams have obviously been having a disappointing season, as they enter the final two weeks of the season with their playoff chances hanging by a thread the year after making a Super Bowl run. Anytime a team fails to meet expectations there’s the possibility for major changes, and it sounds like that could be the case in Los Angeles. Wade Phillips might be nearing the end of his time with the team, as Alex Marvez of Sirius XM NFL Radio tweets that he’s “hearing there’s a chance” Phillips doesn’t return for the 2020 season. Phillips, 72, has been the Rams’ defensive coordinator for the past three seasons, and was part of head coach Sean McVay’s inaugural staff.

The former Cowboys head coach has been coaching in the league since all the way back in 1976. Before joining forces with McVay he was the defensive coordinator in Denver, overseeing their vaunted ‘No Fly Zone’ secondary which won a Super Bowl in 2015. Marvez adds that Phillips is in the final year of his contract, and that if he were to depart then linebackers coach Joe Barry would be a “strong replacement candidate.” The Rams’ defense has had some notable meltdowns this season, like when they gave up 44 points to the Cowboys last week or 45 to the Ravens a month back, but they’ve also played quite well at times. The secondary has been better since trading for Jalen Ramsey, and they’ve given up 17 or fewer points in six of their last eight games. If Phillips does get the boot or chooses to leave on his own, he’d likely draw some interest from teams in search of a veteran assistant, perhaps to be paired with a young offensive-minded head coach.

Here’s more from out West:

  • Terrell Suggs initially said he’d only play for the Ravens after he was cut by the Cardinals, but when he was claimed by the Chiefs it was immediately reported that he’d be joining Kansas City. What changed? Apparently all it took was a short call with Andy Reid. “I was really uncertain about my future last week, but I talked to Coach and it was a brief conversation and I was like, ‘OK,”’ the veteran pass-rusher said earlier this week, via Adam Teicher of ESPN.com. “I asked Coach, ‘I just learned the hard way that a player like me just [doesn’t] fit in anywhere.’ He was like, ‘Trust me, you’ll fit in here.'” Suggs spent the first 16 years of his career with Baltimore before signing in Arizona this past offseason. Now, he’ll be joining one of the Ravens’ main AFC rivals with a chance at a potential final playoff run.
  • Raiders safety Karl Joseph was placed on injured reserve after suffering a foot injury early last month, and now we have more details. Joseph had a “partial case of plantar fasciitis in his right foot,” according to Vic Tafur of The Athletic (Twitter link). Tafur also reports that he’ll be good to go in April when offseason programs start across the league. The Raiders declined Joseph’s fifth-year option, so the former first-round pick will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the year. Joseph started the first nine games of this season, and has said he wants to be back with the Raiders. He was receiving average marks from Pro Football Focus before going down.
  • Speaking of the Raiders, there will be a lot of talk about Derek Carr this offseason. The Raiders are set to move to Las Vegas for 2020, and it’s not quite settled as to who will be their quarterback when they play their first game there. Jon Gruden has been publicly supportive of Carr, but “there is a significant disconnect between the coach and the quarterback,” writes Michael Lombardi of The Athletic. Lombardi writes that he believes the Raiders will hold onto Carr, while also drafting a quarterback next April. He speculates that Gruden might look to trade Carr, finding a partner willing to take on Carr’s relatively affordable contract. It’s often hard to tell what Gruden is really thinking as he’s often publicly said one thing while doing another during his short time back in the league, but it’s certainly plausible that he decides to move on from Carr, one of the last holdovers from the pre-Gruden Raiders.

Latest On Broncos/Wade Phillips Split

The Broncos and Wade Phillips could not agree on terms to bring back the DC for a third season in Denver, re-routing the veteran assistant to his 10th NFL franchise. Conflicting reports have attempted to illuminate some reasons why the architect of the league’s top defense the past two years will be overseeing the Rams’ unit in 2017.

A report earlier this week indicated Phillips played a role in pitting the Broncos’ defense against their offense, dividing the locker room and alleging the DC was responsible for a similar situation on the 2013 Texans. Phillips himself shot back (Twitter link) and denied any such claim, something which All-Pro cornerback Chris Harris (via Twitter) backed up.

