Bill Belichick: I’ve had to change my defense, Wade Phillips hasn’t

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Patriots coach Bill Belichick is impressed with how consistent Rams defensive coordinator Wade Phillips has been through the years.

Phillips got his first NFL coaching job in 1976 on his father Bum Phillips’ Houston Oilers staff, then became a defensive coordinator for the first time in 1981 in New Orleans. And Phillips hasn’t changed much in that time, Belichick says.

I’ve certainly changed a lot in the last 30 years, schematically,” Belichick said. “Wade really . . . hasn’t. He really hasn’t. You’ve got to give him credit for that. The system has lasted. I mean, really, this is part of his dad’s system that he’s developed and adapted and developed there. I mean, I have a ton of respect for what he’s done and how he’s done it over every different kind of offense you can see. Multiple tight ends, run-and-shoot, 10 personnel, 11 personnel, 12 personnel, 21, 22. He’s been able to do the same thing — not the same thing, but his system has been able to handle all that. And I think that’s a real credit to what he put together 30 years ago.”

Phillips has been a defensive coordinator for the Rams, Broncos twice, Texans, Chargers, Falcons, Bills, Eagles and Saints, a head coach of the Cowboys, Bills and Broncos and an interim head coach of the Texans, Falcons and Saints. Through all that, he hasn’t changed his defense very much.

57 responses to “Bill Belichick: I’ve had to change my defense, Wade Phillips hasn’t

  1. Still running the same exact scheme, and last time Wade Phillips played against the Patriots in a big game they won 20-18. Don’t underestimate the old guy.

  2. Wade Phillips “hasn’t changed his system” …..12 NFL gigs as DC or HC.
    Bill Belichick constantly changes his system…..9 Super bowls in past 18 years.
    Hmmmmm
    I wonder if there is a correlation?

  3. I’m very surprised at how well the Rams’ defense has gelled in the playoffs. Part of it can be explained — Suh wants a nice contract somewhere for next year, so he’s turned it up two or three notches and is playing great football — but other parts can’t be so easily explained. How could Marcus Peters, after playing horribly all year, suddenly play quite well against the Saints? Ditto with Mark Barron, who has had a difficult year, but has notched it up significantly the last two weeks, especially last week. Talib had looked slow and lumbering (including the Dallas game) since coming back from his injury, but looked faster and nimbler against New Orleans. Baffling but happy mysteries for Rams fans.

  4. Wade never got a fair shake as head coach in Dallas. Jerry hired jason garrett as head coach in waiting and jason sacrificed the first part of the season as oc running offense into ground. Wade gets fired and jason gets promoted fro oc to head coach and offense suddenly explodes. Jason aka coach process in futility, is loved in Dallas by Jerry Jones. Not so much Cowboy nation, or sports writers, or other owners, or sports personalities.

  5. He initially looked good in Dallas but then started 1-7 his final year. Can’t blame Jones for making a change at the bye week that year

  6. Going to the super bowl must be incredible for coaches and players. It certainly is for fans. It’s got to suck though knowing you advanced to the super bowl when even Atlantic City doesn’t believe you won the game that put you there.

  7. Dillon Pauls says:
    January 26, 2019 at 6:42 am
    Still running the same exact scheme, and last time Wade Phillips played against the Patriots in a big game they won 20-18. Don’t underestimate the old guy.
    —————————–

    In Denver in 2015 season, Wade Phillips flipped his script and threw stuff at Brady (and Belichick) that he rarely had done. He didn’t go all out blitz all the time which had been his MO. He had the personnel to allow the rush to get into Brady’s face while his excellent DBs and LBs held it down in the backend. He mixed it up and didn’t do the exact same thing he had been known for. Brady struggled ALL game to get something going and really never did. It took some crazy throws and catches by Gronk in the 4th quarter to get it close.

  8. If Suh could turn it up in the playoffs, why can’t Peters, Baron, and Talib have done so too. The playoffs are well known for players playing faster and hitting harder. It’s especially noticeable for talented players.

  9. He may not have changed his defense very much, but with that many different coaching jobs, he must have moved twice a year.

  10. Uh, oh. When BB is talkative and lavishes you with praise, it means he wants you comfortable because he has found ways to exploit you. Usually he’s not this specific. Bad sign.

  11. Bellichick letting you know why the Rams are probably going to lose. He changes not only his defense but his offense and everything else every week. He probably installed a whole new playbook for the Super Bowl. Unless McVey wises up and does this as well or they just have something that is a physical mismatch that the Patriot personnel can’t handle (think the two Carolina receivers, the Bronco pass rush, Jeffrey last year) or there are fluky turnovers, this will probably go like 70% of every other Brady/Bellichick game.

  12. Everybody knows that the ability to adapt is highly valued in NFL coaching circles. The idea that Wade “hasn’t had to adapt” suggests his unwillingness to, or his reliance on good personnel.

