Wade Phillips has always drawn from the many lessons he learned from his legendary father, Bum Phillips, during his long and highly successful coaching career in the NFL.
There were enough, literally, to fill a book.
‘Griping at players after that fact, it really tells you that you didn’t do a good enough job of teaching them how to do or what you wanted done’
Wade cites a great deal of what he learned from Bum in his newly released autobiography, “Son of Bum, Lessons My Dad Taught Me About Football and Life.” And one of the biggest lessons is that yelling and screaming at players doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.
“Griping isn’t coaching,” Phillips told Vic Carucci and Dan Leberfeld on Press Coverage. “Griping at players after the fact, it really tells you that you didn’t do a good enough job of teaching them how to do or what you wanted done. Instead of just griping about it, do something about it. … rather than hollering and screaming at people, being able to teach and get players to be better than they started out with you.”
‘You can have a relationship with players, certainly, as long as they respect you’
Phillips, who became defensive coordinator of the Los Angeles Rams in January (two years after his defense helped the Denver Broncos win Super Bowl 50), credited his father’s influence with his approach that allows for close relationships with players. What he discovered long ago from his father was that it’s OK for players to like you — that it won’t compromise your ability to be successful.
“It made sense when he talked to me about that in the first place,” Phillips said. “You can have a relationship with players, certainly, as long as they respect you. I think that’s the key thing. And you show that you respect them, also, but I mean, as long as you’re respected, you can be as close as you want. I can name a whole lot of players.
“I just got a note from DeMarcus Ware (who played for Phillips in Dallas and Denver) … just saying, ‘Hey, I miss you, Coach.’ You know, I said, ‘I miss you, too.’ That kind of thing. You can have those relationships and they can still play.
“And I think I’d rather play for somebody I like rather than somebody I don’t like. That kind of carried on with me.”