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Need to Know: Is Wade Phillips the right guy for the Redskins?

Jan 4, 2015, 6:31 AM EDT

Wade-Phillips-sideline

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, January 4, 116 days before the Redskins make their pick in the first round of the 2015 NFL draft.

Three and out—Redskins casting a wide net

1. The Redskins now have another couple of names in the pool to be their next defensive coordinator. Wade Phillips is set to interview sometime in the next several days. Jim Schwartz, former Titans and current Bills defensive coordinator and former Lions head coach, will not talk to the Redskins, at least not immediately. The Bills have denied the Redskins request to talk to Schwartz.

2. I didn’t add it up but I’m guessing that Phillips has more experience as a defensive coordinator than all of the other candidates put together. He has run an NFL defense in 23 seasons. Phillips also was a head coach for nine seasons. In both of those roles his defenses have been in the top 12 in the NFL in yards allowed 18 times and in the top 12 in points allowed 15 times.

3. Is age just a number? Phillips will be 68 in June and some are saying that the Redskins should go with a younger guy at this job, which requires 80 hours a week or more during the season. But the number itself shouldn’t be a deal breaker. They should undertake some due diligence and find out if he was showing his age from 2011-2013 in Houston, where he led defenses that were in the top 10 in yardage all three of his years there and top 10 in scoring defense in two of the three. Check out what players and coaches from there have to say about Phillips and then take it from there.

Out: Don’t look for the Redskins to make a quick decision on this hire. They will wait and sift through the possible candidates from the teams that are eliminated from the playoffs this weekend and they might even wait until after the divisional playoff round to see who’s available to interview after that. Certainly they will want to wait until the head coaching jobs in Buffalo and San Francisco are filled to see if Schwartz and/or Vic Fangio will become available. The organization may have a favored candidate or two but they likely will give a number of others a chance to change their minds.

Timeline

—It’s been 7 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be about 251 days until they play another one

Days until: NFL free agency starts 66; 2015 NFL Draft 116

If you have any questions about what’s going on at Redskins Park, hit me up in the comments. And I’m always on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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  1. charley42 - Jan 4, 2015 at 7:16 AM

    After this season, I think I can wait 253 days….

  2. goback2rfk - Jan 4, 2015 at 10:35 AM

    Wade is too old, if he gets the job than this will be his last job, and when people know they have no future after the job they are in it causes them to preform sub-par. I do not believe Wade would find success in Washington.

    • wonderfulfaison - Jan 4, 2015 at 11:12 AM

      I respectfully disagree with you. There is nothing to suggest he will not find a way to make the defense better than it was last year. Yes, he is only a coach and will need talent; however, if the best indicator of current behavior – in this case success – is past behavior, then Phillips record as a DC speaks for itself.

    • mjw9326mjw9326 - Jan 4, 2015 at 11:57 AM

      I always thought he was a really good coordinator, but another in a long line of mediocre head coaches.

    • deepball1 - Jan 4, 2015 at 1:13 PM

      Skins don’t need an inexperienced young kid like Wade Phillips, they should try to hire somebody more mature like
      Dick Lebeau away from Pittsburg

    • barrymoyer - Jan 5, 2015 at 4:59 AM

      Really? I’m on my last job and I’m coming up on 74 and it doesn’t keep me from giving it my all and doing above par work and I’m not making the kind of money Phillips would get. If anything, those on their last job are working hard to keep it. Your generalization is just that.

  3. mr.moneylover - Jan 4, 2015 at 11:57 AM

    Wade Phillips feels he can fix the redskins defense just by seeing them from a far on what they need to do…If redskins get permission to talk to jim schwartz i will try my hardest to not let him leave the building without a deal bein done…and yes it is smart if redskins wait to make a decision but knowing this organization they probably wont I expect them to name a new defense coordinator next week probably…lol probably right after they interview wade Phillips

    • Joe Greene - Jan 4, 2015 at 7:41 PM

      Schwartz is a scumbag who lets players do what they want, hence the current Detroit Lions roster of dirty players. No thanks.

  4. mr.moneylover - Jan 4, 2015 at 12:04 PM

    The only thing about hiring wade Phillips is that he knows tony romo weakness…but I still think he will be an upgrade from jim hasslet….wade Phillips set up houston defense to be good for many years im not surprised that houston still have a solid defense ppl dont know but wade Phillips created that…I wont be mad if wade Phillips becomes redskins DC ill just sit back and let the masterpiece fall into place because thats what he do

    • deepball1 - Jan 4, 2015 at 1:37 PM

      that was a good one mr.moneylover. Wade Phillips knows Tony Romo’s weakness? We ALL know Romo’s weakness…..everybody knows it….his weakness is his bad back. He is one hit away from retirement and that is his only weakness. What are you talking about????? his weakness? You sound like a high school kid who has been reading some football 101 magazine and now you think you are an expert. Just to let you know…that was a ridiculous comment you made.

