Wade Phillips, defensive coordinator for the Denver Broncos the past two seasons, is officially moving on. He took the same position with the Los Angeles Rams, and now Joe Woods — the secondary coach — is taking over as the defensive coordinator in Denver.
My first memory of Wade Phillips is when he was head coach of the Broncos. That was following the Dan Reeves era, when John Elway was our quarterback and we couldn't get over the hump. Elway famously didn't get along with Phillips, and pushed for him to be fired. His firing paved the way for hiring Mike Shanahan, which was arguably the best era in Broncos' football.
Phillips went on to serve as a head coach in Buffalo, where he presided over the Music City Miracle defeat, and in Dallas, before returning to what he does best, coaching defense. He was a long-term defensive coordinator for Gary Kubiak in Houston. So it seemed natural that Kubiak would bring him to Denver.
But that was hardly a sure thing. It seemed that Elway wanted to pursue other options. Lead Wade, last one point, to Tweet "Are we doing this thing or not?" Eventually Wade was hired, and it led to the second best era in Broncos' football.
Last year, his defense was one of the best all time, leading the Broncos to a Super Bowl title. This year, the rush defense struggled a bit, but it was still one of the best units in football. Wade helped maximize the talents of Von Miller and the No Fly Zone, leading to a great deal of prosperity for the team.
Now he will apply his talents to the Rams, where he'll try to help a new coach take them to the next level. He will be greatly missed in Denver, and all fans owe him a debt of gratitude.