The Drive with Jody Oehler

The Drive with Jody Oehler

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The Cardinals Should Hire Wade Phillips

Christmas is over but yesterday the Los Angeles Rams may have given the Cardinals the best gift they could have ever asked for.

All they need to do is actually accept the gift.

Yesterday, after a successful three year run as the Rams defensive coordinator 72 year old Wade Phillips hit the unemployment line.

He was vital in working with head coach Sean McVay to transform the Rams from a 4-12 team in 2016 to a Super Bowl runner up and one of the most stable teams in the league.

His next stop should be Phoenix.

Sure Michael Bidwill, Steve Keim and Kliff Kingsbury made the decision to keep Vance Joseph as defensive coordinator when they likely knew Phillips would be available. After all, there's more gossip in the NFL in December than there is at a high school lunch table.

But this doesn't need to be an either/or between Phillips and Joseph.

After going unconventional at head coach, the Cardinals could try and go unconventional at defensive coordinator. Co-coordinators are common in the college ranks, why not try it at the NFL level?

Sure convincing Phillips at this stage of his career to accept even a nominal demotion would require some real persuasion but that's where Michael Bidwill comes in.

The Cardinals should pay Phillips as a top defensive coordinator because no matter how old you are, few things are more persuasive than money.

Stealing industry secrets by hiring away valuable employees from rivals in commonplace in corporate America and sports - the Cardinals should follow that lead by hiring Wade Phillips.

He brings institutional knowledge of a division rival and some secrets from the cult of Sean McVay.

I know Cardinals players like Vance Joseph. And I know one reason the franchise elected to keep Joseph was for defensive continuity.

But you don't get better by turning down opportunities to improve your coaching.

Wade Phillips makes Kliff Kingsbury a better coach and the Cardinals a better team.

Not to mention the crazy stat that since 1989 every team Wade Phillips has coached for has made the playoffs the first year he was on staff.

His last three proteges have been Aaron Donald, Von Miller and JJ Watt.

He's a once in a career opportunity for the Cardinals to build a juggernaut defensive staff to pair with K1 and K2.

Phillips is a gift and the Cardinals shouldn't wait to open it.

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