Ex-Rams DC Wade Phillips proves that great coaching is still in style

Former Rams venerable DC Wade Phillips proves that great coaching is still in style
XFL Conference Championship: San Antonio Brahmas, Wade Phillips, Hakeem Butler
XFL Conference Championship: San Antonio Brahmas, Wade Phillips, Hakeem Butler / Scott Rovak/UFL/GettyImages

When the LA Rams hired the youngest head coach in the NFL in 2017 by naming Sean McVay to the post, the powers-that-be wanted to ensure that they gave McVay the utmost level of support by ensuring competent, experienced, and savvy coordinators were added to the coaching staff. Perhaps one of the best, and underestimated, additions to the team was hiring venerable veteran Coach Wade Phillips to take over as the team's defensive coordinator.

What I believe was so underappreciated over the hire is the fact that Phillips has complete command of coaching at almost every level. He has served as a positional coach all the way to an NFL head coach. And his demeanor is that of a patient and very wise tactician who makes the time to impart his experience and knowledge to anyone who meets him or asks him questions.

While I have never personally met Coach Phillips face-to-face, I have been fortunate enough to have held several virtual meetings with him. On those occasions, he has been incredibly generous with his time, knowledge, and experience. For example, in January 2020, he held a social media Q&A in which he responded to 11 questions posed to him for 45 minutes. And yes, Ramblin' fan was in attendance, and even managed to get a response to Coach Phillips regarding his preference to run a 3-4 defense:

Of course, nobody could anticipate that Coach Phillips would find himself coaching in the newly (re)formed UFL in 2024, or that he would be coaching the San Antonio Brahmas in his 55th year of coaching football:

Of course, we can draw two conclusions to this current turn of events. For starters, it reinforces the fact that Wade Phillips was the ideal choice as the first defensive coordinator to serve with HC Sean McVay. At the time he was hired, the Rams entire football organization was pivoting off into a new direction. Coach Phillips is the master of smooth and seamless transitions, and his presence undoubtedly helped to reassure players who had yet to form opinions about Coach McVay.

The second point worth noting is that great coaching is still in style. Even as we regroup each season and are subjected to the whims of projections and rankings each year, the ingredient that continues to be missing is that it ultimately falls on the quality and leadership of coaches to determine how successful the team will perform in any given season.

Coaching quality is seldom considered as the rankings and projections tout rookies who have never taken a snap, and decry teams that beat expectations from the previous season.

I am thrilled for Coach Wade Phillips and his team, the San Antonio Brahmas. Congratulations on a fine season and good luck.

And as always, thanks for reading.