Wade Phillips named Defensive Coordinator
Chargers hire Phillips
Chargers hire Phillips

Posted Jan 16, 2004

The San Diego Chargers announced the signing of Wade Phillips to fill the Chargers’ defensive coordinator position. Phillips, 56,has been a defensive coordinator with five teams during his 26-year NFL coaching career, including Atlanta (2002-03), Buffalo (1995-97), Denver (1989-92), Philadelphia (1986-88) and New Orleans (1981-85).

Wade Phillips comes to the San Diego Chargers after interviewing for the defensive coordinator job on Thursday. Phillips has worked both in a 3-4 defense (Atlanta) and 4-3 defense (Buffalo and Denver) as the Bolts employed last year.

Phillips recent stint was with Atlanta, where he spent two seasons (2002-03) as defensive coordinator. He also served as Atlanta’s interim head coach after Dan Reeves was released from his contract on Dec. 10, 2003 for the Falcons’ final three games, going 2-1.

The staple of Phillips' defense has been its ability to create turnovers. In 2003, on a terrible defense, the Falcons created 31 turnovers good for third most in the league. The Falcons also registered more sacks than the Chargers, 36-to-30, a testament to Phillips schemes.

In 2002, the numbers were even more impressive as Phillips guided the Falcons defense to 47 sacks, second-most in team history; 39 total takeaways, second in the league, and 24 interceptions, the fourth-highest total in the league.

What defense will they deploy? It is still to be determined.

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