    That’s as close to a bald-faced shot across the bow as you’re ever gonna get from BB.

  13. Uh, oh. When BB is talkative and lavishes you with praise, it means he wants you comfortable because he has found ways to exploit you. Usually he’s not this specific. Bad sign.

    ================================================================================
    Seasoning him up to be fried.

  14. Ytsejamer1 says:
    January 26, 2019 at 8:27 am

    Denver in 2015 season, Wade Phillips flipped his script and threw stuff at Brady (and Belichick) that he rarely had done. He didn’t go all out blitz all the time which had been his MO. He had the personnel to allow the rush to get into Brady’s face while his excellent DBs and LBs held it down in the backend. He mixed it up and didn’t do the exact same thing he had been known for. Brady struggled ALL game to get something going and really never did. It took some crazy throws and catches by Gronk in the 4th quarter to get it close.
    ———————————–

    That’s not really the whole picture though. The Pats only had one starter on the offensive line, and all were playing outside their normal positions. the Pats didn’t have a running back, all starters were out for the season- they brought in (a shell of himself) Stephon Jackson only 3 weeks before- that combo allowed Miller and Ware to tee off on rushing Brady. Brady had a shoulder injury, Gronk had missed time with his back, Edelman had foot surgery 4 weeks before- it was only his 2cnd game back, and Danny Amendola had just returned from a knee/leg injury. They chased that gostkowski missed extra point the whole game, and honestly Kubiak completely outcoached Bellichik in that game. Not denying Wade his due, just pointing out it wasn’t as simple as just his defensive scheme.

    Funny thing is about that game, despite the loss, as a Pats fan I still see that as one of Brady’s greatest games!

  15. Wait, what?

    Dillon Pauls says:
    January 26, 2019 at 6:42 am

    Still running the same exact scheme, and last time Wade Phillips played against the Patriots in a big game they won 20-18. Don’t underestimate the old guy.

    82

    22

    —————————-

    NE’s B Squad in Denver and failed to get to OT due to a missed Xtra point is what you’re hanging your hat on?

    Wade prefers zone and prefers to play downhill. If he switches to man, NE will run all over La’s weak edges. Brady loves zone. It’ll be cat and mouse for a little while, but to pretend the PAts are at a disadvantage is funny.

    Also, Wade Phillips HAS to have very good personnel to be effective. He’s that guy. Hence, why he’s the same Wad every week. He relies on personnel more than scheme.

    NE’s personnel on offense is night and day from their B Squad in Denver in 2015. LOL!

    My goodness, do people ever get facts?

  16. unclebluck says:
    January 26, 2019 at 8:16 am

    Wade Phillips also was never fined for cheating….

    23

    30

    —————

    He’s never been good enough to be cheated by Goodell. LOL!

    Anyway, his 2015 QB used PEDs to cheat and Goodell covered it up for months to help. Remember?

  17. Wade Phillips also was never fined for cheating….

    =================

    He sure hasn’t. But then, he DID help steal the Chargers’ signals to help the Oilers advance to the AFC Championship game.

  18. BB never throws shade at people in the NFL business (maybe a player or two with a big mouth, like Derrick Mason or Adam Thielen). He will make a weekly exception on that rule with media tho….

  19. FoozieGrooler says:
    January 26, 2019 at 9:05 am

    Talk about a backhanded compliment.

    ===================================

    Exactly ! It’s all that really jumped out at me, other than the usual BB pre-game superlatives.

  20. Ralphie says:
    January 26, 2019 at 10:48 am

    BB never throws shade at people in the NFL business (maybe a player or two with a big mouth, like Derrick Mason or Adam Thielen). He will make a weekly exception on that rule with media tho….

    1

    0

    ——————

    He’s done it to more than just those 2.

    I think he’s sort of genuine in saying Wade has been the same guy and has been consistent, but I also do think it means he’s baiting Wade to get out of his comfort zone, too. If Wade goes more man coverage, NE’s new “wrinkle” is their dominant run game, something they have not had since 2004 with Dil

    On the flip side, NE’s offense is far more lethal in the passing game than when Dillon was toting the rock in 2004.

    Pick yer poison, Wade.

  21. Like the rest of the world, I am hoping to see the Rams destroy the Patriots. The only thing better than seeing the Patriots lose in the playoffs is seeing the Patriots lose in the Superbowl.

  22. therealtrenches says: January 26, 2019 at 9:29 am
    “Everybody knows that the ability to adapt is highly valued in NFL coaching circles. The idea that Wade “hasn’t had to adapt” suggests his unwillingness to, or his reliance on good personnel. That’s as close to a bald-faced shot across the bow as you’re ever gonna get from BB.”

