The signing of Wade Phillips as defensive coordinator has been welcomed with open arms to the people in Los Angeles thanks to his impressive resume and notable success putting together one of the finest defenses in recent history with the Denver Broncos. Despite his success, there was a rumor floating around that not everything was peachy in the Mile High locker room and Phillips was at the center of it.
According to Charlie Campbell of Walter Football, Phillips had caused a divide between the defense and the offense in the team’s locker room:
“Many criticized the Broncos for allowing Phillips to leave with the transition to Vance Joseph. Sources with the Broncos, however, say that Phillips divided the locker room and pitted the defense against the offense. The divided locker room was toxic at the end of the season, and that was why the Broncos felt they would be better off to have Phillips depart. Sources in Houston say that Phillips stirred up some similar problems in the Texans’ locker room during the 2013 season, but not to the same extent as in Denver last season.”
There has yet to be any confirmation about these reports, but that did not stop Phillips from firing back at the presumably fictitious report:
@DraftCampbell your sources about me and dividing the team are an out and out lie–I resent u saying that -ask any off coach or player.
— Wade Phillips (@sonofbum) January 23, 2017
Furthermore, some of Phillips’ former players like Chris Harris Jr. and Max Garcia have come to his defense, even suggesting these reports may just be ‘alternative facts.’
With contract negotiations, free agency, and a daughter in Los Angeles, there were a number of reasons why the move made sense for Phillips. Along with the overwhelming support from his former players, it makes it safe to say the agreement to depart from Denver was a mutual one.