Wade Phillips is returning to the Denver Broncos as the team's defensive coordinator for the second time in his career. He also served as the team's defensive coordinator from 1989-92. This will also be the second time that Phillips has served as a defensive coordinator under Head Coach Gary Kubiak.
"It's great to be able to coach with Kube again," Phillips said. "I think he's just a fantastic coach. He's going to skyrocket, so I'm glad to get back with him."
As a coordinator or head coach, Phillips has led 15 different top-10 defenses and worked with 24 Pro Bowl players, including Pro Football Hall of Fame defensive ends Reggie White and Bruce Smith as well as linebacker Rickey Jackson.
Most recently, Phillips was the defensive coordinator under Head Coach Gary Kubiak in Houston, where he took over the league’s 30th-ranked unit. The Texans finished second in total defense (285.7 ypg) in Phillips’ first year with the team in 2011 as he was named PFW/PFWA Assistant Coach of the Year.
Latest Mock Draft has Broncos adding a nose tackle
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He wasn't the Broncos first choice to be defensive coordinator. The Broncos interviewed Cincinnati Bengals defensive backs coach Vance Joseph for their Head Coaching position prior to hiring Gary Kubiak. From that point on he was considered the favorite to be the Broncos defensive coordinator. However, the Bengals refused to let Joseph out of his contract and join the Broncos staff. The Broncos hoped that the Bengals would budge from that decision but, ultimately decided to go with Wade Phillips.
Here's what Wade Phillips had to say about Vance Joseph who was on the same staff as him in Houston.
"That's the way this league is — I've been through this a lot," Phillips said. "Gary and John and I really love Vance. I think he's a bright, rising star. Hopefully he learned from me. I might have taught him too good."
Look for the Denver Broncos defense to be switching to a 3-4 defense under Phillips. The Broncos have the personal to make the easy transition to a 3-4, but, will need to fill some holes like nose tackle, and possibly inside linebacker.
In 1st year w/ a new team, Phillips' D's improved (on average) 10.25 spots in yds/play, 9.5 spots in sack rate & 12.5 spots in yds. allowed.— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) January 29, 2015
The Broncos also finalized their defensive staff on Wednesday night. According to the Denver Posts Mike Klis, the Broncos have hired Joe Woods as their defensive backs coach.
Woods has 23 years of coaching experience, including 11 seasons as an NFL defensive backs coach with Oakland (2014), Minnesota (2006-13) and Tampa Bay (2004-05).
During his eight years with the Vikings, Woods coach cornerback Antoine Winfield, who made three consecutive Pro Bowls (2008-10) under his instruction. Woods entered the NFL as a defensive backs coach with Tampa Bay, helping the Buccaneers rank first in the NFL in pass defense (172.1 ypg) during his two seasons (2004-05) with the team. Cornerback Ronde Barber earned first-team All-Pro recognition from the Associated Press following both of his seasons playing for Woods.