In an offseason where the Los Angeles Rams have set a torrid pace, defensive coordinator Wade Phillips may become the most critical member on the LA coaching staff.
Phillips will have a full classroom, and that may be a huge understatement coming out of NFL free agency.
Los Angeles took a deep dive into the deep end and retrieved some real character type of players. Talented indeed, but head-cases all.
And then some.
Phillips will earn his money in 2018. He’ll have a roster of talent at key positions, but he’ll be the guy tasked with keeping it all together in the locker room and on the field.
Face it kids, the Rams will be the “it team” next season, but the cost is yet known.
As good as LA will be be, loaded pretty much from top to bottom, the potential for volatility is high, and Phillips will be the guy who is now charged with keeping the peace.
Fans will love it, and they should. But know it’ll be a tenuous act for 16 games over 17 weeks, and the scrutiny will be significant.
As I’ve said a ton this month of March, the Rams have acquired players offering a lot of risk and a lot of reward. The roster for Phillips is overflowing with that very proposition.
Already a favorite, and second only to the Philadelphia Eagles for a Super Bowl, LA will have envious balance on both sides of the football. McVay will have a second season with his high powered offense as well as the OPOY in Todd Gurley. Depending on how he replaces seldom used Sammy Watkins, next season could be something of a juggernaut not just in the NFC West, but in the NFL as well.
Ultimately, it may boil down to how well Phillips handles all that talent, and all the potential for crazy it accompanies.
Meaning the defensive coordinator may be under a brighter spotlight than McVay.