LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Rams have agreed to terms with WADE PHILLIPS who will serve as defensive coordinator, the team announced today. Phillips joins the Rams with 25 years of experience as a coordinator (seven teams) as well as nine as a full-time head coach (three teams). The 2017 season will mark his 40th season coaching in the NFL.
"Wade has seen it all in our league, and I believe that his wealth of knowledge and experience will be a tremendous asset to our entire coaching staff and players," Rams Head Coach SEAN MCVAY said. "Our defense has been one of our core strengths and I expect it to continue to grow and thrive under Wade's leadership."
Since entering the NFL ranks in 1976, Phillips has been a part of over 20 top-10 defenses and coached 30 Pro Bowlers including Super Bowl 50 MVP Von Miller and Pro Football Hall of Famers Elvin Bethea, Curley Culp, Rickey Jackson, Bruce Smith and Reggie White.
Phillips spent the previous two seasons as the defensive coordinator of the Denver Broncos (2015-16) where he led the Broncos defense to top-5 finishes in total defense following each year – No. 1 in 2015 and No. 4 in 2016.
In 2015, Phillips directed an historic defense that finished as the top unit (283.1 ypg) in the National Football League for the first time in Broncos history. Featuring four Pro Bowlers – linebackers Miller and DeMarcus Ware as well as cornerbacks Chris Harris Jr. and Aqib Talib – Denver's defense posted a league-high 52 sacks while contributing five defensive scores in the regular season.
During the Broncos' postseason run, the defense recorded 14 sacks and six forced fumbles while limiting the league's No. 1, No. 3 and No. 4 scoring offenses to nearly half (50.7 percent) of their average regular-season point totals and a combined 7-of-42 (16.7 percent) on third-down attempts.
Following the season, the Pro Football Writers of America named him Co-Assistant Coach of the Year. He previously won the award in 2011 as an assistant for the Houston Texans where he guided the league's 30th-ranked defense to a No. 2 overall ranking (285.7 ypg) in his first year with the club.
Before working in Denver, Phillips was the defensive coordinator for Houston (2011-13), San Diego (2004-06), Atlanta (2002-03) and Buffalo (1995-97). His first stint as coordinator for the Broncos ran from 1989-92. Phillips also made coaching stops with Philadelphia (1986-88) and New Orleans (1981-85) as their defensive coordinator. He started his NFL career with the Houston Oilers working under his father and Head Coach Bum Phillips.
A linebacker at the University of Houston from 1966-68, Phillips began his coaching career with his alma mater as a graduate assistant in 1969. He was born on June 21, 1947, in Orange, Texas.