The Denver Broncos just made official the hiring of Gary Kubiak this week, so it’s understandable that it’s taking him some time to round out his staff but many fans have been chomping at the bit to find out who the new defensive coordinator would be. Apparently, with Vance Joseph now out of the picture, it could be former Broncos coach Wade Phillips, who has been a head coach for a number of teams in the NFL, including the Houston Texans, Dallas Cowboys, and Buffalo Bills.
Nothing is set in stone at this point, but with Phillips having a significant connection to both John Elway and Gary Kubiak, it would seem as though the 67-year old has an inside track since the Broncos have learned that the Bengals would not be letting Vance Joseph out of his contract even for a promotion. Phillips was the defensive coordinator in Houston when Kubiak was there as head coach, and was named interim head coach in 2013.
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Phillips is widely known as somewhat of a failure as a head coach, going 1-5 in playoff games, but as a defensive coordinator, he’s really good. He employs a 3-4 defensive alignment, which would fit the Broncos personnel at this point very well. He helped lead the Houston Texans most recently in 2011 and 2012 to some of the most efficient and effective defense in team history, ranking in the top 10 both seasons in points allowed, yards, and takeaways as the defensive coordinator.
If Phillips is hired by the Broncos, it might disappoint some who were holding out hope for Jim Schwartz, who did a great job this past season with the Buffalo Bills and operates out of a 4-3 defense, but the Broncos wouldn’t have to alter the roster entirely for Phillips’ arrival. DeMarcus Ware enjoyed the prime of his career with Phillips as his head coach, so those two would be familiar, and Von Miller would be a great fit in a 3-4 but really that wouldn’t be all that worrisome. The Broncos consistently operate out of the nickel, as do many NFL teams, so that’s essentially the base defense anyway.
This wouldn’t be a bad hire by the Broncos at all, but some might not get overly excited about it.