5:26 PM ET
Close Covered Rams for two years for Los Angeles Times
Previously covered the Falcons
Has covered the NBA and college football and basketball
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — Wade Phillips on Thursday acknowledged various reports that he might not be welcome to return next season as defensive coordinator of the Los Angeles Rams.
“I’ve heard a lot of rumors out there, but I don’t pay attention to rumors,” said Phillips, who is in the final season of his contract. “I’m going to do the best that I can do and if that’s not good enough for somebody, then it isn’t.”
Rams coach Sean McVay said he spoke with Phillips about the reports that have surfaced.
“Wade and I discuss those things so we make sure there’s a clear understanding of what goes on,” McVay said. “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.”
The Rams are 8-7 and last Saturday were eliminated from playoff contention after a 34-31 loss to the San Francisco 49ers, who won on a last-second field goal after their offense converted twice on third-and-16 in a game-winning drive.
They will play a season finale Sunday at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum against the Arizona Cardinals. A victory would secure a third consecutive winning season for the Rams for the first time since 1999-2001.
The Rams’ defense this season has played stout at times, but also has been prone to momentary and full-game lapses. In three losses — to the Buccaneers, Ravens and Cowboys — the defense allowed more than 40 points.
When asked to evaluate the defense’s season, Phillips said, “Well, about 8-7.”
The Rams’ defense has allowed an average of 22.7 points and 336.1 yard per game this season. The unit has produced only 19 turnovers, but has 49 sacks.
McVay hired Phillips as his defensive coordinator after he was named head coach in 2017.
“He’s been great,” McVay said. “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.”
Philips is 72 years old and has coached in the NFL for 42 seasons. He appears to have no intention of retiring.
“I enjoy coaching,” Phillips said. “I want to continue.”