      • ajbus1 - Jan 4, 2015 at 2:33 PM

        Not as ridiculous as thinking Dick LeBeau would leave Pittsburgh and come here.

      • mr.moneylover - Jan 4, 2015 at 3:21 PM

        Look nerd everybody got an opinion…lol if you dont think wade Phillips is an update from jim hasslet u is just as dumb …

        • Joe Greene - Jan 4, 2015 at 7:41 PM

          Are you 7 years old? It’s the only explanation for your posting patterns.

  5. goback2rfk - Jan 4, 2015 at 12:34 PM

    Wade has statistically been above average as a def. coordinator but he is in the twilight of his career. He may not even make it 4 more years. He is worth interviewing and considering but I do not see why the Skins would jump all over him or anything. It is a tough call, I would not be upset if the chose him, but I would not be thrilled or anything.

  6. Beetledust - Jan 4, 2015 at 12:59 PM

    We Need New Younger Coaches. Stop the recycling of the old guard.

    • skinsgame - Jan 5, 2015 at 1:59 AM

      Yes, by all means, let’s hire coaches with no track record to learn from or measure them by. Outstanding idea. The Patriots were idiots to hire Belichick too.

      • mr.moneylover - Jan 5, 2015 at 7:34 AM

        This was funny….I get your point clearly…those the ppl who dont know football…wade phillips got a good track record to fixing defenses…but ppl want a young coach with no track record and learn how fast the NFL works…most DC in the NFL are old…look at dallas,steeler,etc…experience takes you along way in this lead …its risky to bring in a young coach with no experience

  7. gurnblanstonreturns - Jan 4, 2015 at 1:32 PM

    The failure to fire Bruce Allen (or, at the very least, redefine his role as limited to business and charitable operations) and hire a real GM and grant him the immediate authority to evaluate, re-interview and retain or fire all front office personnel and coaches (including Gruden) leaves the Skins flailing. The two most prominent names swirling around the franchise are A.J. Smith, age 66, and Wade Phillips, age 68. What? Pepper Rodgers and Sherman Lewis unavailable?

    I have no doubt that Phillips would field a competent – perhaps above average – defense, but the point is that the Skins fail to recognize that they are a three-year rebuild away from consistently competitive. The hires in the front office, on the sidelines and to the roster should reflect this reality. A bold, new vision is needed.

    Same old, same old – in this case, literally old.

    • gonavybeatarmy - Jan 4, 2015 at 1:43 PM

      Well said. But Snyder is ultimately a fan boy, probably because he was a shrimp, non-athlete with no friends as as a kid, and would rather be buddies with his team’s leadership than hire the best, most forward thinking executives who may prefer to rather focus on achieving excellence than being his friend.

      The fans continue to pay for Snyder’s embarrassing, extended, mid-life crisis.

  8. polofourme - Jan 4, 2015 at 1:40 PM

    No absolutely not….he is a quick change artist..he comes in gets something out of a D and then moves on. What we need is a guy who will be here to REBUILD THE D, not just twik it to squeeze a little more out of it. Its the last thing the team needs. I also would not be happy if they for some unknown reason tried to elevate Morris..he simply needs to go find a job somewhere….We need guy who has experience running a 4-3 not a 3-4…..please no more of that D scheme here..but who is the question…I like Schwartz from the Bills but BUF wont give us permission to speak with us…I still could see Ryan here but he will probably not be interested in a DC position. But the list of guys we might be interviewing is pretty slim..maybe after the SB a decent DC can be found but gees stay away from Phillips

    • mr.moneylover - Jan 4, 2015 at 3:28 PM

      Im sorry to bust ya bubble but our defense is made to run the 3-4 we just got average or bad players in key postions…heres a quote from jay gruden SOMETIMES ITS GOOD GET RID OF PLAYERS TO MAKE YOUR TEAM BETTER…changes coming…this is the first time jay gruden is missing the playoffs in three years you think hes happy ??? Hell naw….lol

      • polofourme - Jan 5, 2015 at 9:06 AM

        Yes but many of the players on the D team are being PLAYED out of position, force fed into a 3-4 where they should be playing in their natural positions in a 4-3…I think you know that. So that’s a big hole in your view. Take Coefield…a natural DT/DE being played as a NT..he is to tall with a high center of gravity which allows OL to get under his pads and force him from the LOS or at the very least deny him an opportunity to be disruptive in both the pass rush and run D….Kerrigan, another who is being played out of position as OLB..he again is a DE, Murphy a rookie if he put on a 20 lbs or so could also play DE…and on and on..this team IS set up to play a 4-3, we just have to move the people we have to play their NATURAL position. I would argue instead of getting rid of players put those players in the best position to win..and that means moving back to a 4-3…a transition we could me with ease, today.

