The Los Angeles Rams 2020 offseason is off to a bit of a crazy start. Although there has been no player movement, it appears that the Rams’ coaching staff will look a lot different next season.
The biggest change will be at defensive coordinator as the Rams decided to let go of Wade Phillips after three seasons with the team. On top of that, they also let go of running backs coach Skip Peete, while special teams coach John Fassel is rumored to be heading to the Dallas Cowboys.
As Phillips’ time with the Rams comes to a close, he took to Twitter to offer some thoughts and his future plans:
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
In somewhat of a surprise move, Phillips made it public that he plans on continuing his over 40-year NFL coaching career. Phillips, 72, is one of the older coaches in the league, but his pedigree speaks for itself.
As recently as 2015, Phillips helped lead the Broncos to not only the fourth-best defense in the league but also a Super Bowl Championship. Certainly, with Phillips becoming available, he will be getting many potential offers.
Phillips had access to some of the best defensive players in the league while with the Rams, including two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald. Despite that, 2019 saw the Rams defense falter as they became a very disjointed and inconsistent bunch. The defense actually gave up more points in 2018 than this year, but Phillips was scrutinized for numerous games in which the opposing teams scored more than 30 points.
As for the hole in the Rams’ coaching staff, it was rumored that assistant head coach and linebackers coach Joe Barry could take over as defensive coordinator. Barry has 18 years of coaching experience between the NFL and college, typically as a linebackers coach. He did spend two seasons as the defensive coordinator for the Washington Redskins and also won a Super Bowl as a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers coaching staff for the 2002 season.
No matter who takes over the Rams defense, it is clear that they have some solid players. The Rams issues, not only on the defense, but as a team, likely run deeper than a personnel issue. Hopefully this offseason the front office can figure out a solution.