Though rumors have surfaced in recent weeks that defensive coordinator Wade Phillips may not be asked to return to the Los Angeles Rams next season, the longtime coach isn’t concerned.
As long as there is still a game on their schedule, that’s where his focus will be.
“I don’t pay attention to rumors,” said Phillips, whose contract expires at the end of the year, via the Los Angeles Times. “Wherever I’ve been, I’m going to do the best I can do. If that’s not good enough for somebody then it isn’t. But we want to finish with a winning season.”
Phillips and the Rams boast an 8-7 record heading into Sunday’s season finale against the Arizona Cardinals. They were officially eliminated from the postseason last week after a last-second loss to the San Francisco 49ers.
Phillips’ defense has allowed 22.7 points per game, the 17th-best in the league, and 336.1 yards per game, the 13th-best in the league. They have been on the wrong end of a pair of blowout wins in recent weeks, too, falling 45-6 to the Baltimore Ravens and 44-21 to the Dallas Cowboys.
Undoubtedly, the team looks far different from the one that reached the Super Bowl last season.
While head coach Sean McVay said he has talked to Phillips about the rumors surrounding his job security, he said that they will wait until the season is over to address any coaching changes or new contracts.
“Wade and I discuss those things so we make sure there’s a clear understanding of what goes on,” McVay said, via ESPN. “And we keep those things behind closed doors.
“We’ll finish off this season … we’ll take some time to really be able to reflect back on the year, look back at some of the things that we need to do as we’re moving forward.”
McVay, though, said he’s loved the time he’s had working with Phillips — whom he hired after he took over with the Rams in 2017.
“He’s been great,” McVay said, via ESPN. “Even from the very first time that we started working together, his experience that he’s had to be able to draw on … He’s always had a great perspective just based on his experience and then whether it be as a head coach or a coordinator.”
Though he knows it’s not entirely up to him, Phillips isn’t ready to be done coaching by any means.
The 72-year-old wants to keep going.
“It’s up to somebody else to judge those things,” Phillips said, via the Los Angeles Times. “You never know what’s going to happen in football. But I know one thing: I’m going to do the best I can do and be the best assistant coach I can be.”
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