Arizona Cardinals defense would flourish with Wade Phillips

(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) Vance Joseph
(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) Vance Joseph /

The NFL lifer would do wonders for an Arizona Cardinals defensive unit that ranked 32nd-overall in the league this past year

Back on December 30th, Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury announced that the club had come to a conclusion. After weeks of speculation, fans of the team were informed that Vance Joseph would return as the squad’s defensive coordinator. In hindsight, it now appears that the Cards should’ve waited awhile before making a final decision on the subject.

Just one week after Joseph received his vote of confidence, a much more qualified candidate has emerged for the Cardinals. This past Monday, veteran coach Wade Phillips let it be known that the Los Angeles Rams would not be renewing his contract. The 72-year old had spent the last three seasons on Sean McVay’s staff, but the Rams young leader has decided to move in a different direction.

Phillip’s dismissal came as a bit of a surprise. Los Angeles finished the 2019 campaign with the league’s 13th-ranked defense. For those who are keeping track, that’s 19 spots better than the 32nd-ranked Arizona unit that Joseph presided over this past fall.

The suddenly available assistant is chock-full of NFL experience. Phillips served as the head coach of the Denver Broncos (1993-94), Buffalo Bills (1998-2000) and Dallas Cowboys (2007-10). The Texas native was also named interim head coach of the New Orleans Saints in 1985, the Atlanta Falcons in 2003 and the Houston Texans in 2013.

Phillips spent several stints as a defensive coordinator at the professional level as well. Besides his days with the Rams, the NFL lifer also called signals for the Saints (1981-85), Philadelphia Eagles (1986-88), Broncos (1989-92, 2015-16), Bills (1995-97), Falcons (2002-03), San Diego Chargers (2004-06) and Texans (2011-13).

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Hiring Phillips to run the defense should be a no-brainer for the Cards organization. It’s certainly the front office’s prerogative to change their mind about Joseph. If the Cardinals are truly serious about winning football games, than Phillips should be offered the job as soon as possible.