ATLANTA — On Opening Night of Super Bowl 50, Aqib Talib interviewed Wade Phillips.
Talib had on a gaudy gold chain, put it on Phillips and proudly proclaimed, "You're drippin', coach."
"Now we're drippin'!" Phillips exclaimed in response.
It was a moment shared between a coach and player who clearly shared more than just a mutual respect for one another.
On Monday, as players and coaches relaxed in the lounge before the festivities of Super Bowl Opening Night began, the scene was — in some ways — recreated for Super Bowl LIII.
Now members of the NFC Champion Rams, Talib grabbed a mic and asked Phillips when he figured out he could be successful as a defensive coach in the league.
Phillips, up on his pop culture as always, quoted Future's new song, Rocket Ship.
"I've been poppin' since my demos," he said, eliciting laughter around him.
So, why is the relationship between those two so special?
"Well he's a big personality, obviously. He's always been so outgoing. And he's got great leadership," Phillips told therams.com. "I mean, people would be surprised at such a great leader he is — especially in these times. You know, I've been through this whole process with him and winning a Super Bowl. And he got on guys that weren't there five minutes before time, getting ready for meetings. You know, you don't see all those things about him. And he is a fun-loving guy, but he's a great leader."
"I don't know, I think we really come from two totally different backgrounds and we both just be ourselves, you know what I'm saying? We don't try to be nobody that we not," Talib said. "And I don't know, it's just a good relationship."
Head coach Sean McVay was also asked about the relationship between the two last week and said from what he's observed, it's all about a mutual respect and appreciation that exists.
"Those are two guys where Aqib has been playing at a high level for a long time," McVay said. "Wade has been coaching at a high level for a long time, and I think there's a mutual respect and an appreciation for one another's skill set that enables them to be really good at their job. They're also pretty easy to get along with."
"Wade's got such a good way about being able to connect with players, give them some ownership," McVay continued. "I think about a situation before Aqib was even here with us where Wade told me about a situation where it was a two-minute, end of the half type deal. Kansas City had the ball. Aqib suggested a certain play call because of some of the things that he had anticipated situationally and he was able to jump it and end up getting an interception. I think when you've got that rapport with your players and coaches it's pretty special and those two have that."
The Rams are in Atlanta to win a football game — of that, there's no doubt. But both Talib and Phillips realize it's special to be able to share a moment like that once again.
"Yeah, it's really neat. And we wouldn't be here without him," Phillips said. "He missed some games, but those 10 games he played, we played pretty good. So he's a big part of that."
"It's dope, man. Just to be able to experience this again with him — it's special because he's the GOAT," Talib said. "He's gonna go in the Hall of Fame one day. And just to be a part of that, just to be a part of that with coach, it's dope."