The Los Angeles Rams fired head coach Jeff Fisher and his staff last season following a five-year tenure in which the team never finished above .500 and missed the playoffs every year. In came 31 year old Sean McVay, the former offensive coordinator for the Washington Redskins. McVay has proceeded to fill out his coaching staff and tapped Wade Phillips, the long-time NFL coach and coordinator, to lead the defense. Phillips is 69, nearly 40 years McVay’s senior.
What has Phillips’ first impression been of the new man in charge in L.A.?
“Sean reminds me of when I was younger and when I first got to be a coordinator around his age. So, it certainly brings the excitement back with how excited he is about football and getting things done” said Phillips on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones show. “He’s awfully sharp. Within a week, he knew every player both on offense and defense. I hadn’t even learned all the coaches names in a week. He’s pretty sharp.”
As for the defense that Phillips will now be directing, there’s plenty of talent to tinker with, particularly along the defensive line with the likes of Aaron Donald, William Hayes, Michael Brockers and Robert Quinn. What does Phillips think of his new defense?
“We’ve got some good players on defense that I think will do well for us,” said Phillips. “We just had our minicamp last week before the draft and I was excited to see the talent that we have. Our front seven is really strong, and our secondary, which wasn’t as good last year, looked pretty good. I’m excited about it. Aaron Donald is just–with JJ Watt hurt last year–Aaron Donald looked like the premier defensive lineman in the league. He’s a tremendous player and a hard worker, and the right kind of guy. I’m excited to be able to work with him and Robert Quinn is also a force on the field. We’ve got Brockers at noseguard and Easley, and I’ve got Connor Barwin who I’ve coached before, so our front looks like it’s going to be really good.”
In addition to getting a feel for his new team, Phillips has a newly released book: “Son of Bum: Lessons My Dad Taught Me About Football and Life”. What was the impetus behind becoming a published author in addition to his coaching duties?
“This is something that I’ve wanted to do and some people have talked to me about it for awhile. People remember my dad in a lot of ways and, with Father’s Day coming up, I thought it was kind of a unique story,” said Phillips. “Not many people have played high school football for their dad and then played college football for their dad and then coached football in college and the NFL together. So, it was a football story, but it was also a father and son story. I just thought it would be interesting and it’s something that will allow my kids and even my grandkids get to know their granddad and their great-grandad.”