Skip to content

Wade Phillips had an awkward interview in Washington three years ago

Getty Images

New Rams defensive coordinator Wade Phillips has a new book, Son of Bum. Written with our friend Vic Carucci of the Buffalo News, the memoir includes Wade’s memory of an awkward interview with Washington coach Jay Gruden after Gruden got the D.C. gig in 2014.

“By this point my son Wes was the Redskins’ tight end coach,” Phillips explains (via Mark Bullock of the Washington Post), “so I was looking forward to the possibility of us working together again. But my interview with Jay was strange, to say the least. . . . When Jay was the offensive coordinator in Cincinnati and I was with the Texans, I faced the Bengals twice in the playoffs, after the 2011 and 2012 seasons, and beat them both times — 31-10 and 19-13. I felt he knew my credentials and might have been impressed with the things we were able to do in the previous three games in which we had beaten the Bengals, including one game during the regular season.

“We watched a lot of tape of the Texans’ games versus his offense. It seemed to me a lot of the players were of when Cincinnati did well. Most of the interview was about that. I thought we should have talked more about philosophy, technique, concepts, and my record, but he was the one interviewing me.

“After the interview I told Wes of my disappointment. I felt Jay didn’t have as much regard for my coaching as I’d hoped he would. He ended up hiring Joe Barry, a friend of his, to be defensive coordinator.”

Coupled with Wade’s lamentations about being paid less than his top lieutenant in Dallas, the book apparently has a degree of candor that makes it a “must” read. And so I will.

Permalink 26 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Denver Broncos, Home, Houston Texans, Los Angeles Rams, Rumor Mill, Washington Redskins
26 Responses to “Wade Phillips had an awkward interview in Washington three years ago”
  1. koufaxmitzvah says: May 5, 2017 10:39 AM

    The Phillips family are good, smart people.

  2. romo2witten says: May 5, 2017 10:49 AM

    Seems like Wade is always the victim in his mind.

  3. nfloracle says: May 5, 2017 10:52 AM

    I like Wade and I like his defenses even more (great fun to watch), but the two comments cited in this article sound kind of whiny to me. Made me think of the time Dallas was featured on Hard Knocks and Wade struck me at the time — when he was personally telling a player why he had been cut — as being too kind-hearted to be a head coach. In any event, I’ll probably buy the book because Wade’s had an interesting career and reading about it will be time well spent, most likely.

  4. RandyinRoxbury says: May 5, 2017 10:56 AM

    This family continues to live off Bum’s legacy, be grateful Wade.

  5. ghostlight13 says: May 5, 2017 11:07 AM

    And now Joe Barry is his LB coach after Washington fired him. Odd place, the NFL.

  6. thekillernacho says: May 5, 2017 11:07 AM

    On one hand, the interview didn’t sound that awkward. On the other, apparently Jay Gruden isn’t the best people person and turned away one of the best defensive coordinators in pro football to hire a bum named Joe Barry.

    Redskins would’ve been a lot more scary with Wade at the defense’s helm.

  7. maust1013 says: May 5, 2017 11:17 AM

    RandyinRoxbury says:
    May 5, 2017 10:56 AM
    This family continues to live off Bum’s legacy, be grateful Wade.
    ===================

    If you don’t know Wade Phillips is one of the better defensive minds in football maybe you should try actually watching some.

  8. denverscott says: May 5, 2017 11:19 AM

    RandyinRoxbury says:
    May 5, 2017 10:56 AM
    This family continues to live off Bum’s legacy, be grateful Wade.

    You might actually watch Wades squads play before making such a asinine comment.

  9. unbridledsexy says: May 5, 2017 11:20 AM

    Always liked Wade Phillips. Seems like one of the only nice coaches in the NFL. He’s like an NFL unicorn.

