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Wade Phillips won’t return as the Rams’ defensive coordinator

Wade Phillips, Rams

A year after helping to lead the Los Angeles Rams to a Super Bowl appearance, defensive coordinator Wade Phillips is without a job, per Gary Klein of the Los Angeles Times.

Phillips had served as the Rams’ defensive coordinator since 2017. In those three seasons, Los Angeles has allowed 22.5 points per game. The team’s points allowed stats have increased every year under Phillips’ tutelage.

This season, the Rams suffered a major Super Bowl hangover finishing with a 9-7 record and a third-place finish in the NFC West. As for the defense, the Rams ranked 17th in the NFL in points allowed per game with 22.8 and 20th in yards allowed.

The regression of the Rams in 2019 wasn’t completely Phillips’ fault, however. After lighting up scoreboards in 2018, Los Angeles mustered more than eight fewer points per game this season.

Phillips’ time in Los Angeles was disappointing mainly because even though the team featured elite defensive talents such as Aaron Donald, Dante Fowler, Marcus Peters, Jalen Ramsey, and Ndamukong Suh throughout his tenure, the Rams failed to field a truly elite defense.

And although Phillips is out in Los Angeles, the veteran coach is unlikely to be done as an NFL coach. Phillips has held an NFL coaching position every year since 1976, has coached for 10 different franchises, and was named NFL Assistant Coach of the Year in 2015 as defensive coordinator of the Denver Broncos.

Phillips’ reputation as an experienced defensive mind will likely land him another job before next season starts, it just won’t be with the Los Angeles Rams.