The somewhat surprising split after Phillips helped guide the Broncos to their third Super Bowl championship a year ago may have occurred for several reasons, but Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk describes it as an amicable breakup. Phillips’ daughter lives in Los Angeles, leading Phillips to the understandable desire to want to relocate there if given the opportunity. But 2016 negotiations for a second Phillips contract in Denver featured a chasm between the sides on terms.

Phillips, per Florio, wanted to be the highest-paid defensive coordinator in football after playing a key role in leading a defensively powered Super Bowl team. The Broncos, though, resisted, and NFL veteran of more than 30 years entered this season on an expiring contract. Denver’s pass defense finished with a top-10 all-time DVOA in 2016 en route to ending up as the top DVOA total defense for a second straight year, and the 69-year-old coach became a sought-after commodity on the open market. He drew interest from the Browns, Redskins and Rams before deciding to move west.

Denver’s new DC, Joe Woods, was also drawing interest as a possible coordinator candidate, Florio notes. The Broncos did not want to lose a potential rising talent to another team, so they promoted Woods to fill Phillips’ spot shortly after he left. The team could have blocked the 46-year-old Woods from interviewing elsewhere — something that wasn’t rumored prior to him being promoted — but chose to promote him instead of denying him an opportunity. Current Broncos HC Vance Joseph experienced this two years ago, when the Bengals denied their then-defensive backs coach permission to become the Denver DC in 2015, leading to Phillips’ return to Colorado.

Latest On Broncos Coaching Staff

The Broncos coaching staff looks a whole lot different than it did 48 hours ago. On Wednesday, the organization announced that they had hired former Dolphins defensive coordinator Vance Joseph as their new head coach. Last night saw two more changes. Former defensive coordinator Wade Phillips joined the Rams while the Broncos were finalizing a deal with new offensive coordinator Mike McCoy.

Defensive backs coach Joe Woods is considered the favorite to be promoted to the defensive coordinator position, although he still has some competition for the gig. Mike Klis of 9News in Denver reports (via Twitter) that the Broncos will also be interviewing Reggie Herring for the opening. Herring spent the past two seasons as the team’s linebackers coach, and he handled some defensive play-calling duties earlier this season. Herring has also served as the linebackers coach for the Texans, Cowboys, and Bears.

As we wrap our head around all of these coaching moves, let’s take a look at some additional changes in Denver…

  • While McCoy seems to be in the driver’s seat for the offensive coordinator gig, Cameron Wolfe of The Denver Post notes (via Twitter) that the organization still plans on interviewing Bill Musgrave today. The long-time coach spent the past two seasons as the Raiders offensive coordinator.
  • The Broncos have parted ways with tight ends coach Brian Pariani, according to Troy Renck of ABC Denver7 (via Twitter). Meanwhile, Nicki Jhabvala of The Denver Post reports that offensive line coach Clancy Barone also won’t be back. Finally, Klis reports (via Twitter) that Joseph notified special teams assistant Tony Coaxum and offensive line assistant Jim Cregg that they also wouldn’t be retained for next season.
  • Joseph acknowledged that Phillips is “one of [his] football dads,” but he also admitted that Woods was “ready to be a coordinator,” as ESPN.com’s Jeff Legwold passes along (via Twitter). Wolfe tweets that the Broncos loved Phillips, but the organization saw higher potential in Woods.
  • Jason La Canfora tweets that general manager John Elway was in favor of changes to the Broncos coaching staff even if former head coach Gary Kubiak stuck around. Klis adds (via Twitter) that Joseph wanted “sweeping changes” when it came to his new staff.

Rams To Hire Wade Phillips As DC

The Rams hired the youngest head coach in NFL history and will supplement him with one of the most experienced coordinators in football. Wade Phillips agreed to become Los Angeles’ next defensive coordinator, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets.

The first of the two teams to relocate to Los Angeles moved swiftly on a busy NFL day in its second-biggest market. Phillips drew interest from the Redskins and Browns and to some degree the Broncos but will head west to run Sean McVay‘s defense, although he did not officially interview for any position. Phillips will relocate to L.A. after further elevating his stature in the game following a memorable two-year stint in Denver.

