The Los Angeles Rams have been one of the busier teams this offseason adding talent to the mix ahead of the 2018 NFL season. A significant bulk of that effort has been toward bringing in more help on the defensive side of the ball.
This has seen the front office acquire talent such as cornerbacks Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib along with defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, who have each had concerns about their character on the field questioned over various points of their respective careers. Despite their well-documented past, defensive coordinator Wade Phillips doesn’t feel like he will have to manage these players in any fashion, according to Joe Curley of the Ventura County Star:
Wade Phillips on managing the personalities in the locker room: “I don’t manage players. I don’t handle players. I just work with players.” @CVRamsClub @DowntownRams
— Joe Curley (@vcsjoecurley) April 6, 2018
Phillips has been around the league for quite some time and has many players that have had issues in the past off the field or even on it that have arisen. This has given him the respect and experience needed to get through these situations.
He had previously coached Talib in Denver, which should give him an idea of how to coach him while that should help set the table for anything that comes out Peters. Meanwhile, Suh looks to have already taken the team-first approach as his comments at his introductory press conference this past week reflected just that.
There will be those concerns if the team struggles or fails to live up to the hype with internal conflict potentially arising, but if the Rams had any doubts about that the team would not have taken the chance on each of these players. Phillips clearly has no doubts that he can work with his new slate of players and bring out the best in them in his defensive game plan. All of this will only be determined on the field this upcoming season if that will be the case or turmoil rises. Simply put, time will tell.