Wade Phillips on Rams defense: We can fit whatever we need to fit in

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The Rams made the hire of Wade Phillips as their defensive coordinator official last Thursday, finalizing a move that extends Phillips’ NFL resume to 10 franchises.

As in those other stops, Phillips is being asked to put together a top-flight defense. As in many of those stops, that will call for tweaking of the Rams’ defensive scheme as Phillips puts his own stamp on the unit. That stamp is expected to include a shift from a 4-3 base to a 3-4 and Phillips doesn’t expect it to be a major stumbling block.

“Four out of the last six teams I’ve gone to were running a 4-3, and we went to a 3-4 and went to the playoffs every year, and they hadn’t been to the playoffs the year before,” Phillips said, via ESPN.com. “I think we can fit whatever we need to fit in. And if we couldn’t, we would change. But that’s the way we’ve done it. We’ve got our defense where we can utilize any kind of personnel in any way. It’s just what the players can do best. Same with coverages, and same with the linebackers, and same with the D-line. You try to get the best players on the field and don’t make many mistakes. That’s what we’re going to do. That’s what we plan on doing.”

Phillips’ arrival may force some players, like defensive end Robert Quinn, to change positions but Phillips says players “who can rush are going to rush” by way of explaining that things aren’t going to be radically different under his command.

15 responses to “Wade Phillips on Rams defense: We can fit whatever we need to fit in

  1. The 3-4 sucks with type of players the Rams have a defense, like Aaron Donald, a pure 4-3 tackle. It is stupid when coaches think they can fit players into a new scheme easily and weaken the team.

  2. The Rams could be dangerous next year, Phillips is a great D coordinator. The question mark is the head coach and QB

  3. The 3-4 sucks with type of players the Rams have a defense, like Aaron Donald, a pure 4-3 tackle. It is stupid when coaches think they can fit players into a new scheme easily and weaken the team.
    ————-
    Donald will have the same gap responsibilities and alignment in Phillips’ 1 gap 3-4 that he had in Greg Williams 4-3. Other than pro-bowl voting, who cares whether he is considered a DT or DE?

  4. beavertonsteve says:
    Jan 22, 2017 1:15 PM

    The 3-4 sucks with type of players the Rams have a defense, like Aaron Donald, a pure 4-3 tackle. It is stupid when coaches think they can fit players into a new scheme easily and weaken the team.
    ————-
    Donald will have the same gap responsibilities and alignment in Phillips’ 1 gap 3-4 that he had in Greg Williams 4-3. Other than pro-bowl voting, who cares whether he is considered a DT or DE?
    ——————————————————–
    But your gap responsibility changes if/when the OLB drops into coverage. Donald didn’t have to worry about this in the 4-3 the Rams ran but I think he will be able to handle it for the most part. He might even get more sacks but the run defense may suffer a bit more.

  5. I completely agree with what Wade Phillips is saying here. Many people, mainly commentators, make shifting from a 4-3 to a 3-4 more difficult than what it actually is. Either you have good players and a good coach, or you don’t.

  6. Don’t worry beavertonsteve, I am sure Wade will keep reading PFT to improve his defensive coaching schemes.

  7. The Phillips’ 3-4 is a 3-4 in name only. It’s a one gap defense that is essentially a 40 Under defense.

  8. Phillips did a great job in Houston and Denver – if you remember, JJ Watt was not considered a 3-4 DE. Somehow wade found a way to make him pretty damn good.

    Go look at Wade’s success as a DC, going all the way back to San Diego. Everywhere he goes, he succeeds. Like Top-5 defense kind of success. It’s happened enough times to where you can assume he will succeed in LA (as long as the GM can work on filling gaps on the roster).

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