If you’re one who reads tea leaves, put your money on Wade Phillips.
With the news that Perry Fewell will join the Washington football team as its defensive backs coach, that may rule out Vance Joseph as the next Denver Broncos defensive coordinator. It was widely believed the only way the Cincinnati Bengals would let Joseph leave the Queen City is if Fewell took his spot as the defensive backs coach there. That option is now gone.
It appears that would make Phillips the frontrunner to be Gary Kubiak’s defensive coordinator. Phillips is also the better option of the two for the Broncos. Phillips is a football genius and knows how to get the best out of his players.
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As I noted last week, the most recent example is what he did with the Houston Texans. In 2010, the Texans had the worst defense in the NFL. The very next season, according to Bucky Brooks at NFL.com, Phillips’ first as Houston’s defensive coordinator, the defense was ranked No. 2. He also did that with no Pro Bowlers.
Talent wise, Denver’s defense is better (much better) than that unit. You also add one of the best defensive line coaches in the NFL, Bill Kollar and linebackers coach Reggie Herring. One guy who is stoked Herring is with the Broncos is DeMarcus Ware. With Herring as his coach for the Dallas Cowboys, Ware led the league in sacks twice.
The guy to look for as the Denver secondary coach is Hall of Famer Rod Woodson. Last season, he served as a coaching intern for the Broncos and mentored the secondary. Woodson knows the players and he knows the secondary as one of the best to ever play the game.
Jan 29, 2013, New Orleans, LA, USA; Rod Woodson on the CBS sports network set at the Super Bowl XLVII media center at the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
When you pair the talent on the Denver roster, those coaches and Phillips … that’s a special defense in the making. It also will help Broncos Country forget the conservative defensive approach of one Jack of the River (Del Rio). You also add the familiarity Phillips and Kubiak have with one another, and no wonder this seems like it will happen.
But this goes deeper than that. This goes beyond that. Phillips is a Bronco. He knows what the organization is about. He knows what the goal is. He’s lived it. He’s breathed it. If you haven’t been paying attention, the last two coaching staffs didn’t get that. The expectations that come with being a coach in Denver crushed them.
Still, if Phillips wasn’t a defensive genius this wouldn’t work. If he didn’t have the success he’s had as a defensive coordinator, Phillips wouldn’t be in the running at all.
Now that Fewell is off to Washington, it appears that means Joseph is out. As it stands that’s a good thing for Denver. I would much rather have a guy who is experienced and one of the best at what he does.
That also means another Bronco is about to come home.
Aug 25, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans defensive coordinator Wade Phillips against the New Orleans Saints at Reliant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports