Souhan: Vikings’ Wes Phillips is in the family business; he wouldn’t have it any other way

 Souhan: Vikings’ Wes Phillips is in the family business; he wouldn’t have it any other way


The Phillipses did not hide their love. Wade Phillips, the great defensive coordinator and occasional head coach, Named his Twitter feed “sonofbum,” after his father, former Oilers coach Bum Phillips. Wes Phillips, the new Vikings offensive coordinator, remains in close contact with his father, who is incomprehensible not working in the NFL but being hired by the XFL.

It’s a family of fun football philosophers. When Oilers superstar running back Earl Campbell had trouble with the mile run at a training camp, Bum responded to a reporter’s question by saying, “If it’s first and a mile, don’t I will give it to him. “

Wade is a successful head coach (82-64) down to a 1-5 postseason record, but his work as defensive coordinator could place him in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, along with former Viking assistants Tom Moore and Monte Kiffin, if Coordinators are considered prime candidates.

With Wes, the apple is not far from the coaching tree. Like Bum and Wade, he is a football lifer who loves his players and seeks to blend modern thinking with traditional reality.

“I can never imagine myself doing anything other than teaching,” Phillips said. “I’ve always loved the game. I wanted to be one of those guys running on the grass, but I knew very well, being around NFL players, what I look like as an athlete compared to these guys. man. So teaching is the next best thing. “

Explosive passing offenses are the rage of the modern NFL, but Phillips channels Moore when talking about the facts of running an offense. Moore would knock on the table and shout, “You have to protect the quarterback!” Phillips, who was with the Rams when they won the Super Bowl, agreed.

“Our offense was very quarterback-friendly,” he said. “We don’t have a chance if we can’t defend, and if the QB isn’t comfortable running on offense. There aren’t too many dropbacks in early downs, because it’s hard to pass-protection in this league over and over again. .

“If you can stay efficient in the early downs, whether it’s running the ball or the game screen, the keeper’s game, naked. [bootlegs]and stay on the road, you have a chance to succeed. “

Phillips is the Rams pass game coordinator and tight ends coach. New Viking coach Kevin O’Connell is Sean McVay’s offensive coordinator. They believe in running the ball effectively to speed up the quarterback’s life. McVay also proved that finding the right quarterback is all if you want to win a Super Bowl.

He made it to Super Bowl LIII with Jared Goff as his quarterback, and the Patriots shut him out, winning 13-3. McVay traded Goff and several possessions to Detroit for Matthew Stafford, who has yet to win a playoff game, and immediately won the Super Bowl.

A year ago, how did Phillips feel about working with Stafford? “We totally thought we had the right person,” he said Tuesday. “There are only a few guys, really, who can operate at a high level. They’re very hard to find. And when you’re there, you know, then, and Matthew comes in and takes ownership and his experience. a big part of that. ”

If not asked, Phillips asked Viking quarterback Kirk Cousins. “It’s like the rest of Kirk,” he said. “He has so much experience that he can connect a lot of the things or concepts we’re talking about with things he’s done in the past.”

While Bum makes witticisms, Wade likes to talk about football. As a first-year NFL writer, I called Wade in 1989, when he was the defensive coordinator of the Denver Broncos, and he called right away so he could promote the safety of star Steve Atwater.

Wes said Wade, while looking for his next teaching job, spent a lot of time in his home office, talking to Zoom with coaches from around the country.

“High school coaches, college coaches, anyone who wants to talk football,” Wes said. “He was in his office and my mom didn’t even know the person he was talking to, and he was there for an hour straight.”

Sonofwade is still calling.





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