    =====================

    That’s not BB’S intent. It was a complement to Phillips’ system that could withstand the test of time that the scheme is so solid that it can defend all kinds of offense. I believe there’s mutual respect here. Noticed in the 2015 season playoff after the Pats lost to the Broncos in Denver, BB went to seek out Wade to congratulate him. BB doesn’t do that often, only when he genuinely feel the respect for the opponent after a loss.

  23. Yup….the Rams CB’s are still playing by 1976 rules where you get to decapitate the WR before the ball is anywhere near him. Why change ifthey allow you to do that?

  24. The question is Does Wade Phillip have the same pieces when He was with the Denver Broncos.If not it’s going to be a long Game for him.

  25. Phillips is a system in search of the right personnel and Belichick is personnel is search of the right system.

    I’m with Belichick. Much more flexible.

  26. Belichick is blowing so much smoke up the backsides of the Rams that their feet are off the ground.

    As for that loss to Denver (and Wade’s defense), where Brady and the Pats never seem to play well, I recall the Pats having no running game after picking up Stephen Jackson off the street due to injuries, and coming back in the final two minutes to score a TD after being hurt by two interceptions early. Alas, they had to go for two points to try to tie the game because Gostkowski had missed an extra point in the 1st quarter. The two point conversion was unsuccessful. So, the Pats did not play well but made it very close. I do remember Gronk going off for like a buck and a half in a losing effort.

  27. Classy thing for Bill to say about Wade. Now if only Patriot fan could be as classy. Reading these comments and shaking my head, they simply can’t get out of their own way. A day WILL come and the Pats will no longer be the top dog – that will be a good day merely for the fan base, which needs a desperately needs a humbling. If only they could play the 85 Bears this Sunday. Oh well.

  28. jchemengr says: “Phillips is a system in search of the right personnel and Belichick is personnel is search of the right system.

    I’m with Belichick. Much more flexible.”
    =========================

    And you missed Belichick’s point completely. Wade’s system has worked with many different types of personnel. Denver’s strength was the LBs in run/coverage abilities and outside rush, while the Rams are complete OPPOSITE in that their core is inside rush and secondary grouping. Yet he’s made it work with both.

  29. Wade Phillips Defense= leading with the crown of the helmet.
    Coleman vs TL Lewis

    Littleton knocked out the Saints TE Josh Hill

    Blake Countess ended the career of Coby Fleener

  30. New England Patriots and Tom Brady:

    PRIOR to DEFLATEGATE: 5 AFC Championships WINS and 3 Super Bowl WINS.

    AFTER DEFLATEGATE: 4 AFC Championships WINS, 2 Super Bowl WINS, and a fourth Super Bowl this week.

  31. tylawspick6 says:
    January 26, 2019 at 10:20 am
    unclebluck says:
    January 26, 2019 at 8:16 am

    Wade Phillips also was never fined for cheating….

    23

    30

    —————

    He’s never been good enough to be cheated by Goodell. LOL!

    Anyway, his 2015 QB used PEDs to cheat and Goodell covered it up for months to help. Remember?

    ———-

    We are in the SB this season with a very good chance of winning with a player who served a 4 games suspension for PEDs. So who are we talk?

  32. To me, it sounds like an insult “ you inherited your daddy’s defense, never changed anything and you have no creativity “.

  33. Unfortunately this game will be decided less by the players & more by the coaches. The Patriots have a pretty dominant offensive line, & Brady is getting the ball out so fast that he’s eliminating negative plays. The Patriots defense has also stepped up big time the last third of the season. All this paired with the better coaches & I believe the Rams get out-coached. Aaron Donald will be neutralized & that will be the difference. Sony Michel, James White, & the Brady short game will be the offensive success for New England. Yah hot take, I know.

    AND MIND YOU I AM A DIE HARD BUFFALO FAN. But if I’m betting, I’m betting on the Patriots, by 8 points. 29-21 plenty of FG’s & a New England defensive or special teams TD. MVP likely & unfortunately Brady, based on his numbers due to the sheer volume of attempts he’ll have that will also equate to an absurdly efficient completion percentage & gaudy passer rating.

  34. He meant it as a compliment – that his system is flexible enough to adapt different wrinkles over the years. At least that’s how I took it. Bill’s not one to throw shade at an opposing coach.

  35. Ask Buffalo fans if they would like to average 9+ wins again like they did with Wade. They had 2 double digit win seasons under Wade and none since. He gets a bit of a bad rap as a head coach.

  36. Yes, Wade uses zone out there in L.A. but he ran man in Denver because he had the personnel and backfield cohesion and chemistry to do it. This Rams D is not even in the same universe as that Denver squad of ’15, Donald or no Donald, Talib,etc. And worse, Goff is an average QB. Sadly, I don’t think this game will be that close. But I’m pulling for ya CJ!

  37. I’d like to remind all the Pats fans crying about all the backups they had for the 2015 AFC championship loss to the Broncos. Denver beat you earlier in the season too when y’all were undefeated 10-0 and perfectly healthy. Beat you in 2013 too.

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