A McVay hire meant the Rams were going to push for Phillips, whom the 30-year-old head coach sought as his DC. Phillips will be 70 next season but proved to be a coveted free agent after his two-year contract with the Broncos expired. The nomadic DC and former head coach took the Broncos’ defense to a higher level, turning a talented group into one of the premier units in modern NFL history. Denver ranked first in DVOA in both 2015 and ’16 under Phillips and put together dominant defensive displays to win the AFC title game and Super Bowl 50.

The Broncos and Phillips couldn’t come to terms on an extension last summer, and the team is thought to be considering secondary coach Joe Woods for the now-vacant DC job, Mike Klis of 9News tweets. Woods coached with new HC Vance Joseph in Houston, along with Phillips. This will be the NFL veteran assistant’s ninth DC job, the first coming back in 1981 with the Saints. McVay was born in 1986, creating an interesting dynamic for a Los Angeles defense that ranked ninth this season.

It remains to be seen if Phillips will continue Gregg Williams‘ 4-3 scheme or use the 3-4 he utilized in Denver. Phillips turned a Broncos team that previously worked out of a base 4-3 set into a 3-4, but the Rams employing probably the league’s best defensive tackle in Aaron Donald could point to the team staying in its usual alignment.

This will also mean the Super Bowl 50 champions will be without all three of the top sideline decision-makers from that season less than a year after the championship. The Broncos are amid a search for their next OC as well.

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Redskins To Interview Wade Phillips?

7:37pm: Renck now reports the longtime DC is going to Washington to visit family instead of officially interviewing with the Redskins. While he adds Phillips is a sought-after candidate, an interview with the Redskins has not been scheduled.

6:46pm: The competition for Wade Phillips‘ 2017 services has heated up, and his previous employer has fallen behind — perhaps by choice. Phillips will interview for the Redskins’ defensive coordinator job on Friday, Troy Renck of Denver7 reports (on Twitter). The 69-year-old DC has an obvious connection there; his son Wes Phillips is Washington’s tight ends coach.

The Rams still have interest, Renck reports, especially now that the team hired Sean McVay as HC. McVay wants Phillips as his DC, we heard earlier today. The Browns also expressed interest in Phillips before hiring Gregg Williams.

This comes as the Broncos hired defensive-based Vance Joseph as their next head coach. Joseph may be shifting in a different direction, despite calling Phillips a mentor from their time together with the Texans. The new Denver coach said today (via Nick Groke of the Denver Post) Phillips “is a free agent; he’s free to go where he wants to go” but did not mention any other names for the Broncos’ DC job. Defensive backs coach Joe Woods is considered a key candidate to become the Broncos’ next DC, Nicki Jhabvala of the Denver Post reports. Phillips’ two-year Broncos contract expired after the season.

The Redskins have already interviewed Gus Bradley, Mike Pettine and Steve Wilks for their DC job, with Wilks instead receiving a promotion to become the Panthers’ head coach following Sean McDermott’s Bills defection. Washington attempted to interview Bengals DC Paul Guenther but was denied.

Phillips’ Broncos defenses finished as the No. 1 DVOA units in each of the past two years, with his 2015 Super Bowl group being one of the best defenses in memory.

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If Hired By Rams, McVay Wants Phillips As DC

Things are heating up between the Rams and Sean McVay, so much so that the youngster is already thinking about his potential staff. If hired by L.A., McVay’s top option for defensive coordinator is Wade Phillips, league sources tell Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Wade Phillips

Phillips has served as the Broncos’ DC for the last two years. Although he has been largely successful in Denver, the team is apparently allowing his contract to lapse. As shown in our Offensive/Defensive Coordinator Tracker, Phillips was contacted about the Browns’ vacancy before the job was given to Gregg Williams and other teams have also been linked to him. No matter what, Wade won’t be out of work for long.

The Rams did alright in terms of defensive DVOA last year, finishing 15th in the NFL. The Rams also have some tremendous players on that side of the ball, including linemen Aaron Donald and Robert Quinn.

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