Per reports, the Cleveland Browns are interested in hiring Wade Phillips to be their DC.
Per what appears to be a golden opportunity, the Arizona Cardinals should swoop in and steal Phillips away from the Browns, much the same way the Cardinals wooshed Kliff Kingsbury away from the New York Jets.
This one is easy.
In hiring the venerable 34 defense guru, Wade Phillips, as an associate head coach, the Cardinals would have a Holy trinity of overseers for all three phases of the ball in Kingsbury (offense), Phillips (defense) and Jeff Rodgers (special teams).
During the season last year, as early as game 4 I was imploring the Cardinals to hire a defensive guru to help Vance Joseph tun the defense into a strength.
Wade Phillips is perfect for that role—-actually beyond perfect.
Vance Jospeh would continue to be the DC, but Wade Phillips would oversee the entire defense and at times be in a position to make key play call suggestions and adjustments during the games.
At 72 years of age, this kind of role would seem perfect for Phillips.
Plus, imagine what the Cardinals’ defense would look like if Wade Phillips attracted three key Rams’ UFAs to move their talents to Arizona:
- DT Michael Brockers
- WILB Cory Littleton
- CB Troy Hill
In fact, Wade Phillips helped develop Littleton and Hill into the kind of productive players they are today. Brockers has always been good, but even the level of his play has been elevated ever since Phillips came to the Rams.
For a Cardinals’ defense that needs to tighten its run defense and vastly improve its pass defense—-look at these 2019 PFF grades on Brockers, Littleton and Hill.
Brockers: 74.6——Littleton: 78.9——Hill: 76.4 (only Chandler Jones has a higher overall grade).
Brockers; 82.5—-Littleton: 64.7—-Hill: 76.5
Brockers; 67.2—-Littleton: 82.3—-Hill: 72.7
Best of all—what DC would know best how to defend Sean McVay’s offense?
To: Michael Bidwill—-think of the pressure this move would take off Kliff Kingsbury and Vance Joseph. Please, offer Wade Phillips the role as Associate Head Coach and pay him handsomely.
C’mon Cardinals, let’s get out of the NFC West cellar and go all-out for a Lombardi. Seriously. This is the kind of hire that championship teams make.
Think of what a wasted opportunity it was to bypass Wade Phillips in 2015 in favor of promoting 3rd year NFL assistant coach James Bettcher to DC.
That move by the Cardinals was akin to the Broncos making no effort to retain Wade Phillips as DC when they hired Vance Joseph as HC and settled on Al Woods as DC instead.
In bringing Phillips in to work with Vance—-they would now get a chance to compliment each other the way Kingsbury is doing with Sean Kugler.
Look at them walking together in the photo. Imagine both Vance and Wade walking arm and arm in Cardinal red.