  9. mr.moneylover - Jan 4, 2015 at 3:41 PM

    Jay gruden mad we gotta hope that they draft smart and pick up some good undrafted players…picking up the undrafted players is just as important as the drafted players…who found good undrafted players in the pass aj smith did…I just think ppl need to just chillout and stop criticize every move redskins make…it doesnt matter what DC they hire if they dont get rid of most of the players on this roster they will keep losing regardless the players gotta execute the plays on the field not the players…we got bad players under contract for a couple of more years…like perry riley tracy porter chris baker and more

  10. remarkable4real - Jan 4, 2015 at 6:14 PM

    Redskins won’t wait, son of a bum will be the dc

  11. Jaycee M Brannock - Jan 4, 2015 at 6:53 PM

    Its as plain and simple as this, no more old, we need in with the new and young. The best fit for the Skins defense is the 49ers DC. Not only do they run the 3-4, they’re a smash mouth defense which has the stats to prove they’re good. They play in a tough nose division ,and I think he could bring that toughness to Washington.

  12. deepball1 - Jan 4, 2015 at 9:41 PM

    doesn’t matter who the 3-4 coach is because it doesn’t work without TWO outside linebackers who can get pressure frequently. Right now the Skins have none. I like Kerrigan as a person, but he is erratic. His sacks come in bunches like Orakpo and then he disappears for weeks. This is because true 3-4 linebackers are SPEED rushers and that is what the Redskins are devoid of.

    The ANSWER: Vic Beasley or Shane Ray with pick number 5 in the draft.

  13. nomaan78 - Jan 4, 2015 at 11:10 PM

    Bum Phillip’s son Wade at 67 years old would be a good fit as the DC Possibly for another 5 to 7 years max or whatever his life span is. In 2013 he had an effective defense for the Texans, so he is not out of touch. Maybe we can get an assistant to learn under him and succeed him once coach passes away on the sidelines. We must ge him some talent on the D as well this offseason.

    Picking 5th I hope we get lucky and can land DT Leonard Williams, or DE/OLB Randy Gregory

    It Would be nice to be able to get FS Devin McCourty from the Patriots, and NT Dan Williams from the Cardinals

    On the O-line

    In FA go and pay mike Iupati at LG and move move Lavao to RG.
    Hopefully an OT like Ronnie Stanley is available early in the 2nd.

    There is too much to fix on both sides of the trenches. I hope this staff can figure something out.
    SMH this is depressing

    • mr.moneylover - Jan 5, 2015 at 7:23 AM

      Its about moving fast and bein aggressive in free agency and by looking back at free agency in the pass redskins move slow and dont be aggressive…they had a clear chance to get darren sprole for just a 5 round pick by they let him go to the eagles instead so free agency has been bad for the redskins the last 4 years

  14. mr.moneylover - Jan 5, 2015 at 7:14 AM

    They get the job done tho…would you rather have soft players or aggressive players…buffalo defense played at a high level this year and he took a scum player we had rambo and made him play way better player then what he did when he was with the redskins he picked off aaron Rodgers twice…nobody on redskins coaching staff seem to cant fix players instead they rather just bench them

  15. Jeffery Marconi - Jan 5, 2015 at 12:18 PM

    Please not another re tread.

  16. murphsman - Jan 5, 2015 at 4:59 PM

    Let’s say we hired someone that ran a 4-3 and kept the same players. What would the new roles be? I know we likely wouldn’t keep the same players, but just hypothetically speaking with the roster as of right now.

  17. shanevalliere19 - Jan 5, 2015 at 8:46 PM

    When it comes to a new DC we need someone who will be here for 4+ years. If Fangio or Donatell from the 49ers becomes the DC I think they will be around for maybe 2 years before they have a HC job. That does nothing for our D. Though Phillips is old this would be his last job and he would be around at least 4 years. If not then we may be looking at linebackers, secondary, D-line coaches trying to make a name for themselves which should give them at least 5 years here. The right fit will do what best fits the talent of the D and get the most out of them. Here’s to getting it right for once! HTTR

  18. daren - Jan 11, 2015 at 2:17 PM

    it’s screw up when your team gets rid of a mastermind as in wade phillips but yet hire on a player thats a proven failure as in jadedevon clooney and keep him.

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