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 Post subject: d him to drop from being a possible top 10 pick.
PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2018 9:54 am 

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The Los Angeles Rams haven’t been to the playoffs in 13 years. Their roster has only six players with NFL postseason experience Muhammad Wilkerson Jersey , and they’re led by the youngest head coach ever to earn a playoff berth.

They’ve also got Wade Phillips, who has done, seen and counter-schemed just about everything that can be accomplished on a football field during 40 NFL seasons with 10 teams.

”He’s a guy that you love having on your side when you’re going into any situation,” said Sean McVay, the Rams’ 31-year-old head coach.

The Rams’ 70-year-old defensive coordinator in the NFL postseason for the 20th time after putting together yet another solid defense in his first season with a new team. Phillips has been a head coach, a defensive mastermind and a steady mentor to generations of football talent during an all-encompassing career, and he shows zero signs of slowing down.

”As long as you have a passion and you can contribute, and that’s what you like doing. I’m lucky to be where I am,” Phillips said recently. ”I enjoy what I’m doing. I love what I’m doing. I love working with the players that I have. Those things in life – if that’s what your work is, it’s pretty gratifying.”

When the Rams (11-5) face the Atlanta Falcons (10-6) on Saturday night at the Coliseum Demarcus Robinson Jersey , Phillips will be going after his second championship in three seasons after winning his first Super Bowl with Denver just two years ago. That title was a long-awaited reward for decades of hard work, but Phillips is visibly energized by the chance to contend for another ring with the NFC’s No. 3 seed.

For the eighth straight time since 1989, Phillips has accepted a new job and immediately taken a team to the playoffs in his first season. Phillips knows experience is important, but the veteran coach thinks these Rams already have it.

”If you’re playing for the division against Seattle or playing to get in the playoffs against Tennessee, those are playoff-type atmospheres,” Phillips said. ”I don’t see a whole lot of difference, except the Super Bowl is the one that stands out from all the other playoff games, as opposed to the big games you play during the year.”

It’s tough for Phillips to face any opponent these days with which he has no connection, and the Falcons are no exception: He became Atlanta’s defensive coordinator for a 2002 playoff run, and he served as their interim head coach in 2003 for the fired Dan Reeves.

McVay and Phillips seemed to be an odd-couple pairing when they first teamed up last January Joe Thuney Jersey , but they’ve reveled in their differences. Scarcely a day went by during the Rams’ playoff push when McVay didn’t publicly express his gratitude for being able to rely on the experiences and strategies accumulated by Phillips.

”Age doesn’t make any difference with me,” Phillips said. ”I had some opportunities, but his seemed like the best.”

Phillips knew he could work with McVay based on the young coach’s relationship with Phillips’ son, Wes, who served as McVay’s tight ends coach for the previous three seasons while McVay ran the Washington Redskins’ offense.

The Rams already had a solid defense last season under coordinator Gregg Williams. But because of the Rams offense’s utter ineptitude, that defense wore down and struggled, particularly late in their 4-12 campaign.

While McVay transformed the offense, Phillips got the most out of a team that allowed 20.6 points per game this season, down from 24.6 last year.

Phillips changed the Rams’ scheme from a 4-3 front to a 3-4, but that strategy includes many lineups with five players hitting the line and four-man rushes. While the Rams’ average rankings in pass defense and run defense haven’t changed drastically since last season George Blanda Jersey , Phillips’ defense has produced a whopping 48 sacks – fourth in the NFL and 17 more than last season.

Phillips is quick to direct much of that credit to Aaron Donald, the Rams’ line-destroying defensive tackle and one of the game’s best players. Phillips has campaigned for Donald to get league MVP consideration.

When asked about his biggest surprise this season, Phillips quipped: ”Aaron Donald. I knew he was good, but I didn’t know he was better than everybody.”

NOTES: Pro Bowl kick returned Pharoh Cooper missed his second straight day of practice with a shoulder injury, but McVay remains confident he will play this weekend. … LB Mark Barron was limited again with his Achilles’ tendon injury, but also is expected to play.



A Santa Clara County judge ruled Wednesday that San Francisco 49ers linebacker Reuben Foster will not have to stand trial on domestic violence charges after determining there was no evidence that Foster ever hit his ex-girlfriend.

Judge Nona Klippen said prosecutors didn't meet the burden of probable cause on charges of felony domestic violence and forcefully attempting to dissuade a witness.

Foster was also charged with felony possession of an assault weapon after officers found a Sig Sauer 516 short-barreled rifle in his home while investigating his ex-girlfriend's domestic violence report. That charge was reduced to a misdemeanor.

The 49ers have not allowed Foster to take part in the offseason program while he dealt with these charges and general manager John Lynch had said he would be cut from the team if it was determined that he hit a woman. Foster will be allowed back Thursday now that the domestic violence charges have been dropped.

"It has been made clear to Reuben that his place on this team is one that must continue to be earned," Lynch said. "We will continue to monitor the remaining misdemeanor charge."

The prosecutor's office released a statement expressing disappointment in the judge's decision.

"We are disappointed because the evidence demonstrated that Mr. Foster seriously hurt his girlfriend," the statement said. "Some have wondered why we still think Mr. Foster hurt his girlfriend when she said that he didn't. Recantation is common among domestic violence victims. Some are scared, some feel guilty, some are coerced Nat Moore Jersey , some need money. Whatever the cause, we move forward on cases when victims falsely recant because we know that if we don't more victims will be hurt."

The accuser, Elissa Ennis, recanted her accusations two days after telling police she was hit in the head eight to 10 times by Foster. She testified at a preliminary hearing last week that the injuries were caused by a fight with another woman and she gave prosecutors video of that fight. She said she lied initially because she wanted retribution after Foster tried to end their relationship.

Klippen said recantations aren't uncommon in domestic violence cases but said there was no supporting evidence in this case that Foster had attacked Ennis.

"The injuries appear more consistent with a fight with another woman on a street than with being hit in the head by this defendant," Klippen said while ruling from the bench.

Klippen also pointed to the fact that Ennis appeared "unusually calm" while making a second 911 call reporting the incident. A bystander who gave her a phone to make the call testified she wasn't frantic and didn't appear to have serious injuries, and there was no evidence of prior abuse. Ennis also testified that she had made false allegations in another case after a boyfriend broke up with her.

Prosecutor Kevin Smith had no comment while leaving the courthouse after the ruling and Foster only gave a thumbs-up before getting into a car with his attorney.

The 49ers drafted Foster 31st overall last year after questions about his health and character caused him to drop from being a possible top 10 pick.

Foster delivered on the field, ranking second on the team with 72 tackles in 10 games as a rookie and looking like a key part of San Francisco's defensive future.

"I'm excited to get him back, give him a hug and move forward," left tackle Joe Staley said.

Foster was charged in January in Alabama with second-degree marijuana possession before the incident in February that led to this case. Foster is due in court next month for a hearing in his marijuana case.

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said the league will "continue to monitor all developments in the matter which remains under review."

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