The 2019 season has come and gone for the Denver Broncos, and as the team looks towards next season, there is an interesting coaching candidate on the market that could find his way back Denver.
Wade Phillips – known as Son of Bum to most on Twitter – recently announced that his contract would not be renewed with the Los Angeles Rams after the team fell well short of expectations in 2019.
Phillips is now a free agent and has expressed his desire to continue his coaching career.
I have been informed by the Rams that my contract will not be renewed.
I want to thank them for the opportunity to be a part of their success the last 3years. Most of all I want to thank the players who I loved workings with. I still want to coach and feel I can contribute.
— Wade Phillips (@sonofbum) January 6, 2020
Prior to joining the Rams, Phillips served as the Broncos‘ defensive coordinator under head coach Gary Kubiak. Phillips was the mastermind behind the Broncos’ league-leading defense that ultimately pummeled the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50.
Phillips served as the Broncos defensive coordinator from 2015-2016. During that time, the Broncos featured one of the best defensive units of the last decade, including the famed “No Fly Zone.”
Phillips turned the Broncos’ defense into one of the premier units in the NFL during his two-year stint in Denver and did the same for the Rams just a couple of seasons later.
Phillips held a Q and A session on his Twitter page earlier this week, and reminisced about his time with the Broncos, specifically coaching Super Bowl 50 MVP, Von Miller.
— Wade Phillips (@sonofbum) January 9, 2020
Even at 72 years old, Phillips has a strong desire to continue his coaching career, saying:
“I’m really not ready to retire. I think I have more football in me. I am going to be coaching somewhere next year. I’m going to be coaching next year, and I am going to enjoy it. I feel like I can contribute, so I am going to do that.”
Phillips has a long history with the Broncos organization, dating back to the days when John Elway was dropping back to pass. Phillips served as Denver’s defensive coordinator from 1989-1992, and as head coach from 1993-1994.
When the Broncos and Phillips parted ways following the 2016 season, there appeared to be no bad blood between the two parties. Phillips was not fired as the Broncos simply choose not to renew his contract.
A lot has changed since the Broncos moved on from Phillips. The organization has gone through a complete transformation and is now under the command of head coach Vic Fangio.
Fangio is a defensive specialist himself and put together a respectable defense in his first season running the show.
Ed Donatell is the Broncos’ current defensive coordinator. Donatell came from Chicago with Fangio and is responsible for building the defense up while Fangio looks over the entire team.
It’s unsure how or if Phillips could fit into the Broncos’ current coaching scheme, but he could be a valuable commodity given his expertise and knowledge of coaching in the NFL.
Having been a head coach and coordinator, Phillips could lend a helping hand to Fangio and Donatell, who are both entering their second year in their current roles.
Additionally, Phillips is beloved by virtually every player he’s coached and had tremendous relationships with Miller and others during his time in Denver.
Phillips also has some good mojo surrounding him. Since 1989, every team that has hired Phillips has made the playoffs in his first season with the franchise.
Phillips was sensational in his latest go-around with Denver. Given his desire to continue coaching, the idea of bringing Phillips back on board is not out of the ordinary and could be a power move as the Broncos continue to work their way back to the playoffs.