Over the last few decades of NFL football, Wade Phillips has been one of the best defensive minds around. He was out of the league last year but there are reports that he wants to come back. The Las Vegas Raiders just fired their defensive coordinator and Phillips could have an interest in that job.
After the news dropped that he could want the Raiders jobs, fans on Twitter went wild. Phillips didn’t realize there were so many fans of the team on Twitter and sent a message to them.
Raiders fans are very active online and are desperate for a good defense. Phillips has a history of putting together elite defenses and a lot of people would love to see him in silver and black.
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Phillips Knows How to Get to the Quarterback
One fan on Twitter compiled Phillips’ sack stats over the course of his career and his teams almost always are among the league’s best at getting to the quarterback. The Raiders have been among the league’s worst and that’s a big reason why they haven’t won a ton of games. Phillips believes that getting after the quarterbacks equates to wins.
Phillips’ defense almost single-handedly won a Super Bowl for the Denver Broncos in 2015 so he knows what he’s talking about. The Raiders have been near the bottom of the league in sacks for years now and only got worse under Paul Guenther. They haven’t had a ton of talent on the defensive line but perhaps Phillips is a guy who can bring out the best in those players. Having a solid pass rush would help the Raiders in a massive way.
Would Jon Gruden Hire Phillips?
It’s no secret that Jon Gruden would prefer to not worry about defense. He’s an offensive coach through and through. Any defensive coordinator the team hires is going to have a lot of control over the defense. That’s gotta be appealing for a veteran coach like Phillips.
However, it’s not a guarantee that Gruden has any interest in Phillips. He won a Super Bowl with Monte Kiffin running a 4-3 defense. Guenther was running the kind of defense Gruden wants, he just wasn’t doing it effectively. Perhaps the debacle of the last three years will change Gruden’s mind. The coach has talked a lot about improving the team’s pass rush and Phillips is one of the best in the business at creating pressure. Gruden should keep an open mind.
That said, Rod Marinelli shouldn’t be underestimated. He’s up there in age but is still younger than Phillips. Marinelli’s defenses aren’t as revered for their pass rush but he’s a very effective defensive coordinator. He built an excellent defense for the Dallas Cowboys and they look significantly worse since he left. Marinelli deserves criticism for how bad his defensive line has performed this year but maybe now that he’s calling the shots, the defense will come alive. If the Raiders win-out and the defense looks better, the job will likely be Marinelli’s if he wants it.