THOUSAND OAKS — The question was about whether Wade Phillips has done enough this season to earn another year as the Rams’ defensive coordinator.
It got Phillips talking, as few NFL coaches can talk, about a lesson from 40 years ago. He was a young defensive line coach for the Houston Oilers, and his father, Bum Phillips, was the head coach. In 1978, ’79 and ’80, the Oilers won 10, 11 and 11 games but kept running into tough opponents in the playoffs.
“You know, we lost two years in a row to Pittsburgh, when I first started, in the AFC championship game, and they won the Super Bowl. And then we lost to Oakland (in the wildcard round), and they won the Super Bowl,” Phillips remembered Thursday. “And we got fired.”
“You never know what’s going to happen,” Phillips said.
Acknowledging an online report that he and the Rams might part ways after their disappointing season ends with Sunday’s game against the Arizona Cardinals, Phillips, 72, said Thursday that he wants to continue.
He stopped just short of using his last weekly press conference of the season to publicly campaign for a new contract.
“I love coaching. That’s what I do. That’s what I enjoy doing,” Phillips said. “We did a lot of good things this year. Not enough, obviously, to be in the playoffs.”
Phillips said he has received no indication from Rams coach Sean McVay or the front office about his future.
“No. I’ve had a lot of rumors out there. I don’t pay any attention to rumors,” he said. “Wherever I’ve been, I’m going to do the best I can do. If that’s not good enough for somebody, it isn’t.
“That’s up to somebody else.”
Phillips is working for his 10th NFL team, including head-coaching jobs with the Denver Broncos, Buffalo Bills and Dallas Cowboys.
He was one of McVay’s first hires in 2017.
McVay wouldn’t directly address Phillips’ status Thursday, saying he’ll talk with all of his staff members and coaches after the season.
One possible replacement would be Joe Barry, the Rams’ linebackers coach and assistant head coach. Barry was Washington’s defensive coordinator when McVay was the Redskins’ offensive coordinator.
The 33-year-old head coach said it’s “great” to work with Phillips and draw on the older coach’s experience and droll personality.
“He’s always had a great perspective based on his experience, whether it be as a head coach or as a coordinator,” McVay said. “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.”
But consistency would not be the word to describe the Rams’ defense. if the team decides to move on from Phillips, it might be because he couldn’t get steady performance out of a unit with Pro Bowl talent in defensive tackle Aaron Donald and cornerback Jalen Ramsey and big numbers from linebackers Dante Fowler and Cory Littleton.
Overall, the defense has been better than it was when the Rams went to the Super Bowl last season. It has improved from 27th to …read more
Source:: Los Angeles Daily News