  10. jstew0103 says: May 5, 2017 11:34 AM

    Not the biggest Wade Phillips fan, but I’m pretty sure I’d take him to coach my defense over just about any defensive coordinator in the league. This just further proves Jay Gruden is a hack

  11. mogogo1 says: May 5, 2017 11:36 AM

    So Gruden lost two playoff games only managing one TD in each and actually went to the trouble of piecing together film of all his good plays to try and embarrass the guy who totally shut him down? It doesn’t get any more petty than that.

  12. billsfan says: May 5, 2017 11:40 AM

    Had Wade not locked horns with the meddling Ralph Wilson, and had Wilson not meddled in who would play QB, he might still be the HC of the Bills, and the “drought” would have never happened. Perhaps, the contrary.
    Shoulda, coulda, woulda

  13. unclebluck says: May 5, 2017 11:40 AM

    As a Bills fa I would welcome Wade back as our head coach. last HC that got us to the playoffs….18 years ago…..

  14. RussianBreadMaker says: May 5, 2017 11:44 AM

    When you’re as old as a fossil, it probably doesn’t help your cause.

  15. walker1191 says: May 5, 2017 11:52 AM

    Explain to me again why the Broncos – with a great defense and a struggling offense – hired a D coordinator with mediocre resume as their new HC, and let their successful defensive coach walk out the door.

    I think I saw this movie before with Rex Ryan in the lead role.

  16. joetoronto says: May 5, 2017 11:58 AM

    unclebluck says:
    May 5, 2017 11:40 AM
    As a Bills fa I would welcome Wade back as our head coach. last HC that got us to the playoffs….18 years ago…..
    ********************************************
    Typical Buffalo loser mentality, so typical.

  17. Grulks says: May 5, 2017 12:01 PM

    So, instead of hiring Wade, the guy who developed the type of defense you are employing, you hired Joe Barry, a guy who learned it from a guy, who learned it from Wade?

    Oh Washington….you never disappoint

  18. bpurd says: May 5, 2017 12:02 PM

    It wasn’t a real interview. Most of the interviews coaches do are for information gathering. Gruden wanted to know how he shut them down. Wade isn’t living off his father’s name. He has been one the top 3 defensive coordinators of the last 20 years if not the best.

  19. touchdownroddywhite says: May 5, 2017 12:08 PM

    The hay is in the barn for Phillips at his age. He can say whatever he wants, and clearly seems to be doing so. Kudos to him.

  20. tylawspick6 says: May 5, 2017 12:11 PM

    I am sure it was awkward.

    MR Alligator arms was a terrible head coach and never did jack squat as a coordinator without a small window with a GM buying up a bunch of talent for a desperate, short run (Denver, 2015).

  21. nole567 says: May 5, 2017 12:13 PM

    Wade is a great football coach – and an even better man – and we will miss him dearly this season in Denver.

  22. abninf says: May 5, 2017 12:36 PM

    I’m still dumfounded as to why the players in Dallas quit on him. They all swore they loved him but wouldn’t play hard enough for him to keep his job. Maybe he was too nice and they took advantage.

  23. mysterytonite says: May 5, 2017 2:45 PM

    Sounds to me like wade’s big mouth got him in trouble. He spends too much time taking pot shots at his opponents reminding them how he got the best of them instead of showing a little respect. Is gruden petty for possibly holding it against him? Perhaps. But it’s his ship and there can only be one captain.

  24. crp63 says: May 5, 2017 2:51 PM

    Gruden was never going to hire a guy who could be a suitable mid-season replacement for him if Danny got an itchy trigger finger.Barry,friend or not,was never going to be a threat.

  25. johnniemayes says: May 5, 2017 6:37 PM

    Wade Phillips masterful career was capped off with the 2015 Super Bowl win where he coached one of the greatest defenses of all time.

  26. sodoyoufeelluckypunk says: May 8, 2017 7:33 AM

    Using his schemes, Wade took Jack Del Rio’s 11 starting defensive players and turned them into a legendary defense that won SB 50 despite Denver’s anemic offense led by an old, broken down P. Manning (192 total offensive yards in SB 50). To all the haters, your sweet tears of jealousy are nectar to the rest of us. Wade Phillips is a damn fine DC!

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!