The Los Angeles Rams are making some changes following a disappointing season, and moving on from defensive coordinator Wade Phillips may be the most significant.
The Rams have informed Phillips that they will not be bringing him back in 2020, Gary Klein of the Los Angeles Times first reported.
Rams defensive coordinator Wade Phillips has been informed he will not be retained, a person with knowledge of the situation said.
— Gary Klein (@LATimesklein) January 6, 2020
Questions about Phillips’ job security arose after the Rams were officially eliminated from postseason contention with a 34-31 loss to the San Francisco 49ers in Week 16. They jumped out to a 14-3 lead in that game only to watch their defense fail to answer the call late. LA allowed the Niners to convert twice on 3rd-and-16 in the final minutes, once because of a coverage breakdown that led to a 46-yard connection from Jimmy Garoppolo to Emmanuel Sanders.
Phillips is considered one of the best defensive coaching minds in the NFL. He helped lead the Denver Broncos to a championship with their elite defense prior to joining the Rams, and he has had success with numerous teams over the years. The Rams ranked somewhere in the middle of the pack in most major defensive categories this year.
The Rams entered the 2019 season with high expectations after reaching the Super Bowl last year. They gave up multiple first-round draft picks during the year to acquire star cornerback Jalen Ramsey, but they underacheived even after that.
Phillips has been a popular coach with players over the years, so it will be interesting to see how the decision goes over in the locker room. If he wants to keep coaching in 2020, he should have no trouble finding work.