Rams’ game against Washington will put family on opposite sidelines
By Rich Hammond
THOUSAND OAKS — Washington’s tight ends are, almost literally, family to the Rams.
Rams coach Sean McVay adores them, because he coached them in Washington for seven seasons, first as position coach and then as offensive coordinator. Rams defensive coordinator Wade Phillips takes some pride because his son, Wes, succeeded McVay as Washington’s tight ends coach three years ago.
These connections between the Rams and Washington are almost dizzying, and as the teams prepare to play Sunday at the Coliseum, it’s difficult to tell which team the Phillips familiarity will favor.
“They’ve got a very versatile group,” McVay said after Thursday’s practice at Cal Lutheran. “I think Wes is a really good tight ends coach. Very thorough, very detailed and a great communicator, and you can see that he’s a lot like his dad in that way.”
Not surprisingly, for a coach who has been in the NFL since 1976, Wade Phillips has some connections. First-year Washington defensive coordinator Greg Manusky worked under Phillips in San Diego from 2004-06, and now Phillips faces his son, who also was his coaching colleague in Dallas from 2007-10.
“Of course, we don’t go against each other,” Wade Phillips said. “The players go against each other. I kid about it, but I’m proud of my son, obviously. I think he’s a great coach who does a great job with those guys. So their tight ends will be a challenge, and we didn’t do great against tight ends last week.”
That’s not just coach hand-wringing. The defense dominated Indianapolis last Sunday in the Rams’ 46-9 victory, but Colts tight end Jack Doyle did have catches of 21 and 20 yards.
Now, the Rams face three talented Washington tight ends, in Jordan Reed, Vernon Davis and Niles Paul, and unlike the Colts, Washington has a quarterback (Kirk Cousins) who can throw the ball […]