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Phillips switching Rams' base defense to 3-4 scheme

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  • By Max Meyer NFL.com
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Wade Phillips is ready to shake things up in his first season in Los Angeles.

Phillips told reporters Friday that the Rams will be shifting to a 3-4 defensive scheme in his first season as Rams defensive coordinator. The Rams ran a base 4-3 defense last season with Gregg Williams at the helm.

While the change may seem daunting, the 69-year-old defensive mastermind added that four of the last six defenses he coached were 4-3 before he changed it to a 3-4. That includes his previous stop with the Broncos, a team that switched base formations when Phillips came over in 2015, and ended with staggeringly positive results.

Phillips was the architect of the defense that led Denver to a Super Bowl 50 championship. Despite earning the first ring in his 47-year coaching career with the Broncos in 2016, he's ready for his next project.

"I've left several [teams]," Phillips said Friday regarding whether it was tough to leave Denver. "Sometimes I didn't want to leave, sometimes it's your choice, sometimes it's somebody else's choice. It's a new challenge certainly, keeps me going. I love those guys there, but I'm gonna love these guys here too."

Besides fortifying the Rams' defense, Phillips will also be working for a first-year head coach for the first time since 1986 with Buddy Ryan and the Eagles. The difference, though, is that Phillips' new boss this time is 38 years younger. Despite the substantial age gap, he's not worried about Sean McVay's debut in the spotlight.

"I think he'll handle it really well, from knowing him the way that I do already," Phillips told NFL Network's Omar Ruiz. "I'm just going to do everything I can to help him have a great defense here."

With intriguing pieces such as Aaron Donald and Robert Quinn, Phillips has the ingredients to potentially cook up something special at his latest stop.

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