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Wade Phillips joins Broncos as defensive coordinator

Wade Phillips is back in the NFL.

The Broncos have agreed to terms with Phillips, who will join Denver as defensive coordinator, the team announced. Phillips first told NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport of the news, adding that he is "excited about it."

After spending the 2014 season out of football, the former head coach of the Dallas Cowboys, Buffalo Bills and Broncos rejoins Denver under recently hired head coach Gary Kubiak. Phillips last served as defensive coordinator and interim head coach of the Houston Texans in 2013.

Phillips has long been regarded as one of the better defensive minds in football, serving as coordinator for the New Orleans Saints, Eagles, Broncos, Bills, Falcons, Chargers and Texans over his nearly 40-year professional coaching career. He returns to Denver in the same position he held from 1989-1992.

As with many successful coordinators, Phillips was often courted for head-coaching positions. He was the head coach of the Broncos, Bills and Cowboys, but success eluded him in such a role. Phillips was fired after two seasons in Denver, three seasons in Buffalo and three-and-a-half seasons in Dallas, where he posted his best record (13-3) in 2007.

Phillips got the position after Bengals defensive assistant Vance Joseph, who also was in the running, was not allowed out of his contract with Cincinnati to join Denver's staff, Rapoport reported, per a source close to Joseph.

Phillips now takes over a defense armed with plenty of talent -- linebacker Von Miller, defensive end DeMarcus Ware, defensive backs Aqib Talib, Chris Harris Jr. and T.J. Ward, to name a few -- that finished third in total defense in 2014.

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