According to sources close to Pro Football Network Insider Ben Allbright, Los Angeles Rams defensive coordinator Wade Phillips could be out after the 2019 season. With his contract expiring and internal dissatisfaction with the state of the Rams defense, Phillips is currently putting out feelers around the league but ultimately may decide to retire.
Alex Marvez of Sirius XM Radio also reported that he was hearing Phillips may be out. If Phillips were to be replaced, Marvez notes that head coach Sean McVay would consider current linebacker coach Joe Barry a strong candidate to replace him.
If this is it for Phillips, it will mark the end of a 43-year NFL coaching career, which dates back to 1976 when he broke into the league as a defensive line coach for the Houston Oilers. Previously, he worked in the college ranks starting in 1969.
Wade Phillips. Defense.
When you hear the name Wade Phillips, you think of a dominant defense. Wherever Phillips has been, his defense has almost always reigned supreme. In his first stint with the Denver Broncos as defensive coordinator, the Broncos reached Super Bowl XXIV, but were blown out by the San Francisco 49ers, 55-10. He was named head coach in 1993, but was fired after the 1994 season.
From there, he went on to become the defensive coordinator for the Buffalo Bills from 1995-1997 and then the head coach from 1998-2000. Phillips then spent time with the Atlanta Falcons and aSan Diego Chargers. In 2007, he was named the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys, replacing Bill Parcells.
He led them to the playoffs in his first year, but they lost in their first game. They then failed to make the playoffs in 2008. In 2009, he led the team to the playoffs after taking over defensive play-calling duties and there, they defeated the Philadelphia Eagles before losing in the divisional round. In 2010, he was fired after the second-worst start in franchise history.
That would be the last time Phillips was a full-time head coach. After Dallas, he joined the Houston Texans as their defensive coordinator and no one could argue with the vast improvements the Texans made in his first year. After Gary Kubiak was fired in 2013, Phillips was named interim head coach but was dismissed after the Texans hired Bill O’Brien following the regular season.
Phillips joined the Broncos in 2015 and oversaw a top-ranked defense that season. He was rewarded with a Super Bowl 50 victory after shutting down the Carolina Panthers and their explosive offense led by Cam Newton.
It’s been up and down in Los Angeles for Phillips
Phillips joined the Rams in 2017 and it didn’t take long for him to make an impact. He led a dominant defense and helped shut down Tom Brady and the New England Patriots potent offense in Super Bowl LIII. Unfortunately, the Rams offense couldn’t put up more than three points. They would lose the game, 13-3.
In 2019, it’s been a rollercoaster ride for the Rams. Sitting at 8-6 in a stacked NFC, their playoff hopes are hanging by a thread. Their defense, led by Phillips, is giving up an average of 21.9 points per game, 15th in the NFL and 336.2 yards per game, 12th in the NFL. While their passing defense is ranked ninth, their rushing defense leaves a lot to be desired. Heading into Week 16, they are giving up 115.6 yards per game, 23rd in the league and 2.5 touchdowns per game, 14th in the NFL.
With superstars such as Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey, many expected the Rams to have a more consistent defense but that has not been the case this season. And now, that could lead to the Rams not bringing Phillips back for at least another year. But first, the Rams will try to keep their slim playoff hopes alive with a victory over the San Francisco 49ers in Week 16.
We’ll keep you updated with the latest here on Pro Football Network regarding Phillips and his future in Los Angeles. Be sure to follow Ben on Twitter: @AllbrightNFL along with Pro Football Network: @PFN365.